School Reopening

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Welcome to the information page for the reopening of school for 2020-2021. We will update information on this page throughout the summer of 2020 and during the 2020-2021 school year. Please check back often. If you have questions, please view the Frequently Asked Questions section for information. If you do not find an answer to your question on this page, you may submit a question here.


In an effort to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), all schools and offices in the Douglas County School System were CLOSED beginning March 16, 2020. Students and staff members worked from home through online platforms for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

On June 30, parents were emailed a plan for 2020-2021 that includes three learning options. Resources below explain the various options and protocols for reopening schools for the upcoming school year.

On July 16, the spread of COVID in Douglas County was classified as substantial. The Douglas County School System made the decision to begin the 2020-2021 school year with all students learning remotely. The start date was moved to August 17. (For a PDF of the revised calendar, please click here.)

Schools were reopened for in-person learning on a staggered schedule in September. Elementary students who signed up for Traditional Learning began attending in person on September 8, middle school students on September 14 and high school students on September 21. Students currently attend Monday through Thursday, with digital learning at home on Fridays. (For a letter from August 18 detailing the return to school, please click here.)

On October 5, the school system made the decision to maintain the current model of instruction through the end of the first semester. Students choosing the Traditional Learning option will continue to attend school in person Monday through Thursday. Students in School-Based Digital Learning will continue to learn from home Monday through Friday. All students will learn remotely on Fridays. See the article below for more information.

October 5, 2020

At the October 5 Board of Education work session, Superintendent North recommended an instructional plan for the remainder of the fall semester. Students will continue to have the option of in-person learning Monday through Thursday. All students will continue to learn online from home on Fridays.

"The plan is in accord with our Learning by Design document, which designates a hybrid learning model as long as the community spread of COVID-19 remains in the high range," said Superintendent North. "Right now, we are doing well with the model we have in place in terms of COVID cases in our schools. Toward the end of the first semester, COVID data and other factors will be analyzed in making plans for the second semester, which begins January 6."

Several factors were considered when making the decision for students to continue learning from home on Fridays, including: learning models being used in Metro RESA districts and surrounding counties; the contact tracing process and the benefits of having students at home one day a week to reduce the spread and limit direct contacts; feedback from principals and teachers regarding the challenges of providing in-person and online instruction simultaneously; and the challenges of deep cleaning buildings with a custodian fill rate of 91%.


The Douglas County School System is now observing four categories of community spread of COVID-19.

Recent data indicates that there is
High spread of COVID-19 in Douglas County per parameters set by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health.

Please see the Learning by Design document (below) for district initiatives and protocols during times of the various categories of spread.

levels of spread

 







Learning by Design (Updated 8-17-20)

The Learning by Design document outlines district initiatives and protocols for the 2020-2021 school year, including 
social distancing measures, lunch procedures, cleaning protocols and more. 

The document was updated on August 17 to include an additional category for level of community spread; a provision for students participating in Traditional Learning to attend school with a hybrid model (a split week of in-person and digital learning days) during times of High Community Spread; and a requirement that students, staff and visitors in school buildings, buses and offices wear a face covering during times of spread categorized as Minimal/Moderate, High, and Substantial.


Learning by Design Reopening Document (Updated 8-17-20 -- 21 pages)




Free Meals for All Students (9-10-20)

Free meals are now available for all children ages 0 to 18. Students attending school in-person are eligible for breakfast and lunch at no cost during the school day. Students who are attending school virtually only are eligible for free curbside pickup on Mondays from 4-6 PM (when pre-ordered through SchoolCafe.com). Parents will need to send funds if they would like their child to have second helpings and a la carte snacks like cookies and chips.
The USDA has approved these free meals based on the extended eligibility of the Seamless Summer Option which will expire December 31, 2020 or until funding is no longer available. Please complete your student meal application to determine eligibility and to ensure your student may continue benefits when this temporary program ends.
Danielle Freeman, Executive Director of the Douglas County School System School Nutrition Department says the system works hard to ensure students receive fresh and quality meals. “We are excited that USDA has extended this program to feed hungry children in our community. With the support of the Superintendent Trent North and DCSS Board Members, it is our intention to always fuel the future of Douglas County.”
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Safety Video for Students and Staff (9-8-20)

Please see the video below that outlines
safety procedures that will be common at all schools as many students transition to in-person learning in September.


Deep Cleaning of Buildings (9-8-20)

 
Some parents have asked about the procedure for deep cleaning the schools on Fridays when students are not in the buildings. The information below explains what takes place during a deep clean.

