Burke County Public Schools

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Stop the spread of COVID - Wash your hands and wear a mask so ALL our students can return to school safely!
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COVID-19 Q&A

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We understand that Burke County Public School families and staff have many questions regarding our return to school for the fall semester. Through parent and staff feedback, the work of our COVID-19 Task Force, as well as continued guidance from the Georgia Department of Health and the CDC, we are preparing to safely reopen Burke County Public Schools for the 2020-2021 academic year.
 
 
A: Although internet access/service is out of the district's hands, we will do our best to make other accommodations. We will make an effort to provide access through remote sites and via mobile hotspots (i.e. bus with a router at specified locations throughout the day).
 
To find free Public WiFi locations near you, please click here. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs will add locations as they discover more Free Public WiFi options. Please check the website periodically for updates.
 
Additionally, please see the image below for Free WiFi locations in Burke County. 
wifi locations
The Libraries on the above list have free access with a Georgia Pines Library card. Patrons can call the Library at 706-554-3277 to sign up. The Wifi connectivity should be accessible from the parking lot at these locations. 
A: Upon entering the building, all students and staff must wear a face covering. During the school day, students must have their faces covered while in the hallways, other common areas, restrooms, and in classes where 6 foot of physical, social distancing between students and/or staff is not possible. Face coverings will be required walking to the buses and while being transported. 
Parents/guardians will be responsible for providing appropriate face coverings. Any student not able to wear a face-covering due to a medical reason must have this reason accurately recorded, and parents/guardians should contact your child's building principal accordingly. Permission can only be granted through the Principal or his/her designee. Face coverings may not contain slogans, signs, or language that promotes any political or social program, activity, or event nor may it be considered offensive in any way. 
A: In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all water fountains will now be covered. However, students may bring clear water bottles to class. Reusable and plastic bottles are accepted as long as they are clear. Students can only have water in their containers. 
A: The following measures are advised: 
  • Adjust routes to reduce the numbers of students on each bus
  • Allow students to sit together with their siblings
  • Sanitize buses before, between and after routes are run
  • Load the bus back to front and dismiss front to back for morning routes. Afternoon routes will load the bus in order of stops, back to front, when possible. 
  • Require bus drivers to wear face coverings and highly recommend students to do the same
  • Encourage parents to provide transportation to further reduce the number of students on the bus
  • COVID-19 Best Practices
A: The responsibilities of parents/guardians are as follows: 
  • Familiarize yourself with your child’s teachers, courses, and expectations
  • Develop a quiet space and a schedule that is conducive to distance/remote learning
  • Monitor the completion of assignments on a daily basis, and encourage your child to ask for assistance when needed
  • Ensure the child is completing his/her own work so teachers know how to provide additional support
    • Parents of elementary-aged children are more hands-on and involved in guiding students and assisting with projects or schoolwork
    • Parents of middle and high school-aged students should expect the students to be more independent learners
  • Communicate regularly with the teacher to ensure success in this new learning environment. Each teacher will provide his/her virtual office hours and medium of communication. Phone calls and virtual conferences may be arranged upon request. 
  • The school will provide students with necessary books and materials, although it is preferable and highly recommended that students have access to an electronic device and internet. (The school will provide electronic devices if needed, and is working to expand access to the internet for households not connected.)
A: Based on the current level of spread in our community, the two instructional models offered during the opening of school will be Hybrid (A/B) or Full Distance/Remote Learning as described in Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools.
 
Students following the Hybrid model will be designated as either A or B and will participate in face-to-face learning two days a week and remote/distance learning three days a week.
 
Group A and B Chart
A: Every effort will be made to ensure students in the same family attend on the same day to allow for greater probability of older students being at home with younger siblings. We will also make efforts to schedule dual enrollment students to attend on the same day of their college courses.
A: Google Classroom will be the learning management system (LMS) used for the entire district. Students will be able to locate videos, recordings, assignments, assessments, folders to submit work, and other necessary and relevant resources. The primary focus of instruction through distance/remote learning will be on the achievement of overall expectations across all subjects and grades. Lessons and assignments should cover overall curriculum expectations. In addition to quizzes and exams, culminating activities, such as performance tasks, demonstrations, projects, and essays will be utilized for assessment and grades. 
A: The Georgia Department of Education has recommended the following methods for collecting attendance virtually:
  • Track student duration in online course and time spent in the online classroom/platform
  • Track student log-in into online platform
  • Track student attendance during live virtual instruction
  • Track student submission of assignments and student/teacher interactions
There is no standard-school attire required for the virtual setting. Students shall dress in an appropriate manner so as not to distract or interfere with the operation of the school.

