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Back to School Letter
Back to School Letter
Doug Hes
Friday, August 21, 2020

August 21, 2020

Dear Jaguar Parent(s):

After many months of planning, we are excited to welcome our students back into our buildings on Tuesday. Thank you for your patience and for support as we move forward into a new “normal.” This letter contains important information that will help all of us make a smooth transition into the new school year. We continue to receive guidance from the Kansas Department of Education and our county health department and will update our plan as necessary.

REMOTE LEARNING STUDENTS

           There are several Jaguar families that have made the difficult decision to have their students learn remotely. For those families, they will be able to pick up their resources and technology that they will need for the beginning of the school year on Monday, August 24th at Hartford Jr/Sr High School from 8AM-4PM. This is for Neosho Rapids Families as well.

OPEN HOUSE

Please join us on Monday, August 24 for our annual open house. To ensure social distancing and reduce the number of potential close contacts, we are asking that only one parent accompany their child(ren) at this year’s event. At both Neosho Rapids and Hartford, we have developed the following schedule to also assist us in the flow of traffic:

 • 5:30pm-6:15pm - families with last name A-L

 • 6:15pm-7:00pm – families with last name M-Z

This open house will be a different from our past events as you will be asked to accompany your child to his/her classroom, drop off supplies and pick up information provided by the teacher. Please limit your visit with your child’s teacher(s) to 5 minutes or less. A limited number of students and parents will be permitted in the classroom at a time. Thanks in advance for your cooperation as we work to follow our safety protocols.

MASKS

Students must wear a mask/face covering when entering the building and it must remain on throughout the school day. Proper fitting coverage is required. This means the mouth and the nose must be covered at all times. The ONLY exception is while eating or drinking or when outside and social distancing of more than 6 feet can be maintained at all times.

BEFORE SCHOOL

Parents, please self-screen your child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms before sending/bringing them to campus each day. We are asking parents to take their child’s temperature prior to sending them to school. Pre-checklists will be sent home during our open house and will be attached at the end of this letter. Forms must be completed and signed by parent/guardian each day and will be given to either the bus driver or the morning greeter at each designated entrance.

SCHOOL ARRIVAL

Parents bringing their children to school should drop students off in front of the school. Walking students to the door should only be done when absolutely necessary. At this time, parents are not allowed to accompany their child into the building. Parents needing to visit with school personnel should schedule appointments through the office or with their teacher in advance so that close contacts can be limited. Payments, forms, etc. can be sent with students and will be collected by their homeroom/first block teacher to be given to our office secretaries. 

Students will enter through one of the designated entrances to the building and will be screened for fever. Students must have their health screener completed and signed by a parent to enter into the facility. Office staff will rescreen students without a health screener or who have a temperature exceeding 99.0 degrees.

• Neosho Rapids students will enter through the front elementary entrance. Neosho Rapids Pre-K Students will enter through the back early childhood entry.

• Hartford Jr High students will enter through the south high school entrance into the commons.

• Hartford High School students will enter through the south/east doors near Mrs. Kirby’s room.

• Hartford Jr/Sr High School Bus students will enter through the school main entrance.

• Hartford Jr/Sr High School students that are dropped off in front of the school will enter through their assigned entry listed above.

Our doors to both Hartford and Neosho Rapids Main Entrances will be open at 7:30AM each day. While waiting to enter the building, individuals must observe all social distancing signage and guidance.

For Neosho Rapids and Hartford students arriving between 7:30-7:55, they will be given the opportunity to pick up breakfast should they choose to and take it to their classroom. Students not wishing to have breakfast will report directly to their room.

STUDENTS EXHIBITING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

            If a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or is running a fever, that student will be placed in isolation. Parents will be contacted to pick up their child. Students should not return to school until they are symptom free for 72 hours. The school nurse or other designee will contact the county health department for additional guidance. All other protocols related to exposure, infection and close contacts will be followed as outlined in the district’s back-to-school plan. Each situation will be different and the district will lean on the county health department for guidance on required quarantine, isolation and notifying close contacts when necessary. If a student or students/staff are required to quarantine, the local health department will provide information on return to school requirements/protocols.

