This is Jonathan Criswell director of schools for the Milan special school district. Our faculty and staff are working hard as we prepare for the reopening of schools this fall. I want to update you on the reopening plan for the Milan Special School District. Our goal is to open schools on Monday, August 3 with two learning options, an in-person option, and an off-campus virtual option. Students and families will be able to choose what best fits their family’s needs.
The in-person option will resemble a traditional “in the building” type of school day with new exceptions and expectations built into the day. For example, additional cleaning and sanitizing will be performed throughout the buildings and in classrooms during the day. At night, each building will be sanitized again for a fresh start each morning. Also, student desks will be arranged in the classroom to maximize social distancing. At this time, students and staff will be encouraged to wear masks, but they will not be required to wear masks while in the building.
Buses will continue to pick-up and drop off students during this time. Additional bus routes have been added to decrease the number of students on a bus at one time. Because of the close quarters of a school bus, students will be required to wear masks while riding a bus. Leadership teams for each school building in the district are developing the details of the school day such as arrival and dismissal times, lunch, and the rotation of classes. More building-specific information will be released soon.
The off-campus virtual learning option for students and families this fall will be based on the same Tennessee standards as in-person learning and will follow the same pacing guides. Students choosing off-campus virtual learning will have their grades and attendance taken and documented just as with in-person learning. Please know that the off-campus virtual learning option will be very different from the more relaxed way that lessons were handled at the end of the last school year. The virtual learning option will require students to be engaged in a learning day the equivalent of in-person learning. The day may include teacher pre-recorded virtual lessons, a live virtual teacher lesson through Google, traditional paper and pencil work, and/or work for students to complete through various learning software. The district is working to ensure any student who chooses the off-campus learning option is equipped to succeed through virtual learning. The Off-campus learning option requires parents and students to commit to at least nine-weeks of virtual learning. Students will not be allowed to move back and forth between the virtual learning option and the in-person learning option. After the first nine weeks, the student may return to in-person instruction or continue as an off-campus virtual learner. Off-Campus virtual learning students are not considered homeschoolers and will not have to pay any fees since their materials are covered as if they were learning in the building.
Students and families choosing this off-campus virtual option will need to enroll by July 21. A student registered with Milan Special School District will be enrolled automatically as an in-person learner unless this off-campus form is submitted by this Friday, July 21.
The form to enroll in the virtual learning option will be available, starting tomorrow, on Facebook pages for the Milan Special School District, MHS, MMS, and MES. It will also be available on www.milanssd.org and the website(s) of all three schools in our district. Starting tomorrow morning you may also call the schools to enroll your student in the virtual learning option.
If your child will be an in-person learner at the school building and you have already registered for school, there is no need for you to fill out any more enrollment forms. If your child will be an in-person learner at the school building and you have not already registered for school, you need to register through the links provided on the Facebook pages for the Milan Special School District, MHS, MMS, and MES. It will also be available on www.milanssd.org and the website(s) of all three schools in our district. or in the main office of each school.
We know these are trying times and there is not a perfect situation for learning to take place over the next few months. Like you, we are hoping this is temporary and that we can return to a traditional school setting soon.
You may call the schools for additional information. Since the COVID-19 data changes rapidly, the district will regularly update you as we move closer to the start of school. Keep watching our websites and Facebook pages and please encourage other parents to make certain they have a valid phone number on file with their children’s school so that we can communicate well. Thank you for all you do. Have a good evening and be safe. (Posted 7/12/2020 dj)