Winecoff STEM Elementary School
Newsletter for School Families 10/14/20
I realize there is a lot of apprehension, anxiety, and even feelings of relief as we begin this new chapter in this school year. I want to assure you that we are taking all of our safety precautions very seriously in an effort to keep all students and staff safe and healthy. These precautions are outlined in this newsletter, but if you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teacher or any of the school administrators.
Our next live, virtual meeting for all families will be Thursday, November 5th, from 5:00-6:00pm. The links to join will be sent out that evening and we hope that you can join us!
Important Information for All Families
Health & Safety Protocols
Communication related to COVID
- One of the biggest fears of being a parent / guardian is not knowing what is going on regarding to COVID and sending students back to school. We are in constant communication with the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) and we promise to notify all families if / when and each time there is even 1 confirmed case at Winecoff.
- While we won't be able to share the confidential information of who has tested positive, please be assured that the Cabarrus Health Alliance will contact anyone who may need to take extra precautions or get tested themselves due to exposure.
- Our school nurse and I have access to a system in partnership with CHA that helps us know when individuals are cleared to come back to school if they have been exposed or have tested positive.
- Masks (not gaiters) are required to be worn correctly (over the nose/mouth and under chin) by everyone inside the building and while on the playground/fields
- Each student will receive 5 white, state issued masks from their teacher
- Students may wear a personal face shield but they must also wear a mask
- Social distancing to the greatest extent possible everywhere
- Temperature checks for everyone prior to entering the building
- Health screening questions asked of everyone prior to entering the building
- Hand sanitizer stations at every entrance and in every classroom
- Visitors will not be permitted into the building at this time
- Students will eat all meals in their classrooms
- Frequent cleaning & disinfecting scheduled throughout the day in classrooms and high touch areas around the building
- Classrooms will be deep cleaned every afternoon
- 1 way hallways with the exception of the middle hallway, that will be 2 way
- Water fountains are bottle filling only, no one can directly drink from them
Our school nurse, Mrs. Motley, will assess any student that may be displaying symptoms. We have 1 classroom designated as a Care Center for those that may feel sick and 1 classroom designated as an isolation room if someone is suspected of having the virus. These rooms are supervised when students are in them and students will be socially distanced until they are cleared or have a parent pick them up.
Arrival to School
While we ensure that all of our protocols and procedures are followed, we do anticipate that arrival may be slower than normal. Please remember to be patient and follow the procedures to keep everyone safe.
- Everyone (staff & students) will have their temperature checked and be asked health assessment questions before getting out of the car and entering the building
- Everyone will use the hand sanitizer located at each entrance
- Staff will be stationed throughout the hallways to assist students in finding their classrooms
- Students may enter the building either through the bus rider or car rider entrances. Students should not be dropped off in front of the school.
- Our car rider line will begin at 7:45am and end at 8:15am
- If students arrive after 8:15am, please come to the front of the school and sign them in at the office (students will still get their temperature checked and asked the health questions)
- If a student presents a temperature of 100.4 or greater or the answer is "yes" to any of the health questions, we will ask that your child remains in the car and returns home. All siblings / household members will be asked to return home as well. You will be asked to contact our school nurse for further instructions.
- Students will be required to wear a mask to get on and ride the school bus.
- The driver will also wear a mask.
- Seats on the bus will be labeled with a "check mark" sticker indicating where students should sit. Siblings may sit together. The reduced capacity on a school bus will be 22 - 24 students.
- Buses will unload 1 at a time under the supervision of staff members. They will social distance walking to the school and will have their temperature checked, be asked the health assessment questions before entering the building, and use the hand sanitizer before entering into the hallways.
- If a student has a temperature of 100.4 or greater or answers "yes" to any of the health questions, the student will be escorted to a Care Center Room where our school nurse will assess the student.
- Buses will enter and exit into the side parking lot from Winecoff School Rd and unload students safely onto the sidewalk
- Car riders should enter our back parking lot by turning right into the parking lot from Stewart Street.
Directions for Car Riders
- Winecoff School Rd to the new traffic circle, exit onto Stewart Street, pass the ball fields on your right hand side and turn right into the back parking lot
- Enter Stewart Street from Kannapolis Hwy by the DMV, drive through the traffic circle, taking the second exit to continue onto Stewart Street, pass the ballfields on your right hand side, turn right into the back parking lot.
