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Colbert County Schools prepare for new year with safety equipment

Students will start back Aug. 24 in staggered start times.

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 3:04 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2020 4:26 PM

Colbert County Schools have ordered disinfecting fog machines, shield face coverings and hand sanitizer stations to help fulfill the school system's newly released back to school plan.

Colbert County Schools Superintendent Dr. Gale Satchel said the 19-page plan is still a fluid situation and things can change quickly. To make the plan work, Satchel said they've had to spend thousands on masks, cleaning supplies and disinfecting fog machines. So far, the school system has bought hand sanitizer stands, 16 disinfecting machines, masks, Clorox wipes and about 50 face shield masks.

Satchel said they've extended the deadline for parents to decide on virtual or traditional school so parents have time to look over the district's back to school plan. The original deadline for parents to decide was in July. Satchel said they are working to get an official date for the deadline.

She said because they don't know how many students will actually come to school yet, it's unclear how many students will be in each classroom.

"At this moment, we do not know the number of students that will come to us with that traditional learning environment. Once we get that number down, we will start looking at our classrooms," said Satchel.

Satchel said while they have some supplies in to help with the reopening plan, some items are back-ordered.

"It hasn't been quite as difficult as it's been a delay. We need them now. We need them by Aug. 10, and some of our deliveries won't come in until after August and maybe early September, and we're getting anxious," said Satchel.

Students will go back in staggered dates alphabetically starting Aug. 24. More nurses and staff will be hired so teachers with underlying health conditions or in the vulnerable age population can work from home on the virtual school aspect.

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