Milford School District Return to School Plan 2021 - 2022 Academic Year

 
Milford School District Return to School Plan
                                                   2021 – 2022 Academic Year
Moving Forward
Milford School District is excited and eager to resume a full five days of in-person learning for the 2021 - 2022 academic year.

Guiding Principles
Milford School District will continue to work cooperatively with the Delaware Department of Public Health (DPH) and Delaware Department of
Education (DOE) and their guidance to ensure schools are complying with all health and safety requirements. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) guidance will also be used to further determine health and safety protocols, and any adjustments if necessary. Maintaining a safe
and healthy learning environment for all participants is at the forefront of our commitment to learning. This plan speaks to the various actions taken
throughout Milford School District to ensure a safe and robust return to in-person learning. Updates as of September 1, 2021, for Reopening Schools
for the 2021-22 School Year from DDOE and DHSS can be found here.

Health and Safety Precautions
Milford School District maintains an inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) including, but not limited to, face coverings, goggles, face
shields, infrared thermometers, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitized wipes, disinfectant spray, school PPE supply kits, portable plexiglass barriers and
disinfectant spraying devices to help maintain a safe school environment. Clear front face coverings, gowns and additional equipment needed are
part of the inventory as well.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are a vital step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with social distancing and preventive health behaviors.
Students are required to bring and wear a face covering every day when inside schools. Students are encouraged to have a second face covering
with them each day. Families are recommended to have multiple face coverings for their student(s). Face coverings should be washed and dried,
or laundered, after each day (this can be in a sink with soap and water or in a washing machine). Schools have additional face coverings to
provide students should they forget to wear a face covering to school or experience any issues with a face covering during the day. Buffs, gaiters,
and bandana’s are not acceptable face coverings.
● All students PreK-12 (except students of the age 2 or younger) and staff are required to wear face coverings when inside school, except
     when doing so would inhibit a student’s health.
   ● Whenever students and staff are outside on school grounds, face coverings are not required to be worn.
   ● In schools, when students are not present, staff may remove their face coverings. When students are not present in classrooms and/or
     offices staff may remove their face covering.
   ● Face coverings are also required for students riding the bus to and from school.
   ● Milford School District will continue to monitor CDC, DPH, and DOE guidance regarding face coverings and adjust accordingly.
   ● Students, coaches, and advisors are required to wear a face covering when participating in indoor athletic or club activities.

Social Distancing

Students and staff shall maintain three feet of social distancing inside the school and while on outside grounds. To support social distancing
efforts, classrooms will be set up to follow the health and safety guidelines. Desks will be arranged so that students are all facing the same
direction. If tables are used, there will be at least three feet of distancing between students (nose to nose). Student transitions in the hallway will
be minimized with schools having identified traffic patterns for students to maintain social distancing. Student movement will be staggered as
much as possible to minimize the number of students and staff in hallways. Hallways will have signage reminding students and staff of social
distancing, face coverings, frequently washing hands and other hygiene and health best practices. Signage will also be clearly placed throughout
other areas of each school.

   ● Students and staff are recommended to maintain a minimum of three feet apart with face coverings, including when seated at desks or
     standing in classrooms. Desks must be arranged so they are facing the same direction. If tables are used, students must be seated a
     minimum of three feet apart with face coverings.
   ● Students should be seated a minimum of three feet apart when eating. Masks must be worn until students begin eating, and put back on when
     students are done eating.

Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning Supplies

Hand sanitizer and/or hand washing stations with soap will be available in every classroom as well as hallways and other common areas. This will
allow for frequent handwashing. High touch areas in classrooms and school facilities will be disinfected regularly.

Students will participate in observed hand sanitizing practices at regular times, including when entering and exiting each class. Students and staff
will wash hands or sanitize between activities, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer after students change any classroom. Staff should wash their
hands or use sanitizer every time a new group of students enter their classroom, large space (i.e. gymnasium, cafeteria, etc.) or office or when they
enter a new classroom, large space or office. Gloves are not required to be worn by students, teachers and support staff. Staff are recommended to
wear gloves when assisting students with personal hygiene needs. Custodians, Child Nutrition and School Nurses will be asked to wear gloves
during various responsibilities based on health guidelines.

