Dardanelle Public Schools

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2020-2021 Re-entry FAQ's

Dardanelle School District K-12 Re-entry Plan 2020-2021 

The school re-entry plan for the 2020-2021 school year allows schools and parents to prepare for learning while putting student and staff safety first. The plan offers guidance on a wide range of operational issues including but not limited to the following: 

  • Cleaning 
  • Hygiene 
  • Masks 
  • Shared Items 
  • COVID-19 Cases in School 

These are the current measures that will be put in place to reduce the COVID-19 risk; however, things are subject to change with further guidance from the AR Department of Health, the CDC, and the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

Cleaning 

  • Enhance cleaning and disinfecting practices. 
  • Clean all areas of the school daily. 
  • Clean restrooms and high-touch surfaces multiple times a day. 
  • Regularly schedule deep cleaning when students are not present. 

Hygiene 

  • Routinely screen all staff and students 
  • Create a strict stay-at-home policy for any students or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 
  • Set hand hygiene expectations when entering and exiting the school and classrooms, before and after eating 
  • Regularly remind students and staff of respiratory etiquette: 

○ cover coughs and sneezes 

○ avoid touching your face 

○ dispose of used tissues promptly 

○ practice hand hygiene 

  • Students who develop symptoms at school may be asked to wear a mask and isolate in a separate room until a parent arrives for pickup. If a separate room is not available, the student must be kept at least 6 feet away from other individuals. 

Physical distancing and grouping 

  • Practice physical distancing when possible. 
  • Emphasize hygiene practices in classrooms, buses, and during activities when physical distancing may not be possible. 
  • Reorganize rooms to allow for more physical space when possible. 
  • Guide foot traffic flow through entrances and hallways by using markers on the floor. 
  • Avoid large gatherings like assemblies. 

Masks 

  • Staff and students grades four and above are encouraged to wear masks. 
  • Consider wearing masks when there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and distance of six feet cannot be maintained. 
  • Wearing masks is generally not recommended for younger students. 

Shared items 

  • There will be a “no sharing policy.” All students should have their own supplies. 
  • Clean equipment between uses if students or staff share anything. 

If there is a case of COVID-19 in a school 

  • The school nurse and administration will work to quickly: 

○ identify cases through easily accessible testing 

○ identify close contacts 

○ create isolation measures when needed 

  • The school nurse will work with school administrators to provide follow-up recommendations and messaging for staff, parents, and students. 
  • Each school administrator will support students and staff to learn or to work at home if they are required to self-isolate using a blended learning approach. 

FAQs June 24, 2020 

What is the first day for students? The first day of school for students is August 13, 2020. This date will only change if ADH sends updated guidance with this requirement, but this is not anticipated. 

What are some key definitions? 

  • On-Site: Learning that occurs at school, sometimes referred to as face-to-face. 
  • Virtual: Learning that occurs 100% at home or another site away from school. Virtual learning will occur online and may include both asynchronous and synchronous learning methods. 
  • Blended: Students attend school based on-site learning and remote learning (at home) through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous online teaching and learning methods. 
  • Synchronous Online Learning - Learning in which participants interact at the same time and in the same place. 
  • Asynchronous Online Learning - Methods of asynchronous online learning include self-guided lesson modules, streaming video content, virtual libraries, posted lecture notes, and exchanges across discussion boards or social media platforms. 

Has the district chosen a Learning Management System (LMS)? 

  • K-3 Google Classroom and Seesaw 
  • 4-5 Google Classroom 
  • 6-8 Google Classroom and Canvas 
  • 9-12 Google Classroom 

How will you help fill any gaps my student has from the previous year? Curriculum teams have worked on identifying missed essential standards, and these will be addressed throughout the year in the curriculum and in concentrated support systems. The district will implement assessments and unit plans as recommended and found in the Arkansas Schools for Learning Playbook from the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. Additionally, students will be regularly assessed to determine individual strengths and deficits. These assessments will determine if students need additional support. Throughout the remaining part of the summer, parents and guardians can help students prepare for school by reviewing math facts and reading 10-20 minutes daily. These two simple activities can make a great impact on students’ readiness for learning. 

Will face coverings be required? Currently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) are strongly recommending all individuals 10 years old and over wear a face covering. We are strongly recommending that adults and all students fourth grade and above wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved, particularly on school buses. Students 3rd grade and below and those with health issues and special needs will not be asked to wear face coverings. However, these students will be highly encouraged to wear face coverings in areas with a high concentration of students where physical distancing cannot be maintained. 

Will bus transportation be provided? Yes, the district’s transportation department will follow its traditional route model. Based on current ADH guidance, it is recommended that students in fourth grade and above wear face coverings when riding the bus. We are planning no changes to bus schedules or bus stops at this time. 

Will students be screened daily? Upon further direction form the CDC and ADH, temperature of students and adults may be taken with no touch thermometers. Possible times to collect temperatures include but are not limited to car lines, hallways, upon entry to classrooms, when checking in late, etc. 

Will students at the elementary still have classes like PE, art, music, guidance, enrichment/GT, and library? Yes, students will continue to participate in activity classes, check out library books, and receive guidance and enrichment/GT instruction. 

Will my elementary student have recess? Yes, elementary students will have recess time with restrictions that limit the number of students they come in contact with while at play. The equipment will be sanitized after each recess. 

