WABASH CO., Ill. (WFIE) - It’s the first day back for students in the Wabash Community School District, and leaders say they have plans lined up in the event that any student or staff member gets sick this year.
Every student who enters the building has to have their temperatures checked, it’s one of the many changes they made before the first day of school.
The district says students who have a temperature of 100.4 or higher need to be fever-free for three days without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
The student with the high temperature will need a release to return to school from a healthcare provider.
The school district also knows heading back to school in a pandemic can be hard on students. That’s why they had their school social workers create a back to school video with tips for the school year.
“We want to show you how to think calming thoughts,” said Laura Taylor, a Mt. Carmel Grade School Social Worker. “Everybody is telling me, ‘this mask is hot, I don’t want to wear it.’ But what you can do is also think a calming thought. Something like, ‘but it keeps me safe, and we will get a break soon.’ Our staff and teachers care about you guys. We know it’s hard to wear those masks. So we’ve created schedules where you’re going to get more breaks.”
The school district is also splitting students into groups of two for the start of the school year. Students with the last names starting with A through J went back on Thursday while students with the last names K through Z go back on Friday.
And in order to be able to contact trace should a student test positive, each student was given a number.
The school district says these plans and the help from the community is what they hope will keep this year going.
Dr. Chuck Bleyer, Superintendent for the Wabash Community School District #348, said, “Any help has been beneficial. So the state did provide us with masks and shields, pretty good quality. So every student student gets one and every teacher gets one. The shields will usually be used for speech and things like that.”