**Plan updated August 20, 2020 at 11:50 AM based on an agreement between Ronan School District and RPEA**
Ronan School District 2020-21 School Reopening Plan
Since June, the Ronan School District has been working on reopening plans. We understand not everyone will agree with our plan, but hopefully we will give parents and guardians the ability to make the choice that they feel is in the best interest of their child.
Currently, Governor Bullock has our State in Phase 2. After many discussions with various local health departments, other superintendents, and educational leaders throughout the State, most feel we will continue in Phase 2 for the near future. With that thought, our plan has taken into consideration guidance from the CDC, as well as the American Pediatrics Association.
Phase 2 Plan
Schools will be open Monday thru Thursday for direct in-person instruction. Teachers will be at their scheduled school and contracted times Monday thru Friday. On Friday, the teacher's main focus will be working on remote student lessons. By using this plan, the work day on Friday is dedicated to extra planning and preparation needed to offer the quality education that our remote students deserve.
The following times will be the school day for the students:
Pablo Elementary 8:00 AM to 2:50 PM
K. William Harvey Elementary 8:20 AM to 3:15 PM
Ronan Middle School 8:20 AM to 3:00 PM (10 minutes earlier start and
Ronan High School 8:20 AM to 3:00 PM (25 minutes earlier dismissal)
The teacher’s workday will be:
Pablo Elementary 7:40 AM to 3:30 PM (Monday thru Thursday)
K. William Harvey Elementary 8:00 AM to 3:50 PM (Monday thru Thursday)
* Ronan Middle School 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM (Monday thru Thursday)
* Ronan High School 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM (Monday thru Thursday)
* The 3:30 PM release time (20 minutes early each day is in exchange for not having the 45 minute prep and 30 minutes of time after students are released that elementary teachers have each day.
On Fridays, all school’s work day will be 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Lunch on Fridays will be 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM
Grades 6th through 12th, will be using an A/B block schedule, which provides four classes per day of approximately 70 minutes. This allows us to keep groups of students together longer, which could help with contact-tracing if necessary. Blocks also eliminate students attending seven different periods with seven different groups of students and seven different teachers. The block schedule will allow for high school students to accumulate eight (8) credits for the year instead of the traditional seven (7).
RMS and RHS students would be released at 3:05 to accommodate the common prep. We understand that a MOU would have to be agreed on because of the work day shifting in these two buildings by 10 minutes and also because the current contract states that the educators work day ends 30 minutes after the release bell at the end of the day. This would not be the case if students are released at 3:05 and the teacher's prep runs from 3:05 to 3:50.
Other reasons why a block schedule is in our student’s best interest are but not limited to:
- Decreases class size by having 8 sections instead of 6
- Allows more sections to be available to the students
- The integration of study halls into the block schedule allows students to receive additional support when needed
- The ability to imbed foundations skills into the regular block because of the added length of the class
- The ability to offer more AP classes
- Block scheduling helps with instruction in classes like shop, culinary arts, metals, art and other hands on classes
- Block scheduling allows the RMS and RHS to share less staff throughout the day which in turn decreases the number of students in each classroom
- Block scheduling allows less transitions throughout the days for 850 students and staff which significantly decreases the amount of people they come into contact with throughout the day
In grades K-4, we will be following the governor’s and CDC’s guidance by having groups no larger than 50. Our plan is to keep classes together. For example: K. William Harvey has four (4) first grades. Two would be paired together creating a cohort. Those two first grades would share space together on the playground, use the same doors to enter and leave the building. They would also travel together to lunch maintaining the expected 3 to 6 feet of separation.
Grouping and Scheduling
Kindergarten through 5th grade students will be in class and grade level cohorts. Schedules will be designed to limit large gatherings in the library, gym, lunch area and the playground.
Block schedules will be used for 6th through 12th grade to reduce the frequency of movement and limit contact to less people.
It is the goal of the District to encourage social and physical distancing as much as possible. We feel in most classrooms, 3 to 6 feet is achievable. Students will use assigned seating and be facing the same direction. Governor Bullock declared August 12, 2020, that in counties that have more than 4 active cases, face masks or shields must be worn by all people in schools. This includes all K-12 students.
Parents will be encouraged to provide their child with a mask or face shield. The District will have some available for those who do not have one. Because of the governor’s declaration, all people in a school must wear a face mask or shield. This includes all students K-12. All students must have a face covering to get on a bus. Face masks or shields must be school appropriate.
We are hoping to work with the parents and guardians of our students to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure. If a student has been exposed, then they must stay home from school and seek medical attention. They may not return to school until they have been cleared for return to school by a healthcare professional. If a student exhibits symptoms at school, they will be isolated until a parent or guardian can be notified to pick the student up. It is crucial that all parents/guardians update their contact information with your child’s school.
All schools will have a designated area for students who exhibit signs of COVID-19 to keep them away from the other students and staff as much as possible until a parent or guardian can get to the school to pick them up.
Parents are encouraged to transport students whenever it is feasible to do so. Masks or face shields are required on all District school buses unless special circumstances exist. All students will have an assigned seat. Family members will sit together when necessary. Students will be seated two to a seat, at most. Additional routes may have to be added to do this. Hand sanitizer will be available on all buses and the buses will be sterilized with our new Protexus electro-static cleaning sprayers when they return to the bus garage after their morning and afternoon routes. To view the Protexus sprayer, click on the following link:
We will also have our Synovia Bus System installed in all of our route buses by the beginning of August. Along with the Here Comes the Bus app parents and guardians will be able to track their student’s bus and whether their child is on a specific bus.
