RISON – Cleveland County School District Superintendent Crag Dupuy has released the following guidelines and FAQs for the upcoming school year:
Cleveland County School District Guidelines for 2020-2021 School Year
REVISED ON JULY 30, 2020
Cleveland County School District will follow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidelines and the Arkansas Ready for Learning report issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in planning for re-opening in the fall. We hope the following information helps answer many of the questions you may have about reopening schools.
Our goal will be to provide as safe an experience as possible that includes a rich educational experience, with opportunities for social interaction and extracurricular activities, while adhering to guidelines provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.
Please contact Rison Elementary at 325-6894 or Rison High School at 325-6241 for other questions you may have. This is a living document that is flexible to change, as the COVID-19 virus trends upward or downward in cases across the county, region and state. We will try to provide update as we get them, in order to give you the best information to do what you feel is best for your student(s).
What is the first day for students?
School will begin on August 24, 2020 as the Governor stated. This date will only change if ADH sends updated guidance to this requirement but this is not anticipated.
Who will be required to wear face coverings?
Currently, the Governor of Arkansas has mandated all individuals 2 years old and up wear a face covering. The CCSD is mandating that adults and students age 2 and up wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved particularly on school buses and in classrooms. Students under 2 years of age and those with health issues and special needs will not be asked to wear face coverings. Students will wear face coverings in areas with a high concentration of students and where social distancing cannot be maintained. Students that are scheduled into our on campus digital learning labs will be required to wear a mask, due to the inability to social distance in those computer room settings.
Do we need to provide masks for our student or will one be provided?
The district will provide a washable face mask for every student. Each student will be given three washable cloth masks to use during the year. Only school mascot/logo in school colors (black/gold) will be allowed on face coverings for those mask bought by individuals.
Will bus transportation be provided?
Yes, the district will provide bus transportation for all students. Parents will need to take student temperatures before sending kids to the bus stop. Please do not send a student who has a fever of 100.4 or other COVID symptoms. Based on current ADH guidance, ALL students 2 and over will be REQUIRED to wear face coverings when riding the bus, unless health conditions or special needs exclude those children. Students who disregard or refuse to wear the mask on the bus will not be allowed to ride the bus and parents will have to bring them to school. Seating charts will be enforced to help with contact tracing in the event a student with a positive case of COVID should make it on the bus. We are planning no changes to bus schedules or bus stops. It is important to understand that social distancing on a bus is NOT POSSIBLE, therefore a MASK is REQUIRED for students age 10 and over, including the driver. Hand sanitization gel/spray will be provided and used by students and administered by the driver. If parents are able to bring students each day, the district would welcome the extra help and that would help alleviate crowding on the bus.
How normal will the day be for a student?
Our goal is for your student(s) to have as normal of a day as possible, while we also provide as much safety as possible. Students will not remain in the same classroom all day and will be able to transition from one class to another. Sanitation will take place before a new group of students enters a space. Water fountains will not be used, UNLESS the district can obtain the touchless water bottle refill stations (these are currently on back order and have a window of 2-4 weeks for delivery). We would ask parents to send bottle water to school with their student to begin the day and then refill at the touchless stations as needed. The district also has water available for purchase in the drink machines for $1.00.
Will students at the elementary still have extra classes like PE, art, music, guidance and library?
Yes, students will continue to participate in activity classes, check out library books, and receive guidance and gifted instruction. In some cases, the teacher may present their lesson in the student’s classroom to reduce the amount of cleaning possible. In others situations, such as PE, students may have an assigned area in the gym with specific materials assigned to their classroom.
Will my elementary student have recess?
Yes. Elementary students will have outdoor play time with restrictions that limit the number of students they come in contact with. Daily sanitizing of playground equipment will occur, and some playground equipment may not be in use each day.
Will social distancing guidelines be observed?
Social distancing will be observed as much as feasibly possible, but at times students will be closer than the recommended 6 ft. apart. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained such as class exchange time, etc., students will wear face coverings.
We will redesign classrooms and cafeteria spaces to increase the space between students but we cannot always guarantee it will be within the recommended 6 foot guidelines.
Will classrooms be arranged differently to protect students?
Yes, classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students. That might mean all desks are arranged in rows facing in a single direction. It might result in reading areas with bean bags, couches or comfy chairs being removed. It might include dividers between students who are seated at a table. Teachers may also be utilizing plexiglass to shield students from the respiratory droplets that will come out of the teacher’s mouth as they will be addressing/talking to the class. We will make every effort to provide distance, but not limit student’s ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom. Additionally, supplies and materials will not be shared by students.
Will students attend school every day or will we have some type of alternative schedule?
