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By Gretchen McPherson
Ledger Staff 

Alabama is still eyeing Aug. 7 to open schools

Remote virtual, on-line school is an option


July 23, 2020

Escambia County (Ala.) public school students are still scheduled to report to their schools in person and online starting Thursday, Aug. 7, with the option of temporary remote learning and online virtual classes, but students must provide their own reliable internet access.

At a school board meeting on Wednesday, July 15, Superintendent John Knott presented the official 'Back to School 2020-2021 Plan for Reopening Overview', developed by school system administration and personnel across the county using general protocols and guidelines set forth by the Alabama Department of Public Health, outlined in detail the basic guidelines for each school to follow, although it is left up to each school to meet compliance.

Part of the traditional learning also includes the possibility of temporary remote learning, in the case of a more restricted health order due to COVID-19, temporary school closure or an outbreak due to contagious students. Students will complete classwork from a remote location and participate in virtual class meetings and submit work digitally.

Knott said there will be a helpline available for those who choose virtual online and that a full day with rigor will be paced.

For traditional instruction, students will report to their school in a staggered manner, depending on their last name: Friday, Aug. 7 for A through G, Monday, Aug. 10 for H through M, Tuesday, Aug. 11 for N through Z and all students will report Wednesday, Aug. 12.

For virtual online instruction, students who participate in a virtual school orientation and final registration: Atmore area students Friday, Aug. 7, Flomaton and Pollard-McCall students Monday, Aug. 10, East Brewton students Tuesday, Aug. 11 and all virtual students will begin classes Monday, Aug. 17.

For health and safety of students and staff, teachers and custodial staff will perform daily cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, restrooms and common areas; hand washing and hygiene routines will be worked into students' schedules and face masks and face shields will be encouraged when social distancing is not possible, following Alabama Health Department guidelines.

Social distancing protocols will be in place for classroom seating arrangements, staggered and line spacing and one way class changes.

Visitors will not be allowed on campus and parents who come on campus are encouraged to wear masks. No water fountains will be used.

Knott said that field trips for the schools are suspended. Athletics are going forward so far with strict guidelines, though there is no use of any facilities for outside groups.

Each school will have in place protocols and policies that align with the state department of health, but follow these guidelines closely:

Parent and guardian health guidance

Parents should monitor students' temperature every morning and students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should stay home and consider COVID-19 testing if there is no other explanation. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will require a physician's release before returning to school.

Child Nutrition Services

Meals will be served in the cafeteria, classrooms or outside in a designated area to allow social distancing, but this is subject to change.

The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) will follow all guidance from federal and state agencies for safe operating and food service procedures, as well as for school nutrition guidelines and practices.

Transportation Services

Students will be required to wear a mask while on the bus, with staggered loading and unloading. Students will be assigned to seats and students from the same household will sit together. Buses will be sanitized following morning and afternoon routes.

In other business, the board:

-Looked at a rendering and vision provided by Lathan and Associates for capital improvement projects at Flomaton Elementary School and Huxford Elementary with projections for the Board to consider for future planning.


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