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At public schools, eight days to prepare for what comes next

Supt. Erick Enger addressed an all-staff meeting from his office Monday using an online product called Zoom that could play a big role in the education of Lake City Public Schools students in the not-so-distant future.

Teachers and other staff dispersed in areas around Lincoln High School and Bluff View Elementary School to hear the address to adhere to guidance intended to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Enger told the school board that evening he had only used the software for about 20 seconds before going live. It went off without a hitch.

“My point to staff was to show them that you can still get your voice in the room,” he said. “You can still communicate without actually being there.”

That will be among the considerations for teachers as they use this governor-ordered break to develop a plan to teach students for however long the pandemic keeps students off campus.

“There’s a good chance we won’t see some of these kids back in the building,” Bluff View Elementary School Principal Jim Borgschatz said.

He said Enger’s address was well-received among school staff.

“Sometimes you get push-back,” he said. “That wasn’t the case. Teachers understand.”

Beginning Wednesday the school began providing free bag lunches and a breakfast for the following morning for anyone under age 18. See related story.

Tiger Time, the district’s school-aged childcare program, is closed to the public for now. But it is providing free childcare to the children of parents who are school staff or working in certain other emergency or medical occupations.

Officials don’t know at this time whether the district will be reimbursed for either program.

Community Education Director Amanda Kvasnicka said it isn’t clear yet what the distance learning model will be for preschool or whether parents will be willing to pay for distance pre-school, but they are still trying to find a way to help those students get ready for kindergarten.

High school athletics are on hold completely, and students won’t be allowed to gather at the track or on the school baseball and softball diamonds.

It’s possible that the spring sports season will be canceled altogether.

“Once we have a better handle from the governor after (March 27), we’ll reassess the possibility of no spring sports,” Enger said.

 

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