• 66°

Schools statewide adjust plans for new school year

Schools all over the country are readjusting to meet new demands on students, teachers, families and facilities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools in Brookhaven, and Lincoln and Lawrence counties are no exception.

State law requires schools to operate 180 days each school year, with the ability to waive up to 10 days, but school years must end by June 30.

The State Board of Education cannot direct school opening plans, but based on the March 14 State of Emergency Proclamation, Gov. Tate Reeves has the authority to temporarily suspend or modify laws, rules and policies to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gov. Reeves and the Mississippi Department of Education asked school districts to submit their plans to MDE earlier this summer, to demonstrate how each district planned to offer instruction to students and keep health and safety a priority.

Brookhaven, Lincoln County and Lawrence County were among the school districts that submitted plans prior to July 31.

Complete plans can be found on the Mississippi Department of Education’s website — https://www.mdek12.org/ — for all schools that submitted plans for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

Beginning dates

• Brookhaven School District plans to begin Aug. 31.

• Lincoln County School District will begin Aug. 10.

• Lawrence County School District will begin Aug. 10.

Brookhaven School District

School is scheduled to begin Aug. 31 with a traditional schedule, converting to a hybrid schedule if necessary. If the district or schools have to close due to an outbreak, a blended combination of packets and virtual instruction will be implemented, to provide options for homes that do not have reliable internet access.

The curriculum will not change and attendance will be monitored by the learning management system.

Regular bus routes with reduced student capacity will be utilized — windows open, masks on bus, cleaning schedule, seating arrangement based on loading/unloading order. Masks must be worn by all students and adults while being transported and while on campus.

Students will pick up meals in the cafeteria and bring them to the classrooms to eat. Pick-up lunches will be provided on hybrid schedule days.

Fall semester will end Dec. 18. The spring semester will begin Jan. 4 and conclude June 11.

Students with underlying health issues have been encouraged to take advantage of the home learning system that will be provided. Any employees with underlying health issues have been asked to notify the district of any needs and concerns. Any needed adjustments will be handled by the district.

Athletic practices and activities are being monitored daily by the district’s athletic director. The band has a comprehensive plan for practice activities and classroom maintenance. Choir will have a reduction in numbers until further notice.

Contact persons are Danny Rushing, Rob McCreary, Christy Sheppard and Nancy Wallace at 601-833-6661, brookhavenschools.org.

Lincoln County

School will begin in person on Aug. 10 with traditional, virtual and hybrid schedules.

If the district or schools have to close due to an outbreak, a blended combination of packets and virtual instruction will be implemented, to provide options for homes that do not have reliable internet access. The district is working on purchasing required equipment for students to be able to use a school device at home.

Attendance will be taken via student progress on daily assignments, established learning goals and assignment completion.

Regular bus routes with reduced student capacity will be utilized — windows open, masks on bus, cleaning schedule, seating arrangement based on loading/unloading order. Masks must be worn by all students and adults while being transported and while on campus.

Meals will be provided in the common spaces with common sense social spacing.

Superintendent David Martin is the contact person at 601-835-0011, http://lcsd.k12.ms.us.

Lawrence County

School will begin Aug. 10.

LCSD’s traditional plan will consist of an enhanced traditional school schedule in which all students will report to school as normal for grade K-8. Grades 9-12 will return on a hybrid schedule.

Seniors, juniors and sophomores will each be divided into two groups alphabetically. Group A will attend on-campus classes Mondays and Thursdays,

Group B will attend Tuesdays and Fridays. On the other weekdays, students will attend virtually and complete/submit assignments via Canvas.

Freshmen will attend virtually on Wednesdays and complete/submit assignments via Canvas, attending in-person on other weekdays.

Attendance will be monitored by learning management system and one-on-one teacher-student contact, as well as via student progress on daily assignments, established learning goals and assignment completion.

Regular bus routes with reduced student capacity will be utilized — windows open, masks on bus, cleaning schedule with an established seating order. Masks must be worn by all students and adults while being transported and by adults while on campus.

Meals will be provided to students in their classrooms. Grab and go meals will be provided for those in the distance learning option.

Contact persons are Rusty Rutland and Kelsey Lambert at 601-587-2506, www.lawrence.k12.ms.us.