MARSHALL, TX (KTAL/KMSS) – School will soon re-open for students in Marshall, Texas. The school district is preparing for a new year with a lot of changes due to COVID-19.
“This year is going to look a little different, safety, teaching, hand in hand,” said Superintendent Jerry Gibson of Marshall Independent School District.
He says this school year brings a mix of emotions and challenges.
“There are only certain things that I can be in control of and those are the things that I am going to focus on. I can be in control of trying to keep our students as safe as possible and as germ-free as possible while giving the best education that we can give.”
Gibson plans to take control by social distancing students and monitoring them throughout the day.
“We’re going to have our desks sit five to six feet apart and inside those desks will be students, who at the elementary school will be wearing a shield, and at the secondary will be wearing a mask.”
Teachers will be wearing masks and face shields while they teach, and for students, there will be a reprimand for those who do not wear a mask.
“We have a three-strikes rule and after three-strikes, if a student has to be told to put their mask on or to wear a mask, then they will automatically be a virtual learner for the remainder of the six weeks.”
Gibson says they plan to be more proactive with their classroom cleaning policies.
“They’ll be wiped down and cleaned multiple times a day, and they will be thoroughly cleaned at the close of the day.”
Students will also be social distancing on the school bus, which will operate at 50% capacity, normally a bus will hold 70 students.
“We’re going to have 30 on the bus at any given time at max. So, we will allow a student who has a brother or sister or someone from the same household to sit with them on a seat, they have already been exposed to each other. Other than that there will be spacing in between throughout the bus. Buses will be sprayed down with a disinfectant at the close of the day and after every run, they’ll be wiped down.”
Temperature checks will be taken before students get on the bus. And, for those who are dropped off by personal car or walk, will get their temp checked before entering into the school, along with teachers.
“Anyone who works for the district is being required, we’re telling them you must do your self-check before you come to school and to turn in a verification form every morning that says I have no symptoms of COVID and my temperature is below 100.”
Parents will decide if their children will attend classes virtually or face to face.
“The student will have a schedule whether they are face-to-face or whether they choose virtual learning, they will have a set schedule. If they have Algebra at 8:30 in the morning, then they will be in front of their computer with their teacher teaching them, it will be interactive via computer.”
Extracurricular activities will continue as normal.
“We are going full steam ahead with our extracurricular activities, but you have to be a face-to-face learner to participate in extracurricular.”
Gibson says they want to keep the same consistency for students attending school on campus and those at home.
M.I.S.D starts school on August 13th. If you would like to view their reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year click here.