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Crivitz School Board Sets Reopening Plan

Issue Date: July 29, 2020

On Tuesday, July 27th, the Crivitz School Board met to discuss WIAA fall guidelines, school reopening plans, and the new curriculum that will be used by all Crivitz students. 

The WIAA provided recommendations for summer sports and fall guidelines will be similar. Some of these recommendations include a maximum population of 50 while outdoors, limited intermingling, and no populous competitions. Fan attendance, district competitions, and the occurrence of games will be discussed at a later date when there is more knowledge regarding infection statistics. It's also been discussed that online streaming will most likely be an option.

Most sports for high school and middle school will - with some adaptations - be up and running this school year.

The Board unanimously voted in favor of following the WIAA guidelines, but many components such as how many fans to allow are still up in the air. Certain aspects will be finalized when it gets closer to games. An important thing to note is that there is no interest in moving fall sports into the spring. The sports seasons will remain the same. The entire School Board is in agreement concerning the importance of sports, but their top priority is the safety of the Crivitz students.

In addition to discussing how to facilitate sports, the School Board also provided a reopening plan for the entire Crivitz district. First and foremost, there will be two options for students: online and in-person. Via online registration, parents will have to decide whether to send their child(ren) to school or keep them home by August 15th. For the students who stay home, a curriculum called Acellus will be used. By using this program, parents don't have to teach, which was a large concern in the latter months of this past school year. Online students will have identical rigor and coursework as the in-person students, which ensures that both sets of students are receiving equal educational opportunities.

In-person students will also be using Acellus but a teacher will be present in the classroom. The teachers will use Acellus as their curriculum but are allowed to provide supplemental resources, such as question-answer time and additional help. Both sets of students will receive the same educational material so that everyone's learning is fairly seamless. Attendance policies will be adjusted but still applied to both sets of students to ensure daily participation. 

Safety is a big concern, so many plans and procedures have been put in place to best serve each staff member and student. Face masks are strongly recommended and encouraged but are not mandatory, except on the bus. While riding the bus, each student will be required to wear a mask and remain in a seat by themselves. Every bus will be disinfected after every route; they will be sanitized after the morning and evening bus routes. In terms of face coverings in the school building, teachers and other staff will be wearing protection. Students who participate in choir and band will also be required to wear masks during those class periods. 

Recess and lunchtime have been altered to better fit the safety recommendations. During recess, just one grade level will be out at a time. This limits the exposure and makes cases easier to track. For lunch, there will be assigned seats and cafeteria servers will plate the food before giving it to the students. The school library is also making adjustments: any book that is touched will go in a bin for 72 hours before being handled by staff, shared materials will be removed, social distancing will be observed, and an online catalog will be encouraged for book browsing. Both in-person and online students will have access to the library.

Most of the classrooms have been altered so that students face the front of the room to limit face-to-face contact. In addition to renovating the rooms, students will be placed in specific cohort groups within their class to control the exposure. By doing this, when a student tests positive for Covid-19, just the small group will be exposed instead of the entire class.

If a student exhibits Covid-like symptoms, they will be sent home and can only come back either after being negatively tested or after healing from the illness.

There will be designated entrance and exit doors to control the flow of traffic as well as close monitoring of hallway traffic. All drinking fountains will be turned off, but water bottle refilling stations will be available to encourage students to bring their own water. 

When a teacher tests positive or has to go home due to symptoms, a substitute will take their place and the classroom will continue as usual. The teacher can come back to work after fourteen days of quarantining or a negative test. Throughout the year, teachers will be limiting their one-on-one time with students and wearing a mask to lower the likelihood of getting Covid-19.

District Administrator Patrick Mans, said that the Crivitz school will most likely have to temporarily close if too many teachers fall ill, so they will do everything in their power to ensure the health of all staff. 

Before each school day, students and staff will conduct a personal health screening. There will be a sheet that asks about specific symptoms, possible exposure, and daily temperatures. This process will be conducted at home and will remain confidential. It simply serves the purpose of monitoring symptoms.

Essential visitors will have to complete the health screening form before they can enter the building and must wear a face covering.

In addition to restricting exposure, another important aspect is cleaning. Teachers and other staff members will be vigilant about sanitizing everything in between uses. The use of shared objects, such as computers, will be limited to better control the spread. The reopening plan was approved five to one. 

After discussing the reopening plan, the School Board further explored Acellus, an all-online curriculum. One of the biggest concerns was that every student would be "plugged into a Chromebook" all day, which was a valid worry for many parents. Many teachers as well expressed their disapproval of the curriculum but were countered with the suggestion of providing supplemental material to enrich the in-person experience. It was decided that teachers will use Acellus as their base, but have the freedom to tell stories and answer questions. It will be trial and error as the teachers learn how to navigate this year with the program. The main reason the School Board ruled in favor of Acellus was the consistency it provides. Both in-person and online students are guaranteed the same educational material by using the learning platform. For special education students, most of the meetings and Child Find activities will be conducted online as well. The School Board unanimously voted in favor of using Acellus. Acellus is not a long-term solution, but it is a viable resource considering the conditions. As Lyle Cherry, a Board member, said, "This is an alternative to get us through."

At its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 15 the board approved allowing the Crivitz Woman's Club to use the Elementary School to distribute free school supplies on one day in August.

They were informed that Matt Robinson and Brad Taylor had resigned as Junior High Football coaches and approved Alex Zenil and Gerrid MacNeil to replace them.

They approved hiring Melissa Sanders as a guidance counselor to work as necessary at all grade levels, Matt Robinson as a part time Tech Education teacher, Alex Zenil as a student teacher in Phy Ed, Toni Spalding as a Junior High School Student Council Advisor, and Amy Grandaw as a volunteer cross country coach.

Student handbooks for Elementary, Middle and High School, with minor changes, were approved as presented, as were changes to the Extra-Curricular Activities Code, Transportation Handbook and Technology Purchasing Policy.

The board also approved second readings of a list of 65 board policy updates as recommended by NEOLA and adopted two new policies, one governing epidemics and pandemics and the other governing use of social media.


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