White County School System has issued an update on their plans for reopening in the fall.
With this update, teachers and staff are scheduled to return on Aug. 3, and students are set to return on Aug. 14. This is a week later than originally planned. For students not ready to return to face-to-face instruction, there will be a digital/distance learning option available.
"White County School System believes that education is a community effort and never has that been more evident than in the past four months," White County School System Superintendent Dr. Laurie Burkett said in the release. "We are grateful for your support, encouragement, and input as we have worked together in developing our reopening plan.
We recognize that information is rapidly changing and we are doing our best to prepare for the upcoming year with the information we have available. As we move toward the start of a new year, our team is emphasizing flexibility while still maintaining high-quality educational opportunities for all students. WCSS Leadership Team has been working diligently to develop a comprehensive reopening plan for our staff and students this fall. Our plan reflects guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Georgia Department of Education (GADOE), state and local health officials, and input from the community."
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any disease, the school system will promote the following and more:
- Cloth face coverings will be provided by WCSS. Students and staff will be strongly encouraged to wear them, but not required, when social distancing is difficult.
- Touchless hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout each building
The school system will deep clean all schools before students and staff return, along with increasing the cleaning routine of high-touch classroom areas/spaces daily. There will also be touchless water bottle filling stations at each school.
The school system will be assigning at recess for elementary schools and limiting intermingling of classes. WCSS will also restrict the use of lockers for PE and manage traffic flow throughout the building.
Parents will be asked to remind in their vehicles during drop-off in the mornings and afternoons. There is no in-person school wide events or gatherings scheduled at this time. Virtual open houses for all grades will be scheduled.
In regards to transportation, part of the plan includes assigned seating to minimize student contact and adjusting bus routes to decrease the number of students on busses.
For meals, breakfast will be grab-and-go, and students will eat in their classrooms. Self-service option will be removed from lunch. Scanners will be used when students go to pay, and touchpad have been removed.
In regards to field trips, only competition based field trips will be allowed at this time. When clubs are allowed to resume, sponsors will have to follow school health prevention and safety guidance. Students who participate in distance/digital learning will be able to participate in extracurricular activities and athletics.