Water Valley School District Superintendent Jerry Williams reported school is scheduled to start in August, with the teachers first day on August 3 and the students starting class on August 5.
Parents who choose not to send their children back to school in August will have distance learning options. Williams said the district will provide more details on this option when attendance guidelines are provided by the Mississippi Department of Education.
The district is also developing an alternate plan in case students can’t return as planned.
“Please understand that during these uncertain times that things change daily,” the superintendent stressed. “We will follow the school calendar that was approved earlier this year and is posted on the district website. If the district has to adjust the calendar to meet certain regulations, the amended calendar will be published following approval by the school board.
Williams said planning has been underway during the summer months to develop a detailed plan to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 at the schools.
Instructional guidelines and procedures that will be implemented for the traditional education setting (face-to-face) to limit interaction among classes include:
• Students in grades Pre-K through second will remain with their teacher for the duration of the day:
• Students in third through sixth grades will remain in their homeroom class and the teachers will rotate classes.
• Elementary students will leave the rooms as a class for lunch, physical education, activities and recess.
• Classes will be socially distanced from other classes when they are out of their homeroom.
• Students in seventh through 12 grades will resume normal instruction with staggered class changes and social distancing being practiced as much as possible.
Instructional guidelines and procedures that will be implemented for distance learning include:
• Students who don’t have access to a computer will be issued a Chromebook.
• Students who don’t have access to the internet will be provided teacher-recorded lessons and instructional materials that will be downloaded from a USB Flash Drive provided to students. These lessons will be assigned weekly and returned to the school for the teachers to grade. When students return the lesson, they will be given the next week’s lesson. There will be more details on this at a later date.
• Changing from traditional education to distance learning education will only be allowed once per semester, unless valid documentation is provided to the school principal.
Williams also reported an extensive sanitary and cleaning plan to protect students and faculty will also be implemented when school starts. More details will be released in July.