AKRON — During the Tippecanoe Valley School Board Work Session held tonight, July 16, a draft of the corporation’s reopening plan was shared.
“We had a great reopening committee that put a lot of work and a lot of great discussion in on creating this plan,” said Superintendent Blaine Conley. “This plan has been reviewed and we’ve been given the thumbs up from Fulton County and Kosciusko County health departments.”
School will start as originally scheduled for students on Wednesday, Aug. 12. There will be no changes to the start or closing times.
Each student will be given the opportunity to choose to participate in remote learning. Parents will receive an enrollment form on Wednesday, July 22, that must be turned in by Wednesday, July 29. This will give teachers a better idea of how many students will receive in-person versus remote learning.
“It’s so important for our families to get on there and let us know if they’re choosing the remote learning so we can adjust what those classrooms are going to look like physical distancing wise,” said Conley.
Students who chose to participate in remote learning will not be eligible for extra-curricular activities.
It was noted that the remote learning will be similar to what occurred when schools closed in the spring. All teachers will be undergoing training days before school begins to focus on the e-learning structure in hopes of improving it.
Students who choose to attend school will be required to wear a mask when in situations where physically distancing is not possible, this includes while on the bus, in hallways and during passing periods. Bus drivers and staff members positioned at the school drop-off areas will have extra masks available for students who arrive without one.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they may be asked to self-quarantine and participate in remote learning for 14 days. Students who display two or more symptoms of COVID-19 while at school will be sent home and asked to stay at home until they go 10 days without symptoms or they receive a non-COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician.
All of this information presented is pending approval for the regular school board meeting on Monday, July 20. This plan can also change throughout the school year if deemed necessary.
On Monday, the board will also consider passing a resolution entitled COVID-19 Universal Board Authority, which allows Conley and School Board President Aaron Zolman to make changes to the re-opening plan if necessary without holding a public meeting.
The current complete draft of the reopening plan is as follows:
- There are no changes to the school calendar or schedules. School will begin Aug. 12, for students. Student start and dismissal times will remain the same as last year: Elementary: 8:40 a.m. / 3:30 p.m., TVMS: 8:11 a.m./3:16 p.m. (6th grade) 8:15 a.m./3:20 p.m. (7th-8th grade), TVHS: 8:15 a.m./3:30 p.m.
- Remote learning is an option. An enrollment form for remote learning will be sent out Wednesday, July 22. For planning purposes, please try to have this completed by Wednesday, July 29. Families will still need to enroll their students on Skyward beginning July 27. Questions and concerns can be directed to the building principal.
- Students and staff will be trained to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19. Each student/family and staff member is expected to self-screen at home for symptoms of COVID-19. If individuals test positive for COVID-19 or exhibit one or more of the symptoms, then they should not come to school/work.
- Students and staff shall be free of fever for 72 hours (without the use of medication) before returning to school. Siblings should also test and quarantine. Students may return back to school if a non-COVID-19 diagnosis is made by a physician.
- TVSC will work with the local Health Departments on contact tracing, documentation and reporting.
- Students must see a provider and be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and be symptom-free for 10 calendar days before returning to school as per the Indiana State Department of Health.
- Students or households with positive COVID-19 results may be quarantined for 14 calendar days before returning to school at the recommendation of the Indiana State Department of Health.
- Students will wear masks in specific situations as defined by the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health when physical distancing is not possible.
- Buses shall be sanitized after each route. Students will wear a mask on the bus, in hallways and during passing periods.
- Instructional space and daily schedules will be maximized in order to promote social distancing.
- Hand washing and the repeated use of hand sanitizer will be expected throughout the school day. Sanitizer is available in all classrooms and personally for each teacher. Cleaning wipes will be available for door handles and commonly touched areas.
- Computers will be assigned to students in grades 6-12.
- Schools will utilize proven cleaning products and procedures to ensure a healthy and clean environment.
- Each student will be provided with a water bottle. Water bottle filling stations will be utilized in each building. Traditional water fountains will not be available as per the CDC guidelines.
- Classrooms will be set up so students are facing one direction. Seating charts will be utilized in classrooms, buses and the cafeteria.
- Cafeteria schedules and procedures will be adjusted to maximize spaces and adhere to safety guidelines.
- Each building will identify a separate space in the building to respond to symptomatic students. Parents/guardians are encouraged to list multiple contacts that are available when contacted by the school.
- Supply sharing will be minimized and proper sanitation will be implemented.
- P.E. will be held outside when possible.
- Students who are enrolled in remote learning shall not participate in extracurricular activities at school.
- Greater restrictions on visitors and guests in our buildings will be in place.
- Field Trips and convocations will not occur until further notice.
- If the number of cases of COVID-19 reaches a level where state and local officials determine a change in our schedule needs to occur, we potentially will implement more restrictions within the school setting in an attempt to remain open.
- Additionally, in cooperation with the local health departments, our schools will have a common response to confirmed cases of COVID-19. Each case will be handled on an individual basis with the goal of keeping our schools open.
This plan is subject to change as additional guidance becomes available from the Center for Disease Control, the Kosciusko and Fulton County Departments of Health, the Indiana State Department of Health, the Governor’s Executive Orders, the Indiana Department of Education or the TVSC School Board of Trustees or administration.