We plan for students to attend school daily following a very similar schedule to the traditional school day. Students who choose to stay home and participate virtually must be logged into the Canvas platform for instructional delivery at the same time, as their traditional onsite classmates. Parents must also insure that the internet connectivity at home or other suitable location will allow students to be connected and work in live time each day from 8am-3:30pm. The Canvas platform will record attendance and participation. Students and parents must not mistake this virtual instruction that we are currently using compared to the Spring semester when we used paper packets for AMI. THIS IS NOT A REPEAT OF AMI! The student accountability/responsibility factor has some stiff consequences for students, who fail to maintain attendance, fail to turn in homework, and fail to turn in test/papers according to the student handbook. Plagiarism and cheating can also lead to students receiving zeros on assignments and test. Students who accumulate 6 or more absences in a Canvas class will be turned over to the juvenile authorities for truancy. Students who fail courses will also not be eligible for extracurricular activities, if they can return to campus possibly for the 2nd semester. Students who fail coursework will also run the risk of failing a grade or recommended for retention. Again, I will repeat to parents and students the need to understand that this is not like the Spring Semester and the AMI process you previously experienced.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, what will happen?
In the event an individual tests positive, we will follow the latest guidance from the ADH. We have our own POC (Point of Contact)/ district contact tracer, who is Stefanie Wilson, our District RN. She will be in direct contact with ADH. She will also coordinate with the ADH to identify students and staff that are Positive, Probable Close Contact, Close Contact, and Secondary Contact status. We will follow the Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Response Level for On-Site Learning guidelines. Mrs. Wilson will use the terminology and work to get guidance from the ADH for people who must be categorized in one of the four categories. The district will be unable to release specific names or identified people involved in any level or isolation or quarantine. You can find out more by clicking on the link found here This could result in a brief closure of a single grade level, school or the entire district to provide time for additional cleaning and sanitation. If the entire district should close, the entire district will pivot to digital instruction immediately on the Canvas platform.
We also will utilize a special nurses building located near the cafeteria parking lot that potential students that are ill or showing symptoms of COVID will be taken to and assessed by Nurse Wilson. Nurse Wilson will escort the students or staff member from class using all of the standard PPE for school nurses. Students who are ill or symptomatic will be picked up at that location. This will minimize the risk of the nurse’s station in the RES, currently used to treat children for other causes, including those who have to check blood sugar and take regular medicine. It will also limit the exposure to COVID-19 to everyone in that office should a student become ill or symptomatic here at school.
Will students and adults be screened daily?
Random students and adults will complete a daily screening tool. Parents will be asked to use the “honor system” and take temperatures at home before students board a bus or get out of the car line each day. Please do not risk sending your child to school, if they answer yes to any of these questions. You are consenting to the full health of your child or children when they arrive at school! Please do you part at home and screen your children before they arrive any point in the CCSD. The CCSD can only be expected do so much, when it comes to the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and administrators. Parents must help the district stay safe and keep children home that are sick or showing symptoms of COVID.
Random individuals may be asked the following questions and/or screened at any time during the school day:
- Have you had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the last 2 days
- Have you had a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell
- Have you been in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.
When you report to campus, YOU are telling us that you have no symptoms of COVID-19 and you DO NOT have fever of 100.4 or greater.
If I don’t want my student to return to a traditional classroom, what are my options?
Blended Digital Learning will provide a total online educational program for students who do not feel comfortable returning to onsite instruction. Parents will be asked to sign up for the virtual education program and commit to a minimum of 9 weeks. Parents and students will be required to commit to the Virtual Education option, no later than July 27, by returning paperwork to the elementary or high school office in which their students attend school. Virtual learning students MUST have constant INTERNET CONNECTIVITY and students will be required to log into our Learning Management System called Canvas at the appropriate class time each day. Attendance will be taken through the learning management system and categorized by the Commissioner’s Memo for the three ways in which a student will be counted as present.
If students choose to do full-time virtual, will they be able to participate in extracurricular activities?
No, students concerned about returning to campus will not be able to be involved in any on campus, or extracurricular activities at this time. The CCSD is choosing not to follow the Arkansas Activities Association suggestion that students can be involved in extracurricular activities while enrolled in our virtual school option. If it isn’t safe enough to attend school for the day, it certainly is not safe to attend practices or competition against other schools in our area/conference.
Will we have an open house?
CCSD will not host an Open House until it is safe to do so. A later date may be used to host an Open House, stay tuned. We will host a Kindergarten Meet the Teacher afternoon on Sunday afternoon August 23rd from 1-4 p.m. Thank You to our Kindergarten Teacher’s for agreeing to allow our kindergarten families come up and visit your classroom! All families appearing on campus must use a facemask while here on campus with their student. Mrs. Johnson will be following up with more information in the coming days. Stay Tuned.
Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities and sports in the fall?
We anticipate sports activities in the fall, with possible modifications, as required by the ADH. The Arkansas Activities Association will give the CCSD further guidance, as that time approaches for sports activities. At this time, we are still awaiting guidance on both band and choir activities held inside the building.
Will my student eat lunch in their classroom?
Based on current guidance, the ADH is recommending cafeteria’s limit the capacity of students in the cafeteria. We anticipate this may either mean we will be required to adjust lunch schedules or use alternative areas, such as large gathering spaces (courtyard) or potentially have lunch in their classroom on a very limited basis. Proper sanitation of all areas will be completed after each meal. Procedures will not allow students to pick up utensils, self-serve, or share food.
