Gainesville City Schools students are set to go back to face to face instruction on Monday, August 17 this year.
The school board approved a calendar change at Monday night's meeting that allowed for orientation days on August 10 through 14, with the first day of instruction on August 17.
Superintendent Jeremy Williams also announced that students and staff will be required to wear a mask or face covering inside the schools and on buses. Williams said the school system will provide two reusable masks, or students and staff can wear their own face covering.
He added they are still developing an appropriate way to handle "mask breaks" to allow students and staff time to breathe freely and give their ears a rest.
In documents presented at Monday's virtual meeting, Williams said that presentations in both English and Spanish, as well as a video, explaining their process is available online. In it, he describes Option #1: Face to Face Instruction and what that means for potential fluctuations of the virus. Essentially, students would retreat to virtual or remote learning depending on severity and location of outbreaks. Option #2: Virtual Academy, in which students can complete all coursework from home.
Personal or at-home screenings will be required, as will screenings at each school. Interactions will be limited and capacities in rooms like the cafeteria and gym will be altered to best fit needs, but Williams expected they would operate at about 50% capacity, with students trading off eating lunch in the classroom or the cafeteria, etc.
Prior to the board meeting, the first public hearing was held for the Fiscal Year 2021 budget and millage rate. No public comments were made in person or submitted online.
The next meeting with be Monday, July 20 at 11:30 a.m. More details are available here.