Union County News

Union County Schools will have half of their students coming in morning, half in afternoon beginning next week

Union County schools will have half of their student body coming in the morning and half in the afternoon, according to a release from the district on Monday August 10th.

The release:

As referenced in the July 27, 2020 letter announcing the move of the school start
day for students to August 17, it was stated that any changes to the beginning of
school would be announced on August 10. After careful thought and
consideration of the needs of our students, the most current health data from ourstate and county, and the role our schools can play in protecting our community
as a whole; it has been decided the Union County School District will begin as
planned on August 17, 2020 with a hybrid in person schedule and with distance

This schedule gives our schools the best opportunity to most closely
follow the guidelines for safe re-opening of school provided by State Health
Officer, Thomas Dobbs in the August 6 press release from the Mississippi
Department of Health.
This decision was made utilizing data of recent levels of transmission in the area,
guidance provided from the Mississippi Department of Health, and conversations
with several local health officials. This current decision will provide the safest
possible re-opening for students by hopefully allowing our community spread and transmission of the COVID-19 virus to decrease. It is also our hope this schedule can prevent spread to help our already strained local health care system.

School will begin on August 17 with a hybrid schedule (50% of students on
campus at one time). In accordance with executive order 1517 from the Governor
all students and staff will be required to wear masks unless participating in
activities allowed for mask removal under this executive order.

The hybrid
schedule being implemented will be utilized through Friday, September 4. It is
our plan to return to school on September 8 with all students choosing to attend
school on our traditional model described in the letter of July 27. Detailed
information on our hybrid schedule can be found in the initial Return to School plans published on the Return to School page on the district website
www.union.k12.ms.us on July 3, 2020.

With this Hybrid schedule utilized through
September 4 buses will run for both groups and meals will provided. The
morning group will be allowed to eat breakfast upon arrival each morning and will receive lunch before leaving. The afternoon group will receive lunch upon arrivaland have the next morning’s breakfast sent home if the student chooses
breakfast for the next morning.

The UCSD hybrid plan calls for students to be split into A and B groups and to
come daily Monday-Thursday. Fridays only distance learners will come at 8:00
a.m. on the Hybrid schedule. Upon return to a Traditional schedule Fridays will
return to the 1⁄2 day schedule for in person and distance learners found with the
traditional schedule. This schedule was chosen due to its ability to balance the
needs of creating optimum safe distance for students and with the need to
provide direct instruction with a teacher daily for all students who have chosen to
attend school in person.

Students in group A will come in the mornings from
7:38-10:50 and afternoon students (group B) will attend from 12:00 p.m – 3:33
p.m. in person. Each student attending will be issued approximately a total of one
hour asynchronous on-line and off-like work daily from all subjects. This work
must be completed and returned the next day to meet the required 4 hours of
daily instruction by the Mississippi Department of Education and for the student
to be considered present each day. This 240 minutes of instruction is the
minimum requirement for instructional hours that all distance learners must also

Beginning Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12 parents will be
contacted by school staff to identify which group ( A or B ) students are assigned
and what times they will attend. A hybrid schedule has also been published to
the district’s Return to School page on the website that can be viewed
anytime beginning on Tuesday, August 11. If you as a parent have not been
contacted by 12:00 p.m Thursday, August 13, we ask that you contact your
student’s school.

We realize that this needed change to a hybrid schedule will create
inconveniences for some parents with daycare options. While we regret these
inconveniences, it is our belief these changes are currently necessary and our
plans are that this hybrid model is temporary. School for students choosing the
traditional model initially will return to a traditional model on September 8 or as
soon as possible. Because of possible issues parents may face with day to day
care for their children with this model, any students previously choosing in person
learning will be allowed to choose to distance learn for the three weeks planned
for the hybrid model or until school can return to a traditional model on
September 8. We ask that you notify staff any change you might want to make
when contacted this week.

We know our students, parents, staff, and community know the importance of
resuming our children’s education. While we all had hoped that circumstances
with the COVID-19 virus would have allowed us to return on August 17 with a
traditional schedule, this temporary hybrid model is the safest possible return to
school currently.

We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all for their
patience and understanding as we work through the seemingly daily challenges
of this time. The support of the Union County community for our schools is a
tremendous asset as we meet these challenges. If you have questions regarding
our hybrid model after school staff contact you on Tuesday or Wednesday,
please call your school or questions can be directed to reopen@union.k12.ms.us

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