The Board of Trustees concluded the Oxford School District will open schools on August 10, 2020 with a traditional schedule. Online Learning will be available for students whose parents determine that the student cannot yet resume face-to-face instruction.
Policy EBDCC: Temporary Modification of Procedures for 2020-2021 School Year
In light of the continued national and statewide State of Emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees of the Oxford School District adopts this policy implementing temporary modifications to school procedures for the 2020-2021 school year.
The Mississippi Department of Education’s Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools suggests school districts may plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year by preparing to implement a traditional schedule in which students are physically present in school, a virtual schedule in which all instruction is provided through distance learning, or a hybrid schedule which combines traditional and virtual schedules to maximize opportunities for social distancing. The Board has concluded the Oxford School District will open schools on time with a traditional schedule. A virtual schedule will also be available for students whose parents determine that the student cannot yet resume face-to-face instruction.
The Superintendent convened a School Reopening Committee on June 5 and 12 to consider safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Mississippi Department of Health and to recommend temporary modifications to school procedures. The Board adopts the Committee’s recommendations, which include the following measures:
- Screening protocols.
Daily temperature checks will be required for all students and staff. Age appropriate screening questions will be asked each day. Students and staff should not come to school if they have a fever (defined as a temperature of 100.0 degrees or above) or have displayed other symptoms of COVID-19. If a student or staff member is found to have a fever while at school, they will be referred to the school nurse for evaluation. Students who are sent to school knowingly sick may be sent home for up to ten school days for evaluation. The District will enact protocols to ensure that students and staff stay home when sick and are promptly sent home if they arrive at school sick or develop fever or other symptoms while at school.
- Restricted visitors.
Visitors will not be able to enter school buildings except as deemed necessary by school principals.
- Face coverings.
Because it is not feasible to expect students and staff to maintain the CDC-recommended physical distance of six feet at all times, face coverings will be required to enter all school buildings, in common areas, and on school buses. Students in pre-K through sixth grade will be able to remove their face coverings in their classrooms at the discretion of the teacher based on student activity. Students in seventh through twelfth grade may remove face coverings where six feet of physical distance can be maintained. Staff will be required to wear face covering at all times. Face coverings are not required for those listed in exclusions B, C, E, F, G, H and I in Executive Order 1517, revised on August 17, 2020.
- Large gatherings and common spaces.
Large assemblies, gatherings, and field trips will be suspended during school hours. Meals will be served inside classrooms and/or school cafeterias when social distancing is possible. Secondary students will be encouraged, where possible, to change classes using exterior routes.
- Full-time virtual learning.
Parents will be able to choose full-time virtual instruction during the 2020-2021 school year if they do not feel safe sending their child to school or they do not want their child to wear a face covering. Any student required to stay home because of illness will be able to transition to a full-time virtual schedule while at home and transition back to a traditional schedule once cleared to return to school.
- Health awareness and education.
Students and staff will receive education on physical distancing, use of face coverings, personal hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection.
- Temporary closures.
The superintendent may temporarily close one or more schools for appropriate cleaning and planning if he determines daily student attendance has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 infections for three consecutive school days. The superintendent may also close one or more schools if there are three or more outbreaks within a fourteen-day period. An outbreak is defined as three or more students testing positive within a class or grouping within a fourteen-day period. All students affected by such a temporary closure would transition to a full-time virtual schedule until the school reopens. All measures outlined in this policy are temporary and subject to further review and change based on information received from local, state, and federal officials. The superintendent and designees will continue to monitor available data including local case counts, hospital readiness, and trends over time. The superintendent shall also have the authority to make changes to these procedures based on emergent changing conditions, subject to review by the Board.
Policy Adopted: June 29, 2020.
Policy Last Revised: July 27, 2020.
- Screening protocols.