The plan for reopening of Hendry County schools

By the Hendry County School Board

LABELLE — The Hendry County School District is offering three options for returning to school. We believe there is an option to meet everyone’s needs.

After you have familiarized yourself with the options below, please go to the Intent to Return Form located at the end of this document to choose the option that best meets your student’s needs. The deadline is July 15. Your prompt reply will help us finalize our plans for the fall. Working together, we can ensure that students start the 2020-2021 school year ready for success.

Your Three Options:

Option 1: Traditional on-campus

This model represents a return to the school campus and the classroom where students will interact directly with their teacher(s) and classmates. The school day will follow the standard bell times and standard schedule that includes all the core classes and other subject areas. In short, it represents a return to the traditional school environment — with several significant changes involving enhanced health and safety precautions.

Our goal is to create an environment that provides an opportunity for students to return to the traditional school experience, while providing effective safeguards to protect the health and safety of students and staff.

Public health actions on every campus:
• Practice safe social distancing to the greatest extent possible
• Post signage and provide lessons to strongly encourage frequent hand washing and hygiene practices
• Ensure hand sanitizer is available throughout the campus
• Increase cleaning protocols throughout each campus, including replacing air filters more frequently
• Limit group gatherings
• Encourage face coverings on campus
• Expect symptom screening for all staff and students
• Ensure any staff or students who exhibit symptoms are not at school or in the workplace

School bus safety:
• Expect students wear face coverings on the bus
• Clean high-touch areas between runs
• Ensure hand sanitizer is available on each bus
• Disinfect each bus thoroughly at the end of each day

At the elementary school level, we are creating a cohort isolation model, where students will spend time on campus with the group of students in their class, including in the classroom, the cafeteria, media center and the playground. Interaction with students from other classes will be limited to the greatest extent possible. If a student displays symptoms of illness, it will likely impact their cohort classmates, and not the entire school, in terms of quarantine or other interventions.

At the secondary level, each school will have a customized plan to discourage large gatherings of students in hallways and common areas, using clear communication and signage to reinforce the message. The number of students allowed in the cafeteria, media center and gymnasiums will be significantly reduced. Extracurricular activities will resume, and will adhere to recommendations from CDC and the state.

Option 2: Distance learning online

This model is designed for families who would like to maintain their connection to their enrolled school, but don’t yet feel comfortable sending their student(s) back to school in August. Students will attend school remotely, following the standard school schedule and bell times.

Based on feedback after our distance learning experience during Quarter 4, this learning model will incorporate many of the features that parents and students valued, such as regular virtual real-time interaction with teachers each day for every class. Parents can rely on teachers to facilitate and guide student learning.

Students will have scheduled times, synchronous class meetings and digital resources and assignments that can be completed at home or at school, if circumstances change during the year. This learning model provides families the flexibility to choose an instructional model to meet their needs during these uncertain times, and reflects our district’s commitment to providing a high-quality instructional experience, no matter what the setting. Devices and internet hotspots will be available to support students who participate in this option.

What to expect from distance learning online:
• Instruction is provided remotely and students will have access to their teachers during the regular school day hours
• Elementary students can expect daily lessons with face to face connections
• Secondary students can expect daily face to face connections for every period
• Attendance will be taken daily in each course

Additional supports for students and families:
• Virtual office hours and small group sessions to meet social and academic needs
• On demand access to a library of tutorials, troubleshooting and tech support
• Tips and strategies to support students learning off campus
• Support from case managers and academic intervention teachers to meet student needs during regular school hours

Option 3: Virtual school
Hendry County has a good working relationship with K-12 Virtual School, which has successfully served thousands of full-time students learning online. This full-time virtual school experience is ideal for students who wish to have more control over their learning path and pace, and for whom a flexible daily schedule is important. In this learning model, students often work on assignments during non-traditional hours, and maintain contact with their teacher and classmates using web-based class sessions, email, text messages and phone calls.

K-12 Virtual School offers courses for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, supported by a team of highly qualified teachers who offer office hours between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Enrollment requires a semester-long or year-long commitment.

Because K-12 Virtual School is a public school choice, students must participate in all required state assessments, and may take part in extracurricular clubs and activities with K-12 Virtual School or their zoned school.

K-12 Virtual School offers accredited courses, access to academic advisement and college planning, and opportunities for advanced coursework (including dual enrollment). Graduates earn a standard high school diploma accepted by colleges, universities and other postsecondary programs.

Students and parents may also participate in a virtual school choice.

Select an option:
When you have familiarized yourself with the three options, select the option that best meets your student’s needs. If you have more than one student, please submit one form for each student. The deadline for making your selection is July 15. Additional information and requirements will be provided about each option once determinations are completed. Below are links to student intent to return forms:

English
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y-qirQvQjOUZ2SwDSVba5E7te950zdayHj0qXapXIag/mobilebasic

Spanish
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctS-dqKr8HATX8U9HCS89HZ-2D_SWGX6SME3dS55GK5xFtlA/viewform

Hendry County Superintendent Paul Puletti announced that he would be holding an online discussion on Thursday, July 9, at 1:30 p.m. to discuss his reopening plans and protocols for Hendry County schools. This is a great opportunity for students and families to learn more details prior to submitting student intent to return forms, which are due July 15. A link to access this online discussion can be found at www.hendry-schools.org.

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