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DeWitt private school plans to bring back all of its students when it reopens

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Manlius Pebble Hill School in DeWitt has released a 12-page plan that gives every student the option to go back to the classroom–but school officials say the plan is built to change if necessary.

The school is run by a board of trustees, and its budget comes from tuition payments. It is not eligible for state funding.

It is investing more than $700,000 to improve health and safety to make sure its students and staff can stay safe in the classroom when school starts up again.

“We’ve got certain protocols where we’ll be asking our families to check in with us on a daily basis,” says David McCusker, head of the school.

The school’s plan allows all of its students, which number a little over 300, to come back unless they don’t feel comfortable. For those students, teachers will stream their lessons live.

Before each school day, students and staff will fill out an online questionnaire that will include temperature and symptom checks.

Once they get to school, everyone inside is required to wear a mask. Pre-k students will wear a ‘hat shield.’

If teachers can’t social distance, they will wear a face shield with their mask.

Students will stay in assigned groups, and bathrooms will be assigned to each grade level. Food will be prepared at school for each child, no packed lunches allowed.

“Adaptability, flexibility, being resourceful, creative with how we deliver this education. I think this is probably going to be a set of skills too that we want our students to understand,” McCusker says.

And what about a positive case of COVID-19 at school?

The student will be sent home as soon as possible and a socially-distant staff member will watch them until the leave.

The case will be reported to both the state and county health department.