2020-2021 Re-entry Plan

HUNTINGTON COUNTY COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION

   RE-ENTRY PLAN

2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

Based on the guidance provided by Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-28 and the Indiana School Board Association’s Coronavirus and Re-Entry Resource Guide updated July 15, 2020, together with input from the CDC Guidelines and in conversation with Huntington County Department of Health, HCTA, and Parkview Hospital, the Huntington County Community School Corporation have created the following plan for the operation of the HCCSC’s plan in re-opening the education of Huntington students for the Fall semester 2020.  This policy is subject to change or amendment upon the recommendation of the Huntington County Health Department, HCCSC Board of Trustees, or by Order of the Governor.

Re-Opening of Schools 

  • School Calendar
    • HCCSC will open for the fall semester on August 5, 2020 for students, with organizational days for teachers beginning August 3, 2020, pursuant to the 2020-2021 school calendar approved on August 23, 2019.
    • In collaboration with HCTA and guidance from the local health department and IDOE, the following changes will occur to the 2020-21 calendar.
      • Extended Winter Break
      • Change flex day
        • Change Presidents Day and MLK Jr. Day.
          • MLK Day will now be a day off for staff and students.
          • Presidents Day will be the flex day for teachers.
  • Instructional Options
    • In-Person Face-to-Face Student Instruction
      • HCCSC will provide in person instruction for students K-12 that adhere to the guidelines set forth in this re-entry plan.
    • Virtual Option
      • HCCSC will provide a virtual option for those high risk students or those families choosing this option due to health reasons or concerns.
      • Students will use school provided one-to-one electronic devices (TBR).
      • Teachers will be selected by the first day of school.
  • Changes to the Classroom / School Environment
    • Social Distancing
      • It shall be the policy to provide as much physical distancing as is possible in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and at other school facilities.
      • The recommended six feet is not possible in most instances.
      • At the request of the Health Department, all classrooms shall be set up so that students are facing one direction, and cluster teaching is prohibited without building administrator approval.
    • Water Fountains
      • All water fountains shall be disabled at the drinking spigot.
      • Touchless bottle filling water fountains have been installed in buildings, and more will be installed as available.
      • Students needing hydration shall be responsible to provide their own water bottle, which shall not be shared with other persons.
      • Restrictions on the presence of water bottles in classrooms are lifted.
    • Passing Periods
      • Riverview Middle School, Crestview Middle School and Huntington North High School will be permitted to have staggered passing periods between classes in order to allow for social distancing.The superintendent and principals will establish the passing period plan.
      • Students and staff will be required to wear masks in the halls during this time when they cannot social distance.
    • Back-To-School Events
      • Family events will be primarily virtual.
      • Student events will be held in-person requiring masks or social distancing with limited family participation in a high structured environment.
    • Student Arrival at School
      • Students will be required to immediately report to their classrooms upon entering school. Students will not be allowed to congregate in the cafeteria, gym, commons, or hallways.
      • Students will do a “grab and go” for breakfast and will eat in their first period/HR classroom.
    • Classrooms
      • Changes will be made to classrooms to create more personal space (reduce furniture, spread out desks, define areas,etc).
      • Students will face the same direction in classrooms as much as possible.
      • We will minimize sharing of supplies. Shared materials will be set aside for at least 24 hours before reusing or cleaned after each use.
    • Extra-curricular Participation
      • Students must attend brick and mortar school in order to participate in sports, marching band, or other co-curricular activites.

          

    Health and Safety

    • Masks/Cloth Face Coverings
      • We protect each other by wearing masks.CDC recognizes that wearing masks is our #1 weapon to fight this virus and keep school open.Students and staff are required to have a mask with them at all times.There will be situations when masks will be required (bus, passing period, hallway, cafeteria line, restrooms, clinics, or classroom activities where social distancing is not an option).
        • We will give each student and staff member a mask.
        • Some students with education plans concerning special medical needs or/a disability, mask use will be determined by the Director of Special Services, as ratified by the next Case Conference Committee decision.
        • Cloth face coverings are expected to follow HCCSC dress code policy and should not be disruptive to the educational environment.
        • Anyone not wearing a mask will receive a reminder to put one on and follow safety procedures.
        • If a student or staff member does not have a cloth face covering, one will be provided for them to use for the day.
        • If a student’s behavior becomes defiant towards the safety procedures, parents will be contacted and we will work with them to resolve the issue.
    • Hand Washing or Sanitizing
      • Hand sanitizers shall be available at entry doors, at the cafeteria, classrooms, and throughout the building.
      • All persons should use hand sanitizers or wash their hands at the following times:
        • upon entering the building in the morning.
        • before eating.
        • after using a restroom.
        • after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing; and
        • after using shared equipment.
      • Students and staff will assist with the cleaning of their own work stations.
    • Training
      • Professional development will be provided to all staff and students at the start of school year on symptoms and screening measures.
    • Divided Clinic Locations
      • There will be an area for students displaying symptoms who are waiting to be picked up and a second area for medication distribution, etc.
    • Water Bottles
      • Students will be allowed to carry water bottles.All water stations will be used only for the purpose of filling water bottles.
    • Seating Charts
      • Seating charts will be required on buses, in classrooms, and in the cafeteria.Siblings will be seated together on the bus, to assist with contact tracing.
    • No Outside Food Deliveries
      • Deliveries will not be permitted into schools for students or staff during the school day.
    • Physical Education Classes
      • Students will not be required to dress for P.E. to minimize locker room interactions.
    • Case Conferences (Special Education / 504)
      • All case conferences will take place virtually if at all possible to minimize visitors into the building at this time.