Will classrooms be arranged differently to protect students? Yes, classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students along with additional measures. We will make every effort to provide distance when possible but not limit students’ ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom. Please know that not all classroom spaces allow for 6 feet of physical distance between all students, but teachers will arrange seating to create as much physical distance as possible. 

Will we still have assemblies, open house, concerts, etc? Based on ADH guidelines, large events will only occur in a virtual setting at this time. 

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, what will happen? In the event an individual tests positive, we will follow the latest guidance from the ADH. Students who develop symptoms at school may be asked to wear a mask and isolate in a separate room until a parent arrives for pickup. If a separate room is not available, the student must be kept at least 6 feet away from other individuals. 

If a student comes to school sick, what will happen? If a student is ill, then they should not come to school. If a student becomes ill at school, the school nurse will screen students. If a student has a temperature over 100.4, the student will be sent home and will need to be fever free for 48 hours without medication before returning to school. When the child returns to school, he/she will check in with the school nurse. Please remember, students should not attend school with fever reducing medicine. Students should be fever free when attending school. 

Will the district have varying schedules? At this time, students will attend their typical classroom schedules. Our plan is to follow a traditional weekly schedule Monday through Friday. 

Does the Dardanelle School District have a virtual option for my student(s)? Yes, there is a completely online option for students who do not feel comfortable returning to onsite instruction.There will be no in person or on campus instruction for this option. Students will be required to be onsite for state mandated assessments. Paper applications were mailed home, or you may complete online (please visit the district’s Facebook page). 

If my student enrolls in virtual learning, will they be able to participate in extracurricular activities? Virtual students are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. All virtual students must provide their own transportation to and from activities. 

Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities and sports in the fall? Yes, senior high and junior high athletes have already returned to campus to begin practice based on ADH and Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) guidance. We anticipate sports activities in the fall with possible modifications as required by the ADH and AAA. 

Will there be restrictions for band and/or choir? At this time, we are still awaiting ADH guidance on both band and choir. We will continue to serve students enrolled in band and/or choir classes while observing the most current guidelines. Band and choir also follow AAA guidance. 

Will my student eat lunch in a classroom? At this time, students will eat in the cafeteria. Physical distancing will be encouraged when standing in cafeteria lines. Proper sanitation of all areas will be completed after each meal, and students will not self-serve or share food. We will continue to monitor ADH guidelines concerning large venue areas like cafeterias. Alternate locations remain a viable option depending on ADH guidelines and current events. 

Will students be able to use water fountains? Procedures for frequent cleaning of water fountains will be in place. Bottle fill stations will be installed at select water fountains; therefore, parents are encouraged to send a water bottle with their student. Students are encouraged to clean their bottle each night. 

What precautions will be implemented in regard to cleaning and sanitizing? Frequently touched surfaces and restrooms will be cleaned continuously throughout the school day. We have continued to purchase disinfectant sprays to quickly sanitize rooms between usage. We will also provide time for hand washing and hand sanitizer throughout our campuses. Students will be asked to sanitize their hands each time they leave and enter a new space. 

What happens if schools are prevented from having onsite instruction again? Blended learning will take place if schools are prevented from having onsite instruction. This plan includes K-3rd using Seesaw/Google Classroom, grades 4-5 using Google Classroom, 6-8 using Canvas/Google Classroom, and 9-12 implementing Google Classroom to submit assignments. Teachers will utilize Google Meets or Zoom to deliver live lessons. Students will learn how to use these Learning Management Systems (LMS) by participating in lessons throughout the week while at school. Students who need a device for extended remote learning will have access to a Chromebook, and additional wifi access points are being added in the community. Instruction will consist of what is currently being taught in the classroom. Teachers will issue grades for assignments, and parents will be able to view grades in HAC. This approach will allow students who might be ill or quarantined for a limited amount of time to continue their education even if they are not physically present in the classroom. 

Will the school provide a computer or internet for virtual learning? Students who need a device for virtual learning will have access to a Chromebook, and additional wifi access points are being added in the community. Information regarding Chromebook distribution will be sent home at a later date. 

How will attendance be taken for virtual learning? A student is absent if the student is not engaged in scheduled instruction at an off-site location, including remote/blended learning. 

If a student commits to virtual learning in the fall semester, can the student still return to their school spring semester? Please call your building principal as this is a case by case basis. Typically, students will remain in virtual learning per semester. 

Do we still have AMI days? AMI days will not be used for the 2020-2021 school year. Blended learning will be used instead to ensure a continuation of learning. 

How will the district serve students with special needs or weakened immune systems? Students with special needs or weakened immune systems will be accommodated through both onsite and remote instruction. Special precautions will take place in special needs classrooms, such as more frequent sanitizing/cleaning, more specific physical distancing requirements, etc. If parents have concerns about their student who may be at high-risk because of COVID-19, they may explore the virtual learning option that allows the student to continue their education from the safety of their own home. 

In the event of remote learning, how will the district serve students who have special needs (Special Education, 504, Dyslexia, etc)? In the event of a school closure, students will participate in live instruction with scheduled Google Meets or Zoom sessions. 

How will the district provide special services for virtual students? Students will participate in live instruction with scheduled Google Meets or Zoom sessions. 

Questions or concerns? Please call the Central Office or your child’s building administrator. The phone numbers are as follows: 

  • Central Office: 479.229.4111 
  • Primary School: 479.229.4185 
  • Intermediate School: 479.229.3707 
  • Middle School: 479.229.4550 
  • High School: 479.229.4655 

We will provide more information in the upcoming days.