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Southwest Local School District pushes back start date amid COVID-19, mask concerns

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 19:13:43-04

Southwest Local School District will delay the start of the 2020-21 school year after parents raised concerns over mask requirements and COVID-19.

"In response to several concerns regarding the masking requirements in the heat, our administrative team has made the decision to delay the start of school for students, both in-person and virtual, until Tuesday, September 8, 2020," the district said in a letter to families Thursday.

Families can still decide whether their children will attend in-person classes or receive remote instruction. The deadline to complete that form is Friday, and you can access that form here. You can also go into "Final Forms" under the “Re-Opening of Schools” form and modify your selection up until the deadline.

All other aspects of the district's back to school plan remain the same.

"As we’ve said from the beginning, the situation remains very fluid, and our goal is to balance the safety of our students and staff with meeting the instructional needs of over 4,200 students in a pandemic environment," school officials said.

The K-12 plan includes face coverings in class, a daily "symptom assessment" for students and staff, increased cleaning and sanitation measures, and fewer visitors to schools. A preschool plan is expected to be released July 24.

Student capacity on buses will be limited to 33%, so the district encourages parents to transport children to school when they can.

Students or staff members found positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

For more on the district's back to school plans, click here.