Chambers County School District announces safety measures for 2020-21 school year

Published 2:01 pm Thursday, July 9, 2020

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LAFAYETTE – As the Chambers County School District continues with plans to resume operations on Aug. 12, 2020, certain safety guidelines will be in place for students choosing the traditional, or in-classroom, option for the 2020-2021 school year.

“We don’t want to overwhelm parents with too much information at one time. Therefore, over the next couple of weeks, we will be focusing on individual aspects of our safety plan to help families decide what option they wish to pursue,” said Chambers County School Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge.

One of the main questions posed by parents has been the school district’s policy regarding the use of face masks. After numerous hours of discussion among administrators, principals, teachers and support staff, the following requirements will be implemented at all county public schools:

  • Students who will be riding a bus to and from their school must wear a mask during the time they are on the bus and until they reach their individual classrooms.
  • Students in every grade level must have masks with them at all times, which are required to be worn when they are in close proximity to each other, such as lunch lines or similar group movements from one place to another.
  • Visitors to any school within the district must wear a mask before being allowed entry.
  • Teachers and other employees will be issued face shields in lieu of masks.

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“Sometimes, facial expressions are as important as what’s being said, and we don’t want to deny our employees or students the benefit of complete communication that would be hampered by a mask as opposed to the face shield approach,” Hodge said. 

In addition to face coverings, hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout each school facility, and hand soap will be available in all restrooms. Also, with funding provided through the CARES Act, additional nurses are being hired so that each campus has a full-time medical professional on staff.

“We will release more information in the days to come that will focus on topics such as sports and other extracurricular activities, distribution of school meals, and student/teacher orientations,” Hodge said. “Our primary concern throughout this entire process is to ensure the safety of students and employees to the best of our ability.”