BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - School officials with the Bay Waveland School District have released guidelines for students returning to school in August.
The guidelines detail two plans: one for students returning to the classroom and another for students who have health conditions that prevent them from attending school.
Plan A will be for the majority of students and utilize a traditional schedule with modifications in place for social distancing.
Plan B will serve students with compromised immune systems or other medical factors that the parent believes makes “regular school” an inappropriate option. Plan B will offer Distance Learning utilizing Google Classroom and students will be required to come to school in an appropriately socially distanced area to take their tests in a proctored environment.
This plan will incorporate synchronous learning, which means that students must participate in their classes in a “real time” manner. Parents that elect to exercise Plan B must make an appointment with their school principal to review the plan.
Students that are on Plan B will not be eligible to physically participate in any school activity.
Plan A has several guidelines that will be followed by faculty and students. They focus on sanitation, transportation, masks, recess, class change, breakfast and lunch, and classrooms. You can read more about each area below.
Before students return in August, classrooms will be cleaned out and freed from clutter. Only school issued furniture will remain with the exception of bookcases and a teacher stool. All items without academic value will be removed. The purpose of this is to allow room for social distancing, to allow for a more thorough cleaning process, and to prevent the spread of disease.
Students will arrive to classrooms that have been sanitized each day and will contain a Healthy Habits basket with wipes, hand sanitizer, masks, etc.
Every effort will be given to wiping down classrooms/materials as classes change. This may involve asking students to help wipe down surfaces they use.
No “reusable” hall passes will be utilized.
Consideration will be given to hiring additional janitorial staff to perform additional sanitization.
A checklist is being developed for each school for sanitation purposes.
District leadership will meet with First Student to discuss sanitation procedures and possibilities for social distancing.
Students will be encouraged to wear masks on the bus.
A strict seating chart will be utilized on the bus.
Social distancing will be very difficult to achieve on busses. For this reason, parents are encouraged to bring students to school, when possible.
Students and staff will be encouraged to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. The issues of masking will be revisited frequently in order to be compliant with the most current medical recommendations.
Elementary students will have recess and be encouraged to use social distancing. The number of students on the playground at one time will be limited to the current recommendation.
Secondary class changes will utilize “walking on the right” side of the hallway and students will be encouraged to keep moving rather than gathering in groups in the hallway.
Elementary class changes will utilize scheduling in order to provide maximum social distancing.
Breakfast and Lunch
A hot breakfast and lunch will be served to all students free of charge. District leadership is working with each campus to develop a plan for meals that allows for maximum social distancing.
Social distancing will be utilized in classrooms to the greatest extent possible. This may incorporate the use of alternate classrooms, utilizing all personnel, etc. To the greatest extent possible, students will not share materials or supplies. Strict seating charts will be maintained for all classrooms.
Cases of COVID-19 in the District
The individual will be quarantined from school and school related activities for a minimum of 14 days and will require a physician’s recommendation to return to school.
When possible, the student will be expected to participate in digital learning so that his/her education is not interrupted and they do not incur an absence.
Parents will be notified of those that have been in “close contact” with the individual with the positive test result. This notification will be via email and a hard copy mailed home. Close contacts with the COVID-19 positive individual will also be quarantined from school and school related activities for 14 days.
Parents of students in “groups” with the positive student will also be notified via email and hard copy letter and encouraged to closely monitor any symptoms the student may develop. Groups are defined as classes, teams, bus routes, etc.
The guidelines were developed by the BWSD COVID-19 Committee, which is comprised of representatives from every staffing area of the school district, and approved by the BWSD Board of Trustees.This plan takes into consideration guidance published by the American Academy of Pediatrics that can be reviewed HERE.
“This committee did not take their responsibility lightly and worked diligently to make decisions based on the most current health/safety information available, a strong love for our students, and a healthy respect for the task before us – educating all of our students,” Superintendent Dr. Sandra Reed in a letter to parents.
“We realize this plan is far from perfect but we hope it is clear that we did the very best we could to develop a plan that is educationally sound and can be implemented from a practical perspective. As hard as the committee worked, we understand that we did not uncover every possible issue that should be considered. Your thoughts, suggestions and questions are very welcome.”
To read the full letter from Dr. Reed, click HERE.