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'Pretty Thorough': Butler Area School District Becomes One Of The 1st To File Reopening Plan With The State

BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) - Parents across the region are waiting to hear what a typical school day will look like for their children when they return to class in the fall.

Butler Area School District is one of the first to file a reopening plan with the state this week. The school board unanimously approved that reopening plan on Monday, but Superintendent Brian White told KDKA this is just the first draft. He fully anticipates it to change again before students walk through the doors this fall.

"We adopted our plan early, we think it's pretty thorough," White said.

Some district parents are anxious to send their kids back even with a plan in place.

"Torn, very torn because of the fear of coronavirus plus my expectations on how the school day will run. Will they wear masks? What's the socialization going to be with the other kids?" said Melissa Fredrick.

Frederick has 10 kids and six attend Butler School District. Her questions are ones the district hopes to answer in their reopening plan.

White said there will be cafeteria changes to limit crowds and temperature screenings every morning.

"We probably have 560 hand sanitizing stations and hand washing stations we are putting in over the summer and a lot of signage with a lot of directional flow. We are used to secondary kids just walking the halls when the bell rings, but the plan is to make it more like a traffic pattern," White said.

As for masks, they will be encouraged, but not required by the district. Something Frederick said she agrees with because her younger kids are unlikely to keep the masks on.

"My older kids understand hand washing and safe environments things like that. Our younger ones not so much," Frederick said.

The plan also includes what could happen if the county goes back into the "yellow" phase.

The plan is to cut capacity at the elementary schools to 50 percent, but White said unless the Legislature gets involved, school districts don't have the authority to make those cuts because it would reduce the number of days students are in the classroom.

To read the full reopening plan that was submitted to the state, click here.

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