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Forsyth Co. Schools release preliminary guidelines for returning to school in the fall

28% of people are 'extremely comfortable' with students returning to school in the fall and 25% are 'not at all comfortable', according to Forsyth County Schools

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The idea of children wearing face masks, being given random temperature checks, and having limited access to playground equipment may soon be the new normal in Forsyth County.

The school district released a draft plan for reopening schools in the fall outlining several new policies for both students and staff.

According to the draft, Forsyth County Schools would adopted the following guidelines.

  • School nurses will be the school’s main COVID-19 point of contact
    • Periodic health screenings of students and employees may be conducted including random temperature checks. 
    • Students and employees with COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature of 100.4 and above will be immediately isolated and sent home.
  • You must stay home if you have COVID-19 related symptoms
    • Employees and parents/guardians are asked to self-report to the school nurse. 
  • Frequent hand washing breaks will take place daily
    • All elementary students will be required to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.
    • Middle and high school students and employees will be reminded to wash their hands throughout the day for the same length of time. 
    • All will be reminded to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and to place the tissue in the trash and immediately wash their hands. 
  • Disinfecting procedures and policies will be increased 
    • Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout each building
    • Students and staff are also encouraged to bring hand sanitizer from home.
    • To promote COVID-19 protective measures, signs will be posted in highly visible locations and schools will broadcast daily messages. 
    • Schools and departments will develop a schedule for increased cleaning and disinfection. 
    • Ventilation systems will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure proper operation and the increased circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.
    • Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after every bus route. 
    • Students and employees may wear masks; they will not be provided by the school or district.
  • Student desks will face in the same direction  
    • Students seated at tables will sit on the same side. 
    • The sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect will be discouraged. 
  • Students will be isolated to their classrooms
    • While ensuring the safety of children, to the extent possible, students will eat in classrooms. 
    • Traditional water fountains will be closed; water fill stations will be open. Students and staff are encouraged to bring water from home.
    • Non-essential student movement throughout the school day will be limited. 
    • Outdoor recess will be continued but the number of students gathered in one area will be limited. Some playground equipment may be prohibited for student use. 
  • Events will be held virtually
    • In lieu of field trips, assemblies, special performances, and school wide meetings or events, including open house and curriculum nights, virtual activities will be pursued.
    • Parent/guardian teacher conferences will be held virtually, if possible.
    • Guidance from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) will be followed for school athletics. 

Two weeks ago, school officials asked for input from the public regarding procedures for in-person schooling. According to the school district, a little over 17,000 people responded to the survey with 10% of the respondents being students and parents and 75% being school staff.

When asked the question of how comfortable the respondent felt with students returning to school in the fall, the following results came back:

  • Extremely comfortable -  28% 
  • Very comfortable - 15% 
  • Moderately comfortable - 18% 
  • Slightly comfortable -14% 
  • Not at all comfortable - 25%

RELATED: Forsyth County Schools are asking for feedback on re-opening in the fall

Forsyth County School is tentatively scheduled to start back on Aug. 6 for 2020-21 school year. The district quickly transitioned to online learning in March for the final quarter of the 2019-20 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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