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Laurel students start school with COVID adjustments

Posted at 5:43 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 19:47:00-04

Students at Laurel Public Schools returned to classes on Thursday.

Besides COVID-19 preparations, Laurel Middle School has been partially repaired after a pick-up truck crashed into the front entrance on Aug. 7.

Superintendent Linda Filpula said teachers and staff have been preparing for in-person and online classes.

Students taking classes will be in class, and the teacher will choose what to show the board or the teacher to the kids at home.

"Kids need to see their teacher teaching in the classroom," Filpula said. "And the ones that are choosing the online, that's best for their family and we absolutely respect that. It's important that we provide a quality online experience as well."

Filpula said about 330 out of the district's 2,000 students, or about 15 percent, have chosen online classes.

"The numbers in the high school are a little surprising," she said. "They were not as high as we expected them to be. If you think about that, high school kids are very social, they want to be around their friends and that's an important part of being in school, is that social aspect."

After the truck crash, repairs are being done and everything should be ready for kids to come back to class.

"We're just thankful that the driver is ok," Filpula said. "The beam has been repaired. And that was moved about three inches. The doorway, they had that secured by midnight. Hopefully here within a couple of months, we'll have these doors operational."

There's already more preparation this year with the COVID-19 guidelines.

"There's shower curtain. Five miles of PVC cut up and put together," Filpula said about barrier being made to keep students separated.

"They'll spray after every period," she said. "This is in every classroom in the district."

"Education is a social endeavor and we all want the kids and that's why we do what we do for the kids," Filpula said. "And so yeah, I'm very excited to have the kids back."

About the students attended on Thursday and that will be the same on Friday, so they can get oriented on the COVID protocols.

The plan is to be open to everyone taking in-person classes starting on Monday.