Details on plans to reopen school in 2020-21

July 29, 2020

The Hamilton School Board accepted administrative recommendations measures to put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The district relies on guidance from the CDC and Waukesha County Health Department.  All recommendations are aligned with guidance provided by the Waukesha County Health Department which released new information on July 29, 2020.

Mitigation efforts to include but not be limited to the following: 

Individual Classrooms 

    • Classroom Guidelines for staff are being finalized and will be shared when completed and referenced with Waukesha County Health Department recommendations which were released on July 29, 2020. 
    • Including in the guidelines will be the following:
        • Assigned seating for students to limit numbers of close contacts
        • Configuration of classrooms
          • Decluttering the classroom areas as much as possible 
          • Desks and tables spaced as far apart as possible
          • Forward facing desks/tables
        • Limiting  shared supplies as much as possible
        • Field trips are postponed until further notice
        • Only essential visitors / volunteers allowed. The senior volunteer program in person activities are suspended until further notice
        • Students will need their own supplies (ex. Crayons, pencils, etc)
        • Hand sanitizer will be provided for all classrooms and common areas
        • Teachers will remind students to sanitize their hands entering and leaving the classroom
        • Limit use of lockers to before and after school and lunch time.  This will significantly reduce traffic in hallways.
        • Individuals will be responsible for their immediate desktop and computer keyboard
        • Staff and students will utilize a “dry” cleaning spray designed for sanitizing electronic devices on contact
        • Drinking fountains will be closed; water bottle filling stations open
  • Food service
        • Touchless/no touch point of sale, student ID’s on lanyards with barcode
        • Disposable trays and utensils
        • No self serve food stations
        • Individually wrapped condiments
        • Staggering arrival times in the cafeteria 
        • Spacing out tables, utilizing extra gym space, classrooms and hallways where available
        • Assigned seating for students (choice for students when available)
        • Directed traffic flow
        • Water fountains to be turned off, bottle fillers only
  • Bussing
      • Assigned seating on buses to limit number of close contacts
      • Loading back to front
      • Washing/cleaning process between routes 
      • Parents can opt out using busses
      • Windows open as weather permits
      • Hand sanitizer on all busses
      • Require face covering
  • Health room / monitoring
      • All schools have identified an isolation room in each school for students who present COVID symptoms.  Students will be placed in the isolation room until they are picked up from schools.
      • Protocols established for families to follow before sending students to school everyday
      • Classrooms will be supplied basic first aid items such as bandages to minimize student traffic in healthrooms
      • Ill students will be provided with disposable masks to help prevent spread of germs. 
      • Education/training regarding hygiene (hand washing, masks)
      • Limiting visitors coming into school to only essential individuals
  • Other
      • Plexiglass high traffic areas
      • Providing face masks and face shields for staff working directly with students 
      • Providing hand sanitizer dispensers for all rooms 
      • Signage reminders (handwashing / symptoms) 
      • Closing drinking fountains/ water bottle fillers still open
      • Reevaluating cleaning processes for cleaning high-touch – high traffic areas
      • DPI has provided district with masks to distribute to students
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures
      • Hospital  surgical grade disinfectant utilized throughout the buildings. 
      • Spray sanitizer, and tri fold disposable towels available in each classroom
      • Cordless electrostatic disinfectant sprayer utilized at each school
      • Kaivac cleaning machine for restrooms at utilized each school
      • Sprayer with pure fx selectrocide disinfectant utilized at each school
      • TB plus dry disinfectant for computer keyboards
      • Portable UV-C  tower light utilized at each school
      • Vital Oxide sprayer for weight room utilized at high school

Recommendations

  • Require masks for students and staff when social distancing is not possible.
    1. Policy would be related to communicable diseases policy
    2. Policy parameters to include:
      1. Mask requirement will be linked to health metrics associated with COVID-19 and will be evaluated in an ongoing basis
      2. Allow exemptions due to medical, developmental or mental health considerations, and religious reasons
    3. Create training and education information for students, staff and families on proper mask usage (storage, cleaning, etc)
    1. Develop metrics and ranges to determine if school should be conducted virtually 
      1. Metrics to be considered but not limited to:
        1. community spread of coronavirus
        2. of active staff, student confirmed cases 
        3. # of staff/student absences due to close contact (if reported) 
        4. Student/Staff Rate of Infection 
        5. *Overall Teacher absence rate
  • *Substitute Fill Rate – ability to replace staff absences with a substitute teacher
  • Research potential for utilizing hybrid options during significant community spread of COVID-19
    1. Provides better opportunities for social distancing
    2. Provides option to continue partial face to face learning
    3. Challenging schedule for parents
    4. Challenging for our staffing (child care)
    5. Teaching and learning very different for students in person versus virtual–poses multiple challenges for lesson delivery and development

Continue to research new cleaning products and procedures


July 20, 2020

Recommendations from Reopening School Task Force subcommittees

Teaching & Learning

  • Preparing for traditional in-person start:
    • Preparing for returning students and anticipating the need for virtual instruction for students if they become ill or need to be quarantined for 14 days.
  • Creating common platforms based on grade levels, i.e., See Saw, Google classroom, etc.
  • Planning for a 100% virtual option for parents not wanting to send their children back to school buildings. Reviewing how to utilize staff who indicated, through a district survey, they are interested in working in a virtual setting.
  • Developed a teaching framework for grades pre-K-4th and another for grades 5-12
  • Teachers will use a template to be posted the following instructional day.

