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Lakeview schools adapt well to COVID-19 changes

CORTLAND — Lakeview schools officials say the district is doing well as it enters the fifth week of dealing with changes and modifications needed at buildings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lakeview was the first school district to open this academic year in Trumbull County on Aug. 17.

While many school districts are completing their first week of school and trying to adjust to the changes, Lakeview students and staff are becoming more accustomed to what has taken place.

Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor told the board of education Monday that no COVID-19 cases have been reported among students or staff. Any student who may have shown symptoms is checked and sent home.

Taylor said students who may show symptoms are placed in an isolation room at the two buildings when necessary to protect others as they wait no more than 20 minutes for a family member to pick them up.

“It’s not perfect, but everything has been going better than we thought. With everyone following guidelines with handwashing, wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing of desks and rooms throughout the day the past weeks have gone well,” she said.

Taylor said the elementary school staff has reported how well the younger students have done wearing masks and not taking them off or swapping them.

“This is a credit to the staff and administration,” Taylor said.

To help the elementary teachers and staff, more professional development time is being provided this year.

The board approved five days for teachers of kindergarten to fourth grade for professional development as long as the district remains in condition “yellow” on the state’s gauge of virus hot spots. Waiver days with no school for K-4 students will be Oct. 30 and Nov. 26; and Jan. 29, Feb. 26 and April 30, 2021.

“They (teachers) have been working from start to finish, as have all the staff. There has been no time for a plan time and a time for meetings. We are working to change this with the professional development days,” Taylor said.

She said transportation drop-off and pickup of students, and busing has improved since a hectic first week.

Two additional licensed staff for the clinics are being hired to help the nurses with students, with one at K-8 building and the other at high school.

Board President Jennifer Nicholas, who is a teacher in another district, said she understamds the challenges staff face in adjusting to online and in-person instructing.

She said it is important that students get support from parents for at-home, online learning to help them do well.

Elementary Principal Scott Taylor said the children have been doing a great job adapting to all the necessary changes.

“Everything has been different because you are talking about a half day of school for many students who are coming and going during the day. We have been doing the best we can and are offering students five days a week in school. There are some changes that had to be made but a credit to teachers, parents and the community for the cooperation,” Taylor said.

Middle school and high school administrators said their staff and students also have adapted to procedure changes that now the focus is on content standards in subject areas.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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