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Private schools plan for in-person learning this fall


Many private schools are putting the final touches on plans that will be sent out to parents by the beginning of August.

While private institutions are not directly under the state, they still have to comply with local health guidelines.

Helias Catholic High School said students will be back in school, in-person, on Aug. 17.

"We will have some safety precautions in place," said Sandy Hentges, Helias' Communications Director. "We will be taking temperatures of every student, as they enter the building. We are requiring face coverings, or face masks and we are requiring social distancing."

The school said parents should have the full plan by Aug. 3.

“They are going to have some fears calmed and some relief, whenever they actually get something in their hands that says, we are going back to school and we are going to keep your kids safe," Hentges said.

Trinity Lutheran is planning on having students come in-person, as well.

“We believe that the best learning opportunities are going to happen in person," said John Christman, the school's executive director.

Both Helias Catholic and Trinity Lutheran said Jefferson City public and private schools have been meeting with local health officials since schools first closed in March.

"It's been a great, collaborative group of both public and non-public schools," Christman said. "People coming together because we care for kids and want them to succeed."

Helias and Trinity Lutheran emphasized that providing faculty and students with protective equipment can get expensive, but added that private institutions are partially covered under Missouri's CARES Act funding, which helps with the economic impact of COVID-19.

“The majority of it going towards sanitation and safety measures," said Christman.

Hentges said private schools usually run on such a tight budget, that the extra funding was needed.

"When you get things thrown at you, like we need to buy 50 infrared thermometers, those kinds of things are essential this year and we can’t not do that. But we don't necessarily have room in our budget for that," she said.

Both schools emphasized that faculty and staff are preparing to go online if needed, but the main focus has been getting students back on campus.

Coronavirus / Education / K-12 education / Top Stories / Top Stories
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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie reports on both news and sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.


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