Guide for Learning in 2020-2021
West Ada School District is ready for teaching and learning in the 2020-2021 school year. Precautionary measures have been implemented to reduce the chance of spreading illness including increased hand washing, mask wearing and distancing from others.
Following guidance from Central District Health, school began on September 8 in the red category of operations – all remote. The second week of school took place in the yellow operational category, with students attending school in-person or remotely on alternating days.
Students in West Ada School District are equipped with laptops or tablets via the one-to-one device initiative. This initiative provides all students modern technology, with students also provided increased access to Wi-Fi on school properties and through mobile hotspots.
Bringing Grades 1-5 into School Every Day
On September 1, the Board of Trustees authorized Superintendent Ranells to gradually bring elementary school grade levels back in-person, full time during yellow operations. Since this recommendation, the superintendent and the district administration have been working on a plan to phase in grades one through five. The plan to phase in full time in-person learning for these grades is as follows:
September 14 - Preschool and kindergarten
September 28 - First and second grades
October 5 - Third grade
October 12 - Fourth grade
October 19 - Fifth grade
We are working through this process with principals and will continue to send out updates. If we are moved back into a red category during this process, we would move to full remote learning within 48 hours. Once we move to yellow again, we would pick up where the plan left off. We realize the importance of getting our students to full time in class learning and social distancing and wearing a mask play an important role in the success of this plan.
Operational Decision Making
The district will utilize the weekly category recommendations provided by Central District Health to inform decisions on our category status for school operations. Three operational categories – red, yellow and green – exist to inform the community of how learning will take place.
Link to Decision Framework and Operational Categories: https://www.westada.org/Page/82329
Alternating Day Schedule
While the district operates in yellow, students are attending school in-person or learning remotely every other day. This allows for fewer people in the school building at any given time so there is more space to distance from others. Preschool and kindergarten students attend in-person every day in the yellow category, and other elementary grade levels will phase in throughout the fall.
Link to Alternating Day Schedule: https://www.westada.org/Page/39161#calendar209164/20200904/month
Teaching and Learning in Partially Remote or All Remote Settings
Readiness assessments will be given to students early in the fall semester so teachers may gauge what areas students need extra support before moving into new learning material. Live and recorded instruction may be available to students.
Link to Teaching and Learning in Yellow and Red: https://www.westada.org/Page/82330
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities, Game Management Plan
Just as classrooms have implemented preventative measures for spreading illness, athletics and activities are utilizing increased hand washing, mask wearing and distancing from others. The fans or audience at events may be limited, and supplemental sanitation practices are encouraged.
Link to Athletics and Extracurricular Activities: https://www.westada.org/Page/82331
School bus riders are encouraged to wash their hands more frequently, are asked to wear a mask, and should distance themselves from others at bus stop locations. In addition, bus drivers are directing the loading and unloading of students in an orderly manner. Students living in the same household sit together on the bus. Windows are down for increased airflow so long as conditions permit.
Link to Transportation Pandemic Plan: https://www.westada.org/Page/80773
Free Meals for Students
The United States Department of Agriculture has extended the summer food service program through December 2020, meaning all West Ada School District students may receive free breakfast and lunch each school day.
Order meals by 7 a.m. for same day pick up at your child’s school. Pick up is available from 10:50 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Students enrolled at Virtual School House may pick up meals at Centennial High School, Desert Sage Elementary School, Eagle High School or Meridian Middle School. Academies and charter schools are not used as curbside meal locations.
Link to Curbside Meal Pick Up and Pre-Orders: https://www.westada.org/Page/81982
Health Services Information
When there is a positive case, West Ada School District collaborates with Central District Health. We are moving forward with a tiered approach when it comes to communicating positive test results:
- Most detailed information to those in close contact with the positive case (which we have been doing since March)
- Generic notification with health screening guidance for others in the school who were likely impacted
- Basic information on case counts for the community for all
We are not at a place where we can release case counts to the community, but we hope to be soon. We are exploring the possibility of reporting numbers through an outside agency or internally via a website dashboard.
The health services department and/or Central District Health will notify close contacts with instructions for staying home and self-monitoring symptoms.
Positive COVID cases, knowledge of an individual who has received a COVID test and is awaiting results, individual who has been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine, or the knowledge of an exposure, will be reported to the health services department with consideration of the following:
- Confidentiality with ADA and HIPAA will be maintained
- Staff member contacts school nurse, school nurse will follow health services process for handling of communicable diseases
- Health services department staff will not provide independent decisions, advise on quarantining, provide medical advice or communication regarding COVID
Students that exhibit symptoms at school will be sent to health services office for further assessment and to minimize spread. Existing health services protocols will be strictly adhered to. Some of these items include:
- Temperature taken
- Handwashing before, during and at the conclusion of individual visits
- Cleaning and disinfecting between every student utilizing District approved products
- Placing a clean disposable mask on students who are actively coughing and sneezing
- Try to physically distance students within office
- If unable to physically distance, one student will be seen in the health office at a time
- Students will be sent home with new onset or worsening of existing COVID-like symptoms
Link to Health Information: https://www.westada.org/Page/83115