The District has made some adjustments to our return to school plan based on parent responses to our surveys and feedback from principals and teachers combined with the most recent guidance available to us from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Mississippi State Department of Health.
District Calendar; First Day of School
The first day of school for students will be delayed until Monday, August 10 to allow teachers additional time in their schools and classrooms to become familiar with new procedures and protocols in response to Covid-19 as they prepare for the first day of school. This will also allow our elementary schools to host open house events to meet parents, accept school supplies, and complete necessary paperwork. It will also allow Partnership Middle School time to host small group tours for parents and students. Options for open house events could be drive-thru, virtual and/or in-person with restrictions. Dates, times and details for open house events are TBA.
The first day of school for teachers will be Tuesday, August 4.
As the District considers further adjustments to the 20-21 calendar, I would prefer not to eliminate fall break or shift entirely to a virtual learning plan for all students following Thanksgiving. However, those decisions will be made at a later date depending on rate of community spread and latest guidance available to schools. I am concerned our teachers, students and families will need a break this fall, and if the virus outbreak is relatively low at Thanksgiving, I am hopeful we can finish the semester as planned.
Backpacks & Lunchboxes
Backpacks and lunchboxes will be allowed in all schools/grades as the AAP, CDC, and MSDH have determined spread of Covid-19 is most likely transmitted as an airborne virus mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes rather than through contact with soft surfaces. Kindergarten students may also bring a plastic kindermat.
Traditional Learning Option Shifts to Five Day Week
The District’s traditional learning option will include a five day week rather than a four day week as originally proposed. The District will implement both traditional and virtual learning options simultaneously. A hybrid learning option will also be offered at Starkville High School.
Return to School Survey Deadline is July 15
The deadline for parents to complete the initial Return to School survey to select their preferred learning option for their child is Wednesday, July 15, at 5 pm.
To view the descriptors for each learning option and complete the return to school survey, click on the link below:
Students of parents who do not complete the return to school survey will be assigned a traditional schedule.
If you have already completed the survey, please DO NOT complete it again.
Change Request for Learning Option
The District will share a new form with parents on Thursday, July 16, to complete if they would like to change their decision regarding their preferred learning option for their child. Parents will have until Tuesday, July 23 at 8 am to change their decision for the start of school.
In grades K-5, parents may choose to move their child/student between traditional and virtual learning models at the start of school OR at the end of each nine-weeks grading period. Students who change learning options at the end of the nine weeks period may be assigned to a new teacher. The deadline for parents to choose their child’s learning option for the first nine weeks is July 23 at 8 am.
In grades 6-12, parents my choose to move their child/student between traditional, virtual, and/or hybrid (10-12 only) learning models at the start of school OR at the end of the semester. Students who change learning options at the end of the semester may be assigned to a new teacher(s). The deadline for parents to choose their child’s learning option for the fall semester is July 23 at 8 am.
The District is exploring the possibility of offering Extended Day at Sudduth Elementary School, but parents who rely on this program for after-care are encouraged to explore alternate options.
School Starting & Ending Times
The District has not yet finalized school starting and ending times.
Online Registration for 2020-21
Online registration is OPEN for new and returning students for the 2020-21 school year. Get started at www.starkvillesd.com/registration. All documents may be uploaded electronically. Proof of residency requirements for RETURNING students who do NOT have a change of address have been waived.
If you do NOT have access to internet or a device to complete your child’s online registration form, the computer lab at Sudduth Elementary School will be open for in-person registration July 22-24. Masks will be required, and we will be practicing social distancing of six feet in the computer lab and the gymnasium. We’ll also be checking temperatures at the door.
Dates for In-Person Registration at Sudduth Elementary School (Use Gym Entrance)
July 22 – 11 am until 6 pm
July 23 – 7 am until 2 pm
July 24 – 7 am until 2 pm
Parents who have completed ALL requirements for registration will NOT need to come to registration at Sudduth Elementary School.
Teacher Assignment/Student Schedules
Teacher assignments/student schedules will be shared with parents July 27-29. Schools may choose to distribute teacher assignments and/or student schedules via email or drive-thru pick-up. Schools will share details next week.
School Supply Lists
Our school supply lists are available online at https://www.starkvillesd.com/parents/school-supply-lists .
Staying Safe Together Return to School Guide
The District’s comprehensive return to school guide, Staying Safe Together, will be released to our employees and families on Tuesday, July 21, following the school board meeting.
This guide details protocols for face coverings, hand-washing, social distancing, disinfecting and sanitization plan, transportation, health screenings, suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases, and much more.
As we prepare for August, it is increasingly important that we do everything we can to protect our personal health and wellness. This means wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding social gatherings and large groups, and washing your hands. All of us have a personal responsibility to protect each other. While we cannot eliminate spread, we must take the necessary steps to mitigate it as we stay safe together.
I believe our schools belong to our families and community, and I appreciate the valuable feedback that has been shared with me from our parents, teachers, principals and members of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council. Thank you for your continued support.