What's new in health and safety and instruction for Fall 2020

Supt. David Marshall

What you can Expect for the Start of the School Year - Instruction

The Brookings-Harbor School District has two options for families:
 
1. Hybrid Model - This model has students attending school in person when the state and county disease metrics permit.  When the disease metrics do not permit, students will be provided Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL).

2. Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy - With this model, students will attend class online for the school year.
 
 
What is the same with the two options?
 
Regardless of which option is selected, all students will continue to be a part of the Brookings-Harbor School District.  All students will continue to have access to school meals.  All classes will be taught by Brookings-Harbor teachers. All students will have access to extra-curricular activities when allowable under state rules (including high school athletics).  When online, all students will be provided a Chromebook and instructional resources.  In addition, if needed, families can request a wifi hotspot that uses a cellular signal to provide internet access.

What is the difference between the two options?
 
The most significant difference between the hybrid model and the Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy is that students in the K-12 Academy will access their instruction online for the school year regardless of whether or not the state disease metrics permit students to attend school in person.  Otherwise, all students are part of the Brookings-Harbor School District and their respective schools. All classes are taught by Brookings-Harbor teachers.
 
How will it differ from last spring?
 
Online instruction this year will feel a lot more like regular school.  District teachers are receiving training to strengthen online teaching and engagement skills.  Also, to help support effective online instruction, the district has purchased access to Edgenuity, an online content provider.  The extensive content and materials available with Edgenuity will be used as a resource and support tool when classes are held online.   Our Brookings-Harbor teachers will be using Edgenuity to help support direct instruction and teacher-facilitated activities.  Students will interact with and receive lessons taught by a live teacher.
 

What you can expect for the start of the school year - Health and Safety

We are looking forward to getting our schools reopened this school year. We have incorporated a wide range of measures to keep all students and staff healthy and safe.  While the start of this school year will look different, our focus is to ensure that school continues to be a positive, safe, friendly, and welcoming place for all students.  While we know there will be challenges, by working together we can positively and successfully support our students’ growth and learning.
 
Accurate Contact Information
 
It is critical that we have accurate contact information for your child or children.  If you change your phone number, your emergency contacts, or jobs, you notify your school office right away.  We are required to contact you if your child is ill.  In some cases, your child cannot remain at school while ill.
 
Physical Distancing
 
We are required to provide 35 square feet for each person in a classroom.  This is one of the primary reasons why we are not able to have all of our students at school at the same time. 
 
Masks
 
Under current ODE and OHA requirements, students and staff are must wear masks or face shields.  All students will be provided cloth reusable masks that can and should be regularly washed.  If a student is unable to wear a mask, the district can provide a face shield.  If a student is unable to wear any face covering, the family must meet with the principal in order to consider other accommodations or education options.
 
Cohorts
 
Cohorts refer to smaller groups of students who do not interact with other groups of students.  ODE and OHA require cohort groups (the sum total of all of the students and staff a student interacts with) to be less than 100 students.  All of the cohort sizes in the Brookings-Harbor School District are well under 100.  Most cohorts are between 30 and 50 students.  Cohorts groups allow students to connect, interact, and learn with their peers.  Cohort groups are a measure to reduce the impact or spread of potential exposure.  Cohort groups also allow the local health authority to more quickly and effectively conduct contact tracing in the event of an exposure.
 
Cleaning and Disinfecting
 
There has been a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all buildings.  We have disinfectant sprayers that will be used daily to sanitize the classrooms and public spaces. We have also increased the number of times the restrooms are cleaned daily. The water fountains have been shut off.  However, the water fill stations are still on and operational.  Your child may bring a refillable water bottle to school.
 
Ventilation
 
The ventilation in all the buildings has been inspected.  Our maintenance staff has increased the frequency of filter inspections.  We are developing room ventilation protocols to use windows and our ventilation system to increase the frequency of outside air exchange.
 
Transportation
 
Drivers and students will be wearing masks or face shields.  Students will sanitize their hands before boarding.  We are required to visually inspect students for Covid19 symptoms prior to them getting on the bus. If a student has any signs or symptoms of illness, they will not be allowed on the bus. 
 
In order to ensure the required amount of space between each student, students will have assigned seats, only one person to a seat (families are allowed to sit two to a seat). The buses will be cleaned and disinfected between routes, that they will be sprayed nightly with a disinfectant.  We plan on keeping the windows open for ventilation, as the weather allows. We must maintain stable groups (cohorts) in order to minimize risk of exposure.  For those of you who share custody, or have a change of plans, you will need to make arrangements to get your child picked up from their stop.
 
Food Services
 
Meals will be served in the classrooms.  For families choosing the fully online Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy as well as times when all students are accessing instruction remotely, food service meals will continue to be provided similar to the meal pick up approach that was used last spring.  In addition, the district is developing targeted meal pick up locations.  If you are unable to get to school to pick up meals, please contact your school office and request consideration for a meal pick up location near you.
 
Volunteers and Parents in Buildings
 
Under the current rules, volunteers and parents are not able to enter our school buildings. Parents will not be able to cannot drop off or pick up their students at their classrooms.  Drop-offs/pickups will occur outside the buildings.  We know that this may be a difficult change for some parents. 
 
Screening and Contact Logs
Schools are required to visually screen students when they entering the bus and the school building, and classroom.  Trained staff will visually screen for specific symptoms related to Covid19.  At this time, there will be no temperature checks as part of the screening process.  Schools are also required to maintain contact logs of all of the students in the building on a given day and of who they interact with.  Our goal is that most of this process will occur in the background and that it does not disrupt the student’s day.  For example, the schools will use existing attendance systems to capture the required contact log data.  From the student’s perspective, it will just be the regular attendance taking.
 
Hand Hygiene and Sanitizing
All entrances and classrooms will have hand sanitizers available.  Students and staff are required to sanitize their hands when they enter school, before eating and after they use the restroom. Teachers will integrate this process into the regular daily routine.
 
Together
 
Our schools will look very different this year, and our approach with your child will be patient, positive, and supportive. It will help greatly if you speak with your child about the changes and let them know that your teacher is there to help you learn, your friends are still your friends, you will make new friends in the new school year and that school will continue to be a place to grow and have new experiences. 
Together we can make this a great school year.
 
Find more information on 2020-21 Back to School Information Hub.
 
David Marshall, Superintendent
Message from the Superintendent (Aug. 31, 2020)
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