JACKSONVILLE, Fla — While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in both Florida and Georgia, plans to return to the classroom in August are the subject of much debate among parents, teachers and school leaders and government officials.
In Florida, the Department of Education issued an emergency order requiring all public and charter schools to return to in-person learning for the 2020 through 2021 school year.
That order came the same day President Donald Trump tweeted "SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!"
Since then, school districts across the First Coast have made changes to their plans. We're On Your Side keeping track of those changes. Bookmark this page for updates and changes county-by-county as we learn them.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants Florida schools to reopen this fall but also distanced himself from the state’s education commissioner who recently ordered schools to reopen five days a week.
DeSantis says he understands parents may be fearful of their children returning, so he suggested online learning should also be on the table.
”Different parents have different calculations. If a parent wants to opt for virtual education, they should absolutely be able to do that. We shouldn’t be forcing them to do any type of decisions,” DeSantis told First Coast News.
Monday, Aug. 3: The Florida Department of Education approved the Baker County Public Schools proposed reopening plan for the 2020 through 2021 school year. The plan is available to read by clicking here.
The Baker County School District posted its reopening plan with message from Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson, saying in part "I believe that face to face instruction with our quality teachers and staff is the best education that we can provide for our precious children. Therefore, we plan on reopening schools on Aug. 10 as previously scheduled."
- At-home screenings -- Parents are urged to take students' temperatures daily before sending them to school via bus, walking or parent drop-off. Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees or higher should not to go to school Students and adults should also screen themselves for respiratory symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath. Anyone with those symptoms should stay home.
- General safety precautions throughout the day -- Buses will have assigned seats and hand sanitizer will be used. Students will have the option to wear a face mask. Schools will be disinfected and physical distancing will be implemented when feasible. All students and staff will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly. Hand sanitizer will be made available in all classrooms and common areas.
- On campus and in the classroom -- Students will be kept in cohort groups when possible, when physical distancing is not feasible. Meals will be served in smaller group settings in various locations throughout campus. Desks will be spaced farther apart, facing the same direction when feasible. Lunches, recess and other transition times will be staggered. A sick room will be identified for students who are not feeling well to minimize contact with others until they are picked up. Students will have the option to wear a face mask.
For the full reopening plan, see below or click here.
Thursday, July 30: Bradford County School District has made some changes to their reopening plans two weeks before schools will reopen in the county. The school board approved of the new plan on July 27 and school starts Aug. 10.
The final plan got rid of one of the proposed options for parents called Innovations. The idea for innovations was the install web cameras in classrooms and allow students who felt safer at home to stream their class.
Tuesday, July 30: The Bradford County School District shared the following update to its Facebook page:
"Good morning, Tornado families,
Last night the School Board voted to maintain our planned start date for students on August 10, 2020. We are moving ahead with plans to have our schools open for students on that date.
The School Board did not approve Option 3 : Bradford INNOVATIONS as a learning option. INNOVATIONS was outlined in the Draft form released last week. This is due to concerns they received from teachers. Families who signed up for Innovations pending Board approval will need to designate one of the other options. Please call you child’s school to make any necessary changes.
We know many families have difficult decisions to make. If you need help deciding which option is best for your family, please reach out to your child’s school administrators, guidance counselors, or district curriculum personnel. Information updates daily, and as we move forward, we will continue to work with all stakeholders to make the best possible decisions for our schools. #TornadoesTogether"
Monday, July 20: A registration form for families to use to sign up for virtual learning options will be released this week. The district will post it to the district website and release a link to it on FOCUS and social media.
If your child is already enrolled in the Bradford County School system, you will only need to indicate your option of choice on the form.
If you have a beginning Kindergarten student who is not registered yet, then you will still need to complete the full registration process. You should take care of this as soon as possible.
The board is proposing three ways for students and families to resume education:
- Brick-and-mortar: No action is needed. Classes will start Aug. 10 for 1st through 12th grade, with a staggered start for Kindergarten and scheduled staggered start for VPK.
