Plans and structure could be unveiled July 20

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

With the clock ticking on the start of the 2020-21 school year, school officials throughout the Waterford area are beginning the process of determining how a fall reopening will take place in the era of COVID-19.

Waterford Union High School District Administrator Luke Francois discussed the various factors at play when he met with the School Board this week.

In the weeks ahead, Francois said his intent is to collaborate with his counterparts from each of the separately governed K-8 feeder districts across the community: Drought, North Cape, Washington-Caldwell and Waterford Graded.

“That way, we will have an all-Waterford approach,” Francois said at the School Board meeting, held June 29. “We should send one single message.”

A number of factors are in play, including a hybrid model that could intermingle in-person classroom instruction with the virtual format that rapidly became the go-to in mid-March when school districts across the state abruptly shut down.

Francois, who said he and other high school administrators will be offering up more specific recommendations when the WUHS School Board meets again July 20, pointed out there are a number of other questions.

For instance, should school districts require students wear face coverings throughout the day? Should temperature checks be conducted before anyone enters the building?

Other factors also are in play, including some of the lesser-discussed ancillary services that are an integral part of students’ days at school. Busing contracts and lunch service are among some of the traditional offerings being reviewed.

During this week’s board meeting, questions on the availability of outsourced bus drivers and lunch workers also entered the discussion.

“We’ll try being a part of the solution to the extent that we can,” Francois said of trying to find meaningful solutions to any issues that might arise.