Custodians will deep clean schools each Friday as we move back to face-to-face instruction.  Here are some particulars for wiping and fogging:

1.    Deep cleaning occurs when wiping down surfaces by hand using proper chemicals (counters, tables, chairs, door knobs, playgrounds, restrooms fixtures, all high-touch areas, etc.)  Quick 1-minute video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKWxBjJJwPs

2.    Fogging occurs after contact tracing due to a positive COVID result.  Therefore, fogging may occur any day of the week, including weekends/holidays, to mitigate the virus.  Fogging does not clean dirt/grime away; only kills the virus.

3.    Fogging can be included in "deep cleaning" but is not necessary for deep cleaning.  Fogging is quicker and an alternative to wiping down, but is not proven to be more effective.  

4.    We use fogging to cover large areas in shorter time-frames to kill the virus after a positive confirmation.

5.    If you only fog with a disinfectant/cleaner (HALT), you have not deep cleaned.

6.    If you only wipe down with a disinfectant/cleaner (HALT), you have deep cleaned.

7.    Think of wiping down like taking a shower with water, antibacterial soap, a washcloth, and wo(man) power focused on specific areas VS. taking a fog of the antibacterial component only with no soap and no wiping.

8.    Deep cleaning occurs when a hospital-grade cleaner and disinfectant is applied to surfaces and wiped using a paper towel or cloth.  Given that fogging does not clean with a wipe using soap, fogging alone does not qualify for deep cleaning.

9.    Buildings have been deep cleaned specifically for COVID since March.  With more activity in schools, and the amount of time required to deep clean, Fridays will be the designated as days for deep cleaning as we transition back to face-to-face instruction.

10. To expedite mitigation after positive COVID cases, the district has purchased an electrostatic sprayer (fogger) for each school.

COVID-19 Reporting (9-8-20)

The Douglas County School System is now reporting new positive cases of COVID-19 in schools and buildings. Data will be posted on the school website by 5:00 each Friday. To access the page, click COVID-19 Cases on the right side of this page or click here.

Contact Tracing Process (8-24-20)

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

While our students and teachers are working online at this point, please know that we are diligently preparing for the return of students to our buildings. Administrators, teachers and custodians have spent countless hours developing procedures, arranging classes, placing signage and sanitizing buildings. When our students return, we will be ready to provide them with a healthy and well-planned learning environment.

The most important way you can help us prevent the spread of COVID-19 when students return is to keep your child home if he or she is showing any symptoms, including:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion
  • runny nose
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

A child showing any COVID-19 symptoms must remain at home for a period of time as determined by Cobb & Douglas Public Health. In addition, it is imperative that you keep your child home while awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Regardless of how many precautions we take, we know that some students and staff will test positive for COVID-19 in the days and weeks to come. Part of our COVID-19 preparation involves contact tracing and notification of parents when their child has been in contact with a person at school who has tested positive. I would like to share our notification procedure.

  • If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must report the positive test to the principal (or to the staff member’s supervisor).
  • The principal will report the positive case to the student services department. The head nurse will be notified and will work with Cobb & Douglas Public Health to determine direct and indirect contacts. Determining direct and indirect contacts takes some time.
    • Direct contacts are people who have spent 15 minutes or more with the person who tested positive while being within six feet, whether or not they were wearing a mask.
    • An indirect contact is someone who may have been in the same area with the person who tested positive, but not within six feet for 15 minutes or more.
  • Students and staff members who are identified as direct contacts will receive a call from a Douglas County School System nurse along with a letter instructing them to quarantine at home for a certain period of time.
  • If a student is at school when he or she is identified as a direct contact, someone from the school will call the parent to pick up the child. A direct contact will not be allowed to ride the bus home.
  • Students who are quarantined but not experiencing symptoms are expected to participate in digital learning from home.
  • Students or staff members identified as indirect contacts will receive a letter instructing them to monitor their children or themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Indirect contacts are not required to quarantine.

The letters to direct and indirect contacts will be sent by the school in one of two ways:

  • If the student is in school, the letter will be given to the student to take home. Please ask your child each day if he or she has a letter to share with you.
  • If the student is not in school, the letter will be emailed to the parent through our automated messaging system. Please ensure that your email address is correct in Infinite Campus.

Please keep in mind that in all cases, we will protect the privacy of our staff and students. We will not provide names or any information that could identify a person who has tested positive.

We appreciate your support as we work to keep our students and staff safe during this unusual time. Contact tracing is an important part of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The better job we do, the more likely it is that we will have a successful in-person experience for everyone.

Sincerely,

Renee Davis
Assistant Superintendent of Student Services


Forms and Guidance for One-to-One Devices (8-26-20)

Parents and students will find information on the One-to-One technology program on the DCSS website. Please click here for information about Chromebooks and laptops, including a resource guide, user agreement, frequently asked questions and more.