- Bradford Virtual Select: This is a district-run virtual school with Bradford County educators. Students must commit to a full semester at a time and must apply for a BCSD Chromebook. Homes must have internet access. Enrollment info will be available at bradfordschools.org.
- Full-time MyDistrict Virtual School through NEFEC: Students must do a full semester at a time. NEFEC selects teachers for students. Enrollment must be complete by Aug. 28.
The first day of school is Aug. 10.
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Student schedules will be released in Focus on Wednesday, the Clay County School District announced on its website. Students can see their schedules by logging into the OneClay Portal and clicking on the Focus icon using the same username and password they used for distance learning in the spring.
Some student schedules are still being completed or adjusted for OneClay Online students. You should continue to check Focus for updates.
If students do not remember their username or password, the district says teachers will provide guidance later this week via email or phone call. Parents can also access student schedules through the Focus Parent Portal.
For information on the Focus Parent Portal, including how to reset your password, click here.
Monday, Aug. 3: The Florida Department of Education approved the Clay County Public Schools proposed reopening plan for the 2020 through 2021 school year. The plan is available to read by clicking here.
Tuesday, July 28: The Clay County School Board voted to push back the first day of school to Tuesday, Aug. 25.
The change will affect the 2020 through 2021 calendar in the following ways:
- Moving from 180 to 175 instructional days, with the calendar still allowing for two hurricane days.
- To meet state requirements of 4,050 minutes in the first semester, two days will be taken from Winter Break, which will begin Wednesday, Dec. 22 instead of Monday, Dec. 20.
- In the fourth nine weeks, Fair Day has become an instructional day.
- In order to ensure the 900 instructional hours requirement, early release days will be changed. Elementary and junior high schools will now have four early release days instead of six. High schools will now have two early release days instead of six.
- The last day of school will move from Friday, May 28, to Thursday, June 3.
The board also says face coverings will be required for students in grades 3 through 12. Staff at all campuses and district offices will also be required to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.
Face coverings are strongly recommended for students in Pre-K through 2, though not required.
You can see more details on the school board's reopening plan discussion by clicking here.
The Clay County School District issued a Smart Restart plan, with four options for parents and students to choose from when school resumes.
The four options are as follows:
- Traditional brick-and-mortar schools -- No action is required by parents for in-person enrollment, but parents will need to verify transportation eligibility by visiting the district's Bus Planner Web site and filling out the bus transportation survey by July 16.
- Clay Virtual Academy -- Parents can register for this full-time virtual school, in which students can work on assignments during non-traditional hours, maintaining contact with teachers and classmates using web-based class sessions, email, text messages and phone calls. This options requires a commitment of at least one semester. Click here to register by July 16.
- OneClay Online (kindergarten through 6th grade) -- Parents can select this option for students if they would like to maintain their connection to their enrolled school but do not feel comfortable sending students back to campus in August. A full semester commitment is strongly encouraged. Click here to register by July 16.
- Blended learning (7th through 12th grades) -- Secondary students who choose this method will be able to go to brick-and-mortar schools for select courses and take other courses through Clay Virtual Academy. Students who choose this option will need to work with their school-based guidance counselor to determine their daily schedules.
Parents can click here to read about the district's health and safety plan, including guidance for cafeterias; classrooms; clinics; larger learning environments such as band, chorus, gyms and computer labs; shared spaces and transition times and more.
Columbia County Schools has its School Start 2020 plan available for parents and the community to review options for schools to resume Aug. 13. Schools were initially planned to reopen on Aug 10, but the district decided to push back the date.
"This plan is a fluid document," the reopening plan states. "This plan could change depending on what transpires in our community with COVID-19."
The plan lists three options for students:
- Traditional instruction -- Students return to traditional campus instruction with modifications, including use of current CDC guidelines regarding social distancing depending on specific situations such as transportation, classroom size, etc. Masks will be encouraged but not required.
