Using the slogan “Welcome whom where you belong,” the superintendent in Baker County is expecting to open all three of the district’s schools Aug. 10 with screening of students and adults and guidelines for school buses and classrooms.
“After much prayer, consideration, and consultation with stakeholders across the state of Florida, we have made some decisions regarding the reopening of schools in the fall, “ Sherrie Raulerson posted on the district’s website. “I believe that face to face instruction with our quality teachers and staff is the best education that we can provide for our precious children.”
The district posted a document of health and safety guidelines developed in cooperation with the county’s department of health that includes:
SCREENING AT HOME
- Prior to sending children to school via the bus, walking or parent drop-off, it is highly recommended that families take temperatures daily. Any person with a fever of 100.0° F or higher should not go to a school site.
- Students and adults should also screen themselves for respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath prior to coming to school each day. Students and adults experiencing those symptoms should not attend school.
GENERAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
- Students will travel on buses that include assigned seats and the use of hand sanitizer. Students will have the option to wear a face mask.
- Schools will follow appropriate disinfection procedures and guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, workspaces and common areas.
- Physical distancing will be implemented when feasible throughout the school day. Schools will use directional signage and signs encouraging social distancing.
- All students and staff will be encouraged to wash and clean their hands regularly throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will be made available in all classrooms and common areas where handwashing stations are not present.
ON CAMPUS AND IN THE CLASSROOM
- Physical distancing is not always feasible when on a school campus, especially in grades with younger students. To help limit the spread of the virus, schools will consider the following strategies to maintain smaller groups of students in shared spaces:
- Keep students in cohort groups when possible.
- Serve meals in smaller group settings and various locations throughout the campus.
- Space desks further apart and facing the same direction when feasible.
- Stagger lunches, recesses, and other transition times.
- Identify a sick room for students who are not feeling well to minimize contact with others until a parent/guardian is notified for pick up.
- Students will have the option to wear a face mask.
Baker County’s reopening plan was approved by the Florida Department of Education on July 30.