June 23, 2020
Bakersfield R-IV School District Re-Opening Plan
(Subject to change as conditions warrant)
As we plan for school to re-open and summer school around the corner there are a few things I would like to share with you. Most importantly, we are taking many precautions to make our campus and complete school environment safe for your child. We have taken recommendations from the CDC, local and state health departments, Missouri School Boards Association and many others.
Of all the information consulted, the general consensus (from a wide range of studies) indicates kids are the least likely population to get Corona Virus and have the least amount of complications. While we can not guarantee your child will not get COVID 19, we will certainly take every precaution we reasonably can.
Some of the precautions we have taken, or will have taken by the time school starts, include:
•Spraying the entire campus, including buses, with an eco-friendly (EPA-approved) virus-killing solution using a biostatic process that lasts 90 days. (This will be repeated 5 times this year.)
•Adding numerous hand sanitizers and touchless dispensers
•Instructing students to wash hands and providing time to do so
•Providing water bottles and cups for touchless water filling stations
•Altering the meal schedules to enable social distancing
•Requiring siblings to sit together on buses and spacing as much as possible between family groups on the bus (assigned seats are required)
•Requiring staff and all non-students to certify their health/temperature before entering the buildings
•Adding questions regarding internet access on enrollment forms so we know what is needed in the event of another shut-down or quarantine declaration
•Changed attendance policy (**see note below**)
•Providing a separate place for sick students to wait while parents pick them up. If your child has a fever at school, you will be called to pick them up immediately.
•Providing face shields for staff
•Providing instructional options for parents if they do not feel comfortable sending their kids to school, if a student is required to quarantine from a doctor or health department, or in the event of another shut down order (**see note below**)
We are also asking parents to help us to keep everyone healthy by NOT sending your child to school if he/she exhibits the following symptoms: fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches (not due to a known exercise, illness or injury), headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting. If your child is sick, we simply ask that you call us and let us know. Your child will be able to make up the work as provided by the guidelines in each student handbook. If your child is quarantined due to exposure to someone with COVID 19, we will provide a laptop for your child (if needed) to work from home. If your child HAS COVID 19, you will be required to stay home a minimum of 14 days AND provide proof of a negative or antibody test to return to school. Please contact your building administrator to notify him of a quarantine requirement and to check out a laptop.
We have adjusted our attendance policy. While we KNOW that good attendance is essential to academic success, we realize the health and safety of our students are the first priority. There will be no attendance incentive this year. Instead, an incentive for final exam exemption will be offered on other criteria such as turning in assignments on time, character and disciplinary record. However, this is not a free pass for poor attendance. If parents have a concern about their child’s safety being in school, they are free to select the online enrollment option at any time. We will work with any student who is restricted due to quarantine or illness, but repeated absences and neglect of academic work will be addressed.
As our partner in safety, we know prevention and safety discussions happen first at home. With this in mind, we ask parents to teach their children proper hand washing at home and talk to their kids about how to reduce the spread of germs. Please remind them not to touch their face, nose, mouth or eyes, sneeze into their elbow or in a tissue. Covering their mouth when they cough with a tissue or into their elbow will also help prevent the spread of germs. Proper hand washing and sanitation will go a long way toward keeping everyone healthy.
•Students will be allowed to play outside at recess. The only exception to this is the weather, as we have always practiced. From all indications, the virus does not live long on outdoor surfaces and in direct sunlight. We will encourage kids to keep a distance between each other while playing. They will be required to wash their hands once returning inside the building.
•Masks will not be required for students. It is very impractical to expect young students to wear masks. They would potentially spread more germs because they would be touching them, adjusting them, trading them, etc. Any older student who wants to wear a mask is more than welcome. If you send your child, of any age, with a mask they certainly may wear it. Face shields are also welcome and will be provided to staff and any student that requests one.
New for the 2020-2021 school year will be the option for distance learning. If you are afraid to send your child to school, have someone at home who is high risk, or if your child is high risk, we have an option available to you. You may notify us of the request for distance learning and we will provide a laptop for your child. We do not provide internet service at home, but our parking lot will be open for your child to login to our wifi with his/her username and password. While these partnerships are not complete yet, we are also exploring options for providing internet access at designated locations around the district. We will be videoing classes for online access from home via Google Meets or Zoom with daily seat time required in the application. Assignments will be posted on Google Classroom for students to submit.
As always, first and foremost, we want to welcome kids back this fall to a safe and healthy environment. With your help, we can get back to school and make up for lost academic time! We look forward to seeing you all August 25th!
Dr. Amy Britt