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LCS announces traditional students to return

Lanett City Schools will start having students on campus again very soon, Lanett City Schools Superintendent Jennifer Boyd announced on Friday.

Students will return to their respective campuses starting at the beginning of the second nine weeks, which begins on Oct. 29. Up until this point, all Lanett students — even students who signed up for traditional learning — have been taking virtual classes.

“Our goal has been for the traditional learning students to return to campus for the second nine weeks,” Boyd said. “But, traditional learning students will return in a phased manner. We’re not all just going to come back in five days a week.”

Traditional learning students will be on campus on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the other three days of the week, they will be virtually learning.

On the two days where they will be on campus, students are required to be in uniform. On the days students are not at campus, students will be allowed to follow out of uniform day guidelines.

Anytime a student is on campus, they must wear a face covering. Students or staff can wear a face shield but also must wear a mask.

“Masks will be required. Students and staff will be required to wear a mask,” Boyd said.

Boyd also said that bandanas do not count for masks.

Students at W.O. Lance Elementary School will remain self-contained and will not travel to other classrooms. Sixth-graders at Lanett Junior High School will travel in their individual pods.

“That’s something that we are sanctioning from the district level to help mitigate the spread of COVID,” Boyd said.

Overall, each school is in charge of its own reopening plan and more details about that will be released at a later date.

Visitors will be required to remain in the lobby. If the principal gives permission, the visitor will be required to undergo a temperature check. Those with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be allowed to enter.

Students that signed up for virtual learning will not be allowed to go to campus unless an administrator permits it.

Any students who signed up for virtual learning that want to return to the traditional classroom must wait until the start of the next semester.

Since starting back in August, Boyd said LCS has been taking three areas into consideration for students to return to campus: medical data, teacher surveys and parent responses.

“These are three considerations that are very important in our decision-making process in regards to dealing with this pandemic and continuing to provide our students with a quality education,” Boyd said.

Boyd said the reopening committee has been in contact with the health and wellness advisory committee since August to learn as much information as possible about the pandemic in Chambers County. Lanett City Schools has also been in contact with a pediatrician that is very familiar with the Chambers County area.

The medical data collection has been gained through webinars with the Alabama State Department of Public Health, while also looking at local, state and national data about the pandemic.

Boyd also cited the school districts’ nurses as a huge component of the health official guidelines, citing Lead Nurse Denise Kilgore specifically.

“We’ve been blessed that our lead nurse has an extensive background in public health. That has been very beneficial to our school district as we have maneuvered through the decision-making process,” Boyd said.

According to Boyd, about 90 percent of the LCS teachers took a survey revealing how comfortable they were with students coming back to campus.

Of that 90 percent, 54 percent said they were either extremely comfortable, comfortable or neutral about students returning to campus.

Boyd said that the parental response to surveys was not as high as she was expecting. Boyd said there were only 262 responses to the survey from parents of traditional students. There are 818 students that are signed up for the traditional learning option (32 percent).

Of that 32 percent that answered, 79 percent of parents said they were comfortable, very comfortable or neutral about students returning to campus.

The full presentation can be found on the Lanett City Schools website.