Superintendent presents reopening plan for Muscogee County schools

Superintendent presents reopening plan for Muscogee County schools

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Muscogee County School District is laying out plans for reopening schools in August.

The superintendent announced that the district is going with a choice model during a special called school board meeting Monday night.

Muscogee County School District Superintendent David Lewis said school will start as scheduled on August 10 with a choice model. Parents and employees will have the option to choose either all in-person learning or all virtual learning for the first nine weeks.

“People commit to one plan or the other for their each respective child for a nine-week grading period, and then we’ll reassess from that point forward based on conditions and how things are going with each of their children,” Lewis said.

Lewis said they will allocate teaching resources accordingly based on the responses from parents and employees answering which learning style they’re choosing.

“We’re not talking about getting to choose like a Monday, Wednesday, Friday in-person. Tuesday, Thursday virtual. It is strictly once the choice is made, you would be going full in-person everyday of that school week or you would be choosing to go to a virtual model,” the superintendent explained.

Lewis said they are trying to meet the specific needs of students under this plan.

“Should you have multiple children, one benefits from in-person learning and the other one, perhaps because of maybe a health condition, they need the virtual option. They will have the opportunity to do that as well,” Lewis said.

Under this model, all school buildings will be open. Students and employees returning to the classroom will be required to wear face coverings, which the superintendent said will be identified as a school supply item.

The other two options were all in-person learning and all virtual learning, which Lewis said may come up again as options during the school year.

“It’s going to require everyone’s cooperation, their patience, and understanding. This is going to be a very important planning process and I will tell you that every plan today, it’s been my experience already through this pandemic, conditions are ever-changing and very fluid,” Lewis said.

The district is discontinuing all water fountains and water filling stations in schools. It’s also in the process of installing sneeze guards in all schools and facilities.

There will be hand sanitizer available on all buses. The number of people accessing the buildings will also be limited.

The plan laid out three checkpoints to assess how students are doing in their chosen learning environment. The district plan includes a baseline checkpoint at the start of the school year to see how much learning students were able to do when they switched to all virtual learning in March.

The district is still fully fleshing out the details of this plan and the superintendent said they have not set a deadline for when the responses need to be in yet.

Parents and employees will be able to submit their choices electronically once that becomes available. The district is also working on a plan to reach those who don’t have access to respond online.

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