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Return to Learn

These guidelines follow USM policies and guidance and are consistent with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics for health professionals and children. These plans will be reviewed weekly and revised based on current public health guidelines, service demand, and capacity to increase traffic while maintaining safety.

General Information

  • School will begin Monday, Aug. 10.
  • The school will be open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 2:30/2:40 p.m. on a traditional schedule.
  • 7:45 a.m. student drop off begins. Students will go directly to their classrooms.
  • 2:30 p.m. 230 Hall students dismiss.
  • 2:40 p.m. 240 Hall students dismiss.
  • DuBard School will not be hosting open house this year.
  • Teachers will contact parents of each student to inform him/her of class arrangements.
  • A school supply list was previously emailed to parents and is accessible here.
  • All labeled school supplies can be sent with students beginning July 27.
  • Most student forms are now available in a digital format.
  • Forms have been emailed to parents and are accessible at the link below. These must be complete by Aug. 14. If you need a printed copy to complete, please let our front office know.


Arrival & Dismissal

  • Students cannot be dropped off before 7:45 a.m.
  • Students are to remain in their cars upon arrival to the school.
  • At drop off, a masked staff member will approach the vehicle and scan the student’s temperature.
  • If the temperature reads below 100 degrees, the child will get out of the vehicle and enter the school.
  • If the temperature is 100 or above, the child will remain in the car and cannot return to school for 72 hours.
  • Upon arrival, students will go directly to their classroom. There will not be a holding space in the cafeteria this year.

  • There are two dismissal times. Please ensure your child is picked up at the appropriate time to ensure students are properly spaced during dismissal.
  • 2:30 p.m. dismissal classes:

       • Lauren R.

       • Heidi

       • Hilliary

       • Lauren T.

  • 2:40 p.m. dismissal classes:

       • Alex

       • Tara

       • Chelsea

       • Kenyon

  • No check outs should take place after 2 p.m. This will protect instructional time for all remaining students and reduce unnecessary movement during multiple dismissals.

Preventive Protocols

  • Each staff member and student will be screened daily for fever (100 degrees or higher) before entering the school.
  • Students and staff who are sent home with fever may return to school once they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication for 72 hours and have no other symptoms of Covid-19.
  • All staff members and visitors will be expected to wear a facemask or face shield while conducting business in the USM DuBard School for Language Disorders, to the degree that it is reasonable to perform activities.
  • For students, masks are required in common areas. They are recommended in classrooms but it is up to the teacher discretion based on the type of activity.
  • At the beginning and end of the day, staff members will disinfect the classroom, including door knobs, tables, chairs, water fountains, computer equipment, and any school materials used.
  • PE equipment will be disinfected between classes.
  • Handwashing will be completed frequently throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer will be used in conjunction with proper handwashing.
  • Visitors, including University volunteers will not be allowed into the school building beyond the lobby to limit the exposure of students to a larger number of people.
  • In the lobby, a distance of at least 6’ between visitors is the goal, even if face masks or face shields are in use.
  • Students will be spread out in the classrooms to the extent possible.
  • Students will go directly to their classrooms at the start of each day to avoid a large number of students gathered in the lunchroom.
  • Students will stagger snack, lunch, and recess/PE times to avoid large number of students gathered together.  The lunchroom will be disinfected between classes.
Device Handling-Audiology

These procedures are to be followed by staff members to handle student hearing aids and/or cochlear implants.

  • Hearing devices must be handled with gloves at all times. Gloves must be changed after every student interaction. Do not use the same pair of gloves for devices from two different students.
  • Avoid all unnecessary contact and properly disinfect hands before and after interacting with student’s devices.
  • Disinfect all surfaces that came in contact with student’s devices.

Corrective Protocols

  • Students who become sick will be isolated from other students.  Families will be called and asked to come immediately to pick up their child.
  • If a staff member or student at the DuBard School is diagnosed with COVID-19, families will be informed of the possible exposure.  The identify of the diagnosed individual will be kept confidential to comply with HIPPA regulations.  We will follow University and state guidelines for cleaning and closing classrooms.

Individuals who have had a positive test for COVID-19 remain in isolation until all of the following  criteria have been met:

  • No temperature greater than 100 degrees for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication
  • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, etc.) have improved
  • It has been 14 days since symptoms appeared
  • The individual has documentation of medical clearance from a physician or a public health department

Therapy Location Determination Process

Plan A:  School will be conducted in a face-to-face format, complying with health and safety recommendations from the Mississippi Department of Education and The University of Southern Mississippi.

Plan B:  Parents may choose to opt for a virtual format for their child.  Please notify the school before August 1 to choose this option. 

If parents opt for virtual instruction while face-to-face instruction is being provided, they should be aware of the following:

  • While virtual learning is an option for students during the current health crisis, it does not serve as an equitable alternative to the intensive, therapeutic intervention students receive in a face-to-face format.
  • Virtual learning will take place through a Learning Management System.  To access this, students must have access to a reliable device and reliable internet service.  An email address will be required.
  • Students who attend via virtual learning will follow the same academic calendar as those who are attending school in person. 
  • Virtual attendance requires 240 minutes of instructional time per day.  This will include a scheduled time each day with the student’s speech-language pathologist or teacher assistant, assignments completed through the Learning Management System, and independent assignments.
  • Attendance will be logged.  Any absences will be reported to the Mississippi Department of Education.  Students who are unable to meet the virtual attendance requirements will be referred back to their local school districts. 
  • Students must have the capacity to print assignments and scan them into the Learning Management System as work samples.
  • If parents feel that virtual instruction is no longer beneficial for their student, they may contact the DuBard School for Language Disorders to make arrangements for return to face-to-face instruction.

Plan C:  Should the school or individual classrooms be closed, instruction will move to a temporary virtual format.  According to state mandate, students will be required to spend a minimum of 4 hours each day in synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.  Attendance will be tracked, and work samples will be uploaded to the Learning Management System. 

Download a PDF of a Return to Learn review sheet at the link below.


Contact Us

DuBard School for Language Disorders
118 College Dr. #5215
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

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