Morris Schools Superintendent Troy Ferguson responded to the plan for reopening schools that was unveiled by state officials yesterday in a letter sent to school stakeholders. Ferguson said the state’s plan includes a formula tied to the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county, which he said “appears to favor our district since Stevens County, at least until now, has consistently been below the threshold where a more restrictive model would be warranted.”
Ferguson said the district will work with public health and Department of Education officials to do everything they can to bring students back to school in person in the fall. He wrote that he was cautiously optimistic they will be able to do so and will continue to follow the guidelines of wearing a face covering, social distancing, washing hands, staying home when sick, cleaning often and taking temperatures.
“These actions may be seen as burdensome to some but if adhering to them gets our students back sooner for longer periods of time, they are worth it,” Ferguson wrote. The 41-member Back to School Committee will meet August 3 to develop the district’s plan for this fall.
In his letter to families and staff, Hancock School Superintendent Paul Carlson said that based on the guidelines released yesterday – and on data captured between July 5th and 18th – there would be in-person learning for all students at Hancock. Stevens County cases over those 14 days per 10,000 people was at 8.18. If the county got to 10 cases per 10,000 people, the model would switch to in-person learning for elementary students and hybrid learning for secondary students. Models could change over the course of an academic year.
Carlson said the district will be releasing detailed plans during the week of August 17.