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Return to Learn Plan for the 2020-21 School Year
Return to Learn Plan for the 2020-21 School Year
Dr. Seth Miller
Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 13, 2020


Tigers find a way.  Wildcats find a way.  Panthers find a way.

 Together we can do this!

The 2020-21 school year will test students, teachers, state, and country in a way that is unlike any other time in our school district’s history, but if there is one resounding theme our district wants to convey it is this: we will find a way.  Some of our students will be returning to school for in-person learning that will look and feel different.  Other students are preparing to take on the responsibility of remote learning.  All of our students, teachers, and parents will undoubtedly experience challenges we have not anticipated at this time; regardless, be assured, our district will find a way to meet our community’s needs.

We are pleased to announce that the Westville School Board has approved a plan to open schools that has the support and partnership of the Westville Educators Association.  This plan has been developed based on the best safety guidance and procedures provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Vermilion County Health Department, and most importantly, the input from the teachers and staff who will carry out this plan for our students.  The plan is attached to this letter and some of the important aspects of this plan worth noting include the following: 

  • Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings; 
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space; 
  • Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible; 
  • Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks before individuals enter school buildings;  
  • Increase school-wide cleaning and disinfection. 

We all understand that there is always potential for conditions and guidance to change.  No matter how well a plan is crafted if there is not buy-in from students, parents, teachers, and administrators it will be difficult to carry out with success.  Conversely, even imperfect plans can succeed if there is enthusiasm and industry applied.  I would encourage us all to remain positive, commit ourselves to hard work, and ultimately “find a way.”  Together we can do this!


Thank you for your support of Westville Schools.

Seth Miller, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Westville School District #2



Westville School District Return to Learn Plan


Helpful Links


Class Lists

 

Choice for Instructional Delivery

  • Westville families will be given a choice between in-person instruction or remote learning instruction.  The district is set to provide full in-school learning five days per week with shortened school days for all students who want this delivery method.  The district is also set to provide remote instruction for those students who either request this delivery method or those students who have a medical necessity. 
  • Students who select remote learning will have a one-week grace period at the start of the semester to make sure that remote learning will work for them or they can switch back to in-person learning within that week.
  • When a student has selected remote learning and after the grace period has expired students will remain in remote learning for the duration of the semester.
  • The district will re-evaluate the issues related to COVID-19 throughout the first semester of the 2020-21 and what learning options that will best serve students for the second semester.
  • In the event there are multiple options for instructional delivery for second semester, parents may have the option to switch learning methods at that time.