- Columbia Homeroom Virtual -- Students receive virtual instruction daily from a CCS teacher with the option to return to that class in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting on an agreed upon date. This option allows families to continue virtual instruction at home with the ability to rejoin class in person when comfortable doing so.
- Distance learning -- All students work from home 100% of the time. (Note: This option would not be possible under state-issued orders that all schools reopen brick-and-mortar classrooms in August.)
Schools will begin contacting parents the week of July 13 to determine parents' choice in order to assist with staffing decisions.
The district is completing summer cleaning including a deep cleaning of all surfaces, along with sanitizing and disinfecting schools to create a safe environment when school resumes. Faculty and staff are being trained on social distancing, cleaning and identifying sick students and staff. Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout each school and classroom.
There will be a healthy child workshop for parents at the school board auditorium July 21 for parents to attend with health care officials speaking on how to keep children healthy and how to assess children's health. It will be livestreamed for parents unable to attend.
The full reopening plan is available below or by clicking here.
Monday, Aug. 3: The Florida Department of Education approved the Duval County Public Schools proposed reopening plan for the 2020 through 2021 school year. The plan is available to read by clicking here.
Wednesday, July 29: Duval County Public Schools sent a notice to parents that the registration deadline for Duval Homeroom is Friday, July 31.
If parents want their child to do at-home learning, they can register through their online Focus account. Step-by-step guidance is available at duvalschools.org to help parents through the process.
If parents have any issues getting through the registration process, they should contact their child's school for assistance.
Thursday, July 23: The Duval County School Board voted 5-2 to approve the reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year drafted by Dr. Diana Greene. The approval pushes back the start date for DCPS by 10 days to Aug. 20.
Wednesday, July 22: The Duval County School Board will talk about possible changes to the DCPS back-to-school plan in a meeting Thursday at 1 p.m. First Coast News will stream the meeting live. Parents can view the agenda here.
Topics to be discussed include:
- Approving school reopening plan instruction options.
- Approving personal protective equipment and antimicrobial protectant.
- Approving the mental health allocation plan.
- A work-from-home resolution.
According to a draft resolution filed ahead of Thursday’s special board meeting and since removed, the new back-to-school plan pushes the first day of school for students back from Aug. 10 to Aug. 20.
Thursday, July 16: DCPS postponed its vote regarding whether to push back the school year's start date by two weeks. The current plan for elementary, middle and high school students all include options for face-to-face instruction, temporary distance learning or full-time virtual instruction.
DCPS must submit a reopening plan to the department of education by the end of July. The proposed plan will be revisited July 23.
Tuesday, July 14: Duval County's plan includes options for at-school learning for all grade levels five days a week beginning Aug. 10 for elementary and after Labor Day for secondary. It also includes a Duval Homeroom option for all grade levels.
Below are important highlights.
- All students have choices about how they return to learning - These choices include in-school options, distance learning through Duval HomeRoom and fully virtual learning through the Duval Virtual Instruction Academy.
- Elementary students have a full week in-school option beginning Aug. 10 - We have better capabilities to maintain social distance and isolate classrooms of students in elementary schools, and elementary school students cannot stay home alone if parents need to go to work.
- In-school option for middle and high: Hybrid on Aug. 10. Full week in school after Labor Day - All middle and high school options for in-school education will begin school on a "hybrid" schedule. During the week, students will be at school on some days and at home learning online the other days. The district will seek to return middle and high school students to a five day a week in-school schedule following Labor Day.
- Students in all grade levels have the option for Duval HomeRoom
Duval HomeRoom means you remain enrolled in your school and you have online access to similar classes you would take at school. This option is now available for middle and high school students, as well as elementary students. The electives available at the secondary level may be limited. Registration for Duval HomeRoom is now open in FOCUS and will run through July 24.
