Back of DUES building

What will a school day look like?

To begin the day, the district is asking all parents to screen their children for the symptoms of COVID-19 and to keep kids home if they are ill. Guidance for parents will be posted with the informational post on the district website. It asks parents to screen children for a temperature over 100 degrees and for sore throat; uncontrolled coughing; vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain; or new onset of a headache, especially if it’s accompanied by a fever. It’s also a factor whether students have had close contact with a person confirmed positive for COVID-19, had close contact with a person quarantined, or traveled to a COVID hotspot. Parents will need to screen their children before they get on a school bus or before they enter a school building.

We are asking parents to transport their children to school if at all possible. That’s the safest way, and it frees up space on our buses to allow for more distancing. However, we realize it isn’t possible for all parents to drop off their kids, so all the bus routes will run as normal. Students need a mask on the buses to pull up when social distancing isn’t possible. Buses will have set procedures for getting on the bus, for seating arrangements, and for disembarking.

Parents will be receiving information from their schools about drop off and pick up, which might look a little bit different than it has in the past. Once students arrive at a building, they will likely have designated areas they will go to when they get off the bus or when they get dropped off so students can stay in cohort groups as much as possible. We will utilize more entrances to the buildings, which will be supervised by staff members, so students can go into school through their designated entrances.

Once inside the school, students will have regular classes. No classes or programs have been cancelled. So elementary students will have specials (music, library, art, and so on), middle school students will have unified arts, and high school students will have electives. It may be that teachers come to students in their classrooms rather than students traveling to other rooms. Recesses will be held for elementary students, but groups may be divided up or schedules staggered. Students will be in cohort groups as much as possible except at the high school. High school students will not be cohorted for now because it severely limits students’ elective choices.

Hallway transitions will be staggered and controlled to limit the numbers of students in hallways at one time. Students will be spaced out as much as possible. Non-essential furniture is being removed from classrooms. When six (6) feet of social distancing is not possible, then students and staff will have to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth. Originally we had planned to order shields that would separate students, but those were not approved for us to use. So that plan has been changed for now.

Lunch will be served in all the buildings under some different protocols. We can only have 50 students in an area at a time, so lunches might be staggered a bit differently, or some students will eat in classrooms to reduce the numbers of students gathered together. The same great food will be served, but the menu will be pared down to fewer options in order to speed up the lines.

When it comes time to dismiss students, protocols will be in place so students will come out of different doors to allow for more social distancing.

The district’s reopening plan is being approved, and it will be posted on the district website. We are still planning to begin school in Tier I—open to in-person learning for all students. We will also be offering an adaptive learning option so students who can’t return to school can learn at home. The adaptive learning track will be delivered 100% online and will be the same content and same pace as classroom learning.

The plan also calls for a Tier II, a hybrid/blended model which would divide students into groups to reduce the number of students on campus at one time. Some students will be learning in person while others are learning adaptively from home. Students will have school all five days of the week, either on campus or from home. All district students have been divided into either an A group or a B group. Schools will let you know which group your kids are in just so you can plan ahead. Students in the A group will be going to school in person on Mondays and Tuesdays; students in the B group will be going to school iin person on Wednesdays and Thursdays; and all students will be doing adaptive learning from home on Fridays. Remember, this is only if we are in Tier II. We would only have to go to Tier II if state orders require it or if our county metrics related to COVID-19 deteriorate and it’s no longer safe to have most students on campus. Also realize that we have divided our students into two groups to allow us to plan and to allow parents to plan, but it’s possible that we would have to reduce numbers even further and maybe have only a third of our students on campus at once. We are just trying to plan for some possible scenarios. Here is a sample schedule of what an A-B hybrid/blended model might look like:

Hybrid Tier II schedule picture

If schools are closed for students, we’ll operate in Tier III, adaptive learning for all students. Remember though, unlike last spring when instruction was limited to priority standards, adaptive learning this fall will mirror the content and pace of classroom learning.

If we are in either Tier II or Tier III the district will try to provide meals that can be picked up at the rec center each day. One thing to note, there is no federal funding for these meals, so if meals are served, they will be charged to the student’s lunch account. They won’t be free of charge like they were last spring.

One thing we want to stress is we are dedicated to providing quality learning for all our students whether that’s in person or adaptively. Our staff understands the needs of our kids and want to ensure they are all learning in a way that works best for the student at this time. If you have questions about the options available, please contact your child’s school for more information.

The key to us staying open to in-person learning for all students is for the statewide COVID dashboard to indicate positive numbers and our county COVID metrics to remain positive. We would just ask for people to be careful in these few days before school starts. We have the state fair going on now, and then, right after school starts, we have Labor Day weekend. We are just asking people to be safe and healthy over the next few weeks so we can get our kids back in school, stay in school, and get our activities up and running this fall.

Thanks to all of you parents out there who have been patient while we got all these plans created. We’ve appreciated our partnership over these past few difficult months. One final reminder to register your kids for school if you haven’t yet. The links are on the district website at