EVSC Answers Parents’ Reopening Questions in 13 Page Document
Back to school time is usually stressful for me in general, but 2020 is really outdoing itself in the stress department. Just trying to figure out if Chase should go back to 'Regular' school, or enroll in Virtual Academy is something I never thought I would consider. There are a lot of things to think about. Aside from COVID-19, he's moving to a giant school that he has never even walked into. I fell the same way as when he moved from preschool to kindergarten. It's a lot.
The EVSC has kept parents in the loop with regular podcasts and Facebook live videos. There is now a 13 page document with specific details about then entire reopening process. I've gone through and highlighted some of the most important information.
- Staggered Start Days
Not all students will be starting the school year on the same day. Students with the last names starting with A-J begin school on August 19, 2020. K-Z will begin on August 24, 2020, and all students will be in school on August 25, 2020.
Parents have received a form that MUST be filled out and turned in prior to utilizing the bus transportation for the year. Seating will be assigned, and is limited to 2 students per seat, and students must wear face coverings.
EVSC bus drivers and attendants will self screen before morning and afternoon routes. Students will be required to wear a mask while on the school bus. (Students who do not have a mask will be given one by the driver.) Students will be assigned a seat and will sit two to a seat (preferably families will sit together). EVSC drivers will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (hand rails, seats, etc.) prior to all pickups and after all drop offs. It is requested that parents provide transportation for their student(s) if possible to help reduce the number of students on each bus.
- Before and After School Care
I know a lot of parents have been wondering if the before and after school care services would be offered. According to the reentry plan, they will be open with safety guidelines in place.
Extended Day Center employees will be required to prescreen and wear masks when not able to properly social distance. The same face mask and social distance guidelines that are enacted for the school day will be maintained for EVSC Extended Day Centers.
How in the world can little kids social distance at recess? Well, the reentry plan addresses that, but it still seems like it will be challenging.
There will be assigned areas of play during recess. There may be restrictions of activities that encourage student contact, such as no soccer games, no basketball games, etc. Staffing of playground supervision will be adequate to monitor and encourage active movement and discourage social gathering of large groups of students. During inclement weather, students will have indoor recess and will be encouraged to play and socialize within their own personal learning spaces.
School lunchtime is going to look different at each school. some classrooms will have access to the cafeteria, and others will remain in classrooms or move to other areas of the school. Lunches will be pretty uniform with each food item wrapped or will come with a lid.
EVSC food service workers will be required to self screen before each shift, as well as wear masks at all times. Time has been built into the school day to allow for handwashing prior and after eating meals. In an effort to allow for social distancing, some students will eat lunch in locations other than the cafeteria (ex. classroom, media center, gym). If students eat in the cafeteria, they will sit in marked seats to accommodate social distancing. All food will be individually wrapped or have a lid when possible. In an effort to expedite the time students spend in line with other students, there have been some updates to our food and nutrition processes for the 2020-2021 school year, including:
- Limited menu offerings.
- Offer vs. Serve will be eliminated for elementary and middle school, which means students will have to take all items on the menu, including milk.
- Disposable trays/containers will be used for any student not eating in the cafeteria and prepackaged, disposable utensils will be provided.
- In the event of a school closure, meals will be available for pick up at specific school sites.
Parents and volunteers will not be able to just pop in and visit classes or eat lunch, like in the past.
Until further notice, visitors will not be allowed to eat lunch with students or provide volunteer services at the school due to concerns of exposure to Covid-19. Only essential visitors will be allowed into a school during school hours. • Whenever possible, visitors to the school will be limited to the office area. If parents need to drop off supplies, medicine, lunch, etc., they will be asked to leave items by the front office. The school secretary will call the student to pick up the items. Parents will not be buzzed through the second door unless they have scheduled a meeting. If parents need to speak to a teacher, counselor, administrator or other staff member, we ask that a meeting is scheduled in advance. Use of phone or video conferencing will be encouraged.
The EVSC follows the guidance of the Indiana High School Athletic Association and has developed a Return to Play plan. Click here to access the plan. The EVSC also follows guidance from INClass from the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana State School Music Association.
- Face Coverings
Classrooms will look different, so that hopefully, students will not have to wear a face mask all day.
The CDC and the Indiana Department of Education
recommends that face coverings should be worn by staff and students (particularly older students)
and are most essential in times when social distancing can not occur. This is supported by the
Vanderburgh County Health Department and medical professionals. We recognize that face
coverings may be challenging for students and staff (especially younger students) to wear in all-day
school settings and have factored that into the plan to protect the health and safety of students,
staff and families.
- Specific Mask Guidelines
Cover the nose and mouth and be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face. If cloth masks, masks should be washed regularly. Include multiple layers of fabric. Allow for breathing without restriction. Align to school dress codes.
- Health Screening
I don't think I can remember a time when the school nurse was always 'In'. This school year, there will be a nurse on hand at every school. Students can still have medications in the nurse's office, but if you can give them before school, that would be better.
Your student does NOT have a fever of greater than 100.0 degrees. Your student does not have other signs of illness such as the symptoms listed above. Were you in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes) with anyone confirmed with COVID-19 within the last two weeks? If the answer is YES to any of these questions, DO NOT send your student to school. Instead, you should begin quarantine and contact your healthcare provider.
- Positive COVID-19 Procedure
Just because 1 student tests positive for the coronavirus, doesn't mean the entire class will need to quarantine.
Parents/guardians are to contact their student’s school to report that their student has tested positive and/or had close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes) to another person that has tested positive. A student who is identified as a close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes) to another individual who has tested positive should quarantine for 14 calendar days. School administrators and the school nurse will work with the health department to contact trace and determine possible close contact to other students and staff. If your child meets the health department’s close contact definition (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes), you will be contacted. All areas used by a person that tested positive for COVID-19 will be cleaned and disinfected (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) per guidance by local, county and state health departments.