Bay District Schools waiving dress code, other changes planned in preparation of resuming school

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We know that getting back to school is an important part of re-establishing “normal” in our community and we’re pleased to announce that it’s time to go back to school! 

We anticipate that all Bay District Schools students will be back in school no later than the week of November 12th (sooner if possible).  The back to school date is dependent upon:

  1. Restoration of needed utilities like water and power.
  2. Availability of the schools currently being used as transitional shelters.
  3. Navigability of our roads for our bus fleet (we need safe roads and safe bus stops).

We know that many of our families lost everything in the storm and we don’t want you to worry about school-appropriate clothing or supplies. Please know that we are:

  1. Temporarily waiving the colors of the dress code and just asking that students come dressed appropriately for school each day.
  2. Collecting donations from around the country and setting up Donation Stations at two of our schools.
  3. Making plans to connect students who have needs with our Donation Stations so their needs can be fulfilled.  We hope to be able to provide school-appropriate clothing, backpacks and supplies for those students who need them by the first day of school. Please follow us on Facebook for information about how your student can access these services.

We know that many of you are worried about the time your student has missed and how that might negatively impact him/her. Please know that we have:

  1. Petitioned the DOE for a waiver of many requirements (including the requirement to use FSA as a promotion requirement).
  2. Petitioned the DOE to ensure that every senior graduates on time and that all students are promoted on time.
  3. Requested a waiver of required minutes of instruction per day.
  4. Requested a waiver of all other deadlines and requirements that could negatively impact our students.

Based on previous conversations, we expect full support from Tallahassee on these, and other, requests.

So, what can you expect when we re-open?

  1. We will be thrilled to see your student! Our teachers got into this field to spend their days with kids.  They are missing your students terribly.
  2. Schedules will be different and your students may have different teachers.  Not all of our teachers are able to make it back to Panama City at this time so we will have to do some rescheduling.
  3. Some students will be attending school on the same campus as students from another school.  Many of our secondary students will be attending either morning or afternoon sessions at one campus. Our elementary students will attend school all day but one campus may house students from two schools. We have 200 portable classrooms on the way to assist us in increasing capacity where we need it.
  4. Bay Base will be open and we hope to expand the hours to assist you because we know community day cares have been heavily impacted by the storm.

What we don’t know just yet:

  1. Obviously our school calendar will be impacted by the storm but we don’t know to what extent.  Some days will have to be made up but the DOE/Governor’s Office will drive that.  We cannot answer YET how this will impact things like Spring Break and the day we release for the summer.  As soon as we have those answers we will provide them.
  2. How this will impact AICE, IB, DE and AP. Our experts are working with their experts to ensure that our students in those advanced programs are not negatively impacted by the storm.
  3. How this will impact our sports schedules.  Our coaches and athletic directors are working feverishly to try to re-establish schedules for our students.

We encourage you to continue to follow us on Facebook and to listen to WKGC 90.7.  When we have important information to share those are the two places we go first. There’s A LOT of misinformation in the community about our plans to return to school (hence this flyer) but those two sources can always be relied upon.

We hope that your family is rebuilding towards “normal” and we look forward to welcoming your students back to school!

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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