Monitoring Health

All families of students and staff are to evaluate their health prior to arriving at our schools.

Students must remain home if they are experiencing a fever, demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms or feeling otherwise ill. For students with a fever
of 100.4 or higher or other COVID-19 symptoms, families should consult the student’s health care provider before the student returns to school.
Symptoms include fever; new cough; new trouble breathing, shortness of breath or severe wheezing; new chills or shaking with chills; new muscle
aches; sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea; new loss of smell or taste, or a change in taste; nausea; fatigue; headache.

Staff must stay home if they have a fever, experience any COVID-19 symptoms or feel sick.

Students with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above will not be able to stay at school. Students and staff should stay home if they are
known to be ill.

COVID-19 Positive Tests

When a student or staff member receives a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, the School Nurse should be notified immediately. The School Nurse,
who is also each school’s School COVID Coordinator, will work with the district COVID Coordinator, the district’s Lead School Nurse, to complete
contact tracing and identify those contacts that are at high risk for contracting the disease.
The COVID Coordinator will contact DPH and report the case. If necessary, the COVID Coordinator will work with an Epidemiologist to support
case investigation and contact tracing, which includes assessing each unique situation and determining if other students or staff should be quarantined
or tested.

If DPH learns of the school-related positive case first, DPH will contact the COVID Coordinator. DPH will identify the COVID-positive staff
member or student and work with the COVID Coordinator and the positive individual to identify any close contacts that need to be quarantined.
Those that are identified as a contact will be notified immediately and given further instructions by the state regarding monitoring of their symptoms
and quarantine. The privacy of each individual will be maintained, and only information that is relative to protecting public health will be shared.
The COVID Coordinator or School Nurse may only disclose the name of the positive individual for the purposes of assisting with contact tracing.

Individual cases will be evaluated by the district COVID Coordinator, and DPH if necessary, for guidance on when it is safe for the student or staff
member to return to school. DPH will provide documentation to clear the individual, who tested positive, for return to school. This documentation
must be provided to the COVID Coordinator before the individual who tested positive may return to school.
According to DPH, it is unlikely that an entire class will need to quarantine, or an entire school would shut down in the event of a positive case,
unless social distancing and face covering requirements are not adhered to. The COVID Coordinator will advise close contacts if and when they
should be tested due to potential exposure. The Covid Coordinator will also communicate the need for a student or staff member to quarantine as
well.

If there is evidence of potential widespread transmission of the disease at the school (e.g., two or more cases from different households potentially
transmitted at the school), DPH will work with the school to perform widespread testing for the school-community. This decision will be based on
findings from an investigation by DPH and informed by current levels of community infection.

The COVID Coordinator will coordinate with the Director of Human Resources and School Climate to notify families of the presence of any positive
COVID-19 cases in the classroom and/or school to raise awareness and encourage closer observation for any symptoms at home. The process must
include protecting the identity of those who test positive.

Families and staff should report any positive case to the School Nurse. This will expedite the implementation of appropriate infectious control
actions and is important for the health and safety of the entire school-community.

Students Becoming Ill While in School

School Nurses will treat each situation on a case by case basis through their screening, assessment and/or input from DPH as appropriate. If
COVID-19 is suspected or a student develops a fever or becomes ill while at school, the parent or guardian will be notified, and the student will
remain supervised in an isolated area. The student will be kept in an isolated area adjacent to the nurse’s office until they can be transported off
campus by a parent, guardian or emergency contact. Students who become ill or develop a fever will not be able to ride home on school buses; they
must be picked up by a parent, guardian or emergency contact. In emergency cases for which a parent or guardian cannot be reached or pick up the
student, a request for an ambulance, community medical assistance or 9-1-1 call may be deemed necessary.

Additionally, other members within the student’s household of the infected person may be quarantined, dependent upon DPH and CDC guidance, to
limit secondary spread of COVID-19. If one sibling is sent home with possible COVID-19 symptoms, siblings may be sent home and quarantined
dependent upon DPH and CDC guidelines. The student and their siblings will not be permitted in school until they meet DPH and CDC guidance for
returning.

