Bowman school officials and teachers are working on plans to develop surveys on how to meet the COVID-era challenges looming this fall for the local students, teachers, staff and families.
The school’s COVID response team met Monday in the middle school commons to develop strategies to submit to the public in surveys.
After the first part of the meeting, Superintendent Wayne Heckaman said he was impressed with the suggestions and comments he was hearing from the members of the COVID response team. “They are all great. They are all valued. They are all things we need to think of,” he said.
“There are a lot of things for us to consider. And what procedures or protocols we need to put in place. I am so happy we had the COVID response team come together and really brainstorm today. We have to start somewhere.”
The CDC has yet to issue its latest guidelines and some are expected to be released by the North Dakota Department of Health in the near future, the superintendent explained.
“We do have guidance, but if they are updating, what does that updating look like. Obviously, we want to make plans with the latest information provided from the CDC or anything we can lean on. As we get that information (from the CDC) that will guide us a little more in depth. A lot of the academic things will be developed later on this week as we try to understand how can we move forward with the health and safety of our students and staff in mind,” he said noting there are a lot of things the team has to go over before developing the survey to send out to the public.
That means the school has to start creating a flexible plan to meet the needs of the students, teachers, staff, students and families before school can open in the fall.
“What if we have a blended academic day, what will that look like for our students … what does it look like for the community and what does it look like for our teachers.
“Again, there are a lot of questions and we will try to figure what works best local decision for us,” he said.
Heckaman said the school has already purchased 1,000 child masks and 750 adult masks
“Keeping the schools open will take a community effort,” he told the team as he explained the need for a local survey, which could add it to the plans for the fall.
The guidelines they hope to create with community input must be clear and concise he said. “I would like to see a staff survey go out. I would like to see a family survey... we’ll take that information and create plans,” the superintendent said.
“We’d like to get the survey out as soon as possible. We need that survey back and the feedback to get the pulse of the families in the community. We’ll take that information and also use that information to develop our health safety plan, our reentry plan as we move forward,” Heckaman explained.
“The first part is getting those surveys and getting those surveys out,” the superintendent said.
During the meeting Principal Tyler Senn stressed that consistency would have to one of the big things in any plans for operating the school and classes for the fall. That is both academically and athletically, he added.
Several of the fall plans have already been changed, including a Veteran’s Day observance, because of health concerns, Senn explained.