Mid-Week Newsletter

Return to Full Day Instruction - Updates and Information

Preparing for Our Return to Full Day Instruction

This mid-week newsletter will provide you with important information regarding our return to full day instruction, on Monday, March 8, 2021. When we return on March 8th we will use the following mitigations to create a safe environment:


  • Students will be seated 3 feet apart (or greater) in all classrooms
  • If students share a table there will be a divider placed on the table at all times (this is in addition to the lunch dividers)
  • With the exception of lunch, students and adults will wear a tight fitting mask at all times.
  • Students will continue to practice hand hygiene throughout the school day.
  • Students will have their own materials in the classroom (no shared supplies).
  • PE, music and recess materials will be sanitized between classes/sessions.
  • Only essential adults will be allowed in the building (e.g. no parent volunteers at this time).
  • Nearly all staff have been vaccinated.
  • Shield testing will occur every four days to prevent an asymptotic outbreak.

Daily Certification

Beginning Monday, March 8th, all in-person families must complete the NEW (slightly revised) daily certification form. On Friday I will share an updated link. It is important that you bookmark the new link as we will have just one form for all in-person learners.


All families must complete the daily certification form by 7:45 am. A different form is required for each student. Please enter your child's first and last name as it appears in Family Access.

Arrival and Dismissal

With the entire school arriving and dismissing at the same time it is essential that EVERYONE follow our arrival and dismissal procedures. Our new arrival time for all elementary schools is 8:35 am. Please do NOT drop students prior to 8:35 as that is the time staff are on duty to assist students. Students are expected to be in the building by 8:45, with instruction starting at 8:50. If your child arrives after 8:45 please have them enter through the front doors. All staff assigned to work the exterior doors will need to leave their spots at 8:45 so it is essential that you send your child to the front door if you arrive after 8:45. Here are a few changes we will make regarding arrival and dismissal.



  • I must start by asking for your patience and for you to focus on the safety of our students, the staff and all of the other families. Please know that the first week will be slow and it might present many delays as we get acclimated to the increase in cars. We apologize ahead of time for any inconvenience. We will do our best to make improvements and speed things up, but only if we can do it safely.
  • Beginning on Monday, we will no longer ask parents to park and walk their kindergartener and first grader to the back of the school. All families can drive through the drop off lane to drop off and pick up their child (children).
  • Due to an increase of cars going through the drop off/pick up lane, we are going to divert traffic through the parking area near the district center before vehicles make it to the turn around spot at the end of the driveway (this is for pick up only).
  • All drivers must pull all the way forward in the drop off and pick up lane. Please continue to pull as far forward as possible so we can fit as many cars as possible in the lane and avoid having cars waiting to pull in from Kipling Place. We will continue to send your children down the sidewalk to catch up with you. Please do not stop and wait for them.
  • Drivers should not get out of their car along the curb to assist students. This is very dangerous. Our staff are happy to assist and open doors with child safety locks.
  • If you feel like you need to exit your car to assist, please park in a parking spot and walk over to the school to retrieve your child. If you do planning on picking up this way, you will need to wear a mask.
  • Please only pick up children from the curb side. Many cars drive around other cars to exit the lane and might not see your child move out from the front of your car. Curb side only please.
  • Drives should NEVER use their phone when on or around school property.
  • Please watch the video to show the new pick up configuration
  • To repeat, parents will no longer need to park and retrieve their kindergarten and first graders. Please drive through the drop off/pick up lane to pick up all of our children at the end of the day.
  • Although not absolutely necessary, a sign with your child's (children's) name and grade (grades) will speed up the pick up line. Please affix sign either on the front windshield on the passenger's side or on the front door window on the passenger's side.
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Preparing for Lunch/Recess When We Return on March 8

Our new lunch schedule allows us to minimize the number of children outside during lunch recess. We will have two 55-minute lunch blocks with three grades attending each lunch/recess block.


Each class will be split into two groups. Group A will remain in the classroom with a designated supervisor and will eat lunch while group B plays outside. After approximately 25 minutes, group A will move outside and group B will return to the classroom for lunch.

If you choose to pick up your child and take them home for lunch, this is a commitment for the full 55-minute lunch block and will be required 5 days a week. These students will be checked out by a luncher supervisor. This supervisor will have a list of students who are going to be leaving. The luncher supervisor will ensure he/she has all of the students who should be leaving for lunch and he/she will then go to the cars waiting in the drop off/pick up line and put the correct child in each of the cars. This luncher supervisor will then be back at the end of the first lunch (which is also the beginning of the second lunch) to collect the students returning and send away the students who are leaving. Finally, he/she will be there at the end of lunch two to collect the students who are returning then.

Below is the lunch/recess schedule.

  • 11:25 - 12:20 - K, 1, 5
  • 12:25 - 1:20 - 2, 3, 4


Lunch:

  • Please make sure you send a lunch with your child. Please make sure you send napkins, utensils and a drink each day. If your child does not have a lunch, we will attempt to call prior to their lunchtime in order to give you a chance to drop one off. If that fails, we might ask you to come pick up your child and take him or her out of the building for lunch that day. We will do everything we can to ensure your child has a lunch that day.
  • Each student will use their designated three-sided divider during lunch.
  • All students in the lunch group will open containers and prepare their lunch. Please send your child with containers that they can easily open with minimal assistance.
  • After all students have opened their lunches/containers the supervisor will ask all students in that group (A or B) to remove their mask and begin eating.
  • Supervisors will assist students in throwing away garbage in cans that do not remain in the classroom.
  • All students will sanitize their hands after eating.
  • Nut Free Classrooms - In order to accommodate lunch in our classrooms, we will be temporarily designating our classrooms as open food areas per our District 109 Food Allergy Management Plan; however, all classrooms will remain nut free. Peanuts and tree nuts will not be allowed as part of your child’s lunch so please plan accordingly in order to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. If you have concerns about your individual child and other necessary accommodations pertaining to food allergies, please do not hesitate to contact your building nurse or assistant/associate principal.


Recess:

  • All students and staff will wear a mask during recess.
  • Students may play on the playground equipment or engage in non-contact activities.
  • We will put out hula hoops, jump ropes, playground balls and other similar items for students to use at recess.
  • Students may play games such as Four Square, HORSE, Hop Scotch and catch.
  • Students may not play games such as tag, soccer, football and basketball.
  • Students may bring books or materials for coloring outside
  • Our recess program will evolve over the next few weeks as we establish and teach students safe play procedures and activities.
  • Students will sanitize their hands after recess


It is very important that students are prepared to go outside each day for recess and PE. Please have students dress appropriately with a coat, hat, gloves, boots and pants, as we will go outside each day unless it is unsafe due to cold (temperatures under 20 degrees or 15 degrees with the windchill) or or ice/excessive snow.

Bus Schedules and Information

  • Information regarding bus routes will be available on the DPS109 website very soon.
  • All bus riders will have an assigned seat to promote social distancing

  • Students must wear a face covering on the bus

  • Staff will meet the buses at arrival to assist younger students in walking to their assigned entrance

  • Staff will assist students in lining up at dismissal

  • For questions regarding transportation, please email transportation@dps109.org

Exclusionary Scenarios

Please watch this video for information about exclusionary scenarios.