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Return-to-Learn

West Liberty Community School District
A Guide For The 2020 - 2021 School Year

Introduction

We are looking forward to the new 2020 - 2021 school year. Our Return-to-Learn (RTL) plan for the West Liberty Community School District prioritizes the health and safety of our students and employees. The West Liberty Community School District RTL Plan is based on public health information available at this time. This plan was developed in collaboration with a cross section of multiple teams from our school district including Administrators, Activities Director, Maintenance Director, Transportation Director, Foodservice Director, Nurses, Technology Director, District Leadership Team, Building Leadership Teams, Local School Improvement Advisory Committee and our Trinity Muscatine Public Health, all while fitting into Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) guidelines.

The latest communication updates will be posted on our West Liberty Community School District website as we receive new guidance and communication. Governor Kim Reynolds provided rules and guidelines to Iowa school districts for developing and finalizing our RTL plan. We reviewed our plan following the Governor’s proclamation for reopening schools for the 2020 – 2021 school year. As a district, we have been preparing to adjust and align our learning model to fit the needs of our students. Please keep in mind that this is a very fluid situation, it is possible that new guidelines could be instituted as we receive updates from the IDOE and IDPH.

As a school district, we are all learning through this process while we continuously develop new strategies, processes, scenarios and options. We are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way.

To every degree possible and in practical light of the guidance received at this time from IDPH and IDOE, the West Liberty Community School District is dedicated to ensuring our students and staff return safely to learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

We will focus on providing a learning environment that is focused on safety and compassion where equity and access is our highest priority. We are currently recommending a hybrid learning model. With the hybrid learning model there is No On-Site “only” learning option. Please do not hesitate to contact me or your school principal with any questions you might have. 

The hybrid model that the administration team has recommended provides students and families the following learning opportunities: 


a. ELC: On site learning for preschool, preK and kindergarten students every day with a

tentative modified schedule of 7:45am - 2:00pm.

b. Elementary: 1st-5th graders will be divided into two groups, A group and B group. The

district will divide the groups by households so students in the same house will attend on

the same weeks for 1st-12th grade.

i. Week 1: Group A on site, Group B virtual learning.

ii. Week 2: Group B on site, Group A virtual learning.

c. Middle School:

i. 6th-8th graders will be divided into two groups, A group and B group. The district

will divide the groups by households so students in the same house will attend on

the same weeks for 1st-12th grade.

ii. Week 1: Group A on site, Group B virtual learning.

iii. Week 2: Group B on site, Group A virtual learning.

d. High School:

i. 9th-12th graders will be divided into two groups, A group and B group. The

district will divide the groups by households so students in the same house will

attend on the same weeks for 1st-12th grade.

ii. 4 block schedule to limit transitions between classes.

iii. Week 1: Group A on site, Group B virtual learning.

iv. Week 2: Group B on site, Group A virtual learning.


 A virtual option is available to all families who opt out and do not feel comfortable having their children attend school via the hybrid model. Students will receive a Chromebook as these devices arrive to the school district and become available.

Safe transportation will be provided with required face coverings. Bus riders with COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to ride.  Vehicle sanitizing will be conducted after each route.


We will be performing ongoing maintenance and deep cleaning/sanitizing in every building throughout the school district on a daily basis.

IOWA STATE GUIDANCE

Released on July 17, 2020

West Liberty School District is committed to ensuring the safety of our students and staff as we plan to resume teaching and learning while implementing our RTL plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The Board of Education approved the first hybrid model for reopening schoolson July 13, 2020 - Reapertura de las escuelas en español Following the Governor’s proclamation on July 17th we revised our hybrid model in order to comply with new guidance, this Revised Hybrid Model was approved in the July 20th School Board Meeting, this is the current model that we are moving forward with. The Hybrid plan is the most feasible option at this time to start the school year including both in-person and virtual instruction. On August 6, 2020 the School Board approved to delay the start of school by 2 weeks for the 2020-21 school year. Here is the revised board approved school calendar for 2020-2021 school year.

This plan allows the district to include the additional rules and guidelines communicated by Governor Kim Reynolds via her proclamation on July 17, 2020. The proclamation guidance indicates that school districts may only provide instruction primarily through virtual learning opportunities if:

●A parent or guardian voluntarily selects the virtual learning opportunity; or

●The Iowa Department of Education, in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health, approves of a school district’s temporary move to primarily virtual learning for an entire building or district because of public health conditions; or

●A school district, in consultation with state and local public health officials, determines that individual students or classrooms must temporarily move to primarily virtual learning; or

●A school district chooses to temporarily move to online learning because of severe weather instead of taking a snow day. This week the Department of Education provided an initial clarification in regard to waivers. “The Governor’s proclamation does not specifically provide a waiver but does allow for the Department of Education to approve of the temporary move to primarily virtual learning for an entire building or district because of public health conditions, in consultation with the Department of Public Health.” (Senate File 2310 and Governor’s proclamation frequently asked questions – July 20, 2020.

