Return To School Plan

Below is the Return to School Plan that was contingently approved by the Board on July 15, 2020.  Please know that there will be modifications to this plan as the state's guidance on these issues change regularly.  Also know that I believe we have already found a way to modify the MS-HS class rotation plan to allow Ag, Art, Industrial Arts, Band, and PE classes to meet regularly, and for students to see all other classes in person much more frequently than originally thought.  

Thank you for your patience,

 

Tim Page, Superintendent

 

A-C CENTRAL CUSD #262

Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's World

RETURN TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION PLAN

July 15,  2020

 

Beginning March 17, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker ordered that all Illinois Public Schools Districts must close buildings due to the impending threat of COVID-19. Since that time, the State of Illinois has released the Restore Illinois Plan, which gradually returns all industries to normalcy. In Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan, schools can return to some in-person instruction, limiting this instruction to groups of ten people or fewer. In Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the schools “reopen” with no more than fifty individuals in one space. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) “strongly encourages” schools to return to in-person learning at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. By blending the learning models of our schools, utilizing consistent learning platforms, and providing adequate resources and professional learning opportunities to staff members, we will continue to provide academic support and continuity to our students. It is important to note that these requirements and guidelines are subject to change pursuant to updated public health guidance, changing public health conditions, and further directives from the ISBE.

 

Illinois State Board of Education Guidance – Phase 4 (In Person Learning)

 Mechanics

On June 23, 2020, the ISBE released guidance for schools to use in planning for returning to in-person learning. Requirements from the ISBE are:

  • Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings; ● Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
  • Require social distancing to be observed, as much as possible;
  • Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and,
  • Require an increase in school-wide cleaning and disinfection.

 While we cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19, we will work to mitigate risk and related issues. The following document outlines the specific procedures and plans for A-C Central CUSD #262.

School Calendar

An amended version of the original school calendar will be passed July 15, 2020.  It contains a full day Teacher In-Service, August 17, three Remote Learning Planning Days August 18, 19, and 20, and student attendance will begin August 21.  November 3 becomes a state mandated holiday, and the end of the year will not change.  Please be aware that this calendar is subject to change based on guidance or directives from ISBE, IDPH, the Cass County Dept. of Health, or the Governor of the State of Illinois.

School Hours:

All students will be offered the opportunity to be present in school buildings. Students should not arrive any earlier than necessary.  Physical interaction will be limited to fifty people or fewer in any location. All students and staff members will be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing, as much as possible.  In Person Instruction will be offered 5 days a week with the following schedule:

                Elementary:  8:20 – 1:20

                MS-HS: 8:15 – 1:15

Transportation

Transportation will be provided for all students.  However, buses will have a maximum capacity of fifty people. Parents are encouraged to provide transportation to their children and avoid the school bus.  School staff members will certify that students are symptom and fever-free prior to entering school buildings or boarding school buses. Remote Learning will be an option for any student who is not comfortable attending school in person.  PARENTS SHOULD NOT LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN AT THE BUS STOP BEFORE THEIR STUDENT IS ADMITTED ONTO THE BUS.  ANY STUDENT WHO FAILS THE SYMTPOM SCREENING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RIDE THE BUS, and PARENTS MUST TAKE THE STUDENT HOME.

Parental Choice

Parents will be given the option of not having their student attend school in-person during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. If families choose this option for their children, they will be enrolled in a Remote Learning setting. This will not be an option for Pre-Kindergarten students.

Attendance

Attendance will be taken each day of the Phase Four Learning Plan. Families will be required to report student absences daily. Questions may be asked regarding illness symptoms. Unexcused absences will be recorded for students who are absent without a report.   

HEALTH & SAFETY

Protocols and Procedures for all Students and Staff:

  • In accordance with ISBE guidance, staff members will be required to self-certify they are symptom- and fever-free prior to reporting to school buildings. Any staff member with confirmed symptoms and a temperature of over 100.4℉ will not be allowed to enter a school building or board a school bus.
  • All students will be screened for symptoms and temperature prior to entering school buildings or boarding school buses. Students will be asked if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and if they or their family has been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Any student with confirmed symptoms and/or a temperature of over 100.4℉ will not be allowed to enter a school building or board a school bus. Parents or guardians will be responsible for ensuring their children return home safely.
  • Face masks will be required of everyone entering a school building or vehicle. No mask, no entry, no exceptions without medically certified exemptions.
  • Families are asked to report all absences to schools, when children are ill, and report any symptoms to school personnel. Families may be asked questions regarding symptoms. Any student with symptoms or who is confirmed to have COVID-19 will be reported to the IDPH for additional surveillance and tracing.

Students/Staff Exhibiting Signs and Symptoms:

A separate quarantine location will be identified at each school for students who become ill or exhibit signs and symptoms of illness during the school day. The location will be monitored by staff members if a student is ill. If a student is quarantined while at school, no other persons will be allowed in the vicinity of the student. Parents will be required to pick up their child from school if they become ill.

Any student or staff member who has confirmed symptoms (i.e. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, temperature, etc.) of COVID-19 will be required to be absent from school buildings for ten days after symptoms were confirmed and be seventy-two hours fever-free or with two confirmed negative COVID-19 tests done at least 24 hours apart. Ill students with a confirmed negative COVID-19 test will be subject to current policies and procedures for illness as identified in the Student Handbook.

Following quarantine, all students and staff members will be required to check-in with the building administrator prior to returning to class. Appointments to meet with the school principal will be required, and individuals must certify they are symptom- and fever-free prior to entering school buildings. Additional health screenings may occur prior to meeting with the school principal.

