BOWLING GREEN, Mo. — The Bowling Green R-I School District has announced plans for the upcoming school year, with in-person classes, beginning Monday, Aug. 24.
The following was emailed to families on Wednesday, July 22 from Dr. Matt Frederickson.
I know that many have been patiently waiting to learn of our plans for the beginning of school for the 2020-2021 school year and wish to communicate with you what you can expect. First, I want to say that all decisions made related to the COVID-19 closure and reopening have been made with the blessing of the Pike County Health Department, and the precautions we have in place are to help prevent having to close schools again. Schools are required to work with their local health departments, and we have had a productive dialogue and planning sessions. I feel that since we had a very successful full length, in person summer school and graduation ceremonies with mitigation practices in place, we have confidence moving forward with the regular start date of August 24th, with students onsite, five days per week, with continued adjustments. This has been difficult as the situation surrounding COVID-19 changes daily, if not hourly, at the local, state, and federal levels. Again, these adjustments have been made based on the best guidance from our local health department.
Our plan was built with mitigation strategies in the following areas:
- Daily screening for illness or exposure to the novel
- Students and staff who experience symptoms related to COVID-19 should not come to
- Parents and staff are required to self evaluate using this form daily (the same form used for summer school) and are required to stay home if symptoms present: https://tinyurl.com/y8umh577. We are not requiring individuals to turn this form in daily, but to commit to screening themselves daily, and let us know if anything
- Temp taking at the entrance of our school buildings: 4 degrees or higher will require the individual to be isolated and sent home. Students and staff who are home with a fever must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and may return to school with a doctor’s note with a diagnosis not related to COVID-19. Students and staff without a doctor’s note after having a fever will be required to isolate for the full 14 days before returning to school.
- Social Distancing
- Desks and student work stations will be spaced as far apart as possible
- In school gatherings such as assemblies, rallies, school parties, dances, etc., will not be held until further
- Our Athletic Director will release additional details regarding extra/co-curricular activities based on recent guidance from the Missouri State High School Activities Association
- Assigned seating on buses and students sitting near families when possible and loaded from the back forward. Those who live within a mile of school are asked to walk or ride your bike and those who can ride with parents to school are encouraged to do
- Increased Sanitation
- Bus drivers and Classroom Teachers along with our custodial staff will be wiping and disinfecting regularly throughout each
- Regular handwashing/hand sanitizing and avoiding drinking fountains. Please bring a refillable bottle for water with a tight
- Staff will undergo sanitation training at our back to school professional development meetings in addition to virtual
- Avoid gatherings in restrooms, and maintain cleaning logs
- Personal Protective
- Students in grades 6-12 and staff will need to wear masks anytime they are not able to stay at least three feet from another person 15 minutes at a time and during passing times. If a student cannot afford a mask, the district will provide
- Students riding a school bus will need to wear masks
- Additional PPE will be provided to staff as appropriate along with sanitation materials
- Limited Visitor Access to
- Visitors will be required to be screened and wear a mask when entering the
- For this year, in place of the meet the teacher night, parents are asked to schedule a time with their teacher during the time we would have had meet the teacher night or another agreeable
- These restrictions may differ slightly for evening activities, which are optional to
- Remote Learning
- Parents have already had the option to apply for virtual learning options that are considered by the local school principal and counselor starting with the 2019-2020 school This process will continue. Applications for any type of Remote Learning for the Fall Semester are due by August
- Once a family chooses this option, the decision will be in place for the entire first semester.
o Teachers are given time to develop mirror lessons to be presented virtually to secondary students or through packets should a student be quarantined and need support remotely to continue learning until approved to return. At the elementary level, families requesting remote learning support for the first semester will be primarily done through a packet distribution of learning materials with regular teacher communication. At the secondary level (grades 6-12), the primary method for remote learning will be through the use of electronic delivery of learning materials. In some small instances, the local school could choose utilizing a vendor like Fueled by Launch or another vendor to provide virtual learning through the first semester.
- We are purchasing enough Chromebooks to have available to every secondary student moving us to a 1-to-1 platform for grades 6-12. Additional wireless access outside the BG and Frankford campuses is available, and we are in the process of securing hot spots for needed circumstances. Look for more communication regarding our checkout and orientation process from the building level.
- A student may need to be moved to a remote learning environment in the middle of the Fall Semester if they are quarantined for a period of time. Once cleared, they may transition back to t he regular
- Contact Tracing and Procedures for COVID-19 Infections
- The reason we are taking these precautions is to avoid another school
- Students or staff who display symptoms while at school will be moved to our isolation room until they go
- If the Health Department lets us know of an infection, we may be required to send students or staff that have been in the close area to the infected individual home to quarantine. With assigned seating in classrooms and buses, we might be able to avoid sending an entire class or bus group home.
- If a school closes, all activities at that school will be cancelled or
- Those that test positive will not be able to return until they have been cleared by the local health department.
- Additional resources:
I am grateful to our local health department, area school leaders, local school administration and nurses, our school board and our state education department who provided input and collaboration on our plans, as well as our families who participated in summer school providing much needed feedback. We ask for flexibility and patience throughout this time keeping our focus on providing a safe learning and working environment for all. Individual school buildings’ leadership will be sharing more specific information about how this implementation will look at each location. This year will be a bit different in all schools across our country. But I am committed to return to in-person learning, which is in the best interest of all of our students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.
This can be a very exciting year with the addition of our new K-12 Project Lead the Way programming, student internship program, and Gifted program along with the completion of many construction projects. Additionally, we have been successful in updating our bus fleet with newer buses assisted by state and federal grant monies. Our FEMA tornado room at Frankford and additional parking lot entrance improvement applications are in the process for outside funding. More on all of these exciting updates and more will be shared in the coming days.
I look forward to your cooperation as we continue to set the example of excellence in Bobcat Nation!
Matt Frederickson, PhD Superintendent