Parent Help with Online Learning (8-21-20)

The student achievement department has developed a website just for our parents! We understand how intimidating it can be to assist your child with the online platform during our time of digital learning.

You will find a plethora of information and resources at the Parent Support Portal. The information can seem overwhelming, but if you learn just one bit of information each day, you will soon become an expert.

Google Classroom and some forms of digital learning are here to stay, even when students return to in-person learning, so the more you know, the more you can assist your child right up through graduation!


Please Complete the Enrollment Verification Process for Your Child (8-12-20)


Parents and Guardians, we need your help with the enrollment verification process.

In the past, schools have sent paperwork home for parents to fill out verifying their phone number, email, address, emergency contacts, and medication needs and health conditions of the child. This year, we will accomplish the task online.

We ask that you log into Infinite Campus Parent Portal. Once you are logged in, you will click “More” and “Census Verification” and follow the prompts to verify or modify the information for your household.

It is critical that we have the correct information for your family in Infinite Campus.  Our automated messaging system pulls the phone numbers and email addresses from Infinite Campus, and we want to be sure that you receive all of the important messages from your school and from the district.

We ask that you complete the enrollment verification by August 28. We appreciate your help with this important annual verification for our students.

Please see the helpful links below:

  • Log into Infinite Campus Parent Portal here.
  • Click here for directions on filling out the enrollment verification.
  • If you need to set up Parent Portal, please follow the directions available here. For directions in Spanish, please click here.
  • If you have any problem accessing the “Census Verification” section of Infinite Campus or if you have a problem verifying or modifying the information, please email parent@dcssga.org
  • As a reminder, if you wish to receive text messages from your school and the district, please opt in by texting 67587 and typing “Yes.”

Queridos padres y guardianes,

Un aspecto positivo de adaptarnos a la educación durante una pandemia es que todos estamos aprendiendo a realizar tareas de formas nuevas y, a veces, mejores. La verificación de la inscripción es una de esas tareas.

En el pasado, enviamos documentación a casa para que los padres la completen verificando su número de teléfono, dirección, correo electrónico, contactos de emergencia y las necesidades de medicamentos y las condiciones de salud de su hijo. Este año, realizaremos la tarea en línea.

La verificación de inscripción debe completarse para los estudiantes que se inscribieron en una escuela en el condado de Douglas el año pasado. Lo hace no debe completarse para los estudiantes que se inscriben recientemente en el sistema escolar del condado de Douglas.

Para los padres de estudiantes que regresan, les pedimos que inicien sesión en Portal para padres de Infinite Campus . Una vez que haya iniciado sesión, haga clic en “Más” y “Verificación del censo” y siga las instrucciones para verificar o modificar la información de su hogar.

Es fundamental que tengamos la información correcta para su familia en Infinite Campus. Nuestro sistema de mensajería automatizada extrae los números de teléfono y las direcciones de correo electrónico de Infinite Campus, y queremos asegurarnos de que reciba todos los mensajes importantes de su escuela y del distrito.

Consulte los enlaces útiles a continuación:

  • Inicie sesión en el portal para padres de Infinite Campus aquí .
  • Hacer clic aquí para obtener instrucciones sobre cómo completar la verificación de inscripción.
  • Si necesita configurar el Portal para padres, siga las instrucciones disponibles aquí . Para obtener instrucciones en español, haga clic en aquí .
  • Si tiene algún problema para acceder a la sección "Verificación del censo" de Infinite Campus o si tiene algún problema para verificar o modificar la información, envíe un correo electrónico parent@dcssga.org
  • Como recordatorio, si desea recibir mensajes de texto de su escuela y del distrito, por favor opte enviando un mensaje de texto al 67587 y escribiendo "Sí".

Le pedimos que complete la verificación de inscripción antes del 28 de agosto. Agradecemos su ayuda con esta importante verificación anual para nuestros estudiantes.


Consolidated Bus Stops for 2020-2021 (8-6-20)


The buses will start rolling again when students return to our buildings. When bus transportation begins, the Douglas County School System will implement consolidated bus stops, allowing our drivers to deliver students safely to school on time. 

Students in a neighborhood or area will gather at one specified location for pick-up and will be dropped off at the same location. With the new plan, parents will need to walk or drive their children to the bus stop and supervise them until they step onto the bus.

To check your child's bus stop, click here. For more information about consolidated bus stops, click here




School-Based Digital Learning (SBDL) (8-5-20)

Students who selected the SBDL learning model will be allowed to continue with online learning for the entire 2020-2021 school year.

