Mississippi Department of Education working on strategies to reopen schools
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Education is teaming up with 9 superintendents from across the state to figure out what issues need to be addressed before the start of the next school year.
An online document titled ‘Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools’ outlines several topics the group will consider over the next three months.
The areas of focus include:
- Academic Programming
- Family and Community Support
- Health and Safety
- Technology/Learning Management Systems
The considerations made from those strategies are expected to be used as a starting point for district leaders and will be updated every 3 months.
The documents list 3 reopening options for Mississippi schools which include the possibility of a traditional schedule, hybrid scheduling, and the continuation of virtual learning.
Traditional schedule considerations include:
- Daily screening protocols
- Transportation adjustments
- Routine disinfectant protocols
- Consider keeping students static and moving teachers to limit interactions and assist with contact tracing
- Create plan for serving students and adjusting duties for staff who cannot return to the building due to health issues
- Limit student movement and restrict gatherings in buildings to achieve social distancing guidelines
Hybrid schedule considerations include:
- A/B Days - Student population is divided in half, with each half reporting to school on alternating days and participating in distance learning during days scheduled at home. Fridays could be used for tutorials/special populations/professional development.
- Elementary Face-to-Face & Secondary Distance Learning - Elementary students attend four full days a week, spread out across buildings to reduce the student-teacher ratio to support social distancing. Secondary students would complete work through distance learning.
- Elementary Face-to-Face & Secondary A/B Days - Combination of the two models above with the goal of reducing the number of students in the schools each day to achieve social distancing guidelines.
Virtual consideration considerations include:
- Sufficient internet bandwidth
- Mitigation of the digital divide among families
- Implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS) and developed curriculum content
- Training for teachers on instruction in a virtual environment
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