Return to Learn Plan
It is our district’s goal to protect the health of all students and staff. In the past several weeks the Center for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education have issued guidance on COVID mitigation strategies for schools beginning their 2021-2022 school years. In support of the recent guidance by these organizations, Governor Pritzker announced that masks will now be required for all individuals while in school buildings. In addition to the mask requirement, all district employees will now be required to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing. Masks will also be required for all individuals on school buses at all times per state directive. Masks will not be required while outside and social distancing will be encouraged at all times. Correct mask wearing will play an important role in helping keep our students, staff and families safe. Masks should be tight fitting with no discernable gaps that could let breath escape. Mask should cover both the nose and mouth at all times to be effective.
The district will continue to maintain other layered mitigation activities to maintain the health and safety of all involved. Mitigation efforts such as additional extensive cleaning in areas throughout the building, maintaining social distancing to the greatest extent feasible, installing additional no touch equipment in restrooms, installing water bottle filling stations in place of water fountains, installing air purification systems throughout the building and disinfectant availability in classrooms and halls. The district will monitor local conditions including local positivity rates and vaccine availability regularly and will adjust mitigation efforts if it becomes necessary to do so. The district will continue symptom screening and will follow exclusion guidance from the Rock Island County Health Department for individuals that test positive, exhibit symptoms or are a “close contact” to a confirmed COVID case. Binax testing for COVID will also be made available in the building for students that exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID.
Additional Health Information
We are asking parents to continue to screen their children each morning for signs of COVID prior to sending them to school. If the symptoms are present, please keep the children at home until the symptoms are no longer present. Please remember to contact the school office if your children are sick and will be kept at home for the day. Teachers will review cleanliness procedures with students during the first several days of classes. Signage will be placed at building entrances prompting all visitors to wear a mask if entering the building. Should a student develop symptoms consistent with COVID 19 during the school day, they will be sent to the school nurse for an evaluation. The student will be placed in isolation to limit the exposure of bacteria to other children. Those with symptoms will be tested via the BINAX test per parent permission to determine if a COVID infection is present. If the student is COVID positive the parent will be called and the student sent home per Rock Island County Health Department guidelines for a period of quarantine.
Contact tracing will begin to determine which students may have been exposed and those in close proximity will also be tested with the parent’s permission to determine if they have also acquired a COVID infection. If those students were wearing their mask correctly and testing is negative, they will be allowed to remain in school as long as they agree to additional testing and no COVID symptoms develop.
During this pandemic the social, emotional and mental health needs of our students and staff must continue to be addressed. Staff are encouraged to work with our school psychologist and social worker when they identify students or families that may need additional support in these areas. Referrals can be made to area agencies as necessary to help everyone during these difficult times. Our full time school nurse will also be an excellent resource to help connect those that are struggling with the necessary supports to improve their overall health and wellness.
The district has purchased additional Chromebooks and carts to allow students to access technology and instruction as needed throughout the day and at home as necessary. This year the district will only offer remote instruction to students that are in quarantine and have not received or are not eligible to be vaccinated as per state guidelines. Students in quarantine should work with their individual teachers to stay current with their learning and homework. Attendance will be taken daily and homework will continue to be graded. Students will be assessed on their growth in the areas of language arts and math using both formal and informal assessments. Teachers will meet with their students teachers from the previous year to determine which standards were not covered or need some reinforcement during the first quarter. Those students needing additional intervention may receive additional help in their classroom or the Title One program depending on the grade level of the student. Additional one on one help can also be provided both before and after school as arranged by the student and their teacher(s). Teachers meet in vertical team meetings monthly to discuss curriculum and how to support struggling students across the grade levels. Students also have access to software subscriptions provided by the district when working independently at home to help with homework completion.
We will attempt to maintain social distancing as much as possible throughout the school day. Students will be expected to line up on their places on the playground once they arrive on school grounds. Spacing will be maintained in the halls and classrooms. Student desks will be spaced as far apart as practicable in all classrooms. Little used classroom furniture will be stored to allow for more spacing between students. Additional tables will be set up in the lunchroom to accommodate social distancing during each lunch period. Students will have hand sanitizer available at the entrance / exit of the lunchroom to use prior to returning to their classrooms or the playground. Locker access will be arranged by each teacher with different times for each class to limit overcrowding in the hallways. Parents should consider sending their children to school with a full water bottle to limit the need to go to the halls during the day. Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and the halls for student use during the school day. Personal hand sanitizer can also be considered for students whom parents feel are old enough to use it responsibly. The Hampton food service has made significant changes to provide a safe and healthful lunch experience. Along with the additional tables being added to our lunchroom disposable trays and utensils have replaced reusable trays to limit possible exposure to harmful bacteria. We are also anticipating that all basic school lunches will continue to be offered free of charge to all students for most if not all of the school year.
In closing, the state will require masks for all individuals in the school building throughout the school day except when eating. COVID transmission rates are currently climbing in our area. The district will continually monitor COVID conditions and will act accordingly if rates suggest additional mitigation efforts are deemed necessary. The Department of Public Health is currently reviewing guidelines and may issue new guidance in the near future. With cooperation from everyone, we can limit the impact of COVID in our district and the community.