HYBRID MODEL

The hybrid model is a combination of Virtual Learning and On-Site Learning.

The instructional minutes will be a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (without live interaction) learning from home. Any families who do not feel comfortable

having their children attend school in person are NOT required to do so. Parents and guardians are given the flexibility to select virtual learning from preschool to 12th grade for an entire trimester. Your students will be provided online instruction from West Liberty Schools. This is the CDC School Decision-Making Tool for parents, caregivers or guardians. Please indicate your decision during the Registration process.

Early Learning Center

Early Learning Center will be opening for On-Site learning and all anticipated students PS-K will be able to attend while maintaining social distancing as aligned to Head Start and Iowa Department of Human Services (IDHS) guidelines. Learning spaces in classrooms will be spaced 6 feet apart and education will occur to help students understand how to social distance and practice appropriate hygiene in the classrooms. When necessary, virtual learning will be implemented in a developmentally appropriate way that will include hands-on learning opportunities to be completed at home. Parent education will also be provided.

Parents may select virtual learning for PS and Kindergarten. Head Start services will continue to be available at the West Liberty ELC for families who qualify. Daily schedule: 7:45am- 2:00pm: Modified school day: breakfast begins 7:45 in classrooms.

Elementary, Middle and High School students who choose to attend on-site will be divided into two groups. One week students in group A will attend On-Site while students in group B attend virtually. The next week groups will rotate. Group B will attend On-Site and Group A will attend Virtually.

This model makes it easy for families to remember which week their child goes to school or learns virtually from home. Students will continue their classes via Seesaw (grades 1-2) or Google Classroom (grades 3-12) with options for synchronous and asynchronous learning during both weeks.

Elementary School during the on-site learning week, students will have a regular school day schedule. Students will only house their backpacks and coats in their assigned locker, and will go to their lockers only as needed for obtaining their belongings (ie. at recess). Student lockers will be spaced out by A and B groups.

Middle School during the on-site learning week, students will have a regular school day schedule. Students will not go to lockers in between classes. Students will carry a backpack or bag with their Chromebook and other supplies in it to their classes.

High School during the on-site learning week, students will have a modified block schedule with 4 blocks. Students will be in cohorts as much as possible and passing will be staggered. Students will not go to lockers between classes and will carry a backpack or bag with their Chromebook and other supplies in it to their classes.

●Per Head Start regulations, preschool students will have their temperatures taken every day prior to school starting and any necessary additional health-check requirements will be followed.

●Staff will be expected to report to their building and job assignment daily.

●Each school will plan arrival/dismissal as appropriate for the school given the student population.

●Entrance and exit points will be assigned.

●Designated spots for bus pick-up and drop-off will also be assigned.

●Classroom preparation and cleaning will be essential prior, during and after transitions.

●Desks and classrooms will be arranged to allow for a 6-foot distance and facing the same direction when possible and partitions will be used if needed.

●Assigned seating will be used.

●Students will remain seated as much as possible to limit movement inside the classroom.

● It is important to remember that the school day from beginning to end will look different.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

●Families are required to self-monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19 PRIOR to getting on the bus or dropping off at school. Families will perform daily the COVID-19 Self-Screener PRIOR to their arrival at schools or offices, boarding a school bus, district vehicle.  Please review this Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement

Symptoms Requiring Absence

●COVID-19 symptoms with no other confirmed diagnosis, cause, or explanation for the symptom(s) warrants reason to not attend school.

    1. ANY one “High Risk” COVID-19 Symptom
      1. New Cough
      2. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      3. New loss of taste or smell

AND/OR

    1. Any two or more “Low Risk” COVID-19 symptom or symptoms are not within the person’s “norm”
      1. Fever of > °100 or chills- do not come to school if you have a temp > °100 regardless if you don’t have other symptoms
      2. Headache, Muscle / body aches (myalgia), Fatigue, Sore throat, Runny nose, Congestion, Sinus pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

●Please see the guidance from the state (State of Iowa, IDOE, IDPH) linked here:

  1. Return to Learn - Reopening Iowa’s Schools Safely and Responsibly
  2. Evaluating Sick Students and Staff - Reopening Iowa’s Schools Safely and ResponsiblyIn Spanish

●If you have given your child ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other fever reducing medication within 24 hours of school starting, closely evaluate the reason the medicine was given; if it was given for possible symptoms of COVID-19, the student should stay home.

