REOPENING SCHOOLS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Buckingham County Public Schools
Recover. Redesign. Restart. 2020
The mission of Buckingham County Public Schools is to cultivate
successful citizens by creating a safe, positive learning environment
where all students and staff can adapt, create, collaborate, think
critically and meet the challenges of an ever-changing society.
In an effort to meet CDC Guidelines, Virginia Department of Health Guidelines, the Governor’s Phases for reopening schools and to meet the requirements of the Virginia Department of Education to provide equity, social emotional learning, and academic instruction to all students in a safe learning environ-ment, the Buckingham County Public Schools Task Force developed a plan to address the following areas:
Scheduling/ Delivery of Instruction Loss of Instruction
Professional Development Family Engagement Staff/Student Absences Operations
Health Checks/Screening for students and staff Social Distancing/PPE/Hygiene School Meals Sanitation/Cleaning Transportation Athletics/Extracurricular Activities Visitors/Use of Facilities
Task Force Members
Buckingham County Pre-School Angela Jones, Principal Renee Schaeffer, Teacher
Buckingham County Primary Angela Jones, Principal Brittany Dalton, Teacher Tamara Green, Teacher Desiree Butwin, Teacher Amy Scott, Special Education Teacher
Buckingham County Elementary Bryan Jackson, Principal Courtney Browning, Assistant Principal Donnie Bryan, Teacher Helen Montgomery, Teacher Linda Amos, Teacher Renee Perry, Reading Specialist
Buckingham County Middle Zane Harshman, Principal Denise Leatherwood, Librarian Tiffany Spencer, Teacher Angie Johnson, Teacher Hope Motley, Teacher Christine Wingert, School Counselor
Buckingham County High Patti Branch, Principal Russ Gowin, Athletic Director Cynthia Jones, RN/School Nurse Brian Caldwell, Teacher
Jenni Croll, Special Education Coordinator Michelle Wright, Teacher
Angela LeSueur, Teacher Micheal Kimble, Teacher Maggie Shanley, Teacher Libbie Ranson, School Counselor
Buckingham County CTE Kyle Bryan, Principal Col. Fanter, JROTC Instructor Chris Walter, Teacher
Dr. Daisy Hicks, Superintendent Dr. Sherry Saunders, Executive Director of HR/
Emily Hogge, Director of Student Services Wendy Oliver, Director of Finance JB Heslip, Director of Facilities Ronnie Palmore, Director of Transportation Joan Shumaker, Coordinator of Technology/SIS Lisha Robinson, Coordinator of Instructional Services Kelly Acevedo, School Psychologist Erin Lake, Behavior Specialist Britney Richardson, School Social Worker Tanisha Tindall, Cafeteria Manager
Community Partners Cody Davis, Buckingham Co. Emergency Management
Dr. Robert Nash, MD Piedmont V DH David Martin, Piedmont Health District Emergency
Reginald Adams, ABM Regional Director of Operations John Mays, ABM Custodian Services Supervisor Todd Shumaker, Buckingham County Recreation
Jessica Lehman, V P of Early Childhood Education
Parent Survey Overview/Results:
Feedback was provided from parents utilizing a parent survey to collect information on their level of comfort on sending their child back to school in the Fall and seeking information on which option they would prefer: Virtual/Remote Learning Model or Hybrid Learning Model (attending school one or two days a week and virtual/remote learning the remaining days). The survey was sent to parents using our instant alert message calling system. The system called 1,017 phone numbers in which 938 parents answered the call, eight (8) phone numbers were busy and after three attempts did not connect with the parent, 14 were not answered, and 57 of the phone numbers were disconnected. There were approximately 608 parents who completed the entire survey. The survey revealed that fifty-one per-cent (51%) of the parents who completed the survey would feel comfortable sending their child back to school and forty-nine percent (49%) would not feel comfortable sending their child back to school. Fifty-seven percent (57%) would like the Virtual/Remote Learning Model for their child in the Fall and forty-three percent (43%) did not want the Virtual/Remote Learning Model for their child. Sixty percent (60%) of the parents supported a two day rotation if participating in a Hybrid Learning Model (in school 2 days a week and remote/virtual learning 3 days a week).
