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Ready or not, here comes school
School - Kaci Bowdoin, 7th grader @ Morrison.jpg
Morrison seventh-grader Kaci Bowdoin knows the first day of school will be here soon enough on Wednesday, Aug. 11. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The countdown is starting to tick louder. The first day of school in Warren County is less than one month away.

Questions are beginning to arise about what to expect when students return on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

“Teachers and students don’t want to start thinking we are getting closer to the start of school, but we are getting closer and we’re busy preparing for it,” said Director of Schools Grant Swallows.

In-person learning will be returning five days a week after last year’s Monday thru Thursday schedule. For those interested in virtual learning, Warren County has been approved by the state for Warren Connect, a virtual school open to grades 3-12.

“There will be an application process available in about a week or so for those who want to apply,” said Swallows. “This will be a lot different than last year. We’re only going to accept 300 and if you’re accepted into virtual school you will be a student of Warren Connect. You won’t be an Irving College student who is taking classes virtually. It will be its own school.”

With cases of the COVID delta virus increasing, attention is turning to what schools may look like in terms of social distancing and mask mandates.

“I think we’re all a little shy about trying to predict the future after what we went thru last year,” said Swallows. “We’re cautiously optimistic things can return to normal.”

Swallows is hopeful the School Board will approve a comprehensive plan that guides the school system on the appropriate actions that should be taken depending on COVID levels in our community.

The green level would be when COVID cases are low. Normal school activity would be a go and masks are optional.

The yellow level would be the first level of caution if COVID infections begin to rise. It would recommend for masks to be worn and for other precautions to take effect.

The red level would indicate local COVID cases are high. Masks would be a requirement at this point.

The next scheduled School Board meeting is Monday, July 26 and the comprehensive plan will be under consideration on that night.

As for school supplies, Swallows says the Central Office has a bounty of notebook paper, pencils and other items. The idea is to distribute those items to students throughout the school system in hopes of lessening the economic impact of school supplies needed to be purchased.

“We have a couple rooms full of supplies, but we’re not real sure how far that will go,” said Swallows.

More information about the start of the 2021-22 school year will be made available as it is released.