The start of the Cherokee County School year is set to begin on August 19th for students. Superintendent of Education Mitchell Guice made an announcement during the school boards regular meeting on Tuesday evening at the Career & Technology Center. Guice did say that as quickly as new decisions are made and information released, it is subject to change at any moment.
Mr. Guice said that guidance from the State Department of Education, State Department of Public Health and input from each of the eight local schools would the driving factor in making decisions going forward
The board has approved two additional part time employees per school to assist with cleaning and sanitizing. Additionally, the board approved the purchase of cleaning/sanitizing equipment and will be providing training on how to clean and sanitize each school in order to keep them as safe as possible for faculty, staff and students going forward.
Two basic education programs will be offered for students; traditional and virtual. Guice said that it will be up to parents to decide which program will best meet the educational, health, social and emotional needs for your child.
The traditional program will be where students come to school as normal to take their classes in person from a teacher, as circumstances change there could be changes to the traditional program. The state is providing online course work for students this year if you opt for the virtual program. Guice stressed that this option will be more rigorous and require more time and effort for students, this will not be the same virtual program that was implemented at the end of the school year last year. Once a student enters the virtual program, they will have to remain in the virtual program until the end of the grading period.
There will be more information forthcoming regarding the application process for the virtual program.
Guice asked that parents join local school officials in talking with your students on how to properly sanitized and wash their hands during the school day, how to maintain proper social distancing and reminding them to cover their cough or sneeze with their sleeve or a tissue. Mr. Guice said that it is recomended that students wear masks or face coverings when proper social distancing can not be maintained during such times as being on the bus, group work in class or in the hallway during class changes. Students will be spaced out during class as much as possible throughout the school day.
School buses will be sanitized and cleaned between routes. Students will be asked to wear a mask or face covering on buses and will be separated as much as possible, members of the same family will be asked to sit together. Parents will still be allowed to drive their children to school.
There will be as few students as possible allowed in the cafeteria in order to maintain proper social distancing. Guice said that some schools may have students that eat in the classroom depending on the needs of the individual school. Lunch tables will be cleaned and sanitized between groups of students.
The number of visitors allowed on campus will be limited each day. Checkouts will still be done in person and parents can contact the school to schedule meetings with the staff, meetings can be over the phone, in person or virtual. Proper social distancing must be maintained for in person meetings.
Guice asked that everyone do their part in making sure that there are no sick students in our schools.
Keep your child home if they have a fever of 100.4 or higher. If you have no explanation for the child’s high fever or other symptoms such as cough, congestion, shortness of breath or stomach problems have your child tested. If students are not feeling well while at school, encourage them to let someone know so they can be seen by the school nurse.
Mr. Guice said that he appreciates everyone’s patience and cooperation and reminds that the above guidelines could and likely would change as we approach the start of the upcoming school year.