Schools adapt, make plans for reopening
The Marshall County School Board, in its July 14 meeting, approved the district’s re-opening plans for the 2020-2021 year.
There are two options for students. Due to COVID-19, the district is offering families either instruction at school on an A/B model or distance learning at home.
Option 1 is instruction at school. Students will be divided into two cohorts – Cohort A and Cohort B. Students in Cohort A will attend classes on Monday and Thursday. Students in Cohort B will attend classes on Tuesday and Friday
The first day of school for students in Cohort A will be Monday, Aug. 10, and the first day for those in Cohort B is Tuesday, Aug. 11. Schools will notify parents of their children’s cohort assignments.
“The A/B model will be for the first four weeks, right now,” said superintendent of education Roy Lawson. “After those initial four weeks, if there is not a lot of increase in cases and not a lot of issues, we may decide to return to the traditional school schedule.”
Option 2 is distance learning at home. Information on the application is available via the district website and social media.
The distance learning options, he said, is a nine weeks by nine weeks option.
“After the first nine weeks, they can opt out,” Lawson said. “Or after a nine-week period, if there are safety concerns for parents with the in-school option, a student can be added to the online model.”
He said the COVID-19 situation is ever-changing, and the district “has to be willing to adapt” as the school year goes along.
Health and safety protocols for instruction at school will include:
• Required on the bus and during class changes
• Failure to have mask for these times results in a dress code violation
• Temperature checks at entry points – 100.4 or higher will see nurse
• A designated area will be available for students showing symptoms
• School nurse will evaluate students with fever and/or those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
• Students sent home by the nurse for fever and/or COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to return to school for 72 hours
Positive COVID-19 Tests
• Parents and community will receive general notification of a staff and/or student positive case
• Parents will receive additional contact if their child was within close contact – as defined by CDC – of the individual testing positive
• Mandated “close contact” 14-day quarantine
• Water fountains will not be allowed so students will need to bring water
• Sharing of school supplies will not be allowed
• Each school will have personnel disinfecting and sanitizing high touch areas and restrooms throughout the day and a thorough cleaning at night
• Ample disinfecting supplies, soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer have been ordered
The Marshall County School District will continue to monitor information received from local, state and federal government entities to adjust practices as needed, Lawson said.
“Our number one priority is student and employee safety,” he said. “We encourage you to visit our county website for updates and notifications. For more information, please contact your child’s principal.”