BRANSON, Mo. – Branson and Hollister schools are preparing for the fall semester and outlining what the school year will look like with COVID-19 protocols.
With the delta variant affecting communities throughout the Ozarks, schools are trying to ensure students are safe during the 2021-2022 school year.
“9/11 changed the way that we flew from place to place across our nation. It totally changed how we went through the airports, how we got on to the aircraft. What covid has done is it’s changed the way that we act in school business,” says Dr. Brian Wilson, the Superintendent of Hollister School District.
Dr. Wilson says that the safety procedures for COVID-19 are meant to keep teachers’ and administrators’ children safe from the virus.
“Almost every single one of our administrators has children that go to school in this district. So when we make that decision to do the back to school plan, we’re not just keeping the community children safe, but we’re also keeping our own children safe,” says Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson added that the district will continue social distancing and encouraging good hygiene.
“If you’re going to be in a setting where you need to mask up, then mask up. Not only respect yourself but also respect others. If you’re going to be someplace else, then you take care of others as well,” says Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Brad Swofford, the Superintendent for Branson Public Schools, says that while the strategies they have in place are not guaranteed to work, following the CDC guidelines is their best chance.
“We will follow CDC guidance on masking recommended. So that’s the way we finished the year, so we’re recommending our students wear masks. Likewise, with transportation, that’s a CDC order. So all schools and public transportation will be required to mask on buses,” says Swofford.
Both superintendents spoke about the importance of working together with other local school districts to prepare, but they also said they have to do what is best in their communities.