Three of five Livingston public schools are now in-person full time

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
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This week is scheduled to be East Side School’s first full week with four days of in-person instruction. (Enterprise photo by Sam Klomhaus) 

East Side School has opened four days per week, the third Livingston school to do so after starting the school year on a two days per week schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school, which teaches grades 3-5, opened fully Feb. 1, but its school week was cut short last Wednesday by the armed standoff at View Vista Village.

According to an announcement on the Livingston School District’s website, East Side is in session 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, with a mask mandate in place.

There had previously been discussions about just letting third grade back four days a week and keeping fourth and fifth grade at two days, but East Side Principal Bob Stevenson said there was really no upside to that plan.

“If we bring third grade back, we might as well bring fourth and fifth grade back, too,” Stevenson said.

The announcement asks parents to drop their children off as close to 8 a.m. as possible each day and keep them home if they are sick.

“The support, patience, and encouragement from our Husky families throughout this pandemic has not gone unnoticed,” the announcement read.

So far things are going well, Stevenson said, although there was a lot of anxiety before opening fully.

“Until you step into it, you just don’t know,” Stevenson said.

Staffing issues were a major concern about opening back up, Stevenson said, and remain a concern, although so far the school has been able to handle things if a staffer gets sick.

“It’s always going to be a challenge, but I think the trade-off is worth it,” Stevenson said.

Students at East Side, Winans Elementary and Washington School are in-person four days a week, and Sleeping Giant Middle School and Park High School are still on two days a week under the A/B+ model.

According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, two staff members tested positive Monday, and a total of  11 students and staff are isolating or quarantining because of COVID-19.

“The measures everyone has been taking to stay safe and to stop spread have been working,” the dashboard said.

COVID numbers in the community are down generally, Stevenson said, which is one reason East Side was able to come back four days a week.

Stevenson said enrollment at East Side is up, with new students transferring in and some previously online-only students coming back in person.

“Things are trending in a really positive direction, I feel,” Stevenson said.