Superintendent addresses questions about fall school year

HANCOCK — With the 2021-22 school year set to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 7, many parents and guardians have had questions regarding the upcoming school year.

In a July 6 email, Superintendent Steve Patchin addressed both questions and circulating rumors he hopes to quell, particularly in reference to COVID-19 testing and vaccines.

The School Board and the building leadership, he stated, are planning to open under the following conditions:

– Facial coverings will not be required to attend our school for any students or staff. We will respect those that choose to continue to wear facial coverings.

– We will not require our students or staff to be vaccinated as a condition to attend our school or participate in sports or after hours programming.

– We will not require students participating in sports or those that have not been vaccinated to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis (or anytime).

We will continue:

– With our upgraded cleaning protocols.

– With our broad implementation of hand sanitizing stations.

– With airflow strategies using our upgraded HVAC software/CO2 sensor systems.

– With encouraging healthy habits like handwashing and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

– With our use of outdoor space for classes when available, including classroom breaks.

– Offer live streaming of all our sporting events for those unable to attend.

– With our policy of staying home sick if you have symptoms of illness until you are 24 hours free of symptoms.

– With our outdoor high school graduation and parade.

“These protocols will also help us mitigate annual flu and cold seasons,” Patchin added, “providing a healthy atmosphere for our students to learn to grow.”

Hancock Schools has been operating its Northern Lights Summer Learning/Adventure Programs and several sports camps utilizing these strategies since June 21, Patchin stated. Hundreds of students from throughout the area are currently participating in these face-to-face programs in the school buildings each week.

The district’s environment continues to be healthy and safe, he stated. Administration and staff are currently, successfully, practicing the Fall back-to-normal.

“Please continue to share your concerns with our school board members and our district leadership team,” Patchin suggested. “Our goal is to limit any misinformation and/or misunderstandings by ensuring you have current and factual information.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today