Safety Procedures

  • Safety will be a primary concern for all in-person learning.  Daily temperature checks will be conducted before entering a school building.  Students with symptoms will not be allowed to participate with in-person learning.  There will be increased measures to ensure deep cleaning and sanitation throughout each school day and at the end of each day. 
  • One of the first skills that will be taught to all students on the first day of school (and practiced every day) is how to safely conduct school during a pandemic to reduce risk.  Teachers will train students   how to wear face coverings properly, how to wipe down personal spaces (like desks and hard surfaces before each day and/or class period), and proper hand washing techniques. 
  • At the beginning of the school year the district will provide every in-person learner with a machine washable and reusable face mask to use while at school.  Students may bring a face covering from home that covers the nose and mouth.  Likewise, all learning areas will be provided with sets of necessary sanitation equipment (multi-surface cleaners, paper towels to wipe down surfaces, and hand sanitizer).
  • Sanitation will be emphasized with our maintenance and custodial staff, but ultimately will be part of the entire school-community culture.  Teachers, students, administrators, custodians, aides, and secretaries will all work collectively to provide for a safe and clean environment.
  • Outside visitors to the buildings will be limited to minimize unnecessary exposure.
  • There will be limited access to district facility usage requests in order to reduce risks of transmission.
  • Students with any of the following COVID-19 symptoms must remain home from school: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, unexplained muscle and body aches, headaches, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, congestion/runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • Students who have been excluded due to having a fever over 100.4 degrees must remain out for the current day AND the next day.  Students may return the third day if they have been fever free for 24 hours without fever reduction medication.
  • Students who become ill and/or manifest COVID-19 symptoms during the day will be removed from the classroom and arrangements made for parents to pick up the student.  To reduce potential transmission to others, students will be monitored in an isolation room until arrangements are made for the student to leave.
  • All individuals in school will be required to wear face coverings.  Students with medical exemptions and/or students who cannot wear face coverings indoors will be provided with remote learning instruction.  Teachers, staff, and administrators will be responsible for assuring students wear face coverings while indoors at all times.
  • Each school will be organized in a way to provide social distancing to the extent possible in classrooms and throughout school spaces.  At the high school and junior high school this means students will not be issued lockers, but will instead be allowed to bring and carry book bags to minimize the need for collective gatherings between class periods.  Additionally, measures will be in place to limit spaces to 50 people or less to the extent possible.
  • To limit the number of transmission opportunities between students there will be several modifications necessary for certain programs and procedures.  Special programming like media centers, libraries, and some aspects of physical education may have to be adapted, modified, and perhaps in some cases eliminated to reduce exposure potential.  The decisions to temporarily modify, limit, or potentially eliminate certain programs are not easy, but remember these steps are being put into place to maintain safe in-person learning for as long as possible.
  • If a student and/or employee tests positive for COVID-19 there will be an immediate notification to parents, teachers, and the community.  In the event of a positive test the facts and circumstances of that situation will be evaluated carefully and a decision made in the best interest of students and staff on how best to proceed (i.e. a temporary cancelation of school, converting all students to remote learning, and/or another potential solution).
  • The district will follow the protocols provided by the Vermilion County Health Department for all positive case notifications, contact tracing procedures, and procedures for individuals to return after testing positive for COVID-19.  The Vermilion County Health Department Guidance is attached to this document.
  • Students and/or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be subject to mandatory quarantine per state guidance.  Likewise, students and/or employees who may have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 will also be required to quarantine.  The district will assist the Vermilion County Health Department in the process of contact tracing for quarantine purposes.
  •  The district will transition into full-time remote instruction for all learners upon a mandate from state and/or local public health officials.  Likewise, an outbreak of COVID-19 cases locally could also prompt the district to shift into full-time remote learning for all if it is determined that is the best option. 
  • When the conditions are met and guidance provided that will allow for a complete return to in-person learning, the district will prepare a transition plan for that process to take place in a manner that minimizes disruption.  It is likely that a shift back to complete in-person learning would not occur before the end of the fall semester unless conditions change. 


Transportation

  • The district is committed to providing transportation to all students with the guidelines the district has always used.  However, there will be considerations made due to a maximum bus occupancy of 50 people at a given time.  Additionally, there will be temperature screenings that occur before students are allowed to ride on the bus. 
  • The district will not take custody of students who are sick.  Students with a temperature and/or COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to ride the bus and it will be the responsibility of parents to make sure these students are supervised and provided for in the event exclusion is necessary.  Social distancing on all buses will be limited. 
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings while riding the bus. 
  • Students with insubordinate behavior may be temporarily and/or permanently removed from bus transportation.


Curriculum

  • The curriculum presented for the 2020-21 school year will be graded and assessed according to student performance.  Students taught in-person or through remote learning will receive all instructional minutes as required by the state and student grades will reflect student proficiency and participation in all academic courses.
  • The district is designing the curriculum for the 2020-21 school year so that learning expectations will be the same for in-person instruction and remote instruction.  Regardless of how the student is taught (in-person or through remote learning) students will be required to do similar work.
  • The district is also designing training for students, parents, and teachers to understand how to:  use district technology, monitor student work assigned electronically, and utilize technology safeguards with students.  This training will be provided to students who choose to learn in-person and those who choose remote learning from the start of the year.  This will be a primary focus at the start of the school year so students, parents, and teachers are prepared in the event the district has to shift back to complete remote learning.
  • Because of the unique and inherent need for in-person supervision, the driver education elective (classroom and behind the wheel) will be provided exclusively to in-person learners.  Students who elect remote learning may attend this one course in-person, or may substitute it for a different elective and take driver’s education at a later time.  In the event of a shift to entire remote learning for all, the district will evaluate how to proceed with the classroom instruction for driver education.
  • The district is committed to providing a free appropriate public education to all students including those with special education and/or 504 special needs.  The delivery of these services will be provided in a variety of methods to meet student needs.  Each student IEP and/or 504 learning plan will be evaluated, amended, and/or modified to meet the student needs on an individualized basis.
  • DACC has indicated that participation in College Express courses will require in-person learning at the present time.  WHS students who have selected remote learning will need to attend these College Express courses in person or may choose another WHS elective.  DACC does have safety protocols in place that will limit each College Express course to no more than 10 students at a time.   
  • Students who are registered for online DACC courses will participate in these online courses off of the high school campus.
  • At Giacoma special programming including: piano lab, and general music will be provided as electives to all students.  In-person learners by default will be enrolled in these programs and participate in modified versions of these programs while on campus.  Remote learners will have an option to enroll in these programs as well.  Grades for these programs will be administered on a pass/fail basis (there will be no letter grades assigned).
  • Students will not change clothes for PE.
  • All students will be expected to attend to their school and school related activities daily.  In-person and remote learners will be held to the same grading standards.  Families of in-person learners will be required to report student absences each day their child is ill.  Unexcused absences will be reported for absent students who are not reported.  Participation and attendance for remote learners will be monitored through online software platforms.  Teachers will monitor attendance and student participation for remote learners.
  • Teachers will be available each day from 2:45 – 3:15 to assist remote learning students through zoom, email, and/or telephone as needed.


