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2020/21 School Year Planning
2020/21 School Year Planning
Superintendent, Kevin Cardille
Thursday, July 02, 2020

La Crescent-Hokah 2020-21 School Year Plan

From the Superintendent:

Dear Parents,

Several weeks ago, we asked our district families to provide input regarding their student’s needs and learning preferences. Your feedback then and from last spring and the data we received from our staff have helped us identify the areas we need to improve and options that we can consider as we develop learning alternatives for the 2020-21 school year.  

The safety and health of our students, staff, and ultimately our communities are the District’s top priorities. We will continue to follow the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidance to assist us in our decisions going forward.  If the COVID 19 risk increases, we may need to switch to a more restrictive learning model, or if the risk decreases, we may turn to a less stringent model and bring our students back to in-person classes on a full-time basis.   

Ultimately we want to meet your child’s educational needs and do our best to limit the spread of the COVID 19 virus. We realize each model has complexities for families as well as for the District. We hope, however, that our plan and distance learning option offered below provide a viable solution for your family.

 

PK-4: return to school full day, five days per week.

Grades 5-12: Hybrid learning model 

Two groups “A” and “B”.  

Group “ A” will attend classes Monday and Tuesday in person.  Wednesday through Friday, students will participate in distance learning by attending regularly scheduled classes at their regular scheduled times in a virtual environment. 

Group “B” will attend classes Thursday and Friday in person.  Monday through Wednesday, students will participate in distance learning by attending regularly scheduled classes at their regular scheduled times in a virtual environment. 

Students who need additional assistance or are falling behind will be asked to attend on Wednesday to get caught up.

Full-time distance learning will be an option for all grade levels. 

Families will have the opportunity to select the distance learning model before the beginning of the school year. If you choose to begin the school year in the distance learning model, you are required to sign up no later than August 17. Families could change to whatever plan we are using at quarter breaks. Students who use the distance learning plan will be remotely active in their regularly scheduled courses each day.  By completing this survey, it allows the district to make the needed in class and online preparations.  Please click here to sign-up for full-time distance learning. The deadline to sign up is Monday, August 17.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we weigh the current public health crisis with educating our students.

There are 16 pages to this document; please look at each section to become familiar with our back to school plan for various departments.

Kevin Cardille

Superintendent

If you want transportation and childcare for your child, please fill out the following survey by clicking here.

If you wish to have your child(ren) to attend through distance learning, please fill out the following survey clicking here.

If you would like to be considered for the free/reduced lunch program as your work status may have changed, please complete the meal benefits application online through the Infinite Campus parent portal or complete a paper application.

Return to School Plan

The following is a list of the plans and actions developed by the La Crescent-Hokah School District. All visitors must comply with the expectations below; otherwise, the district will ask and expect that they leave the building.  Our goal is to provide the best educational experience possible for students in the safest environment we can provide. We appreciate the necessary cooperation from everyone to do this. 

We developed these plans using the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Education, and executive orders given by Governor Walz.  You will find most of these resources and examples of forms and processes we will use and practice on our school website, www.isd300.k12.mn.us  Please take the time to look over these resources on our website and those that are attached to this announcement. In the interest of keeping this notice somewhat brief, you will find more information coming your way in the next few weeks. Information on the spread of Covid-19 will be updated weekly, and the spread may impact our ability to be open as outlined in this letter. Likely we will need to transition from one learning plan to another as the Covid-19 cases increase or decrease. Please note that our ability to open or have students in our classrooms is dependent on how community members practice safe Covid-19 measures. Please wear a mask, wash your hands, and reduce the chance of spreading Covid-19 for our children’s sake. 

Guiding Principles

  1. We will put safety first. We will leverage science, data, and public health leadership to inform the choices we make. We will follow the guidance from the Governors Executive orders.

  2. We will be transparent. We will share what we know, and we do not know. We will post processes and procedures on our website.

  3. We will be equitable. We will center decisions on what is best for all students, families, and educators, especially those most impacted by education inequities and Covid-19. We will remember that equitable does not mean equal, and we will strive to give students, families, educators, and communities what they need, and we are responsible for delivering.

  4. We will be decisive. Given the size and scope of the challenge, we must move deliberately and make tough decisions based on our information. We will do our best to be flexible and agile, and we will adapt as variables on the ground change.

General School Building Guidelines and Expectations:

Student health monitoring and general procedure;

  • Students are monitored in the morning and randomly throughout the day using the health checklist and temperature checking.  A non-contact thermometer will do temperature checking.

  • Students will be required to wear masks at all times. This requirement will include while passing from class to class or in the hallway and while entering the building. All students will receive masks as provided by the State of Minnesota.

