COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – The school district in Columbia County on Tuesday became the latest district to unveil a back-to-school plan for this fall.
Columbia County Schools emphasized that the plans are fluid and subject to change as the district tries to figure out how to safely resume learning this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In Columbia County, there will be two options for parents to choose and one that may be decided at the state or district level.
Students can return to traditional campus instruction with modifications, including the use of current CDC guidelines regarding social distancing which may be tailored for specific situations, including transportation and classroom size.
Masks will be encouraged but not required, according to the district’s plan.
Students can also choose to receive virtual instruction daily from a Columbia County Schools teacher with the option to return to that class or classes in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting on an agreed-upon date.
“This option provides families flexibility to continue virtual instruction at home with the ability to rejoin the student’s class when comfortable doing so,” the district wrote in reopening plans.
In a third option, full-time distance learning, all students work from home the entire time. Distance Learning Work packets will be provided to students who need them, though the goal is to increase the focus on virtual/digital learning through Google Classroom, the district said.
Each school will begin contacting parents the week of July 13 to determine parents’ choice.
Classes are scheduled to resume Aug. 10.
The district will hold a healthy child workshop led by healthcare officials for parents at the school board auditorium on July 21. It will be streamed live for those parents unable to attend.
Other highlights of the plan:
- Start times for elementary may be staggered during first week.
- Beginning August 10, 2020, all schools will be on a “closed campus” schedule. No parents, volunteers or visitors will be allowed on campus unless they have an appointment. This includes not walking students to their classrooms during the first week(s) of school.
- All classrooms will have desks spaced out and furniture will be removed or rearranged to create as much space between students as possible.
- Water fountains will be off or covered.
- No out of county trips except FHSAA sanctioned events during the first nine weeks.
- Parents are encouraged to transport their children to school.