Scheduling/Delivery of Instruction:
Buckingham County Public Schools phase plans include learning models which can be readily imple-mented regardless of fluctuation in the community’s phases. During Phase 1 a Virtual/Remote Learn-ing Model for all students except for special education students, as needed, based on the student’s IEP will be implemented. A 1-1 initiative (Chromebooks), along with USB drives will be provided to all students to access curriculum and instruction, as well as providing a process to return completed work. When Phase 1 is implemented, the Virtual/Remote Learning Model provides contingency for ensuring continuity of instruction. The Task Force believed that in Phases 2 and 3 it would best serve students and parents by providing them an option for selecting how they wanted their child to receive learning instruction. Therefore, a Virtual/Remote Learning Model as well as a Hybrid Learning Model will be utilized in Phases 2 and 3. During Phase 2, the Hybrid Learning Model will only be available to stu-dents in PK –3, English Learners, and stustu-dents with disabilities, and the Virtual/Remote Learning Model will remain available to all students. During Phase 3, all students, PK-12 will have the option of the Virtual/Remote Learning Model or the Hybrid Learning Model. For the Hybrid Learning Model there will be an “A” Schedule and a “B” Schedule. Students on the “A” Schedule will report to school on Mondays and Tuesdays and receive virtual/remote learning on Wednesdays-Fridays, and students on the “B” Schedule will receive virtual/remote learning on Mondays-Wednesdays and report to school on Thursdays and Fridays. These schedules will be based on the location the students live within the county; therefore, half the students will report on the “A” schedule and the other half will report on the “B” schedule. This will allow all of our bus fleet to go to certain locations on each schedule to meet the guidelines for social distancing on the buses. Attendance for students who participate in the Virtual/ Remote Learning Model will be based on completion of work. Once the family has determined a
student’s model, generally, changes will not be allowed due to social distancing requirements and transportation restrictions.
Grades PK-2 students will remain with the same homeroom teacher all day for content area academics. K-2 students will also receive instruction from an ENCORE teacher. Grades 3-5 will move between two content teachers and a ENCORE teacher each day for those on the Hybrid Learning Model. There will be staggered break times for classes, such as: bathroom breaks, water breaks, and exercise breaks to get up and move around after sitting in the same desk throughout the day. Students will be allowed to go outside for recess as long as there are no more than 50 individuals on one play ground at a time during Phases 2 and 3. Students will be required to wash their hands before and after using playground equipment. Middle and High School students will switch classes with limited mixing of groups as much as possible/practical.
Scheduling/Delivery of Instruction (con.):
Pre-Kindergarten-12th grade students may receive a Chromebook and one or two flash drives. Stu-dents who do not have internet access will be provided with two flash drives, in which learning materials will be downloaded for two weeks. This will enable students to access learning materials and return their work on one flash drive while working from the other. Generally, flash drives will be ex-changed on Wednesdays at each school’s designated pick up zone and time. Alternate times may be requested through the school administrator and student’s teacher(s). Students who have internet ac-cess and who utilize the Hybrid Learning Model will be given one flash drive. Their materials will be downloaded on the flash drive on the last day of their weekly on-campus instruction to have to work on remotely. Teachers hold office hours virtually or in person at a time that works best for them and their students. Local Hotspots will continue to be provided for students who do not have access to the internet.
Student’s work will be submitted and graded for both learning models. Grading practices will be fol-lowed as outlined in the division’s Fall 2020 Parent-Student Handbook. Students will sign the honor code and parents will be encouraged to allow students to complete assignments independently as ap-propriate.
The 2020-2021 School Calendar was revised to exchange some holidays that were originally built in the calendar, for instructional days, and to start the school year two days later to allow for more PD/ Teacher workdays for staff to prepare for the “new normal”. During times when the Hybrid Learning Model is being implemented, teachers will utilize Wednesdays for Teacher Workdays/PD and to con-nect and follow up with students who are utilizing the Virtual/Remote Learning Model.
