ATHENS, Ala. — Limestone County Schools announced their reopening plans.
Schools will be back in session on August 7.
The district is planning to hold in-person school, with a virtual option. Families who had not previously chosen the Virtual Learning option will have another chance to do that. Families who choose virtual learning must commit to it for the full semester.
Enrollment for virtual school has been extended. Between July 31 and August 3, families can change their learning option. Those who did not opt for virtual learning can make that choice, and those who chose virtual learning can choose to return into in-person learning.
Masks will be required for all students and staff. The district will have a limited supply of masks for students who don't have them, but families are strongly encouraged to provide masks for students.
Social distancing will be done as much as possible. This will depend to some degree on class size, but schools will do the best they can to promote social distancing, although it may not be a full six feet. Schools will also have the opportunity to use CARES money to get materials specific to that school's needs.
Plans have been made for bus safety. Buses will be loaded back-to-front with students in assigned seats.
There will be no field trips for at least the first nine weeks of school.
Specific guidelines are in place for handling students and teachers who have been exposed to COVID-19. Part of this will depend on the type of contact and for how long ("close contact"). Substitute teachers will be ready in case of teacher becomes ill. Teachers who are required to quarantine due to COVID-19 will be given 10 paid days off before they will have to start using personal sick days.
At this time, temperature screenings will not be on every student every day. A few schools at a time will be selected for this, depending in hot spots. Parents are encouraged to check their childrens' temperature and health every morning and not send students to school if they're sick.
Special student populations, such as those with IEPs and 504 plans, will continue to receive their services if they've chosen in-person education. Those taking the virtual learning option will receive services appropriate to their needs, with special notes in their IEP for 504 plan.
School lunch fees will not increase for the 2020-2021 school year.
No visitors will be allowed on campus for at least the first month of school.
The district is still discussing how to handle sporting and band events that are set to begin at the end of August.
Watch the Limestone County Board of Education meeting here.