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APS considers bumping school start date & closed campus at high school

Submitted by on August 10, 2020 – 5:08 pmNo Comment

The coronavirus pandemic has school officials across the country scrambling to come up with a plan that not only meets the academic needs of students but also takes their safety into consideration.

Administrators and staff at Alpena Public Schools are still working on a final COVID-19 plan to resume classes with some face to face instruction. Two new proposals were revealed at a board of education subcommittee meeting Monday, including moving the start of the school year one week, from Monday, August 31 to Tuesday, September 8, after the Labor Day holiday. The other would revert the high school back to a closed campus during lunchtime.

Interim superintendent Susan Wooden said one of the main reasons to move the school start date is to give teachers the additional training they need in light of the pandemic. That not only includes things such as how to properly clean and sanitize their rooms between classes, but more importantly how to properly handle kids who are struggling with mental health and emotional issues as they try to understand the current state of affairs.

The proposal received mixed reviews from the board committee. It will be unveiled to other committees this week, and the full board will discuss it again during a special meeting Thursday.

The proposal to close the high school campus received a little more support from the committee, although some believe the district will receive “pushback” from students. Wooden explained that the district would create some new options for students, such as possibly opening the gym so kids can relax with friends; and bringing in an outside vendor or two to offer additional food choices.