WC school years starts 'really well'

West Carroll students returned to school Wednesday, Aug. 19, for the official start of the 2020-21 school year using a hybrid plan due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The hybrid schedule includes district-wide remote learning on Mondays, in-person instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays for A Group students, and in-person instruction on Wednesdays and Fridays for B Group. Students are staff are following new protocols, including wearing face masks.

By SAMANTHA PIDDE

West Carroll Supt. Julie Katzenberger says the 2020-21 school year has started "really well."

West Carroll students returned to school Wednesday, Aug. 19, utilizing a hybrid plan. The plan has students participating in three days of remote learning and two days of in-person instruction.

The hybrid schedule consists of district-wide remote learning on Mondays; in-person instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays for A Group; and in-person instruction on Wednesdays and Fridays for B Group.

In an email sent Friday, Aug. 21, to the Mirror-Democrat/Times-Journal, Supt. Katzenberger said she has been very impresses with how school has started at all three buildings.

"Approximately 80 percent of our students have returned for in-person instruction with the hybrid option. Students and staff are doing a great job following the new protocols," Katzenberger said. "The extra sanitation in the classrooms as well as all the buildings in general has gone really well and everyone is doing their part in sharing responsibilities."

Students and staff are using temperature kiosk stations daily at check-in, as well as social distancing and face coverings. Katzenberger said all of these precautions are being utilized well.

The district also has hired a third nurse so that each school building has a full-time registered nurse to "educate students and staff as well as communicate with the health department for symptomatic surveillance and contract tracing if needed."

Katzenberger also emphasized that the cafeteria, transportation and technology departments have all been working hard to follow the CDC guidelines on interacting with the public and taking precautions in serving and transporting students.

Every registered student in second grade through 12th grade has been issued a Chromebook for take home use. Kindergarten and first grade registered students will be receiving their Chromebooks within the next month.

"I appreciate everyone's hard work in preparing for the school year and now implementing the changes that we prepared for all summer,” Katzenberger said. “I also want to thank the district office for their work year-round. They have been instrumental in working with new staff and the public in registering students for the new school year.”

Katzenberger added that she continues to communicate regularly with staff when updates are received from the IDPH and ISBE and communicates daily with the district leadership team and school nurses.

"As of today (Aug. 21), our nurses reported that we do not have any Covid-19 positive cases for students or staff at West Carroll. We do have a few students and staff that are taking precautionary measures and working remotely due to exposures outside of the school buildings.”