Tip: Even though classes are online, step out of those pajamas or other loungewear and into your normal, everyday wear for classes. Just as you would on any other school day, the act of getting ready for the day will help you feel more alert and present.
A: The following precautionary measures are advised for a large class setting like PE, Art, Music, and Band:

PE- 
  • Close locker rooms to prevent congregating
  • Do not require dressing out for PE
  • Limit the activities to those that require minimal contact
  • Limit the amount of shared equipment
  • When two teachers are present, split into two groups to allow for better social distancing
  • Cleaning and disinfecting between classes
 
Art, Music, Band, Chorus-
  • Limit the amount of shared equipment
  • Cleaning and disinfecting between classes
  • Space students or request the use of masks, particularly in music, chorus, or band
  • Limit the number of students in the classroom at one time to allow for appropriate social distancing 
A: We understand our community’s concerns for the health and safety of our students and staff. Therefore, upon arrival, all students will have their temperatures checked before entering the school building. Parents are asked to remain in your vehicle until your child’s temperature is taken and he/she is cleared to enter the building. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will not be permitted to enter the school building. Once cleared (fever-free) all students will walk independently to his/her classroom under the supervision of school staff.  We ask that you be patient with us as there will be added wait time before departure. 
A: Our current plan is to pre-sell tickets from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Monday-Thursday of the week leading up to a game. Tickets will be sold from the stadium ticket booth.
For home games, we will sell 1200 general admission tickets. Additionally, 200 reserved seating tickets will be sold, including a parking pass. Reserved seats will be sold in pairs on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
Districts across the region are currently making decisions about how they will approach the football season. These decisions will have a significant impact on our season.
A: Students that choose Full Distance/Remote Learning due to safety concerns will still be permitted to participate in extracurricular activities that operate under the guidance of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA). The GHSA permits student involvement as long as they maintain the eligibility requirements of the GHSA. Participation in other clubs and organizations will be dependent upon each club or organization's individual characteristics and purpose, and will be determined by each school's administration. 
A: Georgia law does not address this question, however, the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services follows these guidelines: 
  • Children eight years or younger should not be left alone
  • Children between the ages of nine years and twelve years, based on level of
    maturity, may be left alone for brief (less than two hours) periods of time
  • Children thirteen years and older, who are at an adequate level of maturity, may
    be left alone for up to twelve hours
  • It may not be advisable to leave an older child who has a special condition or
    disability alone
A: All nonessential visitors and volunteers should be restricted. Visitors who are permitted into the building should be screened and asked to wear a face covering while in the building, and to restrict their visit to only their place of business.
Records should be maintained of all visitors (e.g. name, contact information, time of arrival/departure, screening completion, etc.) 
A: Following the guidelines outlined in Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools: 
  • Work with school administrators, school nurses, and other healthcare providers to identify an isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms
  • Assist in arranging to have the individual transported home or to a healthcare facility
  • Close off areas used by a sick person; clean and disinfect according to guidelines
  • Notify the district office contact immediately of a possible case
  • Based on contract tracing, notify staff and affected families immediately of a possible case while maintaining confidentiality consistent with all applicable federal and state laws
  • Direct affected staff and students not to return until they have been cleared by their physician to return to school or have met the Department of Public Health (DPH) criteria
A: The district has put in place enhanced mitigation measures which are as follows: 
  • Provide students and staff with targeted, age-appropriate education in proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (i.e. coughs, sneezes). Posters/signage will be placed around the school
  • Utilize staff self-assessment tools to ensure awareness of possible symptoms of COVID-19. Staff who suspect they may have symptoms should stay home and seek testing.
  • Parents/caregivers should perform daily screening of their child(ren) and keep sick kids home
  • Temperature checks should be performed upon entry into the building
  • Require the use of face coverings by students and staff in designated areas (i.e. hallways, common areas, buses, etc.).
  • Clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, water fountain knobs, light switches, toilet and faucet handles, electronic devices, students’ chairs and desks/tabletops) at least daily and limit sharing of instructional supplies, materials, and devices
  • Provide access to and encourage parents to send supplies (i.e. hand sanitizer, tissues)
  • Promote social distancing to the extent feasible 
  • Eliminate field trips and large group congregations (i.e. school wide assemblies)
  • Send symptomatic students to the nurse for temperature checks; separate and send them home if temperatures reach or exceed 100 degrees. Advise parents that students need to be fever free for at least 72 hours without using fever reducing medication or as instructed per CDC/ DPH guidelines for COVID-19.
  • Restrict meal consumption to the classroom or similar spaces. Utilize a rotation schedule for the cafeteria to the extent possible for students to social distance
  • Utilize cohorts, reduce transitions, and monitor traffic flow patterns when feasible to limit the mixing of students to reduce the potential number of exposures
If you would like to request a schedule change, please contact the principal of your child's school. The principals' contact information can be found here.
A: A Distance Learning Plan will be created for students with IEPs. This plan will be created between the parent(s) and their student's case manager. These plans will be individualized and agreed upon by both parties. Case managers will be contacting parents to create these plans soon. A parent letter is available on the student services web page.
A: Students with 504 plans will receive all accommodations that can be implemented via remotely. Teachers will do so in coordination with parents, and both teachers and school administrators will be available to answer any questions or concerns that parents may have.
A: All students will receive devices. The distribution of devices will begin with those without a device, and progress to those with a device that is not optimal for distance learning.
A: The Burke County Public School System encourages parents to give medication at home whenever possible. However, if you have a child that will be attending school for face to face instruction starting on September 8th and he/she will need medication during the school day (this includes daily and emergency medication), the schools have asked that you contact your child's school nurse to set up an appointment time to bring the medication in 

