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PLANS FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

First Teacher Day: August 3rd, 2020

First Student Day: August 6th, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis the Hancock County School District, with guidance provided by the MS Department of Education and the MS Department of Health, has developed three different plans for the 2020-2021 school year. These plans are subject to change due to updates in guidelines issued by the Governor’s Office, MS Department of Health, and MS Department of Education. At this time, we anticipate school opening in August using the Traditional Schedule. Should changes in the COVID-19 crisis require implementation of the Hybrid or Distance Learning Schedule, parents and the public will be notified as soon as possible.

  • Traditional school attendance will resume for the 2020-2021 school year with few changes to school routines and extra-curricular activities.
  • For parents with medically fragile children or parents who feel it is unsafe due to Covid-19 for their children to physically attend a campus, the option of distance learning will be available. Reporting to campus for sports and other extra-curricular activities will not be appropriate for students who choose distance learning. Students who participate in distance learning will have the option to return to the traditional schedule at the beginning of the next nine weeks.
  • Clear health protocols will be enforced including staying home when sick, notifying parents/staff when known exposure has occurred, and following specific re-entry procedures for students/staff who test positive for Covid-19.
  • Students and staff will undergo daily temperature checks before school. Students who have a fever of 100.4 or higher, or other symptoms, will be isolated and the parents will be notified. HCSD requests that parents check their children’s temperatures daily before leaving for school. Parents should keep students at home if they are sick, display symptoms, or have a fever of 100.4 or higher.
  • Students are required to have approved cloth masks as part of their school supplies. Students and drivers will be required to wear masks on buses. Students will also be required to wear masks in common areas and when directed by a teacher or administrator. Students are expected to provide their own masks. The district will work with families on a case by case basis if a hardship exists. Masks may be any color or combination of colors; however, they cannot display images or wording that is inappropriate, immodest, suggestive, obscene, profane, alluding to illegal activity (i.e. gang affiliation, alcohol, or controlled substance), or offensive because of references to race, gender, ethnicity, or other groups.
  • Social distancing will be expected where feasible.
  • Transportation to and from school will be provided by HCSD buses; however, parents are strongly encouraged to drive their children to and from school or find other means of transportation whenever possible.
  • There will be no visitors or volunteers allowed on campus without prior approval of the superintendent, principal, or his/her designee. Parent meetings will be held virtually or held in designated areas and will follow appropriate social distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • Both breakfast and lunch will be served daily with appropriate precautions in place. Cafeteria workers will wear gloves and masks when serving students. Meals may be eaten in locations other than the cafeteria.
  • School hours will be different than in years past in order to allow teachers time to prepare and provide instruction for distance learning.
  • Activities that require extended contact with large groups will be limited.
  • Schools will provide instruction for students and staff on minimizing the spread of infectious diseases. Increased signage will also be posted to help remind students and staff of precautions that should be taken in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • There will be increased cleaning of schools and high touch point areas.
  • Students will report to school for instruction according to the published schedule for each grade level or student group. Schedules will be designed so that approximately 50% of the students are on campus and the other 50% are learning from home. This will allow for smaller class sizes and more distance between students. Classrooms and facilities will be arranged in such a manner as to encourage social/physical distancing.
  • School staff will be required to report to the school building daily.
  • Schools will operate on an A/B schedule with approximately 50% of students on campus during each rotation. Each group will report to campus on designated days while the other group participates in distance learning. Classes with small enrollment numbers may report to campus Monday through Friday. Alternative school students will be required to report to campus Monday through Friday.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that siblings attending the same campus are placed in the same group so that they attend in-person classes on the same days.
  • All operational and safety protocols outlined in Option 1 remain in effect.
  • Staff will report to the school campus daily. Students will participate in distance learning daily with direct virtual instruction by HCSD teachers provided on a regular basis.
  • In situations where access to the internet is not available to students, course content/assignments/instruction will be downloaded to a device or flash drive and provided to the student. If access to a device cannot be provided, students will be provided with other learning opportunities and/or print materials. Course content/assignments/instruction will be updated on a regular basis. Teachers and other staff members will provide assistance to students by phone or other means on a regular basis.
  • Grades will be assigned following normal district grading policies as listed in student handbooks.
  • Attendance will be recorded according to MDE guidelines.
  • Students participating in virtual classrooms will demonstrate appropriate behavior and dress as listed in the student handbook. Behavior or dress that does not meet the standards listed in the student handbook will be documented by the teacher and reported to the appropriate administrator. A parent meeting will be scheduled.

FAQ

Answers to these questions are subject to change as new information regarding COVID-19 becomes available. We will update this document periodically as the situation changes. HCSD will begin the year on a traditional schedule with modifications in place due to COVID-19.

Students will report to school on August 6 as scheduled and will attend daily Monday through Friday. The school day will be approximately one hour shorter than last year.

  • Elementary students should be in their classrooms and ready for instruction by 7:25. Dismissal is at 1:25 each day. Students may begin arriving at school at 7:00 a.m.
  • Middle school students should be in their classrooms and ready for instruction by
    8:20. Dismissal is at 2:50. Students may begin arriving at school at 8:00 a.m.
  • High school students should be in their classrooms and ready for instruction at 8:25.
    Dismissal time is 3:05. Students may begin arriving at school at 8:00 a.m.