- Face coverings required on bus and in school - The best way to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in a school setting is to require all staff and students to wear face coverings throughout the day. Pre-K through second-grade students will be issued a clear plastic face shield, which may be used in addition to or instead of a cloth face covering. Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent a face covering may also use a clear plastic shield or another reasonable accommodation. Face coverings will not be required in P.E., recess, band, music and other classes in which the facial covering is an obvious impediment to learning activities.
The full, comprehensive plan is available on the district’s website at www.duvalschools.org/backtoschool. It includes enrollment options, safety precautions, transportation guidelines, and athletics information.
Monday, Dr. Diana Greene shared a presentation with the Meninak Club of Jacksonville, previewing what the school district will present to the state for its back-to-school plan following Tuesday morning's school board workshop.
A full presentation can be viewed below.
Thursday, July 23: The Nassau County School Board approved the district's return-to-school plan and revised calendar. The first day of school was pushed back to Aug. 24.
The district has a parent/student guide for a safe and healthy return to school listed on its website. That can be viewed by clicking here.
Wednesday, July 22: The Nassau County School District posted a message to its Facebook page from Superintendent Dr. Kathy Burns. The post directs parents to the school district website to read frequently asked questions regarding the district's reopening plan.
Parents can view a video message from Burns on the school district's YouTube page here.
The Nassau County School Board heard the district's Draft Reopening Plan at its meeting July 9. Parents and Community Members may watch the recorded presentation at http://nassaucountysd.swagit.com/archived. The plan can also be viewed by clicking here.
"The plan remains in 'draft' form for now to allow for changes in state guidance or rules that could occur due to ever-changing conditions. And to allow for further review and input from stakeholders. We do not foresee major changes and the core elements of the plan, including the educational options available, should not change," the draft says.
The first day of school is Aug. 24.
Monday, Aug. 3: The Florida Department of Education approved the Putnam County Public Schools proposed reopening plan for the 2020 through 2021 school year. The plan is available to read by clicking here.
The Putnam County School District posted two reopening plans to its website, one for parents and students and another for employees.
The superintendent wrote a message in the plan, saying in part, "A survey was developed to consider the opinions of our families on the delivery model for instruction (face to face, virtual, alternating days on campus, etc.) and if/when masks should be worn."
The plan lists three options for students and their parents to choose from:
- Traditional Brick-And-Mortar -- Requires everyone on campus to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.
- Digital Learning -- Students will begin the year with digital learning at their assigned school and return to traditional classrooms when a vaccine is available or conditions further improve. This option requires a nine-week commitment, consistent internet connectivity and a supervised structured environment.
- Putnam Virtual School -- Students will be enrolled in virtual school full-time, with independent learning for the entire school year. Students must register by calling 386-329-0536 by July 16.
Students must register for traditional brick-and-mortar or digital learning online at www.putnamschools.org by July 16. Aug. 24 is the first day of school.
Tuesday, Aug. 25: The St. Johns County School Board approved a face mask requirement for students at a special meeting, approving Emergency Rule 1.0 - COVID-19 Protocol.
The face covering guidelines approved by the board are as follows:
"All students, faculty, staff, volunteers, vendors and visitors shall wear masks and face coverings while in District schools and facilities, on District buses, or attending school or school-sponsored activities. Such masks and face coverings shall be provided by the District. Face coverings shall not be required for persons who present school officials with a certification from a health care provider that the person has a medical condition that prevents him or her from being able to safely wear a face covering. Face coverings shall not be required for infants and children two (2) years of age or younger, during regularly scheduled meal times, while engaged in strenuous activity, or while performing in musical, choral and theatrical rehearsals and performances. While this Emergency Rule remains in force, the Superintendent is authorized to require such other protective measures and grant such other exceptions as he deems in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of students, teachers, staff, volunteers, vendors, visitors and the community at large."
