Hattiesburg Public School District delays start of school year

Dr. Eddie Holloway was nominated to the Hattiesburg School District's Board of Trustees.
Dr. Eddie Holloway was nominated to the Hattiesburg School District's Board of Trustees.(WDAM)
Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:06 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Public School District Board of Trustees approved a revised return plan Tuesday in which students will not return to classrooms for in-person learning for the first three weeks of the year.

The revised plan pushes the school year’s start date back a week to Aug. 17. The first phase of the return will no longer incorporate traditional and hybrid school schedules.

The announcement comes a day after Gov. Tate Reeves signed an executive order delaying the start of the school year for seventh through 12th grade students in Forrest County and seven other counties.

Under the revised HPSD plan, all students pre-K through 12th grade will learn remotely from Aug. 17 to Sept. 4 using online and distance learning.

Schools will begin in-person learning from Sept. 8 until Oct. 19 using a hybrid schedule in which students alternate days at school depending on the student’s last name.

During the first phase, students will learn remotely through one or more of the following methods:

  • Asynchronous learning: Students will learn online at their own pace. Interactions with teachers will not be live and may be pre-recorded.
  • Synchronous learning: Students will learn online live with the teacher and other students.
  • Blended learning: Students will use a combination of both online and face-to-face activities. Students may have online assignments one day and meet in person on other days.
  • Learning packets: Students will learn with paper packets of assignments to be completed and returned to school for grading.

Superintendent Robert Williams included the following statement in a letter to families:

“Tiger Family, we apologize for any inconveniences, but please know that our commitment to our families is one in which safety is a top priority. Please be mindful that circumstances are constantly changing and that all plans are subject to change. We appreciate your support and willingness to adjust as we work together to make the best, most informed health, safety, and academic decisions for our students, staff, and community.”

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