Athletic Update (8-6-20)


The Douglas County School System will follow guidance from the GHSA regarding fall athletics. 
Football conditioning will continue as scheduled. The first games will be moved from August 21 to September 4. Schools will still play a 10-game regular season followed by five rounds of playoffs. Preseason scrimmage games have been canceled.

Most GHSA fall sports will remain as scheduled on the current GHSA calendar; however, competition dates for competitive cheerleading have been moved to fall and winter. One Act Play competition has been moved to spring.

DCSS Will Provide a Learning Device for All Students for 2020-2021 (7-16-20)

Students in the Douglas County School System will be issued an electronic learning device for use at school and home for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents will receive information and protocols for the One-to-One technology initiative closer to the start of the school year. For more information on the program, please click here.


Update on School-Based Digital Learning (SBDL) and Extracurricular Activities (7-2-20)


According to the letter emailed to parents on June 30, students in the SBDL learning option would not be allowed to participate in extracurricular and athletic activities. Based on feedback from parents, teachers and administrators, SBDL students WILL be allowed to participate in extracurricular and athletic activities beginning with the first day of school. 

FAQ: Reopening of School for 2020-2021


Check here often for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the reopening of school for 2020-2021. New questions and answers will appear at the top of the list.

If you have a question or concern that is school-related, please email the principal directly. You will find a contact list for principals further down on this page. 

If you have a question that is not school specific and is not addressed in the FAQ, you may click here to ask a question.

Q: Why doesn't the school system require a staff member or student who has tested positive and quarantined for the appropriate number of days to have a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school?

Data shows that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to three months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within three months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19. For additional information, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html 


Q:
May I change my selection for School-Based Digital Learning or Traditional Learning?

A: You may change your learning option at the end of each nine-week period. You will need to advise the school of the change. Please reach out to an administrator at your school with any questions.

Q:
Will students who signed up for School-Based Digital Learning (SBDL) be allowed to continue with online learning for the entire 2020-2021 school year?


A: Yes, SBDL students may continue with online learning all year. They also may elect to transition to in-person learning at the end of each nine-week grading period.

Q: If my child is not selected for the FLEX Academy, will I have an opportunity to participate in SBDL?

A: Yes, your child will automatically be enrolled in SBDL. If you choose not to participate in this option, please notify your child’s principal.

Q: I’m new to Douglas County.  When can I register my child for school?

A: Registration for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. Due to Covid-19, all registration is completed online.  For information on the registration process, see the registration page on https://www.dcssga.org/departments/registration.  To begin the registration process, follow this link https://campus.douglas.k12.ga.us/campus/OLRLoginKiosk/douglas.

 Q: Will I receive a notification for the FLEX Academy?

A: Yes, you will receive one of two notifications. You will either be notified that your child has been accepted into the FLEX Academy or that your child has been waitlisted.

Q: When will I receive notification?

A: All notifications will be sent at the same time. Notifications should go out Friday, July 17, 2020.

Q: How will you determine what students are selected for FLEX Academy?

A: A computer generated lottery will be performed by the ScribOrder software company.


Q
: How many students will be allowed in FLEX Academy this first year?

A: The enrollment for FLEX will be capped at 550 students for the first year.

Q: What happens to students who apply for FLEX and aren't accepted?

A: Students who apply for FLEX and aren't accepted due to space will automatically be assigned SBDL.

Q: Will students in SBDL be allowed to participate in the After School Program at their school?

A: Yes. SBDL students will be allowed to participate in ASP.


Q: Will elementary students in Traditional Learning have recess?

A: Yes. A time for recess will be provided.

Q: Will the school system require all students to be tested for COVID-19?

A: No. The school system will not require that all students be tested.

Q: The new start date for students is August 17. Do we have to make up those eight days?

A: No. The only change to the calendar will be to delay the start date from August 5 to August 17. For a PDF of the revised calendar for 2020-2021, please click here.

Q: If my child signs up for School-Based Digital Learning (SBDL), will he or she be allowed to stay in their high school magnet program?

A: Yes. Students may take their regular magnet program classes with SBDL. Students in the FLEX Academy will not be able to participate in a magnet program.

Q: If I choose the SBDL option for the beginning of the year, will my upcoming 9th grader forfeit his acceptance into a magnet program?

A: No. A child accepted into a magnet program may participate through SBDL.

Q: Will my child be able to take advanced classes if he or she is enrolled in SBDL?

A: Yes. Students may take any advanced classes offered at their school while enrolled in SBDL.

Q: If my child enrolls in FLEX, will he be able to return to his enrolled school during the school year?

