Alcorn School District students will return on a staggered schedule and high school sports won’t begin on time next month when classes resume during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Bill Brand told school board members on Monday night the district use the first three days of the school year to ease back to a normal schedule.
“Half of the student body will attend school on Wednesday, Aug. 5, while the other half will attend on Thursday, Aug. 6. On Friday, Aug. 7, all students will come back,” Brand said. “Each day we will release at 1:30 p.m. This will allow everyone – students, teachers and administrators – the opportunity to ease back into a full school day under the new guidelines.”
Alcorn Central, Biggersville and Kossuth schools will use a traditional model released by the state department of education during the new school year. The model includes requiring face mask coverings to be worn by students and staff at certain times and temperature screenings at the beginning of each day.
Following a Tuesday meeting, schools across the state learned all high school sports in Mississippi will be delayed by two weeks.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association emphasized that new information could cause changes later.
Cross country, swimming and volleyball teams can start practicing Aug. 10 and competing Aug. 24.
Football practice can begin Aug. 17. Scrimmages between schools can begin Sept. 4 and games can begin Sept. 11. The organization said football playoff and championship dates in November and December are unchanged. Football games scheduled for the first two weeks of the season will not be made up.
The association’s executive director, Don Hinton, said the group remains in contact with medical experts, government officials and school administrators about the pandemic. He said “new information can and will alter plans and schedules at any time.”
“We know how important these extracurricular activities are to the students, parents, families, schools and communities of our state,” Hinton said in a statement. “We’re staying optimistic and doing everything we can to move forward for the upcoming school year.”
The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, said during a news conference with the governor on Tuesday that football might be possible with some safety precautions for players, though he said it’s possible that teams will have players out with the virus at different times.
“Crowds are never safe right now, so that’s a real concern,” Dobbs said.