The Carthage School Leaders have a plan for COVID protocols

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CARTHAGE, MO – Carthage students will be back in class in just a month, and school leaders are planning how best to handle COVID protocols.

The Carthage R-9 school district has a 15 page plan called “Tigers Together.”

It addresses everything from masks and social distancing to staggered lunch schedules.

“Our goal is to make it as normal as possible. You know it’s gonna be tough though.” Says Mark Baker, Carthage R-9 Supt.

Weighing the importance of masks, social distancing and sanitizing for thousands of students, teachers and staff.

“Prevention, that’s what we’re trying to promote. Obviously the vaccination is a big one for us as a school district but also the community. Right now they’re saying if you’re vaccinating you do not have to be wearing a mask and that’s big.” Says Baker.

The current plan makes mask wearing optional but still emphasizes limited interaction, frequent sanitizing, and restricted access to campus for visitors.

They estimate there were 1,600 quarantines last year, something they don’t want to repeat.

“Right now if you’re vaccinated, or where you mask consistently correctly in most situations, you will not be quarantined. You think about all the days of education lost and quarantines and very few are ever test positive. Eliminating as many quarantine days as possible is going to be great for our kids and our staff.” Says Baker.

The school district will be getting $8,000,000 to $10,000,000 in federal Coronavirus funding in the next two years, something they want to make sure focuses on student learning.

“It’s basically directed to COVID 20% of learning loss that took place during the last year and a half.” Says Baker.

School leaders are monitoring active cases in Jasper County and will revisit guidelines to see if any changes are needed before school starts.

The Tigers go back to class on August 23rd.

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