Students in the Lansing School District are returning to their classes on Monday for the first time in over a year, but it won’t be quite the school as they remember it.

They will always have their teachers, classrooms, and classmates to learn alongside. But to do so, students will need to wear masks, and cases of COVID-19 could force some students to miss school.

The masks are just one safety measure the Lansing School District is taking as students return for what they hope will be an almost normal year. Here’s what to expect on the first day of school.

Mandatory masks

Every LSD student and staff member will be required to wear masks.

The requirement applies to everyone, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccine status.

Exceptions will be made for anyone with “documented medical necessity” and for vaccinated staff in private offices without the presence of students, according to a letter from the Lansing School District to families.

Vaccinations for staff

Lansing school district teachers and staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Teachers and staff should be vaccinated before September 30. Any employee who does not comply with the mandate must perform daily COVID-19 tests before entering school district buildings.

Go to school on horseback

A shortage of drivers statewide means some students will not take a traditional school bus to school.

Dean Transportation, which contracts with the Lansing School District to provide transportation services to students, continues to hire bus drivers. But the company is short of around 30 drivers in this area, which means that not all bus lines will be available.

For students who are left off a bus route, the district offers Unlimited Capital Area Transportation Authority bus passes or $ 25 per child monthly gas cards for families to cover the cost. cost of transporting their children to school.

To be eligible for buses, CATA passes, or gas cards, students must live more than 1.5 miles from their school and within the boundaries of the Lansing School District.

To learn more about transportation options, visit

Isolate sick students

Each school reserves a room to isolate students with symptoms of COVID-19.

Observation rooms will be used to quickly separate students with symptoms of COVID-19 from the rest of their peers. Parents or guardians will be advised to pick up the student from school.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, Lansing schools will follow contact tracing guidelines to help quickly identify students who may have been exposed.

These efforts include seating maps, and teachers closely monitor the positions of students who may be online.

Students who need to be quarantined will need to be brought home and will not be allowed to board school buses.

Social distancing

The Lansing School District will seek to implement social distancing practices in each school.

This means seating plans in classrooms and hallways marked as a pavement, creating a two-way flow of traffic that encourages social distancing.

Office dividers will also be available to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Lunch changes

Lunch will be more spread out for students this year.

The district has announced several measures it will take to stop the spread of COVID-19 during lunchtime, including adding additional lunch times, requiring some students to stay in their classrooms for lunch, cafeterias with allocated seats and an increase in cafeteria staff.

Keep classes together

Some students will stay with their classes all day in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

District schools will group some students inside their classrooms. Students in grades 8 and under will stay with their classes throughout the day, including during lunch periods.

Contact Mark Johnson at 517-377-1026 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.

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