St. Joseph County Schools releasing preliminary reopening plans

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(Photo supplied/Michigan News Service)

PHM, Mishawaka, and South Bend schools have all released details into what their districts will be doing to prepare students to return to the classroom. None of the schools have released any final decision on face-to-face learning decisions yet but those are expected relatively soon.

Below are details by district as released to the public:

PHM PLAN OUTLINE:

First day for Penn-Harris-Madison is still Wednesday, August 19 (gr. 1-12), and the first day for kindergarten will be Thursday, August 20
School will be in session five days per week, Monday-Friday

To conduct Face-to-Face instruction, certain safety measures must be in place to protect everyone’s safety. P-H-M joined with South Bend Community School Corp., School City of Mishawaka, and John Glenn School Corp. to work with St. Joseph County Health Department to develop the expectations outlined below for students and employees to follow when school starts in the fall:

-Per the St. Joseph County Health Department Public Health Order, staff and students are required to have a mask (face covering) with them at all times. There will be times indoors or in enclosed spaces that 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
-Students and staff will be required to be fever free for 72 hours without use of fever reducing medication before returning to school.
-To maintain safe social distancing, lunch times will be staggered and available open space will be maximized.
-Restrict visitors and guests in our school buildings.
-Maximize instructional space and scheduling flexibility.
-Employee enhanced cleaning procedures with additional hand sanitizer stations.
-Identify and separate space in school clinics to treat symptomatic students.
-Discontinuation of perfect attendance incentives for the 2020-21 school year.

In addition to these jointly agreed upon procedures, this is specifically what P-H-M will be doing:

Safety protocols and procedures
-PHM will provide all students and employees with two (2) reusable masks (face covering).
-Individualized school plans (which will be shared by early August) will ensure that social distancing can be maintained whenever possible
-Arrival/Dismissal will be staggered with multiple entry points being utilized to reduce congestion
-Breakfast/Lunch will be pre-packaged
-Restroom breaks will be scheduled
-All spaces will be sanitized frequently with enhanced cleaning procedures
-Allow the use of a water fountain for bottle or cup refills only
-Safety considerations of physical spaces
-Classrooms will be reorganized to maximize available space
-Sharing instructional materials will be limited
-Larger spaces will be repurposed to accommodate social distancing as often as possible

Student educational opportunities that remediate, accelerate, and enrich learning
-Teachers will formatively assess students to diagnose lost learning while also focusing on grade level content to advance students academically.
-Teachers will monitor student progress and adjust supports as needed in order for appropriate academic growth.

In addition, we also want our families to know that we intend to offer Kids Club (before and after school) this fall. The same safeguards will be put into place at Kids Club as are done during the regular school day.

MISHAWAKA OUTLINE

School City of Mishawaka announced preliminary details of the district’s plan for reopening in the fall while following safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district plans to release its reopening plan the second week of July. Until then, they wanted to communicate key details already decided.

-In coordination with the other districts in St. Joseph County, School City of Mishawaka will return to school on Wednesday, August 12.
-Schools will be in session and in-person five days a week with safety measures in place
-The district will provide more information on eLearning the second week of July
-The published school calendar will be followed.

All school districts have agreed to the following modifications in partnership with the St. Joseph County Health Department:
-Staff and students are required to have a mask with them at all times. There will be times that masks or facial coverings will be required indoors and in enclosed spaces when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
-Students and staff will be required to be fever free for 72 hours without use of fever reducing medication before returning to school.
-Students and staff will be required to conduct at-home, self-screening on a daily basis.
-All perfect attendance incentives for both students and staff will be discontinued.
-Lunches will be adjusted to maximize available open space and utilize alternate scheduling to adhere to safety guidelines.
-A separate space in existing school health offices will be identified to treat symptomatic students.
-Visitors and guests will be restricted in school facilities until further notice.
-Instructional space and scheduling flexibility will be maximized to ensure responsible social distancing as often as possible.
-Enhanced cleaning and hand washing procedures will be required with additional hand sanitizer stations available for all students and staff.

SOUTH BEND OUTLINE

The South Bend Community School Corporation announced preliminary details on how the district plans to bring students back in the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first day back to school will be August 12. The rest of the school calendar can be viewed on the district website.

In coordination with the St. Joseph County Health Department, the district will have the following protocols in place at every school:

-All staff and students are required to have a mask with them at all times.
-There will be times indoors or in enclosed spaces that six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
-Students and staff will be required to be fever-free for 72 hours without use of fever-reducing medication before returning to school.
-In-school clinics will identify and use a separate space to treat symptomatic students.
-Visitors and guests in school buildings will be restricted.
-Instructional space and scheduling flexibility will be maximized.
-Employee cleaning procedures will be enhanced with additional hand sanitizing stations.
-“Perfect attendance” incentives will be discontinued for students and staff.
-Lunches will be adjusted to maximize available open space and utilize alternate scheduling to adhere to safety guidelines.

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