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Irene Turnage

Schools adapt, make plans for reopening

• City begins August 6

The Holly Springs School Board has approved a hybrid model for the start of the 2020- 2021 school year.

Students will come to school to receive face-to-face instruction some days during the week and participate in virtual instruction from home the other days.

The hybrid model of learning is part of a comprehensive reopening plan.

“The district has worked tirelessly to develop a plan that will keep our students safe during this difficult time, as well as ensure they complete learning that will be critical to their success in the future,” said superintendent of education Irene Turnage.

“The district understands situations related to COVID-19 are serious and evolving, and we will take whatever steps are in the best interest of students and staff at any time during this plan.”

The hybrid model will allow for a reduced number of students in a classroom, as well as allow for temperature checks, screening, social distance and other guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control.

Masks will be made available for students and face shields for teachers.

The district will also offer an enhanced virtual model as an alternative for those parents who do not feel comfortable sending students to school at this time.

On August 6 and 7, the start of school will be virtual in order to ensure students can access virtual classrooms, access the learning management system and have needed supplies ready for safety.

The full schedule for school, on the hybrid model, will begin August 10-11, using a Monday/Wed nesday and Tuesday/Thurs day plan.

Holly Springs Primary

• Mondays and Wednesdays – pre-K, kindergarten and second grade.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays – first and third grades.

• Fridays – small group remediation and make-up work.

Holly Springs Intermediate

• Mondays and Wednesdays – fourth grade.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays – fifth and sixth grades.

• Fridays – small group remediation and make-up work

Holly Springs Junior High

• Mondays and Wednesdays – seventh grade.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays – eighth grade.

• Fridays – small group remediation and make-up work.

Holly Springs High School

• Mondays and Wednesdays – ninth and 11th grades.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays – 10th and 12th grades.

• Fridays - small group remediation and make-up work.

The hybrid model will allow school staff to better clean and sanitize buildings, buses and other areas. Enhanced cleaning will be completed every day, and deep cleanings will be completed on Fridays, according to Turnage.

The district received funds from the Mississippi Department of Education CARES Act that will be used to help buy materials for the deep cleaning, as well as assist in the purchase of necessary instructional equipment and programs to ensure the comprehensive plan is successful. The state is looking at ways to help provide more internet access to areas in the state that do not have it.

As part of the comprehensive plan, Holly Springs schools will have a districtwide, one-to-one Chromebook program. Every student in the district will be given a Chromebook. The initiative will allow students to continue to learn on days when they do not come to school, as well as prevent them from having to share computers when they are at school.

“We are very pleased that the district was able to complete an abbreviated virtual model for instruction during the months of April and May when schools were mandated to close,” Turnage said. “Our teachers provided instruction through Google Meet daily and students were given instruction through computer- and workbook-based instruction that was checked and monitored,” Turnage said.

If parents select the enhanced virtual model for August 2020, students will have to log on for each course on certain days, and they will be able to see the teacher teach the course in real time.

Attendance will be taken daily and students will be required to complete all requirements for promotion and graduation in both the hybrid and enhanced virtual models.

“The August 2020 virtual program will be different from the abbreviated virtual program completed in April and May of the last school year,” she said. “There will be more varied assignments and grade level expectations.”

The entire reopening plan will be reevaluated after the first two months of school.

“We plan to think through the challenges and adapt as we go,” Turnage said.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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