Superintendent's Message : Reopening Plan

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Overview: 

The Miller County School System (MCSS)  takes pride in providing our students with an education to equip them with the necessary tools for success in school and after graduation.  The current Covid-19 Pandemic is causing us to shift our methods of instruction and daily operations.  While the educational  success of our students is a priority, we will now increase our focus on safety protocols.  Whether or not our students are learning in the building or learning from a distance, we remain committed to the success of our students. 

 

In planning for the 2020-2021 school year the Miller County School district leaders have used and will continue to use the guidance of the Department of Education, local, regional, and state Department of Public Health, and CDC, as well as input from administrators, teachers, students, and parents as we plan for the return of our students and staff members.  The re-opening plan is a work in progress.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive or detailed list of expectations, but it will provide an overview of our anticipated re-entry into the school setting. We plan to monitor the latest health recommendations and keep the safety or our staff and students as our top priority.  

 

We are committed to the return of our students and staff to in person learning and teaching.  Each instructional model in our plan places the health and safety of our staff and students as a priority.  At this time more than ever communication and cooperation between the school, parents, and community is of utmost importance.  Ongoing communication between school and parents will allow everyone to make the best decisions for students.  Please reach out to us for any questions or concerns. 


Instructional Models for the 2020-2021 School Year

The following instructional models will be available for the 2020-2021 school year. We will begin the year with In person instruction and virtual instruction.

 

Instructional Model Option

Instructional Model Description

In Person Instruction

All students Pre-K-12th grade will follow a regular school schedule. 

Students following this model will be on campus.  Enhanced safety/health procedures will be in place. 

Virtual Instruction (Parent Preference)

Full time enrollment in virtual at home instruction PreK-12th grade.

Parents have the option to register their child(ren) for at home full time virtual learning. Registration is required. 

 

ATHLETICS:

We will follow the most current Georgia High School Association guidelines for sporting events and practices.

 

ENROLLMENT, SCHEDULING, AND SCHOOL COUNSELING:

  • Parents must register each child for the 100% virtual learning option. At this time enrollment in virtual learning is for 1 full semester. All students will be considered in person unless the parent completes virtual registration.

  • School counseling may occur during the school day or via virtual or phone conference as needed. Please schedule an appointment with the school counselor as needed. 

 

Home-School Communication

  • Updated information will be located on the Miller County School website.  School and class announcements will be posted on social media pages and School Messenger.

  • Parents should update their contact information with the school system.  

  • Updating staff, students, families, and communities will be a priority as we get started and throughout the school year. 

 

INSTRUCTION:

  • An extended pre-planning with professional learning for teachers will occur to prepare teachers to provide instruction in a blended environment. Teachers will be prepared to offer virtual learning for all students should the need arise. 

  • All teachers K-5 will use Google Classroom. As much as feasibly possible, online instruction will mirror in person instruction. Blended learning may include teacher-created videos, web videos, assignments via various online platforms, and other resources. 

  • Students in grades 6-12 will utilize the Odysseyware platform for online learning. This program is aligned with state standards. Teachers will customize courses to mirror in class instruction. Teachers will provide resources via Google Classroom to assist students as needed. Teachers will be available for assistance as needed. 

  • Formative diagnostic assessments and universal screeners will be administered to guide instructional decision-making.

  • Professional learning communities will be utilized to analyze data to determine students’ specific learning needs.

  • Curriculum maps have been adjusted to reflect the change in schedule and instructional models. 

 

Safety and Security:  

  • All classrooms will be provided with hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray.

  • Water fountains will be closed. Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school with them.  

  • No lockers will be issued at this time. 

  • Staff members will be required to wear masks when not able to social distance. 

  • Cleaning/sanitation schedules for classrooms will be developed. Classrooms will be clean/sanitized during the day.

  • All students are encouraged to wear masks at all times, but especially during transition times, and when social distancing is not possible. 

  • Visitors inside the building will be limited and all are subject to principal approval.  Only one parent or guardian per family  will be allowed to enter the building.  Any visitor allowed in the building is subject to health screenings. 

  • Health and safety signage will be placed throughout the buildings.  Directional signs will be posted to adjust traffic flow.  

  • Adjusted recess and activity schedules will be followed to minimize mixing of groups.  

  • Daily temperature checks for all staff and students. 

  • Efforts will be made to minimize the number of students in a class at any given time.  This will maximize social distancing measures.  

  • Efforts to decrease the movement/transition of students will be enacted.

  • Policies regarding students leaving and re-entering campus will be reviewed and changed as deemed necessary by the administration to maximize the health and safety of staff and students. 

 

Decisions to send students or staff home, quarantine/isolation recommendations, contact tracing and return to school/work decisions will be made in consideration of current CDC guidelines and/or consultation with health care providers and our local Health Department, as deemed necessary on a case by case basis, to facilitate the safety or our students and staff. 


The following guidelines will be followed:


  1.  Covid-19 exposed students or staff:    Those in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes with or with out protective equipment) with someone with a positive case should be quarantined 14 days after their last contact with the covid + person.  

  2. Covid-19 symptomatic students or staff:  Students/staff who are sent home with fever and/or covid-19 symptoms but who are not tested may return when they are symptom  and fever free for 24 hours without medication. 

  3. Covid-19 positive students or staff with  no symptoms:  Individuals may return to school/work when 10 days have passed since the positive test,  OR the student or staff member receives 1 negative test result.

  4. Covid-19 positive students or staff with symptoms:  Individuals may return to school/work when they are 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever AND improved symptoms, or a negative test result. 

  5. Persons with severe symptoms may be subject to other criteria.  

When a person in our school tests positive for COVID-19:

  • We will coordinate with the health department and local health officials for input on the best course of action. 

  • Decisions regarding school closure will be made on a case-by case basis.

  • Contract tracing data and local health officials’ recommendations will determine school closure decisions.

  • Contact tracing data and local health officials’ recommendations will determine closure decisions.

 

Cleaning and disinfecting of the areas where the positive person has been will be carried out according to the latest guidelines.  

Privacy and confidentiality of student and staff information will remain a priority.  HIPPA, ADA, and FERPA law and requirements regarding confidentiality are serious and should be adhered.  

 

Nutrition

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

  • Grab and go breakfast/all students eat breakfast in classrooms.

  • Lunch will be delivered to each classroom.  All students eat in the classroom.

  • Grab and breakfast/all students eat in classrooms.

  • Lunch will be delivered to each classroom.  All students will eat lunch in the classroom. 

  • Grab and go breakfast/all students eat breakfast in classrooms.

  • 12th graders will eat in the lunchroom (social distancing enforced) Lunch will be delivered to the classroom for 9th-11th.  All students will eat lunch in the classroom.

All Schools

  • All meals will be pre-plated in carryout containers.

  • Lunchroom staff will wear face  masks during food prep and distribution.

School Operations

  • Students and staff will enter through designated access points.

There will be a protocol for student pick up/drop off:  staggered entry and release, and marked spacing for pick-up.  School specific details will follow at a later date.

  • Staff and students are discouraged from sharing equipment, property, and other objects.  Parents will be provided with school supply lists.  Parents are encouraged to provide supplies for their child to limit the sharing of items.

  • The congregation of visitors in parking lots at the schools’ entrances, and in common areas such as lobby areas is discouraged.

  • There will be signage and informational documentation explaining the district’s healthy school requirements in each school.

  • School-spaces (e.g. cafeteria, hallways, classrooms) will be modified to support social distancing practices.

  • Buildings will be properly sanitized between classes and at the end of the school day by teachers and/or custodians and deep cleaned/disinfected weekly..

  • Parents are encouraged to transport children to and from school.  Buses will be cleaned after the morning drop off and afternoon drop off.  Students will sit in a designated seat on the bus.  Bus seating charts will be kept.  

  • If a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, a protocol for closing school will be followed.  The district’s assessment and DPH criteria/guidance will determine if the impacted classroom or the entire school building needs to close for a specified period of time.  

 

Technology

  • In person students will be assigned a device for school use.  All devices will be sanitized after each use. 

  • Guidance will be provided to school staff on proper cleaning procedures for computers and equipment. 

  • Plans are being developed to increase internet access and devices to distance learning students. 

 

Transportation:

Route Information:

  • Parents are encouraged to provide transportation for the child (ren).  If they are unable to do so the  MCS Transportation Department is working to decrease the number of students riding on the bus by planning for multiple trips in town.  Because of the lack of drivers, we will be unable to add multiple routes in the county.

  • Plans and procedures will be developed for arrival and dismissal times to maximize health and safety of students. 

Safety Information: 

  • Buses will be cleaned and disinfected before and after routes are run.

  • Temperature scanning for all bus riders each morning before entering the bus.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available on each bus.

  • Students are encouraged to wear mask/face coverings while riding the bus.

  • Students will be expected to sit in their assigned seat on the bus daily.

 

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP:

  • Check your student’s temperature

  • Teach and reinforce proper hygiene measures to follow throughout the day (handwashing, covering coughs/sneezes, and face coverings)

  • No sharing of personal belongings

  • Make sure your student has hand sanitizer in their possession (remind him or her to use it frequently). Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and throughout the buildings.

  • Remind your student to notify their teacher at school if he/she feels ill.

  • Remind students to keep his/her hands away from their mouth and not to touch others. 

  • Remind your child to social distance to the maximum extent possible at all times. 

  • Keep your student at home if he/she has COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19

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