COVID Resources and Reopening Plan
The Emanuel County School District believes that in-person instruction is best for student learning while acknowledging that the threat of COVID-19 has challenged our ability to provide face to face instruction as our sole method for teaching children. We understand that anything less than a full-time, in-person school schedule strains many of our parents who have to go to work and cannot be home with their children. We also recognize that because of medically fragile students, at-risk family members, or other issues, some families may not be comfortable returning to a traditional classroom until a vaccine for COVID-19 is widely available, or risk of COVID-19 diminishes.
With that noted, for the 2020-2021 School Year, the district will offer our families the following options:
1) Traditional schooling, following guidelines based upon Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools that protect the health and well-being of students and staff as much as possible, or
2) Virtual learning from home, ECS Virtual Academy, emphasizing that the level of instruction and learning expectations will be equal to a traditional schooling environment.
The safety guidelines and plans set for our schools and facilities are based upon Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools. They are fluid and subject to change, as the safety of our students and staff is our top priority.
Please click here to read our guidelines for operating our schools as safe as possible.
After reading the precautions, if you remain uncomfortable with returning your child to a traditional classroom, you may opt to participate in our ECS Virtual Academy with the following stipulations:
- The ECS Virtual Academy model will rely on Edgenuity. Edgenuity provides an online curriculum and instructional services for K-12 schools. Edgenuity will provide video lessons that will teach students and provide an online tutor to assist with academic content difficulties. To learn more about Edgenuity’s online school curriculum experience, please visit their website HERE.
- Your commitment to the ECS Virtual Academy model will be for a minimum of one complete semester (two nine weeks) at the high school level. At the elementary and middle school levels, the commitment is for a minimum of one entire grading period (one nine weeks).
- Students will not be able to shift back and forth between traditional learning and the ECS Virtual Academy model during the respective grading periods.
- As noted on the previous page, the instructional level will be equal to a traditional classroom environment and much more rigorous than what was experienced this past spring. Because we were near the end of the school year, lessons and learning were focused more on review and at a slower pace. With the start of the new school year, instruction and learning will shift back to a more rigorous and faster-paced experience.
- Parents that opt to have their children learn from home, due to safety concerns, will not be permitted to participate in extracurricular school sports, clubs, and organizations.
PLEASE NOTE: We are scheduling all K-12 students in the traditional schooling model, expecting all students to return to school on August 3. If you plan to send your child(ren) to school in the traditional schooling model, no further action is required.
If you are planning on your child attending the ECS Virtual Academy, you must click on this LINK to enroll your child(ren). The deadline for registration is July 29, 2020.
Guidelines for Emanuel County School System’s “Return to Learn Plan” for August 2, 2021
Emanuel County Schools (ECS) has adopted the following guidelines to reopen our schools based on the latest CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Department of Education recommendations:
• All students and employees will be going back to in-person learning.
• This decision takes into account students’ academic and social-emotional needs, the improving pandemic conditions (lower rates of infection), the availability of vaccinations for teachers and other school staff, and guidance from health experts and organizations.
• These plans for the fall reflect the district’s commitment to safety for its students and staff, with continued mitigation efforts such as the recommendation of wearing masks and strict cleaning regimens. ECS will continue to rely on guidance from the CDC and other health partners in the continual implementation for a safe return to in-person learning in the fall.
• Employees will still be encouraged to wear masks when social distancing is not possible - for example, helping a student with an assignment at their desk. Students are not required - but are encouraged to wear a mask, especially in common areas such as hallways, bathrooms, and buses. Counselors and administrators will support the recommendation of mask-wearing efforts at each school. The school nor the district will provide masks.
• The school nurse will be the school’s main COVID-19 point of contact.
• Frequent hand washing breaks will be encouraged daily in all elementary schools, where students will be encouraged to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. Middle and high school students and employees will be reminded to wash their hands throughout the day for the recommended same length of time.
• All will be reminded to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, place the tissue in the trash, and immediately wash their hands.
• Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout each building. Locations include hallways, lunchroom, media center, office areas, etc. Students and staff are also encouraged to bring hand sanitizer from home.
• To promote COVID-19 protective measures, signs will remain posted in highly visible locations, and schools will broadcast daily messages.
• Schools and departments will develop a schedule for increased cleaning and disinfection. The custodial staff has been trained on the safe and correct application of all disinfectants. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day (door handles, sink handles, light switches, etc.).
• Ventilation systems will be monitored regularly to ensure proper operation and
increased circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.
• Based upon classroom configuration and to the extent possible, student desks will face in the same direction, and students seated at tables will sit on the same side. Excess furniture will be removed from classrooms to allow teachers more room to separate students.
• The sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect will be discouraged.
• Schools will promote social distancing when feasible.
• Outdoor recess will be continued, but the number of students gathered in one area will be limited. Some playground equipment that cannot be sanitized may be prohibited for student use.
• While ensuring the safety of children, to the fullest extent possible, students will eat in lunchrooms.
• Traditional water fountains will be closed; water fill stations will be open. Students and staff are encouraged to bring plastic water bottles from home (no carbonated or sugar drinks allowed).
• No parent walk-up for dismissal. All afternoon car dismissals must stay in the car line.
• Non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations will be limited.
• Parent/guardian teacher conferences will be held in-person.
• Guidance from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) will be followed for school athletics.
• Transportation of Students on Buses:
• We encourage all parents that can transport their children to and from school to please do so. This will minimize the number of riders we have on a bus route.
• Students are required to wear a mask while riding the bus. Students will not be allowed on the school bus without a mask covering their nose and mouth. The school nor district will provide a mask.
• Students will be asked to keep their hands to themselves and face forward throughout the trip to school and home. Parents need to help us by encouraging their students to abide by these guidelines.
• All buses will be deep cleaned before the school year starts. Ecovasive sprayed our schools and buses last year on a quarterly basis. This would be done in July prior to the start of school.
• Every bus will be equipped with disinfectant and will be disinfected after each week.
• Each bus will have hand sanitizer stations located at the entrance for students to use as they enter and leave the bus.
• Although many buses have air conditioning, drivers will partially open select windows of all buses to allow free flow of fresh air.
• The bus driver will utilize spaced seating (to the greatest extent practicable).
• To the greatest extent practicable, siblings will sit together on the same seats.
If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID -19:
• Schools and Districts will follow the Screening for and Responding to COVID-19 in K 12 Schools.
Emanuel County Schools believes that in-person learning is best for students and we are looking forward to Emanuel County students and staff returning to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school term. We understand some students, in very limited circumstances, may have a documented health or medical need for virtual instruction. With that in mind, enrollment in Emanuel County Schools Virtual COVID-19 Hardship Program will be LIMITED to students with documented COVID-19 related health/medical needs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Information on Emanuel County Schools Virtual COVID-19 Hardship Program can be found here.
The “Return to Learn” plan is subject to change pending COVID trends and guidance provided by the Emanuel County Public Health and Georgia Department of Public Health. Please monitor our system website and social media for any updates.