Return To Learning Lane

November 2020

The purpose of this newsletter to give details on the various aspects of our planning to welcome students back to Haymarket ES. We have heard the phrase "Return to Learn Plan," but our students have been learning! So our plan will be coined "Return to Learning Lane" as we continue to plan for students to be in person.

Some reminders before you delve into the information below:

  • IP = in person
  • VO = virtual only
  • Houses are divided by last name (A-K in person students come to school on Tuesdays/Thursdays and L-Z come to school on Wednesdays/Fridays)
  • Mondays continue to be an asynchronous day
  • Kindergarten students who chose in person return on November 10th
  • 1st Grade students who chose in person return on December 1st
  • 2nd/3rd Grade students who choose in person return on January 12th
  • 4th/5th Grade students who choose in person return on January 26th (start of 3rd quarter)

Parent/Teacher Conference Week

November 2nd is Parent/Teacher Conference Day. If you would like to schedule a conference with your child's teacher on or around this date, please reach out to him/her to schedule a virtual conference.

5 Key Mitigation Strategies

1. Consistent and correct use of masks (adjust by pulling from the ear loop, NOT the front of the mask)

2. Social distancing to the largest extent possible (6 ft can be utilized in every classroom at HMES)

3. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (covering cough with elbow still)

4. Cleaning and disinfecting

5. Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department

From Our Nurse, Ms. Kathy

Parents are asked to evaluate their students for symptoms of illness each day before sending them to school. If your child has any of the following symptoms, please do not send them to school: fever greater than or equal to 100.4, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of sense of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion/nasal discharge, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, or headache.

Here is a link to the daily symptom screen for students: PWCS Daily Home Screening for Students.

If your child becomes sick at school with any Covid-19 and/or influenza-like symptoms, that cannot be attributed to another known diagnosis, you will be asked to pick them up immediately, which means within 30-60 minutes max.

It is extremely important to review and complete your child’s emergency card this year. Please be sure all phone numbers are accurate and up to date. Notify the school immediately should your contact information change. We also suggest that you develop a plan of action, should your child become ill during the day, requiring them to be picked up immediately.

Things to consider when developing your plan:

-Can you leave work immediately if your child becomes ill?

-Develop a list of responsible adults to serve as emergency contacts.

-Students who are sick will not be permitted to ride home on the bus.”

Class Changes

As was mentioned in a previous email blast, due to changes in RTL survey choices from parents and the health needs of our staff, some class changes were needed. Our teams have been working VERY hard to make the least amount of changes as possible while honoring parents choices for their students. Our teams have been collaboratively planning throughout this 1st quarter and follow the same pacing. We plan on notifying everyone of any changes this week. At this time only changes in 1st grade will be made so we can see how our current health metrics and parent choices for learning change before January 2021. This is a change from what was previously communicated...2nd and 3rd grade students will remain with their current teacher until at least January 12th but may have to change at that time based on many factors.

Face Coverings

  • It is HIGHLY advised that you give your child(ren) an opportunity to practice wearing a face covering leading up to coming back to school. If they haven't worn one for very long since the pandemic started, start with short periods of time and work your way up from there. This will greatly help the transition to school!
  • We are also advising that you have 5 masks on hand, one for each day of the week, and label them as such at home.
  • Adjustments of face coverings should be done using the ear loops and NOT touching the actual front of the mask...please practice this now!

  • Please see specific information here - Regulation 275-2
  • Face coverings will be required on buses (disposable ones will be available upon entry)
  • The CDC advises that everyone should stay 6 feet apart and our room sizes currently permit that
  • Students will all have to wear a mask while at school unless there is a documented disability or medical condition
  • As long as the Governor-declared health emergency exists, face coverings will be required for all students, staff and visitors inside any PWCS facility at any time 6 feet or more of social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth
  • Encouraged to bring tissues to put in buckets with supplies
  • When PE and music are in person, students apart at least 10 feet do not need to wear a mask. Teachers will be encouraged to take their students outside when possible


  • Students will sit in designated spots on the bus that are marked with tape
  • Windows will be open to encourage air flow
  • Dr. Walts mentioned that there will be two adults on each bus until further notice
  • Students will be expected to wear masks and disposal ones will be available to them when they get on the bus if they don't have one
  • No temp checks will be done prior to getting on the bus per CDC recommendations
  • Buses will be cleaned regularly by trained staff
  • On a "regular" 77 passenger bus there can be around 24 students (sitting alternating aisle/window...zigzag pattern)
  • K and 1st grade will have staff picking them up right at the bus and walking them to the cafeteria (see below regarding breakfast)
  • When walking in the building, students will be able to use the paw prints that the Haymarket Church did for us this summer as a visual of how far to stay apart. Adults will be present to remind students as well.
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  • Breakfast will be free until at least the end of December
  • There will be one hot choice and one cereal choice in bags
  • There will be tables in the cafeteria for students to simply pick up the bags
  • For Kindergarten, they will most likely eat their breakfast in the cafeteria until further notice. Teachers and IAs will be present.