●Parent(s) /guardian(s) must call the school office to inform of a positive test result so contact tracing can take place. Per CDC and IDPH guidelines, parents of students who were diagnosed of having COVID-19 must keep a child home for 24 hours from resolution of fever without fever reducing medication AND 10 days must have passed after symptoms first appeared.

●All West Liberty Community School District employees must perform daily the Self-Screener for COVID-19 symptoms PRIOR to arriving for their job assignment.

●If a staff member is concerned about a student that student will be sent to the nurse for evaluation. Staff will complete visual checks of students throughout the day.

●Staff will also be expected to self-monitor their temperature and any symptoms related to COVID-19.

●Face coverings are required for all students, staff and visitors, in the buildings and on school buses, unless a medical contraindication is verified by a physician.

●We are also implementing the following consideration and mitigation strategies such as social distancing, hand washing, and regular cleaning and disinfecting.

●The district will supply students with a face covering. Students are asked to bring a mask to school with them daily.

●The district will provide education on hygiene practices. 

QUARANTINE PROTOCOL

When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 the school will dismiss the students and classroom(s) that have been in contact with that student. Across all settings, students and staff will be quarantined by classroom(s). Meaning, if one student tests positive, the entire class(es) that student was in (students and staff) will be notified and instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Please see this link for Staff Leave Scenarios.

In collaboration with Muscatine County Public Health, we cannot guarantee that students have or have not been in contact with classmates within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. For the health and safety of all of our students, staff and community we will err on the side of caution in determining recommendations for quarantine. We understand the frustrations and uncertainty of these times and are doing what we believe, with the guidance from CDC, to be the best way to not spread the virus more.

  1. Call your child(ren)’s doctor.
  2. Ask to have your child(ren) tested if indicated.
  3. Follow the doctor’s instructions.
  4. Stay in quarantine until the test results are given to you.

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for 10-15 minutes. Being in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 puts you at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. (Other examples of close contact are-sharing the same drinking glass or straw,

sharing the same eating utensil, touching the person or things that may have that person’s germs on them, like a dirty tissue, or the person coughing or sneezing on you)

Casual contact is defined as passing by someone briefly. A casual contact puts you at a lower risk of getting COVID-19.

●Employees should contact the building principal/administrator or supervisor immediately if they experience any of the above symptoms and not report to work. Contact tracing will be initiated by the school administrator, school nurse in collaboration with the Muscatine County Public Health and Iowa Department of Public Health.

●Parent(s) / guardian(s) must call the school office to inform them if their child(ren) test positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing will be initiated. The areas used by the sick person will be closed. Areas will not be used until proper cleaning and disinfection procedures have been completed.

●If a classroom or multiple classrooms are required to quarantine due to a positive test, impacted students will transition into remote learning during the quarantine period.

School Reentry

Symptoms related to COVID-19 (see above)

  • If presenting with COVID-19 symptom(s), one high risk, and/or two low risk as indicated above, a written note from your primary care provider must be provided before returning to school.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19 you must stay home until symptoms have improved, no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and have a written note from your physician that it is ok to return to school.
  • Persons with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis:

1. At least 1 day (24 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);

AND

2. At least 10days have passed since symptoms first appeared

Classrooms - Hybrid & Virtual Learning

●The instructional minutes will be a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (without live interaction) learning from home.

●We are requiring the family to be in a virtual learning or hybrid model for a trimester term.

●On-Site and/or Virtual Learning students attendance will be taken and students will be graded. Daily attendance and engagement of students is expected via hybrid or virtual learning. Attendance will be tracked by attending synchronous session and/or work completion.

●Schools will make contact with students/families who are not in attendance or not engaging in classes, hybrid or virtual learning.

●Students will be assessed using a combination of assessment tools to understand their individualized needs. Grading objectives are to provide feedback and communication about students’ progress. Report cards will be provided at the end of each trimester according to building procedures.

●Students will be accountable for completion of assignments via a hybrid or virtual learning model.

●Schools are presently working on virtual learning schedules and opportunities in alignment with grade level.

●The virtual learning platforms are Seesaw for Preschool to 2nd Grade and Google Classroom for grades 3 to 12.

