Details on the action steps WCSD is taking to reopen safely are organized alphabetically by topic below. Many frequently asked questions are answered as well. Please note that all plans are subject to change based on additional state and local guidance.
Before/After School Care
Before and after school programs will still be available for those students participating in person. The same safety precautions as the regular school day will be put in place.
Schools will work to reduce the number of students present in the cafeteria at one time and increase space between students while seated. In addition, schools may utilize multiple areas for breakfast and lunch to reduce the number of students in one area. Each school will make arrangements based on available space. No self-serve lines will be available for middle and high school students. School Nutrition staff will wear appropriate PPE.
Individual desks will be set up to face in one direction and the space between each will be maximized to the extent possible.
Walton County School District is offering a digital/distance learning option
for families who may not feel comfortable sending their child back to school for the 2020-21 school year.
EIP, Gifted REP Services
The district will make every effort to accommodate services for EIP, Gifted and REP students who choose digital/distance learning.
WCSD schools are not limiting classes for in-person instruction. All connections and elective classes will be offered in the school building with enhanced cleaning measures and social distancing when possible.
Students enrolled in digital/distance learning will still be able to participate in all extracurricular activities at their zoned school.
Schools will not schedule any field trips for at least the first semester.
All students and employees who are sick will be required to stay home. Those who become sick or exhibit symptoms at school or work will be sent home immediately. Individuals must be fever-free (temperature under 100.4) for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine before returning.
If a child is running a fever or exhibiting other COVID-19 symptoms, a parent will be contacted to pick up the child. Students with COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated with supervision and be offered a mask while waiting for their parents. WCSD will follow guidelines from the Georgia Department of Public Health when determining the steps to take if a positive case is determined. The current guidelines are subject to change.
Students attending school in person who become sick or are quarantined will be able to receive and complete any missed assignments without penalty. Once a student has met the Georgia Department of Public Health's guidelines for returning to work/school, the student would be able to return to school.
All individuals in a school building are strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. Staff are expected to wear masks when in close contact with others. School and district administrators will support mask-wearing efforts at each school. The district will provide each student and teacher with one washable mask. Students and staff will be responsible for keeping and cleaning masks.
In order to limit large gatherings, Open House events will be held virtually. Elementary schools will be contacting pre-k, kindergarten and new elementary students to schedule in-person meetings and tours. Sixth graders and ninth graders who wish to visit their school prior to the first day are encouraged to contact the school to schedule a visit.
Quarantining (for any individual)
Based on current Georgia Department of Public Health Guidelines, protocol is as follows (all guidance is subject to change):
Symptomatic persons with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 may return to work or school after all of the following have occurred:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- At least 24 hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
Asymptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19 may return to work or school after:
- At least 10 days have passed since the positive laboratory test (and the person remains asymptomatic)
Asymptomatic persons who have a known exposure to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in close contact, as defined above, may return to work after:
- A 10-day quarantine period
- A 7-day quarantine period if they remain asymptomatic and provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result taken after 5 days in quarantine
Based on this most recent guidance and information from a local infectious disease specialist, individuals in close contact (6 feet or less for 15 minutes or longer) with an individual who is COVID-19 positive would be required to quarantine for 14 days. The teacher would provide remote instruction during that time. Students and staff would be able to return to school once the Georgia Department of Public Health's Return to School/Work guidelines were met. Students would not enroll in the digital/distance learning option. This plan is subject to change at any time based on further guidance from state and local health officials.
Elementary students will have designated outdoor recess time. Schools will limit the number of classes on the playground at one time and work to maintain distance between classes in order to reduce student contact between cohorts.
- Frequent handwashing will be encouraged.
- Additional hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the school.
- Students are encouraged to bring their own personal size hand sanitizer for use on the bus and during the school day.
- Daily and rigorous cleaning protocols will be followed by custodians.
- High touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected more frequently throughout the day.
- Teachers will be provided with approved cleaners to utilize in their classrooms throughout the day.
- Each school will be provided a permanent sneeze guard in the front office and one mobile to utilize throughout the building.
- Water fountains will be turned off. Multiple touchless bottle refilling stations will be installed. Students should bring a clear, reusable water bottle each day.
Schools will enforce social distancing when possible. At the elementary and middle school levels, schools will work to keep students grouped by class as much as possible while also limiting the number of student transitions. High schools are working to develop plans to streamline hallway traffic and limit large gatherings of students.
While each school space is designed differently, parents can expect to see distancing measures in place throughout all 15 schools.
The school district will remain responsible for the education of students eligible for special education services with an individualized education program (IEP) that opt for digital/distance learning. Because digital/distance learning may affect how special education and related services are provided, the student’s IEP team will work to ensure that the student receives services to the most appropriate extent possible.
While in some cases student transitions may be limited, students will be able to move throughout the school building during the day. Hallways will be structured to manage crowd control, reduce traffic and two-way movement.
Students who ride a school bus are strongly encouraged to wear a mask as social distancing is limited. Buses will be thoroughly cleaned in between morning and afternoon routes. Drivers will be screened for any possibility of illness each morning. Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided for all bus drivers. Students are encouraged to bring their own personal size hand sanitizer to use on and off the bus.
In order to limit exposure, all schools will limit the number of outside visitors whenever possible. Plans regarding dropping off school supplies, walking students to class, lunchroom visitors and more will be communicated by each school prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year.