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Early grades to return to school Sept. 28 in city

The Dunkirk City School District is aiming to allow some students back to their buildings by the end of this month.

“The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount,” Superintendent Mike Mansfield said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “Therefore we need a strong remote learning program and to maximize in person learning especially among young students in early grades.”

All students, staff and visitors will be screened before coming into the buildings and visitors will be limited.

“Communication is a big key,” Mansfield said. “Things we’re looking at to put on the website will include if a student gets sent home due to symptoms, parents will know what to do. If a child test positive there’ll be a link for that and what parents can do.”

Mansfield also shared that social distancing and room capacities will be maintained as well as what the district calls enhanced cleaning, meaning more sterilization throughout the day, with hourly rotations of every bathroom.

For remote days if kids don’t have WiFi at home they’ll be able to go to the high school or middle school and distance in the auditoriums for classes. For those uncomfortable with option, families can apply for funding to help them afford a hot spot at home.

Kindergarten to second grade will attend in person four days a week, every week beginning Sept. 28. Grades three to five will be doing hybrid learning in groups — two days in person and three remote — starting on Monday, Oct. 5.

Mansfield also shared that middle and high school students will continue remote learning through mid-October. At that time the district will evaluate how things are going with the elementary students to see if reopening to all students is appropriate.

“I thank the parents for all their feedback in figuring this out,” Mansfield said. “We’re going to do this as well as we can.”

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