School Reopening Plan

Learning by Design

Dear Parents and Guardians,

After consultation with Cobb & Douglas Public Health and careful consideration of the health and safety of students and staff, the Douglas County School System has made the decision to begin the 2020-2021 school year with remote learning for all students.

In addition, the first day of lessons will be delayed until August 17. The extra days will give school staff an opportunity to issue learning devices to students and prepare for digital lessons. Schools will work with parents to resolve internet access challenges. The COVID-19 situation will be evaluated after the first nine weeks of school and a decision will be made at that time of how to proceed for the following nine-week period.

The Board of Education made this decision based on data indicating that COVID-19 cases are on an upward trajectory in Douglas County. The school system is authorized to make this independent decision based on the Executive Order issued by Governor Brian Kemp. I will share our decision with the Georgia Department of Education.

Graduation ceremonies for high schools in Douglas County will proceed as scheduled on July 21 and 22. The events will be held outside with social distancing protocols in place. Graduates are limited to two guests, and face coverings are strongly encouraged when social distancing is not possible. It is optional for students to participate in graduation, and all ceremonies will be livestreamed.

While we recognize the challenges remote learning will have on our families and community, the Board of Education members and I strongly believe that this is the right decision based on projections from several data platforms. Please know that the school system and our teachers are dedicated to providing a quality education for your children during these challenging times. As always, we appreciate the support of our parents and community.

Best regards,

Trent North, Superintendent






Return-to-School Presentation



Learning by Design (6-30-20)


The Learning by Design document outlines district initiatives and protocols for the 2020-2021 school year, including social distancing measures, lunch procedures, cleaning protocols and more.

Learning by Design Link

Letter to Parents Regarding Learning Options for 2020-2021 (6-30-20)


DCSS REOPENING PLAN

June 30, 2020

Dear DCSS Family,

Thank you for your patience as we have worked to develop a plan for reopening school that will provide a quality learning experience for our students while addressing the concerns of our parents during this unprecedented public health crisis. We understand that each family has varying degrees of comfort with being in a public setting at this time, and our goal is to provide options that will meet the needs of our families, students and staff. Parents must make a deeply personal decision for their children for the upcoming school year, and we respect the views of all of our families. We know that choosing how your child will participate in school this year is an important and complicated decision that impacts many areas of your life.

We will offer three learning options for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The options are outlined below. If you choose the Traditional Learning option and your child is already registered with DCSS, you do not need to take any further action. We look forward to welcoming your child back to school on August 10. If you choose the School-Based Digital Learning option or the FLEX Academy, you will need to register your child at the following link. Registration will open on July 1 and close on July 10.

Registration Link for SBDL and FLEX

Timeline

Assuming that Douglas County remains in the Minimal/Moderate category for the spread of COVID-19, students will return to learning on Monday, August 10, 2020. The extra days will allow administrators and teachers time to prepare their buildings and classrooms for social distancing and prepare for the new instructional options that will be offered.

Instructional Options for Students

The Douglas County School System will provide three learning options for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Option 1       Traditional Learning

For families who desire for their children to have in-person learning in a school building five days a week, the traditional learning model will allow students to return to their school buildings with social distancing protocols in placeThe traditional model will move to digital learning from home if the COVID-19 spread becomes substantial in the community or in a building or classroom.

The school system will provide the option of bus transportation for students participating in traditional learning. Students will be strongly encouraged to have a face covering and wear it at all times while riding the bus.

Students who are already enrolled in school in the Douglas County School System do not need to register for the Traditional Learning model. We look forward to seeing our students who choose this option back in school on August 10

Option 2       School-Based Digital Learning (Hybrid Model)

The Douglas County School System is committed to offering a combined program of digital and in-person learning throughout the COVID-19 crisis through the School-Based Digital Learning option. This option is ideal for students and parents who wish to stay connected to their school but want the flexibility of digital learning. Students will receive digital instruction from a teacher at the school for which they are enrolled. Because schools will design the School-Based Digital Learning option to suit the students and teachers at their particular school, the details of the program may vary from school to school.

Students enrolled in School-Based Digital Learning will have the option of learning online from home for the first nine weeks. The program will be evaluated with input from parents at the end of each nine-week period and modified as needed. After the first nine weeks, digital learning may be combined with in-person instruction. Students may not participate in extracurricular or athletic activities while engaging in School-based Digital Learning. This option will phase out when public health agencies determine that COVID-19 is no longer a major concern for the community.

Parents must register their children for this option using the link at the top of this document. Registration will be open July 1-10.

Option 3       FLEX Academy

Beginning on August 10, 2020, the Douglas County School System will offer an online learning option for students in grades K-12 for families who desire for their children to learn at home. The FLEX Academy will operate as a stand-alone program that will have its own dedicated staff of teachers who will support student learning. FLEX Academy teachers will actively monitor students as they work through virtual online content at their own pace. Success in the FLEX Academy will require hands-on parental involvement for children in grades K-5. For children in grades 6-12, parents will need to monitor progress. Students who are highly motivated are good candidates for online instruction through the FLEX Academy.

As its name indicates, the FLEX Academy will offer flexibility, including optional in-person interaction for students who desire small group tutoring or other services beginning with the second semester of the school year. In addition, students will have the option of participating in extracurricular and athletic activities at their zoned school beginning in January 2021. The FLEX Academy will be a permanent program that will expand and continue beyond the COVID-19 crisis. Students who select this option are expected to remain in the program for the entire 2020-2021 school year. Enrollment will be limited.

To enroll in the FLEX Academy, parents will use the registration link at the top of this document. Registration will be open July 1-10.

We know that you will have questions that haven’t been addressed in this letter. For more information on our learning options and details on procedures at schools, including social distancing measures, lunch procedures, cleaning protocols and more, please consult the Learning by Design document. You will find a link to the document on the School Reopening page on the dcssga.org website. We will post any updates to our reopening on this page as we continue to refine our plans.

In closing, please remember that we will not hesitate to make changes to our plans as additional guidance is released regarding COVID-19. The health and safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance. We always appreciate the support of our DCSS families and staff, but we especially appreciate your support right now as we work through the many details for providing the best learning possible for your children during this most unusual time.

Best regards,

Trent North, Superintendent



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