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FIle / The Outlook Coosa County Schools have announced its plan and protocols for students to return to school in August.

Central Coosa superintendent Andi Wilson said communication is key for the ever-changing plan regarding the return to school. Based on guidance from the Alabama State Department of Education and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guidelines may be altered as time goes on.

For elementary grades, there will be both a virtual and in-person option for students to return to school. The virtual option allows children to be enrolled in the Coosa County School System but not physically attend school. All virtual students will receive Chromebooks and will participate in a program aligned with the same academic standards that are taught in schools.

“You must have strong and reliable internet service or have a plan in place for your child to be able to complete their assignments daily,” Wilson said in a Facebook post.

Local teachers will be assigned to monitor each child’s progress but parents must ensure students are completing their assignments to the best of their abilities and meeting deadlines.

Students must commit to a virtual option for at least one nine-week period and can transfer back to brick and mortar after that. In-person learning will be as normal as possible with additional safety and sanitizing measures in place. Classes will be manageable sizes and students will be distanced as much as possible.

For high school, the virtual option is the same but there is also a hybrid choice available. This entails students who attend school on some days and work from home on others. This doesn’t require internet at home. Before students leave school, they will download the assignments and materials they need into their Chromebooks for the day they will be working at home so they have everything they need.

Students will be required to call in to virtually attend class via a Google Meet. They will have to call in to each class, which will count as their attendance and participation. The following day, the student will attend school and have the opportunity to get information clarified, work with the teacher in person, etc. Students may be attending Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday with Friday being a mix of students.

All school employees will wear a face shield or mask while on duty. All students will be provided with face shields, which will remain at school and be cleaned each day. There will be times students will be asked to wear facemasks and we ask that parents supply those. Wilson recommends getting several so they can be washed and reused. The school with will work parents to determine additional medical situations for children.

Parents are asked to provide water bottles for their children, clearly labeled with their names. These will be taken home daily and washed before brought back the next day. Water fountains will not be available to drink out of and only can be used with supervision to refill water bottles. Elementary classrooms have water fountains in their classrooms for this purpose.

There will be assigned times for restroom breaks as a class to help maintain social distancing procedures.

High school students will not use hallway lockers this year but they are allowed to being backpacks to class with them. There will be an assigned place in each classroom where backpacks will be stored. Elementary students will continue to use their lockers/cubbies in the classrooms.

Each student will receive a Chromebook, a charger and a carrying case and these will travel between home and school daily. Chromebooks need to be charged nightly and brought to school because they will be utilized in the classroom during the day as well. Teachers will teach lower elementary students how to use it.

Students may access e-books on their Chromebooks but physical books will not be checked out from the library.

Physical education classes will be available for kindergarten through ninth grades and outside time will be utilized as much as possible.

“Talk with your child about social distancing,” Wilson said. “They will be able to play and will have times in which they are in close proximity with each other but they can still be as safe as possible.”

Loading and unloading buses will be different than in the past to limit large gatherings of students.

“If you feel more comfortable bringing your child to school versus riding the bus, please feel free to do so,” Wilson said. “Bus misbehaviors truly cannot be tolerated as this is more than just the normal bus safety at stake; it’s the health of your child and other children as well.”

When students get on the bus in the morning, they will have their temperatures checked. Students will be taught how to check their own temperatures.

“Parents, please have a plan in place in case your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or more,” Wilson said. “Please do not send your child to school if they have a temperature.”

Visitors will be limited unless it’s an absolute necessity and each school will have additional procedures in place for visitors and additional activities and events.

“Meet your teacher” will be held virtually via Google Meet and each teacher will send parents an invitation.

Cleaning and sanitation procedures will be in place for the classrooms and school as a while on a daily and long-term basis.

“It sounds silly but we will be keeping the school day as ‘normal’ as possible,” Wilson said. “As normal as our days are now.”

For additional information and comments, visit the Coosa County School System Facebook page.