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PRC students to return to new rooms and procedures in place

The Pearl River County School District Board of Trustees met Thursday evening and the focus of the meeting was the return to school for the students, teachers, and administration for the first time since mid March when the outbreak of the coronavirus forced the school district to close classrooms and buildings.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin opened his update thanking the school board for approving the delay of the start of school year one week to allow teachers and support staff extra time for professional development to prepare for the return of students on Monday, August 17th, for traditional classes. He said the staff has been receiving training and updates in regards to disinfecting classrooms, the use of PPE (personal protection equipment), social distancing, identifying symptoms of COVID-19, arrival and dismissal procedures, transition from class to class during the school, and other related changes with the return of students to the classroom with a special emphasis on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lumpkin said as a result of construction (from the bond money), 30-35 new classrooms will be used for the first time on Monday when students return.

Lumpkin said that as of Wednesday (August 12), there are 3,107 students have completed registration, and of that number, 671 students or approximately 22 percent, have opted to utilize the virtual option for learning. Lumpkin said there will be more.

“Every year, we have students show up on day one that have not yet registered. We look for that to be the same case this year,” Lumpkin said.

He added that on Thursday and Friday, all students are been participating in virtual learning with the parents and staff learning about COVID-19 safety, good personal hygiene with importance of washing their hands, cleaning their personal area in the classroom at school, not sharing items with other students, details about the coronavirus and how it spreads and how they can do their part in not spreading the virus.

A new procedure that will be in place was briefly outlined by Superintendent Lumpkin.

“We will be implementing a cohort procedure where if three or more people in a group test positive, we will quarantine the entire group,” Lumpkin stated.

The procedure would put all of the individuals in that group in a 14 day quarantine. The class would move to a virtual only environment as well.


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