Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services
Mitigation Strategy Policies
The following Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (SRCSP) outlines the Glenwood R-8 School District’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This plan will outline how the school will ensure continued safe operations to maintain the health and safety of students and staff while meeting the academic needs of all students.
Universal and Correct Wearing of Masks
At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the Glenwood R-8 School District adopted a policy to require all staff members to wear masks or face coverings over the nose and mouth. Students were highly encouraged to wear masks or face coverings, but they were not mandated. As the case numbers have dropped considerably in and around the West Plains community, the Glenwood R-8 School District will no longer mandate mask wearing for staff or students. This decision was made with input from students, staff, parents, and community members. This policy may be revised at any time if case numbers begin to rise significantly, and decisions will be made with input and feedback from students, staff, parents, community members, the local Department of Health, and be consistent with recommendations from the CDC.
For the 2021-2022 school year, the Glenwood R-8 School District will adopt the following policies on mask wearing (subject to change if local conditions warrant):
- Masks or face coverings will be highly encouraged, but not required, for all students
- Masks or face coverings will be highly encouraged, but not required, for all staff
- Signs will be posted throughout the school encouraging mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Facemasks have been mandated to be worn on public transportation, including school buses
Recommendations regarding physical distancing will be consistent with recommendations from the CDC as well as the Howell County Health Department. For the 2021-2022 school year, the following policies regarding physical distancing will be implemented:
- Students will be spaced the recommended distance consistent with the CDC, and/or dividers will be utilized when proper physical distancing is not possible
- Students will be kept in self-contained classrooms in grades PK-4 with seating charts that will only be changed once per quarter
- Students in grades 5-8 will be kept in cohorts with seating charts at all times, only changed once per quarter
- Seating charts will be maintained in the lunchroom and on district transportation
- Two new school buses will be purchased to allow for adequate spacing on district provided transportation
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
Policies regarding handwashing and respiratory etiquette will be maintained consistent with recommendations from the CDC and Howell County Health Department. The following policies will be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year:
- Proper handwashing will be taught to all students by the Glenwood R-8 School District’s full-time nurse at the beginning of the school year
- Proper handwashing will be reinforced by school staff every day
- Proper respiratory etiquette will be taught to all students by the school nurse at the beginning of the school year and reinforced every day by school staff
- Hand sanitizer will be provided in every classroom and common rooms throughout the school, and proper usage will be taught to all students by district staff
Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities
The Glenwood R-8 School District has adopted the following policies for the 2021-2022 school year around cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities. All policies are consistent with recommendations from the CDC and Howell County Health Department.
- Increased cleaning of high traffic areas, including restrooms, handrails, door handles, etc.
- Additional staff will be hired to clean facilities more frequently, especially high traffic areas
- Alternating lunch tables to ensure proper cleaning between lunch periods
- Staggered hallway times in between classes for grades 5-8
- Only one class using the restroom at a time, with cleaning occurring immediately following
- Improving ventilation in common areas, especially the gymnasium which currently does not have heating or air conditioning
- A heating/air system will be installed in the gymnasium to improve air flow, air filtering, and help maintain a healthier environment to reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Other heating/air systems will be assessed to determine if improvements need to be made to improve air quality and ventilation capabilities throughout the school building
Contact tracing will be conducted by the Howell County Health Department with assistance from the Glenwood R-8 School District. Isolation and quarantine policies will be consistent with recommendations by the CDC and state/local agencies.
Diagnostic and Screening Testing
Diagnostic testing is available at the Glenwood R-VIII School District. The school nurse is able to perform 15 minute rapid antigen testing, with parental consent, if a student is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Other steps are being taken to screen for COVID-19 symptoms as well, including temperature checks at each entrance provided by thermal cameras that send notifications to the school nurse and administration if a student or staff member has an elevated temperature. Teachers have also been trained on symptoms for COVID-19, and they have been instructed to send a student to the nurse if a student displays any of those symptoms.
The Glenwood R-8 School District will highly encourage all staff members receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Information regarding vaccination events will be shared with staff members as it becomes available. This district will sponsor vaccination events in partnership with local health agencies if opportunities become available.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Accommodations for students with disabilities will be made as necessary and in accordance with the students’ Individual Education Plan or Section 504 Plan as mandated by law. Any and all students with disabilities will be ensured their rights to receive a free and appropriate public education while also provided the necessary accommodations to ensure their health and safety. The district has many options to meet these goals, including virtual learning if necessary. The district will work with each student with disabilities and his or her family to determine the accommodations that are necessary to provide high quality instruction while also protecting their health and safety.
Continuity of Services
This portion of the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (SRCSP) will address how the Glenwood R-8 School District will provide for the academic needs of students during any interruptions of in-person instruction. Further, this section will address how the Glenwood R-8 School District will continue to provide for the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students and staff during in-person instruction and during any interruptions of in-person instruction, including how the district will continue to provide nutritional and health services.
In the event that COVID-19 creates interruptions to in-person instruction in the Glenwood R-8 School District, the following protocols are in place to meet the academic needs of students. These policies and procedures will require further expenditures by the district to provide the technology necessary to ensure the success of these policies for both staff and students.
- Students will be provided with a device to ensure learning can occur from home, with iPads for students in PK-1st grade, and Chromebooks for students in grades 2-8
- Students will be trained in utilizing Google Classroom, which is the mode in which virtual instruction will be delivered from Glenwood teachers should an interruption occur in in-person instruction
- Teachers will be provided resources and training on using Google classroom to ensure it can be successfully implemented for virtual instruction if necessary
- After school tutoring will be accessible for all students throughout the entire 2021-2022 school year. In the event in-person instruction is interrupted, after school tutoring will provide an important opportunity for students to address learning gaps that may occur
- Interventions will be provided for students in all grade levels in both mathematics and reading instruction. These interventions will be an opportunity to address lost instructional time from the 2020-2021 school year as well as any potential lost instructional time if interruptions occur to in-person instruction during the 2021-2022 school year
- A diagnostic and progress-monitoring tool will be utilized by the district to assess and address learning gaps
Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs
The social, emotional, and mental health needs of staff and students is an essential area to address in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For students, the district has a full-time school counselor. The counselor will regularly meet with all grade levels throughout the year to teach lessons to help meet the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students. Students will have other classroom lessons and activities to meet these needs as well, implemented by their classroom teachers. Staff members will also have access to the school counselor, and information about other social, emotional, and mental health resources in the community will be shared with staff as necessary.
Nutritional and Health Services
Meals will be available to all students even during interruptions to in-person instruction. Staff members will be available to distribute breakfasts and lunches to all students throughout the duration of any building closure due to COVID-19.
The Glenwood R-8 School District will periodically review and revise, if necessary, the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (SRCSP). This review will take place on a quarterly basis at a board of education meeting. This will occur during the months of October, January, March, and May during the 2021-2022 school year. During this time, the public will be invited to attend and provide input regarding the policies and procedures outlined in the SRCSP.
The Glenwood R-8 School District’s SRCSP is available on the district website, linked on the district Facebook page, and physical copies will be provided in the front office. This plan may be translated to other languages or provided orally as requested. Questions regarding translation of the district’s SRCSP need to be directed to Principal Lucas Brown by phone at 417-256-4849 or by email at email@example.com.