The procedure for students who refuse or fail to comply with the face covering requirement is as follows:
"If a student refuses or repeatedly fails to wear a mask or face covering or follow other precautionary measures at school, the Superintendent shall have the authority to Page 2 of 3 Proposed Emergency Rule 1.0 – COVID-19 Protocol August 25, 2020 Special School Board Meeting SBA L.1- pg 2 of 3 administratively reassign the student to a distance learning program. For purpose of this rule, a student who fails to wear a mask or face covering when required on more than three (3) occasions shall be deemed to have repeatedly failed to do so. The purpose of the reassignment shall not be disciplinary, but rather shall be undertaken in the interest in the health, safety and welfare of other students, teachers, staff, volunteers, vendors and visitors that may come in contact with a student who refuses to wear a mask or otherwise comply with District COVID-19 protocols."
You can read the full Emergency Rule below.
Tuesday, July 21: The St. Johns County School Board voted unanimously to delay school start date by three weeks to Aug. 31 in order to prep for COVID-19 safety enhancements.
The St. Johns County School District added a Frequently Asked Questions page to its website. You can view the FAQ page by clicking here.
Students will be required to wear face coverings while changing classes or using common areas of the school including bathrooms where they cannot practice social distancing. They will not be required to wear face coverings if able to social distance in the classroom.
Face coverings will be required when students arrive at school until their temperature is taken. For elementary schools, buses will run at normal capacity, and masks will be required on the bus.
As for teachers and employees, the district says it will provide personal protective equipment.
For more information on the St. Johns County School District's back-to-school reopening plan, click here.
Union County School Board will meet July 21 to workshop reopening plans.
On their website, the school district has a Q & A displayed about returning to school. The plan right now is for school to start on Aug. 12.
Students have a few options including going back to school full time, Florida Virtual School, homeschool, or homeschool flex.
The superintendent says the school district has fewer than 3,000 students total. They are not requiring masks, but they do allow anyone to wear a mask through the district says you have to provide your own.
Temperature checks will be done before you can go into the school. The district’s protocols say if you have a fever of 100.4 or higher, you’ll go to the nurse's office to get your temperature taken again. If it is still showing as a fever, you will be given a mask and will have to quarantine until you can go home.
The district says if the person tests positive for COVID-19, they will work with the state and local health departments on what to do next. The infected person cannot return back to school until three days without fever or without symptoms.
The Georgia Department of Education has released a set of "considerations and recommendations" for returning the state's schools to normalcy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia's Path To Recovery for K-12 Schools is a document that has been focused on health and physical requirements necessary for reopening school facilities across the state.
You can read more about the document by clicking here or below.
The Brantley County Schools website has the following message on its homepage:
"Our summer hours have started, and we're busy preparing the schools for the 2020 - 2021 school year.
What will school look like 2020 - 2021?
It is school as usual as of right now, but we're watching the CDC/government advice closely and will know more as the summer progresses. As always, our family of students and staff are our priority.
Thank you for your patience during this uncertain time."
The first day of school is Aug. 6.
Friday, Aug. 14: Effective Monday, Aug. 17, Camden County will require masks for all students, staff and visitors on school grounds and while riding buses. The new mandate was announced in an alert on the school district's website, which reads in part:
"The impact of COVID-19 on our community and the measures our school system has put in place to protect against the virus have both been evolving since the virus first appeared in our county. Due to the increase in the number of positive tests for the COVID-19 virus, Camden County has been designated as a hot spot area in Georgia. After meeting with the Georgia Department of Public Health, Camden Emergency Management Agency, and the Chief of Staff for Southeast Georgia Health System-Camden, Camden County Schools is issuing a mandatory mask requirement for the safety of our community. The Georgia Department of Education, Camden County Schools Board of Education and Camden County Schools System Steering Committee are all in agreement with this new protocol as a necessary means to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
The mandatory mask requirement will be in effect for all students, staff, and visitors. Masks will be required beginning Monday, August 17th. All students and staff will be required to wear masks while on school campus and while riding on our school buses. Exceptions based on medical needs for students and staff must be documented by a physician and that documentation will be treated as confidential and retained in the office of the principal. Some students with disabilities may be exempt based on individual needs as determined by the Director of Special Education. Staff members may remove their masks when students are not present and social distancing from other adults is possible. Students and adults may remove their mask when they are eating or drinking, or other activities approved by the principal.
