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Lee County schools releases “tenative” plan for reopening schools

Lee County schools releases “tenative” plan for reopening schools

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The Lee County school system has announced its plan for the upcoming school year, giving students the option of “traditional,” face-to-face, learning or virtual learning.

Traditional learning students will be welcomed into classrooms Aug. 12. Students who opt for virtual learning will follow the same academic calendar as traditional students and be assigned to a teacher within the school system for their lessons. Virtual students will be considered “enrolled” at their base, “zone,” school.

“We’re working diligently to make (returning to school) a reality,” Lee County Schools Superintendent Mac McCoy said in a video posted to the system’s website. “But in reality, it may look different in some ways. Health and safety protocols, concentrated hygiene practices and social distancing may be part of our procedures for the foreseeable future.”

Virtual learning will be done through a mixture of interactive and independent assignments. Grades K-8 will be using Google Classroom, managed and instructed by one of the system’s teachers. High school virtual-learning students will use the Edgenuity or ACCESS virtual learning systems, with one of the system’s teachers to be assigned to manage, monitor and communicate with each student in the Virtual Classroom.

“We’re working toward the goal of creating options that will safely meet the needs of each family,” McCoy added in the video update. “In keeping with our mission, in the least, we want each student to succeed with integrity, in a safe and supportive environment.”

For traditional students, the school system recommends that everyone on campus wear masks; however, masks must be worn by everyone riding on one of the system’s buses. Face shields will be provided to all employees and students in kindergarten through third grade. Regular masks will also be provided to all students and teachers.

In addition to the masks and face shields, all of the school system’s facilities will have hand sanitizer and disinfectant on hand. All cafeterias now have touchless bottle fillers, with students encouraged to bring reusable water bottles.

“A couple of priorities we’ve made as a school system this summer are to 1.) have a school issued Chromebook device for every student and 2.) to implement consistent communication and learning platforms for all grades,” McCoy said in the video.

Lockers will not be utilized, and there will be signage around the school displaying occupancy, mask usage, traffic flow and social distancing advisories. The system’s overall plan for social distancing is to do so “to the extent possible” each day.

Lunches will be picked up from the lunchroom and eaten in classrooms. Both breakfast and lunch will be grab-and-go in bags, with no self-serving allowed.

Additional information concerning extracurricular activities like athletics, band and clubs will come as the school year progresses.

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