Shelby County Schools could potentially go to second phase of reopening plan

Shelby County Schools could potentially go to second phase of reopening plan
Shelby County Schools.

SHELBY CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County parents and guardians got new information Thursday about the school reopening plan.

In a letter Dr. Lewis Brooks, Superintendent, said Shelby County Schools plans to reopen in a “traditional manner” August 13, but depending on the rising COVID-19 cases and concerns it “could likely start the school year in the second phase of our plan” called Cautious Together.

That includes a modified daily school schedule in which only half of (students) would attend on a given day, with the other half staying at home eLearning:

Monday & Tuesday - Half of the student body would report to school building

Wednesday - All students would stay home for eLearning on devices

Thursday & Friday - Other half of the student body would report to school building

The Shelby County Schools’ plan also includes a new directive for face coverings:

Covering your mouth and nose with a face mask/covering while within Shelby County Schools will be required.

Face masks/coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. The CDC recommends that people wear face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The deadline to choose in-person or remote instruction is July 27.

This is the Shelby County Schools reopening plan:

This is Dr. Brooks’ letter:

Dr. Brooks' Letter to Community
Dr. Brooks' Letter to Community (Source: Shelby County Schools)

This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for parents from Shelby County Schools:

Will school campuses reopen for in-person instruction? Yes. Schools will reopen for students on August 13, 2020. There will also be a remote learning option available for students who choose not to return to campus.

Will my child have to wear a mask or face covering on campus? Shelby County Schools will not require students to wear a mask or face covering, although it is a recommended strategy. Certain requirements exist for students participating in extracurricular activities such as band and football. If a student chooses to wear a mask or face covering, it must be a solid color or have a school logo only. (no masks/face coverings with writing or graphics allowed)

Will the school take my child’s temperature daily? No. The school district is asking parents to monitor the health of their students and watch for signs of COVID-19. If a student has any of the symptoms, the student should stay home from school and participate via short term eLearning.

Can my child choose remote learning and still participate in band or football? Yes. Students choosing the remote learning option may still participate in extracurricular activities, including band and football. However, this group of students may attend practice before or after school and should remain off campus during the school day.

What are some examples of things that might be different on campus? The school district will take measures to mitigate the spread to the greatest extent possible. Due to the highly fluid situation we are facing, we must be flexible. As a result, some day to day policies and procedures could be altered, such as the ones below.

● Visitors, including parents, will only be allowed to enter the front office of the school for business matters only. Visitors will not be allowed to eat lunch with students, make copies for teachers, assist with class projects, etc.

● Classrooms will be configured for social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

● There will be no large group gatherings during school hours.

Please note: Even with mitigating strategies in place such as distancing, there will be times when students are near each other. Some tasks and movements will require proximities closer than six feet, such as passing in the hallway, riding a bus, or a teacher moving around for supervision.

Will a school close if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19? Not necessarily. Once a case is confirmed, parents will be informed of possible exposure, but the public health department will be responsible for contact tracing. The school’s response will vary depending on several factors, including the extent of exposure and spread, but enhanced cleaning and sanitizing will take place.

My child has an IEP. Will he still receive instructional services if we choose the remote learning option? Yes. Students who have a specific learning plan (IEP, GEP, I-ELP or a 504 plan) will receive instructional accommodations in either learning environment

Shelby County Schools emailed a second set of Frequently Asked Questions to parents Thursday:

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