2020-2021 BACK-TO-SCHOOL UPDATE
Leaders in the Maryville City Schools convened earlier this week to begin the formal process of exploring options and creating back-to-school plans for the 2020-21 school year. As the process unfolds, parents and staff can expect regular updates from the district office and your school. Today we are sharing a few key initial decisions and guiding principles that will begin to inform our back-to-school planning process.
First, in light of the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we must remain open-minded and flexible in every aspect of the planning process. As we have learned, change is inevitable. Our experiences in the past few months have demonstrated, once again, that working cooperatively and showing care for each other offers the best chance for successful outcomes. We greatly appreciate your partnership and will do our very best to ensure all children are as safe as possible, while giving each one the greatest opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive during this unprecedented and uncertain time.
MARYVILLE CITY SCHOOLS WILL OPEN JULY 30, 2020
Maryville's district and school leaders are committed to using all available resources, seeking advice, and gathering feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders. Should you wish to review some of the references used in our work, scroll down near the bottom of this publication where we listed a few sites/documents for your consideration. All district BACK-TO-SCHOOL communication and major resources are being added to the COVID-19 page on our website (LINK HERE).
While our ongoing mission is to educate the children of this community to the very best of our ability, we are also mindful that we must honor the many viewpoints and opinions surrounding COVID-19 and any impact our plans may have on families and the broader community.
At this time, we believe the large majority of Maryville families want their children in a classroom with a teacher when school opens on July 30. Together, we will work toward that end. Our partnership with parents and this community is built on trust, and we fully intend to support that relationship throughout this process by sharing information in the most transparent and honest way possible. We will undoubtedly face change and uncertainty along the way, but we promise to constantly work to balance all risks against the educational, social, and emotional benefits to your children and your family.
School buildings will open on July 30 with protocols in place to limit interactions and increase cleanliness efforts. We are confident that most families will be supportive of the measures we are taking and will send their children to school for in-person instruction. To honor the individual needs and circumstances of some students and families, we will also offer a full-time virtual program of study. Should we need to comply with a mandated building closure in the future, our transition from on-campus instruction to on-line learning should be seamless.
To inform our planning and help us improve our on-line programming, please participate in this short survey for each child in your household about your experiences with on-line instruction in the spring. SURVEY LINK <---------------------------TO DO
You will be given additional opportunities to provide feedback in the weeks ahead. Most importantly, we will ask families on July 15 to select their intention for enrolling in school or selecting the digital option. As those plans fall in place over the summer, we promise to communicate in the most concise, informative, and transparent ways possible.
As we continue this planning process, knowing how families are feeling about returning to campus would be helpful. At this early date, please use the link below to answer a one question survey.
LINK HERE to respond <-------------------TO DO
To gauge the direction most people are leaning and begin to allocate resources, we will ask this same question each time we issue an update. Again, please respond based on what you know and feel today. Thank you for sharing!
WE PROMISE TO BE RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS AND FOLLOW GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID-19 IN THE MOST REASONABLE AND PRACTICAL WAYS POSSIBLE.
A guiding principle for all campus plans will be to balance response to risk. One focus area is to “minimize interactions” between students (and between adults) in all matters related to school. The health and safety of our staff and students supersede all we do. While the guidelines offered for COVID-19 are sometimes gray and subject to interpretation based on location and other factors, we know that efforts to minimize interactions will benefit everyone during this pandemic.
Moving forward, staff and parents can expect overarching guidelines from the district office, with customized back-to-school plans from each school. Again, as the work of the team progresses, stakeholders can expect regular communication throughout the summer and beyond. Opportunities for feedback will be developed and shared in the weeks ahead. Our timeline for communication milestones can be reviewed at the bottom of this publication.
DECISIONS ABOUT STUDENT ACTIVITIES WILL CENTER AROUND RISK AND MINIMIZING HUMAN INTERACTIONS.
- Increased DEEP CLEANING PRACTICES
- HAND SANITIZING stations added on all campuses
- Every student and adult will have their TEMPERATURE CHECKED daily
- Students with a temperature of 100.4 OR HIGHER will be isolated and sent home
- Schools will work diligently to reduce SOCIAL INTERACTIONS
- Only ESSENTIAL and PRE-APPROVED VISITORS will be allowed on campus
- Schools are working out details for many other school activities, including schedules, field trips, athletic events, concerts, bus service, and more.
NOTE: As plans develop and guidelines change, we will adjust, remove, or add procedures as needed.