●Students will be provided with the appropriate technology and support. Students will be issued a device according to grade level.

●Families without an internet connection will be issued a hotspot.

●Families will report technology issues to their teacher and/or building office, or technology help desk.

●English Language Learners (ELL) staff will support students in collaboration with general education teachers and administration using the safest and most effective model. The needs of ELL students will be evaluated to ensure appropriate support via district-provided services.

●In the event of no school due to weather, all students will attend via virtual learning in grades preschool to 12th grade.

●In the event of a weather delay, students and teachers will report to school and resume hybrid instruction for group A/B or ELC On-Site following the stipulated delay.

School Schedules

1st WEEK SEPTEMBER 8 - 11

GRADES 1st - 12

Tuesday (Regular Schedule) Wednesday (Regular Schedule) Thursday (Regular Schedule) Friday (Regular Schedule)
Group A On-Site - Grades 1 - 12 Group B On-Site - Grades 1 - 12

GRADES PS - K

Tuesday (Regular Schedule) Wednesday (Regular Schedule) Thursday (Regular Schedule) Friday (Regular Schedule)
ELC PS-K On-Site 7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

ELC PS-K On-Site 7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

ELC PS - K On-Site 7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

ELC PS - K On-Site 7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

Tuesday
Regular Schedule
Wednesday
Regular Schedule
Thursday
Regular Schedule
Friday
Regular Schedule
ELC PS-K On-Site
7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

ELC PS-K On-Site
7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

ELC PS-K On-Site
7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

ELC PS-K On-Site
7:45 a.m.

2:00 p.m.

PERMANENT SCHEDULE FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

Starting September 14, 2020 and Every Other Week

GRADES 1st - 12

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 Group A on-site
Group B virtual
Group A on-site Group B virtual Group A on-site Group B virtual Group A on-site Group B virtual Group A on-site Group B virtual
Week 2 Group A virtual Group B on-site Group A virtual Group B on-site Group A virtual Group B on-site Group A virtual Group B on-site Group A virtual Group B on-site
Bell Schedule Elementary: 8:05 a.m.- 3:05 p.m. Middle: 8:05 a.m. - 3:10 p.m. High: 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

**Groups will continue this alternating week schedule for the 2020-2021 school year.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
On-Site On-Site On-Site On-Site On-Site
Bell Schedule
7:45 a.m.- 2:00 p.m Modified school day: breakfast begins 7:45 a.m.

●Devices will be issued to students (9-12) during the first week of school.

●Devices will be issued to students (PS-8) as they are available.

SPECIAL SERVICES & SECTION 504
  • Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 plans are provided in accordance and in compliance with state and federal safety guidelines.
  • We are committed to providing a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) following the child’s IEP regardless of how the school takes place during this pandemic. Each child’s IEP will be examined to determine how to best meet the child’s needs across all learning models, including on-site, hybrid, and virtual. An i-page (additional page) will be added to each IEP describing any changes/accommodations appropriate for the child. Parents/Guardians will be included in this process.
  • IEP meetings will continue to be held virtually until further notice.
  • WLCSD staff working with students who require instruction or related services that involve hands-on work or other interventions in close proximity will wear a face-covering and gloves in order to keep themselves and the student safe.
  • Students will also be required to wear a face-covering unless documentation is provided by a physician that it poses a health risk to the student. Adapted face coverings, assistive technology and other supports will be provided, as determined necessary by the IEP team, in order to ensure the proper ability to communicate and receive services. Parents or staff, please contact your school nurse or building administrator if you have a question, request, or concern in regard to face coverings.
HALLWAYS
  • Students, in grades 6 - 12, will not go to lockers in between classes.
  • PS - 5 students will use lockers for storage of backpacks and coats.
  • Students, grades 6-12, will carry a backpack or bag with their Chromebook and other supplies in it to their classes.
  • PS - 5th grade will not carry backpacks throughout the day.
  • Students will be in cohorts as much as possible and passing will be staggered.
  • Limits will be placed on the number of students allowed in a hallway at one time.
  • Restroom procedures will be established at each school to limit transitions and occupancy.
PERSONAL ITEMS
  • The use of reusable water bottles will be encouraged.
  • Students should bring their own water bottle & water bottles must not be shared.
  • Students should use their own materials and not share.
Transportation
  • Families are required to self-monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19 PRIOR to getting on the bus or dropping off at school. Families will perform daily the COVID-19 Self-Screener PRIOR to their arrival at schools or offices, boarding a school bus, district vehicle.