     Student and Staff illnesses

    • Students
      • Students who are ill with Coronavirus or have Covid-19 diagnosis, or who are ordered into quarantine by a physician or the County Health Department shall have excused absences.
      • High risk students are authorized to participate in their education at the school building, or by Virtual Learning.
        • The principal will coordinate with each family to determine the appropriate manner and method of education.
        • Medically fragile students who are unable to attend school due to Covid risks shall be provided remote educational services through Virtual Learning.The Case Conference Committee for each student shall meet virtually at least every 60 instructional days to review the IEP for each student unable to attend school in person.
    • Teachers and Staff – See Addendum A and B

       

    Screening

    • Each student/parent or staff member shall be personally responsible to daily screen their own physical condition, by taking their temperature before school starts.Those with a temperature that equals or exceeds 100.4 degrees shall be kept at home, and their absence properly reported to the school building.
    • If a student or staff member attends school and thereafter appears to be showing signs of illness, elevated temperature, coughing, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell they should report to the school clinic who shall quarantine the student and contact a parent or guardian to pick up the student, or send the staff person home, responsibly.Once a student or employee is removed from the school environment, they will be permitted to return if they satisfy the following guidelines.

    Return after Exhibiting Symptoms

    Persons who have been self-quarantined, or removed, or excluded from school may return after meeting the following requirements:

    • If not tested for Covid-19 they may return if:
      • They have not had a fever for at least 72 hours without the use of medication to reduce fever; and
      • Other symptoms such as coughing, and/or shortness of breath have improved; and
      • At least 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
    • If a person tests positive for Covid-19, but has exhibited no symptoms, they may return if:
      • They have not had symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, after the test results; and
      • They have been released by a health care provider to return to school, in writing.

    Medical Inquiries 

    The school will take each opportunity to inquire concerning Covid-19 symptoms for employees and students, including:

    • If a parent tells the school that a student is ill, the school will ask the parent whether the student is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.
    • If an employee calls in sick or appears ill, the school will inquire whether the employee is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.
    • If a person is obviously ill, the school may make inquiries about the symptoms exhibited, and may exclude the person from school property.
    • If a student or employee has recently had contact with a person with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19, has someone in their home being tested for Covid-19, or has recently traveled from somewhere considered to be a “hot spot” by the CDC, the school may exclude the person from the school building, and recommend that they self-quarantine for 14 calendar days.

       

    School Response to Confirmed Cases 

    • After it is confirmed that a person infected with Covid-19 was on school property, the following steps shall be taken.
      • Notification to the County Health Department.
      • Notification to the Indiana Department of Education.
      • Implementation of sanitization efforts in areas where the infected person was engaged in the educational program.
    • The administration may shut down buildings, busses, or other facilities upon recommendation of County Health Board or the Indiana Department of Education, for such time as is appropriate for the protection of the community.

       

    Operations and Logistics

  • Transportation
    • General Guidelines
      • We will take all reasonable steps to provide safe transportation for students.
      • Students who do not follow the set guidelines will forfeit their bus riding privileges.
      • Changes in transportation procedures are meant to help keep all students safe.
      • Bus transportation shall be available to students who shall wear masks at all times on the bus.
      • Students shall use hand sanitizers before students get on the bus for school, students shall use hand sanitizer at school before they get on the bus for returning home.
    • Athletic Trips
      • Transportation to and from athletic events may require all athletes and coaches to properly wear masks.
      • Athletic trip busing capacity will not exceed 48 passengers per bus.
      • Students will need to make sure to wash their hands prior to entering the bus.
      • Buses will be disinfected after students exit the bus.
      • No eating or drinking while on the bus.
    • Bus Stop Procedures
      • Students will need to social distance while waiting for the bus to arrive.
      • HCCSC is not responsible for students at a bus stop until the bus arrives.
      • If a student shows signs of illness at the bus stop the driver will alert the Transportation office/and or school building and the Transportation office/ and or school building will attempt to call a parent.