Social emotional support

Developing resources to support students and staff including the following:

  • Covid 19 Impact Screener on Infinite Campus to identify and support students in need.
  • Reinforcing Virtual Learning Expectations in the Home to support families with remote learning.
  • Script and Guidelines for Classroom Teachers Talking to Students About Covid to provide staff with a resource for talking about COVID-19

Technology

  • Ensuring optimal configuration of network hardware
    • Implement hardware to support increased traffic from elementary buildings to the high school (Internet)
    • Prioritizing network traffic, giving priority to audio/video applications
  • Implementation of the elementary device equity plan
    • 4K: 5 iPads / section
    • 5K through 2: 5 iPads / section, 10 Chromebooks / section (charge station)
    • 3 through 4: 30 Chromebooks / charging cart / section
  • Kajeet hotspot device plan renewed (30 hotspots for checkout )
  • Wireless wearable microphones to arrive early September for all instructors
    • Device to be used for capturing audio during screen capture or classroom demonstration (e.g. math instructor demonstrating the application of an equation on their classroom projector)
  • Preparing groups of Chromebooks for possible checkout for each elementary school office

Human Resources and Finance

  • Focus on internal operations
    • Creating Pandemic Handbook to address employee concerns and issues and creating protocols aligned with the guidance from Waukesha County Health Department.
  • Developing staffing plan to support increased needs

Facilities and Operations

Enhanced cleaning

  • High touch traffic areas will be wiped down and sanitized using hospital grade disinfectant cleaner daily (BNC-15)
  • As time and labor permit and as much as possible, these areas will also be wiped down and sanitized during the workday
  • Electrostatic technology, as well as UV, will also be used after the workday to augment cleaning and sanitizing
    • UV lights being used in the HVAC system to kill germs, bacteria, viruses and mold
    • Clorox Total 360 system provides superior coverage for better germ protection
  • HVAC
    • Increased ventilation

Individual Classrooms

  • Classroom guidelines are being finalized and will be shared when completed and referenced with Waukesha County Health Department recommendations due to be released on July 22, 2020.
  • Including in the guidelines will be the following:
    • Assigned seating for students to limit numbers of close contacts
    • Configuration of classrooms
      • Decluttering the classroom areas as much as possible
      • Desks and tables spaced as far apart as possible
      • Forward facing desks/tables
    • Limiting shared supplies as much as possible
    • Field trips are postponed until further notice
    • Only essential visitors / volunteers allowed. The senior volunteer program in-person activities are suspended until further notice
    • Students will need their own supplies (ex. Crayons, pencils, etc)
    • Hand sanitizer will be provided for all classrooms and common areas
    • Teachers will remind students to sanitize their hands entering and leaving the classroom
    • Limit use of lockers to before and after school and lunch time.  This will significantly reduce traffic in hallways. Students will be allowed to carry a backpack during the day.
    • Individuals will be responsible for their immediate desktop and computer keyboard
    • Staff and students will utilize a “dry” cleaning spray designed for sanitizing electronic devices on contact
    • Drinking fountains will be closed; water bottle filling stations open

Food service

  • Touchless/no touch point of sale, student ID’s on lanyards with barcode
  • Disposable trays and utensils
  • No self-serve food stations
  • Individually wrapped condiments
  • Staggering arrival times in the cafeteria
  • Spacing out tables, utilizing extra gym space, classrooms and hallways where available
  • Assigned seating for students (choice for students when available)
  • Directed traffic flow
  • Water fountains to be turned off, bottle fillers only

Bussing

  • Assigned seating on buses to limit number of close contacts
  • Loading back to front
  • Washing/cleaning process between routes
  • Parents can opt out using busses
  • Windows open as weather permits
  • Hand sanitizer on all busses
  • Strongly recommend or require masks (based on Waukesha County Health Department current recommendations)

Health room and monitoring

  • All schools have identified an isolation room in each school for students who present COVID symptoms.  Students will be placed in the isolation room until they are picked up from schools.
  • Protocols established for families to follow before sending students to school everyday
  • Classrooms will be supplied basic first aid items such as bandages to minimize student traffic in healthrooms
  • Ill students will be provided with disposable masks to help prevent spread of germs.
  • Education/training regarding hygiene (hand washing, masks)
  • Limiting visitors coming into school to only essential individuals