  • The District will do it’s best to keep students in separate groups or the pod concept. Different groups are to control the contact of students and minimize the spread of infection as well as the need to keep large groups of students home during a quarantine. We are trying to create stable groups and have them operate in a health-conscious fashion.

  • “A” and “B” groups will be selected by family groups PK-12 and sorted to balance bus routes. Balancing will allow older siblings to be home with younger siblings should we have to go to a distance-learning or hybrid model for PK-12.

  • Classroom layout;

. Setting classrooms up to allow for maximum occupancy using CDC and MDH guidelines. The number of seats in a classroom will vary depending on classroom size and the expectations given the type of learning plan we are executing.

 . Students will be assigned seats in the classroom, and we will maximize social distance as possible and necessary.  The students will be facing the front of the classroom or teacher’s presentation area when possible.

. Students will be required to wear masks in the classroom, and any time they are away from their seats.

. The classroom dimensions will determine the number of students in each room and how we will utilize space.

  • Hallways;

. Markings will be in hallways with arrows indicating the direction of travel during passing time. Preferably, no face to face passing happens during the school day.

. Students must wear masks during the passing time or any time that they are moving from their seats.

. Passing times may be staggered to minimize the possibility of passing a virus or infection.

. Students may use backpacks to carry material to minimize the need to visit lockers if used or assigned.

 

  • Restrooms, Bathrooms, locker rooms;

. These spaces will be cleaned daily and randomly during the day following CDC guidance.

. Locker rooms will be cleaned after use during the school day.

. Bathrooms may be assigned to different grade levels or Pods for use—appointed bathrooms to minimize the spread of germs and allow for contact tracing.

  • Dining and Cafeteria;

. The cafeteria will be limited use as groups cannot gather together.

. We will provide individual lunch bags for student dining, and students will be assigned eating areas, which may include hallways, cafeteria, and classrooms.

Staff will;

  • Staff should maintain social distance from each other as much as possible.

  • Staff will use the daily checklist to assess health and symptoms, including temperature checks. Staff should check their temperature throughout the day randomly. Non-contact thermometers will be available in the offices.

Building access;

  • All visitor screening will occur before entering the building. If anyone shows Covid -19 symptoms, they will be required to leave.

Contractor expectations;

  • La Crescent-Hokah Public Schools is under construction and remodeling at this time. All contractor and worker expectations are to follow the district's guidelines to be in the building. Contractors will be responsible for maintaining a healthy work environment for all. 

  • Students and contractors are to remain separated. In the Elementary, controlled separation occurs by walls and fences that keep them from contacting each other.   There will be barriers at the secondary building, but there are some chances where students and workers could be in the hallway at the same time. Our contractors know that they should not engage with students unless there are safety concerns.

Daily schedule;

  • Students and staff will follow the schedule that will be provided before the start of school. At this time, school days are not expected to change, but the student’s classroom schedules and bell schedule may change.

  • Gatherings such as lunch, recess, arrival, and dismissal times will be staggered to allow for students’ separation.

  • Students will be required to leave the building at the end of the day unless they have to meet with a staff member or have school business to take care of in the building. We will not be able to have students hanging out in common gathering spaces for sanitary reasons.

  • Field trips and assemblies are discontinued until further notice.

Building signage and notifications;

  • Posters will be displayed reminding all visitors to;

. complete the health survey and temperature check when entering the building

and throughout the day. 

. social distance  

. wear a mask

. hallway passing instructions and directions

. wash hands often and use sanitizer

  • Water fountains will be turned off except for water bottle filling stations, which we have added for student and staff use. Students and staff are allowed to have a water bottle in the classroom, and it must not be shared.

  • Students will be expected to follow arrows in the hallways to move from one class to another. All attempts are being made to keep students from passing each other in opposite directions. Class passing times will be increased.

Building Cleaning and Sanitation;

  • The custodial staff will use a virus killing cleaning solutions for disinfection.

  • Staff will clean high touch areas throughout the day.

  • Students may be asked to keep their areas and equipment clean, which may include wiping down their desks and material they used throughout and at the end of the day. Solutions will be provided for this purpose.

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be set up throughout the building for students and staff.

  • ISD 300 staff has installed soap dispensers in all restrooms.

  • ISD 300 staff has installed touch-free paper towel dispensers in the middle and high school restrooms. They will be part of the remodel Elementary.

  • Cleaning supplies will be available in all classrooms and meeting rooms.

  • Schools will also be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected during the evening shifts or when possible.

