The final hurdle for students of Bismarck Public Schools to go back to "in person classes" happened last night. The Bismarck School Board approved a school reentry plan to start school face-to-face in August unless directed otherwise by health officials.  Parents will have the option to opt in for distance learning.

The Bismarck School Board reviewed this week's feedback from parents and staff.  Of the 3,500 people who responded to survey's, most of them parents, the feedback showed that most parents were in favor of in person learning.  According to an email obtained from Bismarck Public Schools here's how the support for each section of the plan was defined according to the survey.  (4 or 5 points on a 5-point scale)  Face-to-Face Learning: 70.5% (in school, in person learning) Hybrid Plan: 65% (Some in person, some distance learning) On-Line Blended: (Online, mostly off campus) Distance Learning: 64% (Complete distance learning)

Bismarck Public Schools in conjunction with Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health will require the use of cloth face masks when 6-foot social distancing cannot be maintained. Although masks are required, BPS will continue to work with Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health to determine appropriate protocols for our various settings.

The Bismarck School Board also approved starting school for the first full day on Monday, August 31st for all Pre-K-12th grade students. August 26-28 will be used for staff training and a “soft opening” for some students, for example, perhaps incoming elementary, middle and high school students for a meeting or tour sometime during those three days.

The use of masks or face coverings seems to be a little non descriptive.  How it will work with young children remains to be seen.