2021-2022 School Opening Letter from Acting Superintendent Mr. McAllister


 

August 26, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:

Welcome to the 21/22 school year.  I hope you had an opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends.  Please know that the Region 14 staff is prepared to guide our students through, what is likely to be, another challenging school year.  Our revised re-opening plan addresses two major areas; Health and Safety Strategies and Continuity of Services.  Specifics of the plan, using the state template, are included with this correspondence.

Important points:

  • We fully expect all students to return to school for full-time instruction in the fall. There is no option for students to choose remote learning for the 2021-2022 school year. All learning must be in person.
  • A vaccinated student and staff member does not need to quarantine if they have contact with a positive individual. More explanation on quarantines is detailed in the table included.
  • After school activities, athletics and clubs will resume.
  • Visitors will not be allowed in classrooms, but can attend school wide events or meetings via appointment. PPT/504 meetings will continue to be offered via a remote option.
  • In-state field trips will be allowed, but subject to change based on conditions. Out-of-state field trips are on hold for now.

Items noted below are updates to our standard policy and procedures.

Bus Transportation

All-Star Transportation will continue to take additional measures to keep students safe.  For elementary students using bus transportation, buses will be loaded from the back to the front as the students are picked up and those will be their assigned seat until further notice.  For high school and middle school students, if high school students are dropped off first, they will sit in the first half of the bus and vice versa for the middle school students.  All drivers and students will be wearing masks.  Bus drivers will have a supply of masks for those students who may forget one. Drivers have been directed to stay home if they are not feeling well.  Buses will be sanitized and areas wiped between and after each bus route and sanitized again at the end of the day.  Students will only be allowed to sit with other family members or members of their household.  Students will not be allowed to share their seat or change seats as they have in the past.  Buses will try to stagger their drop off times so that students are not sitting idle on the buses or congregating at school. 

Food Services

After forty years, Mr. Peter Brooks, the Region 14 Food Services Director, has tendered his notice of retirement.  In his place, Region 14 has contracted with EdAdvance, who will provide managerial oversight of the Region 14 Food Service program.  We are once again participating in the National School Lunch program.  One lunch per day will be provided free of charge.  Additional lunches and a la carte items will be available on a paid basis. Funds can be deposited into the My School Bucks program. 

Students will be offered the opportunity to enjoy a hot lunch this year; Grab-n-Go breakfasts will also be made available to those who wish to participate. A la carte items will be offered to students at the middle and high schools.  Specific details will be outlined in building-level correspondence that you should expect shortly.

Region 14 Website/Resource Center

The Region 14 website is an excellent resource for the most up-to-date information: district, school, and athletic calendars; news updates from principals; curricula; links to school-based programs, and much more. You can also sign-up for calendar and news alerts to receive notifications when updates are made.

Student Privacy

We want you to know Region 14 takes seriously student data privacy. The district is in compliance with Connecticut’s student data privacy law posted on the CSDE website. The Region 14 policies regarding student privacy are posted on the district website, along with a list of approved digital resources who have signed the student data privacy pledge.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing everyone back to school.

Sincerely,

Wayne McAllister

Acting Superintendent of Schools

 

Revisions to our Reopening Plans 2021-2022

Regional School District #14

 

The Region 14 Public Schools will be using a State template to address the revisions to our reopening plans. Table 1 will describe Health and Safety strategies like mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and contract tracing. Table 2 will describe Continuity of Services provisions.

Table 1            Health and Safety Strategies

 

Mitigation Strategy

District Response

 

 

 

Universal and correct mask wearing

  • Masks will be required inside all buildings by students, staff, and visitors in the Region 14 Public Schools to start the school year regardless of vaccination status as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order through September 30th.  Refer to Executive Order 13A for exemptions.
  • Masks/face coverings are not required while outdoors.
  • Masks will be required on all school buses and vans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical distancing

  • To the greatest degree possible classrooms will be set up with 3 feet distance between student desks.
    • Student quarantines are based on a 3 foot radius between students in a classroom for 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period.
  • Social distancing outside of the classroom will be exercised to the greatest degree possible.
    • Quarantines for students and adults in non-classroom settings are based on a 6 foot radius for 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period.

 

This area is subject to change based on state regulations and CDC guidelines.

Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

Students and staff will engage in frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and office spaces.

Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities

Our custodian staff will continue to clean daily and perform deep cleaning when positive cases occur.

 

 

 

 

Contact tracing and quarantines

The district will continue with contact tracing procedures that were successful during the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Quarantines will follow CDC guidelines
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine when contact occurs at school.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are required to quarantine when contact occurs with a family member the individual is living with.

 

Quarantine guidelines will closely mirror CDC and DPH recommendations.

 

Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies

 

 

Student accommodations will be provided as detailed per each child’s IEP, including any needed health and safety protocols to keep the child safe.

 

Table 2            Continuity of Services

 

The Region 14 Public Schools is committed to offer full in-person learning next year 5 days per week. We will not be offering a remote learning option for parents or a hybrid learning model. However, if there is a surge of COVID-19 cases in our community or many cases in our schools and classrooms, we will move to remote learning for short periods of time. These decisions will be made in consultation with our local health department officials and our medical director.

 

Learning Model

Description

Remote options for Individual Students

Not offered at this time per Connecticut’s Back-to-School Plan.

 

In-Person Learning

This is the default operating mode next year and we fully expect to start the school year with 5 full days of learning per week.

Hybrid Learning

This option will not be offered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remote Learning

The State Department of Education is not permitting the remote learning option for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition, schools are not allowed to use Digital Snow Days during the school year. All learning is to occur in-person during the

2021-22 school year.

 

Those students placed in quarantine by the school nurse will be provided continued learning opportunities using age appropriate strategies:

 

  • K-12 grade students will engage asynchronously through Google Classroom.