Also, during this COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommends the following for those with acute asthma symptoms: asthma treatments using inhalers with spacers are preferred over nebulizer treatments (treatments that use a "breathing machine") whenever possible. Nebulizer treatments at school should be reserved for children who cannot use or do not have access to an inhaler. Please call your child's doctor and ask about a rescue inhaler for school.
A:  School meal boxes for virtual students will be available to pick up starting this Friday from 11:00 am-1:00 pm and 4:00 pm-6:00 pm at ANY of the 5 Burke County Schools.  If you have children at multiple schools, you can pick up all of their boxes at one location. 

 

Waynesboro Primary School pickup is at the entrance on Olympic Drive.
Blakeney Elementary School pickup is at the entrance on Olympic Drive.
SGA Elementary School pickup is on the right side of the school where the buses load.
Burke County Middle School pickup is on the left side of the school at the gymnasium entrance.
Burke County High School pickup is at the bus dock on the backside of the school.

 

Upon arrival at the school, you will be asked to provide your child(ren)'s name and current school enrollment. This is in an effort to reduce duplicate distribution of boxes.

 

Burke County will provide meal boxes to any children ages 0-18 who are NOT participating in the hybrid (A/B) schedule. The boxes are for 100% VIRTUAL STUDENTS that are not coming to school. If students are coming to school for the hybrid schedule, they should have already received their take-home meals the previous day at school and are not eligible to pick up a box.  

 

Any children 0-18 who are not in school may also pick up a box. This means children from birth to age 18 are qualified. HOWEVER, if your child goes to any of the daycares listed below, they cannot pick up a box. This is because they already get meals at their daycare.

 

This is the list of daycares that participate in the Child and Adult Food Care Program and any children attending these daycares would not be eligible to pick up a virtual meal box.  

  1. A Child's World Daycare and Learning
  2. Burke County Head Start
  3. Davis Lil' Angels
  4. Kozy Kids Child Care
  5. Lena's Lullaby Childcare, Inc.
  6. Marie's Creative Kids Kindergarten, Inc.

The boxes will contain 5 days’ worth of meals. They will include 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 suppers. There will be refrigerated items in the boxes so it is important to unpack them as soon as possible.

 

In consideration of the time and temperature control required by the weekly food boxes, we will no longer be able to deliver the boxes. Instead, the boxes must be picked up at one of the five Burke County Schools. We understand that this may be an inconvenience due to lack of transportation. Therefore, we will allow a family member or friend to pick up your student’s box on your behalf each Friday. September 18th box will be the last box delivered to homes. 


Please contact your School Nutrition Manager or the School Nutrition Office if you have questions. (706) 554-5393.

A: Students will receive breakfast and lunch on any day they attend school in person.  At the end of the day, students will receive bagged meals to take home for the next day.  Each student will bring home breakfast, lunch, and supper for the following day after being in school in person. 
Thus, if a student is in school 2 days a week they will receive Breakfast & Lunch each day they are in school and an extra day of meals to take home for the days they are not in school (up to two days).  For example: If a student comes to school on Monday they will receive breakfast and lunch at school on Monday and will receive Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper to take home for Tuesday at the end of the day.
COVID-19 has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. As a result, the CDC and GaDPH recommend social distancing in many settings.  The risk of contracting COVID-19 is now a fact of life and we each assume that risk when we have person-to-person contact or are otherwise in a place where exposure is possible.

Burke County Public Schools (“BCPS”) has put in place preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; however, none of these measures create ministerial duties for its employees.  BCPS employees are expected to exercise sound discretion in following CDC and GaDPH guidance.