AC Schools unveil plan to reopen in August

The Anderson County Schools Reopening Plan has been announced. The full plan, with all of the applicable links, can be found on the system’s website at www.ACS.ac
School leaders say that the plan was developed in line with state guidance as well as with input from staff, parents and the community. This plan focuses on the health and wellness of every student and every staff member every day., and also provides students with the maximum face to face instruction within both state and local COVID-19 safety guidelines. As always, all plans are subject to change, according to school leaders, as the public health situation evolves.

Among the highlights of the plan, which you can also read in its entirty on our website, the first day of school will be August 10th, and as the system had announced last month, will be on a staggered schedule to allow students and staff alike to get used to the new safety and daily operating procedures. Principals will be sending parents information about the staggered start in the next few weeks.

Masks will be required for any student who rides an Anderson County school bus, both to and from school. If a student does not have a mask, they will be provided one. All buses will be cleaned and sanitized after each run and hand sanitizer will be provided to students. Once inside the school building, officials say that masks will be recommended but not required.

Schools will now have designated entrances and exits, with temperature checks conducted on anyone entering the building, and hand sanitzing stations located at each of those entrances as well. For the first time, every school in the county will have its own, dedicated nurse.

Water fountains will not be used this year, instead there will be water bottle filling stations at various locations in each school, and sadly, the tradition of bringing in cupcakes or other treats for occasions like birthdays will not be allowed this year. Intensive cleaning will be done during each school day, as well as after the end of class each day.

Other highlights include:

All students in Grades K-12 will be assigned an individual chromebook with access to Skyward, Google Classroom and Zoom.

Classroom seating arrangements will be adjusted to allow for adequate separation of students during class time

In classrooms, all students will face the same direction whenever possible. Peer-to-peer collaboration will be reduced when possible to avoid face-to-face exposure.
When changing locations, hallway traffic and interaction will be limited, as schools will maximize space to allow for adequate separation of students.

Applications for short term virtual learning must be received by July 21st. Virtual Learning will be available for families for all students unable to attend due to sickness/quarantine. Students accepted into the short term virtual program will be required to meet with their principal and complete an individual learning plan.

Access to schools will be limited to essential personnel and students for a minimum of 30 days. Access will be re-evaluated after 30 days.

There will be no field trips during the first nine weeks of school, all athletic activities will follow TSSAA and TMSAA recommendations, and no summer athletics camps will be held.
Only enrolled students will be allowed on campuses for physical conditioning.

Below is the information and a timeline to reopen school in Anderson County.
Communication:
● The district uses Skyward to call, text, and send emails to all parents and staff; therefore, it is critical that you make sure your information in skyward is up to date.
● We will use Facebook, Twitter, ACTV (Comcast 95) / at www.AndersonCounty.tv, and the district website, as well as WYSH Radio, to share information.
● You can send any questions about the reopening plan to [email protected]
Student registration:
● Parents can complete new student registration at New Student Registration
● There will also be onsite registration at individual schools, you will receive information from your child’s principal on dates and times.
● All other questions about registration and out of zone requests need to be sent to [email protected]
School calendar:
● The first day of school for students will be August 10th . The first three days will be a staggered start to allow staff and students to become familiar with new safety and daily operating procedures. Principals will send information regarding the staggered start schedule.
● All scheduled breaks will remain the same.
● The daily school schedule will be the same as last year and will include the early out schedule for Wednesday.
Transportation:
● All buses will run on a regular schedule. Students will be required to wear a mask on the bus to/from school. Masks will be provided.
● Buses will also be sanitized after morning and afternoon runs and hand sanitizer will be provided for students.
Health and Safety protocols:
● Students/staff should stay home if they are sick or have a fever.
● Schools will have designated entry/exit points for staff and student car/bus riders, signage will be posted to provide guidance.
● Sanitation stations will be placed at all entry points.
● Every school will have a full time nurse on staff.
● COVID-19/nursing guidelines will be followed when students/staff become ill or do not pass health screenings.
● Temperatures will be taken at all entry points.
● Students with a temperature will be quarantined. Parents will be required to pick up their child.
● Face covering for students/staff are recommended but not mandatory, Anderson County Schools cannot be responsible for students who refuse to keep the mask on for the entire day.
● Face covering for staff will be required for certain instructional settings.
● A mask will be provided for all students and staff.
● Students may be asked to wipe down their desk and other materials.
● Water fountains will not be used; water filling stations will be available in hallway for students to fill personal water bottles
● Outside food will not be allowed for student celebrations (i.e., cupcakes or treats for student birthdays)
● Intensive cleaning daily throughout all buildings.
● Emphasis will be made on frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
School Nutrition:
● All staff will wear masks during food preparation and service.
● Grab and go breakfast options could also be available in bus and car rider entry areas at most schools.
● Visitors will not be permitted in the cafeteria for, at a minimum, the first 30 days of school; access will re-evaluated after 30 days.
● Lunch schedules will be adjusted to maximize social distancing.
● Schools will be encouraged to use badges with barcodes to utilize touchless entry of Student ID at point of sale.
Technology:

● All students in Grades K-12 will be assigned an individual chromebook with access to Skyward, Google Classroom and Zoom.
● Insurance is provided at a cost of $30.00 per student, this covers all damages. Lost chromebooks are not covered under the policy.
Academic plan: Classroom Setting:
● Resume normal academic plan for each grade/subject
● Classroom seating arrangements will be adjusted to allow for adequate separation of students during class time
● In classrooms, all students will face the same direction whenever possible. Peer-to-peer collaboration will be reduced when possible to avoid face-to-face exposure.
● When changing locations, hallway traffic and interaction will be limited (schools will maximize space to allow for adequate separation of students)
Academic Plan: Short-term Virtual:
● Applications for short term virtual learning must be received by July 21st.
● Virtual Learning will be available for families for all students unable to attend due to sickness/quarantine.
● Students accepted into the short term virtual program will be required to meet with their principal and complete an individual learning plan.
● All students receiving virtual instruction are required to participate in 6.5 hours of instruction per day, as required by state law, this includes 0.5 hours for lunch.
● A virtual classroom with ACS teacher-led live instruction shall be instituted (Meet-up, Google classroom, Zoom, etc). Instruction will be in accordance with ACS adopted curriculm. These courses will be planned in conjunction with special education teachers,
aides etc. to ensure that all student needs and areas of concern are met.
● Students will be issued a chromebook. Parents must verify internet access.
● Students will be required to come to their home school to attend meetings, take tests, and receive extra support if needed.
● Application can be found at elementary, middle, high school can be found below.
Whole Child:
● Teachers/school staff will regularly check students well-being.
● Student Support Specialists and school counselors will provide non-academic focused check-ins with high-risk students at school, check-in via zoom and/or home visit, if needed. School Resource Officers will be utilized for wellness checks, as needed.
● Student and family resource information will be readily available (tele-health, school counselors, student support specialists, family resource center, food bank, housing, and clothing information, etc.).
Visitors:
● Access to schools will be limited to essential personnel and students for a minimum of 30 days. Access will be re-evaluated after 30 days.
● If there are extenuating circumstances that necessitate a parent/guardian entering the school, approval must be given by the school administrator.
Field Trips and Extracurricular Activities:
● We will not allow any field trips during the first nine weeks of school.
● Athletic activities will follow TSSAA and TMSAA recommendations.
● No summer athletics camps will be held.
● Only enrolled students will be allowed on campuses for physical conditioning.
Reopening Plans and Temporary Online Learning Contracts for students who choose to work from home are located at: www.ACS.ac.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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