Written by Nolan Alisago (News Writer)
Strictly online learning is coming to an end as SLVUSD releases its plan to safely bring students back on campus. With an abundance of caution, a hybrid model will begin to be phased in starting with Pre-K, Kindergarten, and K-5 Special Education on March 16, 2021. The rollout, which follows state guidelines and all Covid-19 safety protocols, will progressively introduce more students back to campus by ascending age groups. With dates to be determined, the plan hopes to have the final group of students, SLV highschoolers, back on campus sometime in April following spring break.
With cases in the county continuing to fall to safe levels and teachers and staff all being fully vaccinated, the district, following state guidelines, has decided that it is now a safe time to try and bring students back to campus. Depending on the success of the early stages of the phase-in plan and Covid-19 cases in the county, (there must be only 5-7 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people for secondary school to be allowed to return to in-person schooling), emails will be sent by the district offering the option to enroll in the live Hybrid model (both online and in-person teaching) instead of SLV Online. Students who opt into the Hybrid model will need to be screened by parents for symptoms every day before going to in-person classes. Parents are to take students’ temperatures ensuring that no student has a temperature above 100.4 degrees and that students do not show any other outward symptoms of Covid-19. If students display any symptoms or have come into close contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 they should not come to school. Students who display symptoms at school will be escorted to an isolation location before being removed from the campus. Upon arriving on-campus students will need to follow social distancing and mask guidelines, with staff monitoring the entire campus to ensure guidelines are followed. Masks are to be worn at all times both indoors and outdoors, except while eating or drinking. Water fountains will be available and cleaned routinely throughout the day. Social distancing must also be maintained, with no group congregations being allowed and desks being placed six feet apart. To make social distancing easier, classes will be split into A and B pods. As principal Jeff Claden puts it, “With half classes meeting, we should be okay with most classes. There will be families who opt out of the live piece of school, which will also lower the number of students in each class.” The first three periods of the day will be online and last an hour each, beginning at 8:30 with five minutes between classes. After lunch, which will go from 11:45 to 12:45, students within the day’s pod (A pod will be on campus Tuesday and Wednesday, while B pod will be on campus Thursday and Friday) will arrive and enter through the designated entrance location. In-person periods will be 50 minutes long with a five-minute passing period, excluding the last period of the day which is an unexplained 45 minutes long. Students and staff must clean their hands with hand sanitizer before entering classrooms. All classrooms will be ventilated with open doors and windows, and staff will clean high-use surfaces such as counters and door handles daily. Just as the staff keeps rooms clean, students should disinfect their workspaces prior to leaving for the next period and are not to share materials unless cleaned between uses.
For more information visit the SLVUSD website and view the SLVUSD Safe School Reopening Plan under Administration. Q&A Sessions are to be scheduled in March if you have further questions.