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Dallas County Schools releases reopening plan

Dallas County Schools Superintendent Hattie Shelton took to Facebook Live on Monday evening to walk parents through the system’s recently released “Roadmap to Reopening Schools”.

Students around the country were forced to transition to virtual learning during march in light of the COVID-19 outbreak that continues to plague the nation.

Dallas County Schools consists Dallas County High School, Keith Middle-High School, Southside High School, Martin Middle School, Tipton Middle School, Bruce K. Craig Elementary School, Brantley Elementary School, J.E. Terry Elementary School, Salem Elementary School, Southside Primary School and Valley Grande Elementary School.

Shelton said during Monday’s virtual discussion that teachers and staff will return to all 11 schools on Monday, August 10, while students will begin instruction 10 days later on Thursday, August 20.

How students begin learning this fall remains up to parents. Parents can opt to have their children participate in traditional learning, supported virtual learning or independent virtual learning.

Shelton explained the ins and outs of each learning method during Monday’s virtual discussion.

Students who participate in traditional learning will do all their learning in the classroom while those who participate in supported virtual learning will do all of their learning from home but will regularly use technology to interact with their teachers and peers. Independent virtual learning will also learn exclusively from home, but will not have virtual interaction with teachers and peers the way supported virtual learning will.

For those who will be on a school campus this fall, Shelton said there are a number of safety measures being taken and guidelines being followed to keep students and teachers safe.

The reopening plan states that class sizes have been minimized as much as possible to allow for social distancing and all students and teachers will be required to wear face masks with exceptions for eating, drinking and during physical eduction and if a student as a preexisting health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

“We’re trying to put in place as many safeguards as possible,” said Shelton during Monday’s virtual discussion. “A lot of the funds that we received from the CARES Act, we’ve put into PPE form our students and our staff.”

The Roadmap to Reopening also states that school staff will regularly check for COVID-19 symptoms at least once daily for all students, staff, and visitors and rigorous cleaning and sanitizing practices will be implemented to reduce the potential for illness.

Dallas County Schools’ Roadmap to Reopening can be viewed in full at the Dallas County School’s website, dallask12.org, and Monday’s virtual discussion can be viewed in full at the Dallas County Schools Facebook Page.