FRUITLAND - With a new school year ahead and a new superintendent on board, the Fruitland School District is forging ahead with its plans to confront a new normal in the wake of novel coronavirus COVID-19.
In a letter to families retrieved on July 31, Superintendent Lyle Bailey summarized the District’s draft ‘Opening Level’ plans for reopening its campuses for the fall semester.
“This plan is centered around traditional schooling, with students and teachers in the building,” said Bailey. “The plan is adaptable in accordance with the levels of COVID-19 in the community. While we are planning to have school in person, there will also be K-12 on-line options for students who are not comfortable coming to school in person.”
Color-coded for your convenience
Like neighboring school districts, Fruitland will see its plan follow a ‘green-yellow-red’ approach, as prescribed by the Idaho State Board of Education. Following are examples of the District’s adaptation thereof for each scenario:
• Green - Normal school operations
Face-to-face instruction would return, with the District’s attendance policy in force with modification for students attending remotely, and on-site special education services would be provided.
Meals would be served on-site, normal busing would be provided with social distancing wherever possible, and visitors would be allowed on campuses with check-in. Extracurricular activities, including athletics, would see normal practice and facility use. The District Office would be open for business as usual.
• Yellow - More restrictive, with blended learning options
Face-to-face instruction would take place in ‘A’ and ‘B’ group format, blended with online attendance on days when students are home. Special education services would be made available off-site as well as on-site. Meals would be served with social distancing on-site and pick-up available for students when they are off-site.
Busing will still be provided with masks encouraged as well as social distancing. Visitors to campuses would be limited, as would extracurricular activities per guidelines set by the Idaho High School Athletics Association and the Southern Idaho Conference. Visitors to the District Office would need masks for entry.
• Red - School buildings closed, learning goes online
Instruction would take place online, with special education services being offered online and in-person. Meals would be available by bus delivery or in-person pickup. Student transportation would not be available, nor would visitors be allowed inside school buildings. No extracurricular activities would take place and the District Office would only be accessible by telephone or email.
In all three scenarios, outside organizations will not be able to use District facilities for the duration of the plan.
Under a ‘green’ scenario, precautions would start off with basics like hand hygiene stations throughout school buildings, promotion of regular hand washing, limited use of shared materials and spaces, enforcement of social distancing, sanitation of desks and other hard surfaces, and designation of an isolation and screening room at each site. Assemblies and other large gatherings would be limited as needed to assure distancing. Face masks are encouraged, but not required unless the state issues a mask mandate.
If the situation moves up to ‘yellow,’ measures on top of those listed would include stopping visitors from going beyond the front office and staggering lunch services to increase distancing.
No people would be allowed on-campus if the situation turns ‘red.’
“This plan may be adapted and changed should conditions with COVID-19 in our community change along with the recommendations of state and local health officials,” added Bailey. “Any change in plan will be communicated through our normal communication channels.”