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Carter County Schools release reopening plan

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Carter County Schools will be back in session on Aug. 10.
The announcement came during Thursday night’s school board meeting. The previous back-to-school date was set for Aug. 7, however the change was made for additional cleaning due to elections being held the day before.
A day from fall break was taken to make this adjustment.
As of now, with schools resuming, there will be an in-person and an online option for students.
Tracy McAbee, director of Carter County Schools, said that due to things ever changing in the pandemic, plans are flexible.
“We’re trying to have a solid plan but yet be able to pivot and move things if it gets worse or it gets better,” he said. 
While as of now in-person and online are the options for students, if things get worse, there is still the route of opening schools online.
McAbee explained that teachers are being trained in how to use the programming platforms well before the start date should this happen; they are also being trained in safety measures for the classroom.
McAbee said concerns for the virtual opening route include younger kids not being able to understand how to use the technology as well as accessibility.
To remedy this, a survey is being given to parents as a way to find out internet accessibility and devices children have in the home. There is also work being done to have hotspots so parking lots can give parents and students access to course materials as well. 
“Whatever we need to do, we are going to do,” said McAbee. 
The school system Facebook page released the plan on Friday laying out the plan in detail. The plan is split into four parts: full reopen, forced closure: all virtual, procedure for reporting and detecting infected persons and points of contact. 
In the full reopen section of the plan, children are to have their temperatures taken by parents prior to school, with 100.4 or greater being considered a fever.
A symptom checklist will be given to parents. Staff and faculty will also have a self-checklist for daily use.
Social distancing will be in place both in the classroom and in dining, cleaning procedures will be in place, and assessments given at the beginning of school will determine the routes of instruction.
Should a forced shutdown happen, the school will continue online five days a week and work will be graded. Work is to be done daily.
For procedures with those infected persons, quarantines for a minimum of 10 days are to be implemented to anyone who tests positive for the virus.
Those presenting symptoms or a fever reflecting COVID will also be quarantined for 10 days. 
Lastly, under contacts portion of the plan, a list is provided that includes the emails of principals, transportation and more. 
The full details of this packet are available online for viewing as of July 17th.
 
More information on the school calendar and any additional changes remain ongoing as of now.
According to McAbee, a one-call to parents and guardians, Facebook and the Carter County Schools website (www.carterk12.net ) are the best outlets for information.