Column: A focus on wellness

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Avis Williams.
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BY AVIS WILLIAMS 

Next week I will recommend a comprehensive school reopening plan for the Selma City Schools board of education to discuss and approve. Like the state’s Roadmap to Reopening Schools, our plan will focus on safety and wellness. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that school protocols include a process for screening scholars and employees as they arrive each day. This is to determine if there are symptoms or evidence of exposure to COVID-19. More importantly, home is the first point of screening. 

Therefore, a key to the Selma City Schools wellness focus must include support from families. Families are encouraged to self-report symptoms of illness that may include fever and a persistent cough. Self-reporting can come in the form of calling the school and calling a healthcare provider. 

Beyond this, our schools and offices will have daily temperature checks and aggressive cleaning regimes. Scholars and employees will wear facial coverings. Proper signage will be posted in and around areas where face coverings are required.   

Proper hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers will also be a part of our wellness focus. Teaching our scholars to wash hands and use sanitizer is nothing new in our schools. However, as we reopen schools there is a heightened awareness of the importance of these practices. 

Physical distancing will also be employed when feasible. Both the CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health cite physical distancing as a method to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread. It should be noted that, while efforts will be made to do so, maintaining distancing may not always be practical in every school setting. 

Finally, we care a great deal about employee wellness. Selma City Schools is offering voluntary testing for all employees at the end of this month. I encourage all Team Selma members to participate. Employees may choose the coronavirus test, antibody test or both. 

Even with this focus on wellness, I certainly understand that our families and team members have serious concerns about reopening. I share these concerns. Our team has work diligently to consider a variety of learning options and researchbased practices that will help support a safe and healthy learning and work environment. 

Want to learn more about it?  Please join us for our second Team Selma Virtual Town Hall meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. During this meeting, our team will share a summary of the plan that will be presented to our board of education next week. We will also take questions and seek feedback from you. Details for this Zoom meeting can be found on our social media sites and district website. I hope to see you there. 

For more information, email me at avis.williams@selmacityschools.org