Child Nutrition Services:

Safe preparation Practices:

  • The kitchen surfaces will be sanitized and cleaned every day.

  • Most meals will be served as a brown bag lunch.

  • Plastic utensils and paper/styrofoam trays will be used for eating.

  • Hand washing and hand sanitizing will be available for students before eating.

  • The kitchen staff will be grouped to avoid a possible viral spread throughout our staff.

  • Meals for the elementary students will be prepared at the middle/high school kitchen and brought to the elementary school.

Lunch for all students every day:

  • Students will be served a bag lunch. Students will spread out in hallways and rooms as much as possible during lunchtime for social distancing.

  • Students will be provided with meals to take home with them before being out for their distance learning days. This will start with students in grades 5-12, and meals will be provided to any student on a distance learning plan. Details on the pick up of those meals will be provided when we know who will be choosing distance learning as their learning option. All meals would be paid for by the parents or family based on their free, reduced, or paid status. You can complete the meal benefits application online through the Infinite Campus parent portal or complete a paper application.

Transportation: 

  • Drivers will;

·         Drivers will wear masks and gloves when able.

  • Drivers will wear masks while students are loading.

  • Drivers will wear gloves while handling anything onboard the bus.

·         Stay home when sick

·         Ready Bus Company staff will monitor driver health including taking temperatures of all drivers before AM & PM routes

·         Leave roof hatches or small window spaces to allow for airflow as weather permits.

 

  • Bus Company will;

·         Ensure all buses are disinfected after each route

 

  • Parents will;

·         Take their children’s temperature each morning, if the temp is over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the parent will keep their child home. 

·         Notify the school if their child is sick, showing signs of COVID 19. If there are signs, the child must stay home.

        

  • Students will;

  • Be assessed each morning by their parents before being sent to school using the parent health checklist.

  • Wear masks on the bus unless medically unable. Students would need a doctor's order not to wear a mask.

  • ALL students will have assigned seats to ensure seat spacing requirements are being followed;

  • All students will need to be enrolled for transportation and protocol would have to be in place for students attempting to board the bus who are not enrolled;

  • Students will follow the COVID health protocol. If they do not, they will lose their bus privilege and will no longer be allowed to ride the bus.

  • Students will be assigned a seat on the bus following CDC guidelines.

  • Load busses from rear to front and unload front to back.

  • Some variance will occur based on needs, discipline, siblings sitting together in the same seat, etc. 

  •  Pending bus seat assignment, students may not be seated directly behind the driver. 

  • Consuming food and drinks on the bus is prohibited. 

Building Level Processes and Learning

Discovery Preschool:

For the 2020-21 school year, Discovery Preschool is located in the Middle School’s southernmost wing, previously the 8th-grade wing.  

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

**Due to COVID-19 restrictions for transportation, Discovery Preschool students will NOT have access to the yellow buses this year.**

  • Each classroom will have an assigned drop off and pick up window of time to avoid too many people entering/exiting the same location at once.

  • Parent/guardian will pull up to the curb cut out area on Lancer Blvd (will be marked outside of the fenced-in area), and your child’s classroom assistant will greet your child curbside.

  • Each classroom teacher will gather children just inside our fenced area as they arrive.  

  • When all children have arrived, the classroom staff will escort children to their lockers to put their items in designated lockers, then proceed to the bathroom for handwashing and a bathroom break.

  • After school pick-up procedures are the reverse, with each classroom awaiting pick up at their designated time frame in our outdoor fenced area, and staff escorting each child to the curb to the parent/guardian vehicle.

Daily Instruction

  • Play is the work of children and is central to their development.  Classrooms will be adapting the layout of the environment to allow for physical distancing while playing in the classroom “centers.”

  • For disinfection, classroom staff will instruct children where to place toys/books when each play session ends, to be disinfected before returning to the play rotation. 

  • Teachers will lead instruction and activities outdoors as often as feasible.

  • Hygiene practices will be taught and strongly reinforced, as is typical for the beginning of our preschool year, making accommodations as needed for COVID-19 specific precautions (such as wearing a mask if required by MDE or the local school district).

  • Each child will have a labeled, personal set of art supplies to be used daily and stored individually.   

  • Shared items/supplies/equipment will be minimized; when unavoidable, the item(s) will be disinfected between uses, and children will sanitize their hands before and after use. 

  • This year, Discovery Preschool was already planning for in-classroom dining for lunch!  Children will rotate to the classroom’s tables to eat in small, distanced groups with adult supervision.  Tables will be disinfected between each shift of children.