From the first day of school, many of our families have already chosen to have their children wear masks to school and we appreciate their partnership in working to keep our staff and students safe. We ask parents to provide reusable masks for their students, but we will be able to provide masks for students who are unable to provide one on their own. We are grateful for the cooperation of our students, staff, and visitors as we work together to keep our schools and community safe."
Sunday, Aug. 2: Camden County Schools are delaying the first day of class to Tuesday, Aug. 4 in response to Isaias.
Wednesday, July 15: Camden County Schools released its plan for the 2020 through 2021 school year to the public. It includes both in-person learning beginning Aug. 3 as well as a virtual learning option for families who may not be ready for students to return to the classroom.
Some of the components of the plan are as follows.
Traditional learning plan:
- Enhanced safety protocols and sanitation practices in place in all schools and buildings.
- Deep cleanings through the remainder of the summer, during school holidays and weekends.
- Cleaning supplies in all classrooms for daily use.
- Face masks will be optional but strongly encouraged.
- No-touch trash cans will be placed in schools.
- Ventilation systems will be used to increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.
- Additional safety inspections for cleanliness on buses will occur before students return and as part of a regular rotation.
- Parents encouraged to take children's temperatures at home before sending them to school. Faculty and staff members encouraged to check their temperatures before reporting to work.
- Students will not self-serve in cafeterias. School nutrition staff will serve students, or meal items will be prepackaged.
- Students showing symptoms will be placed in an isolation room while awaiting parent pick-up. The Department of Health will handle any contact tracing and notification if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19.
- School social workers will be added for the 2020 through 2021 school year to allow a greater opportunity to address the social-emotional needs of students negatively impacted by the pandemic or experiencing increased stress or anxiety.
Virtual learning option:
- Students must apply through Camden County Schools by completing an application.
- Applications will be available at each school and online here.
- Students who choose this option will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities.
- The deadline for the virtual learning application is Friday, July 24.
The full plan can be viewed below.
The Camden County Schools website shared the following message to its home page:
"Camden County Schools to Share Reopening Plans with Community on July 15th
Camden County Schools administrators and principals have been working throughout the COVID 19 pandemic to create a safe and workable plan for returning to school as scheduled on August 3rd. Planning has included gathering survey feedback from our families and faculty and staff to gauge the desire to return to in-person instruction and address any concerns about our return to classroom learning. We are grateful to our school and community members who took the time to complete these surveys. The majority of survey takers have voiced the desire to return to traditional classroom learning in August. Survey feedback has provided us with valuable information and perspective as we work to safely reopen our schools.
The Camden County Schools System Steering Committee will be meeting this week to further analyze the survey results from our staff and community and finalize our plans. The SSC was formed by Superintendent John Tucker in January of 2020 and is one of the decision-making bodies for our schools. The SSC is composed of teachers, parents, and community leaders who come together to offer their unique feedback and direction as we make plans for our schools.
When we return to in-person instruction on August 3rd, we will implement several strategies to increase the safety of the school environment. For students who meet certain medical requirements and for whom their doctors have determined a return to classroom learning inadvisable at this time, we will be offering online learning opportunities.
Our school reopening plans and our application for online learning for students with medical needs will be shared with our community on July 15. Information will be sent out to our faculty, staff, and student families via the School Messenger system. The information will also be available by visiting the school websites and via the Camden County Schools Facebook page."
The first day of school in Camden County is Aug. 3.
Friday, July 24: Charlton County Schools Superintendent John Lairsey announced on the school district's website that the first day of school for students has been pushed back to Monday, Aug. 10.
