Memorial Return to Learn

August 2020

2020-21

Please read through the information here as you plan for your child's return to school. The topics are listed in alphabetical order and give details on how the VCS Return to Learn plan will be deployed at Memorial Elementary. Different VCS school buildings have different capacities. It is possible that your non-Memorial friends and family in the community have slight variations on the daily operations of Return to Learn.

After School Activities

All after school activities that can be held virtually will continue and will include remote learning students. More information as the year progresses will be available.

Arrival

Please see the sections below for specific directions for Car Riders, Walkers and Bus Riders, as each has a unique plan. Students eating breakfast will be invited to enter the building starting at 8:50 a.m. All other students will enter the building at 9 a.m.. To avoid contact while waiting, students should not arrive on school grounds before 9 a.m, unless they are eating breakfast. The tardy bell rings at 9:15 a.m..

At-Home Screenings

It is our goal to have students engaged in in-person learning to the extent possible each day. Parents and families play a key role in keeping the infection rate low at home. Please limit your child's contact with others outside of school as much as possible, and assure that when they are in contact with others, social distancing is maintained and masks are worn.


Likewise, students should be temperature checked at home each morning. Any student displaying one or more COVID-19 symptoms should be excluded from school. Please see page 4 of the Return to Learn plan.

Bathroom Breaks

All classrooms will schedule at least two restroom breaks per day, in addition to the lunch/recess restroom break. During these breaks, students will be able to use the restroom, and will be required to wash their hands and fill their water bottles.


Students will be allowed to leave the room to use the restroom outside of these breaks on an emergency basis and individual trips will be logged with the time and location. Kindergarten has their own restroom inside the classroom.

Bike Riders

Students who choose to ride a bike to school will be asked to walk his/her bike once on school property to the available bike racks. Bike riders should also be prepared to put on a mask when they arrive on school property. Bike riders are encouraged to lock their bikes during the day. After leaving the bike rack, they will follow all procedures with the Walkers.

Birthday Treats

Student sometimes enjoy bringing a small token for their class to celebrate birthdays. This year, we are unable to allow students to distribute items from home to other students, including birthday tokens and invites. We will be looking for other ways to make students feel special this year. Perhaps your family may want to donate a picture book to the classroom to share in honor of your child's birthday.

Breakfast

Breakfast will be served at the start of the school day. Students who are eating breakfast will be allowed to enter the building at 8:50 a.m. Students will be sitting at individual tables for breakfast. Seating will be monitored and tracked for tracing purposes. Breakfast costs $1.55 ($0.30 reduced, $0.0 free.)

Building Cleansing

In our multi-faceted approach to keeping the spread of the Covid-19 virus at bay and minimizing the risk of disruptive quarantines, our custodial staff is taking a systematic and proactive approach to cleaning and sanitizing our facilities. This approach has been developed and supported by the VCS Maintenance and Health Services Departments and includes routines during the day and after students leave with a focus on critical touch points. All cleansers that students and staff would use or be directly exposed to are certified safe for that purpose.

Bus Riders

All drivers and students (regardless of age) must wear a mask when riding a school bus. Hand sanitizer will be provided to students as they enter and exit the bus. Students will be placed in an assigned seat and a seating chart will be maintained. During Arrival and Dismissal, bus riders will be dismissed one bus at time. It is important that students follow all bus procedures and stay in assigned seats. Students will only be able to ride on their assigned bus.

Car Riders - Drop Off in the Morning

We anticipate an increase in our car line this school year. Our goal will be to keep students socially distanced as they arrive and enter the building. Cars should head south on Milton Street next to the school. Students should exit curbside, for safety. Students will then walk along the building on the sidewalk back to the learning lab area and wait outside Door D. (This is different from last year). There will be markings on the concrete for students to wait and maintain an appropirate social distance from others. The car riders will enter the building at 9:00 a.m. Please do not drop off your child before 8:55 a.m., when they will be supervised by school staff. Students should wear a mask while waiting for entry into the building and as they go to class.