Loss of Instruction:
Distance Learning Packets were provided for students during Spring 2020. The Virtual/Remote Learn-ing Model was utilized for Summer School (June 1-24, 2020) in which Virtual Virginia and Google Classroom were used as the Learning Management System. Beginning Fall 2020, each school will ad-minister diagnostic tests remotely for those students participating in the Virtual/Remote Learning Model. Formative assessments will be administered at the beginning of the school year for those stu-dents participating in the Hybrid Learning Model by utilizing MAP, PALs, and CIP pre-assessment benchmarks. Pacing guides will be updated to allow for spiral review of essential SOLs not taught after March 13th. Curricula will be revised and learning modules will be developed to integrate miss-ing content, to include no-tech, low-tech, and/or high-tech/remote instruction. A virtual remediation plan for primary, elementary, middle and high school will be provided for students who are participat-ing in the Virtual/Remote Learnparticipat-ing Model . Each school will have a designated time durparticipat-ing the day for remediation of students who are participating in the Hybrid Learning Model.
Digital and printed handouts for professional development will be provided to parents and staff in the following areas: Social Emotional Learning, CDC Guidelines and COVID-19 mitigation strategies, meditation training and breathing techniques, and use of virtual/remote learning equipment/materials. The division will continue to provide professional development for other areas based on needs assess-ments, such as, but not limited to: Structured Literacy, differentiated instruction, behavior manage-ment, and cultural awareness. Students will receive training on social distancing and proper hand washing, as well as other CDC Guidelines/COVID-19 mitigation strategies that may be appropriate.
The division will provide CDC Guidelines to families, create newsletters highlighting how we are creating safe environments and how they can be a part of creating safe environments at home and supporting the school. Web links will also be provided for additional resources. The division will share the plan of how distance learning materials and meals will be distributed to students participating in the Virtual/Remote Learning Model, as well as expectations for students participating in either learning model. Teachers will establish set days/times for Google Hangout meetings or schedule times with families who do not have internet access to call. Information will be posted on the division’s website, social media, and the electronic marquee board. Teachers will provide families with assignments to help engage with their students to make learning fun and meaningful. Parents will be provided step-by-step guidance for help with instruction. Videos will also be provided when possible. Students will sign the honor code and parents will be encour-aged to allow students to complete assignments independently as appropriate.
Open house will be conducted virtually and/or drive-in style. This may include Google Meet, pre-recorded videos, or teachers driving to students’ homes. Each family and student will be provided reading materials. Small group in-person technology training will be offered. Web links will be posted on the school website for video tutorials on how to use the technology we are requiring the students to utilize. The division will continue to utilize the instant alert call message system to provide information to families.
Teachers will provide opportunities for students to make up missed assignments and/or utilize the Virtual/ Remote Learning Model for students who get sick and can not return to school under their original model of Hybrid Instruction. Guidelines will be followed for students and staff who have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus. Students and staff will have to remain out of school for a two week period, based on guidance from the CDC and/or VDH. Students and staff must stay home or go home if they have a fever of 100.4, or based on the answers from the screening form.
When possible, for higher risk staff, telework will be allowed. However, when the responsibilities of the job will not allow for telework, the employee will have the opportunity to utilize the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Training will be provided for substitutes. The division will continue to hire a pool of substitute teachers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers to meet staffing needs.
School attendance teams will meet weekly to discuss student attendance concerns in order to continue to implement the attendance policy and procedures.
Health Checks/Screening for Students and Staff:
All parents will be provided the screening form to utilize prior to having the child load the buses and/ or any school transportation, or bringing the child to school in the mornings. Temperatures will be checked for each student before entering the classroom, utilizing a no-contact infrared thermometer or kiosk for middle or high school. Staff will complete the screening form each day, and their tempera-tures will be checked when they enter the building utilizing a kiosk. A designated waiting area in each building will be utilized for students who have a temperature of 100.4 or above. The parent/guardian will be contacted to immediately pick up the child from school. The child will not be allowed to return to school until at least 24 hour temperature free without medication and/or a doctor’s note to return. Staff will be sent home immediately and will not be able to return to work until at least 24 hour tem-perature free without medication and/or a doctor’s note to return.
The division will seek to utilize CARESACT Funds for contract services of two additional nurses to allow for a nurse at each building. This will be pending approval of the CARESACT Grant that will be submitted in mid July, 2020.
Face Masks and Face Shields will be provided to staff and students as needed. Face Masks will be worn anytime in which social distancing can not be followed, such as loading and unloading buses, entering buildings, walking down hallways, going to the bathrooms, Driver’s Education, etc. Face Shields may be more appropriate for students who need to read lips or facial expressions and who may not be able to use a Face Mask. It is expected that all staff and students have a cloth face mask.
