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SOUTH POINT, Ohio — School options in the South Point district this year will depend on how the state designates Lawrence County on the COVID-19 pandemic level rating scale.

Currently, the state is designating Lawrence County at the red or very high exposure level, meaning middle school and high school students couldn’t attend five days a week.

Elementary students in the district with some 1,600 students, however, would have the option of going five days a week, according to South Point Superintendent Mark Christian. The district’s Pathway to Reopen Schools was posted on Facebook earlier this week.

The school district will begin classes Monday, Aug. 24, while teachers will report a week prior to that, Aug. 17, Christian said. The extra week will be used for online training for teachers, he said.

When the county is designated yellow or orange on the pandemic scale, parents have three options for all students: five-day-a-week classes; two-day-a-week classes and three days of remote learning; or remote learning all five days a week, Christian said.

Students in the two elementary schools, South Point Elementary and Burlington Elementary, will be contained to their classrooms most of the school day, he said. Lunch also will be served in the classroom, he said.

“We’re working out the details right now,” Christian said. “We have spent $150,000 on materials for the pandemic. We have ordered face masks for every student. We will have face masks for teachers and will put shields around teacher’s desks.”

The district also will have face shields for students who for medical reasons can’t wear a mask, Christian said. Everyone wearing a masks promotes safety, he said.

“We will have 190 hand-sanitation stations in the four schools,” he said. School personnel also will clean high-touch areas like railings throughout the day, he said.

The school system also is looking at delaying the start of kindergarten, Christian said.

South Point also has purchased 30 infrared forehead scanners and will test students when they arrive and once again later in the day, Christian said.

The district has a school nurse in each of the four schools.

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