DeSoto County Schools putting final touches on back-to-school plan

DeSoto County schools finalizing plan for students

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WMC) - DeSoto County Schools administrators are putting the final touches on a plan to bring students back to the classroom in a matter of weeks.

But like everything with COVID-19, there's still a lot of uncertainty.

"We know that no plan is going to be perfect. No school district in America can put out a perfect plan for this," said Cory Uselton, DeSoto County Schools superintendent.

Uselton says the district surveyed parents, faculty, and staff members to get their thoughts on what school should look like this fall.

DeSoto County Schools planning for students’ return to classrooms in the fall

He says most parents indicated they wanted students to return to the classroom. Others wanted distance learning. Some wanted a combination of the two.

"We're hoping to start with a traditional school model," said Uselton. "That might not work for everyone and so we are looking at distance learning possibilities for those students who their families are not ready for them to go back to school or those families who have some type of medical condition that would cause greater concern."

Uselton says there will be an option for parents who don't feel comfortable with their kids returning to school.

For students who do come back, there are no guarantees.

Because cases could spike at any time, Uselton says the district must ensure it can transition quickly to either a distance or a hybrid method of learning.

"This is going to be a fluid situation. We anticipate throughout the entire school year guidance will most likely change, just like it has over the last few months," said Uselton.

He says the district will recommend masks for students and says right now there's no plan for the district to test students.

But he says the district has formed a medical task force and will continue working closely with state health leaders.

"We just asked for parents to be flexible, to have a plan in place in case the next day we had to move to something different," said Uselton.

He says there's also the issue of busing and how to make sure students social distance.

The superintendent says those will be among the issues addressed in the back to school plan that will be sent to parents by the end of next week on July 17.

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