A: No. The expectation is that a student who signs up for FLEX will stay in the program for the entire school year.

Q: If my child is on transfer to another school in Douglas County and we choose FLEX, will he be able to go back to his current school for the 2021-2022 year.

A: If your child decides to leave FLEX after the first year, you will need to go through the transfer process once again. Your space will not be saved or guaranteed.

Q: Did the school system add a new position and salary with the appointment of the new principal for FLEX Academy?

A: No. A district office position was eliminated. The new position is budget neutral.

Q: Will my child be able to take AP and Honors classes at FLEX?

A: This first year, AP and Honors classes will not be available through FLEX. However, FLEX students may choose to participate in Dual Enrollment at a college. Students who want to take AP and Honors classes must participate in Traditional Learning or School-Based Digital Learning.


Parent Survey: Reopening of Schools for 2020-2021

For results from the survey of parents conducted the week of June 8, 2020, please click here.

New School Start Times for 2020-2021

The Douglas County School System has established new start times for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. For times and details, please click here.

Kindergarten Registration

Welcome to kindergarten in the Douglas County School System! We are thrilled to have the Class of 2033 join us for an exciting journey! Kindergarten is a time of personal adjustment and a stepping out beyond the family to the wider world.

Beginning Friday, May 1, parents may register their children for kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year. Please click here  for additional information.

How to Receive Communication from the District

The school district uses several platforms to disseminate information to stakeholders. Parents and community members may follow the Douglas County Georgia Schools Facebook page where district information is shared. They may also sign up for the weekly electronic newsletter, DCSS Digest, which is emailed every Friday when school is in session.

Parents, guardians and employees will receive automated messages via email, phone, text and app posting. The phone numbers and email addresses are pulled through Infinite Campus, our student information system. If you are not receiving messages, please reach out to the registration clerk at your school to check your information in Infinite Campus. You may also reach out to parent@dcssga.org.

To receive text messages, parents must opt in. Text 67587 and type Yes to begin receiving messages.

Anyone may sign up for the school system app. Search in your phone's app store for "Douglas County Schools" and look for the familiar blue and yellow five-star logo. (There is more than one Douglas County Schools app, so look for the logo.) After downloading the app, you will have the option to choose the schools from which you would like to receive alerts.

Contact List for Principals

For a list of schools and principals, please click here. To email principals, use this format: first.last@dcssga.org .

Parent Portal

For parents who need to set up Parent Portal, please follow the directions available here. For directions in Spanish, please click here.

Employee Rights Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Please click here for a PDF with details.

Resources

Emotional Resources
For a flyer with contact information for emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here or see the flyer below.
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COVID-19

For more information about the disease, please consult the resources below.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Georgia Department of Education
Office of the Governor
Social Distance Guide for Youth PDF
Talking With Children About Coronavirus Disease 2019
Checklist for Teachers and Parents
Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
Frequently Asked Questions
Tips for Parents While School’s Out

Governor's Office Update on COVID-19 (Slide Presentation)
COVID-19 Update from Governor's Office, GA Dept. of Public Health, GA Dept of Education (Slide Presentation)

Medical

To meet the health needs of our students during this time, we are proud to say that  Family Health Centers of Georgia has established a TeleHealth line. The Family Health Centers of Georgia currently serves as our medical provider for the School Based Health Center located on the campus of Burnett Elementary School. Services are provided to all students of the Douglas County School System and their siblings from three to 18 years of age.  Parents/guardians can call 770-651-2273 and leave a message regarding the health services needed. Someone from the Family Health Centers of Georgia be in contact to setup TeleHealth services. TeleHealth does not include vaccines; however, parents/guardians may schedule appointments at the main site for vaccines.  Most insurances are accepted.  Should you have additional questions, please call 770-651-2273. 

Community Services and Business Resources

Report Child Abuse and Neglect 24/7: 1-855-GA CHILD (1-855-422-4453)
Georgia Domestic Violence Hotline Available 24/7: 1-800-334-2836

List of Food Resources in Our Area
Douglas County Chamber of Commerce Business Resource Page

Food Finder (A Safe Way to Find Food Assistance Near You)
GPB Resources & Schedule for Instructional TV Programming
Douglas-County-To-Go Facebook Page from Douglas County Chamber of Commerce with Updates on Local Business Hours, Etc.
Food Stamp and Medicaid Assistance
Division of Family & Children Services
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
Those without internet access can contact the DFCS Customer Contact Center at 877-423-4746 for additional information or to request a paper application. 

School Social Workers

If you need assistance locating resources, you may reach out to the school social worker assigned to your child's school. For a list of school social workers and their contact information, please click below.

School Social Workers Contact Information and School Assignment







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