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Johnson and Hendricks counties outline plans for reopening public schools

All closed in March during COVID-19 outbreak
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Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 23:28:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Public school systems in Indiana are rapidly developing plans to reopen for the fall semester while dealing with the COVID-19 threat.

The state is leaving decision-making to individual districts, some of which are teaming up to develop plans.

Schools in Hendricks and Johnson counties are among the latest to announce the framework they will operate under.

The six Johnson County school districts will follow a set of principles, based on guidance from the state and the Johnson County Health Department. Each district will then have its own specific plan.

Here are the Johnson County guiding principles:

  • Start school as scheduled with no alteration to published school calendars.
  • Limit school building visitors.
  • Implement appropriate safety measures as recommended by state and county health officials. These measures include, but are not limited to:
    • Strongly encourage students and staff members to wear masks with masks required in some settings
    • Provide frequent opportunities for handwashing and/or hand sanitation.
    • Require students and staff to be fever free (and fever-reducing medication free) for 72 hours prior to returning to school.

In Hendricks County, the five school districts will stick to their scheduled start dates.

Here are the Hendricks County guiding principles:

  • Require staff and students to have a mask with them at all times. There will be certain situations, including on a bus and some in-school settings, when wearing a mask will be required for both students and staff.
  • Require students and staff to be fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medication before returning to school.
  • Maximize instructional space and scheduling flexibility.
  • Employ enhanced cleaning procedures with additional hand sanitizer stations.
  • Open playgrounds with separate zones for sanitization purposes.
  • Allow the use of water fountains for bottle or cup refills only.
  • Adjust lunches to maximize available open space and utilize alternate scheduling to adhere to safety guidelines.
  • Identify and separate space in school clinics to treat symptomatic students.
  • Restrict visitors and guests in our school buildings.
  • Discontinue perfect attendance incentives.