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Leetonia BOE approves re-entry plan

LEETONIA — The Leetonia school board Tuesday night approved a re-entry/restart plan for the fall following the COVID-19 pandemic closure in the spring.

The board approved the plan submitted by the county Educational Service Center, with a clarification of what is considered COVID illness.

The plan is based upon a common agreement between Columbiana County superintendents that will be used across the county, according to Superintendent Dennis Dunham. Following the agreement, districts will practice the same procedures and protocols regarding COVID.

Reminding board members the plan is a fluid document that can change by the day, Dunham said the approved document will be sent to parents this week.

Dunham noted the plan includes a nine-week commitment to in-person or remote learning for students. The ultimate goal, however, is to have students return to the classroom and interact with their teachers and fellow students, he said.

The board also changed the first day for students for the 2020-2021 school year to Aug. 24. The first day was previously Aug. 19, but the extra week will be used to train faculty and staff on the re-entry protocols and professional development.

“[The administration] felt it would be better to have more days for training,” Dunham said.

The first two weeks of school will be a phased re-entry, with two groups of students split alphabetically by last name attending two days a week each. Families with two last names will be placed in the same group. Sept. 8 will be the first day all students will be back in the classroom five days a week

The plan also requires all students grades 3 through 12 to wear face coverings.

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