Hallway and Lockers
Hallway traffic will be one way on half of each hallway. Students will be encouraged to use the closest exit, when possible. We understand there will be a substantial learning curve, but hopefully through education we can teach all of our students the importance of masks
All of the middle school classes have been moved from the high school. Shared staff will be using the Career Center or the Art Room building to teach their electives classes to middle school students.
High school administration plans on not using lockers. Middle school administration plans to start the year using the lockers.
We will be keeping cohorts together for recess time at the elementary schools. That means that two grade level classrooms (cohorts) will be sharing the same area. Each school will divide their playground up and to keep less than 50 students in an area. We will also be using the Protexus Sprayer on equipment whenever possible.
Meals and Cafeteria
K. William Harvey and Pablo Elementary will be doing “Breakfast in the Classroom”. Last school year at KWH, we utilized the process of serving breakfast in the classroom with great success. The teachers felt more students ate breakfast.
Both elementaries will be using a mix of staggered lunch times along with grab-and-go meals that will be eaten in the classroom or the cafeteria. The goal is to keep the numbers in any one area to less than 50 and also maintain the social distancing requirements. This is going to increase the amount of time needed to feed all of the students.
RMS and RHS will be doing a grab-and-go breakfast. In the morning, students will enter the cafeteria to get their breakfast. They will then go to their first period class or one of the designated areas to eat. RMS lunch will be a mix of grab-and-go meals that will be eaten in the classroom or some other designated area. Again, the goal is keep the numbers to less than 50 at any one time.
RHS lunch will remain open. Students can still leave campus, and the ones who decide to stay will do a grab-and-go to specific areas to eat where numbers will be kept less than 50 and social distancing protocols encouraged.
We will be installing Plexiglas screens at every secretary’s desk for their protection. In order to protect our medically fragile and immunocompromised students and staff members, for the most part, schools will be open to students, family members and staff. Ronan School District No. 30 will allow limited access for pre-approved visitors, vendors and volunteers. They must wear a face mask or face shield during their time in the building and allow a touchless temperature check. There will be a District approved screening form which will help with contact-tracing, if necessary, and enhance the health of the District.
Organized Field Trips and Extracurricular Activities
All field trips must be approved by the building administration. The District will follow the guidelines set up by the Montana High School Association. At this time, fall sports are a go. There are still questions about whether or not fans will be allowed. This could change Activity Fees to Participation Fees.
As a District, we understand there will be a percentage of our population who will prefer remote learning, for various reasons. With this in mind, we are looking at ways to make this an effective means of education for your child. Students who choose remote learning will be graded the same way as the in-person students. They will receive an actual grade. There will not be a pass/fail option.
During the parent survey, many discussed the challenges they faced during the spring remote learning. The biggest concern was communication and a desire for video instruction on the lesson. We are looking at ways to help in this area.
Friday will be the day teachers will use most of the day to focus on remote learning. This can be everything from preparing lessons, making contacts, uploading material, etc.
We have also created a director of student services who will work to coordinate efforts or concerns of students or parents who choose the remote learning option.
We will send home any books or other materials students may need for remote learning. We will have some Chromebooks available for student check-out. We are in the process of purchasing additional Chromebooks. Hopefully they will be here before school starts so we can get them to those students who need them.
The District will provide training on Google Classroom for our staff before school starts. This will allow teachers to upload lessons onto the teacher’s Google Classroom so the students can access it.
We understand there will also be a need for training the parents/guardians who will have to assist their student with remote-learning. We are working with one of our staff members who is skilled at using Google Classroom who will put together instructional videos or training for our parents/guardians and remote students about using this platform. We feel it is important to use the same platform for the entire District.
For remote learning students, elementaries will be sending some of the work home, like spelling handbooks and other materials needed to keep up in the classroom. We have discussed concentrating on the core subjects for the elementary students enrolled in remote learning. We will hopefully have videos for specific lessons available through remote learning. Again, teachers will be available Fridays to work with students and parents/guardians. Hopefully, they will be able to address their concerns during this time.
If a student with an IEP or 504 Plan chooses remote learning, the District will help determine if the accommodations and support can be delivered remotely or will need to be modified.
- All schools will have a Protexus sprayer
- Transportation will have a Protexus sprayer to be used after each trip
- Sanitizer stations will be installed throughout the buildings and on the buses
- Standup sanitizer stations at most of the entrances
- We will have one daytime custodian at each building.
- A significant amount of time will be spent educating staff and students on the importance of handwashing, use of sanitizer, social and physical distancing, use of masks or face shields
- The District will limit outside visitors as much as possible
- Each school will have a designated isolation room
- Plexiglas will be installed to protect staff when needed
- Google Classroom training will be provided for all staff
- Google Classroom training for students and parents/guardians
- Additional garbage cans will be purchased for each building
- Rollup metal windows have been installed at the entrance of K. William Harvey and RHS for safety reasons
- The District has purchased face masks and face shields for staff and students
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