DeSoto County schools will push back the start date for students four days, to Aug. 10, according to a letter from DeSoto County Schools administrators to parents.
The changes come in order to provide teachers with extra time to prepare for teaching via a new distance learning system. At time of publication, some teachers have received no training on the new virtual learning system.
The letter also said that parents needed to be ready for intermittent school closures throughout the year, as a confirmed case in a school could lead to hybrid or distance learning for the following days.
Parents should be prepared to change plans within a day, the letter said. If a case is confirmed in a school, some or all classes will be taught remotely until school leaders deem it safe for students and teachers to return.
The announcement also emphasized the importance of social distancing, wearing masks and reducing contact in the classroom.
This year’s classes will look unlike any in recent decades, with tape on the ground throughout schools to tell students where to stand and signs hung around buildings reminding everyone of good hand hygiene habits.
Schools will focus on having fewer shared supplies between students and keeping students six feet away from one another, though some teachers have expressed concerns about the feasibility of social distancing throughout the schools for the entire day.
The other changes in the schedule include the move for the distance learning day, in which students will complete their work from home, to Nov. 3 and the final day of school in the 2020-2021 school year to May 25.