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Houghton, Hancock School Boards OK COVID Plans

Both the Houghton and Hancock Boards of Education approved their fall school opening plans at their respective meetings last night.

Administrators from both districts outlined steps that will be taken to disinfect their facilities, and maintain distancing to protect both students and staff. Both districts will allow students to attend class in person, or study online.

Houghton Elementary principal Anders Hill explained that Houghton students will have two options – attending class in person, or studying online…

“We want to emphasize that this is a comparable education that children will receive in school, and will be more rigorous and have more expectations than what was provided last March. Last March was more emergency learning, and this will be true virtual learning.”

Parents will be asked to commit to their choice for the first semester.

Hancock students will have three options – in-person learning, online study, or a hybrid, in which local classes would be watched in real time via live stream.

Parents in both districts will need to make decisions quickly about the options they want for their children. Emails with details will be going out as early as today, with responses needed by the end of the week, so planning can continue.

Hancock superintendent Steve Patchin cautioned that these policies address today’s reality, and could change quickly as circumstances evolve…

“It can be impacted by directives that come from the Health Department. It can be impacted by executive orders. It can be impacted on science, or CDC change.”

Houghton board member Buck Foltz reminded the community that families will also play a critical role in keeping schools safe…

“There’s a big responsibility on the families in our community to make sure that every child that shows up on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning is healthy and symptom-free.”

Other districts across the Copper Country are also finalizing their plans. Parents should be alert for communications, respond quickly, and call school offices with any questions.

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