Car Riders - Pick Up in the Afternoon

To account for an increase in numbers of cars at the end of the day and to help trace student contacts, we are changing our end of the day procedures for car riders. This year, we will be dismissing in 2 groups. Students, with last names begin beginning A to K, will be in the first group dismissed beginning at 3:10 p.m. Students will be in the cafe, seated on benches with their siblings. If you are a parent, with last name beginning with an A to K, we ask that you arrive promptly at 3:10 p.m. along the curb on Milton Street, heading south. You will pull up in the next spot available. A staff member will be outside and will radio into the cafe for your child(ren) to go to your designated spot. Your child will enter your car curbside. We ask that you do not get out of your car.


The second group of students, those with last names beginning L-Z, will be dismissed to the cafe at 3:20 p.m. They will also sit on assigned benches with their siblings. If your last name begins with L-Z please line up on Milton beginning at 3:20 p.m. You will pull up to the next spot and your child will be called out to meet you.


All car riders will be issued a sign with their last name on it. Please display this in the front window of your car as you arrive. Many parents find it helpful to hook it on the visor. Please do not get out of your car. If you need to assist with a seatbelt, please pull into the parking lot.


In years past, most confusion at dismissal occurs when parents need to send someone in their place, such as a grandparent. Please share the dismissal procedures with them as well.

Changes in Dismissal

We are working hard at tightening up the contact students will have at dismissal. In order to help eliminate any student confusion and allow for a regular routine, we ask that changes in day to day dismissal are limited to emergencies only and be communicated via email to Mrs. Remijan at lremijan@valpo.k12.in.us. Depending on the request, your child may need to picked up in the office. All permanent changes in dismissal should be communicated with Mrs. Remijan.

Child Care

The Kidstop program, run by the Boys and Girls Club, provides child care at Memorial before and after school. They begin their service at 6:30 a.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. Students will be dropped off and picked up at Door C. (Milton Street side of the building). Please see the attached flyer below for more information.

Class Dojo

Through the eLearning surveys this spring, we learned that having multiple means for teachers to communicate with parents was a difficulty for families. In response, all teachers will be using Class Dojo this year. Parents will be given information on how to set up an account. Teachers can also use Class Dojo as a way of having a touchless clip chart in the classroom.

Classrooms

In each classroom, desks will all face the same direction. Each student will be assigned a number that correlates with their seat and materials. Students will refrain from sharing personal supplies (gluesticks, crayons, scissors,...) When an item must be shared, it will be sanitized between uses. Students will be asked to help sanitize throughout the school day. Please see page 9 of the Return to Learn plan.

Contactless Drop Off for Office

In the rare occasion that Items need to be dropped off at school, parents will leave the item in the vestibule. Please be sure to label the item(s) with your child’s first and last name and indicate the teacher’s name.


Student pick up and / or drop off during the school day will continue to be handled through the office. Please call ahead whenever possible to minimize contact time. Depending on the school status color (green or yellow), parents may be asked to wait in the vestibule or outside.


Communication

Partnering with parents is important to the Memorial staff. Please take time to read the school and classroom news so that you are aware of all the happenings. Most news will be delivered through email. The school and teachers will be sending out the same information to both remote and in school learners, so that everyone gets the same message. Please let us know if your contact information changes during the year, so we can update our records.


Your child's progress can be viewed in Skyward. Teachers will update weekly.

Elementary Day

For the 2020-21 school year, all VCS elementary schools will operate on a 9:15 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. schedule. This will allow for teachers to plan and effectively teach both remote and in-school students.


8:50 a.m.: Breakfast begins

9:00 a.m.: Doors open

9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.: Student Arrival by bus and car

9:15 a.m.-3:20 p.m.: School Day

3:10 p.m.: Dismissal of Car Riders A-K

3:20 p.m.: Dismissal of All Other Students in Groups

Hallways

Hallways will be marked with directional arrows on each side to indicate flow of traffic, with arrows 6' apart to give students a guide for distancing. In places where students line up - such as the restrooms, water bottle filling stations, and lunch lines, floors will be marked where students should stand to maintain distance. Lines will be kept in the same order, like a seating chart on the move. Classes will be scheduled for minimal intersection in the hallway between groups.