    Bus Load Times

    • Load times will need to be extended to allow students to load safely.
    • Students will need to be ready 5 minutes before the bus is to arrive. Students will be asked to load one person at a time and to move as quickly as practical to their assigned seats. 

    Hygiene on Bus

    • Buses will be disinfected at the conclusion of each route with an HCCSC approved disinfectant. 
    • Handrails and other high touch areas will be disinfected between each run.
    • Drivers will use PPE when disinfecting and emptying trash cans.
    • Students will not be permitted to eat on the bus unless medically necessary.
    • Students will not share items while on the school bus.

    Seating Assignments

    • Students will be allowed one stop in the AM and one stop in the PM Monday- Friday. We will not be able to accommodate bus change notes.
    • Students will be seated with those from the same household if possible.
    • Students will not be permitted to ride home with other students to ensure assigned seats are maintained.
    • Students will have assigned seats and will be required to sit in those seats to assist with contact tracing.
    • Seating charts will be filled out for each bus run and a copy kept in the Transportation office.
    • Students who do not comply with the safety procedures will lose their bus riding privileges. The safety of all students is the highest priority.
    • Seating charts are subject to change at any time.

    Field Trips

    • Trips will not be permitted at this time until local health officals deem it to be safe.

    School Arrival

    • Buses will arrive at schools using a staggered procedure. Buses will unload one at a time to allow students to enter the buildings.
    • Bus arrival times will happen over a 15 minute period to limit mass gatherings. 

    School Dismissal

    • Buses will arrive 5 minutes before dismissal at the middle school level.
    • Students in Middle School will load based on grade levels (8,7,6) to allow students to load buses based on location of seating arrangements.
    • Students in High School will be dismissed based on the bell schedule set by HNHS.
    • Students in Elementary School will load buses based on grade levels (K,5,4,3,2,1) This will allow students to load buses based on location of seating arrangements.
    • Transportation load times will increase to allow students to safely load the bus. 
    • Bus ride times will vary depending on the load time for each school. Route times will not start until the bus has left the school grounds.

    After School Yellowhound (Practice Bus)

    • Students must sign up prior to riding the yellowhound bus. No same day transportation.
    • Transportation forms will be available on the Transportation website.
    • Students will sit in the same assigned seat each time they ride.
    • Drivers will make a seating arrangement and a copy will be kept in the Transportation office.

    Bus Cleaning Procedures

    • Bus drivers will be supplied with an approved disinfectant cleaner and PPE.
    • The bus driver will be required to use the appropriate PPE while disinfecting an HCCSC school bus.
    • The bus driver will start with the front handrails and then spray the left side of the bus seats starting from the front and working to the back of the bus.
    • The driver will then spray the right side of the bus working from the back to the front. Drivers will then start with the handrails and wipe the surfaces following the same procedure as the spray. Drivers will then wipe down the control panel and steering wheel with a damp but not wet cloth.
    • If we should have a positive case of COVID-19 on a bus. The bus will not be used for 24 hours. It will then be disinfected wearing the appropriate PPE and following the same disinfecting procedure.

    Pre-School Program

    • Alternative schedule is being created to be able to social distance with smaller class sizes.
    • Pre-school staff will reach out to parents in the coming weeks to determine each childs schedule for the 2020-21 school year.

    High Risk Periods

    • Several classes, due to the nature of instruction are considered high risk classes.If a student is enrolled in such a class, special protections and procedures will be required for participation.
    • Choir Class is considered high risk, due to the deep breaths and forceful exhalation used in singing.Participation, depending on class numbers and room size may be sporadic, with less singing practice, and more music appreciation teaching for students.Concerts will only be scheduled if appropriate.
    • Band Class is considered high risk, due to the deep breaths and forceful exhalation used in playing musical instruments, especially marching band.Participation, depending on class numbers and room size may be sporadic, with less practice on instruments, and more music appreciation teaching for students.Concerts will only be scheduled if appropriate.
    • Physical Education Class is considered high risk, due to the deep breaths and forceful exhalation used in physical exertion.Participation, depending on class numbers and room size may be sporadic, with less physical activity and more education for students.
    • Weight Training class is considered high risk, due to the deep breaths and forceful exhalation used in weight training.Participation, depending on class numbers and room size may be sporadic, due to the half capacity requirement for the facility.
    • Cafeteria time for students shall be in the cafeteria rooms, with physical distance achieved by seat assignments. Students are responsible to assure that physical distancing is maintained.Students will eat breakfast in the classroom.

 Adopted by the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees this 20th day of July, 2020.

 

ADDENDUM A

 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act set the following standards into law:

 If I am an employer, may I require an employee to supplement or adjust the pay mandated under the FFCRA with paid leave that the employee may have under my paid leave policy?

