Smaller schools may have advantage when reopened

Washburn Superintendent Larry Worcester says smaller schools may have the advantage over their larger counterparts when it comes to reopening during a pandemic,
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 1:02 PM EDT
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Schools across The County are busy making preparations for the start of another school year, but this one will be much, much different, due to Covid-19. Kathy McCarty speaks with one superintendent who says smaller schools may have an advantage.

Officials with MSAD 45 are in the planning process right now, working to determine how to incorporate CDC safety protocols into an in-class teaching environment. Superintendent Larry Worcester says a meeting is set for July 28th to discuss details.

“We’re going to the school board next Tuesday for a special meeting to just kind of an overview of the big picture, and then once - once we get that, then we’re gonna be flushing out some of the details, because the devil’s always in the details,” says Larry Worcester.

While larger schools may struggle with social distancing in the classroom, Worcester says thanks to Washburn’s smaller student population, that won’t be an issue.

“We think we’re small enough that we can spread people out, due to our small class sizes, that type of thing,” he says.

The goal is to get the kids back in school August 19th.

Worcester says “We’re hoping that we can get everybody here, five days a week. That’s the goal. That’s what the kids want, that’s what the teachers want, the parents. That’s what everybody wants.”

Officials are working to adapt the school to provide the necessary educational opportunities for students, and incorporate CDC guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of the children and staff.

" The number one thing for all of us is - is the safety of the, you know, students and the staff and trying - trying to figure out what’s the best way to do that. So that’s kinda where we’re at,” says Worcester.

Worcester says they’re also looking at some form of distance learning, for students and staff whose health might otherwise be at risk in a regular classroom. He’s been collaborating with leaders from other small schools, in an effort to share ideas and come up with plans to effectively educate youth, while providing a safe environment for all.

Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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