American Rescue Plan
Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
Policies for Incorporating Mitigation Strategies
The following policies and guidelines have been adopted in the 20-21 school year, and many of these will continue during 2021 summer programming, as well as in the 20-21 school year:
- With masks we are following the latest recommendations from the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD). Face coverings were required for all in the 20-21 school year. Starting this summer, they are not required for elementary aged children; however, for middle school and high school, masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, but optional. LCGHD anticipates that masks may not be needed for the 21-22 school year; however, we will follow their recommendations when received later in the summer.
- Physical distancing of 6 feet (CDC recommended) between students was maintained in classrooms most of the past school year at all levels. In other locations where that was not possible (lunchrooms, buses), we used plexiglass dividers if we were able. In March of 2021, more students returned to the middle school and high school levels, so we then began using the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) recommendation of 3 feet between students in classes. For the 21-22 school year, more typical numbers of students will return to classrooms, but we will still try to achieve 3 feet of space between students wherever possible.
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette were taught and reinforced in age appropriate ways during the 20-21 school year. We will continue to teach and reinforce that in the 21-22 school year.
- Clearing and maintaining health facilities was a major focus in the 20-21 school year. Additional custodians were hired for the past year, and some of the extra hires will remain intact for 21-22. For most of the 20-21 school year, there was deep cleaning done on Wednesdays as school was held remotely on those days. While we anticipate holding in-person classes 5-days a week during the 21-22 school year, we will continue to deep-clean high-touch surface area like desktops and doorknobs, as well as regularly using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect all of our buildings and buses. In December of 2020 we added bi-polar ionization units to our air systems in all buildings, which vastly improves air quality, and will continue to, for at least the next 10 years.
- Diagnostic and screening of students and staff in 20-21 took place at home each day, with this expectation reinforced through frequent communication. We will expect the same in 21-22, especially if someone is exhibiting symptoms. We have nurses and health techs in every building to help reinforce the message and to help students/staff monitor.
- Starting in February, 2021, we held staff vaccination clinics for our staff, as well as for staff of several other local schools. In addition during the spring, we hosted vaccination clinics for the general public as well as for students 16 and over. We have alerted LCGHD that we would be willing to hold more clinics for younger students or other groups this summer or in the 21-22 school year.
- Our special education administrators and staff spent considerable time in the 20-21 school year to make appropriate accommodations for students with special needs to ensure their protection as well. This included students who came to school in-person, as well as those learning remotely. Their physical and social-emotional health were considered at all times, while ensuring that students could access the curriculum. That will continue in 21-22.
Plan to Address Continuity of Academic and Non-Academic Services
- Academic Services were addressed in a number of ways this past year to maximize each student’s chance to continue learning during the pandemic. Administrators worked with data to track grades and attendance, and parent reach-outs were conducted for students struggling to maintain good grades or attendance during the 20-21 school year. The same will occur in 21-22. In addition, as we head into the 21-22 school year, our Extended Learning Plan (attached here) will provide summer programming options for students, as well as providing additional instructors to provide interventions during the upcoming year for those needing gap-closing, particularly in reading and math.
- Besides using our guidance counselors and administrators to check on students’ social-emotional and mental health in 20-21, we used Governor DeWine’s Wellness and Success funding to place Crossroads counselors in every building so that “wrap-around” services could provide supports for students and their families at both home and school. In addition, we partnered with the National Alliance for Mental Illness to provide virtual trainings (including suicide prevention) for middle school and high school levels. Those services will continue in the 21-22 school year.
- Our district’s health committee again highlighted several initiatives that kept overall health a focus in 20-21, and we will continue that in the 21-22 school year. Similarly, we had a Covid coordinator for the district in 20-21, who headed up a Covid Council to look at medical recommendations and data, and to make district Covid-related decisions. That will also continue in 21-22.
- When food was served during the 20-21 school year, it was presented in individually wrapped packaging. The USDA-approved grants allowed us to continue serving free/reduced income students in our cafeteria, free breakfasts for all students, and meal pickups once-a-week during all of the 20-21 school year for our district families. Most of this is expected to continue in the 21-22 school year, and all of it will continue if the USDA grant for meals is extended beyond the July, 2021 deadline.
- We will review the plan twice a year through our Administrative Team in the district, as well as by using our Covid Council as a resource. We will do this in June and December.
- We will make any necessary revisions by adding to what we have here, so that way we have a working timeline to show changes/progression of the plan.
- For the 20-21 school year we surveyed parents and staff, as well as holding virtual town hall meetings for those groups prior to the school year. During the year, administration met regularly with labor association leadership and PTAs to solicit feedback about changes and decisions.
- Also, stakeholders can email any administrators directly, can write to the website webmaster, or can speak at a monthly Board Meeting. The same processes will be in place for the 21-22 school year.
- Public feedback will help to guide some of our decisions, particularly with programming options and organizational structures. When it comes to medical decisions we will rely more heavily on health experts.
- We made revisions in the summer of 2020 such as spacing our elementary students out more to allow them to attend school 4 times weekly, as well as staggering which days of the week our secondary students attended. We did this to better achieve physical distancing. We also decided to offer an online school for families that wanted their children to remain at home for the 20-21 school year. While conditions for the 21-22 school year are anticipated to be better, we don’t expect the need to spread our students out as much or to offer a staggered schedule, but we will if needed. At this time, there is not enough interest to offer a fully online option to families for 21-22.