Highwood Public Schools preps for challenges as new academic year approaches

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 13:53:30-04

HIGHWOOD — As part of our “Safely Back to School” initiative, we’re exploring different perspectives and plans for the upcoming academic year. Schools face different challenges depending on the size of the student population.

Until recently, Chouteau County had no confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of July 30th, there are two active cases. Highwood Public Schools in Chouteau County has 108 student enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade for the fall semester.

For now the school board and school administrators are focusing on the student population and building size to determine procedures for the semester. Classrooms are being adjusted to accommodate for social distancing and extra furniture is being moved into the hallways to make more room.

"Looking forward to the upcoming year is a big challenge because we want to get it right...and right now I don't know if anybody knows what is right,” explained Superintendent Jane Suberg.

The main maintenance person at the school is helping out by making Plexiglas barriers. "We're creating Plexiglas barriers to put between the students so when they aren't six feet, they'll be separated by these barriers, clear barriers. They're just on one side because we can distance six feet front to back in all the classrooms,” explained Suberg.

Due to distancing, students won’t be required to wear a mask in the classroom, but they will be asked to put one on in the hallways, common areas, and on the bus.

Students who ride the bus will have their temperature checked when they get on. Those who get dropped off or walk to school will get their temperature checked when they walk in the building.

The school year begins August 20th. Before then, staff and even parents will be trained in technology such as Google Classroom, should the district return to remote learning.