In the March 23, 2021 edition of Williamson County Schools’ “Rumor Mill,” WCS answers questions from parents about new CDC guidelines and if there will be summer camps this year.
How will the new CDC guidelines affect our schools?
The district received the updated guidelines late last week and are in the process of reviewing them. The district hopes to adjust some of the mitigation strategies in place, and any changes will be shared when made.
The reference to spacing students three feet apart only applies to elementary classrooms and if all students and staff are wearing masks. In the cafeteria, students are still to be spaced six feet apart, due to the inability to wear a mask while eating. In common areas, like hallways, lobbies and auditoriums, students and staff are required to wear masks.
As of March 23, the CDC has determined that Williamson County is a high transmission county, so the three-foot rule does not apply to middle or high schools. Regarding classes like band, chorus, weightlifting, etc., the standards still include the expectation that students are still to be six feet apart. The map on the TDH website has more information about community transmission.
The Health Department still defines close contact as being within six feet for a total of at least 15 minutes within 24 hours, either consecutive or cumulative, depending on the exposure level and setting. The Health Department will use its discretion on what constitutes close contact, generally within six feet for 15 minutes or more, when making its final decision.
I’m confused about summer camps and programs in WCS this year. What, if any, will be offered?
- The State passed the Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act in January, which requires districts to offer optional, in-person summer opportunities for priority students. Priority students are those who are below proficient in math or ELA on the TCAP assessments or benchmark tests. As a result of the legislation, WCS will offer a four-week summer school beginning June 7 for rising first through eighth grade students. Parents will receive an invitation through Skyward this week.
- Because of resources needed for summer school, ENCORE, the fee-based, optional elementary camp, will not be offered in WCS this summer.
- The Extended School Year program for students who receive special services as determined by the student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) team will continue.
- The School Aged Child Care program will operate it SACC Summer camp.
I remember hearing about plans to build a middle school near Jordan Elementary. Is that still scheduled to happen and if so when will that school open?
According to the district’s Capital Outlay Plan, which is updated annually, a middle school is scheduled to open on the Jordan property in the Fall of 2023.