Back to School » Return 2020 Plan

Return 2020 Plan

Return 2020

General Overview


With an abundance of caution, it is the plan of the Tift County School System to open the 2020-2021 school year with face-to-face instruction as well as online learning options. Students will be in the building and participating in traditional school activities. Face-to-face instruction will consist of enhanced measures to ensure student, faculty, and staff safety. In addition to other safety precautions, we will require everyone participating in this option to have a mask that can be utilized when physical distancing is a challenge. However, we understand that this may not be the best option for all students and families. In an effort to offer the best possible learning environment for each student and support our community, we will be offering a online learning option to all students in Grades K-12.



Covid Response Plan

  • Green (Low/No Spread) - Schools are open and will run in a traditional manner following proper precautions. The option to receive instruction online will be available upon request. 
  • Yellow (Minimal/Moderate Spread) - Schools will remain open and follow an alternating day schedule with the Blue Rotation attending school on Monday and Wednesday and the White Rotation attending school on Tuesday and Thursday. On days that students are not at school, they will be receiving instruction through our online learning online platform. Students will work and receive instruction every day of the week (M-F). Siblings in grades K-8 will attend schools on the same days. All efforts will be made to align 9-12 siblings as well. Faculty and staff will report to their assigned school daily.    
  • Red (Substantial Spread) - All schools and facilities are closed and ALL students, faculty and staff will work from home. Students will receive instruction and support online.  Students will be expected to produce work daily in accordance with the school calendar. 
    • In an effort to remain flexible and provide for the safety of everyone involved, it is possible that individual groups such as a classroom, grade level, or school may be in a red designation independent from the rest of the system.

 

Tift County Schools, working in partnership with our local health officials, understand the need for our schools to be operational during the 20-21 school year. It is our intention to be responsive to our community and serve it in a manner that puts a priority on the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community as a whole. In an effort to accomplish these goals, we will be in frequent communication with hospital representatives and regional Department of Health officials to evaluate our current data and determine mitigation measures appropriate at the time.

 

We will monitor each school closely for any school-based spread and respond accordingly. It is possible that an individual classroom or school could fall into separate categories. We will be working closely with the Department of Health and other local health officials to make determinations of when it would be imperative to have quarantines in place regardless of the category designation of our system as a whole.




Precautions-Protocols/Procedures


Facilities

  • Daily sanitizing of facilities including classrooms.
  • Electrostatic machines will be used to perform deep sanitizing and disinfecting. 
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be installed throughout all schools.
  • Physical distancing floor decals will be installed in select areas throughout the facilities.
  • Evaluation and removal of building furnishing, where possible, to help provide for physical distancing.

Bussing

  • All bus occupants will be required to wear masks while on buses traveling to and from schools.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be installed on each bus.
  • Electrostatic machines will be used to perform deep sanitizing and disinfecting. 
  • Bus drivers will be provided disinfectant/sanitizer to use daily.

Nutrition

  • All staff will be required to wear masks while preparing meals, serving meals, and in the meal preparation area.  
  • There will be hand sanitizer stations throughout the kitchen areas.
  • Glove changing and constant wipe down of high touch areas will be required by all cafeteria staff.
  • Individual schools will have custom designed plans for breakfast and lunch service.  School Nutrition will be preparing meals for each student in attendance for the school day.
  • Signage and markings will be at each entrance of the cafeteria and throughout the service area.
  • No visitors will be allowed in the meal preparation area or behind the serving lines.
  • Ice Machines will not be accessible. Ice cups will be provided upon request. (no self service items will be available)
  • All meals will be prepackaged.  Milk will be available upon request.
  • Meals will be provided to our distance learners upon request.
  • No keypads or POS systems will be used.  All students will be by tally or bar scans on excel rosters.

Schools

  • Each school will plan daily routines and procedures with physical distancing in mind. These daily routines and procedures will include, but are not limited to, the following: classroom instruction, breakfast and lunch, car dropoff and pickup, bus drop off and pickup, class exchanges, recess, bathroom breaks, etc….. At times when physical distancing is a challenge, students will be required to wear masks.