Buses will run on a regular schedule. However, parents are strongly encouraged to find other means of transportation whenever possible. Students and drivers must wear approved cloth masks on the bus.

Students who are unable to attend classes on campus will have the option of distance learning. Attendance will be reported daily as students participate in distance learning activities. Students who choose distance learning will not be able to participate in sports or
other extra-curricular activities. Students who participate in distance learning will have the
option to return to the traditional schedule at the beginning of each nine weeks.

Parents may complete the Distance Learning Application by clicking the link on the HCSD
website. https://www.hancockschools.net/distance-learning-survey/ All Distance
Learning Applications for the first nine weeks must be submitted by July 27, 2020.other extra-curricular activities. Students who participate in distance learning will have the
option to return to the traditional schedule at the beginning of each nine weeks.

We will work with parents on a case by case basis to help meet the needs of individual
students. If a device or internet access is not available, parents may be required to pick up
and drop off written assignments each week.

Assessments and other assignments will be submitted and graded by the teacher as usual.
Grades will be assigned following normal district grading policies as listed in student handbooks. Students may be required to report to the school, by appointment, for proctored
assessments.

No.


Students who choose distance learning are:

  • still enrolled in HCSD.
  • taught the same MS College and Career Ready Standards as students attending
    traditionally.
  • provided curriculum materials and assignments by the school.
  • required to participate in state assessments.
  • subject to the same grading and attendance policies as students who attend on
    campus.
  • required to earn passing scores on the MS Grade 3 Reading Assessment in order to be
    promoted to 4th grade
  • required to meet state test requirements in order to qualify for high school
    graduation.
  • subject to the same promotion and retention policies listed in the student handbook.

Students who choose home school must:

  • withdraw from HSCD.
  • contact the State Attendance Officer, Susan Thigpen (sthigpen@mde.k12.ms.us) and complete the Homeschool Enrollment Form.
  • provide the State Attendance Officer with a simple description of the type of education the child will be receiving.
  • provide their own instruction, curriculum resources, and textbooks.
  • take a standards-based placement test to determine grade level if student chooses to
    re-enroll in public school.
  • take all state assessments required for graduation upon re-enrollment in public
    school.

Yes, each student is still required to attend school every day unless he or she has an excused absence as defined in the student handbook. Attendance for distance learning will be reported daily according to procedure set by the MS Department of Education.

Students are required to have approved cloth masks as part of their school supplies. Students and drivers will be required to wear masks on buses. Students will also be required to wear masks in common areas and when directed by a teacher or administrator. Students are expected to provide their own masks. The district will work with families on a case by case basis if a hardship exists. Masks may be any color or combination of colors; however, they cannot display images or wording that is inappropriate, immodest, suggestive, obscene, profane, alluding to illegal activity (i.e. gang affiliation, alcohol, or controlled substance), or offensive because of references to race, gender, ethnicity, or other groups.

Yes, the daily school schedule and routine will be very similar to last year; however, the school day will be approximately one hour shorter than last year.

Students will still be required to wear uniforms according to the policy listed in the student
handbook. Students who choose distance learning will be required to wear uniforms while
participating in virtual classrooms (Zoom, Google Meet, etc…). As always, the school will work with families on a case by case basis if a hardship exists.

Breakfast and lunch will still be served daily. However, students may be required to eat in locations other than the cafeteria. Some meals may be eaten in the classroom.

There will be increased cleaning of schools and high touch point areas. Extra supplies are being purchased and each classroom will be stoc

Classrooms will be arranged in such a way as to allow students to spread out as much as possible. Activities that require extended contact with large groups will be limited. Transitions and class changes at the elementary and middle schools will be staggered to limit student contact in hallways.

Students and staff will undergo daily temperature checks before school each day. Students
who have a fever of 100.4 or higher, or other symptoms, will be isolated and the parents will be notified. HCSD requests that parents check their children’s temperatures daily before leaving for school. Parents should keep students at home if they are sick, display symptoms, or have a fever of 100.4 or higher. Students and staff must be fever free for 72 hours before returning to school.

If a COVID-19 case is identified in a student or staff member, parents of students who have
had close contact will be notified. Parents are also expected to notify the school immediately if their child is diagnosed with COVID-19. It is the expectation of MS Department of Health that all positive cases remain at home in isolation for 14 days. Affected areas will be disinfected.

There will be no visitors or volunteers allowed on campus without prior approval of the
superintendent, principal, or his/her designee. Parent meetings will be held virtually or held
in designated areas and will follow appropriate social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Students will not be allowed to use water fountains. Students are encouraged to bring water to school in refillable bottles with the student’s name clearly labeled on each bottle.

Please do not send any snacks or items for the class.

At this time all sports and extra-curricular activities will resume as normal as possible
following MHSAA guidelines. Facility occupancy may be limited based upon guidelines set by MHSAA.