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What the Cohort Model includes

HANCOCK — In a Monday email, Superintendent Steve Patchin said that in light of a Hancock school student having tested positive for COVID-19, Hancock Public Schools, among other steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, is following the state of Michigan’s Cohort Model from the Return to School Roadmap for the 2020-21 school year, released on June 30. The roadmap defines a cohort as a mass of students who are grouped together and do not mix with other groups of students.

The Cohort Model includes the following:

• As able and appropriate, schools should try to cohort groups of students to isolated hallways or areas that can be monitored for positive cases if there is a COVID-19 exposure.

• Recess should be conducted outside whenever possible with appropriate social distancing and cohorting of students. If more than once class is outside, students should wear facial coverings.

• Facial coverings should always be worn in hallways and common areas by preK-12 students in the building except for during meals.

• Any student that is unable to medically tolerate a facial covering should not wear one.

• Any student that is incapacitated or unable to remove the facial covering without assistance, should not wear one.

• Facial coverings may be homemade or disposable level-one (basic) grade surgical masks.

• If social distancing and cohorting is practiced and enforced, facial coverings for students in grades preK-5 are encouraged but not required.

• Facial coverings should be considered for K-5 students and students with special needs in classrooms, especially if students and teachers are not placed in cohorts.

The roadmap states that in addition to cohorting, the following should be followed:

• Staggered schedules,

• face mask use,

• barrier screens,

• changes to dining operations,

• alterations to recess and athletic activities.

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