Positive COVID Cases Protocols


Students and Staff


Positive COVID Cases Protocols- We will use the most current guidance from the DPH and GADOE to make decisions. Based on current guidance from the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), the following procedures will be implemented for students and staff.  (Note: All confirmed cases must be reported to Mr. Dobard).


  • No symptoms or direct exposure- proceed to work and implement preventive practices (physical distancing, wear a face covering if the employee or student cannot implement physical distancing, wash hands on a regular basis and sanitize the work area when appropriate).

  • Direct exposure, no symptoms- follow current guidance given by the Department of Public Health and GaDOE.

  • Direct exposure, at least 1 symptom- must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.  At least 24 hours (per current DPH guidelines) must pass without the use of fever reducing medication prior to the end of the quarantine period. A negative test result not recommended for return per the DPH.

  • Confirmed COVID-19, no symptoms- must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and remain asymptomatic during the quarantine period.  At least 24 hours (per current DPH guidelines) must pass without the use of fever reducing medication prior to the end of the quarantine period. A negative test result not recommended for return per the DPH.

  • Confirmed COVID-19 with symptoms- must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days beginning when symptoms first appeared.  May return after 24 hours (per current DPH guidelines) have passed leading up to the end of the quarantine period and fever reducing medication was not used.  In addition, improvement in the respiratory system (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) is required for return.  A negative test result not recommended for return per DPH.

  • All employees of the Tift County School System are considered essential workers (both full-time and part-time) and have access to COVID related sick leave days provided by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).  Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of COVID related sick leave and part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours normally worked over a two week period.  COVID sick days must be exhausted before the implementation of regular sick leave.  Administrators are encouraged to accommodate employees as much as possible, especially if the employee is able to work from home while quarantined and not having to utilize the sick days. 

Instruction (Face-to-Face and Online)


K-5 Instruction


Face-to-Face- Students will be participating in traditional classroom and enrichment activities.Teachers will be making more room available in their classrooms to allow for physical distancing. Masks will be worn when physical distancing is a challenge and other health precautions will also be adhered to. Teachers will be utilizing Google Classroom to present instruction and assignments.


Online Learning- Students can enroll in online learning and will be instructed using the Google Classroom platform and engage in online learning activities. Families opting for online learning will make their decision one nine-week period at a time. Scheduled google meetings with educators employed with Tift County School System will be available weekly for students. Students are present for the learning when google meets are attended and online learning activities are completed.  Students will be assessed for mastery of essential standards. Students engage in learning using their issued laptop; however, the family must supply the internet access.

 

6-8 Instruction


Face-to-Face- In the face-to-face classroom environment, students receive instruction from educators employed by Tift County Schools in classes with their peers. Students are able to enroll in the usual course offerings for grades 6-8 and high school credit courses. Teachers use available programs and technological tools, such as Google Classroom, Illuminate, Istation, USA Testprep, and Edgenuity, to design, deliver, and assess student learning. Students engage in learning activities using their laptops and materials provided in the classroom.



Online Learning. Families opting for online learning will make their decision one nine-week period at a time and have two options to choose from: Edgenuity or Google Classroom. Students will work towards mastering the same learning targets as students in the face-to-face learning environment. Students engage in learning using their school issued device; however, the family must supply the internet access.


  • Edgenuity - Students can enroll in Tift Academy and engage in work arranged by teachers employed by the Tift County School System. They are expected to work in a self-paced environment. Facilitators and academic tutors are available to assist students with unlocking assignments and explaining content and assignments, respectively. Instruction within Edgenuity consists of video lessons that explain the content and learning activities that provide opportunities for practice, extensions, and critical thinking. 

  • Google Classroom/Google Meet - Students can enroll in the Google Classroom option and engage in online learning activities with educators employed with Tift County School System and their peers. Instruction is the same as face-to-face learning. Students are encouraged to view the live stream of the learning; however, recorded lessons will be available for viewing later. Students are marked present when he or she completes and submits the assignments for the day.

9-12 Instruction


Face-to-Face. In the face-to-face classroom environment, students receive instruction from educators employed by Tift County Schools in classes with their peers. Students are able to enroll in the usual course offerings for grades 9-12 and dual enrollment credit courses. Teachers use available programs and technological tools, such as Google Classroom, Illuminate, Membean, USA Testprep, and Edgenuity, to design, deliver, and assess student learning. Students engage in learning activities using their laptops and materials provided in the classroom. 


