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Hannibal education leaders talk takeaways from Gov. Parson’s visit

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Local educators said they feel like they're mostly on the same page with Missouri Governor Mike Parson after his visit to Hannibal Wednesday, where he talked about getting back into classrooms in the coming weeks.

Governor Parson said when kids are back in classrooms at Hannibal High School, he expects there will be new COVID-19 cases that come up, but he said planning for those cases and responding are the key to keeping people safe.

Governor Parson met with both Hannibal Public Schools (HPS) staff as well as Hannibal-La Grange University (HLGU) staff on the university's campus.

HPS Superintendent Susan Johnson says parson brought some ideas they hadn't thought of to the table.

"In the Hannibal School District, we have made allowances for that, we do have people within our district who have been trained or are being trained to do just that, but I think he made me think about that a little more, and that maybe something I want to expand upon," said Johnson.

She said another idea, working within the CDC's public exposure guidelines.

"Keeping in mind that 15 minute period, that coaches or directors need to keep that time limit in mind when they do have to bring kids together, and I hadn't thought about it that way, so both of those, I'm taking them to heart," said Johnson.

HLGU vice president for academic administration Larinee Dennis said for them, it's much the same, but they have to consider students and staff both on and off-campus.

"Of course a reported case, we have designated individuals where that needs to be reported to and then depending on the population depends on the type of interventions that are made," said Dennis.

Parson said the state's role in providing resources for local governments and schools to make their own decisions moving forward.

"Both of these administrators have plans in place for that, I think moving forward, as I've said we've had summer school as a trial run and it's going pretty flawless, so we hope to keep doing that," said Parson.

First day of school here at HPS is scheduled for the 26th of August.

HLGU officials said they've already brought some student leaders back to campus, dorms are scheduled to open for new students on the 20th of August.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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