Hastings Public Schools working on back-to-school plan

Masks will not be required, but recommended, at the start of the year
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Public Schools school district is working on finalizing its back-to-school plan for the 2021-2022 school year to be voted on at the Aug. 9 school board meeting.

As of Monday, July 19 masks will not be required when the year begins but will be recommended. Teachers will also be encouraged to incorporate outdoor lessons into their lesson plans and put an emphasis on social distancing among students.

“If things go the wrong direction in terms of COVID then we’ll tighten up restrictions and if things improve then maybe we’ll loosen some restrictions,” Superintendent of HPS Jeff Schneider said.

The district is removing temperature checks but asking parents to monitor their children and staff will be asked to self-monitor as well. Visitors will be allowed back into the buildings and field trips will return to the district; an aspect of the school year that was lost in 2020.

According to Schneider the plan for the start of the 2021-2022 school year is essentially a continuation of regulations that were in place at the end of last school year, outside of a few changes. One change will be the elimination of online schooling.

“We will not offer online schooling unless a student has very specific health needs and the doctor says it’s physically unsafe to attend,” Schneider said. “Then we’ll work but that will be a case-by-case basis, in general we expect everybody to be at school.”

Schneider is emphasizing that the plan is subject to change depending on how COVID changes in our area. He also says the district will be very proactive in communicating with local and state health departments to ensure the best plan is always in place for students, staff and families.

The school board will vote on the plan on Aug. 9.

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