Surround Care

  • Surround care will be available (for an additional fee) onsite in our preschool classrooms at the Middle School before and after school.  (This is different from the previous plan of shuttling preschoolers needing Kids’ Company back and forth from the Elementary School.)  Enrollment will be limited.

Contingency Planning

  • Discovery Preschool will operate in person, with all of these precautions in place, unless prohibited by MDE, MDH, or ISD 300 regulations or guidance.

  • In the event that ISD 300 must go to all distance learning model, AND preschool/child care is NOT allowed in the building, classroom teachers will provide distance learning projects and activities for your child to stay engaged during 14-day closure, as well as communicate via Zoom/video call every day (as parental schedules allow).   

  • In this time of uncertainty, all families are strongly encouraged to have a backup plan for child care ready in the event of a required program closure due to direction from MDH and local Public Health officials in the event of a positive case of COVID-19.  

K-4 Elementary:

Teachers will;

  • Elementary staff will be using SeeSaw as a learning platform for all students.

  • Elementary staff will be contacting each student each day via classroom sessions, separate calls, or Zoom whichever is appropriate for the current learning delivery method.

  • Teachers will be updating grades/student progress weekly or within 3-5 days of collecting a student’s assignment.

  • Work collaboratively with Special Education teachers and Classroom Teachers to modify and accommodate students/schoolwork to meet student needs and allow equal access to education.

  • Wash hands often, observe physical distancing when possible, and wear a mask when social distancing is not feasible.

Students will;

  • Attend, participate and engage in daily and weekly lessons/schoolwork

  • Communicate with teachers and staff daily and weekly, putting forth their best individual effort.

  • Follow school safety guidelines within reason in all areas of the school.

  • Wash hands often, avoid physical contact, and stay home if sick.

Kids’ Company School Age Childcare

  • Kids’ Company before and after school child care will be spread across multiple spaces within the elementary school, including the large gym, the small gym, and various classrooms.  

  • Enrollment may be limited and prioritized for full-time enrollees to maintain consistent groupings of children with adequate physical spacing.

  • Per Executive Order 20-82, a school district or charter school operating a hybrid or distance learning model “must provide school-aged care for Eligible Children at no cost during the time those children are not receiving instruction in the school building during regular school hours.” The provided school-age care must be for the district or school-enrolled school-age children age 12 and under who are children of critical workers in Tier I of the state critical worker list. Children of Tier I workers only will be cared for at no cost during the typical school hours. The Tier I list of eligible children is below. 

  • Tier I  

    • Healthcare and public health  

    • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders  

    • Food and agriculture  

    • Judicial Branch (essential services)  

    • National Guard (activated under a Governor Executive Order)

    • Educators and school staff providing in-person instruction or caring for children of critical workers  

    • Child care and school-age care providers

  • In the event that K-4th grade moves to hybrid or distance learning models, during school hours, child care will be provided free of charge for children of Tier 1 workers. 

5-8 Middle School:

Teachers will;

  • Middle School teachers will be using google classroom as a learning platform for all students. Each teacher will have a site for each of their classes to access.

  • Middle School teachers will contact each student each day via classroom sessions, separate calls, Zoom, or email.

  • Teachers will be updating grades weekly or within 3-5 days of collecting a student’s assignment. Grades will be visible in Infinite Campus, the student management system. 

  • Work collaboratively with Special Education teachers and Classroom Teachers to modify and accommodate students/schoolwork to meet student needs and allow equal access to education.

  • Wash hands often, observe physical distancing when possible, and wear a mask when social distancing is impossible. Wearing a mask includes classrooms, hallways, and all areas on campus.

Students will; 

  • Attend, participate, and engage in daily and weekly lessons/schoolwork. Unlike distance learning, last spring, students will need to be present or active in each class period either in person or virtually to be counted as present.  Every student needs to be present at the beginning of the period.

  • Communicate with teachers and staff daily and weekly, putting forth their best individual effort. Earned grades for each class are based on student outcomes and assessments.  Students not completing work or not participating in the process can and will fail that course.

  • Follow school safety guidelines within reason in all areas of the school.

  • Wash hands often, avoid physical contact, and stay home if sick.

  • It is also possible for individual students, based on their needs, to be in person M-T-W-Th-F, if appropriate. We also will be exploring the opportunity for some HS classes to meet outside the typical day if there is a need.

9-12 High School:

Teachers will;

  • High School teachers will be using Google Classroom as a learning platform for all students.  Each teacher will have a site for each of their classes to access.

  • High School teachers will be in contact with each student each day via classroom sessions, separate calls, Zoom, or email.

  • High School Teachers will be updating grades weekly or within 3-5 days of collecting a student’s assignment. Grades will be visible in Infinite Campus, the student management system. 

