Oregon-Davis Anticipating a Full Return to School this Fall

The Oregon-Davis School Corporation anticipates that students will return to class as usual this fall but with added safety measures. Education Consultant Jim Dermody gave an update on reentry plans to the school board Monday.

“Our plan will be to return in a regular fashion, full return, just like normal,” Dermody said. “Certainly, steps are being taken. Masks, for example, will be strongly recommended. They will be strongly – and I want you to listen to what I said – strongly recommended.”

Dermody said school officials provided three scenarios, which also included continuing with virtual classes and a hybrid approach with different students attending class on different days. He said the full return didn’t even seem like a viable option until a few weeks ago. “This is fluid,” he added. “It could change on the dime. If CDC, if the governor’s office, if the State of Indiana comes out and says, ‘Ah, this has to happen now,’ it’s going to have to happen.”

Dermody added that custodians “will be cleaning more than they’ve ever cleaned before.” Meanwhile, Food Service Director Jeff Messer has been working to get equipment to wrap each hot lunch before it’s distributed to students and bag cold food items like fruits and vegetables.

All of the plans are designed to meet the guidelines of the Indiana Department of Education and Starke County Health Department. But beyond that, Dermody said they’re trying to protect the “integrity of instruction.” “That’s going to be the challenge, the integrity of instruction,” Dermody noted. “All the other stuff aside, are the students learning, and are the teachers in the best position where they can instruct? Because we can all – I can lose sight of that because you have all these challenges. But that ultimately is what’s got to be able to happen.”

Dermody said school officials planned to put the finishing touches on their draft plan this week and suggested that the school board hold a special session on July 13 to vote on it.

You can hear Dermody’s entire presentation to the school board tomorrow at noon on Kankakee Valley Viewpoints on K99.3.