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story.lead_photo.caption Nicky Kemp, superintendent of North Callaway R-1, smiles in the sunshine. The district released its re-entry plan Wednesday evening. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Document: North Callaway R-1 School District Re-entry Plan

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The Fulton Sun is offering this article free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.

KINGDOM CITY — North Callaway R-1's re-entry plan focuses on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 while supporting families and staff.

"I hope parents know the district does have the best interest of their students in mind," Superintendent Nicky Kemp said. "As we're planning, each and every day, we're doing the best we can with the information we have."

The district on Wednesday  released its plan for returning to school, becoming the final public school district in Callaway County to make its plan available. The plan breaks down precautions the district plans to take when it resumes in-person classes in August and the two options for instruction available to families.

It was developed based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Missouri departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Health and Senior Services; and input from the Callaway County Health Department, Kemp said.

The plan may be downloaded at this link: bit.ly/2Pbv5kc.

Back to school

Before school begins, staff will receive training in the district's plans. On the first day of school, staff will explain safety requirements, protocols and expectations to students.

The district lists a number of practices aimed at mitigating COVID-19's spread.

Hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations will be available in all classrooms, hallways and common areas. Students, teachers, staff and campus visitors will be encouraged to sanitize hands frequently; students will be supervised while doing so. Cleaning supplies and PPE, including masks, will be stocked on campus. The wearing of PPE "will be encouraged when appropriate."

The district does not require masks, but students and staff may wear them — the district has cloth masks that will be made available upon request. District nurses will use face shields when supervising a student using an inhaler or nebulizer.

The plan details plans for frequent and thorough cleaning of shared spaces, equipment and high-touch surfaces. Buses will be cleaned at the end of each route. Students may also clean their own spaces before and after use.

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A number of measures focus on encouraging social distancing. Individuals on NCR1 property should stay at least 3 feet away from others and keep to the right side of the hall. Non-essential gatherings should be avoided, and the district will hold no assemblies.

"As virus conditions change, gatherings and assemblies may be reinstated following group size recommendations of the state and/or county health departments," the plan adds.

Students will have assigned seating in classrooms and in the cafeteria, and middle school and high school students may eat outside, weather permitting. No visitors will be allowed at lunch, and in general, parents and guests will only be allowed to visit the building by appointment and must undergo a temperature screening. Recess times will be staggered, and each classroom will have a designated set of equipment.

Field trips and staff travel to conferences and workshops are on hold.

To support student and staff well-being, counselors will continue to provide support one-on-one and in small groups. Counselors will distribute a survey to gather feedback on developing a stronger outreach program.

Further safety measures could be introduced based on CDC and CCHD guidelines if cases spike, Kemp said. Though it's not included in the official plan, the district may even consider a hybrid schedule in which half of students are at home and half are at school on any given day.

In case of cases

North Callaway's plan asks students and staff to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms each day.

Teachers and staff must report if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19 and must stay off-campus until they "meet the criteria for re-entry." Kemp said that part of the plan is still under development, as guidance from the CDC changes often.

The plan continues: "Parents must ensure they do not send their student to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19. Parents should contact the building and make curricular arrangements with the school for absences resulting from self-screening protocols."

As at other districts, students will receive a temperature screening when arriving on campus, and individuals with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will be flagged. The plan states that this "will trigger the initiation of the COVID-19 symptoms procedures." However, the plan does not detail those procedures, nor does it specify when and how a student with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 will be allowed back on campus.

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"We're not starting until Aug. 24," Kemp said. "I believe our goal will be to have something ready the week before to provide parents some guidance — the most up-to-date we have at that time."

It does, however, state that if an individual has a positive COVID-19 test, the district will notify the Callaway County Health Department and disinfect possibly contaminated areas. Teachers, staff and families will be notified of positive cases.

The district will eliminate attendance incentives this year to discourage students from coming to school sick, Kemp said.

Options

Each semester, families may choose between in-seat instruction and virtual instruction.

If a family opts for in-seat instruction and the district must close the building or the entire district, parents can expect to receive weekly agendas, weekly calls from an instructor, 24-hour turnaround for emails, group Google Meets for each class each week, and training on signing up for Google Classroom. Grades K-2 will use the learning platform SeeSaw, and grades 3-12 will use Google Classroom.

Work will be graded as normal, and parents can see those grades weekly in SIS. Devices and hotspots may be checked out by families if needed. Students in K-5 will have a one-on-one Google Hangout with their teacher once per week, while grades 6-12 will schedule Google Hangouts as needed.

"We'll work with CCHD to determine at one point we're not able to hold school," Kemp said, adding that too many teacher absences at a building could also trigger a shutdown.

If a family opts for virtual instruction, it will be completed through the Acellus platform. Virtual learners will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, co-curricular activities such as choir or FFA, or activities requiring student attendance such as prom.

A North Callaway staff member will be assigned to track each online learner's progress and assign supplemental work as necessary.

All North Callaway families will receive a form to fill out indicating their choice of in-seat or virtual instruction. Those forms must be returned to the district by Aug. 7.

The district plans to release an additional document with frequently asked questions on Monday. Families with further questions may contact their building administrator via email or call North Callaway's central office at 573-386-2214.

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