Furthermore, anyone who has had direct, close contact with an infected family member may be quarantined dependent upon DPH and CDC
guidance.
Other COVID-19 Information

Students may self-identify as having a high-risk medical condition for planning purposes to the School Nurse. The School Nurse and school shall
maintain privacy protections and HIPAA. School Nurses will remain in continuous contact with administration, teachers, support staff and families
regarding any student and staff health and safety concerns. Each School Nurse is their school’s COVID Coordinator. The district’s COVID
Coordinators are the district’s Lead School Nurse and Director of Human Resources and School Climate.

The State will have COVID-19 testing opportunities available for students, families and staff during the school year.

School Visitors

Milford School District will continue to limit large numbers and groups of school visitors during the school day. Only a limited number of parents/
guardians and community members are allowed into schools at one time and must follow CDC and DPH guidance. Visitors to our school are
recommended to sanitize their hands prior to entering and must wear face coverings. Strict records of visitors entering and exiting schools will be
kept. Additional information on pick up and drop off procedures are being developed by each school. This will be determined and communicated
by each school.

Family Involvement

As a district-wide Title One school district, Milford School District remains committed to actively engaging our families and school community
members. Example opportunities include:
   ● Monthly Building Bridges meetings (district wide)
   ● Parent / Teacher Partnership meetings (school based)
   ● Parent / Guardian Conferences (school based)
   ● Curriculum Nights (school based)
   ● Sporting Events (district wide)
Whenever possible, activities will be supported outdoors to mitigate risk. Participants will be required to follow mask guidance.

Operations
Budget
Milford School District continues to remain transparent in all areas of finance. Interested community members are encouraged to visit our website for
additional information regarding current budget details: https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/CitizenBudgetOversightCommittee

Enrollment

Milford School District continues to regularly enroll students as they move into our school district. School registration information can be found here:
https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/Registration

School Choice applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. All choice applications submitted outside of the choice window must meet
good cause. To learn more, please visit this website: https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/SchoolChoice

Child Nutrition

Students may bring their lunch each day or select lunch from the Child Nutrition daily offerings. Distribution of meals to students during the day
will allow for adherence to DPH and CDC guidance for child nutrition. Students, teachers and cafeteria staff should wash hands or use hand
sanitizer before and after every meal. Safety will be ensured for students with food allergies. There should be no sharing of items and food items
between students. Child Nutrition staff will be required to use gloves and face coverings. Students should dispose of their own trash after eating.

To learn more, please visit our website at http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=0410131510238366

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Teachers and staff will be supplied with hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray bottles and sanitizing wipes to assist in maintaining safety and health
protocols during the school day. Custodians will clean and disinfect high touch areas (including lights, doors and door knobs, railings, bathrooms,
etc.) daily throughout the school, including classrooms. Daily, custodians will thoroughly clean classrooms and the entire school at the conclusion
of each school day. Nurse’s offices, main offices, libraries and other hands-on classrooms will be cleaned throughout the day. EPA-approved
disinfectant will be used to ensure effectiveness against COVID-19.

Wastebaskets, tissues, disinfectant wipes and soap/hand sanitizer in every classroom and office areas will be located ready for use upon student
and staff entry and exit.

Student sharing of classroom items and materials will follow DPH and CDC guidance. Classroom items that cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized
will be removed. Schools will provide expectations and procedures for use of bookbags during the school day.

Students should bring water bottles and use their own water bottle that they bring in. The use of water fountains will follow DPH and CDC
guidance. Water refilling stations, where available, are available for use.
Teachers and support staff will assist with teaching, modeling and enforcing proper student safety protocols and practices. This includes following
proper hygiene and safety protocols throughout the school day. High-touch restroom areas (faucet knobs, flush handles, partition locks, ADA
railings) will be disinfected throughout the day and bathrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the conclusion of each school day.

