No decision has been made yet on what the reopening plan will look like for Monroe County Schools, but talks are underway.
The school board has devised several plans to proceed into the next school year with a range from regular, in-person school sessions to distance learning via the internet.
Input from the community is also a contributing factor officials would like to consider prior to deciding which plan to follow.
“We have a parent survey and the survey (so far) has indicated to us that parents want to come back using restrictions and precautions,” said Director of Schools DeAnna McClendon. “So that is proposal ‘A’ to the board.”
This proposal would allow for the schools to return as normal with the precautions, including temperature checks upon entering the building, wearing masks and no assemblies more than 50 students.
Bus travel will have specific rules where the students are required to wear face masks while on the bus as well as loose sitting arrangements for siblings to sit together.
“Family should be seated together as much as possible,” stated McClendon.
The second plan is for high school students to be placed into groups with one group arriving in person on Monday and Tuesday followed by distance learning from home for the rest of the week with a second group that would attend on Thursdays and Fridays with distance learning being applied Monday through Wednesday.
Wednesdays would be a cleaning day for the school to be disinfected in hopes of preventing any COVID-19 infections.
Continuing the second plan, elementary and middle schools would be in a “lock down” scenario where students attending would not rotate classes.
Plan “B” is only for consideration should the number of COVID-19 cases in the county continue to rise.
The third proposal is to completely transition to distance learning and operating through online classes.
Parents who are not comfortable having their child return to schools will have the option to allow their child to continue distance learning and take online courses.
McClendon stated that each principal will come up with plans for their respective school that follow all of the guidelines set forth from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The school principals will take these guidelines and design individualized schedules for each school,” McClendon said, adding that there are also considerations for lunch and recess. “We want the kids to have some cafeteria time but it may look something like fifth grade can eat in the cafeteria on Monday and another class on Tuesday while the others eat in their classroom.”
Playgrounds and outside physical education can be utilized, however all equipment must be sanitized after use from each class.
Parents can visit the Monroe County Schools website to fill out the survey which currently has a deadline of Friday, July 3.
The school board has not officially voted on which plan they wish to pursue, but they are expected to at the next board meeting taking place on July 7.