Around 3,300 Neshoba County School District students will return to campus on August 5, for the first time since COVID-19 shut down schools in March.
Superintendent Dr. Lundy Brantley said all students are urged to come to school with their own masks. Health and safety materials will be provided for staff and administration.
“We do have for every one of our staff members the opportunity for a clear shield. We also have masks for our staff members. Of course, obviously, they can bring them from home. We also have some silver infused gloves, which stop you from spreading bacteria. They’re not antiviral, but they’re antibacterial, so they’ll have the option to use those,” said Dr. Brantley.
Dr. Brantley said the campus and buses will be cleaned thoroughly every day. The goal of the district’s new sanitation protocol is to encapsulate the buildings and buses each day to ready them for re-entry the next morning.
“Probably one of the biggest parts of our plans and changes is one no one will ever really see, because it will occur after everyone has exited the building. We bought 17 fogger machines that not only will we fog every building in our district, after hours, but we were also fog our buses in the middle of the day. They will also have disinfect on the buses, as well,” said Dr. Brantley.
Dr. Brantley said teachers will do their best to social distance in the classroom, by moving things around and creating more space. He said he understands people are still weary, but he wants all parents to feel confident when sending their kids to school in Neshoba County.
“There are still a lot of people really nervous and I understand that. Our staff understands that, but please know we love our students. We are ready to see them and we are ready to teach them. Everything was done with staff and students in mind,” said Dr. Brantley.
Dr. Brantley said after consulting with several specialists, the administration believes this is the safest way to return to school.
Other safety measures that will be in place include staff temperature checks before entering the building, eating grab-and-go lunches in the classroom, and limiting outside people from entering the buildings as much as possible and requiring them to wear a mask when they do.
Masks will be required for any student, teacher or other staff member when being treated inside the school clinics or Neshoba General’s clinic on campus.
Students will sanitize their hands as they get on buses and as they exit vehicles in the mornings. They will sanitize again before they enter a classroom or other facility on campus. Every Neshoba Central classroom and bus will have school-supplied spray hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
Teachers will be given school-supplied rubbing alcohol which will be used to clean computer keyboards after every use.
Plexi-glass is being added in all the offices with a notch at the bottom, similar to what convenience stores are doing.