Reopening Our Schools
In this week's update, we have included information presented to families over the past few weeks.
- The Health and Safety information outlines changes and procedures that will be in place.
- Pictures of the ingredient lists from the hand sanitizer are available to view.
- A map of the recess zones on the playground will give you an idea of how students may be separated to allow for distancing.
- Information about the curriculum and instruction is divided into sections for easy reference. You will find the updated school calendar under the schedules section.
- The two models are listed with key points.
- Other information includes technology, attendance updates, and after care. The link for after care provided by the YMCA will be sent out once it is received.
- The final section covers what families can do to help. This section also includes the daily screening information, the recording from Dr Griffith's family meeting about COVID, and links to the Department of Health symptoms. The link to our screening tool will be sent out once it is finalized.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Remind!
Health and Safety
Rethinking our Campus
Students in grades K-12+ will be assigned to one classroom and will remain in that classroom for most of the day.
All staff and students will wear masks
When moving about in the hallway for any reason, we will work at maintaining appropriate social distancing and wear masks.
Appropriate social distancing will be marked on the floors/walls and teachers will practice this with their students.
Students will remain in their classrooms for most of the day.
Students will have assigned seating.
Clear dividers will be on each table to provide individual space/barriers between students.
Social distancing will be practiced, as much as possible.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided in the classrooms. Two choices will be available each day. Microwaves will not be available.
Special subject teachers will provide their lessons in the students’ classrooms with the exception of library and physical education.
Physical education (K-12+) and library classes (K-8) will be scheduled year round. All other special subjects (art, music, health, Spanish and ASL) will be scheduled by trimester, to reduce the number of staff in and out of each classroom on a daily basis.
Common space (gym, library and playground) will be sanitized between each class.
Middle school content area teachers will rotate into the classrooms instead of students rotating.
High school center specific classes will rotate on a biweekly basis.
All students will have designated paths to travel in the building for arrival, dismissal, going to recess, gym and the library.
Recess schedules will be developed and classes will be assigned to certain areas/zones on the playground and soccer field.
The location that each class is assigned to will rotate on a daily basis.
Bathroom breaks will be scheduled and bathrooms will be assigned to classrooms.
Drinking fountains will not be used but water filling stations will remain open.
After school care provided by the Greater Providence Y will follow all RIDOH and DCYF guidelines.
- Chorus and Theater will not be offered this year.
- Field work and outings will not take place.
Keeping everyone safe
Any students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 before the school day begins must stay
home. If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, the child will be taken to
the school nurse and the isolation room immediately. Parents/guardians will be notified to
pick up the student within the hour. The parent will sign in at the main desk and wait in the lobby. The administrative assistant will then notify the nursing department to bring the student to you.
Parents/guardians must seek medical advice for the student within 48 hours and schedule a COVID-19 test as needed. If the test result is positive, individuals must complete a period of isolation as directed by RIDOH. Symptomatic students will not be permitted to return to school until documentation from a medical provider indicates testing was negative and there is no evidence of illness restricting attendance, or it is documented that the individual is no longer contagious.
The following measures have been put in place to aid in keeping everyone safe during the school day:
- All staff and students will be required to wash their hands when entering the classroom, before eating, after playing or entering from recess, before leaving the classroom, after using the bathroom.
- All school gatherings, such as School Wide Meeting, will take place over Zoom.
- We have 10 large commercial Energy Recovery Ventilators located on the roof. An ERV maintains indoor air quality by allowing filtered fresh air into a building while retaining pre-conditioned heating or cooling. The ERV’s run constantly during occupied hours changing the indoor air multiple times a day. The heating and cooling seasons are variable depending on the weather and usually overlap. One room can be cooling and another room can be heating at the same time. The filters in the building are changed on a regular schedule as is the filters located in the ERV’s.
- All meetings, including IEP, RtI, parent conferences, and others, will be held via Zoom.
A medical note will be required for students who are unable to wear a mask.
Students who refuse to wear a mask will be redirected.
Students will have an opportunity to clean own area throughout the school day.
Students will have a chance to take a mask break for 5 minutes every hour.
Hand sanitizer ingredients
Caring for Each Other
Part of keeping everyone safe is caring for each other.
- Above you will find our response to students who are sick. Staff will also follow these guidelines.
- As the health situation changes, we will move to another model of learning. This will be announced as we receive information from RIDE and RIDOH.
- Each classroom will have a tracking sheet to document who enters. This will aid us in the process of contact tracing if necessary.
- Beginning the first week of school, age-appropriate health lessons will be provided by nurses to review procedures for mask wearing, hand-washing, etc.