Other

  • Plexiglass high traffic areas
  • Providing face masks and face shields for staff working directly with students
  • Providing hand sanitizer dispensers for all rooms
  • Signage reminders (handwashing / symptoms)
  • Closing drinking fountains/ water bottle fillers still open
  • Reevaluating cleaning processes for cleaning high-touch – high traffic areas
  • DPI has provided district with masks to distribute to students

Positive case protocol

  • The district is working with Waukesha County Health Department to finalize the protocol. The protocol will include how families will be informed of potential COVID-19 exposure and what steps to take.
  • The Health Department will contact the school if there is a positive COVID-19 case and the school will assist in providing information for contact tracing.
    • The Health Department will help the district determine to what extent students will need to be quarantined and how students will be allowed back to school.
    • If a child has been identified as an individual with “close contact” to a known case of COVID-19, families will be contacted by the Office of Public Health to notify them of their child’s exposure. The Health Department will provide information and detail on how to work through the situation.
    • Students who are placed in quarantine will be able to complete coursework virtually as described in the Teaching and Learning Guidelines

June 30, 2020

Before the 2019-20 school year ended, a task force was already studying myriad issues of reopening school for 2020-21 amid a pandemic.

The five subcommittees, their scope of study and status are:

Social & Emotional Wellness

Support students and staff during the reopening of school, reestablish PBIS expectations, identify students in need of assistance and re-establish cognitive endurance.

Status:

  • Evaluating needs of students and staff
  • Prioritizing professional learning activities and welcome back activities
  • Identifying professional learning around supporting students with mental health and SEW needs, with common resources for staff to support students in discussion
  • Developing plans to re-establish PBIS within schools

Teaching & Learning

Enable students to continue to make academic progress and prevent regression. The subcommittee will set the direction and vision for the academic program which includes building the instructional model for potential learning environments.

Status:

  • Preparing for traditional in person start:
  • Preparing for returning students and anticipating the need for virtual instruction for students if they become ill or need to be quarantined for 14 days
  • Creating action plans for “common” platforms based on grade levels, i.e., See Saw, Google classroom, etc.
  • Planning for a 100% virtual option for parents not wanting to send their children back to school buildings
  • Reviewing how to utilize staff who indicated, through a district survey, they are interested in working in a virtual setting
  • Parents will receive a survey to determine interest in a 100% virtual setting for their students

Technology

Ensure effective and equitable access and use of technology to support learning and communication in all learning environments. The subcommittee will lead technology access and support by conducting an inventory, issuing devices and ensuring access for families who do not have internet.

Status:

  • Determining needs for equipment to support teaching and learning
  • Standardizing platforms used
  • Streamlining processes for communicating software and application availability and requests
  • Assessing bandwidth
  • Collect data points during online registration regarding devices available and internet access

Human Resources and Finance

Maintain effective and efficient budgetary, financial and human resources operations. The subcommittee will determine policies to support the health and well-being of staff, understand and ensure human resources and finance compliance and develop a sustainable financial plan.

Status:

  • Creating Pandemic Handbook
  • Accommodation forms
  • Employee sick-time questions
  • Recommendations on travel outside of state
  • Creating guidance for staff to follow regarding PPE in classrooms
  • Creating a flow chart or graphic representation of when an employee/family member/child has COVID

Facilities and Operations

Maintain effective and efficient facilities, nutrition services and other key operations. The subcommittee will determine policies to support the health and well-being of staff, understand and ensure human resources and finance compliance and develop a sustainable financial plan.

Status:

Food service items under consideration:

  • Touchless or no-touch point of sale, student IDs on lanyards with barcode
  • Disposable trays and utensils
  • Staggering arrival times in the cafeteria
  • Potential to have assigned seating
  • Directed traffic flow

Busing items under consideration:

  • Potential assigned seating on buses
  • Buses loaded back to front
  • Washing and cleaning process between routes
  • Parents can opt out using buses

Health room and monitoring items under consideration:

  • Designated isolation room in each school. Showing symptoms (N95 for staff/gowns) isolate in an area
  • Self-monitoring for families/students as well
  • Education and training hygiene – more signage
  • Limiting visitors coming into school to only essential individuals

Other considerations:

  • Plexiglass installed in high traffic areas
  • Investigating face shields for staff working directly with students
  • Working on hand sanitizer dispensers for all rooms
  • Signage reminders about handwashing and symptoms
  • Closing drinking fountains but keeping water bottle fillers open
  • Re-evaluating cleaning processes for cleaning high-touch, high-traffic areas
  • DPI has provided district with masks to distribute to students