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Lincoln County schools announce new school year guidelines

The Lincoln County School District has announced guidelines for the upcoming school year.

On Monday, the LCSD board met for its regularly scheduled meeting to discuss what plan would be put in place for students returning in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Their final decision was announced Wednesday.

“We are preparing to begin school under circumstances none of us have ever faced before,” Superintendent David Martin wrote in a release.

With the effects of COVID-19, changes had to be made to the school’s operations in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This is why face-to-face and at-home learning options have been made available.

“Our district has approximately 3,000 students, 400 employees and thousands of supporters. Do we have a single answer that is perfect for everyone and every situation? No we do not. However, we have what we believe will work best for most; and hopefully working together, we can create a plan that does work for everyone.”

Any dates on a school’s calendar of events are subjected to change. These will be made in regard to state guidelines.

Registration for the school district will take place the week of July 27. New and returning students must register and must indicate whether they will participate in traditional or at-home learning.

On Aug. 6-7, each school will have approximately 50% of their students return on Thursday and the other 50% will return on Friday. Individual schools will set criteria for how this will operate. This will be announced by July 31.

On Aug. 10, all students participating in traditional learning will return to their respective schools. Parents who chose the at-home learning option for their children will receive more information on this day.

All schools will have modified sanitation practices. Campuses will implement procedures to sanitize all classrooms, hallways and restrooms, along with common areas. Classrooms with rotations will be cleaned in between classes.

All students riding school buses must wear masks. Buses will be sanitized after each route is completed. Parent drop off and pickup is encouraged.

Students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classrooms. If possible, lower elementary students will eat their meals in the cafeteria. The cafeteria staff at each school will be implementing additional sanitation procedures.

As for recess and breaks, these will be minimized to minimize large gatherings of students in a single area.

In classrooms, social distancing guidelines will be followed. If a classroom is unable to follow guidelines due to classroom size or number of students, masks will then be required.

For students completing at-home learning, instructional videos will be provided along with paper assignment packets to be returned by the due date. These students will be required to visit campus at various times throughout the semester to complete proctored tests in a secluded area.

The formula to calculate these student’s averages has not been decided upon yet. The district will be unable to provide devices for students participating in at-home learning. These students must have an appropriate device that is not a phone, a printer and scanner, along with high-speed internet.

For sports and other activities, schools must follow guidelines set by the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Students who participate in at-home learning will not be eligible to participate in any sports or activities and clubs offered at their respective campus.

For more information, contact the Lincoln County School District at 601-835-0011 or your respective school’s administrative team.