The Roane County Board of Education last night approved a plan for schools to start August 5, 2020 as originally scheduled. Parents will have an in-school traditional learning and online remote learning option to consider for their children.
Parents will choose one of the options:
Option 1: TRADITIONAL LEARNING
Students are physically in schools with additional health and safety guidelines in place.
These guidelines include social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfecting in common areas, reducing non-essential visitors to the schools, taking temperatures as needed, and wearing masks as appropriate is an option.
- Attendance: While education is important and every minute makes a difference when it comes to regular attendance, ultimately, nothing is more important than the health of students and employees. Therefore, modifications will be made to the attendance policy for the 2020-21 school year. If students or employees are sick or someone in their home is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they should not come to school.
- Cafeteria: Cafeteria staff will wear personal protective equipment including masks and gloves, and will sanitize surfaces regularly to optimize safety. Meals may be picked up or delivered to classrooms or alternate locations within each school as deemed appropriate by each school’s principal.
- Cleaning/Disinfecting: The goal is to minimize the spread and mitigate the risk of contracting the virus in our schools and on school buses.
*Disinfecting of common areas/high contact points will occur throughout the day.
*Sanitizing stations positioned throughout school buildings
*Frequent hand washing breaks and reminders
- Face Masks/Coverings: All students utilizing RCS transportation are asked to wear masks while riding on the bus. Students will not be required but are encouraged to wear masks in common areas in the school building (hallways, restrooms, etc.) and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Middle and high school students will be asked to wear masks in common areas in the school building (hallways, restrooms, etc.) and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Students and employees are urged to bring their own masks. However, the district will have masks available for any students or employees who do not have their own. Employees will be asked to wear masks in common areas.
- Temperature Checks: We are asking parents to take your child’s temperature every morning before school (a temperature of 100.4 or higher indicates that the student must stay home). We will also be taking temperatures and those students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be isolated and a parent will be contacted to pick the student up.
- Field Trips: RCS will not be permitting field trips for any grade level during the school day for at least the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.
- Physical Distancing, Cohorting, and Movement in the Building: As described by the American Academy of Pediatrics, physical distancing, sometimes referred to as social distancing, is simply the act of keeping people separated with the goal of limiting the spread of contagion between individuals. There is a conflict between optimal academic and social/emotional learning in schools and strict adherence to current physical distancing guidelines. Each school will develop guidelines to promote physical distancing that are developmentally appropriate and feasible. District vehicles and facilities are not capable of providing the six feet of individual spacing that is currently recommended by the CDC to reduce or prevent the spread of COVID. Parents and guardians selecting a traditional return to school for their children should not expect that their child(ren) would remain six feet from their classmates during their ride to and from school or while they are in district buildings. Students will be required to remain seated in classrooms with assigned seats, and when feasible, will remain with cohorts to minimize cross-over with other students and staff.
- Recess/Related Arts (Elementary): Recess and Related Arts will still occur. Outdoor spaces will be utilized when possible and when it is feasible to maintain physical distancing to the best of the school’s ability.
- Self-Screening: Employees will be expected to self-screen, including temperature checks, before entering school premises. Employees are asked to wear masks in common areas. Families are strongly encouraged to engage in self-screening at home prior to each school day. If students or employees are sick or someone in their home is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they should not come to school. Modifications will be made to the attendance policy for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Visitors: RCS will limit nonessential visitors from the school environment to prevent crowding, and access to the building will be limited for all visitors. Lunchtime visitors will not be permitted. Essential visitors should conduct a self-screening of symptoms before entering the building and will be required to wear a face mask while on campus. Building administrators will approve any essential visitors throughout the day. Parents/guardians should call or email their child’s teacher or the front office of the school to set up an appointment before arriving.
- Water Fountains: Water fountains will be taped off and unavailable until further notice. Students should bring bottled water to school each day. Touchless water bottle filling stations can still be utilized.
Option 2: REMOTE LEARNING
Students will utilize remote learning via electronic platform for the 1st 9 weeks (with the possibility of additional weeks added) with a plan to re-integrate to classroom instruction as soon as feasible. As required by the Tennessee State Board of Education (0520-01-17-.01), daily attendance will be checked. Students in grades 1-12 will be required to access 6.5 hours of daily instruction per day and kindergarten will be required to access 4 hours of instructional time each school day. Grading, assessments, and expectations will mimic face to face practices. Technology-driven education requires self-motivated, organized students and parents to manage student learning. If at any time, a student is not successfully performing in the virtual setting, a meeting will be scheduled to determine the next steps for the student.
- Device: RCS will provide a device if needed for each student, internet access should be considered and cannot be provided for each household. Families may access Wi-Fi at various locations throughout the community. The school principal can provide additional information.
- Extracurricular- We recognize the importance of extracurricular activities and athletics and will continue providing activities with additional disinfecting, social distancing, and the wearing of masks as appropriate. We will follow TSSAA guidelines in administering athletics.
*Other federal, state, and local orders will be taken into consideration as they are released.