Tea Area to begin school Aug. 19



Tea Area School District will open their doors on Aug. 19.

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery released in a statement from the school that the District is ready. “Whether you have chosen virtual or in-person, there is a team of Titan adults working to make this happen for our students and their families,” said Lowery. “We can do this and I am excited for the First Day of School!”

Buildings are sending out information for their student success days, orientations and all the logistics leading up to the First Day of school. Parents are asked to direct questions to building principals or their child’s identified support team.

Students who chose to enroll in the Online Academy will receive information by the end of the week concerning orientation information, connecting with their teacher and picking up equipment.

On Monday, Aug. 18 the Tea School Board approved the recommendation from the Titan COVID Response Team to adopt a TASD COVID Mitigation Plan. The Plan is broken down into five color categories: Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Blue.

Green means there are no active cases in a building and 0-25 active cases in Lincoln County. In this color category, staff and families self screen for COVID symptoms at home. Face masks will be required within six feet of another individual or not in control of your space. Outdoors face coverings are not required. Also during Green, students will attend their courses in their identified classroom.

Yellow means there is an isolated active case in a classroom (1-5 cases) and/or isolated active cases in classrooms across a building (1-4 classrooms) and 26-75 active Lincoln County cases. During this color category, staff and families continue to self-screen for COVID symptoms at home. Masks continue to be required indoors. Elementary students will stay in their classroom with their specials pushing into the classroom, with the exception of PE. Sixth-12th grade students will go to the classroom of their state-certified teacher.

All schools are planning to begin in the Yellow category as a precautionary measure.

Color category Orange means there is isolated active cases in a classroom (6-10 cases) and/or isolated active cases in multiple classrooms across a building (5+ classrooms). Community spread is at 75+ active Lincoln County Cases. During this category, staff and families self-screen for COVID symptoms at home. Staff will screen all students in their first hour class and lunch. Masks will continue to be required indoors.

Elementary students will stay in their classroom with their specials pushing into the classroom, with the exception of PE. Sixth-12th grade students will go to the classroom and will be receiving online instruction for all courses while still in that course. Some classes may still meet during their regular block.

The District’s non-school day crowds will be determined based on Community Spread. To open their activities this fall the District is currently in Orange.

Color category Red means individual classrooms may be in quarantine because active cases in a classroom exceeds ten and/or multiple classrooms in a building are impacted by active cases (5+ cases per classrooms). Community spread is such that hospital capacity is a concern.

During Red, staff will screen all students in their first hour class and lunch. Masks will continue to be required indoors at all times. The school or a classroom may be in quarantine with no face to face instruction. Some exceptions may exist if staffing and student health is at appropriate levels.

The final color category, Blue, means the entire school is closed due to a high level of active cases across the building. An alternative learning schedule will be considered.

Throughout the entire school year each teacher will have a soap and water spray bottle with a rotational set of microfiber cloths for systematic cleaning.  Each Teacher will have a spray bottle with water and block microfiber cloths for electronic devices. Custodians will clean and disinfect the classrooms, high touch points, and bathrooms daily.  Nurses will work with the building custodian concerning cleaning and disinfecting specific spots during the day.

The school board also adopted changes to the student handbooks which reflects attendance during a COVID-19 illness and notes that face coverings must meet the dress code requirements.

Also noted was that students will be required to wear a face mask when entering, exiting, and riding on the bus.

© 2020 TeaWeekly

Proud to be an independently owned newspaper serving Tea, SD.