- Please do not enter onto Stewart Street from Winecoff School Road by the Fire Department. We do not want to block the driveway for the fire trucks with a car rider line and turning left into the back parking lot will be dangerous, as you would have to cross in front of the exiting traffic.
- Our School Resource Officer, Deputy Drummond, will be there to direct traffic as well.
- Always make sure your child's teacher has the correct transportation information for your child.
- If you need to change the way your child goes home on any given day, you must send a note or electronic message to your child's teacher that morning. If an emergency comes up at the end of the day, please message your child's teacher and call the office.
- We ask that parents / guardians do not pick up their students early from school, as instruction continues until the end of the day. However, we also know that you may need to pick your child up early for an appointment. In this case, we ask that you check out your student prior to 2:50pm because our dismissal procedures begin at 2:50pm.
- Our official dismissal time is 3:00pm
- Students will be dismissed in stages to reduce the number of students in the hallways.
- Staff members will escort all students to ensure they remain socially distanced and get to the correct bus or car rider waiting area.
- Before buses depart from the school, we check with lead staff members in each area (buses, car riders, vans/daycares) to make sure there aren't any students running late or in the wrong place.
- Cars will follow the same traffic pattern as for morning arrival
- Please remain in your car
- A staff member will be in the parking lot collecting the names of students in order of the cars and calling to staff members to send the specific students out to the loading area
- Parents/Guardians will be given a card with their child's name to place on their dashboards to assist in a safe dismissal.
- Students will walk to their loading area spot (#1-6) and wait for the correct car to pull up and stop in front of them.
- A staff member will safely help students into their cars.
Please keep the line moving and pull up to the next available loading spot to wait (if necessary) for your child. Students are sent directly to a specific spot, so by pulling up to the next available spot will help keep everyone in order and where they are supposed to be.
If you arrive late and miss the afternoon car rider line, please drive around to the front of the school and pick your child up from the office. All students must be picked up by 3:30pm because we will not have staff available to supervise students after that.
You may use the online payment system, K12 Payment Center, to place money on your child's account to purchase a la carte items from the cafeteria. The cafeteria is not accepting cash / coins at this time.
Our School Nutrition website has a lot of information for families regarding meal services for students, even on the days when students are not coming into the building.
Even though all students receive free meals right now, we still encourage families to apply for meal benefits at www.lunchapplication.com The more families that apply and are eligible for benefits, the more federal funding our school can receive. We use this funding (Title I funds) to be able to provide additional support for our students such as more instructional materials, lead teacher specialists and an additional classroom teacher and an assistant to provide academic interventions for struggling students.
The Instructional Day for Students
Starting on October 19th, students may return to Face-to-Face instruction under Plan B- 2 days/week. This first week back, October 19 -23, our teachers will be reviewing the content that has been taught this far with students in Plan B and Plan C- all remote.
Students in Plan C will not have any live / synchronous instruction during the morning time of 8:30 - 10:10am during the week of October 19-23 while we teach the new health and safety protocols to those students in the building. Some teachers may choose to still do synchronous small groups with students, but it will depend on how the class is adjusting to being in person.
Beginning the week of October 26th, classroom teachers will begin trying to live stream instruction and hopefully working out any glitches the technology and balancing students who are all remote and in person at the same time.
Beginning November 2nd, we will be 100% live streaming from 8:30-10:10am.
The schedules that students are following right now will remain mostly the same for all students:
7:45 - 8:15am Morning Arrival
8:15 - 8:30am Breakfast
8:30 - 8:50 Classroom Circles
8:50 - 10:10am Live / Synchronous Instruction with the classroom teacher
All students will continue to receive small group instruction at least twice per week, though the times might change a little bit.
Students remaining in Plan C- All Remote Instruction
- will continue to access Special Areas content asynchronously in Canvas
- will continue to complete tasks and assignments asynchronously in Canvas
- will continue to have lunch and recess time at home
- Additional instruction will be provided asynchronously or in scheduled small group times
Students returning to Face-to-Face Instruction
- will still access Special Areas content asynchronously on Canvas
- will also have 30 minutes daily of extension activities in person with the Special Areas teachers.
- 30 minutes of recess outside (weather permitting)
- 25 minutes of lunchtime in the classroom
- Additional instruction will be provided in person and in scheduled small group times
Please remember that you child will need to bring his/her chromebook and charger to and from school each day.