Food Service

  • The district will be working on a system for food service that will allow students who are choosing to learn remotely to still receive access to weekly meals from the school through advance notification and a system of weekly food pick-ups similar to what was conducted this past spring.
  • An electronic sign-up will be made available weekly.
  • Pickup for meal service will take place at Westville High School.  There will be one day a week (likely on Tuesdays) for remote learners to sign up electronically for meal service in advance.  Those who sign up will be provided 5 breakfast and 5 lunch meals for that week.  Delivery times will be announced closer to the start of the year, but will most likely be between 2-3pm.
  • Students will be provided breakfast in the classroom and a time to eat that breakfast upon their arrival at school. 
  • Students will eat lunch in their classroom during their assigned lunch time.  Breakfast and lunch will tend to be more grab-and-go style with items such as prepackaged uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit cups, bagged fruits and vegetables (grapes, apple slices, baby carrots), and some individually wrapped items like hot dogs, turkey and cheese sandwiches, and hamburgers.  All breakfast and lunch meals will most likely be presented in individual brown bags that will be opened and consumed in the classroom and/or outdoor environment.  During all meal times individuals will be permitted to remove their face coverings and students will be socially distanced to the maximum extent possible.
  • Students will be allowed to bring their lunch from home.  Outside food will not be allowed to be delivered to students during the day.
  • Students with any specific food allergies and/or medical issues related to food should contact their building administrator so safety measures can be implemented regarding food that is brought into the classroom.
  • Students may not share food items with each other.


Technology Deployment

  • The district is working to provide all students in the district with a learning device (iPad or Chromebook depending on the age of the student) regardless of the delivery method the student chooses.  Students attending school in person will be provided with a device.  Student attending school remotely will be provided a device.  It will be necessary for parents to have registered on time to ensure availability of a learning device for all students.
  • The district will be supplying students with the necessary school supplies and resources they need for in-person learning.  To reduce the potential for transmission, students will not need to bring in school supplies from home.  Teachers will identify what is needed and the district will make sure those resources are available for students while at school.
  • Back-to-school activities including opening night for Giacoma and orientation for seventh grade and freshmen students at WJHS and WHS will be done virtually or in small groups on the first day of school.
  • Students and parents will be provided a learning device contingent on them agreeing to the terms of service for Chromebooks and iPads for the district.
  • Students in seventh grade through twelfth grade will be provided an opportunity to eventually retain permanent possession of their Chromebook device as outlined in the district Chromebook policy.
  • Students below seventh grade will have their device collected at the end of the year and a decision will be made at another time about how best to deploy these devices next school year.  It is likely that the device issued this year will remain associated with that student.
  • Parents and students are not permitted to record and/or distribute any teacher broadcasted lesson, zoom call, and/or other electronic transmission without express written agreement of Westville School District.


Daily Procedures

  • Teachers will be permitted to have opportunities for outdoor learning and mask breaks using the following procedures: students may not bring towels, mats, blankets to sit on; students may not take technology devices outside; social distancing must still be maintained (groups of 50 or less, 6 feet apart within that group, and 30 feet removed from the next group).  Access to outdoor learning opportunities will be approved by administration and is subject to weather and social distancing availability.
  • The student handbooks and school rules remain in effect for in-person and remote learners.  All students will be afforded due process regarding discipline procedures and school rules, however some adaptations to procedures may have to be implemented in light of COVID-19 concerns.  It is anticipated there will not be after school detentions, and/or Saturday school studies as discipline consequences.  Students who create a substantial disruption or threat to safety during the regular in-person school day may, subject to appropriate and necessary due process procedures, be removed to remote learning in addition to or as an alternative to other disciplinary consequences for the preservation of the safety of other students at school.
  • In order to minimize transmission opportunities, the playground modules at Giacoma will not be available for daily use.
  • Parents will not be permitted to walk their students into the classroom during morning arrival time. 
  • Students may bring book bags into the class and should store these bags at their desk or a location that minimizes transmission potential.
  • Water fountains will not be turned on nor available for use.  Students may bring bottled water and will be permitted to use them at approved times.
  • Playground equipment, recess items, and toys shall not be used.


