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COVID-19 reset: District makes good use of time during Thanksgiving holiday break

When the bells rang on Nov. 20, children and teachers within Warren County headed to a week away from the classrooms as they began their annual Thanksgiving holiday break.

The ringing bells also marked the start of a reset of sorts for the Vicksburg Warren School District, which has used the Thanksgiving break to thoroughly clean each of the schools before children return to the classrooms Monday.

According to Dr. Cedric Magee, Associate Superintendent for the Vicksburg Warren School District, each of the schools in the District were cleaned, which also included the use of the Clorox electrostatic Total 360 system, which delivers disinfecting solutions to the front, back and sides of all surfaces.

And, when students return, it is likely more of them will be returning to the classroom. Since the start of the school year on Aug. 17, the District has seen more students transition from distance learning to in-person learning as everyone has become more familiar and used to the COVID-19 protocols.

At the start of the school year, the District reported a near 50-50 split between those students in the classroom and those taking advantage of the District’s distance learning capability. But, as of Nov. 13, the latest date for which data is available, the number of students in the classroom has risen to 55 percent, with 45 percent of the students distancing learning. 

During the week of school before the Thanksgiving break, the District reported its most active COVID-19 week, with 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 being reported with more than 40 students and teachers forced to quarantine. But, the District’s protocols have appeared to be working as the District has remained open to in-person lessons, while some districts in the state have had to revert to virtual learning only.

“We are proud of the work across the District to keep children, staff and families safe. The District continues to provide PPE for all staff and students — face masks, face shields, gloves, etc. — and ensures there are plentiful cleaning supplies such as wipes, sanitizer, soap and disinfecting solutions,” Magee said. “Enhanced cleaning protocols, including increased frequency of disinfecting high touch surfaces, ongoing use of the Clorox Total 360 system and social distancing protocols will continue when students return.”

He also said the District will continue to require face masks to be worn in schools and enforce the cleaning and social distancing protocols as it has from the start.

“We are in close contact with reporting agencies and the Mississippi Department of Education about COVID-19 and will make any changes needed to comply with any new recommendations or orders issued by these organizations to keep students and staff safe,” Magee said.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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