Re-Entry Plan for Fall of 2020 - Houlton Elementary School

Please be advised that this plan will be updated as necessary.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR OPENING SCHOOLS

(from Maine CDC, Maine Department of Education, CDC Guide for Schools)

  • Education for students, staff, and community on self-assessing for symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Healthy practices:  hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks/face coverings.

  • Consistent student groups when feasible.

  • Fewer transitions during school day.

  • Additional cleaning/sanitization practices during the school day.

  • Full time school nurse in building with utilization of an isolation room for those who exhibit possible symptoms.

  • Use of outdoor spaces when feasible, open windows with box fans for extra ventilation when weather allows.

*This list is not all of the work that we will be doing to keep staff and students safe.

TRANSPORTATION

Busing

  • Students must wear a face covering while boarding and riding the school bus to and from school.

  • Buses will be disinfected between runs

  • Bus routes may look different from previous years

  • Bus routes and estimated times will be provided when plans are finalized prior to the start of the school year

  • Students who do not comply with the safety requirements expected during bus transportation will lose bus privileges and transportation will become the responsibility of parents

  • Students will go directly to their classroom when they arrive in the morning.

Entry and Dismissal Plans for Buses

  • Pick up and drop off locations of students from each bus at school will be determined when a more consistent number of students riding the buses is known.

Parent Transportation

  • We encourage parents/guardians to transport their child to and from school, when feasible for their family.

  • Parents/Guardians may drop off their child at the main entrance door no earlier than 7:30 A.M. The main entrance door will be locked until 7:30 A.M. No students will be permitted inside the building until this time. 

  • To maintain the safest level of protection for students and staff, parents will no longer be allowed into the building to escort their children to classrooms.

  • Based on the number of students being transported by parents, there may be more than one designated drop off time and location at the school. These details will be developed more fully when students are identified for parent drop off. 

  • Students will go directly to their classroom when they arrive in the morning.

Entry and Dismissal Plans for Students Being Transported by Their Parents

  • Specific information regarding your child’s drop off and pick up time and location will be provided prior to the start of school.

BREAKFAST/LUNCH

  • Breakfast will be served in the classroom.

  • The cafeteria may be utilized for additional seating during breakfast and lunch.

  • Social distancing guidelines will be practiced during breakfast and lunch.

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be accessible in all classrooms and dining areas. 

DAILY HEALTH STRATEGIES

Students and Staff

  • Each day, before entering the building, staff and students must complete self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms.  If symptoms exist, staff and students need to remain home and not attend school.  Absences must be reported to your supervisor and/or the main office.

  • Face coverings are required for all students and staff while inside the building unless eating in which arrangements have been made to be six feet apart.

  • Scheduled time will be built into the student day for face-covering breaks.

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at key locations in the building as well as all classrooms.

  • Students and staff will regularly use handwashing and hand sanitizer stations when entering the building, entering a classroom, before and after eating, before and after using bathroom facilities, use of any other equipment/manipulatives shared by others, before leaving and returning to the classroom for any other transitions during the day and before leaving the building to get onto the bus or pick-up by a parent/guardian.

  • Students who express any ill symptoms will report to the nurse’s station and not to the office. There will be an extra isolation area for any student or staff member exhibiting symptoms until they exit the building.

FACE COVERINGS

  • Face coverings are required for students and staff.

  • Face coverings will be provided for anyone that needs one, but it is encouraged for students and staff to bring one from home that they are comfortable in wearing. Face coverings should be washed daily.

  • Students will have regular face-covering breaks during the school day.

  • Students and staff will not wear face coverings when eating breakfast, snack, and lunch. However, they will be six feet apart when eating.

  • Face coverings will not be required outside as long as students practice social distancing.

CLEANING ROUTINES

  • Classroom desks and other classroom surface areas will be disinfected throughout the day at appropriate transitions.

  • Custodial staff will routinely clean highly touched surfaces during and after school hours. 

  • Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be required by students and staff.

  • Supplies/equipment that are shared will be cleaned/disinfected after each use.

CLASSROOM

  • Students will be trained in the areas of physical distancing, hygiene, and face-covering etiquette.

  • Face coverings will be required in the classroom except while eating or at recess. Face covering breaks will be given throughout the school day for short periods of time when students can be six feet apart.

  • Students will use a lanyard provided by the school in order to hold their face covering.  Face coverings will be removed for eating, recess time, and some PE activities.

  • All classrooms will have desks for students that will be arranged three feet apart for instruction and six feet apart for eating. 

  • No food will be shared amongst students and staff.

  • It is recommended that students bring a water bottle from home to use on a daily basis. Please make sure it is labeled with your child’s name.

  • Teachers will utilize outdoor space for learning when appropriate.

  • Students will be trained in proper hand washing, sanitizing, and how to socially distance themselves.

  • As long as we are taking Covid-19 precautions, there will be no large assemblies or field trips. 

RECESS

  • Students will wear face coverings as they transition from the classroom to the playground. They will wear lanyards to hold their face coverings while on the playground as they are not required to wear them.

  • Classroom cohorts will remain together in designated playground assigned areas with the exception of the playground equipment which allows for two classes to play consecutively.

TRANSITIONS

  • Students will be trained in how to transition in the hallway and other areas of the building. 

  • Traffic flow in the hallways will keep to the right.

  • Students and staff will adhere to social distancing measures while transitioning.

  • Face coverings will be worn at all times unless eating or outside at recess.

MAIN OFFICE

  • Houlton Elementary School’s telephone number is (207)532-2285.

  • Our fax number is (207)521-0360.

  • Email: sue.wilmot@rsu29.org and candy.crane@rsu29.org

  • Office hours are 7:00 am – 3:30 pm.

  • If you need to enter the building we ask that you buzz in first. Please wear a face covering if you are granted access to the inside while maintaining a six-foot distance when possible. 

  • Please send a note or phone ahead for dismissals due to appointments.

  • Please call 532-2285, ext. 1 upon your arrival on school grounds if you must dismiss a student or if your child is ill and must be picked up.  Please provide ample time to prepare students for their pick up so that proper safety precautions can be implemented.

  • Parents dismissing students will wait in their vehicle and the children will be brought to them.

VISITORS/VOLUNTEERS

  • No unscheduled visitors are allowed in the school and/or classrooms at any time.

  • As long as we are taking Covid-19 precautions, there will be no guest speakers.

  • Visitors will be encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance and will be limited to critically important visitors as determined by the principal.   Visitors are encouraged to call the office prior to coming to the school.  

  • Classroom volunteers must be scheduled to visit and be approved by Ms. Crane, our principal.

  • Visitors are strongly encouraged to call the main office ahead of time to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be deemed necessary by Ms. Crane as the safety of our students and staff is our priority. 

  • All meetings, i.e. IEP, 504, and parent meetings, will be held remotely when possible.

Last Updated: August 4, 2020