Enosburg Falls Elementary

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FNESU Reopening of Schools

July 22, 2020
Dear FNESU Families,

I am writing to provide you with an update on our plans to reopen our school buildings. This is the first in a series of communications regarding the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union Reopening Plan. This is an overview, and there will be more detailed information in future communications.

To start the school year, Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union, along with all 16 school districts covering Addison, Chittenden, Grand Isle, and Franklin Counties who are members of the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA), will implement a hybrid instruction model that will include both in-person and remote learning. This plan to return to school is student-centered, focused on the social-emotional and physical health and safety of our students and staff, and is designed to keep our students learning at a high level. Most importantly, a hybrid model affords the ability to offer in-person learning in the safest environment possible while adhering to the best practices of the ​guidance issued by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE)​. Here’s how the hybrid model will work.

  • ●  Students will be divided into two groups.

  • ●  Groups will attend school in-person two days a week and learn remotely three days a week.

    • ○  Students and staff attending in person will undergo a health screening upon arrival, wear facial coverings, and practice physical distancing.

    • ○  Groups will be thoughtfully created so they best support families. Our high school, middle school, and elementary school principals are working collaboratively to develop groups that keep siblings in the same groups, across our schools, whenever possible.

    • ○  Each school is working on scheduling and will release that information to families as soon as possible.

  • ●  Almost all students will be learning remotely on Wednesdays. We will use this day to provide individualized support to students, engage in professional learning and planning for our staff, and deep clean our buildings.

    While we all agree that nothing compares to the benefits that students receive from in-person instruction, after extensively reviewing the AOE’s guidance and evaluating how to operationally implement those requirements and recommendations in our schools, reviewing survey submissions from our families and staff, and consulting with our reopening committee, we feel the hybrid model will best address the health and safety of our students and staff given the current health data available.

Having fewer students in the building at a time will help reduce contact with others and allow for better distancing. The smaller groups will also allow teachers and staff more time to assess the academic progress and needs of our students. With fewer students in the building, we can better help them adjust to new expectations while fostering healthy routines throughout the day, such as regular hand washing. In these pandemic conditions, it is also imperative that we continue to improve our remote systems so that we can be ready to adapt if health data requires a shift to full remote learning again.

We are also preparing to offer a remote-only/virtual learning option for families. More information regarding this option will be available soon.

We acknowledge the hardships that hybrid and full remote models may place on families, including our own faculty and staff. Although it will be a challenge, the majority of families surveyed preferred opening schools in a hybrid or remote learning environment. By working together, openly communicating, and being creative and flexible, we can overcome these challenges together. That said, please understand there are many moving pieces to these plans, and we will need to adapt as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves and we receive further guidance from the AOE and the Department of Health.

Finally, in addition to academic work, I want to assure you that our teams will work tirelessly to support your child’s social and emotional needs through this transition. School is going to look and feel different this year, and we know all of our students will need support. The health and safety of our students and staff will be our number one priority. We are here for your children and for your family.

Sincerely,

Lynn Cota, Superintendent
Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union

Additional Information

We are now shifting into Part VI of our FNESU Reopening planning process. School and SU teams are shifting into the logistical phase of our plan.

FNESU Steps for Reopening Schools

(Reflects Anticipated Steps for August, 2020 Reopening - As Announced by the Vermont Agency of Education)

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

School Status

School Buildings are Closed

School Buildings are Open

School Buildings are Open

Health & Safety Measures

No in Person Instruction
No Public Access/Use of Buildings

Limited Access for Staff for Essential Tasks

Daily Health Screening Facial Coverings Required Physical Distancing - 6 feet

Layers of Protection

Daily Health Screening Facial Coverings Required Groups - Remain in Cohort (Same Teacher/Students, Essential Staff Rotating with Sign-in)
Physical Distancing Students in Rows Facing the Same Direction Or
Desk/Table Dividers Assigned Seats Contact Tracing Enhanced Cleaning/Disinfecting Measures

Congregate Spaces are Closed
Library, Gym, Cafeteria,

Layers of Protection

Daily Health Screening Facial Coverings Required Groups - Remain in Cohort (Same Teacher/Students, Essential Staff Rotating with Sign-in)
Physical Distancing Students in Rows Facing the Same Direction Or
Desk/Table Dividers Assigned Seats Contact Tracing Enhanced Cleaning/Disinfecting Measures

Congregate Spaces are Open for Limited Use ( Gym, Cafeteria, Library)

 
 
   

Playground Equipment

Outside Grounds Open Playground Equipment Closed

No Public Access/Use of Buildings

Outside Grounds Open Playground Equipment Closed

No Public Access/Use of Buildings

Learning

Remote Learning for All Students

Hybrid Learning Model A/B Cohorts Schedule - AACBB Students - 2 days In-person

3 days Remote

Fully Remote Learning Model
Parental Choice Medically High Risk Students

Hybrid Learning Model TBD
Based on public health data and health and safety guidelines

Fully Remote Learning Model
Parental Choice Medically High Risk Students

Food

Free School Meals Delivered to Homes

Free School Meals Served in Classrooms Cafeteria Closed Free School Meals Provided to Homes Fully Remote Students Hybrid Students at Home Days

Free School Meals Served in Classrooms or Cafeteria Strict Safety Measures

Bus Transportation

No Bus Transportation (Schools would be closed for in-person instruction)

Health Screening at Bus Stop
or, At Home with
V erification

Physical Distancing on Bus (One student per seat, every other row) Assigned Seats (Youngest in front/Oldest in back)
Facial Coverings Required for All
Daily Rider Log Maintained Parents Encouraged to Transport

Health Screening at Bus Stop
or, At Home with
V erification

Physical Distancing on Bus (Students spaced out as much as possible, can be filled up to capacity)

Assigned Seats (Youngest in front/Oldest in back)
Facial Coverings Required for All
Daily Rider Log Maintained Parents Encouraged to Transport

* (​Our steps will be determined by the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Education based upon the COVID-19 Health Data. Steps may vary by school, region, or state based upon health data.)