Custodians will remain on call for all sanitary needs throughout the school day, and remove trash regularly. Ventilation systems will be regularly
cleaned thoroughly, and filters will be changed on an accelerated schedule with a log of filter changes maintained. If there is a positive COVID
case connected to an individual classroom, office or other space, the COVID Coordinator and Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds will
collaborate, and contact DPH if necessary, for how to best proceed with cleaning and occupying the area(s).

Transitions

Procedures for class transitions and hallway traffic will be developed and communicated by schools to ensure compliance with DPH and CDC
health and safety recommendations.

DPH and CDC guidance will be followed for instructional activities in small groups.

Physical education is suggested to be outside as weather permits; if not, physical education may occur in the gymnasium with DPH and CDC
guidance maintained. Physical education equipment will be disinfected daily.

Recess will be outside weather permitting. Students are not required to wear face coverings during outdoor recess. Students are allowed to use
and share playground equipment. It is recommended students maintain three feet of social distancing when possible. Recess equipment will be
cleaned daily.

Transportation

   ●   Masks must be worn on buses at all times, except when doing so would inhibit the individual’s health.
   ●   The district will seek to maximize distance between students as much as possible with loading/unloading practices and seat assignments.
   ●   Weather permitting, the opening of windows is encouraged to increase ventilation.
   ●   Families who can drive their children to and from school are encouraged to do so.

There is a limited capacity of 48 students on school buses. Students, bus drivers and bus aides must wear face coverings. There will be assigned
seating. Bus windows will be open, when weather permits, for air circulation during bus routes. Frequently touched surfaces in the bus (including
handrails and seats) will be cleaned and sanitized daily. Doors and windows will be kept open between trips to let buses thoroughly air out. While
waiting for the bus at the bus stop, students should remain socially distanced (three feet) unless they are siblings who live together. Students will enter
the bus in a slow, orderly fashion. Students should wait in a socially distanced line until it is time to enter the bus. The driver will signal to the student
when it is safe to enter the bus. Students will enter the bus and sit in their assigned seat. Students will exit the bus one at a time in a calm, orderly
manner. The driver will dismiss students in the front of the bus first, going row by row until the bus is empty. Students will stay in their seats until the
driver tells them it is their turn to exit. Students should remain socially distanced while exiting the bus. Students must continue to wear their face
covering as they exit the bus.

Instruction
Continuity of Learning

Milford School District’s Continuity of Learning Plan is focused on a commitment to equity and opportunity for students. Interconnected within our
learning plan are:
           · Access to Learning
           · Student Engagement
           · Rigor and Relevance
           · Support and Connection
           · Social and Emotional Wellness

Robust and rigorous teaching and learning will continue to be emphasized with standards, rigor and engagement at the core of the instructional plan.

Live and engaging teaching and learning will be offered during a structured school day with students consistently attending scheduled classes in
person. Students will be offered a rigorous and high-quality educational experience through high quality and standards aligned curriculum materials.
Full course curriculum will be provided to meet content standards, grade completion and graduation expectations; student grades and report cards
will be issued in alignment with our mid-marking and marking period end dates.

Student Learning and Schedule

Milford School District will begin the school year with all students engaged with in-person learning in our schools. Weekly and daily schedules will
be communicated by each school with the intent to maximize learning time. Remote student learning will be available to a limited number of students
who demonstrate documented medical need.

Lessons will value the knowledge and skills that students bring to the learning environment. Students will be able to process and connect new
concepts to prior knowledge. Meaningful student discourse and peer interactions, as well as multiple levels of entry into lessons and the curriculum,
will be emphasized. Clear learning targets will be provided with quality and applicable feedback.

Student Engagement
Student engagement is critical to success during instruction. Lessons will continue to be designed to support effective learning and engagement using
quality materials. Lessons will value the knowledge and skills that students bring to the learning environment. Students will be able to process and
connect new concepts to prior knowledge. Meaningful student discourse and peer interactions, as well as multiple levels of entry into lessons and the
curriculum, will be emphasized. Clear learning targets will be provided with quality and applicable feedback.

