The Monroe County Community School Corporation released its two-fold approach plan to reopen school this fall at Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Families will have the option of sending their kids to school or enrolling them in an online academy.
Superintendent Judy DeMuth said plans will have to be flexible because there are more possible scenarios than the district could possibly anticipate.
“All these great minds are trying to put together a plan that really is going to be safe for our children and our teachers and our staff members to the best of our knowledge,” she says. “We recognize that until there’s a vaccine or until this thing is eradicated, we’re going to have to deal with it.”
The district will take feedback on the plan with the goal of releasing a final draft June 30.
DeMuth said the plan could change based on feedback and ongoing recommendations from the Monroe County Health Department.
School will start on August 5 and parents will be receiving registration information in the next few weeks.
The New Proposed School Day
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Andrea Mobley gave a presentation on what a normal school day could look like under the proposed reopening plan.
She said before leaving for school, every family must complete a daily self-screening of each child for COVD-19 symptoms.
Parents must check for the following sypmtoms: Fever over 100.4 degrees, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking of chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throar, new loss of taste or smell.
Mobley said if any of those symptoms are present, families should notify the school and then call their medical provider.
Transportation To School
MCCSC will encourage families to walk, bike or drive students to school, but bus transportation will still be provided under several restrictions:
- Students/Drivers/Monitors must wear facial coverings
- Drop off/Pick up times may be staggered
- Buses will be cleaned and disinfected between routes at the end of the day
- Windows will be down, when possible
Mobley said students will be assigned seats on the bus and those living in the same house will be required to sit together.
“We want the students to enjoy their time on the bus, but the reason for all that guidance is if we have to do contact tracing, then it’s important to know who’s on the bus, and where they’re sitting," Mobley said.
Arriving At School
Students must have their face coverings on as they approach the school, while maintaining good social distance.
Parents may walk their child up to the building, but not enter.
Mobley said upon arrival, every student will be directed to wash their hands. All schools will be instructed to follow this expansive list of daily health and safety protocols:
- Students/Staff must wear face coverings at all times
- Throughout the day, there will be scheduled breaks for handwashing
- Teachers will receive training on signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer will be available
- Student sharing of school supplies will be limited
- Desks will be arranged to social distance as much as possible
- Students will be grouped and remain with the same group
- When possible, adults will move between rooms, not students
- Number of students in common areas at the same time will be limited
- Schools will repurpose large spaces for possible classroom usage (e.g. gyms, lunch room, auditorium, etc.)
If a teacher or faculty member notices a student is expeiencing COVID-19 symptioms, schools have additional procedures they must follow:
- Students with symptoms must enter Health Office with face covering
- Parent/Guardian will be contacted for pick-ip
- Student will wait in a separate area until parents arrive
- Parents should contact medical provider
Lunch & Reccess
Mobley said schools will still have both lunch and recess, but with new safety protcols.
“We want students to be able to go outside. We want them to enjoy. We want them to have exercise. We want them to be with their friends," Mobley said. "We feel that’s important, so the playground equipment will be cleaned and sanitized daily."
- Playground equipment will be cleaned and sanitized daily
- Staggered recess periods throughout the day to accommodate all students
- Students will wash hands both before and after
- Students will only participate in recess with their class
Mobley said lunch periods will be conducted through a grab-and-go system where students will grab their lunches and then eat in designated areas or classrooms with social distancing.
She said all school-provided lunches will have disposable packaging and utensils.
School dsimissal times may be staggered to allow for social distancing as students exit the building.
Again, students must be wearing their face coverings and schools will have procedures for bus, parent pick-up and car rider dismissal.
Mobley said parents will still not be allowed to enter the building.
What If Someone Tests Positive For COVID-19?
In the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, Mobley said schools will follow instructions given by the Monroe County Health Department.
“Schools may be closed for a brief period of time to clean and disinfect. That could be a day. It could be two days. It could be five days," Mobley said. "It could be longer depending upon the time it’s going to take to clean, the amount of contact tracing that needs to take place, and those sorts of things."
Mobley also said schools are to keep the identity of the individuals who test positive confidential under ADA and FERPA laws.
“Parents are going to want to know. Teachers are going to want to know," Mobley said "We cannot share that information.”
Individuals returning to school after testing positive must adhere to these CDC guidelines:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or have 2 negative test results at least 24 hours apart
- Experience 72 hours without a fever (without fever reducing medicine)
- Note from medical provider indicating return to school
Mobley said local health department officials may choose to step in and keep individuals from coming back, if necessary.
Parents will get more information by the end of the month so they can choose whether their students will learn in person or online.
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