On July 13, the New Plymouth School Board approved what it is calling a “Leveled School Operations Plan” for reopening its campuses for the upcoming school year. Using the state’s ‘framework for decision making” in response to the continued novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the New Plymouth School District has developed its plan with help from the Payette County Office of Emergency Management, Southwest District Health and leaders of neighboring school districts.
Following are samples of the District’s plan, as posted in a bulletin to parents.
Level 1, “Normal with precautions”
Classes would resume in person for all students if no evidence of communal exposure exists. Measures to ensure safety would include:
• Increased cleaning of facilities;
• Masks provided to students and staff, required when social distancing is not possible or for the deaf/ hard of hearing;
• Reminder posters located throughout buildings;
• Parents encouraged to check their children for symptoms of COVID-19 before sending them to classes;
• Online/paper packets and adjustments made for excused students;
• Adjusted duties for employees working from home;
• Lunches would be served at adjusted times in settings which allow distancing;
• Social distancing on buses whenever possible, with masks required when it isn’t;
• Only one visitor at schools at a time, with masks required; and
• Limited number of spectators at competitions with masks encouraged.
Level 2, “A/B School Days
In the event of high likelihood/confirmed communal exposure, students would be divided into two groups and measures taken would include the above with the following adjustments.
• Each group would attend in-person two days weekly (Group ‘A’ would attend Monday and Tuesday, Group ‘B’ Thursday and Friday), with homework to be done three days a week;
• Teachers and students would be screened upon arrival with a no-contact thermometer;
• Remote services would be offered as available for off-campus students;
• Meals would be made available for pick-up for off-campus students;
• No concessions at athletic events;
• Athletic teams would be divided into groups of 12 or fewer for separate practices; and
• Outside organizations would not be allowed to use facilities.
Level 3, “Soft closure
If large-scale communal spread exists, school buildings would be closed to students with the following measures in place.
• Deep cleaning performed, as students and staff stay away
• Services provided remotely through technology
• Online and paper packets would be made available based on connectivity and preference
• Employees work from home as much as possible, with limited on-site staff working limited hours
• Two meal pick-up sites would be offered for all children 18 years and younger
• All extra-curricular activities would be canceled
“While our local school board approved the Leveled School Operations Plan, they did not yet decide the level at which the schools will be operating when school starts,” according to the bulletin. “The school board will meet again in early August to review guidance from Southwest District Health to make that decision. Additional information will be forthcoming to students and their families with specifics, such as which students will be in Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ in the case of Level 2 operations.”