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Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Service Place
Lee Johnson
Tuesday, June 08, 2021

JUNCTION HILL C-12 SCHOOL DISTRICT

Safe Return to In-Person Instruction

and

Continuity of Services Plan

 

KEY PRIORITIES

As we return for the 2021-2022 school year, the Junction Hill School District will continue to work to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students and staff.  We believe that the rewards of a strong education are worth the risks involved, and we recognize that in-seated education carries with it a higher risk.

 

Our plan for returning to school is built around the following foundational priorities:

•     Face Covering/Masks appropriate use

•     Physical/Social Distancing

·         Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

·         Increased Sanitation Efforts

·         Contact Tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State and Local Health Departments

•     Staff & Student Screening Measures

·         Efforts to provide access to vaccinations

•     Accommodations for Children with disabilities

 

FACE COVERING/MASKS APPROPRIATE USE

Currently, Face Covering/Masks are not mandated or required though are encouraged to be worn appropriately by anyone.  Junction Hill C-12 School has and will continue to work with the local Howell County Health Department in following recommendations for appropriate mask use.

PHYSICAL/SOCIAL DISTANCING

Junction Hill will strive to create an environment that supports health guidelines without interrupting the education of our students.

• The goal is to limit exposure to as few other students and staff members as possible.

Staff and students must do their very best to maintain as much distance as possible from others within school buildings.

• Assigned seats will be given within classrooms when occupying common areas, and for riding the bus. Additionally, small groups will be utilized to the extent possible.  This will assist with contact tracing efforts if needed.  Students will go immediately to designated classrooms upon arriving at school and will not congregate in hallways or common areas.

• In order to prevent students from congregating in hallways or common areas, class change procedures have been altered.  In some cases, teachers may change classes instead of students.  In other cases, the bell schedule has been changed, and grades will be dismissed in steps to minimize the number of students in the hallways.  In grades 5-8, classes, schedules, and lockers have been organized in such a way that a cohort of students has minimal contact with another cohort of students throughout the day.

• Modifications to meals will be made as needed (for example, some students may eat meals in the classroom, some students may eat meals in other common areas to limit the number of students in the cafeteria). If eating meals in the cafeteria, the number of students will be limited and students will be seated with fellow students from their small groups to minimize exposure.

• Desks in classrooms will be spaced as far apart as possible to allow for social distancing, non-essential furniture will be removed for sanitation purposes.

• Seating charts will be required in classrooms and on the bus to limit exposure and for contact tracing purposes in conjunction with local health departments if needed.

• In-school gatherings such as assemblies, rallies, school parties, dances, etc. will not be held unless social distance can be maintained and students can remain with limited small groups.

• Academics are considered a non-voluntary component of a student's education while co-curricular activity participation (including sports) is voluntary. This approach will drive our planning and preparation for extra/co-curricular guidance when released.

• Parents who can transport their students to/from school are encouraged to do so to help minimize the number of students riding the bus and allow for minimized contact.

• Social distancing will be enforced throughout the school day. Students and staff are expected to avoid close interactions and minimize exposure to every extent possible.

• Parents should discuss the importance of social distancing with their students prior to the start of school. It will be difficult to ensure students maintain distance, but it is necessary for staff and students to understand the importance of doing so to prevent exposure.

HANDWASHING AND RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE

Teachers and administrators will educate students on hygiene practices and encourage students to follow through with hygiene practices on a regular basis. An emphasis on both at home and at school hygiene will be presented including:

●      Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

●      Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home if you are sick.

●      Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.

●      Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer.

●      Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

●      Cleaning materials and hand sanitizers will be placed in every classroom. Staff and students will be expected to support the cleaning and disinfecting of classroom surfaces and supplies as needed.

●      • Students and staff will have scheduled times throughout the day to wash/sanitize hands and supplies.

Cleaning and Maintaining Health Facilities

•   Junction Hill School Maintenance Team members have cleaned all heating and air ventilation units.  Maintenance has increased the frequency of maintenance/monitoring of ventilation units to ensure as best possible good air quality.    

·         Junction Hills School Custodial Team members will thoroughly clean high-touch surfaces throughout the building on an ongoing rotation throughout the day, including bathrooms, water bottle fill stations, doorknobs, entrance/exit handles, handrails, walls, etc.

• At a minimum, classrooms and other common spaces will be cleaned and disinfected any time a new group of students accesses a new area.

• Bus drivers will undergo sanitation training, and all school buses will be thoroughly sanitized before and after each route.

• Cleaning materials and hand sanitizers will be placed in every classroom. Staff and students will be expected to support the cleaning and disinfecting of classroom surfaces and supplies as needed.

• Students and staff will have scheduled times throughout the day to wash/sanitize hands and supplies.

•Students are highly encouraged to bring their own personal water bottles to be refilled at bottle stations.