Fridays will continue to be all asynchronous instruction unless students are receiving specialized services in small groups.
- Students that are currently assigned to attend in person, must attend on their assigned days only.
- Students scheduled in Plan B may switch to Plan C - All Remote by completing the Request Form linked HERE. It must be completed at least 24 hours in advance of making the switch. Mrs. Moody will email parents/guardians with confirmation of the switch.
- Students in Plan C - All Remote must remain until the end of the quarter when switches to in person can occur. Students also have the option of remaining All Remote for the entire school year.
Attendance in Plan B
- Must attend in person on assigned days to be counted present.
- Late arrivals and early check outs will count as tardies.
- Parents / guardians must send in a note or fill out the electronic attendance excuse form if a student is absent.
- If a student is absent on their assigned day, they may still participate in the remote instruction but they will still be counted absent.
- If a student is quarantined or tests positive for COVID and cannot return to school for an extended period of time, they may get permission to attend remotely (if able) and be counted present with a special code. You must communicate this to your child's teacher.
- On the 3 days that the student is not scheduled to be in person, they will follow the Plan C attendance policy.
Attendance in Plan C
There are several ways in which a student can be counted present for learning in Plan C:
- Participate in the live streaming sessions on Microsoft Teams
- Take the attendance quiz in Canvas
- Complete the assigned work in Canvas
- 2 way communication on the specific day if there are technology related issues that prevent them from accessing instruction for the day.
Information from the School Nurse
All medications administered at school need a Doctor order. Please visit School Health tab on Winecoff webpage for appropriate documents. If you have questions, please reach out to Nurse Motley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-260-6386.
The nurse will be accepting medications and completed paperwork at Winecoff on the following dates...Thursday, 10/15/2020 8:30am-6:00pm and Friday, 10/16/2020 8:30am-4:00pm No appointment needed, just drop in. If neither of these accommodate your needs, please reach out to Nurse Motley to schedule a time more suitable.
The following items are due by 10/30/2020 to prevent exclusion from school (all students inPlan B or Plan C)
- Health Assessments by physician for all Kindergarteners and new enrollees (never attended public school in NC prior)
- Up to date immunization record
- Scribbles Yearly Health form (required for all students)
Please upload these documents into Scribbles or email to nurse or fax to school (fax-704-260-6389). Any questions, please contact the nurse.
Calming COVID Anxiety
- All cleansers, disinfectants, solvents used in the school are EPA approved. SDS (safety sheets) are located in nurses office and available on CCS website-Risk Management. And disinfectant that requires dwell time or poses a risk within a timeframe, will be used outside the school day.
- Children do better in masks than adults (proven...and witnessed)
- During September, no students were seen in all of Kannapolis City Schools Nurses' office for a temp >100.4.
- Continue to social distance and good handwashing is necessary
- Do you know about SlowCOVIDNC?? It's a phone app that lets you know when you've been in close contact with a positive COVID case. Below is more information.
SlowCOVIDNC leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS) to alert users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app completed Beta testing earlier this month and can now be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The app is available in English and Spanish.
Here’s how SlowCOVIDNC will work:
- Download the free SlowCOVIDNC Exposure Notification app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enable Bluetooth and Exposure Notifications. Bluetooth must be on for the app to work.
- After opting-in to receive notifications, the app will generate an anonymous token for the device. A token is a string of random letters and numbers which changes every 10-20 minutes and is never linked to identity or location. This protects app user privacy and security.
- Through Bluetooth, phones with the SlowCOVIDNC app work in the background (minimizing battery) to exchange these anonymous tokens every few minutes. Phones record how long they are near each other and the Bluetooth signal strength of their exchanges in order to estimate distance.
- If an app user tests positive for COVID-19, the individual may obtain a unique PIN to submit in the app. This voluntary and anonymous reporting notifies others who have downloaded the app that they may have been in close contact with someone in the last 14 days who has tested positive.
- PINs will be provided to app users who receive a positive COVID-19 test result through a web-based PIN Portal, by contacting the Community Care of North Carolina call center, or by contacting their Local Health Department.
- SlowCOVIDNC periodically downloads tokens from the server from the devices of users who have anonymously reported a positive test. Phones then use records of the signal strength and duration of exposures with those tokens to calculate risk and determine if an app user has met a threshold to receive an exposure notification.
To learn more about SlowCOVIDNC and to download the app, which also includes an FAQ.