  • Work collaboratively with Special Education teachers and Classroom Teachers to modify and accommodate students/schoolwork to meet student needs and allow equal access to education.

  • Wash hands often, observe physical distancing when possible, and wear a mask when social distancing is impossible.

Students will; 

  • Attend, participate, or engage in daily and weekly lessons/schoolwork. Unlike distance learning, last spring, students will need to be present for each class period either in person or virtually to be counted as present.  Every student needs to be present at the beginning of the period.

  • Communicate with teachers and staff daily and weekly, putting forth their best individual effort. Earned grades for each class are based on student outcomes and assessments.  Students not completing work or not participating in the process can fail that course.

  • Follow school safety guidelines within reason in all areas of the school.

  • Wash hands often, avoid physical contact, and stay home if sick.

5-12 School Learning Scenarios:

We will be starting school in a hybrid model with some students in the building and some virtual

Our students will be split into an “A” group and a “B” group. These groups will be identified by a household so that all members would be in the same group regardless of grade level.   We would follow the 7-period class/bell schedule, including the early release schedule on Wednesday. Students in need of extra support/remediation or who have fallen behind may be required to attend in person on Wednesday for additional help.  Each group would have two days/week in school, two days virtual, and Wednesday would be a virtual day for everyone.  Example: “A” would attend in person on M-T, virtual W-Th-F, “B” would attend virtually M-T-W, in-person Th-F.   Middle school classes on rotation would instead meet every day and then switch at the semester.

It is also possible for individual students based on the need to be in person M-T-W-Th-F, if appropriate.  We also will be exploring the opportunity for some HS classes to meet outside the typical day if there is a need.

If we move to a  face to face setting in the building

Then students and staff will follow the regular class and bell schedule in both buildings Monday through Friday.

If we move to distance learning with no students in the building…………

Then we will follow the 7-period class/bell schedule each day with students joining each class virtually for attendance and instruction. 






July 2, 2020

Dear La Crescent - Hokah Parents and Families,

I am sending this letter as an informational notice and also a request for you to complete a survey for each of your children. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has given school districts the task of planning for school for the 2020-21 school year. Due to the continued concerns and uncertainties in relation to Covid-19 we were given three scenarios to plan for regarding school starting this fall. They are as follows;

  1. In-person learning for all students.

  2. Hybrid learning with strict social distancing and capacity limits.

  3. Distance learning only

The district staff has been meeting to discuss how each of these models could be used to provide quality education to our students.  In planning, we feel that it is important to gather information from parents and students. Please fill out the attached survey for each of your children and ask for input from them as you do so. We may have another follow up survey this month. I do apologize, but being that we cannot have a public meeting this is the best way to gather your input.

Our task is to prepare plans for each scenario and then during the week of July 27, we will be instructed as to which plan we will be expected to execute. Some restrictions that we are faced with are capacity limitations in the buildings, classrooms, and busses based on social distancing guidelines. These limitations may reduce the busloads to 11 or 13 students depending on bus size and classrooms which could contain only 15 students due to social distancing. This may require us to consider some creative options to make the learning process a good one for students. 

Some things we are considering are as follows.

  • Half of the students attend school one week then do distance learning the next week. This will allow for about half capacity in the building and the ability to clean and sanitize the building on Friday and sit over the weekend, ready for the next group of students.

  • Consider opening up the possibility of some early morning or evening classes for students, likely only high school students. They could come into the school in person or follow along online at home. We do not think at this time we would have transportation for students during this option. Knowing your level of interest will help drive more decisions on transportation options. Providing this opportunity may allow for more space for K-8 students who may not be as skilled in distance learning and are at critical learning stages for baseline knowledge which may be better-learned face to face with a teacher.

  • Students may stay in a classroom and teachers rotate to minimize student travel.

Whatever the plan is that is chosen there will be a change in the availability of the school building to the public and visitors. Our custodial staff will be executing specific sanitation measures to provide for a safe environment. Keeping the building closed in areas during off-hours will keep these areas free of germs. We will be monitoring the health of anyone entering the building and parents will be provided with guidelines to monitor students’ health and expect them to keep them at home when the guidelines are not met.

One thing that has been consistent throughout this pandemic is that we never know what the next day will bring for us and what new expectations will be required. Things have changed often and rapidly. Our final plan will be expected to follow the latest guidance from the Minnesota Department Health and Department of Education as well as the Governor’s office. I assure you that the plan will be made with consideration and in the interest of the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. We hope to communicate final plans during the first week of August.

Thank you for your support and be Lancer Strong!

Kevin Cardille

Superintendent