Reentry Plan Update
Summary of Three Plans
Message from the Superintendent
At LPS, we want our students to return to our brick and mortar buildings more than ever. However, the global pandemic has disrupted our usual” back to school” preparations and dictated that we prepare to bring students and staff back to school in a way that has never been done before. . And our work is to create learning environments that promote academic growth and social emotional well being that are physically and emotionally safe for all of our students and staff. The leadership team has spent significant time since school ended in June collaborating, thinking, planning, measuring, reading, discussing, and asking questions to develop a reentry plan that is safest for all of our students and staff. All of our work on reentry is focused on the following core values; relationships, academic growth, equity and safety. These core values are what centers the work of the leadership team as they develop reentry plans.
Our planning process also continues to be guided by a vigilant monitoring of public health data in Massachusetts, and we are encouraged that indicators about the virus continue to move in the right direction. The Commonwealth’s careful and disciplined approach has enabled our state gradually to begin reopening, in part because of strong compliance with health and safety precautions. The question now on all of our minds is how and when we apply those lessons learned to begin safely reopening our public schools.
As you have heard, the Massachusetts Department of Education has directed districts to submit on July 31, 2020, a preliminary plan that addresses three options serving students at the start of the school year. This includes the preferred a full return to daily, in-person attendance, a hybrid plan combining in- school learning, with some remote learning, and, finally, a 100% remote learning program. Each district’s final plan, approved by the School Committee, is due to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) by every district in the state by August 10th. Given the significant changes these plans will require in the way schools operate, we also must negotiate our proposal with all employee unions impacted: teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals. We are on a very tight timeline--a mere two weeks until the August 10th deadline set by the DESE for submitting final fall plans.
Please find below a summary of our three initial reentry plans we will be submitting to DESE on July 31st. These plans were informed by our survey data, a feasibility study of each building, input and feedback from the Reentry Task Force, interviews with students, and feedback from parents and teachers. We want to thank all the parents and teachers who have shared their feedback and ideas through out this process.
In order to adhere to the school re-opening guidance provided by DESE, consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Pediatric Association, we also do not believe we can safely meet physical distancing requirements with all students and staff in the buildings at the same time. However, we do believe we can make significant changes in our school schedules and operating procedures to make a partial return to in-person learning both safe and successful. This approach will require strategies to ensure physical distancing, as well as a series of other critical health and safety measures, including wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, cleaning and sanitizing facilities, screening regularly for symptoms of illness, and staying home from school when sick, among others. Our planning process includes a comprehensive set of strategies and investments to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
As a result, we will pursue negotiations with all impacted unions for a hybrid learning plan, which would bring the students back into school buildings for in-person instruction in smaller, socially distanced groups on a rotating basis, combined with a robust remote learning program on the days students are not scheduled to be physically in school. This plan also enables us to bring a subset of students in greatest need of in-person instruction and support, particularly students with disabilities, back to school every day – but also in smaller, distanced settings with all other precautions in place.
We recognize that the circumstances of every family and staff member are different, and that no plan ultimately will satisfy everyone in our community. But rest assured that we are working diligently to explore every option available to us, that we remain guided by the science to keep our students and staff safe and healthy, and that we will be prepared to make adjustments along the way if the public health conditions or other variables change over time.
As we move closer to a final plan, we welcome input and feedback from all of our stakeholders. We invite you to share your questions, comments, and ideas to help inform and strengthen our plans at email@example.com
No matter what reentry looks like this fall, we are committed at LPS to provide our students with learning experiences and opportunities for growth, exploration, critical thinking, problem solving, application of skills and content and a supportive social emotional climate. We are a community who loves our students and we are all in this together!
Start of School
This phased reentry will be a part of every reentry plan.
August 31st to September 15th - Teacher Professional Development
September 9th-15th- Student Orientation for all students
September 16th - First day of school for students
Full In Person
In-person learning with new safety requirements to “maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs” (DESE).
The goal with this plan is using the 3-foot spacing recommendation, reopen with 100% of students attending the in-person classroom instruction.
Providing necessary bus routes at 3-feet social distancing untenable
Constraints with facility/spacing (results of feasibility study)
Unable to provide specials within existing space challenges
Hire additional staff to manage the overflow of students
Recommend 6-foot spacing in the classroom and in the building
We determined we are unable to bring 100% of our students back at once
Students learn both in-person and remotely
With this model, students would be spaced 6 feet apart, consistent with CDC guidelines, and as a district, we feel that this is feasible with all the safety precautions and guidelines in place. Students in grades 2-12 will be required to wear a mask; mask breaks will be built into the day. Students in K-1 masks are strongly recommended but not required.
Students will be assigned to a cohort( by household). Cohort A will attend M/T and Cohort B will attend Th/F
Students will attend in person school for two full days and two remote days per week
Wednesdays will be deep cleaning and remote planning day for teachers
We will adhere to the 6-foot spacing between students with reduced class sizes as a result of splitting students into two cohorts.
Lunch will be served when students are in person(prepacked lunch will be available)
More consistent in person learning allows for continual teaching and learning
Allows for social distancing on bus routes consistent with DESE guidance
Opportunity to offer specials on a rotating basis
Disruptive to work and/or day-care schedules
Special Education cohorts as identified in DESE guidance and by the District will attend in person four days per week.
There are challenges with this model- for families and for staff.
In this model, students learn remotely with no in-person instruction .
We recognize that remote learning is the safest for all students and staff from a medical and scientific point of view. We know that we need to have a robust remote learning platform no matter what the reentry to school looks like due to a variety of factors.
In remote learning, attendance will be taken daily.
Grades will be given consistent with the grade level performance criteria.
Teachers will provide more synchronous( live on line learning) and asynchronous(online learning with no interaction) instruction.
Teachers will use Google Classroom, Smart Learning Suite and Seesaw as the learning management system for when students are engaged in remote learning.
Families who choose to not send their child back to school under a hybrid model, will be provided a learning platform that is self directed with staff check ins.
Does not replicate the value of in-person teaching and learning.
Need to purchase additional devices and/or provide bandwidth to ensure adequate access.
Know this model presents real challenges for families balancing own work responsibilities with remote learning of students.
I will send out all of this information along with additional information on our survey and DESE guidance and guidelines on Friday.
We will need to negotiate with the teacher’s union the final plan before we submit it to DESE on August 10th.
We are creating a district reentry website that we will provide to families once the final plan is approved. The website will include specific details on schedules, drop off/pick up protocols, and safety and cleaning protocols and procedures.
Creation of School Covid 19 Response Team
This document describes protocols that schools are to follow in response to COVID and non COVID symptoms and illness.
The following document contains detailed transportation guidance for schools this fall.
The following document contains detailed protocols for cleaning of schools, classroom set up and HVAC guidance for schools this fall.
The following document contains detailed information on final guidance for schools this fall on remote learning.