The Osceola school district will be opening some school facilities this summer, for both official school program use and non-school community use.
The school board discussed a plan for reopening portions of the campus at their regularly scheduled meeting June 24.
Sup. Mark Luebker said the facilities that do open to non-school sanctioned sports this summer will be available to local traffic only.
“We won’t have outside entities coming in,” he said. “For example, a district from across the river wanting to come and use our field because theirs is closed. It’s only for our community use.”
The district’s plan for opening is based on guidance from the Polk County Health Department, and will include limits on the total number of people that can be present in a school facility at one time as well as what kind of events can be held at the facilities.
“It will be 20 people or less,” Luebker said. “And practices only. No events. That’s what they’re calling ‘cross pollination’ from other communities. We want to avoid that contact as much as possible.”
Only outdoor facilities will be available to community groups that are not part of official school programs. Groups that would like to gain access to those outdoor facilities will have to fill out a facility use application, available on the district’s website.
Official school sporting activities will also be resuming this summer. Athletic Director Scott Newton laid out specifics for the plan to get students back in the building for conditioning, weight training and other offseason workouts.
“We all want to be with the kids,” he said. “And be working with them on whatever sports will be happening in the fall and just keep moving with them.”
Student groups or teams that have large numbers will be able to use facilities this summer, but will be broken down into smaller groups for practice.
“We have 50 girls signed up for volleyball,” Newton said. “So we’ll be able to work with most of them in groupings.”
Newton said the most important part of the summer schedule will be tracking who is in attendance at student gatherings in case someone later tests positive for COVID-19.
“We know there’s a risk,” he said. “So the expectation is for coaches to take attendance every day. That way if something does pop up we’re able to look back at what group that person was in and go from there.”
Capacity in the school gym will be limited to 25 people per section and the open gym schedule will be spread out throughout the day to limit heavy use as much as possible. Newton said the plans for operation are coming along nicely.
“Things are moving pretty fast,” he said. “I can tell you we’re all extremely excited to see the kids and get to work with them.”