Extra-Curricular Activities

  • In the event there is a shift to complete remote learning for all students all extra-curricular will be temporarily suspended until more information can be gathered to ascertain the viability of continuing these programs.
  • The elementary school intramural programs will follow the guidance and protocols that mirror the IESA guidance for basketball and volleyball accordingly.
  • Students in remote learning are eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities.
  • Spectators at home events will be adhere to IDPH and ISBE guidelines including social distancing and wearing face coverings when indoors.



Building Schedules


Judith Giacoma

Students will be allowed in school beginning at 8am

Breakfast will be served and available in classrooms before 8:45 AM

School starts at = 9am

Dismissal begins for walkers at 1:15pm

Dismissal begins for car riders at 1:30pm

Dismissal begins for bus riders at 1:45pm

*Parents may not drop off and/or pick up in the north parking lot.

*Walkers and car riders will enter and exit off the Walnut street location by the main office.


Westville Junior High School

Students will be allowed in school beginning at 7:45am

Breakfast will be served and available in classrooms before 8:20 AM

School starts at = 8:30am

Dismissal begins for walkers and car riders at 1:01pm

Dismissal begins for bus riders at 1:10pm

*Walkers and car riders will enter through the main west lobby entry by the main office.

*Bus riders will enter on the north west hallway door near the cafeteria and Ms. Huchel’s room.

*All students will exit off through the main west lobby entry by the main office for dismissal.


Westville High School

Students will be allowed in school beginning at 7:30am

Breakfast will be served and available in classrooms before 7:50 AM

School starts at = 8:00am

Dismissal begins for bus riders at 12:58pm

Dismissal begins for walkers and car riders at 1:08pm

*Walkers and car riders will enter off through the main lobby door near Mr. Goodlove’s office.

*Bus riders will enter west hallway door near the weight-room.




Vermilion County Health Department Guidance

COVID-19 School Notification Procedures

School Year 2020-2021 Updated:  7/27/2020


Schools are an extremely important part of our community and now have one of the biggest challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical services to our children.  The following is the current proper procedures to adhere to when a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed in your school district, but are subject to change. 


Positive Case Notification

When the school is notified of a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, the school needs to call the Vermilion County Health Department Communicable Disease Department (217-431-2662 ext. 261) and we will work with you to begin contact tracing. 


Possible Scenario Mitigation

 

VCHD gets notified before the school does.

If we get notified of a positive COVID-19 case, we will be in contact with that person (or parent) and strongly encourage them to contact their school(s) so that proper decisions / contact tracing can be implemented. 

 

Parent / Staff Member refuse to notify school or tell them they have COVID-19. 

If a parent or staff member refuse to notify the school, we have been given the authority to call the school to notify them of the situation so that we can contact trace, ensure proper cleaning is being done, etc. 

 

Multiple siblings / family within the school are exposed or test positive.

If a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, it is very likely that any immediate family (same household) that they have will be automatically required to quarantine for 14 days.  We would strongly suggest that any family members also get tested.  If a sibling were to test positive, then their contacts would also need to be put into quarantine. 

 

 What happens if a student’s parent tests positive or a staff member’s spouse or child that goes to another school tests positive?

The student or staff member would most likely be considered a close contact and would be required to quarantine for 14 days.  Because we are not as concerned with a contact of a contact, we would ask that those around that student or staff member be vigilant of symptoms.  However, if the student or staff member did end up testing positive as well, then we would definitely be looking at their close contacts. 

 

When can a student /staff member return to school?

The health department will “release” a person from isolation who has tested positive.  They must stay home for a minimum of 10 days AND have no fever (without using in fever-reducing medication) for 24 hours.  We do NOT suggest going by a test-based strategy as some people may test positive for a few weeks or longer, but are not longer considered contagious.  If a person is quarantined, they must stay home for 14 days, even if they get a negative test result. 

 

What if a staff member tests positive, but does not live in Vermilion County?

If a person does not live in Vermilion County, the county in which that person lives will receive their positive test information.  We would still like you to call us with the information so that we can do proper contact tracing / or work with the county health department that the person resides. 

For general COVID-19 questions, please call Melissa Rome at 217-431-2662 ext. 246.