Sample Schedule

This is considered an AACBB rotation. A reflection of which groups will be in person throughout the week. Below is a sample schedule.

Student Cohort

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday C

Thursday

Friday

A

In-School

In-School

Remote

Learning
or
Some students may be called back for intervention for a part of the day

Remote Learning

Remote Learning

B

Remote Learning

Remote Learning

Remote

Learning
or
Some students may be called back for intervention for a part of the day

In-School

In-School

Wednesday is considered a C Day - Some students may be called back for targeted intervention. Teachers and staff will be planning, monitoring and assessing remote learning, engaging in professional learning, meeting with instructional teams, preparing materials, etc. Facilities staff will be working on deep cleaning the building.

Fluidity of the Plan

The Vermont Agency of Education has determined that schools will reopen in step 2 with the exception of bus transportation, which will open in step 3. Please know that we have designed a plan that will allow us to shift between steps based upon public health data and future revisions to our health and safety and other guidelines. There are some portions of our plan that will remain in draft format until we receive our final guidance related to school reopening. At this time, we know additional guidance will be coming in relation to Special Education, Social Emotional Learning, Afterschool Programs, and Preschool.

Preschool Guidance

We are working to develop our preschool reopening plan. Please look for more information on FNESU preschool programs by early next week.

Fully Remote Learning Option

Grades 6-12

Students in grades 6-12 will enroll in Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC) courses through our public school system. We will work out the logistical considerations of assigning cohorts of fully remote students to work with assigned staff members.

Grades K-5

All families will be asked to complete a survey by July 31 to indicate whether their child will be returning for in-person learning or if they will remain fully remote. The design of the fully remote learning option for K-5 students will be informed by the number of students who enroll in this option. We will release the K-5 fully remote learning plan by August 7.

Attendance In-Person / Remote Increased Expectations

Attendance on In-Person Learning days will be recorded based on the physical presence of students at school.
Schools will record a student as in attendance in remote or hybrid mode if:

  • ●  the student logs into a Learning Management System (LMS) and engages in learning activities (e.g., completes assignments, attends meetings, etc.);

  • ●  For students unable to connect to internet, engages in learning activities (e.g., completes and returns assignments) and makes contact with the teacher or advisor by video chat or telephone

    Below are the Minimum Learning Time Expectations per State Board Rule: 2312.2. This represents the total hours of direct instruction and expected independent student work time combined. Teachers will provide learning activities intended to meet these requirements through the instructional mode of the current step.

    Kindergarten 2 hrs 10 hours

Grade

Daily Minimum

(direct instruction and assigned independent student work)

Weekly Minimum

(direct instruction and assigned independent student work)

 

Grades 1 - 2

3.5 hrs

17.5 hours

Grades 3 - 8

5 hrs

25 hours

High school

5.5 hrs

27.5 hours

School Meals

We will continue to provide free school meals to all students in the same manner as last school year. We will be providing meals both at school and at home, if families choose to participate. Sheldon families, please be on the lookout for information needed by the school in order for us to be able to expand this program to all Sheldon students, as well.

URGENT - All FNESU Parent Survey

There is information we need from all our K-12 families about reopening. Please complete this survey as soon as you can. The data you provide us will allow us to continue to move forward with school reopening planning. We are asking for all surveys to be completed by July 31. Thank you!
Survey Link: ​Family Hybrid Survey

Questions

This is a lot of information to absorb. I’m sure many of you will have further questions. The work involved in reopening will continue to be a very heavy lift from now throughout the month of August. Although we would love to be able to reply individually to all questions, we need a more efficient way to capture questions and get information out to families and staff members. We have created an email intended to capture all your questions about reopening our schools, or other pandemic related questions. We will use these questions to develop a Frequently Asked Questions document for parents and staff members to be able to refer to. If you have questions, please forward them to this email address: COVIDQs@fnesu.org

FNESU Virtual Town Halls

We will be scheduling Virtual Town Halls in the coming weeks in an effort to get accurate and timely information out to our community members. The information I have shared with you tonight represents a portion of our reopening plan. There is a much more detailed plan in place for all elements of our reopening plan. At the Town Halls we will work to provide all of you with greater detail and answer as many questions as we can.

Town Hall Sessions will include:

  1. Health and Safety, Operations and Management, Transportation

  2. Student Learning, Student Services (Special Education, etc.), and Social Emotional Learning

  3. Food Service, Afterschool Programs, Leadership/Policy/Finance

This is a lot of information to digest. We know that the months ahead are going to be challenging. Please know, our Reopening Teams have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to make the most informed decisions possible. We recognize families and staff members are under a tremendous amount of stress during this time. Let’s work hard to understand one another and find ways to support and care for each other during this really challenging time. We will get through this together!

Sincerely,

Lynn Cota Superintendent

Attached Files