George County School District announces reopening plan for students returning in August

George County School District announces reopening plan for students returning in August
Students in George County School District will return to the classroom in August following the traditional option offered by the state Department of Education. (Source: GCSD)

LUCEDALE, Miss. (WLOX) - Students in George County School District will return to the classroom in August following the traditional option offered by the state Department of Education.

School officials made that announcement Tuesday, calling it a “weighty” decision and saying they understand “the magnitude and the importance of this decision.”

“In an effort to make the most informed and educated decision as possible, the George County School District held countless meetings with our local school and district-level administration, analyzed both staff and parent survey results, received recommendations from our school board and local health care professionals, and also took guidance from federal, state and local agency recommendations,” said the letter from the district.

“Please know that this plan is fluid and subject to change based on future recommendations from our federal, state and local agencies as the start date of school approaches. The George County School District is prepared to consider alternative plans if needed. Our top priority will always be the health and safety of our students and staff.”

Face Masks

For students, that means they will go to campus each day. While masks will not be required in classrooms, any students or faculty on a school bus will be required to wear masks and/or face coverings. However, school officials advise parents to be prepared for the possibility that masks may become necessary and to be prepared for that possibility.

Social Distancing

Students will also be spread out as much as possible in the classroom to promote social distancing. Recess and enrichment will still take place and the K-8 level. Groups must be spread out throughout the playground or gym. Staff must enforce limited physical contact between students.

Students in elementary and middle school, which is any student in eighth grade and lower, could potentially remain with the same group of students during the school day, with teachers moving to the students instead of vice versa.

High school students will see staggered class changes and all hallway movement must be in the same direction.

To maintain social distancing, students will not be allowed to congregate in areas of the school when they arrive. They will go directly to the cafeteria to pick up breakfast then go directly to their first classroom to eat.

Social distancing will be in place for students during lunch, with the exception of the PreK and kindergarten students who may rotate through the cafeteria for meals.

All schools will have staggered release for buses and car pickups.

Temperature Checks

All students and staff will have their temperatures checked each day, which will then be recorded on a daily log. If a student is found with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, he/she will be placed in isolation until the parent/guardian can come pick him/her up from school. This student may not return to school until they have been symptom free without medicine for 72 hours.

Distance Learning

Students with underlying documented health conditions may have distance learning as an option. However, if the distance learning option is chosen, the student will be required to maintain that learning option for the entire semester, and students participating in distance learning will not be allowed to participate in athletic or extracurricular activities. For students who require distance learning and do not have access to the technology needed, the district will work with parents on a case-by-case basis.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

All classrooms, bathrooms, cafeteria, and other high traffic areas will be routinely cleaned and sanitized. The district has purchased extra supplies and each classroom will be stocked with the necessary equipment. Students are also encouraged to bring their own personal hand sanitizer to school if desired. Additionally, parents are able to make donations of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer to classrooms.

George County School District FAQs for the 2020-2021 school year
George County School District FAQs for the 2020-2021 school year (Source: GCSD)
George County School District FAQs for the 2020-2021 school year
George County School District FAQs for the 2020-2021 school year (Source: GCSD)

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