School system: 10,000 students say they intend to ride the buses

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Some questions answered: Students will get meals, but will eat in classrooms; masks required to ride on buses — 

A portion of the questions and answers from the Fayette County School System website.

it comes to how public schools in Fayette County will re-open on Aug. 10 and the endless variables addressed as they open, some of those variables are known while others are a work in progress.

Helping to determine the outcome of some of the things under consideration was a Questions & Answers provided by the school system, and available at https://www.fcboe.org/cms/lib/GA01900971/Centricity/Domain/4/reopening_schools_qanda_2020jun26.pdf

As school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach noted on July 6, the survey expected to be sent to parents asking, among other things, if they preferred sending children to a bricks and mortar school or have schooling done virtually, will have to wait a bit longer. That is due to the Q&A generating additional questions that are currently being answered.

Berry-Dreisbach said the system hopes to send the survey out later this week.

Meantime, she said that on the basis of a school bus survey, more than 10,000 students indicated that they plan to ride the bus when school re-opens.

The Q&A published online does offer insight into some of the issues dealing with the re-opening on Aug. 10.

One of the questions asked if breakfast and lunch will be served, and will students receive lunch in the classroom or cafeteria?

The answer was… Yes, meals will be served (breakfast where applicable). Students will eat lunch in classrooms or spaces designated by the schools to maintain social distancing. Schools may consider scheduling socially distanced servings in the cafeteria depending on confirmed cases.

Also pertaining to meals, another question asked if classrooms will be disinfected after lunch, between classes and by whom?

The answer was… Disinfecting by custodians will occur throughout the day on high touch surface areas. Teachers will also be provided with disinfectant for use in between classes as needed. Other commercial options can be used where necessary, such as in the case of a full school closure.

Someone asked if face coverings will be required.

The answer was… Face coverings are required to be worn on the bus if students choose to ride the bus. (Financially, it is not feasible to accommodate 6 ft. social distancing on our buses.) Students and staff in the brick and mortar school should wear face coverings during the school day when social distancing is not possible. Examples: reporting to school, changing classes, dismissal, when in close contact with others.

Another question dealt with how the fast spread of Covid-19 will be stopped between classes and grades.

The answer was… Realistically, the school district cannot control the spread of the virus, we can only set the conditions to mitigate the spread. Examples of prevention protocols can be found at this link – CDC Stop the Spread of Germs

Yet another question asked how the attendance policy will be adjusted to align with the need to stay home when sick.

The answer was…  Attendance policies are being reviewed and will be adjusted. For example, high school exam exemptions have been modified, and attendance is no longer used as criteria to earn an exemption.

Asked if students will be in the same room all day, the answer was… depending on the school level – elementary, middle or high school.

As noted by Berry-Dreisbach, the answers to additional questions are being reviewed and will be made available shortly.