GALLIA COUNTY — Like students across the country, those returning to classrooms in the Gallia County Local Schools District this fall, will see changes.
As reported last week, a news release from Supt. Jude Meyers stated, “As of August 31, 2020, students will be returning to school,” Meyers stated. “It is our intention, at this time, to return five days per week. However, it is necessary to understand that the district may have to fluctuate between a five-day schedule, a 2/2/ split schedule, and a remote schedule that will be predominately based upon the current COVID-19 situation in our county. Each of these schedules, along with other important information, can be reviewed in the Gallia County Local Schools’ reopening plan that will be published on Thursday, July 16 at https://gallialocal.org.”
Some of the guidelines found in the plan are as follows including further explanation on learning environments where parents are being given the options of traditional instruction (in-person in building, includes 2/2 split format) and remote learning.
In regards to remote learning, students can go with the “Digital Learning” option and officially enroll in a digital format through the Southern Ohio Digital Academy (SODA). There is also “Blended Learning” where students will learn via remote instruction, provided by his or her classroom teachers, during instances of quarantine. Note: SODA students must enroll for full quarters and cannot switch back and forth during a quarter.
Other Gallia Local specific guidelines found in the reopening plan:
-All PK-2 students are required to wear district issued face coverings on the bus and are highly encouraged to wear them in the hallways and common areas of the school buildings, in classrooms when six feet physical distancing is not possible or physical barriers are not feasible (especially after student professional development takes place).
– All students will be issued a primary mask, as well as a secondary option. However, if those masks are lost/misplaced, students will be responsible for replacing them at a cost of $5 each.
– No bus passes will be issued for students to ride home with other students. Students must ride their regularly scheduled buses for their regular weekly schedule (to home, regular babysitter, etc.).
– Bus drivers will not take temperatures until unloading, therefore, before students load the bus, parents/caregivers should check students for a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) and other symptoms of illness. If fever or other symptoms are present, ALL students from the household should not load the bus.
– Students will fill seats from the back of the bus to the front, if possible.
– Seating charts must be followed (in order to better facilitate contact tracing when needed).
– Bus attendance must be taken each day and a record of each day’s attendance will be kept on the bus and made available to school administrators on an as needed basis.
– The district will maintain a dual-busing split route schedule. An attendance schedule for students will be predetermined, by family household, area of residence etc.
– Students will remain on the bus until assigned staff have taken each student’s temperature (during the unloading process or immediately following bus departure).
Arrival to facilities
– Students will have temperatures taken, and a quick symptom check, upon arrival. There will be a separate entry for each group of students: bus riders and students who are dropped off in personal vehicles.
– If a student has a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) or other COVID-19 symptoms, the student will be isolated and monitored by school staff until a parent or caregiver arrives to pick the student up. It is highly recommended that the student proceed directly from the school for a COVID-19 test.
– For a student exhibiting symptoms, but who has not been tested, the duration of home stay for a child who has exhibited a fever is 72 hours (3 days) without medication for a fever AND improvement of all other symptoms (including no presence of fever).
– To return to school, the child must be transported to school by the parent/caregiver and must be checked and approved for return by the school nurse or designee.
– After temperature checks, those students exhibiting no symptoms will report to the designated area/classroom, as determined by building administration.
Additional employee expectations (including college student observers)
– All staff will report to his or her designated work area, regardless of the district operational code (Green, Yellow, or Red), unless advised otherwise by administration
– All staff will notify his or her direct supervisor, immediately, if he or she tests positive for COVID-19.
– All employees must wear district issued face coverings that cover the employee’s nose, mouth, and chin, unless an exception that is recognized by the Ohio Department of Health applies (ie. doctor’s note, etc.).
– All staff must self-check for symptoms each day (as prescribed by the district checklist).
– All staff will frequently wash hands.
– All staff will enforce the safety protocols set in place for students and staff.
– All staff will maintain the confidentiality of students and staff as it applies to medical and mental health issues (ie. names of Covid-19 positive individuals may not be released, etc.)
– Employees that suspect that a child has symptoms should immediately send the child to the school office for follow-up.
– All staff will assist in keeping the school building sanitized (own work area).
– There will be no field trips scheduled until it is deemed safe to do so.
– There will be no school parties or assemblies scheduled until it is deemed safe to do so.
– Access to playground equipment may be limited, due to difficulty in ability to keep equipment properly sanitized.
– All recess activities will ensure social distancing.
– Any student with a fever over 100.4 degrees (MUST) stay home.
– Any students that has the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school and should see their primary care provider to be assessed for COVID-19 for any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing; or, two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI Issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea) and contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or traveled to a state with a wide-spread community outbreak.
Parents/Caregivers must notify the school, immediately, if a student tests positive for COVID-19.
– In common areas, seats will be marked for occupancy so that social distancing is appropriately observed when students eat.
– All desks will be arranged in rows, socially distanced, and facing forward (small group pods and desks facing each other will not be permitted). Alternative seating arrangements may be necessary based on social distancing guidelines.
– Elementary and middle school teachers will change classes, when applicable, instead of students (to assist with social distancing).
– Classrooms will be maintained in a manner that allows for maximum social distancing and easy access for sanitizing.
– Classrooms will be furnished with hand sanitizer and students and employees are encouraged to use it frequently.
Due to space, this is only a partial listing of the reopening plan for Gallia County Local Schools District. Find the entire plan on its website linked above and on its Facebook page.