Washington County School District plans ahead for Coronavirus
CHIPLEY - The Washington County School District met Monday afternoon to get a game plan together on what they will do if schools stay out longer than the planned two weeks mandated by the state in precaution to the national Coronavirus issue.
The district said that as the situation develops the protocol for what the schools will have to do could change at any minute.
“They (the State Board of Education) are responding as we speak,” Superintendent Joe Taylor said. “Right now we are only anticipating two weeks but that could change tomorrow...Friday at 9 a.m. we were still planning on being open and then by 3 p.m. that all changed.”
Taylor said that if it is decided that schools will be closed longer than the anticipated time the district worked with schools and parents to work out a plan for students to make up curriculum that would be missed.
He said a mass survey was done by families and students to get a feel for how to prep such curriculum in case it was needed.
“We did a survey and collected over 3,000 responses from students and parents about what type of technology they had at home,” he said. “Some parents indicated that they would prefer pens and paper in which case packets would be delivered home.”
Taylor said another survey was done that included teachers calling the parents and students to aid in determining what the best course would be in getting curriculum out to students. He said one issue they district was trying to figure out was the matter of families who did not have internet or “hotspot” capabilities at their home. The district, he said did not have the capability to provide hotspots to families without it, which was a questions posed to them by the state.
One teacher complimented the district on the idea of the teacher call out project, saying that the parents really appreciated hearing, “a human voice” instead of a pre-recorded call.
“They were so joy-viol,” the teacher said. “It was almost tear jerking...I thought it was an excellent idea.”
Taylor said that other things that would have to be considered would be school trips and activities that were canceled as a result of the precautionary measures taken. When asked if those would be rescheduled, Taylor said he couldn’t give a definite answer and didn’t want to get any one’s hopes up.
Vernon and Chipley High School principals said they were running into a situation of trying to find other venues for their proms because of the situation and currently were looking at having to have prom after graduation unless another venue could be located.
Nursing Students of Florida Panhandle Technical College asked about clinical hours if the closure lasted longer than expected. Taylor said those issues were addressed by the Nursing Board and were being handled by their teachers and that FPTC were already working on a plan.
Taylor also said in the mean time for the next several days the district was working on a project for the county to help with meals.
From March 17 -20 the district will be spearheading a food distribution for youth 18 years and younger of Washington County.
They will have sites in the three sites at Chipley and one site in Vernon as well as have six buses traveling around the far corners of the county delivering food.
The food distribution site will be from 10am from 1pm. The district said the buses will follow bus routes and deliver the food to bus stops.
The district also said if you need a meal and did not receive one to call 850-638-6222.
The buses will run as follows:
Bus 1: Tumble Creek, Orange Hill, Alford Highway, and Corbin Road
Bus 2: Wausau
Bus 3: North Washington County
Bus 4: Sunny Hills
Bus 5: Ebro
Bus 6: Carryville
Bus 7: Greenhead
Food distribution sites in Chipley:
Kate Smith Elementary, 1447 South Boulevard
TJ Rouhlac Center, 651 Pecan Street
Yes, Lord Deliverance, 739 7th Street
Food distribution site in Vernon:
Vernon Elementary: 3665 Roche Avenue