Dear Hickman County Schools Community,
Since we dismissed in March and concluded the 2019-2020 school
year in May, we have been constantly flooded with ever-changing information
about Covid19. As the summer break gets
to its half way point, most of us have begun to think about what the new school
year will look like when we return in August. My goal with this letter is to clarify what we know now since state
guidance has come out and to also say that the guidance continues to change on
a daily basis. That being said, I hope
to shed some light on what our school year should look like in 2020-2021.
First and foremost, we know that the best place for our children to learn is in an “in person” classroom with a highly qualified teacher. It is also easy to see from the responses we received so far in our parent survey that you share that same belief. We miss your children and look forward to having them back with us as soon as possible. At this point, our intension is to start school on August 12th with the normal calendar of breaks as
initially voted on by the board of education this last spring. As new related developments around Covid19
emerge, this start date may very well change. We will update you promptly if it
is necessary to adjust the school calendar.
To do this, the Governor and the State Department for Public
Health have placed mandatory safety expectations on us (and every other school)
in order to return. Those expectations
are as follows:
Face Coverings and Social Distancing: According to the guidance, face coverings will be required for all students in first grade and above when social distancing is not possible unless medically waivered. All staff will be required to wear a face covering as well under the same stipulations. We will be making every effort to provide the proper social distancing in classrooms, in the cafeteria, and any other area for students to avoid wearing them as often as we can. Nevertheless, they will be expected to wear them on the bus and in passing throughout the day where the required six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Again, we will be working diligently to make the requirement as minimal as possible. Schedules may need to be altered and student movement will be limited to accomplish this. We are supplying every student with one face covering by the first day of school, but you may want to purchase additional ones that are tailored to your child’s individual need.
Screening: Temperature checks must also be performed each morning when staff and students enter the building. It is very important to make sure you check your child’s temperature before coming to school especially if they are going to ride the bus. If your child has a temperature of 100.4, please do not send them to school or place them on the bus. When temperatures are taken at school, if your child has a temperature of 100.4 or greater they must be sent home. Access to school will be limited and visitors will also have to be screened.
Sanitation: School sanitation as well as good hygiene is
important every school year for the safety and well-being of our students and
staff. In this year, it is especially
important. Proper hand washing and the
use of sanitizer will be an emphasis throughout each and every school day. Staff will also be working morning and night
to extensively clean all areas of the school especially high traffic areas from
classrooms to buses. We will be doing
our best to follow all sanitation guidance from the Kentucky Department of
Education and the Department of Public Health.
Our hope is that there is no significant increase in cases
of Covid19 within our school or community after we begin in August and that we can
get back to some form of normalcy sooner rather than later. However, if the
need arises for some periods of NTI, we ask that you continue to work with us
to get the most out of it. We have
learned a lot from it this past year and have been working to develop a uniform
plan for implementation that will be more beneficial to our students and our
Lastly, there is no doubt in my mind that the best place to
receive an education is on campus from one of our teachers and the social
benefits that comes with it are essential to the development of our
children. We believe that our school
provides a great educational experience for our families, but also know that
during this unprecedented year other forms of education may be necessary to
educate your child. Knowing this, if you
have medical concerns or other issues about starting with us this next school
year, I would urge you to reach out to myself or Mr. Collins in the board
office about your possible alternative plans for the new school year. Like all
schools, we have been working to develop NTI based programs to help assist to
meet your specific needs. If an
alternate plan is needed, please contact us by phone (270-653-2341) at your
earliest convenience to see how we can help.
This school year will be like no other that we have ever seen
before. Over the next few weeks, more
information will be shared with you about upcoming school events and the latest
guidance issued down from our state departments. With your help and understanding, we can make
this the best school year possible for our community.
Casey Henderson, Superintendent
Hickman County Schools