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From questions about face coverings to where students in school buildings will sit and learn, Marble Falls Independent School District officials offered some hints about what the start of the 2020-21 school year might look like during recent parent meetings on July 14 and 16.
Officials shared their vision of what parents, educators and students can membered expect, while reiterating support for those navigating the changes due to COVID-19 n the crash on Texas 71 east of prevention guidelines. were Cynthia Ann Vega, age 46,
“We really are listening 17, both from Marble Falls. and adjusting,” MFISD d for the mother and son at Cele Superintendent Chris Allen told parents.
Allen reiterated the sentiment in a July 20 statement to The Highlander.
“All plans to subject to change based on new information,” he said.
However, during the meeting officials did unveil a few “non-negotiable”:
• In-person instruction is allowed;
• Remote learning options are required and allowed;
• Face coverings are for students 10 and older;
• A 90-percent attendance (remote and in-person) is required for grading guidelines, class rank, GPA calculations.
Educators will face new expectations about how to go about conducting and monitoring social distancing rules and face covering requirements.
• No parent lunch deliveries;
• One-way traffic during passing periods and open hallway doors;
• Staggered arrival and dismissals; and
• Student reporting to class instead of group mingling in gathering areas.
“The public visits to campus will be significantly limited the first nine weeks,” Allen explained in the statement.
“Campuses will utilize common spaces to help with distancing of certain events/ occurrences throughout the day,” he added.
Other expectations will involve educators responsible for both remote learning and physical attendance instruction throughout the day.
Students may receive certain periods of time to remove masks with six-feet distancing requirements.
“I am terming them ‘mask breaks’ for lack of a better name,” Allen stated.
For now, school officials are not requiring solely medical-grade masks but allowing other types of face coverings.
“Students will need cloth face coverings which may include neck gaiters, bandanas or other coverings” of the mouth and nose, he explained.
Policies for visitors will be restricted.
“Visits are not banned, but significantly limited,” Allen stated.
Other recommendations involve self screen checks. The school district reinforced its district guidelines for hygienic practices as well.
“Basic prevention guidelines include avoiding contact with people who are sick, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and using alcoholbased hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available,” the district website states.
“Our teachers, school nurses, and staff are working carefully to encourage these simple and effective habits of frequent hand washing, covering every cough or sneeze and cleaning classroom tables/surfaces frequently.”
School officials have also scheduled an “Educator Collaboration” meeting on Wednesday, July 22 to “make adjustments to plan.” The district is expected to unveil a more finalized district plan by Aug. 3.
Prior to the Monday, July 20 Board of Trustees meeting, the latest report indicated MFISD school officials were planning for students to return to school for the 2020- 21 school year on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The meeting was scheduled after the newspaper deadline at 6 p.m. Monday, July 20 at the administration building, 1800 Colt Circle, with options to view the meeting online with instruction on the agenda available on the school district website at www. marblefallsisd.org.
The Highlander will have an updated article in the Friday issue.