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Dickinson-Iron school plan calls for masks

KINGSFORD — A plan adopted Wednesday by the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District covers all potential phases in Michigan’s back-to-school guidelines, including a likely requirement for face coverings when classes resume later this month.

“It’s a big plan; it’s an aggressive plan,” Superintendent Wendy Warmuth said as the ISD board met via Zoom. “We’re as ready to go as we can be for the start of school.”

The district remains in Phase 5 under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s guidelines, but some of its strategies are drawn from Phase 4, which is stricter, Warmuth said.

Whitmer’s plan divides the state into regions and assigns each one a reopening phase from 1 to 6, with 6 being “post pandemic.”

Under the current plan, everyone medically able will wear face coverings for in-person instruction, Warmuth said. In some cases, the coverings might be clear shields as opposed to masks.

Going forward, individual districts will adopt and present their reopening plans, but they are mostly on the same page, Warmuth said.

Teachers, she told the board, are admittedly anxious, but “they’re also looking forward to seeing their students and being able to do what they do best.”

The governor first ordered school buildings closed effective March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many students are expected to return to the classroom for start of the 2020-21 school year, districts may also offer options that include a combination of in-person and distance learning or all courses online.

Jim Anderson can be reached at 906-774-3500, ext. 226, or janderson@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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