Milford School District Return to School Plan 2021 - 2022 Academic Year
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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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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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