While our preferred model of instructional delivery is a traditional education environment, we anticipate continued public health restrictions when school resumes this fall. Our intent is to provide instructional support to our students in the safest way possible, safeguarding the health of our students, their families, and our staff while adhering to all applicable public health orders. We understand that some families prefer a remote (or virtual) learning environment, while others prefer a traditional approach to educational service delivery, and if conditions permit, the Elliott County School District plans to provide both.
After consideration of the current state of the COVID19 pandemic in our region, we have revised our original plan. We are currently planning to begin the school year for students on September 8, with the focus on virtual learning. At the end of the first grading term (October 20), we will re-examine the pandemic situation, with the hope of being able to offer parents the choice of either sending their children to school for in-person instruction for the second grading term (October 21-December 18), or continuing with the virtual learning option. All decisions are being made with the safety of our students, staff, and community in mind.
All students in grades 3 through 12 will be issued a ChromeBook to ensure that they will be able to access necessary materials. We are expecting those ChromeBooks to arrive at the end of August. We have purchased an online subscription to a virtual curriculum for grades K-12 which will allow students who have internet access to work at their own pace. Teachers will be recording lessons to supplement this curriculum and will be available to interact with students through telephone, email, recorded lessons, or virtual meetings. Teachers will be available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day that school is scheduled (see school calendar). In addition, teachers who work through the Extended School Services program will be available regularly on Mondays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Parents (or students) who wish to schedule individualized time with a teacher may request assistance by emailing the homework helpline (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling the office at their child’s school. Questions related to COVID19 may be directed to email@example.com.
We feel that it is critical for primary-aged students to have one-on-one interaction with adults and will offer the opportunity for parents to schedule in-person time for their child, following all health department recommendations. Curriculum is also being prepared for parents and K-2 students to work on at home, if parents prefer only that option. Any one-on-one interaction must be approved and scheduled in advance, and all Department of Public Health guidelines will be followed (health screening, temperature check, masks, social distancing, sanitation measures).
We also feel that it is critical for some vocational students to have one-on-one interaction with adults (for example, welding instruction). Students who participate in this in-person instruction must also adhere to the guidelines mentioned above. Additionally, there are some seniors who are enrolled in dual credit courses through Ashland Community and Technical College who will be starting those classes (online) earlier than the start date for other Elliott County students.
We recognize that effective instruction must be addressed differently than the NTI that was used at the end of the past school year. There will be more structured instruction as well as more structured interaction between students and teachers this school year. The expectation for student mastery of work is a given, and a great deal of planning is occurring to ensure that this expectation becomes a reality. Teachers will be meeting virtually with other teachers to ensure that all students are receiving rigorous instruction and that all Kentucky Academic Standards are being addressed. They will meet every other Wednesday from 1:00 until 3:00 in grade level or department teams to this end.
In order to account for teachers’ contracted days of employment, they will be required to work 11 days that do not involve student interaction. These days are being planned to allow them to make initial contact with guardians to explain the guidelines for the upcoming school year and to receive professional development in implementing the online curriculum that will be used this year.
Guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Public Health stresses the importance of flexibility during this time. With that in mind, we are trying to plan for multiple eventualities. Someone from the school will be in touch with each guardian within the next few weeks to determine which option will work best for each student.
IN-PERSON/TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTION OPTION
This option MAY be available after October 20, if it is deemed safe to do so. If the option is provided, all public health guidelines will be followed, including the following:
1. All students will have their temperatures taken before entering the school building. Car riders will be temperature scanned before leaving their car. Bus riders will use hand sanitizer upon entering the bus and their temperature will be scanned before entering the building.
2. 100.4 degrees is the baseline temperature students. Students with temperatures above 100.4 will be isolated.
3. All students entering the school will use hand sanitizer.
4. Students will report directly to the classroom.
5. K-8 students will remain self-contained to the extent possible.
6. The amount of time students spend in the hallways and common areas will be limited.
7. All students will wear masks when unable to socially distance unless medically unable to do so.
8. Masks must be worn at all times on the bus and in the hallways.
9. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the school
10. All staff will wear masks when working directly with students.
11. Playground time will be on an alternating schedule.
12. COVID-19 Decision Tree will be used to make decisions about isolation and quarantines (see attachment).
We strongly encourage every student to be dropped off and picked up by a parent in order to help us with social distancing requirements. Students are required to wear a mask at all times on the bus. Students will apply hand sanitizer upon entering the bus. Students will be required to remain in their assigned seat while on the bus in order to assist with contact tracing, if necessary.
Students will be required to practice social distancing during lunch and breakfast. Some students will eat meals in classrooms in order to be able to maintain proper social distancing.
REMOTE OR VIRTUAL OPTION
This is the only option available for students for the first grading period (September 8-October 20). Students will stay at home and receive instruction virtually. ChromeBooks will be provided for all students in grades 3 through 12, and students who have internet access will be using the Odysseyware program to complete their lessons. Teachers will be assigned to monitor progress of students participating in the program and will be actively teaching content through recorded or live virtual sessions. Teachers will be available to assist with individual student questions between the hours of 8:00 and 3:00 on each scheduled school day. School staff is working to develop solutions (i.e. material downloaded to the ChromeBooks, use of a jump drive, etc.) to help students without internet access so that they may participate in a meaningful manner. Students who do not have internet access, as well as students in grades K-2, are required to make contact with teachers a minimum of one time per week to allow for individualized instruction and assessment of student progress. This may be done via telephone. Teachers and aides will work with students in grades K-2 on developmentally appropriate learning activities in-person, via telephone, and virtually.
Depending upon numerous variables, the school lunch program will be available in some form for students who are participating in the remote/virtual classroom option. Details will be provided as soon as they are available.