OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - When some Ocean Springs students return after Christmas break, their schedules will be a little different.
The Ocean Springs School District announced Wednesday that it would implement some new changes to help keep students safe in the wake of the COVID pandemic, while also providing more time for teachers to plan and adapt.
Most notable is the schedule adjustment that is happening just for high school students.
Students in grades 9-12 will switch to a hybrid schedule when the second semester resumes on Jan. 5, 2021, with students alternating the days that they attend in person with virtual learning. This change will not affect students in grades PK-8.
“The trajectory of the worsening COVID-19 cases in our area and their varied impacts on our ability to provide educational services to our students has continued to accelerate in recent days. High numbers of students being quarantined due to direct exposure of a confirmed positive case has put an undue stress on the academic environment,” states an email from the district sent out to parents on Wednesday.
With the new hybrid schedule, all students will still attend class every day, either in person or virtually based on the approved schedule. Students must attend class virtually in the same manner as they are required to do so in-person with all attendance requirements being in effect. This change will not result in any changes to schedules for students in grade PK-8, it is only for students attending Ocean Springs High School.
High school students with the last name of A-J (Team Blue) will attend school in person on the A Day Schedule and virtually on the B Day Schedule, while those with the last name of K-Z (Team Grey) will attend school in person on the B Day Schedule and virtually on the A Day Schedule. Specific IDEA students and those identified as at-risk will still attend school in person on a daily basis.
This hybrid schedule is currently set to continue through the end of the third nine weeks, at which time the school board will review whether or not it should be continued for the fourth nine weeks.
The district also noted the considerable strain on its staff to meet the typical instructional requirements while making adjustments to meet students’ needs and teach on virtual platforms. In order to help lessen some of that strain, the Ocean Springs School Board voted this week to add three additional 60% days to the academic calendar.
Those days will allow teachers and instructional staff time for collaboration, adaptation, and planning time, stated the district. Having that extra time will then allow teachers the ability to provide more effective lessons and instructional tie for students.
The added 60% days are:
- January 28th, 2021
- April 21st, 2021
- May 12th, 2021
To view the new academic calendar for the 2021 spring semester, please click here.
For more information on the measures being taken by Ocean Springs School District to keep students safe, as well as additional information about the hybrid schedule, please visit the district’s Health Alerts Portal.