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If Georgia's public schools reopen in the fall, the Commerce City School System is hoping to be ready.

System superintendent Joy Tolbert outlined a tentative plan for reopening the system's schools at a board of education meeting June 4.

The plan is an effort to adapt the system's schools to a pandemic environment to create a safer atmosphere for students and teachers, Tolbert said.

While the specifics could change, the plan calls for:

• doing away with attendance awards so as to not encourage sick students to come to school.

• limiting non-essential visitors into the schools. That also means that many of the system's open house events will be done in a virtual environment, except for a limited number of students who are transitioning into a new school. Students won't gather in large numbers at the schools and will go directly to classrooms via the outside doors' access.

• doing away with learning "pods" where students face each other in desks or at tables. Desks will be put into rows facing the same direction.

• breakfast and lunch meals will be eaten in the classrooms.

• water fountains will be closed.

• temperature checks will be done for students who are sick and possibly at random. 

• students and employees who are sick, have COVID symptoms, have tested positive for COVID or who have been in close contact with a COVID patient will be required to stay home and quarantine for 10-14 days.

• hand sanitizers and the promotion of good hygiene will become part of the system's efforts to limit the spread of the virus. Students and employees may wear a mask, but won't be required to do so.

• school buses will be disinfected after every route.

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