Education news

Walker County public schools plan to open August 13. The system’s website is rich with information to help parents navigate the beginning of this most unusual school year.

A WCS webpage provides six documents regarding the reopening of school, from details about sanitation and social distancing to action steps to take under various circumstances. There is a frequently asked questions document for parents, as well as a survey they can take to let the system know about their choices and concerns.

Four of the documents are provided in Spanish and two in Russian.

Walker schools are following state guidelines for reopening.

Guidelines say that parents should check their child’s temperature before heading for school. If it is 100.4 degrees or above, students should not come to school, and likewise for teachers and other school personnel.

There are COVID-19 rules for riding on buses, car riders and walkers, student drivers, entering school, time in classrooms, using restrooms, drinking water, eating, using locker rooms and weight rooms, changing classes, recess, after-school programs, extra-curricular activities, visitors and group activities.

Teachers are urged to reinforce proper hygiene measures throughout the day (handwashing, covering coughs/sneezes, and face coverings), discourage the sharing of personal belongings and make sure students use hand sanitizer frequently.

School facilities, equipment and buses will be sanitized on a regular basis.

Students, the website says, will be told to report to the nurse if they feel ill. Children and adults with COVID-like symptoms will be sent home.

The website features a “decision tree” — a chart that leads people through the steps they should take if they feel ill, if they test positive for COVID-19 and when they can return to school.

The site also features an application for online learning for those uncomfortable with in-person schooling. The deadline to apply is July 30, but the site says that if parents change their minds after the deadline, they can contact the principal at their child’s school to see what can be worked out.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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