Guidelines presented for reopening schools
The Alabama Department of Education has announced statewide guidelines for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year.
The ALDOE’s plan allows for local education and health officials to determine many of the specifics in reopening for the fall, but do outline recommendations that systems are encouraged to follow in the categories of “essential, guidance, and consideration.”
Individual school systems are expected to formulate plans for traditional, remote and blended learning. Remote learning refers to online teaching and blended would include a combination of online and in-class learning.
“Local boards of education, upon the recommendation of their superintendents and in consultation with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and/or local public health officials, will determine whether and how campuses can reopen safely for the 2020-2021 school year based on the status of the virus in their local community. Future decisions to increase or ease restrictions may be made by the governor if the state’s public health situation changes,” the plan states.
In the outline, the department of education details recommendations that schools are encouraged to do now and when schools open.
The Demopolis City School System is working on its specific plans based on the state guidelines, according to Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff.
“A taskforce is established to develop our plan and I hope to have it to the DCSS Board of Education for approval in early July,” Kallhoff said.
Some of the items already determined by the school system include that nine-month employees will return on August 7 with students’ first day being August 20.
Both online and on-campus methods of instruction will be available at local school and parents will need to identify the method of instruction they prefer prior to school starting. The school system will provide devices for students who choose online learning and do not already have a device. DCSS will not provide internet access.
“There will be specific procedures for on-campus school that cover safety precautions, sanitation, transitions, meals, field trips, athletic events and responding to positive COVID-19 cases,” Kallhoff said.
Other details of the plan are still pending and will be announced once approved by the school board.
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