Oconee County Schools plans for in-person instruction this fall

Oconee County Schools announced via an email to parents and students today that it is planning for in-person instruction starting August 5th.

Below is a copy of the email with further details:

Dear OCS Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we prepare for Fall 2020. Today, Oconee County Schools is excited to announce that we plan to open for in-person instruction on Wednesday, August 5. In addition, a distance/digital learning option will be made available for students. We cannot wait to welcome our students back this fall and look forward to continuing to work within state guidelines to provide a safe and engaging learning experience.

Please see the information below which provides more details about instructional models and safety protocols for Fall 2020. After reviewing this information, we ask that families fill out a non-binding survey to share your plans regarding transportation and instructional preferences.

Families will be asked to make an official commitment regarding in-person or digital learning plans via another form that will be sent out on July 7.

Enhanced Safety ProtocolsTo mitigate the spread of infection and viruses, the following measures will be put in place:

  • Staff and students are agreeing that by virtue of coming to school, they do not have a fever above 100.3 and do not have any symptoms of illness.
  • A washable mask will be provided to all staff and students. 
  • All staff will be required to wear masks when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Students will also be encouraged to wear masks.
  • All bus riders will be required to wear masks.
  • Social distancing will occur when possible.
  • Enhanced hand-washing and sanitizing protocols will be in place.
  • School buildings and playgrounds will be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis. 
  • Student numbers will be reduced in the cafeteria during breakfast/lunch.
  • Outside visitors will be limited and will be required to have their temperatures taken and answer a series of questions regarding potential COVID-19 exposure.

Learning Models

  • Regardless of the learning model chosen, students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • For those choosing in-person learning, school will take place on a regular Monday through Friday schedule unless there is a significant increase in COVID-19 spread. 
  • Depending on the level of increased spread, a hybrid learning model or systemwide distance/digital learning model may be utilized. If a hybrid learning model is used, students will report to school two days per week and participate in distance/digital learning the remaining three days. One group of students will attend on Monday and Tuesday and the other group will attend on Thursday and Friday. 
  • For students who choose to begin the semester with a distance/digital learning model, middle/high school students must commit to the entire Fall semester. Elementary students must commit to 9 weeks at a time.
  • Distance/digital learning will look different than during the Spring 2020 COVID-19 school closure. The expectations and rigor will mirror in-person instruction, and distance/digital students will have a full school day Monday-Friday.
  • For middle and high school students choosing to begin the semester with distance/digital learning, the school system is planning to utilize Georgia Virtual School and Edgenuity. 
  • For elementary school students choosing to begin the semester with distance/digital learning, the school system is developing different models. The number of students requesting distance/digital learning will determine which model is utilized.
  • There will be a significant commitment needed by parents/guardians to facilitate distance/digital learning.

As a reminder, please make sure you fill out this survey regarding your plans for the Fall. The survey window is open until Sunday, July 5.

Once again, we appreciate your assistance and your thoughts as we all work together to support our students, community, and each other. Stay safe!Sincerely,

Jason L. Branch, Ph.D.Superintendent

Logan Booker

Logan Booker

Logan graduated from the Grady Sports program in the University of Georgia's Grady School of Journalism. He has been with 960 The Ref since 2016. Logan has covered UGA Sports for various local media outlets since 2013, and often serves as backup PA announcer for the UGA softball and volleyball teams.

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