LCO Ojibwe School Superintendent Announces Fall Reopening Plans
By Jessica Hutchison
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School
In order to prepare for a safe return to school this fall, our leadership team has been regularly meeting and consulting with our local Indian Health Service and clinic leadership, the Sawyer County Public Health office with guidance from the CDC, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Bureau of Indian Education. We feel strongly that a return to in person learning is the goal for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, but understand that the health status of the local community will ultimately guide our reopening options.
We intend to have a complete re-opening plan available to parents and families in early August in order to provide ample time to answer any questions and allow for modifications if necessary, before the opening of school on August 24th. The following are a few of reopening details available for the community:
• Instructional Staff have been preparing to provide virtual learning options for students in the event of a schoolwide closure, a modified onsite learning schedule, or individual absence from school.
• Teaching staff are preparing parent and family workshops to support virtual learning.
• Class sizes will be limited to 15 students; additional staff have been/will be hired to support social distancing.
• Technology (Chromebooks and Ipads) have been purchased to allow each student in grades k-12 to have access to an individual device (1 to 1) to reduce cross contamination.
• All students and staff will be encouraged to wear masks when in close contact, which will be provided.
• Purchase of deep cleaning equipment for facilities and additional PPE for vulnerable students and staff.
• Internal procedures for classrooms, hallways, buses, cafeteria and bathrooms to reduce the
opportunities for close contact.
• Coordination with the LCO College to increase community-based internet 'hot-spots' to support distance learning.
• Increased mental health and trauma sensitive supports to ease the transition back to school.
We will do our best to respond to the needs of our students and families during this transition and recognize that each family's concerns, needs and supports will be unique. We hope to continue to provide the best possible access to educational opportunities that are both rooted in Ojibwe culture and tradition, layered with high quality instruction and built upon relationship building and trauma sensitive teaching. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity and stay safe!