Buffalo Island Central School District COVID-19 Guidelines for 2020-2021
June 22, 2020
The Buffalo Island Central School District, like other districts in the state, must consider multiple learning options for students in the upcoming school year. In order to be more prepared for learning this fall, we must implement strategies that focus on three key indicators for student success: blended learning, guaranteed and viable curriculum, and a student-focused approach. The Arkansas Department of Education has deemed these indicators Arkansas Ready for Learning model. By opting into the Ready for Learning model the district receives state support for digital content, access to a learning management system, and expedited process to receive waivers. Returning to the traditional way of instruction as we have previously experienced it, seems unlikely due to the restrictions that are in place due to COVID-19. Our goal will always be to provide the very best education to all students while maintaining the highest degree of safety. The standard of education will remain the same for us, “Succeed Today. Conquer Tomorrow.”
BIC will provide a rich educational experience, with opportunities for social interaction and extra-curricular activities, while adhering to guidelines provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.
The first day of school will be August 24, 2020. As we start school, we plan for students to attend school each day following a very similar schedule as they have had in the past.
Our district will provide bus transportation as usual for our students. The transportation safety is and always will be our utmost goal. The following guidelines will be followed for bus riders.
- Bus riders age 10 and up are strongly encouraged to wear face mask while on the bus. If students do not have a mask, please inform the school and it will be provided.
- All busses will be sanitized with a germ mister each day before any students enter the bus and after they exit the bus.
- Once students arrive on campus, temperatures will be taken before students get off the bus by each bus driver.
- Students who register any fever will not be allowed to enter the building with other students. The nurse will be called and the students will be held in isolation until arrangements can be made for the student to be picked up.
- As students enter the building, hand sanitizer will be at each door for students to use as they make their way into the buildings. Each student will be asked the following questions by their 1st period teacher: 1) Have you had a fever of 100.4 degree Fahrenheit or greater in the last 2 days? 2) Have you had a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell? 3) Have you been in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days?
Elementary- All breakfast will be grab and go. In order to maintain social distancing, ½ of the students will eat in the cafeteria and the other ½ will eat in their classrooms. Because not all students will eat in the cafeteria, students will only have one choice for meals. Armark will deliver meals to the individual classrooms for students. Lunch counts will be taken by teachers. Teachers will send a roster of those who eat. Teachers will collect money and send it to the cafeteria.
Employees’ temperatures will be taken each day before they enter the workplace as well as during other screenings.
Cleaning will be done by Aramark employees before and after each lunch setting. There will be no more than 4 individuals at any table at any given time. Lunch lines will be marked for separation.
Junior/Senior High School- The district will purchase ID Badges for students to use as they go through the lunch lines. Badges will be swept so students do not have to touch any key pads. Social distancing lines will be present for students to adhere to. In order to maintain proper distancing, ½ of the students will receive their lunches and go to the gymnasium to eat while the remaining students will eat in the cafeteria.
Breakfast will be available to all junior and senior high students by means of grab and go. Students may eat in the cafeteria or take it with them to another location. Any students who wish to eat Ala Carte, must have a positive balance in their accounts. The students will have only two choices of entrees for now. All meals will be served in Styrofoam containers. There will be no self-serve.
Cleaning will be done by Aramark employees before and after each lunch setting.
Sanitation and cleanliness will be top priorities for our district as we return to school in the fall. Special attention will be given to the cleaning of door knobs, light switches, bathrooms, and other high traffic areas. Students will not be allowed to use water fountains; they must bring water bottles from home to be refilled as needed or will be provided a bottle of water at school. The district has purchased room foggers to fog each room before student occupancy. The district will provide hand sanitizer in each classroom for students to use each time students leave or enter a new space.
Day to Day Operations
All students who enter the building will be temperature checked and asked if they have had a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or greater in the last 2 days. Students who has had such temperature will be held in the nurse’s office until arrangements can be made for pick up.
Our goal for our students is to have as normal a day as possible while providing as much safety as possible. All students will exchange classes as normal. Students and teachers will be asked to help in sanitizing all desks and door knobs before each class exchange. These procedures will not only help the district, but will also help in educating our students on safety precautions that must be made during this pandemic.
The lunchroom will provide lunches as usual. The district will limit the number of students in the cafeteria at one time. Some classes will be asked to eat lunch in their classrooms to limit the number going to the cafeteria (we will rotate the classes who eat in their classrooms). Those students who eat in their classrooms, will have lunches delivered to them. Proper sanitation of all areas will be made both before and after each meal. Students will not be allowed to drink from any water fountain, each child is encouraged to bring a water bottle with their name on it and make proper refills throughout the day. To limit the exchange of money, parents are also encouraged to use our online payment system for lunch payments.
The district will provide as much social distancing as possible in each classroom as rooms will be set up to comply with CDC guidelines. We will make every attempt to distance students 6 ft. apart. When students are not able to maintain this distance, students will be required to wear face mask.
At this time we will continue to have activity classes such as PE, Art, Music, and Library. Students will continue to receive any therapy classes that might be needed as well. As we work through each discipline, modifications may be made to provide better safety.
Alternate Means of Instruction
Our first and foremost responsibility is to educate all children. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our district to look at options of educating children who may not be able to attend school in person. The district will provide a digital option for students. This option will provide a total online educational program for students and parents who do not feel comfortable returning to onsite instruction. Parents will be asked to sign up for the virtual education program and commit to a minimum of nine (9) weeks. The BIC School District is requesting that parents and students commit to the virtual education option by August 3, 2020, as this will make planning for the upcoming school year easier. In the event the pandemic gets worse, all students will be instructed through our virtual educational program.
Some considerations a parent might consider in determining if their child is best suited for virtual learning are:
- Is your child self-motivated?
- Is your child an independent learner?
- Is your child computer literate?
- Is your child good with time management?
- Is your child an effective communicator?
- Is your child someone who can make a personal commitment?
- Is your home equipped with high speed internet?
- Will your child be affected by the loss of social interaction?
Mandatory School Closings
In the event that schools close again, our virtual means of instruction will take place for all students. Teachers will utilize Google Classroom to deliver lessons as well as provide Learning Management Systems for students. This approach will allow students who might be ill or quarantined for a limited amount of time to continue their education even if they are not physically present in the classroom.
The closing of the 2019-20 school year came to an abrupt ending. Schools across the country were not prepared for the education of students to continue. Many skills were not taught from the end of March through May. To ensure that our students are properly prepared, our faculty will continue to meet and address where students are and where they need to be. Students will be given assessments to determine their individual strengths and deficits. The assessments will determine where the needs for additional support is needed. Vertical teaching teams will assist in ensuring standards missed the previous year will be covered in the upcoming year. Students and teachers will utilize a Learning Management System provided by the state to help in assessment and interventions.
During this pandemic, the Buffalo Island Central School District will not allow visitors in the building. All parents and guests who pick up students must remain in the designated areas. The district will continue to monitor the pandemic to make adjustments in their policies.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a very fluid one and is ever-changing. We at Buffalo Island Central plan to keep both parents and students informed of any updates to come.