LAMOILLE — The LaMoille unit school opened its doors for the first time on Monday, Oct. 19, for the start of the second quarter after spending the first nine weeks in remote learning due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the district.
Principal Brent Ziegler said it was good to have the students back.
"Yeah, they were ready to be here," he said. "We did state testing the week prior and the seniors actually got to take the SAT. We knew we were coming back the next week and had the protocols in place, so that was a little test run. I knew the kids were ready to come back, because they weren't complaining about coming in and taking standardized tests. That was positive for us to see."
The high school is running seven, 34-minute class periods from 8:10 a.m. to 12:26 p.m. with a three-minute pass. There are also two periods after lunch for remote learning and to allow students to meet with teachers if needed.
The school is making hot lunches, which go home with the kids. The lunches are also available for remote learning students from 11:30 a.m. to noon in the north parking lot.
There are 10 students out of LaMoille's enrollment of 60 (17%) who have opted to remain with remote learning. Ziegler said students may elect to go to remote at any time.
"I don't think we want to take the responsibility of forcing any of them to do one way or the other," he said. "We just want to keep the conversation open, so No. 1, to discuss what's best for the student and the family, and No. 2, to make sure the staff is well aware any movement is taking place."
Ziegler praised the students for following all the safety protocols put in place, including having their temperature checked daily, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.
"The kids have accepted that role to do what needs to be done and keep the safe environment maintained in the school," he said. "It's been a good working relationship really between parents, students and staff. Definitely happy with the interactions and I think (kids) are, too."
LHS has not had any COVID-19 cases since it went to in-person learning last week, Ziegler said.
"Knock on wood, the district was good for the first week, and starting into the second," Ziegler said. "The challenge is even beyond individuals that are in our schools and district. The challenge is for all of the staff, families who have connections to family with other jobs and making sure you follow the protocols. We're all working trying to keep safe, but there's a lot of connections out there in so many ways.
"We monitor. There's notifications and good communications taking place. We'll do the best we can to keep everybody safe."
LHS planned to open school with in-person learning at the beginning of the school year, but turned to remote learning with rising COVID-19 cases in its district.
"That was our initial plan, but the (COVID-19) numbers kind of blew up in our communities," Ziegler said. "We had some cases being reported right when we were going to open up that had connections to the school. The decision was made to start out remote and kind of assess it among our communities.
"The numbers stayed a little high for a while, but by the end of September we were looking to coming back to school. We had a pretty good flow going with the curriculum that we were using, so we just decided to finish out the nine weeks and then we'd reassess prior to that and got back in school."
There were a number of students, Ziegler said, who came in for instruction by appointment during the first quarter.
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