Madison School District #321 started school on August 26, with some changes in place to keep learning in person as safe as possible for students and staff.
Superintendent Dr. Geoff Thomas said safety is a top priority, but he believes the best method of instruction is in a classroom.
“We want our students back in our buildings,” he said, “We believe that the best method of instruction is in a classroom setting with a knowledgeable, caring, certificated teacher.”
He encouraged parents to teach their children about personal hygiene and social distancing at home to help it really stick.
“We can help teach students at school, but it really helps when parents talk with them at home as well,” Thomas said.
Thomas mentioned that the main differences will include additional signs and markings on the floor, as well as masks. The district is focusing on a method of persuasion rather than force when it comes to wearing masks at school.
“We believe in encouragement over mandate,” he said, “we feel like we can get more results with a carrot versus a stick.”
They plan on having a campaign that encourages students to wear masks and to make it a student-led choice.
At Lincoln Elementary specifically, they are letting teachers take the lead on when masks are worn in class. Older students will be encouraged to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible.
Thomas said students are the priority and he hopes this year can be healthy and positive for everyone.
“We just want everyone to learn as much as they possibly can, feel included and cared for,” he said, “We really wish everyone a healthy and safe school year.”