COMMUNICATING POSITIVE CASES

Should any of our staff or students be diagnosed with a positive case of COVID-19, it is our intent to communicate positive cases by building without identifying individuals. As many of you know, there are sometimes delays in test results. We will do our best to communicate as soon as information becomes available. The district will communicate with the Lyon County Health Department and assist with contact tracing. In addition, school officials will lean on the LCHD’s guidance in regards to isolation and quarantine.

BREAKFAST

Breakfast will be eaten in the classroom at both campuses each morning for students that wish to go through the line. The meal will be pre-packaged and in an individual sack/bag to ensure contactless delivery.  

CLEANING AND SANITATION

Each evening, classrooms and common spaces will be disinfected by our custodial staff. Classrooms will be sanitized after each use. Teachers will ensure that the area has been sanitized before the next group of students enters. Teachers will develop their own protocols in completing this task. Students are required to sanitize their workspace before and after use. Each classroom will have wipes, disinfectant spray and disposable paper towels.

Students are required to sanitize or wash their hands every hour. Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom. Students are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water at least once a day.

Dismissal times for lunch/class periods/transitions will be staggered to limit close contacts in hallways.

Scheduled restroom breaks have been developed to limit numbers of students in restrooms. These areas will be cleaned throughout the day.

Students will wash hands and fill water bottles during this time as needed.

Our school has posted physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that staff members and children remain socially distanced in lines and at other times (e.g. guides for creating one-way routes in hallways).

LUNCH

Several areas and a staggered eating schedule will be used for lunch to limit large gatherings. Upon arriving in the lunchroom, students will sanitize hands. USD 252 staff will position themselves in the doorway of the serving area to control traffic, ensure social distancing, and monitor students. Microwave touch points will be cleaned after each use. If your child is not participating in our food service program, please avoid sending meals that require heating as the number of microwaves available is limited. The lunchroom supervisor will clean and coordinate efforts to be sure areas are sanitized before leaving the area. Students will be in charge of cleaning their area before and after eating.

AFTER SCHOOL

Hartford Jr/Sr High students not participating in sports practices or who are not supervised by a licensed teacher, must exit the building at the end of the school day. This includes days of games. Specific re-entry protocols will be followed and monitored by coaches/gate workers for evening activities.

Junior high students participating in athletics who have older high school siblings, whose practices may end later, must exit the building following practice. They are not permitted to remain in the school unsupervised. Parents are expected to make arrangements to have students picked up or to have them wait in a location outside the building for their older sibling to finish practice.

Those attending athletic events and other school activities are to follow all protocols outlined as part of the district’s health safety mitigation plan. This includes social distancing and wearing masks. These protocols have been developed in partnership with the Lyon County Health Department and the Lyon County League.

21st Century After School Programming will expand to Kindergarten through 5th Grade at Neosho Rapids and 6th -12th grade at Hartford Jr/Sr High School for this school year. Programming is expected to start mid to late September and will be provided Monday- Thursday each week from 3:30-5:00. Transportation will be provided for students at the end of each day as we have in the past.

Because 21st Century won’t start until middle to late September, Neosho Rapids after school care will be provided to elementary students (up to 5th grade) for a nominal fee. Daycare staff will utilize various rooms in the elementary to ensure proper student cohorting.

BUSING

Students riding the bus are required to follow all safety protocols. Before boarding a bus in the morning, students must provide a signed screener and must have their temperature taken by the bus driver. If the student has a temperature that exceeds 100.4 degrees or does not have a signed screener the student may not board the bus. The bus driver will contact parents, if a parent is not readily available. The driver will then contact the school office so that another individual can drive to the location and provide supervision until the parent arrives. Students will load the bus from the back to the front. Seats will be assigned.

CONCLUSION 

Whew! That’s a lot! Thank you for taking the time to read through our back-to-school protocols. School will look different this year, but we believe that the strategies and structures we have developed will give us the best chance to keep our doors open to serve our students in face to face instruction. The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. We appreciate your patience, support and continued partnership as we embark on the 2020-21 school year.

 Sincerely,

Douglas Hes

Neosho Rapids Elementary Principal

Hartford Jr Sr High School Principal