Students will be limited in their hallway access. Students will not typically be sent to the office for deliveries, to other classrooms, or to run errands.

Hand Washing/Hand Sanitizer

Students will have times scheduled throughout the day when they will be required to wash their hands. In addition, students will sanitize their hands upon returning to their desk after they have moved around the room or the building. Students will wash hands prior to lunch, and sanitize on the way out to recess as well as the way back in from recess.

Items From Home

This year, we have to limit the items that go between home and school. In the past, students have enjoyed bringing certain items - like soccer balls, small toys, stuffed animals - to school to play with at school or on the bus. Please keep all non-necessary items at home this year.

Lunch

Lunch will be served in our cafeteria when we are on GREEN. We will serve lunches from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in order to only serve one grade at a time, allow for sanitation, and space students out. Students will have assigned seats, all face one direction, and will have their milk and utensils handed to them by our staff. There will be no self-serve items. Additional sneeze guards have been installed in our lunch lines, and floors will be marked where students should stand in line in order to maintain distance. Masks must be worn in the cafeteria, except for when students are eating.


We are working to limit contact touch points for students and staff and prefer that parents pay for meals online. This is now a free service (we have waived fees during the pandemic) and here is a quick tutorial.


We have a new App for students and parents to check out the menu and nutrition information. We will not be printing paper menus, they will be available online and through the My School Menus App. See the information below. Lunch costs $2.65 ($0.40 reduced, $0.0 free).


If we are attending school in the Return to Learn YELLOW zone, all students will eat lunch in their assigned classroom seats.

Big picture

Masks

Masks are required at all times for all staff and students grades 3-5. Per the Return to Learn plan, students in grades K-2 will wear masks at all times unless approved by the teacher or administration. Mask breaks will be scheduled for students throughout the school day.


Parents are to send a clean mask to school each day with their child. We will have extra disposable masks at school in case of an emergency. If assistance is needed with purchasing a mask, please contact our social worker, Mrs. Seip.


Students at Memorial will be issued a lanyard to wear. This year, students will wear their lanyards each day in order to clip the mask on to the lanyard when it must be removed. This will eliminate the need to set a mask down and misplace it or contaminate it. Please label your chld's mask with his/her name.

Nurses

The Memorial school nurses, Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Keenan, will be monitoring the health of students and staff. Students with regular visits (inhaler, minor injuries, etc) will be kept separate from students displaying symtoms of illness. Please keep all of your contact numbers in Skyward up to date and note that It is helpful to have multiple emergency contact numbers for each child.

Options for Learning

In-house Learning: Students are physically present in the school building in the traditional manner.

Remote Learning: Students work on the same content with the same teachers, keeping in sync with their in-house classmates via online communications. Although the actual experience may vary depending on grade level and classroom situations, generally, remote learners may experience a combination of experiences such as class or instructor’s recordings, virtual interactions with the instructor and / or other students at the school (at specific times), possibly some live streaming, as well as independent work. While remote students will not be expected to be online with their in-house counterparts all day, they will be expected to be present [virtually] if scheduled times are set up. They will have regular [typically daily] assignments, be provided feedback, and have accountability similar to in-house students. VCS has posted important information regarding VCS remote learning for parents to review that describes remote learning and the related policies.

We have in-house learners and remote learners, but we’re all MEMORIAL LEARNERS!


Outdoor Spaces

Memorial is fortunate to have a significant amount of green space on our property. Not only does it provide space for play, but it also has the potential to become an extension of the “brick and mortar” classroom. Particularly, in the midst of a pandemic when fresh air is desirable and sunshine is healthy, classrooms will seek to leverage our wonderful outdoor resource in a safe and productive manner.


Parent Conferences

Whenever possible, conferences will take place via Zoom or video conferencing. In-person meetings must be arranged in advance, will take place in the conference room, and all participants must wear masks and sanitize.

Recess

Students will be outdoors at recess by grade level. They will be asked to santize their hands before going to recess and when returning to the building. If we are in GREEN on the Return to Learn Plan, students will play as a grade level.