"The decision for the delay is based on many factors, including feedback from teachers and staff members," the website says. "The additional pre-planning time will be used for professional learning as we prepare for our students returning in traditional in-person learning and virtual learning."
Charlton County Schools Superintendent John Lairsey shared the following school opening information on the school district's website.
"Our goal is to bring back our students and staff as safely as possible for in-person learning on Aug. 5. We have surveyed our parents and staff members and the majority of respondents indicated they are ready to return to school. We must, however, adhere to state mandates, and thus the Board of Education continues to collaborate with the Georgia Department of Education, the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Public Health."
There are two options for students, traditional learning or virtual learning.
The traditional learning plan includes the following measures to keep students safe:
- Staff and students will be allowed to wear face masks but not required. Parents must provide face masks for students who elect to wear them. A supply of masks may be available from the state of Georgia.
- Cleaning and disinfecting routines in classrooms and frequently touched surfaces will be followed daily.
- Deep cleaning of each school will occur weekly as school will be released at 1:00 p.m. every Wednesday for as long as necessary.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for students and staff and frequent hand washing will be encouraged.
- Frequently touched surfaces on the bus will be cleaned twice daily.
- Attempts will be made to reduce the number of students per bus including encouraging parents to transport students to school if at all possible (it will be impossible to fully social distance on our buses – masks are encouraged).
- Staff or students who are sick must stay home.
- Other than the office area, the schools will be accessible to students and staff members only.
- Lunch periods may be shortened.
- Staggered lunch schedules may be used to reduce number of students in cafeterias.
- Staggered times may be used for changing classes to minimize the number of students in hallways (to the extent practical). More time may be provided for class changes if needed.
- Unnecessary congregations of students and staff will be prohibited.
- Georgia High School Association guidelines for sporting events and practices will be followed.
- Strategies will be utilized to decrease close contact by students while completing instructional tasks.
- Staff members will be evaluated daily for COVID-19 symptoms including temperature checks.
- Social distancing guidelines will be followed to the extent practical.
Charlton County Schools will update parents and students if a decision is made that will not allow in-person learning beginning Aug. 5 to implement a distance-learning format.
The virtual learning option will be available for students and parents not ready to return to in-person learning. An application will be required, and parents must commit to a full semester.
Technology for the child's success in virtual learning will be the parents' responsibility. The deadline to enroll is July 16.
Monday, July 27: The Glynn County school district is asking parents to ensure their addresses are current in Infinite Campus in order to create the most efficient routes for transporting students to and from school. The routing software uses the information in the system to schedule school bus stops.
Parents can complete the form at the link here.
Tuesday, July 21: In a special called meeting, the Glynn County School Board voted and approved a motion to move the first day of school to Aug. 20.
Superintendent Scott Spence recommended moving the first day of school because he said teachers need more training with the new way of school and the new way they have to plan curriculum.
Spence also cited the Georgia primary election runoff as a reason to push school back. The first day of school is currently slated for Tuesday, Aug. 11, which is the day of the primary.
The Glynn County School Board discussed the new school year's budget as well as an update on the school district's COVID-19 plan and an update to its calendar.
Parents can view the meeting's agenda here.
Glynn County Schools shared a return-to-school framework on its website that details various areas that will affect day-to-day school operations when school resumes Aug. 11.
"After weeks of discussion with many stakeholders and our Return-to-School Task Force, we have taken into consideration the many challenges involved in reopening and understand that a one-size-fits-all plan is neither feasible nor appropriate," said Glynn County Superintendent of Schools Scott Spence. "These conversations were driven by a thorough review of the 'Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools' guidance provided by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Public Health and in-depth assessments of our distance learning strategies this past spring."
The school district plans to bring back as many students as possible to in-person learning, but allows for parents to choose the classroom environment that best suits their needs.
GCSS families have the option to select between traditional brick-and-mortar education and continuing to learn from home.