Social Distancing

During Phase 4, no more than fifty persons will be allowed in a space within the schools at a time. Social distancing will be practiced whenever possible. All persons within a school building will be asked to maintain an appropriate distance from each other to reduce the risk of infection.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All people in school buildings will be required to wear face coverings while indoors. Additional protective equipment will be provided to school personnel as necessary.

All classrooms and other locations throughout the school will be equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers. All students and staff members will be asked to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting locations within a school building.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 from a student or a staff member, schools will communicate with families. A-C Central requests that families and staff members also report possible cases to the school where the individual attends school or works to initiate contact tracing.

Following a confirmed case, the area of the school used by the individual will be closed off immediately, and it will not be used until after proper cleaning and disinfection procedures have been completed. If possible, windows will be opened to increase air circulation, and custodial staff will wait as long as possible to clean the location in accordance with the CDC recommendations.

Individuals who did not have close contact with the individual who is sick can safely return to school. Those who have contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of being infected will be asked to isolate at home and monitor for symptoms for fourteen days. Close contact means the individual was within six feet of the individual with symptoms for more than fifteen minutes.

A-C Central will communicate any confirmed cases with families. All personal, identifiable information will remain confidential when reporting confirmed cases.

Any confirmed case may result in the closure of all school buildings for an extended period of time as a safety precaution. If school buildings are closed due to a confirmed case, all students will transition to Remote Learning until buildings are reopened. Communication will be made with families in advance of schools reopening.

FACILITIES

All schools and buildings will be cleaned and disinfected daily in accordance with the CDC and IDPH recommendations. All hard surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water. All frequent-touch surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water, then sanitized using approved disinfectants. Following all cleaning of classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, etc., disinfect misters will be used as a further precaution.

The cleaning and disinfection schedule will be posted in all locations in school buildings. Custodians will certify when each location has been cleaned and sanitized. Additional cleaning materials will be available for all staff members to use throughout the school day. 

INSTRUCTION

The Illinois State Superintendent of Schools has determined that Remote and Blended Remote Learning Days must ensure at least five clock hours of instruction or school work for each student. Students must meet all graduation and statutory requirements for curriculum (i.e. Constitution examination). Mandates are subject to change, pending further directives and developments.

A-C Central will use a shortened schedule.  This will allow teachers some additional preparation time as they will be having students both in-person, and in the remote learning setting simultaneously.  This will also allow more time for staff to clean and sanitize the building in preparation for the next day.  The instructional schedule will be similar to our early dismissal schedule:

                Elementary - 8:20 – 1:20

MS-HS – 8:15 – 1:15

Remote Learning will be offered to students who must quarantine or who choose this method over In-Person Instruction.  Remote learning will be done via the Zoom platform and students will be required to be online at all regularly scheduled class times participating in the Zoom class.

Elementary Instruction will continue as normal with the following modifications:

Elementary PE will be done in a blended platform where students will be given PE activities to perform at home and return a log of these activities. 

Music – will take place at school but via Zoom

5th grade will be in a self-contained class

MS-HS will report to a designated class for instruction (such as A1). When this class is complete, students will remain in that room, and all other classes will be done remotely will the students are in this classroom.  Students will only be pulled out for the following classes:

                PE, Band, Choir, Special Ed (Art will also pull out when possible)

MS-HS PE will take place during the day as normal, however all activities will be done in street clothes as the locker rooms will not be available.

Students will be able to contact their other teachers via electronic communication for assistance with the other class lessons.

A-C Central will return to traditional grading practices for students. Consideration on grading will be given to individual students at the discretion of the Building Principal

Special Education

The education of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans will be prioritized. All meetings will occur as scheduled by Special Education Administrators and IEP Teams.   These meetings will be offered in person unless the student is participating in a Remote Learning plan.  Individualized Transition Plans may be developed to support students in their transition back to in-person learning.

Off-Campus Courses

Students at A-C Central will continue to be able to access off-campus courses (such as LTEC). Transportation will be provided; however, students will be encouraged to transport themselves, when possible.

Cafeterias & Food Service

Breakfast will be available to all students 

Elementary Lunch will take place in the cafeteria as normal.

MS-HS:  AC Central will provide “Grab and Go” lunches to all MS-HS students as they leave the

building.  As a result of this late lunch, snacks will be provided mid-morning to MS-HS students. 

All teachers and staff will take their 30-minute duty free lunch at this time as well.

 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Athletics

A-C Central will follow the guidance and recommendations from the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for athletic events. A-C Central Administration will establish protocols and requirements for returning to practice and interscholastic competition.

Clubs and other activities may be offered to students in Phase 4 on a limited basis. Participation will be limited due to the fifty-person restriction in one location.

OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE

Facilities Usage & Visitors to Schools

No visitors will be allowed in the school without having a symptom and temperature screening from a school staff member.  Masks will also be required of all persons entering the building.  Facilities usage will not be allowed by any unauthorized outside group or organization until Phase 5. Authorized outside organizations, volunteers, or consultants will be allowed in school buildings during normal school hours following a successful symptom and temperature screening. Individuals entering buildings will only be allowed at the discretion of the Building Principal. Parents or family members who are picking up their children at school will be asked to remain outside of the school or in vestibules when picking up their child from school.

Parents and family members of students will be encouraged to consult with school personnel by phone or email. All appointments must be scheduled in advance and authorized by the Building Principal.

District Communication

Communication will occur through a variety of media: Schoolreach messages, social media, email, and the District Website.