Wilson County Schools announced the school structure plans for 2020-2021 as the district continues navigating education in the midst of the pandemic.
With the first official day of the new academic year set to start on Aug. 3, 2020, the district has announced that a return to the upcoming school year will be in the form of “traditional.” However, a virtual teaching and learning option will be available for families who choose to pursue that path for their children enrolled in the district.
The “traditional plan” will see numerous modifications compared to a pre-pandemic traditional school day. Among those enhanced modifications include temperature checks upon school building entry, isolation of symptomatic individuals, symptom questions to start the day and symptom awareness lessons throughout the opening week of school.
The district also said plans are currently being devised by individual schools to reduce usual larger crowding time periods. For example, waiting periods before first classes of the day, changing of class periods, lunch periods, recess modifications and end of day dismissals. All of these usually high concentrated student populated situations will be reduced based on precautionary plans created around the various layouts of the schools.
Face coverings/guards will be required for teachers and staff if their tasks requires them to be within 6 feet of students. While face coverings/guards will not be required for students in the classroom, it will be strongly encouraged. Face coverings/guards will be required to ride a school bus. The district will release more thorough details of these measures in the coming week.
The virtual option will be available for K-12 students and the enrollment process will begin on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, through the Skyward portal that’s available for students and families.
Enrollment for the virtual option will be valid through the entire first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. Virtual options beyond this calendar year will be revealed by the district in November. Complete details on the virtual option and course offerings will be available on website link below this week, and also available for families during the online registration process.
Details on the virtual option and course offerings will be available on the district’s website at www.wcschools.com/readysetconnect/. This communications hub will be updated often with added information and content to better prepare teachers, students and staff.
The deadline to register for the virtual option will be Friday, July 17, 2020.
Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright said the district has paid attention to what has been shared by the parents and the community. The uncertainty caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led many to wonder about how students will return to school, but Wright said the district will only continue to improve in its efforts to provide quality education for all.
“We’re navigating a new world right now,” said Wright. “It’s one that all we do is get better at it.”
Wright said that health and safety experts indicate another uptick in coronavirus cases may occur in the fall, but the district has full confidence in what they can provide and offer its students and faculty.
“We’ll be prepared to make sure there’s not an absence of instruction however it might be provided,” said Wright. “So we’re trying to look at everything without compromising what we need to provide for our students, but also to make sure that we take care of our staff and our employees as well.”