Symptoms Requiring Absence

  • COVID-19 symptoms with no other confirmed diagnosis, cause, or explanation for the symptom(s) warrants reason to not attend school.
    1. ANY one “High Risk” COVID-19 Symptom
      1. New Cough
      2. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      3. New loss of taste or smell

AND/OR

    1. Any two or more “Low Risk” COVID-19 symptom or symptoms are not within the person’s “norm”
      1. Fever of > °100 or chills- do not come to school if you have a temp > °100 regardless if you don’t have other symptoms
      2. Headache, Muscle/body aches (myalgia), Fatigue, Sore throat, Runny nose, Congestion, Sinus pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea


Based on IDPH Guidance “Evaluating Sick Students and Staff” - In Spanish

IMPORTANT: If your student has received any fever-reducing medicine (examples are Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Aleve) for ANY reason, they may not come to school for 24 hours after the medication is given. As we learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19 we will continue to update the list. For the most up to date list visit. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/symptoms.html

  • Parent(s) /guardian(s) must call the school office to inform of a positive test result so contact tracing can take place. Per CDC and IDPH guidelines, parents of students who were diagnosed of having COVID-19 must keep a child home for 24 hours from resolution of fever without fever-reducing medication AND 10 days must have passed after symptoms first appeared.
  • Masks will be required for every student riding the bus.
  • Drivers and monitors will wear a face covering and perform regular hand hygiene. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily, between routes.
  • Only students who are eligible for bus transportation will be allowed to ride district transportation.
  • Schedule changes and riding additional routes outside assigned routes will not be permitted.
  • Route time will be minimized by combining picking and drop-off locations.
  • If your child rides a bus, plan for your child to wear a face-covering on the bus and talk to your child about the importance of following bus rules
  • Please see this link for information on Non-District Transportation Procedures.  
Visitors
  • Due to the current health situation visitors will not be allowed in any of the academic buildings during the school day except for emergencies. Please contact the building administrator with questions.
  • District approved vendors will report to the building principal and are required to sign a Symptoms Screening Log, which will include a temperature check. This process will allow contact tracing. District approved vendors will be required to wear a face covering and will be restricted in their access to the buildings.
Activities
  • We will follow guidelines set forth by State of Iowa activity organizations to ensure health and safety of students, families, staff, and community.
  • In order to protect our staff and students during the school year we will be reducing the number of in-person or large scale meetings and school events. The following list of events or meetings (which is not exhaustive) will occur virtually: parent-teacher conferences, back-to-school events, open house, athletic events, music concerts, fine arts performances, etc.
  • Field Trips will not be taken until local and state health guidelines have determined it is safe to do so. Virtual field trips will be utilized as an alternative when appropriate to the learning objective.
Cleaning
  • Increased daily cleaning protocols will be implemented at all the facilities with an emphasis on repeated cleaning of high-touch/high traffic areas.
  • Any area used by a sick person will be closed until proper cleaning and disinfection can be completed.
  • School buses and district vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected after each use or/and route.
  • Disinfectants will be provided to staff so that cleaning can occur throughout the day.
  • Objects and equipment will be sanitized before and after use.
  • Extensive deep cleaning will be done to facilities as often as possible.
Lunch
  • We will utilize various spaces throughout buildings for students to eat lunch following CDC guidelines.
  • Students will be allowed to remove masks when eating or drinking.
  • Food pickup locations will be communicated at a future date.
Outdoor Recess (Elementary/ELC)
  • CDC guidelines require face masks when social distancing of 6 feet for more than 15 minutes is not an option. Recesses will fit within these guidelines and face masks will not be required for outdoor recess.
  • Limits will be placed on the number of students on equipment and in play areas at one time.
  • Students will wash their hands before and after recess.
Communication

West Liberty Community School District will utilize the following communication structures to keep our parents, staff, and community unto date on changes regarding all protocols:

  • West Liberty Community School District: Mobile App, Email, text and voice alerts.

I have questions or concerns about hybrid, virtual learning:

First contact is the classroom teacher, second point of contact is the building administrator. Staff Email: https://www.wl.k12.ia.us/o/wlcsd/staff

My student tests positive for COVID-19:

School Nurse or School Main Line - https://www.wl.k12.ia.us/

I have questions or concerns about transportation:

Office: Ms. Melody Henderson - email: mhenderson@wl.k12.ia.us

Bus Depot: Roger Morrison - Phone Number: 319-627-4288

My student needs tech support for virtual learning:

Report technology issues to: Mr. Brian Rance - email: brance@wl.k12.ia.us