Stephens Co. students to have the choice of attending class or continuing distance learning

Masks are not required, but are allowed for students and staff/faculty.

Stephens County School System Deputy Superintendent Daniel Oldham has provided the following guidelines for the 2020-21 school year:

As the District continues to plan for the coming school year, the following are the academic options and support for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • At this time, we are preparing to open schools on August 5, 2020, as originally planned. As part of our reopening plan, Students will have two options for instruction.

  • Option 1: Students will attend classes on campus. Schools will operate under the guidelines provided in this document with more details to come in the near future.

  • Option 2: Students will attend school through the Stephens County Distance Learning Protocol. Students will be provided instruction virtually through a consistent plan of instruction providing equivalent units as those provided within our onsite classrooms.

  • As we open school, all classrooms will provide instruction modeling distance learning from the classroom for all students for the first month of school. This model will allow the teachers and the students to become accustomed to a distance learning environment while under the direct supervision of their teachers.

  • The distance learning in the classroom model will also provide parents with the greatest level of flexibility in determining if and when they are comfortable with sending their children back to school on campus.

  • The distance learning in the classroom model will also provide for the maximum level of preparedness for both students and teachers if any future school closures or disruptions are imposed at the federal, state, or local level.

  • At the end of the first month of school, parents and students that choose to continue their education through the Stephens County Distance Learning Protocol will be required to stay in the Distance Learning protocol for the remainder of the semester. At the end of the semester, parents can request that their child(ren) be scheduled into a school-based classroom.

  • Parents and students that prefer the Stephens County Distance Learning Protocol may continue their education for the remainder of the school year.

  • The Stephens County Distance Learning Protocol is currently being created, and further information will be released once it is complete. This protocol is being guided by feedback we are receiving from the Student/Parent Distance Learning Survey released on June 25, 2020. However, the protocol will include the following:

  • Progress Monitoring for student engagement and success

  • Support for instructional and technological needs of students

  • Parental engagement requirements

  • Students enrolled in the Stephens County Distance Learning protocol will have access to all extracurricular activities. However, these activities may or may not have the ability to operate through a distanced structure. Parents will have to decide if they want their child(ren) to participate onsite for any extracurricular activity.

  • The District is reviewing all protocols for daily operations, including transportation. Further updates and guidelines will be distributed in the near future.

Stephens County Schools is dedicated to the health and well-being of all students, parents, faculty and staff. These guidelines are based on the most current information provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia Department of Public Health, United States Department of Education, and Georgia Department of Education. In coordination with community feedback via surveys and guidance from Federal, State, and Local agencies, the following are the recommendations for the reopening of Stephens County Schools. These guidelines are subject to change as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are very fluid. Expect updates and more details as we progress towards the beginning of school.

  • All students and employees that have COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, have had contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, must not attend school and are asked to self-report to the school.

  • All students and employees that begin to show symptoms during the school day or have a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be isolated and sent home immediately. In this case, any student or employee needing isolation while on campus will be required to wear a mask.

  • School nurses will be the main point of contact for COVID-19 concerns at each school.

  • Any student or employee that is sent home or required to stay home due to exposure or symptoms will be required to meet Georgia Department of Health guidelines before reentry to school.

  • Any student that must be quarantined will be able to continue to receive educational services through the Stephens County Distance Learning Protocol.

  • There will be signs located throughout the schools reminding students of recommended healthy hygiene practices. Students will be reminded of proper hand washing and covering techniques for coughs and sneezes. Throughout each building, hand sanitizer will be available. Students may bring hand sanitizer from home.

  • Students and employees may wear a mask if they choose. The wearing of masks will not be required. Schools will not be providing masks with the exception of students found to be symptomatic and awaiting parental pick-up.

  • Periodic health screenings of students may be conducted to include temperature checks.

  • Recess time may have to be modified. The District understands the importance of recess and other outside the classroom experiences. Therefore these activities will continue. However, the mixing of classes during these times will be limited.

  • Any visitors or volunteers that are nonessential will be limited within each school.

  • Decisions for providing breakfast and lunch will be made closer to the opening of school based on the guidance provided by the agencies mentioned above.

  • The use of shared items that are difficult to clean or disinfect will be discouraged. (Example: crayons, pencils, manipulatives, novels, instruments, etc.)

  • Students and employees may bring water bottles from home in order to limit the need to use water fountains.

  • GHSA guidelines will be followed for school athletics.

  • Sanitation and cleaning protocols are being assessed, and their improvement continues to be a high priority.


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