- Our school social worker will continue to push into the K-4 classrooms during predetermined times of the day. She will work with the classroom teacher to determine key times of day when the classroom may use her support. Some classrooms may have increased push in opportunities as needed.
- Our school social worker will also continue to work with students in each middle school classrooms twice a week.
- Social Emotional screenings will be given to all students over the course of the school year. This information will allow our school social worker to work with classrooms, small groups, and individuals as appropriate.
Curriculum and Instruction
A day in the life
We aim to make a day in the life at school as joyful and engaging as possible, whether students are in the building or participating in distance learning. School activities will be accessible to students in school and at home synchronously, using Zoom and Google Classroom as main platforms. Don't worry, you will be invited to attend a virtual classroom orientation meeting before the first day of school where each teacher will review schedules and logistics, with time for questions and answers. We will also be planning open virtual parent workshops around topics of need as we launch and carry on with the 2020-21 school year.
Our curriculum in ordinary times, is designed to function in workshop mode. Therefore, our instructional planning framework serves both in-person and distance learning well. Classes will reflect these elements: Focus or mini-lesson, active engagement (try this with support), and independent work time. During independent work time, teachers meet with small groups and hold individual student conferences. This up-close and personal time is critical to successful teaching and learning.
Pacing, as always will be grounded in formative assessment practices - teachers' on-going understanding of students' strengths and needs gained through observations and interactions during small group work and individual conferences as well as analysis of classwork, projects, presentations, participation, and other more formal assessments.
That said, we maintain a flexible and responsive stance to instruction to ensure that we are meeting every student where they are at any given time. Assessment is critical here so we will be returning to our regular in-house assessment schedule for reading, writing, and math - though the tools we use may be slightly different to reach all students, in-school or at-home.
- Art, music, Spanish, health, and ASL specialists will visit homerooms.
- K-4 will have trimester long specials for Spanish, Health, Art, and Music 3 days/week.
- Grades 5-8 will continue to have trimester long Art, Music, and Tech classes in addition to Spanish, health, and ASL.
- All classrooms will visit the gym for physical education and library technology or library classes.
Grading and Report Cards
- grading and report cards will resume
- All students will have breakfast and lunch in the classroom.
- Classroom schedules will be shared by teachers at the beginning of the school year.
- Students may arrive at 7:45 and will be dismissed at 2:45.
- Student drop-off will be at the gymnasium.
- Student pick-up will be at the staff entrance in the rear of the building.
- Students riding a bus will remain in their classrooms until called.
- School Calendar
- All classrooms will rotate through zones across the week during recess.
- Zones will be clearly marked.
- All students will have a personal space separated by a Plexiglas divider.
- When passing in the hallways, pods will maintain a 14'.
- Classrooms will have outdoor space available for lessons around the physical education and recess schedules.
- Each student will have their own set of materials.
- Any shared materials will be sanitized between uses.
- Teachers will reach out on a regular basis in place of a weekly newsletter.
- A monthly newsletter will be sent by administration to provide updates about learning plans, events, and classroom highlights.
- Remind will continue to be the primary means of communication between staff and families. This is the easiest way to share information between teachers, therapists, and families. Time sensitive information should be delivered directly to the school office via phone or email.
- IEP Meetings will continue to be held virtually.
- Upon request of the IEP team, IEPs may be reconvened to review reasonably calculated learning loss and the need to amend the student's current IEP.
- Classrooms will have one Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Therapists assigned to reduce the total number of staff entering each room. Each therapist will then have the students in their assigned classroom(s) on their caseload.
Our Two Models
K-12+arriving by car-Parent drop-off at gymnasium
Students riding a bus arrive in big circle and enter through front doors
K-12+ with parent pick up exit through back employee entrance- grouped by pod
Students riding a bus wait in classroom to be called-exit through front doors
All breakfast will be grab and go and brought to the students’ classroom
All lunch meals delivered by food service provider to classrooms
Adults with switch classes wearing a mask and sanitizing when entering a new pod
Students passing for arrival, dismissal, PE, Library, recess will use designated pathways and doors to enter and exit
- Students sign in to Zoom meeting by 8 a.m. for homeroom
- Students will log off from last class at 2:45 p.m.
- Meals will be available for pick-up during set hours
- Students will log into and out of classes according to their daily schedule
Pursuant to RI General Law 16-19-1 Every child who has completed or will have completed six (6) years of life on or before September 1 of any school year and has not completed eighteen (18) years of life shall regularly attend school during all the days and hours that the schools are in session.
Regular and punctual attendance at school is an important ingredient in student success. Absence from daily class work detracts from a child’s academic progress at all grade levels including kindergarten. We encourage you to try to schedule your child’s appointments after school hours and plan vacations that coincide with school vacations as classroom interaction cannot be recaptured. Excessive absences, late arrivals and early dismissals which are not the result of a clearly defined medical reason, will be brought to the attention of the Head of School. A meeting with a parent will be arranged in such cases to brainstorm ways to avoid such occurrences in the future.