For families opting for online learning, a Virtual Learning Registration form must be completed for each student. Virtual learning requires a nine-week commitment for elementary and middle school students or one semester for high school.
The Pierce County School District posted an update to its Facebook page informing parents the district is working on plans to reopen school buildings for the 2020 through 2021 school year, exploring various options based on available guidance from public health experts.
The first day of school in Pierce County is Monday, Aug. 10. The Pierce County Board of Education has a work meeting scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 6.
First Coast News has reached out to the Pierce County School District to learn the results of a parent survey that was posted to its Facebook page last month. The superintendent responded that the district should have a plan ready by the end of the week.
Friday, Aug. 21: The recently announced face covering mandate has been tabled until the next Ware County Board of Education meeting scheduled for Sept. 15, unless there is a called meeting prior to that date.
Until then, the current face covering procedure will stand, according to Ware County Schools. That means face coverings, such as masks, gaiters and face shields are strongly encouraged in school system facilities when social distancing is not feasible and required for students and staff on buses.
Thursday, Aug. 20: Effective Monday, Aug. 24, the Ware County School System will require cloth face coverings for all students, staff members and visitors, based on recommendations from the CDC, Gov. Brian Kemp's office, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Southeast Health District.
The school system issued the following statement, in part:
"Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer of protection against the transmission of COVID-19, in addition to preventive measures such as frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer, and physical distancing. Because physical distancing is not always possible in a school setting, the proper use of cloth face coverings becomes even more important in minimizing risks for everyone in our school buildings, as well as family members at home.
All students and staff members will be required to wear a cloth face covering during the school day, including while being transported by bus to and from school and after school hours while participating in extracurricular activities, when practicable. Face coverings must comply with the dress code and must be worn properly at all times except during provided breaks (e.g., while eating or participating in physical activity). Break times will be determined by the school administration. Staff members may remove their face coverings when students are not present and social distancing from other adults is possible.
In limited cases, an individual may be unable to wear a cloth face covering for health, developmental, safety or functional reasons. An alternative may be provided in some cases, for instance when an individual’s health care professional provides written documentation that a health condition prevents him/her from wearing a mask or if the IEP or Section 504 team determines that a student cannot safely wear a mask due to a disability or health condition.
If a student refuses to wear a face covering, the Superintendent or his designee may assign or the student’s IEP team may place the student in a digital learning environment to protect the health and safety of the student and/or others. If the student/parent refuses to participate in the digital learning option, attendance policies will apply."
The district's face covering guidance can be viewed below.
Thursday, July 29: Ware County Schools announced all of its campuses will have different school hours for 2020 through 2021 in a post on its Facebook page.
DAFFODIL Pre-K: 7:30am - 12:30 p.m.
All Elementary Schools: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Both Middle Schools: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
High School: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Each school will announce drop-off and pick-up times for car riders. The school district is still working on bus routes as well as pick-up and drop-off times and will share more information about bus transportation as it becomes available.
Ware County Schools posted an update to its Facebook page notifying parents and students that the district would be "pushing out a great deal of important information over the next month about our plans to resume school" Aug. 17.
The school district says its primary means of sharing information will be through its Thrillshare calling system and its website.
"During our upcoming Town Hall meeting in July and in the days that follow it, we will share detailed plans for reopening school in August," the post says. "The plans are designed to be flexible so we can quickly adjust our response as needed."
The post goes on to say that, depending on guidance received from the state pupil transportation director, it may be necessary for Ware County students to attend school on an A/B schedule next year.
"That means families who choose to send their children back to school for face-to-face instruction would be assigned A-week or B-week. All the students in that family would attend school in person during their assigned week and then attend virtually the next week," the post says.
The post says the school district will have firmer numbers in the latter part of July and will share more information at that time.
There are several livestreams scheduled for the upcoming weeks with more information, including a WCS Return to School Virtual Informational Meeting Thursday, July 16 at 6 p.m.