Lamar County School District approves reopening plan

Lamar County School District discusses reopening plans

LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Lamar County School Board has voted on a proposed plan to reopen schools in the fall.

“People have had to make some difficult decisions, and I get that,” said Superintendent Tess Smith. “We’ve done everything we can to work with our stake holders. I had a parent group and a teacher group that worked with me as well as district committees and even worked with local doctors.”

Smith said the proposed plan includes several changes, such as encouraging masks on school buses, having at home temperature checks before coming to school and trying to social distance as much as possible.

“We recommend they wear a mask when they are in motion or close contact with each other,” Smith said. “We’re going to make every effort to socially distance while in the building. Doing that through traffic flow, not eating in the cafeteria, maintain student groups as much as possible to keep the contact down.”

The district is also offering at home learning options for those who choose to not return.

“We surveyed our parents and our staff, and over 77% wanted to return to a traditional setting while right at 22% said they wanted the online option,” Smith said. “Those fifth grade and below would have an actual teacher that would interact with them online though Google Meet and other means. The older students would revert to an online learning platform called Edgenuity that is designed by Course. They would still have their traditional teacher in the school building, but they would just work on their coursework at home.”

Smith said she and her team are doing their best to make the reopening process safe for staff and students.

“Our plan isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we can offer,” Smith said. “I just want parents to have as much information as they possibly can before they make their decision when registering their child. Whether it be virtually or in person.”

The district will be sending out detailed information to parents and staff on Tuesday. Registration also begins on Tuesday.

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