The Adair County School board approved the proposed reopening plan for Adair County Schools 2020-2021 school year last night in a special called board meeting.
The plan gives parents and guardians the option to send their children to school either in-person five days a week or through distance learning, where a student participates in classes by a device to receive live or recorded instruction and assignments. Reliable Internet access will be mandatory for the distance learning option.
Superintendent Dr. Pamela Stephens emphasized that those families who don’t have Internet access will be worked with on an individual basis to get something educational material for the student.
School begins on Aug. 24 for both in-person and distance learning classes.
Stephens stated that the district is asking that students wear masks in the school, but it is not required. It is asked for masks to be worn inside the school when social distancing can’t be attained, but masks don’t have to be worn if social distancing is taking place.
However, it is required for students on buses because of the lack of space for social distancing. Stephens said that while education is a right, transportation is a privilege.
Students that begin the school year in-person, but are having difficulties and would do better at home may switch to distance learning immediately.
However, students may only transition from distance learning to in-person classes at the end of the nine-week grading period. Both options follow the Kentucky Department of Education and Adair County Schools curriculum.
Stephens said that it is encouraged that in-person classes be held outside as much as possible, or at least every hour since social distancing would be attainable.
On an individual basis, a staff member that is immunocompromised may teach only virtual and teach from an empty classroom to avoid being around others.
The plan explains that as soon as the pandemic is announced as “over” and all emergency orders are lifted, an immediate transition to in-person classes will take place.
Last week it was announced that Chromebooks and iPads were going to be issued to students by the district through CARES Act funds received. iPads will go to preschoolers and kindergarteners, and Chromebooks to students grades first through 12.
These devices are all assigned to an individual student and the only cost to parents is a $15 insurance fee if the student takes the device home.
The plan was based on feedback from the district and community stakeholders, and was also developed with guidance from Kentucky Department of Education, Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations that school-reopening plans should be feasible, practical and consistent with the community’s needs.
Stephens asked that families remain patient and flexible, as things will most likely change because of the pandemic.
THREE LIGHT SYSTEM
Adair County Schools will use a three light system to efficiently communicate with their stakeholders during the pandemic.
The green light rationale is in place if the community has cases, but there are zero cases within the school. Classes would proceed, the green light tier will follow guidance from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department and will implement the following guidelines, the highlights of which are listed below. More details can be found at the district’s website at adair.kyschools.us.
– social distancing of six feet to the extent possible
– students first grade and up wearing masks when moving throughout building and when social distancing isn’t feasible. Special consideration will be given to students and staff with medical or educational circumstances.
– staff, including bus drivers, are required to wear face masks or shields.
– student and staff temperatures taken daily with a 100.4 threshold
– afterschool and extracurricular activities will continue with listed requirements and possible restrictions on number of students and spectators.
– no outside food to students for birthday parties or celebrations
– students go directly to their classrooms and avoid large groups
– volunteers, visitors, guest speakers and other professionals (i.e. mental health counselor) visits will be limited and must be approved by building administrator for a defined purpose and specific duration. Visitors may visit as needed by request of the school and must follow school safety guidelines.
Under the green light, buses will require masks, a daily manifest will be kept with assigned seats and buses will be cleaned after each run.
The yellow light rationale is if the community has a sharp surge in cases that could possibly affect the quarantine of staff or students. If there are cases within Adair County Schools, the yellow light tier will follow guidance from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department and will implement the following guidelines, the highlights of which are listed below:
– complete disinfection of the classroom and utilize contract tracing to identify any people/areas the student or staff was in contact with.
– restroom breaks will be held in small groups or individually, without whole group breaks.
– classrooms will be “family units” as much as applicable, and consideration of moving teachers instead of whole class groups will be implemented in any applicable cases.
– school will conduct review of any students with increased health risk and the need for them to do virtual learning.
– afterschool and extracurricular activities may continue with restrictions.
– consider staggering arrival times and locations for buses and car riders
– cancel all non-essential visitors
Stephens emphasized that depending on where cases are depends on who gets sent home. An example is if a third grade teacher has three positive students in their class, that class will go home but other classes will proceed in the school. If it becomes widespread in various parts of the school, then that school will close but that doesn’t mean all schools will close.
The red light rationale is if the community has a drastic and significant increase in the number of cases that directly impact multiple staff and/or students. If there are multiple cases in multiple schools, the district will follow guidance from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department with the possibility of prolonged dismissal under the red light tier.
The red light tier could apply to an individual school, more than one school or the entire district.
– in person classes will be dismissed and virtual learning or non-traditional instruction will be fully implemented.
– virtual instruction or NTI will be implemented for a period of time that may or may not be established at the time of dismissal. The time on virtual or NTI will be utilized to keep larger groups of people from gathering and help slow the spread of the virus.
– non-essential meetings and activities will be cancelled. The use of virtual meetings will be reenacted.
– student meals will be served and transported using a plan developed by the Adair County Food Service staff.
– Extracurricular activity postponement or cancellation decisions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
A decision tree chart for COVID-19 response for students and staff is placed at the bottom of this page and details actions that should take place for different situations.
If any of the following symptoms are present, immediate quarantine of staff or immediate quarantine of students with adult supervision should be enacted one a symptom is recognized: temperature greater than 100.4; new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty in breathing; shortness or breath for unknown reason; chills; body aches or muscle pain; new loss of taste or smell.
Student quarantine with adult supervision will occur until parents/guardians are contacted and a visit with the school nurse or other medical professional takes place. This is not an all inclusive list of steps that should be taken.
Distance learning and NTI are not the same thing, and parents can refer to instructional methods page on the district’s website.
Students may bring their own lunches, but they cannot be refrigerated in the cafeteria. They may be stored in other classroom refrigerators. Lunches also cannot be warmed up from home.
Water fountains will be allowed with strict rules and routine cleaning. Student owned, individual water bottles will be highly encouraged.
Blankets cannot be provided for students who take naps, but parents may pack a towel from home in their child’s backpack for them to cover with and must wash it after every use.
Students will still have recess, and the district is encouraging taking students outside as much as possible.
Adair County High School students will still be able to attend the Lake Cumberland ATC, but must ride Adair County Schools transportation if going to Russell County for classes.
Lunch location will vary from school to school as social distancing can be achieved.
At this point, it looks like all breakfast will be eaten in the classroom.
A student in distance learning can still participate in sports and extracurricular activities as long as they meet the academic requirements and any other requirements set by the school and coach/sponsor.
Students in distance learning will still have to participate in state and district testing and that may mean that students come to the schools at a scheduled time for these assessments.
Essential meetings like ARCs will continue to be held and may be held virtually or by other means agreeable to all parties.
ACHS students still should have a career pathway starting their freshman year continuing to their senior year.
Status of backpacks is dependent on each school’s policy, so contact the school about backpacks.
Give the Board of Education or any of the schools a call for further questions.
More pages to the reopening plan is available on the district website