 

CONTACT TRACING IN COMBINATION WITH ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE,

IN COLLABORATION WITH STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

Faculty, Staff, and Students who have come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should closely monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and should follow all instructions given by the local health department related to contact tracing.  Junction Hill C-12 School will work collaboratively with the local health department in vetting contact tracing for at-school exposures.  When students are kept home due to illness, a representative of the school will ask additional screening & entry questions regarding symptoms to confirm whether COVID-19 is a factor.

PROCEDURES FOR COVID-19 INFECTIONS

Students or staff who display symptoms of COVID-19 while at school will be provided a disposable mask and moved to a designated sick area within the school building to minimize contact with others until they go home.

Contact tracing is a core disease control activity.  It has been used for decades to slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases.  Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people who they came in contact with (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread.

 

 If Junction Hill Schools receives official notification of a student or staff member testing positive for COVID-19 who attended school the day they test positive or exhibited Covid symptoms at school, the school or classroom impacted (or are determined to be impacted) could be closed for the remainder of the day, or longer if necessary, to allow for contact tracing by the local health department. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.  If a building is closed, all

school activities at that building will be canceled or rescheduled.

• Students and staff who are identified as close contact of the positive case will not be permitted to return to school until after they have been released by the local health department. This includes siblings and other household members.

• Students and staff who are not identified as close contact of the positive case will be permitted to return to school after contact tracing by the local health department is complete. 

• Students and staff may be contacted to assist with contact tracing efforts, review assigned seating charts, and to determine which individuals the positive case had contact with while contagious.

While local health departments are not permitted to share the names of positive COVID-19 cases unless permission is granted by the individual, if the school district becomes aware of an official positive COVID-19 case that could impact a school building, staff and families will be notified as soon as possible.

STAFF & STUDENT SCREENING MEASURES

  • Junction Hill C-12 School does not provide Antigen Testing on-site through faculty, staff, and students can go to their respective doctor or local testing facility for antigen testing.

• Perfect attendance will not be incentivized by Junction Hill in 2020-2021. Learning opportunities will be provided for all students who stay home due to illness.

• Student temperatures will be taken before entering the school or school bus each day. These temperatures are to be taken with no-touch forehead thermal readers or thermal cameras when available.  Anyone experiencing a temperature at/above 100.4 will immediately be moved to a designated sick area within the school building to minimize any further contact with others until they are able to go home.  Here they will be given a mask to wear as they await departure.

• Students and staff who are sent home with a temperature must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and may return to school if accompanied by a doctor's note with a diagnosis not related to a respiratory illness, influenza or COVID-19 (such as pink eye, strep throat, ear infection, etc.).

• Students and staff must be fever-free for 72 hours without the

use of fever-reducing medications if not accompanied by a doctor's note for a diagnosis. Fever-reducing medications include Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Motrin, Ibuprofen, etc.

Junction Hill C-12 School will practice ongoing collaboration with the local health department on any changes to protocols for screening of Covid 19.

STAFF & STUDENT SCREENING MEASURES

Students and staff who experience symptoms related to COVID-19 should not come to school.

COVID-19 symptoms include the following:

●      HIGH FEVER OR HEADACHE

●      NEW CONFUSION, INABILITY TO WAKE OR STAY AWAKE

●      RUNNY NOSE, LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL

●      BLUISH LIPS OR FACE

●      COUGHING OR SORE THROAT

●      PERSISTENT CHEST PAIN OR PRESSURE

●      CHILLS

●      SHORTNESS OF BREATH

●      FATIGUE

●      NAUSEA, VOMITING, OR DIARRHEA

●      MUSCLE OR BODY ACHES

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

●      Masks will not be required to begin the school year, however, this may change from day to day as local cases of Covid are confirmed. Masks are CDC recommended and encouraged but may become mandated/required as the situation warrants.

●      Students in grades 6-8 will be encouraged/recommended to wear a mask or face covering in any instance where social distance cannot be maintained (such as passing periods in the hallways, lunch lines, etc).

●      Staff members will be expected/required to wear a mask or face covering in any instance where social distance cannot be maintained for 15 minutes or more.

●      Students in grades K-12 will be encouraged/recommended to wear a mask while riding the bus.

• The use of masks or face coverings will not be prohibited in any instances throughout the school day where a student or staff member chooses to wear them.   

• Due to possible medical-related concerns, we understand that not all staff and students will be able to wear masks for long periods of time. Exceptions can be evaluated with building administrators and school nursing staff.

• Existing student and staff dress codes will apply to face coverings that are worn.

SCHOOL BUS

Masks will not be required to begin the school year, however, this may change from day to day as local cases of Covid are confirmed. Masks are CDC recommended and encouraged but may become mandated/required as the situation warrants.

Modifications to bus loading and unloading procedures will be made, hand sanitizer will be available to students for boarding and unloading from the bus, and students will be assigned seats to limit exposure. Siblings and other students living in the same household will be seated together to preserve social distancing among groups of students.

●      Students in grades K-12 will be encouraged/recommended to wear a mask while riding the bus.

