First Street Principal's Message
"Back to School" COVID Edition - October 2020
Dear First St. Families,
First St. has a long tradition of support and community connection. Our mission and vision of meeting individual student needs and forming positive connections and meaningful relationships continues to be our top priority, regardless of whether our students are returning for in-person instruction or continuing on as InterCONNECT distance learners! We want students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and productive and honorable members of society. Our teachers and staff work hard to move all students forward in meeting their goals.
Please read each section below carefully as they contain important details about various aspects of our return to in-person instruction, as well as some details for our students continuing on with InterCONNECT.
First Street School Reopening Details
What to Expect When Kids Return to FSS
As previously stated, we are extremely excited to be bringing students back to school in whatever capacity or fashion possible. We do want to make it clear, however, that due to the COVID guidelines we are required to follow to allow kids to return, things will look a little different for awhile. We hope everyone can understand and appreciate what we need to do in order to allow for the safe return of our students and staff!
- Before Departing for School - Parents will be asked to conduct a health assessment on their child before interacting with others and before attending school. If symptoms are present, please stay home from school and other activities and notify the school office.
- Morning Arrival - Due to our need for social distancing, we will not be able to have kids eating in the cafeteria or having recess before school. We are asking parents to drop their kids off no sooner than 8:00 (preferably 8:15). The gates will open at 8:15 and students will walk directly to their classrooms (with masks on and maintaining social distance) where their teachers will be ready to receive them. Backpacks will be hung on the new hooks outside of class prior to entering the room. Instruction will begin at 8:30 AM.
- Arrival Gates - And speaking of arrival, to help minimize crowding, we will have students entering campus from three different gates: Kinder-1st students will enter through the gate closest to the kinder playground; 2nd-3rd students will enter through the main front gate; and 4th-5th students will enter through the far gate closest to the bike rack area. *See pictures below.
- Recess - Each grade-level will have their own specific grade-level recess time. To meet the requirement for limited cohort mixing, each class will eat their snack and play in an area designated for their class. Those areas will rotate weekly so kids can have the opportunity to play in different locations. In order to allow students freedom to play with the probability of limited social distancing, masks will be expected to be worn at all times that a 6ft. social distance cannot be maintained. Equipment will be cleaned and available for recess use, but cannot be shared. The playstructures will be open for use and will be cleaned between each recess period. The library will also be open during recess time to allow kids an opportunity to check out books. Snacks from home or provided by school can be eaten at this time in designated snack/mask break areas, but sharing of food in any way is not permitted. The daily recess schedule is below:
- Kinder: 9:30-9:50-
- 1st Grade: 9:55-10:15
- 2nd Grade: 10:20-10:40
- 3rd Grade: 10:45-11:05
- 4th Grade: 11:10-11:30
- 5th Grade: 1:35-11:55
Mask & Restroom Breaks - Teachers will have the freedom to instruct outside as appropriate or simply take kids out of class for brief stretch and mask breaks. Restrooms will also be available for students, though no more than four students at a time are allowed in any one particular restroom. *See pictures below.
Life in the Classroom - As much as safety procedures and teacher discretion allow, we will try to run class as close to normal as possible. That being said, group size and group work will be more limited to allow for safer interaction between students. Also, we are expecting Chromebooks to travel between home and school on a daily basis as there will be additional content that will need to be completed nightly. If your student currently is working on an at-home device that cannot come to school with him/her, a school Chromebook can still be checked out and kept at school for school only use if desired. *Please charge the Chromebooks nightly and if possible, send chargers to school as well.
Departure from School - At 11:55 AM, teachers will walk their kids from their classes to their designated arrival and departure gate. Kids being picked up by vehicle will be expected to wait in the area around their gate until their ride arrives for curbside pick-up.
- Students should wash or sanitize hands upon arriving at school and when entering different classroom/common areas.
- Students should wash or sanitize hands prior to consumption of food.
- Please encourage frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer.
- Students will be trained to wash hand for at least 20 seconds and to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Handwashing stations will be available in addition to the restrooms
- Classrooms have wall mounted hand sanitizers or sanitizer dispensers
- Student friendly wipes will be available for use should the student desire to disinfect their area between classes.
I know all of this will take some adjusting for us and our First St. kids - we understand that. We are expecting, however, that all students and parents conform to the guidelines and expectations stated above. If you think that may prove challenging for any reason, the option to remain on (or even potentially return to) distance learning is still available. Please let us know ASAP if you are reconsidering your choice to stay home or return to school as we are using this week to begin preparing for student arrival on October 6th. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask!
We Are Ready for Your Safe Return to School!
District "Roadmap to Reopening" Document w/ COVID-19 Response Scenarios
THE COMPLETE "ROADRMAP TO REOPENING" DOCUMENT
This "Roadmap to Reopening" document represents the foundation to start our school year. Click here to see the complete document in English and Spanish. As we have learned from the last few months, change is inevitable, and we will continue to hone the guidelines as our school year continues. Also, important COVID-19 Response Scenarios from the county can be found at the end of the document - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! In planning for this year, we were guided by the following principles:
- Student and staff safety
- Educational program quality
- Students and staff returning to a physical school site for in person learning
- Parent choice in programs
- Staff engagement, training and support
- Offering a quality distance learning program
- Collaborating with surrounding districts, Placer County Office of Education, Placer County Health Department
This road map is just a map. There will be many decisions and changes along the way. But the roadmap also gives us a way forward to continue our essential duty of educating and supporting students.
Masks are Required
We are requiring all students to wear a mask when they are on campus. If your student has an exemption from wearing a mask (the exceptions are outlined in the guidance located HERE) they may wear a shield. If your student can’t wear a shield, they can use a privacy screen that we will provide to serve as a barrier. All that is required is a simple note from your child’s physician that states your child has an exemption and can’t wear a mask to start this process. Please submit the note to your student’s principal. Masks do not have to be worn when eating or drinking, or in special “outdoor classrooms” some schools are offering. Just as a reminder, please wear a mask if you are going to be on campus, including the offices, at any time. I do want to let you know you may observe some people in the offices not wearing masks based on State office protocols.
Meal Distribution for In-Person & InterCONNECT Students
One of the big pieces of information in the newsletter has to do with food distribution. The USDA has allowed us to provide FREE meals to all WPUSD students 18 years or younger regardless of their eligibility status through December 31st of 2020. For students who are coming back to school for in-person instruction, meals will be distributed to your student's class at the end of the day on Tuesdays and Fridays. The meals will be delivered in plastic bags and have enough breakfast and lunch items for 3-4 days. To be on the list for these free meals, all we need you to do is complete the "FSS Food Distribution" survey linked here. * If you do not complete the survey, we will not have food available for your child on the days the meals are to be delivered.
If your child is going to be staying on distance learning and you would like to receive the free meals, InterCONNECT meal distributions will occur once per week at Glen Edwards Middle School. Please submit a Meal Bag order form HERE. For additional information regarding meal distribution or other food service items in general, visit our WPUSD Food Service page here.