Parents should notify the school office by 8:00 a.m. the morning of the absence by calling (401)533-9247 and the reason for the absence must be disclosed. The school administrative assistant will contact the parent/guardian of any student not accounted for in the daily classroom attendance log. For repeated or extended absences, a note from a parent and/or documentation from a doctor, stating the reason for the absence and any special instructions, may be requested.
Attendance on Distance Learning Days
Students are expected to be present for the start of the day and to attend all classes as scheduled. Work is expected to be completed and turned in on the due date that it is assigned by the teacher.
Students will be marked tardy if they attend their first class after 8:10 a.m.
Students will be marked absent if they do not attend any of their classes.
Students will be marked as dismissed if they only attend some classes or leave their scheduled classes early.
Parents are expected to email the administrative assistant at (401)533-9247 on any day that the student cannot attend school and a reason for the absence must be provided.
Students that are late for school will enter through the main school lobby. As developmentally appropriate, parents do not need to come into the building with the student.
After School Care
We met earlier this week with the staff from the Greater Providence Y. They are making plans to be open and ready to care for our students with all of the necessary COVID-19 related guidelines in place. They have been running summer camps so they have a very clear understanding of what they need to do. We will schedule a parent meeting via Zoom with them in the next couple of weeks for those of you interested in having your child attend aftercare. Here is what we know now, although some of this information is subject to change as/if guidelines do:
· Up to 15 in a group, including two counselors
· Separate areas/classrooms for each group
· Groups will stay as consistent as possible
· All students and staff will wear masks
· There will be mask breaks provided
· They will be outside as much as they can during the nice weather, using the zones that we have established.
· They will follow same travel paths when they leave the classroom.
· They will not provide snacks.
· They will provide dinner in each classroom where the students are grouped.
· They will need to have specific time frames for dismissal, as they plan to implement a “touchless dismissal”
· Parents will pull up with a sign and staff will bring student out to you.
They will also be sending us their registration link as registration must be completed on line. Please know that if you plan to have your child attend the Y on the first day of school, August 31st, you must have all of your paperwork approved prior to that.
We will forward you the registration link and the family meeting Zoom link as soon as I receive them.
How can you help?
Parents must screen students at home using a self-attestation form or an app to be determined. All students must stay home if they or any person residing in the home with them, fail the screening prior to leaving for school. If a student or any person residing in the home with the student screens positive for any COVID-19 symptoms, the student’s parent/guardian will need to seek medical advice from the student’s healthcare provider and inform the school of the student’s absence.
If a student or a person residing in the same home as the student has any of the symptoms and/or answers yes to any of the following questions, the student must stay home, the parents must seek medical advice and the school must be notified as soon as possible.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS IN THE PAST THREE DAYS THAT ARE NOT EXPLAINED BY ALLERGIES OR A NON-INFECTIOUS CAUSE?
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fever or chills
Muscle or body aches
Nausea or vomiting
Runny nose or stuffy nose
Recent loss of taste or smell
Have you been in close contact (less than six feet) with anyone with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
Have you traveled anywhere outside the 50 United States in the past 14 days?
Have you traveled outside of Rhode Island to another city, town, county, state or country that currently has a stay-at-home restriction, a shelter-in-place restriction, or a similar restriction, declaration, or announcement due to a COVID-19 outbreak?
Have you been directed to quarantine or isolate by the Rhode Island Department of Health or a healthcare provider in the past 14 days?
If so, when does/did your quarantine or isolation period end?
If you leave Rhode Island and go to one of the cities, states or countries on the Travel Ban List, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return. This means that students would not be able to return to school in-person and would need to participate in distance learning. For the most up-to-date list, refer to the Current RI Travel Restriction list that is posted on the RIDOH site.
As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. If you receive a test during your quarantine in Rhode Island and get a negative test result, you can stop quarantining. However, you still need to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days, wear a mask in public, and follow physical distancing guidelines. You also must quarantine while waiting for a negative test result. Quarantining for 14 days is always preferred over relying on a negative test result as quarantining is the best way to limit the possibility of spreading COVID-19.
Due to social distancing and the need to limit exposure during this time, we will not allow visitors in the building. If parents must enter the building, you must wear appropriate PPE including a mask, and meet all health guidelines.
To reduce the number of students riding busses, consider carpooling. If carpooling, please consider keeping the same group to minimize exposure.
Stay connected to Remind to receive current information and newsletters. This is our primary means of communication with families.