TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Tupelo Public School District (TPSD) laid out its blueprint for reopening schools in the fall.
The school district and the state department of education teamed up to create the plan, which includes social distancing for students and staff, as well as options for online classes.
The plan gives families a choice. Do families want their children to participate in classroom instruction with strict distancing and sanitary guidelines in place? Or do families want their children to participate in online instruction?
“The three things that I have heard from the medical experts that will mitigate the spread of the virus have been face coverings, social distancing and intense daily cleaning of high-touched areas,” School Superintendent Rob Picou said.
The plan includes the spacing of desks in classrooms. Water fountains will be touchless. Gatherings and activities will be limited. Bathrooms will also see touchless toilets and sinks. Touchless hand sanitizer machines will also be around the school.
“It’s not feasible to expect a third grader to keep a mask on all day long,” he said. “So, teachers are going to have to use their discretion in terms of when it’s right to use the mask; when it’s appropriate to use the face covering and when it's not. Our first goal would be to achieve social distancing.”
Picou said recess and hallway lines will be adjusted to allow for social distancing.
According to Gregg Ellis, Director of Communications for Tupelo Public School District, the school system will conduct temperature checks for the kids. He said the district will also buy all face masks and shields.
The superintendent said the situation is rapidly evolving. He said when school starts back, school administrators may have to adjust the plan to ensure everyone’s safety.