Ocean Springs School District preparing for reopening
With the start of the school year right around the corner, teachers and staff from the Ocean Springs School District are preparing for the year ahead.
Ocean Springs School District Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman said, “Parents really need to know that we are dependent on them to be active partners with us as we attempt to go back to school. It’s going to be very important that we keep our students calm. It is very important that we keep our staff and students safe.”
In Ocean Springs, students must wear masks on school buses and in hallways. During lunch, students will have closed lid trays and be eating in their classrooms. In hallways, traffic will be one direction and classrooms will be as static as possible.
Magnolia Park Second Grade Teacher Courtney Leslie is adjusting to the new changes in her classroom, but remains very optimistic. There are hand sanitizer stations in every classroom. “I have a lot of years of teaching behind me and sometimes we get used to doing the same thing. So, this kind of forces us to do things differently. I’m finding some things I’m like ‘why didn’t I do that before? This is a great idea. This is a safer way.’”
In the classroom, school supplies that would normally be shared among students will be kept separate. Students will also have assigned seating to help track if there is exposure to the virus. “As far as keeping our kids safe, we are not concerned about that. We trust our school district. Our administration has worked really, really hard to make this plan. We trust them. It’s just about what we can do best in our classroom for them,” said Leslie.
However, if you don’t feel safe sending your child back to school, there is a virtual learning option. The deadline to register for this nine weeks is Friday. If the students do qualify for free or reduced lunch they can still pick up lunches daily or for the week. “My outlook for the year is great. I mean, this is an opportunity but also an incredible challenge. We have decided as a leadership team and also as a teaching force that we are going to embrace this year, be as resilient as we have ever been.”