Davis County Community School District Return to Learn Plan
Updated for 2021-22
Davis County Community School District strives to offer high quality educational experiences to all of its students. Without question, the events that have occurred in our nation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have changed our world in countless ways. Our district team members have worked tirelessly to learn from experts, gather information from the community, plan, and rethink the way we do school. We believe that, although the format may be different in the coming year, the core beliefs in our district mission and vision statements remain true:
Our mission is to provide all students with high quality learning experiences to prepare them for success in tomorrow’s world.
All students are inspired to learn at high levels and develop their full potential. To realize this, we commit to:
- Creating safe, welcoming, caring, and encouraging physical and social environments in which to work and learn
- Working together within and across buildings to best serve student needs
- Empowering teachers and staff to provide innovative, relevant, flexible, and challenging learning experiences
- Partnering with our communities and families to provide students with authentic learning experiences
Because Covid-19 is constantly evolving and changing the way we interact, flexibility in thinking and acting has been, and will continue to be, critical. We will continue to utilize the most current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and local health officials as we make decisions. Please know that the following principles influenced our work:
- Student and staff health and safety is our top priority
- School is meant to be experienced. Interacting with teachers and friends is an important part of deep learning. We believe that schools provide support not only for academics, but social, emotional, physical, artistic, and civic development as well.
- Our stakeholders each have their own story...we must provide options that support a variety of individual needs.
- Clear communication is extremely important. The district must continually update the community and be very transparent in our decision making process.
The flexibility of the plan is contingent upon four main factors: current student health statistics; staff health/availability; stock/availability of personal protective equipment (ppe) for staff and cleaning supplies; and community health statistics. The combination of information in those four areas will drive decision making in terms of school practices and/or closures. The information in this document is meant to serve as a guide and will change as the environment changes and as scientists learn more about this virus.
We believe that the richest learning experiences occur when students and teachers are face-to-face in schools. We believe that the social-emotional needs of students are best met through in-person learning environments that facilitate strong personal relationships. Therefore, our first preference for returning to school is to do so in a way that safely brings students and teachers together in classrooms.
The delivery of instruction and grading for in-person learning will be conducted as it has been in the past, with the addition of some on-line learning programs. Several on-line learning programs have been purchased to help close the achievement gap. In addition, “just in time” teaching will be employed to help students learn missing skills at the time of need, rather than slowing down new learning to teach missed content.
In order to keep students and staff healthy and safe, there will also be some additional prevention and safety protocols in place. All parents/guardians will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Health Protocols document during the registration process.
- Students and staff who are ill or exhibiting any symptoms of illness should not come to school or work. Perfect Attendance Awards will not be given during the current school year.
- Staff and students who have been exposed to a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 should follow current CDC recommendations to stay home and monitor their health.
- Signs will be posted throughout schools to promote everyday protective measures and describe how to reduce/stop the spread of germs
- Students will be discouraged from sharing items that are difficult to clean or disinfect and classroom practices will be modified to minimize sharing.
- Students and staff will be educated on and reminded of proper prevention practices, including:
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Use of face coverings
- Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available. Supplies will be made available in every classroom.
- Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase opportunities and monitoring to ensure adherence among staff and students.
School Safety Practices
- During arrival and dismissal times, schools will use as many entrances and exits as possible to avoid large gatherings of students.
- When the illness rates are under 10%, families will make choices about whether or not students wear face coverings. Should the illness rate rise to 10% or more, the district may require face masks for a specific period of time. That decision rests with the superintendent.
- Separate spaces will be created for the care of students who are ill, while having another space to serve the general health and medication needs of students.
- Depending on student attendance rates, classrooms will be arranged to create as much physical distancing among students and staff as possible.
- Alternate indoor and outdoor areas will be used to the extent possible in order to enhance physical distancing
- Classes will minimize movement throughout the building. Common areas will be arranged to minimize crowding.
- Visitor and volunteer protocols will return to normal, but may be reviewed and adjusted depending on illness levels.
- Passing times will be staggered when possible and orchestrated to reduce crowding.
- While many steps will be taken to enhance physical distancing, there is no way to guarantee it in all instances.
- Custodial staff will conduct cleaning of each school every evening using approved disinfectant that will kill the corno-19 virus.
- Custodial staff will focus on daytime cleaning of common touch surfaces including handrails, door handles, etc.
- Custodial staff will increase the frequency of restroom checks to ensure hand soap and paper towels are available.
- Disinfectant wipes will be available in classrooms to regularly clean surfaces.
- Buildings and grounds staff will work to maintain adequate inventory of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.
- Regular inspections of ventilation and air handling systems will be conducted.
- Teachers will be provided with a disinfectant spray bottle to utilize on contact surfaces throughout the day.
- Hand sanitizer bottles will be provided in every classroom.
- All buses and vehicles used for transportation will be cleaned after each route and trip.
- Sanitized wipes will be available at the door to each school bus and suburban
- All food service staff members will continue to meet personal protective and food safety guidelines required for food service operations.
- Breakfasts will move to “grab-and-go” options and eaten in alternate locations in order to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria
- Lunch menus will be modified to help speed lines. Boxed meals may be used to allow students to eat in alternate locations.
- The number of lunch periods will be increased to reduce the number of students getting meals and eating at any given time.
- Additional common spaces will be utilized for lunch to reduce the number of students in one area.
- District staff will be learning about the NIET Instructional Framework and Aligned Supports for Iowa. This will be the tool the district will use to help increase the use of high quality instructional practices to help close the achievement gap.
- District will also complete Youth Mental Health First Aid and learn about Iowa’s social-emotional learning competencies.
The Online Learning option would be used to prevent another disruption to learning should the Covid-19 situation force the district to temporarily stop face-to-face instruction. All students have been provided a device (either an Ipad or ChromeBook) and the district has put considerable work into making sure families have internet access. The district has purchased several mobile hotspots that can be loaned to families as needed. Our local telecommunications company has worked with the district to provide “scholarships” to help cover monthly access fees. At the elementary school, SeeSaw is used as the platform to communicate with teachers, students, and families. Google Classroom is used at both the middle school and the high school. In the event of a short-term shut-down, school meal distribution will be started using the same process as during the 2020-21 school year.
For the 2021-22 school year, the district began a State-approved online school option for families who felt that was the best option for their students. The district has purchased services from EdOptionAcademy to provide the online programming. Elementary and middle school students who choose this option are asked to commit to at least a quarter; high school students are asked to commit to a semester. Two full-time teachers have been hired to serve as online success coaches and serve as a liaison between families and EdOptionsAcademy and also provide additional support to any student who appears to need additional help.
Any changes in schedules (weather, illness, etc) will be communicated with all stakeholders as early as possible. The district uses a phone tree to communicate with employees. Alerts will be sent to all families using the automated phone call/text/email process as well as be posted to the district website and on the district’s FaceBook page.