The focus for this newsletter is going to be sharing information regarding our return. I want to make sure that you are all well informed of the options and what those may look like. I hope that you can join our webinar on Wednesday at 6:15. You need to use the link below to register for the event. As always, my door is open (figuratively for now) so call or email if you have questions that are not answered either through the district website or the webinar.
When: Jul 29, 2020 06:15 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Robinson Family Webinar
Register in advance for this webinar:
Robinson Parent Webinar
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Picture of a sample classroom
Here is what a sample schedule may look like if kids returned to in person learning (Everyday or Blended Learning Models 1 & 2)
Safety at School- The District’s health and safety plan places student and staff safety at the forefront of returning to school. Plans are based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control, St. Louis County Department of Health, and our Kirkwood School District Health Advisory Group. Mitigation strategies, often exceeding requirements, have been developed in consultation with our Health Advisory Group, composed of several medical experts who also have children in our district. Our classroom cleaning and sanitization procedures are based on the most current CDC guidance.
These health and safety precautions include but are not limited to the following:
- All students, K-12, will be required to wear masks while at school and on the bus. The Kirkwood School District will provide all students with two reusable cloth masks
- All staff will be required to wear masks at all times. The Kirkwood School District will provide all staff with two reusable cloth masks, and a face shield
- All students, K-12, will be provided a portable, foldable barrier to place in front of them
- Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be required, especially when students leave and enter spaces
- Social distancing, to the maximum extent possible, will occur in classrooms and other learning areas
Bus- While physical distancing is ideal on the bus, it may not always be feasible given student numbers and space limitations. All students and drivers will be required to wear masks on the bus. Bus drivers will be screened and have temperature checks daily. Students will be asked to sit with siblings and in assigned seats to reduce commingling and assist with contact tracing, if necessary. If possible, schools will establish protocols for loading/unloading of buses to minimize student contact (i.e. loading the rear of the bus first).
Arrival- Students must wear their masks prior to and during entry into the school buildings. We would have students entering the building through multiple doors to reduce the amount of students entering at one time. Students will arrive and go to their classrooms. Upon arrival to the classroom, students will wash or sanitize hands within the classroom. Breakfast will be rolled around to classrooms and they would eat breakfast at their desks behind their portable, foldable barrier. After breakfast is finished they would begin their Social Emotional Learning time.
Academic Time- Academics have been adjusted to account for our time away during the closure last year. Teachers will receive PD before the start of the year on focus skills for their instruction in all academic areas this year. The district is providing additional tools that will benefit instruction whether the learning is virtual or in person.
Specials-K-5 students will participate in art, music, and PE, although these classes will look very different than in previous years. Healthcare advisors recommend elementary students remain in cohort groups, ideally taught in their classrooms throughout the day. Art and music teachers will therefore travel to students, with options to teach outdoors when feasible. Physical education classes will take place outdoors or in gymnasiums, with efforts to maintain physical distancing and some limits on activities and the use of PE supplies. While our art, music, and PE teachers are exceptional, safety precautions will understandably impact the instruction and programming they can provide.
Recess- We strongly believe in the value of play and recognize that physical movement and safe social interaction will be even more important during these times. Students will have recess, although it will necessarily look different than it has before.
- K-5 students will have recess in their cohort groups, with students from their classrooms. Schools will therefore need to limit the number of classes outside at the same time, likely limiting students to a particular section of the playground on a given day.
- Because we have to limit recess access to smaller groups, most students will not have recess directly before or after lunch - as has been typically done in recent years. Principals are working to create recess schedules to comply with cohorting recommendations from our Health Advisory Group.
- Students will be allowed to remove their masks when playing outdoors, with teaching and reminders about physical distancing. We will also teach students how to safely remove, store, and put on their masks, with storage routines established at the school level. Children can always leave their masks on if it makes them feel more comfortable.
- Playground structures and equipment will be available for student use, with regular sanitation throughout the day.
Lunch- Because masks cannot be worn while eating lunch or breakfast, we're putting additional measures in place to mitigate risks.
- Breakfast and lunch will be “grab and go” style for students at all levels.
- Elementary students will eat in classrooms, with food brought to their room
- Barriers have been purchased for each student, which will provide additional protection when masks understandably need to be removed.