 No. Under the FFCRA, only the employee may decide whether to use existing paid vacation, personal, medical, or sick leave from your paid leave policy to supplement the amount your employee receives from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. The employee would have to agree to use existing paid leave under your paid leave policy to supplement or adjust the paid leave under the FFCRA.

 The Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:

 Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or

Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and

Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave:

 Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
  6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

Duration of Leave:

For reasons (1)-(4) and (6): A full-time employee is eligible for 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.

For reason (5): A full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave (two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family & medical leave) at 40 hours a week, and a part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

Calculation of Pay:

For leave reasons (1), (2), or (3): employees taking leave are entitled to pay at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period).

For leave reasons (4) or (6): employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period).

For leave reason (5): employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period).

School Tax Consequences:

School districts are permitted under Section 7005(a) of the FFCRA to not to pay employer FICA taxes on FFCRA benefits. However, Section 7005(b) of the FFCRA provides that the tax credits available to private employers will be expanded to cover employer Medicare taxes on FFCRA benefits. Because school districts are not eligible for the tax credits, school districts must still pay employer Medicare taxes on FFCRA benefits. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have both said that they will put out guidance especially for public sector employers, but no such guidance is available yet. In the absence of such guidance, school districts should remit employer Medicare taxes on FFCRA benefits.

ADDENDUM B

 HCCSC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines

This information includes the measures that HCCSC is actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. In order to sustain a healthy and safe workplace in this unique environment, it is strongly recommended that you follow the guidelines outlined diligently. It is important that we all respond responsibly and transparently to these health precautions. 

HCCSC is requiring staff and students to wear face masks.  In working together to keep schools open, wearing a mask is our #1 defense.  There will be situations when masks will required where social distancing is not an option such as hallways, bus, clinics, and classroom activities.  Staff and students will also be subject to random temperature checks. HCCSC will always treat your private health and personal data with high confidentiality and sensitivity.

This coronavirus (COVID-19) document is susceptible to changes with the introduction of additional governmental guidelines. Any updates to this document will be communicated to staff as soon as possible.  Any staff member who has concerns about returning to work, or who believes that he or she may need an accommodation due to a personal circumstance should contact Human Resources as soon as possible to discuss the situation.  Below are the required actions employees should take to protect themselves and their co-workers from a potential coronavirus infection.

Sick leave arrangements:

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms (such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell) that cannot be otherwise explained, you should contact your supervisor to request sick leave – DO NOT REPORT TO WORK
  • If you are unable to work because you are quarantined or you have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis, you may qualify for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).Please contact Human Resources to obtain the appropriate paperwork for this leave.
  • If you take sick leave due to COVID-19 symptoms but were not tested for COVID-19, you may return to work after:(1) 72 hours fever free and without using a fever reducer; (2) at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms; and (3) other symptoms have improved.
  • If you take sick leave due to COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19, you may return to work after:(1) 72 hours fever free and without using a fever reducer; (2) other symptoms have improved; and either (3) (a) at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or (3) (b) you have had two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
  • If you take sick leave because you tested positive for COVID-19 but were asymptomatic, you may return to work: (1) after going ten days without symptoms and (2) when released to do so by your health care provider.If you are immunocompromised, your doctor must approve your return to school in writing as some medical conditions can also cause an increased infectious period.
  • If you are ill but COVID-19 is not suspected, you should still stay home for a minimum of 72 hours.The Huntington County Health Department has stated that this is “the most important preventative measure.”

Other requests:

  • If you have recently returned from areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases (based on CDC announcements), you cannot return to the building for 14 calendar days, and can return to the building only if you are fully asymptomatic. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19, you cannot return to work until 14 days after your last contact with that person.You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
  • If you are a parent and you have to stay at home with your children, please contact Human Resources and your administrator.
  • If you need to provide care to a family member infected by COVID-19, please contact Human Resources and your administrator. You cannot return to the building until 14 calendar days after your family member has fully recovered, provided that you are asymptomatic or you have a doctor’s note confirming you do not have the virus. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.

 

Traveling/commuting measures:

  • All work trips and events – both domestic and international – will be cancelled/postponed until further notice.
  • Meetings should be done virtually where possible, especially with non-school personnel (e.g. candidate interviews and vendors).
  • If you are planning to travel voluntarily to a high-risk country with increased COVID-19 cases, you cannot return to the building for 14 calendar days. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.

 

General hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at the beginning of the day, after using the toilet, before eating, after using shared equipment, after coughing/sneezing, and when visibly dirty.Sanitizers will also be available in the buildings.
  • Cough/sneeze into your sleeve, preferably into your elbow. If you use a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitize your hands immediately.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent from getting infected.
  • If you find yourself coughing/sneezing on a regular basis, avoid close physical contact with your coworkers and take extra precautionary measures (such as requesting sick leave).

 

 

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