Poplarville schools developing specific plans for fall

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 16, 2020

With restart plan in hand, each school in the Poplarville School District district will be submitting individual plans for how the district wide restart plan will be implemented on each campus.

The plans will outline how schools would transition to virtual distance learning if any grade levels or entire schools have to have temporary closures. The school level plans will have to include details like how students will be moving through classrooms and how classroom supplies will be managed.

Superintendent Konya Miller will receive the plans for review on July 22 and will be presented to the Board on July 27 at the next meeting.

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Those plans should be finalized before the start of the fall semester.

“We’re not just showing up and formulating a plan as we go,” said Miller.

In early June, Miller established nine committees to help plan how to restart school in the fall, and the committees included parents, community members, students and healthcare workers. The restart plan was created using the input from the committees.

“We’ve got kids to think about, and adults who touch kids’ lives to think about,” said Miller.

Paula Hunt, a parent in the district, attended the meeting with some concerns about how school will look in the fall. She asked the Board if it had considered the challenges of a student having poor Internet making virtual learning less accessible and living far away from the school, which can make riding the bus necessary.

Miller said she understands those issues, and the district has made the best plans possible. Due to the geographic size of the district, it cannot add additional bus runs. The district will try to be flexible and adjust plans as necessary, said Miller.

In other business, the Board:

—Approved an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Equality. The district will receive a grant to pay for up to 25 percent of the cost of a new school bus. In exchange it is required to decommission an older bus that does not meet emissions standards. The district will have to drill a hole through the engine of the older bus and cut the frame.

—Approved the meal price increase for breakfast meals. The cost of school breakfast meals will increase by a quarter for both adults and students at all schools in the district.