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.

Health and Safety Precautions
Milford School District maintains an inventory of personal protective equipment 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.
   •   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.

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 must 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.
   •   Beginning with summer programming, students must 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
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.
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

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.


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:


Milford School District continues to regularly enroll students as they move into our school
district. School registration information can be found here:

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

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. Disposable food service items and utensils will be used. There will be no
sharing of items and food between students. Child Nutrition staff will be required to use
personal protection including gloves, face shields and/or face coverings. Students should
dispose of their own trash after eating.

To learn more, please visit our website at

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.) 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.
High-touch classroom areas should be cleaned in classrooms between use as much as
possible. 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 will need to bring water bottles and only be able to 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 including after eating in classrooms. 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).


A cohort is a group of students who participate in a class or other activity. 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 during the day.

Recess will be outside weather permitting, and students will be kept in their classroom
cohort. Students are allowed to use and share playground equipment/dedicated spaces with
their cohort and are required to wear face coverings when social distancing is not
possible. Recess equipment will be cleaned during the day.

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 and guardians are allowed into
schools at one time. 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.


   •   Beginning with summer programming, schools shall refer to CDC guidance on school
       buses when transporting students. The CDC recommendations advise schools to create
       distance between children on school buses when possible.
   •   Masks must be worn on buses at all times, except when doing so would inhibit the
       individual’s health.
   •   The district will seek to minimize student to student contact with loading/unloading
       practices, seat assignments, and opening of windows (safety permitting).
   •   Families who can drive their children to and from school will be 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 prior to and after all routes (including
between bus runs). 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 need to remain socially distanced 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
will remain socially distanced while exiting the bus. Students must continue to wear their face
covering as they exit the bus.

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.
Remote student learning will be available to a limited number of students who demonstrate
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

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.

Summer 2021 includes the following programs intended to assist with increased instruction:

   •   Credit Recovery at Milford Senior High School
   •   Voyagers Credit Recovery at Milford Central Academy
   •   Voyagers Plus at Mispillion Elementary servicing elementary aged students with targeted
       instruction to assist in preparation for the upcoming academic year.
   •   Buccaneer Brain Booster Backpacks have been made available to families interested in
       supplementing instruction at home
   •   Voyager Camps across our secondary, elementary, and early childhood campuses
   •   HOLA (Helping others with language acquisition) for Spanish Immersion program
   •   Beginning Buccaneers is available to incoming Kindergarten students to assist with the
       transition to school

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.


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:


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:
          o 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:
          o will transition their Chromebooks back and forth between home and school

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

   •   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

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 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.

It shall be the responsibility of the teacher or designated staff member to record attendance in
eSchool. Excused and unexcused absences for any period of time shall be recorded consistent
with existing practices and practices that may be announced.

In addition to the excused absences listed in Board Policy 5403 Student Attendance K-12, the
following will be considered excused absences for homebound remote learners: a. Documented
power outage. b. Documented internet service provider outage. c. Documented unexpected
technical difficulties such as software updates, password reset, etc.

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.


Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Interscholastic Athletics
Sports teams will follow guidelines established by Delaware Interscholastic Athletics Association

Student Organizations, Clubs, and Other Extracurricular Activities

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

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

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 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,

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.


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.
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