Addressing Learning Loss through Remediation and Acceleration

Core academic interventions, social and emotional interventions, English language support, supplemental programs and related services will continue
to be implemented across all grade bands. Screening tools are in place to identify students in need of additional academic and/or social emotional
support. Coordinated services with related service providers, in the school and community, to address and support student needs will be available.

English Learner (EL) staff will actively collaborate with EL students and families. Staff will coordinate outreach to students and families for learning
and wellness checks and will regularly communicate with students and families. English Learner staff will monitor student progress and provide
appropriate feedback to students and families. Staff will support English language acquisition skills that align to the WIDA English Language
Development (ELD) Standards. In addition, students and families will be connected to school, district and community resources as necessary.

Mental health support resources and access to school counselors and mental health professionals will remain key. A mental health screening tool,
Student Risk Screening Scale, has been selected and will be used across each school. Each school has a Mental Health Lead Liaison and School
Crisis Team in place. The district has significantly increased mental health staff and contracted services for addressing the mental health needs of
students. The Wellness Center will also be open to assist students.

Guidance Counselors, Family Crisis Therapists, Bayhealth Wellness staff, Visiting Teacher-Homeless Coordinator, Family Interventionists, School
Psychologists and School Nurses will be available to provide mental health support and social and emotional support. Learning plans also include
support for social and emotional learning, small group instruction and services for designated students.

Throughout the academic year, schools will continue to offer opportunities for students to engage with additional learning opportunities beyond the
school day through after-school hour programs: After the Bell (grades 9 - 12), Sailing into Greatness (grades 6 - 8), and AHOY (grades K - 5). These
opportunities include intensive and individualized learning opportunities with certified staff who are able to provide tutoring assistance.

Assessment

Milford School District continues to regularly assess student progress toward learning standards and identified goals. Participation in our required
state and federal assessments and screening tools will remain in place throughout the academic year. Additional information can be found by visiting
this website: https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/Assessment
Technology

Milford School District will continue with a one-to-one technology device initiative. Each student will be presented with a device, most
commonly, a Chromebook.

   ● Students in Grades Kindergarten through Grade 3:
        ○ will keep their Chromebooks at school with an option to sign out their dedicated device on an as needed basis.

   ● Students in Grades 4 - 12:
        ○ will transition their Chromebooks back and forth between home and school daily.

Teaching and learning management systems continue to be Google Classroom for Pre-K through grade 5 (grade 5 will transition to Schoology
mid-year) and Schoology for grades 6-12. Video Conferencing tools will continue to be available to students and staff through Google Meet
(Hangout) and Microsoft Teams.

The management systems and videoconferencing tools will assist with communication and collaboration between staff, students and families. The
management systems will enable students to stay on track via daily schedules and class agendas with running deadlines. Teachers will be able to
monitor attendance and assign assignment submission and progress updates.

The district’s Tech Hotline (302-424-7017) will link students and families to assigned district staff to assist with troubleshooting technology
questions, navigating student learning management systems (i.e. Schoology, Google Classroom, etc.), apps (i.e. Remind, Class Dojo, etc.),
resetting student logins, acquiring technology, informing of WiFi access areas close to their home and assistance with other learning needs as
needed.

Emotional and Mental Health and Wellbeing
Milford School District continues to remain committed to supporting the social and emotional development of all students and staff. A variety of
additional staff members including counselors and interventionists are ready to assist whenever needed.

Should there be an immediate need, please contact your child’s school with the following contact information:

   ● Morris Early Childhood Center 302-422-1650
   ● Banneker Elementary 302-422-1630
●   Mispillion Elementary 302-424-5800
   ●   Ross Elementary 302-422-1640
   ●   Milford Central Academy 302-430-7900
   ●   Milford High School 302-422-1610
   ●   Milford School District Central Office - 302-422-1600
   ●   https://milfordschooldistrict.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=464147&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=895801&hideMenu=0

Schools will continue to offer students access to social / emotional curriculum materials through our counseling program. Additionally, our Related
Arts programming across the district serves as another vehicle to support our students overall wellbeing.

Attendance
Attendance and involvement in school each day is a fundamental condition to learning and student success. Attendance is required of all students
enrolled in the Milford School District and the District will adhere to all state laws regarding student attendance.

