Staggered Start for Lakota's 2020-2021 School Year

Staggered Start for Lakota's 2020-2021 School Year
Posted on 07/22/2020
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staggered start graphicLakota Local Schools has announced the 2020-2021 school year will begin on a staggered schedule for all students, both those attending school in-person and those who have chosen the Lakota Virtual Learning Option. 

“There are many unique aspects to this school year,” explained Superintendent Matthew Miller at the July 20 school board meeting. “We want to give our students and teachers the opportunity to get used to them in a smaller group setting.” 

For the past two years, the first two days of school have been spent building relationships within the classroom at each building. “By splitting our classes in half, teachers and students will not only be able to get used to the added safety precautions, but will also be able to start building relationships,” Miller said.

The safety precautions include maintaining physical distancing of six feet when possible, face coverings worn by students and staff when less than six feet apart and added cleaning protocols, among others. “It’s going to take time for everyone to adjust,” Miller noted.


Phase-in days for preschool students remain unchanged and will occur on Aug. 17-18. The first day for all preschool students will be Wed., Aug. 19. More information will be shared with families from the preschool administration.

Grades Kindergarten-6:

Last Names A-L will attend school on Aug. 13.

Last Names M-Z will attend school on Aug. 14.

All students will attend school on Mon., Aug. 17.

Grades 7-12:

Due to daily block scheduling, which calls for approximately 90-minute classes, students in grades 7-12 will have a four-day staggered start. Students will attend odd bells one day and even bells the next. 

Last Names A-L will attend school on Aug. 13 and Aug. 17.

Last Names M-Z will attend school on Aug. 14 and Aug. 18.

All students will attend school on Wed., Aug. 19.

Families with students who have different last names and would like their students to attend school on the same day should inform their classroom teacher of their preferred day once schedules are released in August.

The district announced its plans to open responsibly at the June 29 school board meeting. With three plans in place, district officials are confident that they are prepared to respond to any directive they may receive from the Butler County Health Department or the governor. 

Plan A: All Students Return with Added Safety Precautions is the current option.

Plan B: A Balanced Approach would have students in preschool-sixth grade attending school on a normal schedule with smaller class sizes to accommodate six feet of physical distancing. Students in grades 7-12 would attend school in person every other day, balancing that with online learning.

Plan C: Connected is a return to remote learning should all schools need to close.

The Lakota Virtual Learning Option (VLO) is a 100-percent online education with Lakota curriculum and Lakota teachers.

Miller has stressed the importance of relying on guidance from medical experts when making decisions about school. “We want our students back in class and we want to do it safely.”

He and other district leaders consulted with the Butler County health commissioner, as well as an infectious disease expert from UC Health West Chester, when creating the reopening plans and guidelines. This will continue as more decisions are made.

Click here to watch a short video about the staggered start plan.