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Education

VWSD outlines COVID-19 preparations for upcoming school year

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As students and educators prepare to return to the classroom on Aug. 5, the Vicksburg Warren School District (VWSD) has issued guidance for the safe return to in-person instruction and a continuity of services plan for the 2022-2023 school year.

“VWSD is working closely with Warren County Emergency Management and the MS Department of Health (MSDH) and the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) on guidance for students, parents, and staff to prepare for and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease on school campuses,” the report says.

Masks

Face masks are recommended, but not required under current district-level guidance.

Screenings

Parents are encouraged to take students’ temperatures and assess their health before sending them to school. Students with fever over 100 degrees or exhibiting symptoms of illness should stay home.

Students with symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated by the school nurse in a designated area and their parents will be contacted.

In the event that a positive COVID-19 test or mandatory quarantine results in extended absence from classes, students will transition to remote learning.

Virtual learning

Under current guidance, a school closure is not expected. However, in the event of widespread COVID-19 cases in the local community, district leaders may decide to transition to fully remote learning. A hybrid option is not included in the district’s plan for the upcoming school year.

Should leaders determine that a transition is necessary, students will be required to participate online via GradeResults, the primary platform for remote learning.
GradeResults combines a rich multimedia learning environment with live, caring instructors to provide personalized instruction that has been proven to increase academic achievement on course work and standardized tests.

Additional online platforms such as Odysseyware, iReady, and Google Classroom will be used to enhance student learning as needed.

Enhanced cleaning

ABM Industries is contracted by the district to ensure all buildings are well-stocked with cleaning supplies and protective equipment, as well as partner with teachers and staff to disinfect all classrooms and high touch areas.

Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout campuses.

Each school will maintain a Nurse’s room equipped with an air purification system for symptomatic students where masks and social distancing will be required.

Air quality

The district’s report approximated that about half of its facilities have already been equipped with air purification systems. Federal ESSER funds will be used to continue to improve the air quality in all of the schools and buildings district wide.

Mental health

Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health Services and the district Leader In Me/Social Emotional Learning Coalition have partnered with VWSD to provide training and professional development around social, emotional and other needs of students and staff.

Additional safety measures

Classrooms will be arranged with desks spaced as far apart as feasibly possible.

Students will be encouraged to follow all CDC guidelines while transitioning between classrooms. When feasible, desks and other surfaces will be cleaned during transitions.

Each school will educate students on best practices to avoid transmission, like hand-washing and sneezing and coughing into elbows rather than hands.

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