EVSC releases new reopening details with less than a month before start of new school year

EVSC releases new reopening details with less than a month before start of new school year

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - EVSC leaders shared new details Monday night on what the upcoming school year may look like for both students and staff.

The first day is now less than a month away. Parents and other providers were given the chance to ask the administration questions through a Facebook Live event.

“It’s challenging us to learn how to be patient,” teacher Jillian Shade smiled. “We teach our kids ‘you’ve got to be patient; you’ve got to wait,’ and that’s where we’re at right now too.”

EVSC leaders say its facilities have been looked over, which total up to about 5 million square feet to make sure social distancing would be possible. The school district kept its previously approved start date of August 5, 2020.

“When they look back on COVID-19 a year later, a decade later, or a lifetime later, they’re going to know that while things were different, things were not worse,” EVSC Superintendent Dr. David Smith said.

Dr. Smith admitted the difficulties that come with social distancing on school buses. He says riders will be required to wear a mask.

“I, myself, have a three-year-old and a four-year-old,” Shade explained. “I teach five and six-year-olds. They’re not all going to wear the mask. They’re going to be flinging it across the bus, they’re going to be putting it on their shoes, you know, who knows, swinging it on their finger. Are we doing the best we can? Are we teaching them how to use it, wear it and why is it important?”

Dr. Smith is also pushing parents to help get students to and from school.

He says students will not be required to wear a mask in the classrooms if spacing is met. But, once into the school year, if there is a positive case in the classroom, the district will assume everyone in the classroom has been exposed and could test positive. This means those individuals would have to self-quarantine until medically proven otherwise.

“I understand that is going to be incredibly disruptive,” Dr. Smith added.

A questionnaire will be sent out by the district in the coming days.

Dr. Smith says providing a mask to every student of every school day comes at a $1.2 million cost.

We’re also learning every school nurse will be bumped up to full-time meaning they’re in the building before students get there and stay until they’re gone.

Watch the Q and A live video here:

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