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Students return to school after almost a year

Kindergarten teacher Anne McKolay greets students on their first day back in almost a year at Schweitzer Elementary.

By Carolyn Marnon – March 1 marked the day that students were allowed back into the buildings in the Wayne Westland Community School District. The Return to Learn initiative has students transitioning from all-remote learning to the hybrid method.
Students have been divided into two cohorts. One set have returned to in-person learning on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other set has returned on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will perform distance learning from home with their teachers on Wednesdays. The two days the students are not in school, they will be doing work at home that has been assigned to them.
All district staff have had the opportunity to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Safety measures have been put in place in each school. Face masks are required on the buses and in the buildings. Drinking fountains are closed. Students need to have their own water bottle or one can be provided. The restrooms and all high-touch areas (door handles, light switches, etc.) are disinfected every four hours. Each building has a specific safety plan which can be found on the school district website wwcsd.net.
For students who ride the bus, each student has their own seat. Buses are filled from the back to the front. Siblings from the same family are able to sit together. Students use hand sanitizer as they board and as they leave the bus.
Superintendent John Dignan sent a letter to student homes advising parents that “As we transition to in-person learning, we realize some of our staff may have to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19. For the safety of our students and staff, we may have to implement different instructional options for a classroom or a school during the quarantine period. In this instance, we will communicate with you with as much notice as possible and school administrators and principals will share the learning plans for students.”
The district’s Mental Health Task Force has developed a Mindful Moment Room on the district’s website which provides information on meditation, yoga, relaxing music, photos, videos, recipes and more.
According to the WWCSD COVID-19 Dashboard, the district had only one positive case in February, a John Glenn High School staff member. There were just three quarantine cases reported, 2 staff members and one student. This included a staff member at Stevenson Middle School and a staff member and student from John Glenn.

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