The District, through its schools and support staff, will provide outreach and support when students and/or families are not participating. The District
shall post this attendance policy on its website and notify a parent, guardian, or relative caregiver of each student in writing where this policy can be
accessed. A hard copy shall be provided to a parent, guardian, or relative caregiver upon request.

Professional Learning
Milford School District remains committed to assisting all staff and families with professional learning opportunities. The district regularly plans for
rich professional learning opportunities for staff based on assessed need as well as encouraging staff to regularly participate in Professional Learning
Community (PLC) meetings throughout the academic year.

In addition to the return of Family Engagement activities including our in-person curriculum events, open houses, and other school sponsored
activities, families are encouraged to join us for our monthly Building Bridges meetings on the first Monday of every month and visit the following
sites for additional learning opportunities.

   ●   https://milfordschooldistrict.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=105441&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=924829
   ●   https://education.delaware.gov/digital-de/
   ●   https://www.doe.k12.de.us/
   ●   https://milfordschooldistrict.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=464147&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=895846&hideMenu=0
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Interscholastic Athletics

Sports teams will follow guidelines established by Delaware Interscholastic Athletics Association (DIAA).

Student Organizations, Clubs, and Other Extracurricular Activities

Each organization, club and activity will operate and adhere to DPH and CDC health and safety measures.

Student Enrichment and Support Programs

Schools will work to continue programs such as band, chorus, TEAM, CTE and other student enrichment programs during the day. These program
offerings will be provided in a variety of learning models. Flexibility in support of the programs will be dependent upon the uniqueness of each.

Schools will continue to provide students with after-school learning support opportunities such as, After the Bell, AHOY and other student academic
supports to assist students. These supports will follow DPH and CDC health and safety guidance.

Field Trips and Assemblies

Field trips and assemblies will follow DPH and CDC health and safety guidance for such activities. Field trips and large group assemblies will be
limited.

Communications and Public Information
Health Precautions

Positive health and safety behaviors will be frequently communicated to students, families and staff. Frequent communication of the importance of
families and staff routinely and regularly monitoring for COVID symptoms will be provided. Communication will be frequent for students or staff to
stay home if they have a fever of 100.4 or higher, are experiencing COVID symptoms or feel ill.

Resources

Resources and routines for families to support their student(s) will be continuously communicated. Mental health resources and guidance to assist
students, families, staff and the district-community will be communicated. The district will share resources available from DDOE, DSCYF and other
agencies, and send communications to the district-community. There will be postings of state, DPH and CDC COVID-19 resources to assist
students, families and communities. Frequent communication of resources to help students and staff understand changes to operating procedures will
be provided.

Tech Support, Family Services, School Nurse and English Language Hotlines will be communicated and available to assist students and families.
Teacher and support service personnel will make contacts prior and during the school year to communicate class and school information. Families
can further communicate suggestions, concerns or needs for assistance with the district through the following publicized email address,
info@msd.k12.de.us

Instructional and student learning expectations will be shared through regular family communications. Curriculum and instructional information, as
well as routines and strategies that can be used to support learning, will be communicated to families. Regular communication of intervention
programs, targeted supports and other services available for students will be communicated. Regular reporting and feedback on student progress will
be communicated with families as well.

Highlights

Student successes and accomplishments will be highlighted throughout the year. A district priority is to note and communicate student achievements,
honors, leadership, community involvement, accomplishments and all the respectable and exceptional representation that have become the standard
for Milford School District students throughout the school year. Staff, school and district-community highlights and achievements will be
communicated as well. Communication of school updates will be prioritized.

Communication Platforms

Communications will be shared through a variety of communication platforms and in various languages. Phone calls, text messages, emails, and
websites will be used. Additionally, the district continues to engage a comprehensive social media campaign with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and
other sources. Informative robocalls to the district-community will be set up and regularly sent to students, families and staff. Translation of
messages in Spanish, Creole and other languages will be completed as necessary. The district and school websites will continuously update with
school information.

Updated 9/3/21
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