Online Learning. Families opting for the online learning will have two options to choose from: Edgenuity or Google Classroom one semester at a time. Students will work towards mastering the same learning targets as students in the face-to-face learning environment. Students engage in learning using their issued laptop; however, the family must supply the internet access.


  • Edgenuity - Students can enroll in Tift Academy and engage in work arranged by teachers employed by the Tift County School System. They are expected to work in a self-paced environment. Facilitators and academic tutors are available to assist students with unlocking assignments and explaining content and assignments, respectively. Instruction within Edgenuity consists of video lessons that explain the content and learning activities that provide opportunities for practice, extensions, and critical thinking. 

  • Google Classroom/Google Meet - Students can enroll in the Google Classroom option and engage in online learning activities with educators employed with Tift County School System and their peers. Instruction is the same as face-to-face learning. Students are encouraged to view the live stream of the learning; however, recorded lessons will be available for viewing later. Students are marked present when he or she completes  and submits the assignments for the day.






SPED Instruction


  • Face to Face - Students participating in the traditional school face-to-face setting will receive special education services in accordance with their Individualized Education Program. (IEP). Students with disabilities will continue to have access to the general curriculum and services will be agreed upon by the IEP committee. In the face-to-face setting, each student's IEP will address the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and the impact of that child’s disability on his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. 

  • Physical distancing while in school (classrooms, small group settings, school based therapies)  Physical distancing will be recommended in classroom and therapy settings. Attempts to meet physical distancing guidelines may require creative solutions and case-by-case decisions will be made to ensure the safety of students with disabilities.

Special education teachers will set up classroom furniture to promote physical distancing.  Strategies including physical structure and visual supports will be implemented, taught, and reinforced for students to understand the physical distancing requirements. For example, a classroom may have visual boundaries with floor tape, foot prints, or arrows directing children.  Special education teachers will use teaching strategies including physical stories, role playing, and kinesthetic learning tools to understand physical distancing procedures. Special education teachers will limit whole group learning models where physical distancing is unable to be effectively maintained. 


  • Masks and Students with Disabilities -  Masks will be required when physical distancing is a challenge. Students will be required to wear a mask when riding the school bus however, there may be specific student needs including students with physical disabilities or medical conditions that prevent them from safely wearing a mask.

Teachers and therapists will be required to wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge.


  • Physical contact safety precautions for students with physical disabilities who require transfer/toileting assistance - Special education teachers /paraprofessionals will wear personal protective equipment including disposable gloves and masks during all wheelchair transfers for transfer and toileting needs. Universal precautions will be followed including hand washing, wearing personal protective equipment, and proper disposal procedures. Sanitizing procedures will be in place to ensure changing stations are clean and safe.

  • Hygiene Routines - Frequent hand washing routines and/or the use hand sanitizer will be implemented into the school day. Special education teachers will implement effective physical distancing procedures for their students to ensure safe hand washing practices. Students will be taught the routine of sneezing/ coughing using tissue, disposing of tissue, and then completing a handwashing sequence to promote good hygiene practices. 

  • Online Learning - IEP teams will meet to develop an individualized online learning plan. All special education and related services will be determined by the IEP team. Students with disabilities will have access to the general curriculum as appropriate.

  • Distance Learning Plans - The teacher, parent, and student will be actively involved in implementing distance learning. Teachers, parents, related service providers, and students will have a specific action plan to promote optimal learning.

  • Special Education and Related Services - Services such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech, etc. will be provided if the IEP team determines these services are required to meet the individual students' needs and can be done safely. Therapy frequencies and delivery models may be different from the traditional school setting.

Attendance


A student will be counted present if he/she attends school and/or accesses the online platform and actively participates in the learning for the day. 


Extra-Curricular Activities


We understand the importance extracurricular activities play in the overall educational experience of our students. We also know physical distancing will be an even greater challenge for these groups. We will adhere to all  guidance given by the associations that govern  athletic and academic events. We will also make every effort to provide a healthy and safe environment for those groups not governed by an association while still allowing for the activity to take place.