LIMITED VISITOR ACCESS TO BUILDINGS

• In order to minimize the exposure of all students and staff to others outside of their assigned small groups, non-essential visitors and parents will not be permitted beyond the secure entryway of the school.

• Open house and Parent-teacher conferences will be held but will look different in 2021-2022.  Teachers will schedule families in a staggered manner to minimize contact.

Title I family meeting night will look different in 2021-2022.  It will be held without a concert or banquet.  End-of-year events such as academic banquet and graduation may be held in a conservative manner that minimizes Covid risks. Details will be released as these events approach (assuming a status quo of the Covid situation).

• Any essential visitors who do enter the building will be required to enter through the main entrance, requested to wear a mask while in the building, scanned by the thermal temperature camera or no-touch infrared thermal readers, and will be tracked in a visitor log to include symptom screening questions, date and time of visit, wherein the building they travel to, and which, if any, students or staff they have contact with.

• These restrictions will apply during the school day. When afterschool events occur in the gym, social distancing will be encouraged, and unused parts of the school will be closed off and inaccessible to minimize exposure.

 

ACCESS TO VACCINATIONS

Junction Hill C-12 School is not a vaccination site.  We have and will continue to work with the local health department and area health providers in providing access to Covid 19 vaccination opportunities at local facilities. 

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

STUDENTS with PHYSICAL DISABILITIES or PHYSICAL CHALLENGES

Students who may have a physical disability or physical challenge needing assistance (such as help washing hands, inability to wear a mask) efforts of assistance or accommodations will be extended in an effort of meeting the needs of these students. 

VIRTUAL and AT HOME EDUCATION

In-seat education is viewed by Junction Hill to be superior to virtual instruction. However, some students and families may not feel comfortable sending their students to receive in-seat instruction due to elevated risk factors or compromised immunity.  Junction Hill School has options for families such as this. One option includes virtual learning. Families may apply to participate in virtual education via Launch, an online education platform Junction Hill has access to or any of the approved Virtual Education Providers (MOCAP).  Any student who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at Junction Hill School will coordinate with the Special Education Team to schedule a review of the student’s IEP to align accommodations and needs to be met. 

Launch has a rigorous K-12 curriculum that is aligned with the Missouri Learning Standards, is currently used by over 270 districts across the State of Missouri, and is staffed by certified educators who live and work in partner districts.

For more information about Launch, families can speak with the Junction Hill school administration. Enrollment for Launch in the fall 2021 semester is time-sensitive. If you are interested please contact the school administration. 

• Students approved for virtual education will have a 14 calendar day window to transfer back to in-seat instruction if so desired. Otherwise, they must remain in the Launch program for the duration of the semester for which they were approved.

• Students approved for virtual education for the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year can return to in-seat enrollment for the second semester if so desired or may remain virtual for the duration of the school year.

• If a student is not successful with Launch/Virtual Education Provider, they may not be approved for future semesters.

• If a student is deemed to be in a high-risk category for a small window of time (taking care of an infirmed family member) other options may be pursued including homebound education. Details of homebound education are developed on a case-by-case basis and often look different from student to student. Homebound education may require the attendance of small group instruction on campus or home visits from educational staff. On-line homebound instruction is also allowed in some cases. Homebound logistics will be arranged directly with the student's school staff.

• Students approved for virtual education will be issued a

technology device by Junction Hill School for use with Launch.

• Students approved for virtual education will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities.

• Students on quarantine will be expected to maintain academic status. We understand that a student on Covid Quarantine may be in any state from very sick to asymptomatic. Students who are feeling too ill are not expected to keep up with their studies. Asymptomatic students, including those who have recovered from Covid, are expected to keep up with their studies. Junction Hill provides opportunities for these students.

• Teachers will make use of online resources including Google classroom to provide instruction and assignments for their students. These assignments will be graded and scores will be used to assess student learning. Junction Hill has increased its bevy of online opportunities.  Students will have access to an online library with thousands of books through MYON, online curriculum, and assessments with Moby Max, and targeted reading instruction with AR, Star Reading, and Star Early Lit. Instructors will explain these resources to students at the beginning of the school year.

• Students with no internet access will be given other opportunities. In some cases, a flash drive loaded with instructional resources and assignments will be sent home. Families may be able to access google chrome books to use with the flash drives to provide the same capabilities as the internet would otherwise provide. Families will be able to use the school's wifi by parking their cars outside of the school (after school hours) and using an unblocked visitor internet connection.

Note: Multiple sources were used in the compilation of this document.

PERIODIC REVISION

The original re-entry plan was reviewed by the Junction Hill C-12 School Board in the July 2020 board of education meeting and amended in the August 2020 board meeting.  These plans were posted on the school’s website for public access and input.  The re-entry plan was revisited again in December 2020 for additional adjustments in reference to changes being made locally in the county.  As an ongoing practice, this plan will be reviewed at least every 6 months for review/revision as necessary.