Bathroom Breaks- Intentional efforts will be made to limit the number of students in the restroom at a given time, implementing scheduled restroom breaks (as possible) to avoid the congregation and commingling of classes/cohort groups. If feasible, we will clearly mark spaces outside restrooms that provide visual cues regarding social distancing.
Custodial staff will administer at least one deep cleaning a day and clean/wipe down high touch surfaces throughout the day. The district will maintain cleaning logs to assist with contact tracing should an outbreak occur.
Drinking fountains will be turned off. Water bottle filling stations will be available for student and staff use.
Library- Yes, students will have access to school libraries - although this may look different than in the past. Books will be available for checkout at all levels. Students will be expected to wash hands and/or use sanitizer before entering and upon exiting libraries. Use of masks and physical distancing will be expected, with some chairs removed to encourage spacing and minimize congregation. Library/media specialists in elementary schools will travel to classrooms to teach lessons, in accordance with cohorting efforts.
Outdoor Learning- There are inherent benefits to outdoor learning, from an infectious disease perspective and through a lens of social, emotional, and mental well-being. We are fortunate that many of our campuses have terrific outdoor spaces for student learning and play. While it may be more feasible on some campuses than others, due to space issues, we are encouraging creative options for outdoor learning.
- Schools are exploring options for additional outdoor seating, where appropriate, both for instructional time and lunch. At Robinson, we have multiple spaces that could be utilizes
- While most campuses already have WiFi access points aimed outdoors, we are adding to this infrastructure to better support teaching and learning outdoors when technology is needed.
Given weather realities in Missouri, we view outdoor learning as an additive strategy to support students, not as a cornerstorne of our planning. We will also encourage students to adhere to safety protocols when outdoors, especially maintaining 3-6 feet of distance from others.
Intervention and Other Supports- At this time, we are planning for services such as special education, ELL, Gifted, and others to be provided to students. Mitigation strategies such as hand cleaning, masking, and physical spacing will still be utilized. Also, these services may need to occur in different physical locations to facilitate spacing for students. Additional measures, such as vigilant attendance tracking and assigned seating, will be utilized to facilitate potential contact tracing.
Dismissal- Students will exit the building with masks on. Students who ride a bus are required to keep their mask on until they arrive at home. Students who are going home via other modes of transportation are required to keep masks on until they are in vehicles. Students that walk home in small groups should keep their masks on until they arrive at home.
Adventure Club- Plans for before school and after school Adventure Club are still being finalized. Students are required to wear masks, to clean hands frequently, and practice social distancing while participating in Adventure Club. Staff are required to wear masks, clean hands frequently, practice social distancing, and complete a screening procedure (including temperature check) before working with students. Adventure Club will follow all protocols established for students or staff with symptoms or who test positive or are in the same household as someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
In our Every Student, Every Day Modified In-Person Learning Model, students in Adventure Club will complete screenings, be required to wear masks, clean their hands frequently, and practice social distancing. Students may be divided into small groups to maximize cohorts and minimize contact tracing.
In our Blended Learning for All Students Model, students would attend Adventure Club only on the two days they are assigned to be at school. Adventure Club would not be available for the students while they are assigned to virtual instruction. All safety and health protocols will continue to be in place, including screenings, all students wearing masks, frequent hand cleaning, and social distancing.
In our All Students Online Learning Model, our school campuses will not be open and Adventure Club will not be offered.
Parents & Visitors On Campus- Due to safety recommendations, visitors to campus will be strictly limited. Parents may visit the main office if checking students in or out, but they must wear a mask and will not be allowed to go beyond the office. Non-essential visitors will not be allowed into the building. All essential visitors must wear a mask and be health screened, including having a temperature taken. Any meetings that may occur virtually should do so.
Elementary Instrumental Music- Kirkwood’s instrumental music programs begin in fourth and fifth grade, for orchestra and band respectively, and we greatly value these experiences for our children. Participating elementary students typically attend band or orchestra classes at our middle schools, twice a week before school. While final decisions about EIM have not yet been made, we anticipate delays in starting these programs. Fifth grade orchestra students who started in fourth grade may begin the year with online instruction.