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CCS announces back to school plan

Covington County Schools has released its traditional schooling plan for parents that need more information on whether to send their children back to school or keep them at home.

“In order to provide more information to better inform your decision for your children to attend traditional (face-to-face) or virtual learning, we offer these talking points,” Superintendent Shannon Driver said in the announcement. “Information below was compiled with CCS central office and school administration based on the guidance of the Alabama State Department of Education’s Roadmap to Reopening, Alabama Department of Public Health, CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and AAP’s (American Academy of Pediatrics.) Depending on data and feedback from educational and health officials, guidelines and recommendations may be adjusted for the spring semester. Information in this document is subject to change.”

Use of face coverings:

The use of facemasks for students and teachers is optional at this time and according to the health needs of each individual student. In known situations of close proximity, such as small group instruction, student breaks, etc. masks/shields will be used. Visitors will be required to wear masks when entering the building and will only be allowed in the main office area.

Physical Distancing:

Desks will be placed three to six feet apart in rows facing forward where feasible. Outdoor spaces will be utilized as much as possible.

Media Center:

Students will be able to check out library books from the library with temporary book isolation taking place upon return of books.

Physical Education:

Required P.E. will take place each day. Class cohorts will remain distanced as practically as possible. Outside P.E. and non-equipment games will be utilized as much as possible.

Meals:

Cafeteria procedures to reduce contact between students include meal pickup with minimal contact from serving, scheduling rotation of students eating outside, inside and possibly in classrooms to allow for social distancing where possible. Same procedures in place for breakfast, lunch and snack breaks. Hand washing/sanitizing will take place before and after meals.

Special education and 504 plans:

Every child with a disability is entitled to services based on their Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan. In the traditional model, students will be supported in setting outlined in the IEP (inclusion, individual, small group, whole group, etc.) In the remote and virtual model, students will also be supported by Special Education or 504 teachers based on the IEP or 504 Plan, but an amendment to the original plan may be written to accommodate for remote learning.

Arrival and Dismissal:

Feasible physical distancing will occur in both indoor and outdoor spaces during arrival and dismissal. Dismissal times may be staggered to decrease hall congestion.

Buses:

Students should be screened for symptoms in the morning by parents or guardians prior to boarding the bus. Bus procedures to reduce contact between students include family groups sitting together, strict rules for facing forward and only talking with students in the same seat. Hand sanitizers will be available upon entry of the bus. Handrails and seats will be frequently wiped down with disinfectant, and windows will remain open on buses as weather allows.

Attendance:

If a student is required to quarantine based on the guidance of public health officials, the absence will be excused and a remote model of learning will take place to support the students. All other student absences will continue to be subject to the attendance policies as outlined in the Covington County Schools Code of Conduct.

Adults on Campus:

Visitors into the main areas of campus will not be allowed during the instructional day, this includes lunch visits. Conferences, guest speakers and some classroom or school events will be held via virtual means.

Pandemic Preparedness:

Covington County Schools will continue to adjust plans and protocols as needed and as suggested by the Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama Department of Education in order to best serve the students and families of Covington County. 00