Students and staff will utilize proper handwashing, following the CDC guidelines of washing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and using alcohol based hand sanitizer throughout the day, especially when entering the building, before lunch, after lunch, after recess, after using the restroom, and other times when it may be necessary.
Hallways, cafeteria lines, classroom floors, gyms floors, bus seats, etc., will have tape markings to de-lineate for social distancing. Desks will be placed 3’-6’ apart facing the same direction in all class-rooms. Less than 6’ distancing will only be used when 6’ distancing is not practical. In these instanc-es, cloth coverings will be required. Classrooms that have tablinstanc-es, will use shield dividers. An open space will be left between each student, and no student will be sitting directly across from another stu-dent. Students will be directed to stay to the right of the hallway and be mindful of social distancing using the markings in the hallway.
Bus seats will be marked where students cannot sit to allow for social distancing. Students from the same home will be allowed to sit in the same seat without social distancing. Students who get on the bus first in the mornings will be asked to move to the back of the bus to allow for students not having to pass by other students when they get on the bus. All students will sit in their same seat every day on the bus. Since all grade levels of students ride the same bus, when the bus is loading at the different schools, students will be asked to put their mask on until all students are loaded from that school. School Meals:
Meal procedures will be the same in Phases 2 and 3. Breakfast will be delivered to students in their homeroom class at the preschool and primary schools. Breakfast will be available as a grab & go op-tion as students enter the building at the elementary, middle, and high schools. During lunch, at each school, students will be taken to the cafeteria to pick up their meal. Students and staff will follow the social distancing guidelines in the hallways and cafeteria. Once students and staff get their meals, they will return to their classroom to eat. Meals will continue to be distributed to parents for their children every Wednesday at the Middle School from 12 noon-2pm during Phases 1, 2, and 3.
Restrooms will be sanitized/cleaned using the CDC Guidelines and recommended products based on established building level schedules, to include cleaning after each large group’s usage and frequent cleaning (i.e. at least every 45-60 minutes) for designated high usage restrooms. Trash will be re-moved from the classroom after breakfast and lunch. Teachers will use spray disinfectants and/or wipes to clean desks, chairs, and student’s pencil boxes each day prior to leaving their class-room. Playground equipment will not be used during phases 1, 2, or 3.
Students will use water bottles and only use the no-touch portion of the fountains to fill the bottles. Water fountains will be cleaned using CDC Guidelines using the same schedule as the restroom cleaning schedule.
Students will not share supplies. Supplies should be kept in a container on the desk for each student in Grades PK-5, and students in Grades 6-12 will have their supplies to take with them to each class. Electrostatic sprayers will be used throughout the buildings and on each bus, and a deep cleaning dis-infecting will be conducted every Wednesday and Friday evenings to clean before the next group of students enter the building. An increase of custodial staff will be available during the day.
The county will be divided into two sections. Section A will provide bus transportation for students on the west side of Route 20 to Dillwyn and the west side of Route 15 from Dillwyn to Farmville on Mondays and Tuesdays . Section B will provide bus transportation for students on the east side of Route 20 to Dillwyn and the east side of Route 15 from Dillwyn to Farmville on Thursdays and Fri-days. There may be slight modifications to this plan, depending on the number of students receiving instruction through the hybrid learning model and requiring school transportation.
Cars will only be utilized during an emergency to transport one student to allow for social distancing and only when the driver and the student can wear a Face Mask during the entire time of being trans-ported.
Students who have previously been transported in cars will be transported in smaller vans. Students who have previously been transported in smaller vans will be transported in larger vans or small buses.
Athletics will follow the guidelines established by Virginia High School League. At this time, these guidelines have not been finalized, but will be updated once they are. Coaches are encouraging condi-tioning and skill building at home and are sending workouts to athletes for them to use at home. Extracurricular and after school activities will be determined at a later date.
Visitors/Use of Facilities:
Visitors will be limited as much as possible. Appointments will be required, and visitors will need to be screened/temperature checked and be required to wear a mask. There will be no use of facilities requests approved during Phases 1, 2, or 3.
This plan remains fluid. Buckingham County Public Schools reserves the right to change any portion of the plan based on the new information received from the CDC, VDH, VDOE, or the