LC Schools

Liberty Center Local Schools Superintendent Richie Peters Monday spoke to the board of education on the preparations the districts is making for the start of the 2020-21 school year. A local plan for the district will possibly be released Friday.

LIBERTY CENTER — The Liberty Center Local Schools Board of Education Monday learned a local restart plan for the district may possibly be available Friday.

Superintendent Richie Peters said the Henry County common agreement between the four county K-12 schools, along with Four County Career Center, was recently issued to give parents some understanding of what the local districts are working with. Using the guidelines, input from parent surveys and guidance from local health officials, Peters said Liberty Center Local Schools hopes to finalize its individual plan this week.

Peters said meetings are scheduled the next couple of days with the district’s union representatives to finalize how matters such as plans for if a staff member contracts COVID-19 or is recommended to quarantine due to potential exposure. He added this plan is also pending any statewide announcements that may change the information.

With any setbacks aside, Peters said the district hopes to release this information Friday.

During Monday’s meeting, Peters said the district still intends to move forward with having all of its students in the facilities five days per week. He added there is still an option for online curriculum for parents not comfortable with sending their children to the facilities.

Peters said the possibility still exists that schools could be forced back into distance learning, similar to the situation in March. He said future distance learning opportunities will be more robust, with a better curriculum and support for parents. The district has also continued working with the Northwest Ohio Computer Association to assist local internet availability needs.

“It’s a challenging situation,” Peters said. “It hasn’t been an easy task for anybody, but we’re moving forward until something changes.”

Peters said the district is relying heavily on the Henry County Health Department and communication with Henry County Health Commissioner Mark Adams, but he added decisions made that follow the state’s guidelines are ultimately up to the district.

Peters was asked about contact tracing in the case someone in the facility has COVID-19. He said the situation creates many different scenarios, but plans are being worked on in order to maintain communication while abiding by privacy laws. He noted the situation is challenging, and one the district will take “day by day, situation by situation” while trying to be as consistent as possible.

“It’s an uphill battle no matter how you slice it, but we’ll get through it,” Peters said.

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