BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Despite COVID-19 concerns, more than 70 percent of parents in the Biloxi School District said they want to go back to school this fall in a traditional format. However, superintendent Marcus Boudreaux said that doesn’t mean the school year will be what some call “normal.”
Two big changes are in store for students and parents. First, students and staff at all schools are required to wear masks.
“The masks provide us the ability to not have to quarantine large numbers of students if we have a positive case. If students are in a non-socially distanced environment, and you have a positive, then those around them are not considered ‘close contacts,' because they were protected via that mask,” Boudreaux said. “That may be the one thing that keeps us in a regular school setting for the duration of the school year.”
Also this fall, you might see a lot more cars in the car rider lines at schools in the district. That’s because Boudreaux is asking parents— if they can— to drive their kids to school.
“We have 70 passenger school buses. If you truly social distance children, you’d be able to put 12 kids per school bus, and it’s just not feasible to bus all students to school with 12 kids per bus, we don’t have enough buses or drivers. It lowers the numbers on the bus, it also makes it a safer environment where we can spread kids out better,” Boudreaux added.
That new environment is the plan, at least for now.
“Each school has a different number of staff members, a different number of students, a different number of classrooms to spread kids out. So, the plan isn’t a cookie-cutter plan that’s gonna work from school to school or district to district,” he said.
Biloxi students go back to class on Wednesday, Aug. 5.