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Alcona Schools new classroom procedures broken up by grade levels

HARRISVILLE, Mich. — Throughout the district, procedures for Alcona Schools will be broken up by grade levels. Kindergarten through 5th grade will be in person with the students only dealing with the same teacher and classmates each day.

Grades 6th through 8th will have a similar situation, however each grade will have two teachers. Both will specialize in their own subjects and swap throughout the day. This will eliminate the need for students to switch classrooms. “We’ve been able to use large spaces in our middle school,” said Superintendent Dan O’Connor. “Double classrooms, extended science labs, older computer labs that are much larger to be able to guarantee the distancing, and again those students would stay in one spot and the teachers would come to them.”

For high school students, all work will be done online. To accommodate students without a readily available internet connection, 9th through 12th grade students will be allowed to visit the school to do their work. “We’re just going to utilize our auditorium, cafeteria, and gymnasium to let them have access to the online classes and be here all day, maybe get counseling or other support from teachers and staff during the school day, and then they can essentially log into their classes while they’re here,” said O’Connor.

In the event of a COVID-19 case appearing in the district, O’Connor said they’ll be working with District Health Department No. 2 to determine the best course of action. “Until we navigate that situation, and I think each is evaluated individually, we would lean on our local health officials to make the recommendation in terms of what severity the school would be shut down and how long.”

Currently, Alcona schools will begin classes on Aug. 31, but there is a strong possibility the school board will vote tonight to delay the reopening by one week.