Hallway Travel

  • Hallways have lines of colored tape throughout the building for visual reminders of 6 ft
  • There are also alleys on each side as a visual reminder of which side of the hall to walk on
  • There are also arrows showing the direction that the flow of traffic should be
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Water Fountains/Bathrooms

  • PWCS is temporarily suspending the use of all water fountains
  • Back in May we inquired about bottle fillers for all fountains and got them installed!
  • All students will need a water bottle. If they don't have one we will have cases of water available

Shared bathrooms (in downstairs classrooms) - all students will use the same routine (sanitize, use bathroom, wash hands, use paper towel to open door, sanitize)

Hall bathrooms (upstairs and cafeteria)

  • everyone will use a sign out/in sheet in their rooms;
  • masks are required in the bathrooms;
  • certain sinks, urinals, stalls may be blocked off for spacing purposes; lights will be mounted on the wall outside each hall bathroom;
  • if there are two lights, only two people are allowed in there at a time
  • students will use elbows to turn on the light, then enter the restroom
  • when they come out, they will use their elbow to turn the light off
  • students will be reminded to wait in the hallway if all the lights are on
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  • We are working with facilities to determine if it is better to keep windows and doors open for air circulation, or if that stifles the air circulation that is already present in the rooms
  • Our teachers will be teaching various things repeatedly once students arrive: bathroom, drink, hallway, classroom movement routines; hand washing routines (sanitize, use restroom, wash hands, open door with paper towel, sanitize)
  • Each class will have a visual reminder of what 6 ft distancing is (box around desks/table)
  • There will be limited movement in the classrooms, but movement will largely be dependent on the number of students present versus the max capacity.
  • Materials will be cleaned on a daily basis in the evenings, but the collective sharing of materials will be extremely limited
  • Desks will not be used for any storage of items. We will have two separate storage containers for student supplies next to each desk (one per student per house)
  • Cubbies can be used, as well as hooks, but teachers will be careful as to how students access those areas if needed (and where you are storing items since bookshelves may have to be removed)
  • Clear plexiglass dividers that shape around 3 sides of the desks will be available in every classroom
  • No parent treats will be allowed in the room
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We will be utilizing the same schedule through the end of the calendar year 2020. This means that VO students will keep the same whole group lesson times, encore, lunch break, etc. Specialists that provide specific services to some of our students (ESOL, gifted, special education, etc.) will communicate their schedule with parents. Mondays will continue to be an asynchronous day for ALL students. When January 2021 rolls around, there will be some changes in the schedule (it may be a more traditional schedule).

Instructional Items

  • Students will be at their desks in their own space most of the time and will be utilizing Canvas while in the building for parts of their day
  • There will not be sharing of any manipulatives or instructional tools during the day. Items will be cleaned each evening
  • Online books will continue to be used for equity purposes, except in small group situations for in person students. Students will "keep" their small group reading books in their tubs while use
  • There will be certain instructional items that may come back and forth if you don't have duplicates at home such as pencils, scissors, crayons, etc.
  • Please bring in school supplies from the list at the start of the year (click HERE to view those lists)
  • Agendas (grades 3-5) and blue folders will be used to take school items back and forth for in person students


  • Lunch will be in the cafeteria
  • We put social distancing dots on the floor in the line to give students visual reminders on how far to stay apart from each other
  • All menus will be modified and fixed to include two hot choices (one vegetarian) and two cold choices
  • One student will be in the serving line area at a time until further notice
  • Like breakfast, lunch will be free through December
  • No pin pads will be used to reduce common touch points
  • There will be 3 students seated at each cafeteria table safely...there will be visual reminders at designated spots so students know where they can sit
  • We will bring in other tables that are not being used to make more space in the gym/cafeteria if needed
  • As of now parents are not allowed in the building for lunch, but this may change based on guidance from PWCS
  • Allergies - since students aren't going through the line to trigger flagging of allergies, K IAs and our hostesses will work together to check student choices. A list will be posted outside the cafeteria for our staff that contains an allergy list so everyone working can check and double check student choices
  • There will not be allergy tables because of the general distancing of students at the tables. The distance in this format actually has more space between students than previously.
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We will be dividing the playground area into three areas (left playground, right playground, and basketball court). Each group of children/class will get 8-10 minutes in each area and then rotate...OR...teachers will devise a plan that best fits the needs of their students. Recess will be severely staggered to ensure there aren't more than 10-15 students in each area listed above. The equipment will be cleaned on a regular basis.

Recess will be outdoors, weather permitting for 30 minutes minimum, but we know that students will need a break since they aren't moving as much in the classrooms and they need a break from their face coverings.


Thinking of only K and 1st grade at this time, teachers will walk their students out to the bus/car loop/van pick up spot each day.


At this time we have sufficient computers to allow for K and 1st grade students to have a computer already at school for them. Whether you have been using a loaned school laptop or a personal one, K and 1st grade students WILL NOT have to transport laptops back and forth in their backpacks.

Other Tidbits

  • A typical class size of in-person students will average approximately 12-14 students each day
  • Custodial staff will implement daily cleaning protocols and increased presence of custodians during school hours.
  • High touch areas will be cleaned throughout the day. Cleaning supplies in each room.
  • Wall mounted hand sanitizer stations as well as other mobile stations placed throughout the building. Sanitizer is available inside each classroom.
  • Plexiglass dividers are already installed in visitor high traffic areas.
  • We will be limiting transitions
  • Parents will be required to do a daily self-health check for each child, as will PWCS employees and visitors (a questionnaire will be given to you or you can answer the questions through the intercom from outside the main door).
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Book Fair - save the date!

Dear Parents and Families,

The Scholastic Book Fair is back! While the Fair will be exclusively held online this year, we still plan on making it a fun and joyous experience for our kids. Features include:

· Haymarket’s own online store, with a large selection of titles, at the right price points

· A Virtual Fair so you and your kids can experience the magic of the school shopping experience. Browse titles by grade, meet popular authors, and discover the comfort and joy of our Fair

· Every dollar you spend will benefit our school directly (25% back in rewards!)

Save these dates and view our school’s Fair site:

Fair Dates:
November 23rd-December 6th

Online Store: