July 8, 2020
Last week, Scott County Schools distributed a survey to gather input from parents after state guidelines were released outlining safety protocols for the return to school. Masks must be worn by students and staff when they cannot maintain safe social distance at school and on the bus. Temperature checks will be done upon entry into all school buildings and parents will confirm assessment of students for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the school day.
With these guidelines in mind, nearly 5600 of about 8000 parents responded with 73% indicating their desire for students to return to in person classes in the fall. Comments included, “Children must return for in person instruction,” and “If we can make in person educating work we need to do everything in our power to do so.” A number of parents added the necessity for school to open so that their work schedules are not interrupted.
Of the remaining 27% of parents who indicated they would not send their children to school in person this fall, the majority of families selected virtual instruction by Scott County Schools as their alternative option.
More than 70% of parents said they would provide a mask for the child(ren) on a daily basis with 23% telling us that schools will need to provide masks. More than 98% reported that they are aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Based on the data in the survey, 6% fewer students will be riding school buses to and from school each day. The number of parents indicating need for afterschool childcare programs was consistent with those using the service during the 2019-2020 school year.
The survey also provided an option for parents to provide detailed comments for school and district leaders to consider when developing plans to return to school. Most notably, parents were concerned about masks, students having to wear them for extended periods of time, and what happens if students refuse to comply with this guideline. Parents were also clear that they would like additional information about school reopening plans.
The new school day will look different from the past. We are working through a variety of considerations to ensure the safety of our schools for both students and staff. Individual school plans will be communicated to all stakeholders and will outline safety protocols you can expect throughout the school day.
One consideration in the plans will be re-configuring classrooms to ensure social distancing which will limit the time students have to wear masks. Another component will be the use alternative spaces for those who are or become ill and those who do not comply with guidelines. Schools will share specific details regarding temperature checks, cleaning schedules, hand washing and sanitizing stations, visitor guidelines, hot and cold meal service, and student transportation soon.