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ECSS releases school reopening plan

Escambia County School System officials today announced its back-to-school plan for reopening.

Superintendent John Knott said in a statement to students and their families that school will look different this year. Since March, schools have been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They remained closed through the rest of the school year.

“Traditional education as we know it will look very different in numerous unprecedented ways this coming year,” Knott said in a statement. “We are now faced with an extraordinary challenge that will require all of our individual and collective expertise to address the needs of students, families, staff, faculty and school communities. 

“Our schools have worked collaboratively to develop a back to school plan that will guide the school operations as we begin the new school year,” he said. “This will be a living plan that will continually evolve based on the directives and guidance provided by the ALSDE (Alabama State Department of Education), ADPH (Alabama Department of Public Health), current threat levels and other factors.”

Knott said the health and safety of students and staff is the top priority when making the decision to physically reopen school campuses for use by both and others.

Knott said the plan includes a traditional face-to-face instruction option with a temporary remote learning provision, and a full virtual online/digital platform option.

Additionally, Knott said each school will be reaching out to students and families with a more indepth plan.

“We will have an online registration form available next week,” he said. “Parents and students will need to decide and select the instructional option that will be best for their particular needs. Students may attend traditional school (brick and mortar) or utilize virtual school (online) this year. Virtual school students must commit to at least a nine-week grading period and must be able to provide their own reliable Internet access.”

Instruction delivery methods

• Traditional – Teaching and learning will take place utilizing traditional methods. Supplemental curriculum resources and online learning methods will be practiced.

• Temporary remote learning – In case of a more restricted health order, temporary school closure, or student contagion, students will complete classwork from a remote location, participate in virtual class meetings and submit work digitally, according to the ECSS.

 Virtual learning – and supplemental curriculum resources. Teachers will regularly check on with students using a variety of technology tools. ECS teachers and technology department will assist you with technology needs.

Reopening plan staggered

At present, ECSS officials said they plan to open schools in a staggered manner to help students and staff have time to review new procedures and learning requirements. The first day of school is slated for Aug. 7, 2020. The staggered dates are the following:

• Aug. 7, 2020, for students with last names beginning with A-G will report to school

Aug. 10 all students with last names beginning with H-M

• Aug. 11 all students with last names beginning with N-Z.

• Aug. 12 all students will return to school for regularly scheduled classes.

Knott said for example if a student attends school on Aug. 7, their next date for return is Aug. 10.

Online virtual

Students who live in the Atmore area will participate in a virtual school orientation and final registration on Aug. 7, according to officials.

Virtual students who live in the Flomaton/McCall areas will participate in the orientation and final registration on Aug. 10.

Virtual students who live in the East Brewton area will participate in the orientation and final registration on Aug. 11.

All virtual students will begin classes on Aug. 17, 2020.

Health and safety procedures

According to a release, ECSS officials said a daily cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, restrooms and common areas will be conducted.

Students will be encouraged to wash their hands, and implement hygiene routines.

Face masks/face shields and following ADPH guidelines are encouraged.

Social distancing protocols will be enacted, according to officials.

To read the full plan, click here.