CCISD releases return to school plan for August

By LYNETTE SOWELL

Cove Leader-Press

 

The Copperas Cove Independent School District has released its plan for returning students and staff to school in August.

The district’s entire plan, along with options for at-home and in-school options, as well as a “frequently asked questions” section, on its website, at www.ccisd.com/backtoschool.

The district promotes three objectives to include Health & Safety – “ensure facilities are properly sanitized and protocols are in place to keep staff and students safe”; Continuous Instruction – “meet the needs of all learners through On-Campus Learning or At-Home Learning with engaging instruction and activities”; and Supporting Community – “allow for flexibility as needs change for our community.”

The district also announced that on Wednesday, July 15, parents will receive an email with a link to complete a survey indicating their intent to enroll their children in one of the two learning options. Survey responses will be due by 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22.

Parents will have a chance to make their final commitment on Monday, August 3, through a special registration link that will be provided by email. Responses will be due by 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 6.

In-person instruction will be five days per week for students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, with “enhanced safety and infection control measures” and “limited transitions for students.” For Prekindergarten through fifth grade, teachers will travel to students. For 6th through 12th grades, there will be “some travel to various classrooms.”

School buses will run at typical capacity, with assigned seats, face masks required, and the use of hand sanitizer when boarding and exiting the bus, with buses cleaned and sanitized daily.

The practice of social distancing of at least six feet will be encouraged, when possible.

As far as class sizes go, the district says it is going to follow TEA guidelines for class size, and that the maximum number of students per class varies by grade level and varies by class at the secondary level.

“Efforts will be made to level classes to keep the student/teacher ratio as low as possible.”

All school district employees will receive training in COVID-19 prevention, and the district states that “Safety and health measures may be adjusted based on current guidelines and conditions.”

The district also addressed the question of how social distancing will be accomplished in places like cafeterias, gyms, restrooms, and other common areas. Signage will be posted to remind students and staff about social distancing, handwashing, and infection prevention. The district also plans to train staff in giving frequent verbal reminders to students.

“When possible, elementary and secondary students will remain in cohort groups to decrease the number of students in contact with one another. Staff will be on hand throughout transitions to keep students moving and minimize congregations of students. Hallways will be converted to one-way foot traffic when possible.”

The campuses will have multiple entrances and exits, for both before and after school.

Along with the physical health and safety, the district plan includes “social emotional learning,” with counseling support to be provided to both at-home and on-campus learners.

“Students will have access to a variety of mental health professionals. Guidance lessons and activities will be provided through small group and individual sessions.”

The district has also laid out the plan related to lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, to include

  • If a campus is notified that a student or staff member has a lab confirmed case of COVID-19, the student or staff member will be required to stay home until the return to school criteria is met.
  • District communication will be provided to all students on a campus of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 on that campus.
  • Campus administration and health services staff will contact families of students who came in close contact with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 of additional steps that need to be taken.
  • Students who have had close contact to a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of school should stay home and contact the school nurse for instructions on meeting the return to school criteria.

Students or staff who present to school with symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated by the school nurse. If COVID-19 symptoms are present, the staff member will be sent home, and student will be isolated from other students and asked to put on a face covering until parent arrives. Students must be picked up within one hour of notification and will be escorted to the vehicle upon parent arrival, and the nurse will then provide parent/staff with return to school criteria.

For students whose parents choose the At-Home learning options, daily participation will be required during the school week, with three to four hours of video-based, teacher-led instruction and learning, plus individual activities. Instruction along with instructional support will be led by CCISD teachers. Families must have an internet connection, and a district computer device will be supplied, if needed. Students who learn at home will have the same course and grading requirements as those who study on campus. Students in grades 6-12 will have access to specialized courses and on-campus extracurricular activities, as applicable.

For more questions, parents are encouraged to email smartstart@ccisd.com.

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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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