Parents are strongly encouraged to open an online payment account for the purchase of tray and ala carte items at the secondary level, so no cash is exchanged. Parents are encouraged to send a water bottle with their students since water fountains will not be available. The Food Service aspect is an ever changing environment, as restrictions are either lifted or tightened down, we may have to modify at a moment’s notice. No outside food will be permitted to be delivered to the school for students. Students may bring lunch from home and eat in the designated areas.
What special precautions will be implemented in regard to cleaning and sanitizing?
Sanitation and cleanliness will be a high priority for our district as we return in the fall. We have trained staff to clean high touch surfaces (door knobs, light switches, etc.) and restrooms on a continuous basis throughout the day. We have also purchased disinfectant sprays to quickly sanitize rooms between usages. We will also provide time for hand washing and hand sanitizer throughout our campuses. Students will be asked to sanitize their hands each time they leave and enter a new space.
The CCSD has spent $17,771.00 on PPE equipment (mask, gloves, aprons, face shields, plexiglass dividers, and digital thermometers), sanitizing solutions, and hand gels/liquids in anticipation of the school start date for onsite instruction. Our custodians are trained in disinfecting the building, disinfecting high traffic areas, and safely securing and storing chemicals and cleaning solutions within their building. We look forward to having your children on campus on August 24, 2020.
The CCSD will not be accepting visitors anywhere on campus, unless prior contact has been arranged for a meeting. This will include any pick up or drop off items for students, but please make sure it is something of extreme importance. If it is an emergency to see your child, the school will arrange for your child to come outside and visit with you. The schools may place bins/tables at the front door for emergency items to be dropped off for student delivery. You can call and notify the office at either RHS or RES, if you need to drop something off and be picked up by your student.
Any medicine should be arranged to be dropped off with Amy Vetter or Stefanie Wilson at RES.
If a student comes to school sick, what will happen?
If a student comes to school sick or falls ill in the classroom, the school nurse will escort the student back to the new nurse’s building located near the cafeteria parking lot to screen the student and check their temperature. Nurse Wilson will also take all of the safety precautions and fully suit up in PPE to assess your child. Nurse Wilson, who is the district’s POC/contact tracer will begin the dialogue with the student, parent, and ADH. Depending on what the temperature check and symptoms are for each student, Nurse Wilson has the authority to send the student home for observation or return the student to class. The class/area that a symptomatic or ill student leaves from, the other students in that area will be dismissed to another location in the building and custodial services will begin a heavy disinfecting process.
When a child returns to school that previously had a POSITIVE COVID 19 Test, they will check in with the school nurse, Stefanie Wilson and present their certificate of wellness from the ADH before returning to class. The ADH will issue those certificates for positive cases that have been isolated and released for a certain time period. At this time, it is unclear if those same certificates will be issued for students or staff that has been classified as quarantined by the District POC and the ADH. Only certificates from the ADH will be recognized, as a return to school document.
How will you help fill any gaps my student has from the previous year?
Curriculum teams have worked to revise the curriculum so that missed essential standards will be addressed when students return. Additionally, elementary and secondary students will be assessed to determine individual strengths and deficits during the first weeks of school. These assessments will determine if students need additional support. At the secondary level, missed skills from a previous course will be embedded in the next course in the sequence. For example, a student enrolled in geometry would have geometry skills embedded in their Algebra II course.
What happens if we have school closures again?
If schools close again, a plan for at-home digital learning has been developed. This plan includes using Canvas to submit assignments. Teachers will utilize Canvas to deliver live lessons, where possible. Students, who are onsite at the school, will learn how to use these Learning Management Systems by participating in lessons throughout the first weeks. Blended learning that included both on-site traditional instruction and digital instruction will become the norm in the CCSD. This approach will allow students who might be ill or quarantined for a limited amount of time to continue their education even if they are not physically present in the classroom, even when the pandemic ends.
The CCSD will have an orientation for Virtual Users in Canvas within the next few weeks. More information will be coming from your building principals. Stay Tuned.
Will our students have the same arrival and dismissal times?
As of this time, school is prepared to start at its regular time and dismiss at its regular time. This also includes the Virtual School option for students that have registered with their respective school.
What advice do you have for students with special needs (autism, asthma, panic attacks, anxiety, etc.) or students with weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions?
The district will be prepared to accommodate students through both onsite and offsite instruction with special needs. Our Special Education instructors/parapros will be taking extra precautions when working with students. If parents have concerns about their students who may be at high-risk because of COVID-19, they may explore the virtual learning option which allows the student to continue their education from the safety of their own home.
In the event of a temporary school closure, how will the district serve students who have special needs (Special Education, 504, Dyslexia, etc)?
In the event of a school closure, students will participate in live instruction with scheduled Canvas and Zoom sessions. You child’s Special Education Teacher, at the building level will work with you on more of a one on one setting, if we are dismissed. Our LEA, Kandi Keith is also working to make sure our Special Education and Resource students are taken care of throughout this pandemic.