If we are in YELLOW, students will be playing in their class groupings. A rotating schedule of groups allowed on playground equipment and field play activities will be implemented by day. Guided activities will be provided when students are on field play days. Students may be asked to help sanitize small equipment such as jump ropes, hoola hoops and balls when it is grade level appropriate. Indoor recess will continue to be in the classrooms.

Remote Learning

We are entering a brave, new world of teaching young students through remote learning. Just as our teachers did in the spring, we have every intention of making the remote learning experience as meaningful and productive as possible. As we saw in the spring, we anticipate that we will learn and grow ourselves along with our students and that the instruction will change over the course of the school year. Please see page 9 of the Return to Learn plan for more details.

Students who need to stay home for en extended absence, will be advised to use Remote Learning to keep up with their classwork. You are encouraged to work with your child's teacher to facilitate the transition between remote and in house learning.

Specials

We will have Art, Music, STEM and PE. The specials schedule has been shortened to allow for sanitation between classes and to avoid classed crossing paths in the hallways. All of the same rules in place for classrooms will also apply to specials classes.

Seating Charts

Contact tracing is an essential component of returning to the school building. Seating charts will be implemented in all situations, including Specials, cafeteria, bus, and lines.

Small Group Instruction

Small group instruction will still take place in each classroom with teachers and instructional aides. If leaving the room, students will sanitize their hands when leaving and returning. The small group materials and table will also be sanitized between each group.

Snacks

Students are encouraged to bring a healthy snack each day. Teachers will allow one designated snack break within the classroom. Acceptable healthy snacks include:
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Seasonal Fruit (i.e. strawberries, apples, berries, etc.), Fresh Vegetables, Raisins or dried fruit (no chocolate or candy coating), Unsweetened applesauce,
  • Low Fat Grain Options: Pretzels (unflavored), Animal crackers (plain), graham crackers, Baked chips, Crackers (Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, cheese and peanut butter crackers), Fig bars, Vanilla wafers, Air popped popcorn (plain), Cheerios (plain)
  • Additional Snacks: Fruit and grain bars, Low fat string cheese, Fruit Snacks, Low fat yogurt Drinks

Please keep in mind that snacks should be in individual portions and easy to eat in a classroom setting. Refrigeration and utensils will not be available.

Supplies

Students will not be able to share school supplies this year. To help ensure this, all students will be given a plastic shoe box to hold their school supplies. It will be labeled with their name or number and they will take it to specials as needed. Please only send in one of each school supply at the start of the year, labeled with your child's name or initials. The teacher will let you know when replacements are needed. When supplies must be shared (like a book), students will sanitize their hands before and after use.


Here is the link to the Memorial supply list. If you need any assistance with school supplies, please contact our school social worker, Mrs. Seip.

Visitors

No visitors or volunteers are allowed in the school until further notice. This includes lunch buddies, mentors, and parent volunteers. Please refer to page 13 of the Return to Learn plan.

Walkers - Arrival and Dismissal

Students who walk to school should not arrive before 9:00 a.m., unless eating breakfast. Breakfast eaters will be let in the building at 8:50 a.m. Walkers should plan on crossing the street at the corner of Park and Milton with the crossing guards. Walkers will be asked to wait on the designated spaces along the front of the building before coming into the building through Door A. A mask will need to be worn as soon as arriving on the school property. Students walking to school together with students from other families should also wear masks.


At the end of the school day, walkers will be dismissed after the bell at 3:20 p.m.. Walkers will be asked to keep masks on while on school property and when walking home with students from other families. Students must cross the street at the corner with the assistance of the crossing guard. Parents waiting for walkers should plan on waiting on the northeast corner of the intersection of Milton and Park (the corner of the parking lot).

Water Bottles

We are no longer able to use our drinking fountains, and we have new water bottle filling stations. Parents are to send a refillable water bottle to school each day with their child. Please label the water bottle with your child's name. The water bottle should be filled at home each morning before coming to school. The students will be provided at least two times a day to refill their water bottles.