Students can return five days starting April 19

Pioneer Superintendent Benjamin Halsey made it official: Students can return five days a week starting Monday, April 19. 

In an automated message to parents on March 19, Mr. Halsey cited new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) social distancing guidelines—requiring three feet between students rather than six feet—and continued wearing of masks, as factors enabling the move to bring back students full time.

Mr. Halsey said a fully remote option will still be available to families.

"It has been proven that although positive cases occur in public schools, they are manageable and happen in isolation," Mr. Halsey said. "The cases are mostly being caused by outside exposure, and public schools  are NOT the source of spread of the coronavirus."

The district will move forward with plans to have student desks placed three feet apart. K-5 classrooms started doing this in January and are back in session four days a week already. The other grades have had at least some general education students attending four days, with Wednesday a day of remote instruction.

Mr. Halsey said efforts are underway to meet the April 19 target date, factoring in April 2-11 for Spring Recess. 

"We have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to collaborating with all parties to be successful in this next phase for our district," he added.