EDIT MAIN
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Communication/Family and Community Engagement

To help inform our reopening plan, the district has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations.

The district remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website at https://www.arkportcsd.org/o/arkportcsd/page/reopening-2020, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into Spanish or French via the G-Translate feature available on the district website.

As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication channels – including the district website, SchoolMessenger system, and social media channels – as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. Translation of reopening guidance and documents is available upon request.

The district is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communications with our school community. The district will rely on the district website, SchoolMessenger system and social media channels to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. The information that we will share will be based on state guidance and the district’s rapid response team, and the local Department of Health.

In support of remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to all students and teachers who need them. The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, includingthe Schoology learning management system, email, phone, and Remind App.

The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible. Schedules will be dispersed by mail and will also be available through the district’s PowerSchool portal.

The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. When we are notified there is a need for an interpreter, we contact our Board approved interpreter to attend all meetings. When sending notices/letters, we send the written communication in their preferred language.

In addition, the district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication. Translations of documents and meeting interpreters are available upon request.

The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, the district will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each students’ age group and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. These trainings will cover:

Hand hygiene

  • Videos will be made available on the district’s website outlining proper handwashing techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on proper handwashing techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on requirements for hand hygiene.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the district reminding students of proper techniques and requirements.

Proper face covering procedures
(how to wear and remove)

  • Videos will be made available on the district’s website outlining proper mask wearing and removal techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on proper mask wearing and removal techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on requirements for hand hygiene.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the district reminding students of proper techniques and requirements.

Social distancing

  • Videos will be made available on the district’s website outlining proper social distancing techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on proper social distancing techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on requirements for proper social distancing.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the district reminding students of proper social distancing requirements.

Respiratory hygiene

  • Videos will be made available on the district’s website outlining proper respiratory hygiene techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on proper respiratory hygiene techniques.
  • Students in grades PK-12 will be instructed on requirements for respiratory hygiene techniques.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the district reminding students of proper respiratory hygiene techniques requirements.

Identifying symptoms

  • All students will be screened for temperature and COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the school.Those students riding the bus will be screened prior to entering the bus.
  • Screening practices and protocols will be shared with all families prior to the beginning of the school year. This information will be shared by way of the District website, school messenger system, and letters sent home.
  • If a student develops COVID-19 Symptoms while at home, families will be directed to contact Arkport’s attendance office.This information will be shared with Arkport’s school nurse.

The district will create and deploy signage throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
  • Hand washing
  • Adherence to social distancing instructions
  • Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19

In addition to signage, the district will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE through additional means such as letters home and announcements on the district web page and social media channels.

The district is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. These procedures are outlined in the Health & Safety section of our reopening plan.

The district will share established safety protocols stakeholders prior to the beginning of the school year in the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. The district will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.

School Closures

The district will collaborate with local health officials to determine if a school closure is necessary. Parameters, conditions or metrics, that will be considered are increased absenteeism or increased illness, that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

The district may choose to modify operations in one part of the school prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The district will consult its District Physician and local Health Department when making such decisions.

School building administrators will communicate with each other regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. In the event of a partial or full school closure, instruction will be moved to remote learning, and presence of faculty and staff on school grounds will be made on a case by case basis.

Partial or full closures will be coordinated with all appropriate district staff. The SchoolMessenger system and district website will be utilized to communicate closure information.