District Announces Re-Opening Plan
Opening Plans for Pike County Schools 2020-2021
It is important to remember that as the guidance from State Health, the CDC, and the GA Department of Education evolves, Pike County Schools will adjust the procedures and practices within the schools accordingly.
We recognize that no plan is perfect, and no plan will mitigate all the risk associated with starting back to school. Parents must determine the acceptable level of risk for their student and act accordingly. If your child will not be returning to school, please call your student's principal to discuss options.
This plan was developed by school and district leadership, 26 parents representing every school, members of the Pike County medical community, and District 4 Georgia Department of Public Health.
- Students will sit no more than 2 to a seat on a bus unless doing so would require a child to stand while being transported.
- Students from the same household will sit in the same seat.
- Students will be assigned seats so that students will load and unload in a manner that minimizes contact and proximity as much as possible.
- Buses will be sanitized professionally.
- Field Trips will not be permitted until further notice.
- Athletic trips will be managed to the best of our ability by guidelines set forth by GHSA and the State Department of Education. Middle School sports will adhere to the same guidelines as High School sports.
- Parents/Guardians of students involved in athletics and other extra-curricular activities involving the use of school transportation will be provided a transportation plan in greater detail for those activities.
- All breakfasts will be served via “grab and go.” Students will eat in their classrooms until conditions and guidance allow for a return to traditional school meal procedures.
- Pre-K, Primary, and Elementary Schools will adjust their lunch seating to reduce capacity of cafeteria to 50%. Students will be assigned seats so that there is spacing between all students.
- Middle, NGA, and High School students will pick up an individual lunch and eat in their classrooms until conditions and guidance allow for a return to traditional school meal procedures.
- Temperature checks as students enter (<100.4).
- Students/Staff who are sick MUST NOT come to school.
- Frequent handwashing will be encouraged and promoted.
- Water fountains will remain open and will be cleaned frequently throughout the day. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to decrease the use of water fountains in the school. Parents are encouraged to send students with their own water bottles.
- Vending machine areas will be closed until guidance restricting gathering places has been lifted.
- Students and staff are encouraged to wear masks. The school system cannot provide masks to students or employees. There should be no expectation that the school will require staff or students to wear masks. *There are times during instructional periods when it is critical for students to be able to see their teacher’s mouth (for example, teaching phonics). When such instances occur, teachers will make reasonable efforts to remain far enough away from students to meet the guidelines for social distancing.
- Teachers will be equipped with cleaning materials for their instructional spaces so that they may clean/sanitize on an as-needed basis, in addition to the daily cleaning by the custodial staff.
- Access to the school building will be restricted to staff and students only. Parents will not be allowed to walk to the classrooms to drop off students. Use of volunteers will be extremely limited.
- Volunteers, guests, and visitors that receive permission to enter the building beyond the check-in location will be required to wear a face mask for the duration of the time in the building.
- Rather than gathering in the cafeteria or gym until shortly before school begins, students will be sent to their classrooms when the number of students in the gym or cafeteria exceed the capacity for social distancing measures to be in place.
- Staff will limit the number of students in the bathroom at any one time.
- Lockers will not be issued at the Middle School, NGA, or the High School so that hallway traffic will always be moving during times of transition.
- Students are not to bring any food to the building for the purpose of sharing with other students. Likewise, parents are not to deliver food to the school for their student(s) that is intended to be shared with other students.
- Parents/relatives will not be allowed to eat lunch with their children at school until restrictions have been modified.
- Teachers will look for opportunities to reduce the use of shared materials whenever possible. Books and resources checked out to students from the media center will be quarantined for 24 hours before they are available for others to check out.
- Pre-K, Primary, and Elementary schools will reduce the number of students on the playground at any given time.
- PE Classes at Middle, NGA, and High Schools will not use the locker rooms until further notice. Students will not be required to change clothes for PE while this restriction is in place.
- Whenever possible, school nurses will treat students with injuries in a different location than they treat students who are ill.
- Hallways will be designated as one-way during class transitions where possible. Other hallways will be striped down the middle so that students walk on the right side of the hallway to get to their next destination.
Return to School Strategy for Students:
DPH recommends a time-based return to school or childcare strategy that is determined based on a person’s health status. Decisions about “return to school” or “return to childcare” for persons with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should be made in the context of local circumstances (community transmission, resource needs, etc.).
Symptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19
Who had mild (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, malaise, headache, muscle pain) without shortness of breath, dyspnea, or abnormal chest imaging or moderate illness (evidence of lower respiratory disease by clinical assessment or imaging…) and are not severely immunocompromised can return to school or childcare after:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
Who had severe to critical illness (if they were hospitalized for shortness of breath, pneumonia, low oxygen levels, respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ failure) or who severely immunocompromised can return to school or childcare are after:
- At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have
Asymptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19:
Who are not severely immunocompromised can return to school or childcare after:
- At least 10 days have passed since the positive laboratory test and the person remains asymptomatic
Note, asymptomatic persons who test positive and later develop symptoms should follow the guidance for symptomatic persons above.
Asymptomatic persons who have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 without appropriate PPE can return to school or childcare after:
They have completed all requirements in the DPH guidance for persons exposed to
COVID-19 found at https://dph.georgia.gov/contact
Of note, if this person is tested for COVID-19 during the 14-day quarantine period, a negative test result would not change or decrease the time a person is quarantined.
There will be no incentives or rewards based on attendance for the 2020-2021 school year. Students are encouraged to attend school when their health permits. Students are required to stay home if they are sick.