BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio — The Lakota Local School District is taking a different approach than Cincinnati Public Schools, which announced remote learning for the first five weeks of school on Monday. Instead, in-person learning with most Lakota students returning to the classroom is scheduled to begin in two weeks.
Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller said districts statewide are in constant contact with each other – looking to their neighbors and health officials for a path forward.
“There’s no right answer,” Miller said. “There’s no right path. We’re doing the best we can.”
Soon, students will return to Lakota schools for the first time since March.
"Last Friday the Board of Education voted 5-0 to come back full go with masks which we've been talking about for a while," Miller said.
Nearly 25% of students will stay home and learn virtually using curriculum a team had been working on for months, but the majority will be back in shifts. Half of the returning students will be back on Monday and Wednesday – the other half Tuesday and Thursday with Friday off.
"We want to practice,” Miller said. “What does social distancing look like in a school? We've never done that before. We're going to practice wearing masks all day with mask breaks. We've never done that before."
Miller said Lakota, like districts all across the state are preparing to make all learning remote if the infection rate worsens.
He’s said he’s keeping in close contact with neighboring districts to look for a path forward.
"We try to compare ourselves to districts about our size, so we look a little bit toward Mason,” Miller said. “We look a little bit at some of the districts in the Columbus area."
He said school administrators are keeping abreast of the latest developments going on around them, but staying focused on the future.
"We just know that this is probably going to be around for a while,” Miller said. “We're hoping to get our kids in. We're hoping that continues. We'll adjust if we need to."
He said the district will assess what worked and what didn’t after the first week back before they move forward.
For more information on Lakota's 2020-21 Responsible Reopening plan, click here.