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Alpena Schools considers modified school day to accommodate bus cleaning & sanitizing

Submitted by on August 12, 2020 – 12:56 amNo Comment

The planning process for back to school continues at Alpena Public Schools and in the end parents and students need to prepare themselves for changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

During a board of education curriculum and technology meeting Tuesday, Meaghan Gauthier, assistant superintendent for K-12 curriculum told board members the protocol to keep buses clean and sanitized will take 45-60 minutes to complete between bus runs. That is forcing the district to consider a proposal to start the elementary school day 45 to 60 minutes later than normal.

Students at the high school and junior high might be released a half hour earlier each day, at 2 p.m., to also accommodate bus cleaning and sanitizing after they are dropped off and before the afternoon elementary run begins.

Gauthier said there is no way for kids to social distance once they are on a bus.

Exact start and end times for school days could be finalized as early as next week. The teacher’s union needs to sign off on all changes.

The district is also considering the establishment of “learning centers” at a few elementary buildings that would provide secondary students who don’t have internet service or computers at home a place to complete school work after-hours.