District 102 preparing parents and students for return to in-person learning

Aptakisic-Tripp School District 102 is getting parents and students ready for the return of one-third of its enrollment to in-person classes, with some students returning as early as Tuesday.

Parents on Friday received communication about the protocols for those returning. They were outlined by Superintendent Lori Wilcox at a special meeting of the school board Thursday night.

They call for such measures as strict separation on school buses and in classes, deep and constant cleaning of school facilities, and observation rooms for students or staff members showing symptoms of COVID-19.

"We take returning to school seriously and we are putting health and safety first," Wilcox said.

The district is emphasizing the "three W's" - wearing masks, watching distance and washing hands.

The district is asking parents to conduct daily health screenings before school and to keep their children home if they show any symptoms.

"If students present with symptoms they will be sent home," Wilcox said.

The district also is asking children to come to school each day with fully charged iPads.

Wilcox said school buses will be operating at about a quarter of capacity, meaning there will be adequate distancing. Students will have assigned seats.

All students will receive a mask. Wilcox said neck gaiters used as face coverings are prohibited, as are face shields.

Class sizes will be limited to maintain a six-foot distance among students. There will be hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol in each classroom.

If students or staff members test positive, they will be subject to contact tracing. The district will be working with the Lake County Health Department on contact tracing.

Classes for one-third of the school population will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13, kindergarten will be held at Pritchett Elementary School and Tripp Elementary School, while fourth grade will be conducted at Meridian School.

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 20, first, second and third grade will begin at Pritchett and Tripp, as will fifth grade at Meridian.

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, sixth grade will start at Aptakisic Junior High School.

And on Wednesday, Nov. 4, Aptakisic will begin seventh- and eighth-grade classes.

The schedule is contingent upon health metrics, which are posted on the district website,, Wilcox said.

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