As parents and students get ready for a return to school this fall, many questions and concerns still remain regarding instruction, safety measures, transportation and just how things are going to play out come September.
The Mississippi Achievement School District has selected a start date of Sept. 8 with two options available for parents: 1) Hybrid Schedule or 2) At-home teacher-led Virtual Instruction. Under the Hybrid Schedule, student populations will be divided by grade level, with each grade level reporting to school on alternate days and participating in distance learning during scheduled days at home. Classes will be limited to 15 students or less to adhere to CDC guidelines to the greatest extent possible.
Students opting for Virtual Instruction will receive online teacher-led instruction every day through the district adopted Learning Management System (Google Classroom). Google accounts will be created for all students and virtual support services will be available to families. Students will receive the same curriculum platform and learning pace as in-school students but there will be limited availability to extracurricular programs and activities that require on-campus participation.
Carmella Scott, Woolfolk Middle School principal, has been tirelessly working to ensure that her building is as safe as it can be and is ready to receive students and staff. Core subjects (English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies) will be offered on A & B days at Woolfolk and students will receive face-to-face instruction from one elective teacher per day.
“Preparing for the upcoming year is a daily balancing act that I have learned to accept can and will change at any given moment,” Scott said. “My utmost priority is the safety and well-being of our scholars. I also have to take into consideration the unique educational and social needs of the scholars we serve. We are currently devising plans to meet our scholars where they are. Our goal is to bridge the gaps that have been magnified even more by the effects of COVID-19 and to simultaneously provide our scholars with grade-level instruction that equips them to compete globally. Our bottom line is to provide an educational experience worthy of consumption.”
Dealing with COVID-19 and the day-to-day challenges it brings is a task that Yazoo City High School principal Michael Tardy is also ready to face head-on.
“We have actually been planning for the 2020-2021 school year since the initial start of the pandemic,” said Tardy. “[MASD superintendent] Dr. Jermall Wright and his staff along with all building level leaders are aware of the health and safety concerns of this virus, and we are assessing every area to reopen safely. This will include a deep cleaning of all buildings, buses, and classrooms. We are also focusing on socially distancing classrooms and our scheduling.”
Superintendent Wright along with the principals at each school in the district will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available to parents and community stakeholders in an effort to keep everyone involved, united and determined to ensure the success of each and every student during the 2020-2021 school year.