Pontiac William Holliday District 105
Safe to Return to School Plan and Continuity of Services
Updated August 3, 2021
Pontiac William Holliday District 105 is committed to continuing to provide high quality education for students. In accordance with the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools July 9, 2021 declaration, Pontiac William Holliday School District 105 will be open fully for in-person learning for all student attendance days during the 2021-2022 school year. Remote instruction will only be made available to students who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, only while they are under quarantine consistent with guidance or requirements from a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. If a student does not meet the above criteria, but requests remote learning due to a medical condition, the request for remote learning will be evaluated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If the student has a qualifying medical condition, the student may be provided with home/hospital instruction. Absent an order from the Illinois State Board of Education and/or the Illinois Governor’s Office, District 105 schools will be in operation in accordance with the following guidelines and procedures:
I. Health & Wellness
A. Physical Distancing - To the extent possible within school and classroom structures so that it does not exclude students from full day in-person learning, school staff are to help students commit to physical distancing as much as possible by:
1. Arranging furniture, play spaces and naptime materials to model and reinforce physical distancing of at least 3 feet, when possible.
2. Providing assigned seating for students and encourage students to remain in these seats to the greatest extent possible; and
3. Developing marked paths throughout the building.
School Staff will maximize physical distance as much as possible when moving through food service lines and while eating indoors. Aside from the cafeteria, additional spaces for mealtime seating may be utilized when available and feasible (e.g., weather permitting).
B. Face Coverings (Masks) - Each student will be required to wear a mask within the building and on buses even if social distancing. All individuals in school buildings must wear face coverings at all times, unless they are under the age of two, have trouble breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance. On very rare occasions, masks may be exempt with medical conditions verified by a doctor’s notice (these circumstances will be dealt with individually between parent and administration). Masks must be school appropriate, cover nose and mouth (no open airways and no valves that release air out), and must not cause a disruption to the school environment. If students are outside and social distancing, they may be allowed to remove their mask.
C. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette- School staff will monitor and reinforce frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette by
1. Continuing to teach handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
2. Assisting young children with handwashing;
3. Reminding everyone in the facility to wash hands frequently;
4. Using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when handwashing is not possible; 5. Continuing to teach respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes); and 6. Providing adequate handwashing and hand sanitizer supplies.
D. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)- Social and emotional learning will continue with supports in place for students who have experienced trauma or stress related to COVID-19. The District will continue to implement SEL curriculum with a focus on emotional health. If you have specific concerns about your child, please reach out to either the school social workers or administrators.
E. Nursing Personnel- Our school nurse will be available daily.
F. Physicals/Immunizations – Physicals and immunizations are due no later than September 15, 2021. We are highly encouraging families to complete these physical and immunization requirements as soon as possible. If you are not in compliance by September 15, 2021 your child will be excluded from school. Physicals are required for pre-k, kindergarten and 6th grade as well as some students new to the District. In addition to the required immunizations, if your child has received the COVID-19 vaccination you are encouraged (not required) to submit a copy of the vaccination card so that if we have positive cases in school we are aware of your child’s status when contact tracing due to a positive COVID case within the schools.
G. Promoting Vaccinations – Respectful of peoples’ varying levels of vaccine confidence, those who want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can visit, vaccines.gov.
H. Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantine:
1. Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infectious illness, should stay home and contact their healthcare provider. Symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, sore throat, congestion or runny nose.
2. If a student becomes sick while at school, they will be brought to an isolation area and will need to be picked up immediately. Please be sure your phone numbers and those of emergency contacts are up to date at all times.
3. Individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be excluded from school and will be allowed to return in accordance with CDC and IDPH guidelines. If your child has had contact with someone with COVID-19 please notify the building principal or secretary immediately. Students who are unvaccinated and have had direct contact with someone who has COVID-19 must follow the IDPH guidelines for self-monitoring and self quarantine.
4. Students may be required to have a doctor’s note or verification of negative tests in order to return. Please see the COVID-19 Return to School Flowchart attached as Exhibit A. 5. Fully vaccinated students and staff, or those that had a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 90 days, who were a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 do not have to quarantine or be tested unless they have symptoms.
6. Unvaccinated close contacts may have to quarantine based on the situation, however, in the CDC/IDPH guidance there is an exception for close contacts in the schools. That is “In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) where both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks; and other K–12 school prevention strategies (such as universal and correct mask use, physical distancing, increased ventilation) were in place in the K– 12 school setting.
**This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
7. Any student who tests positive or has someone in their home test positive for COVID-19 needs to notify the office immediately. The school will work with the Public Health Department to determine the course of action for school and students/families will be required to follow all guidelines.
8. Students should NOT come to school if they are not feeling well or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19! Please call the school office if you have any questions about whether or not they should attend, students will not be penalized for staying home.
9. Students’ absences related to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded as excused. To ensure continuity of services, school work missed during such an absence can be requested and made up in accordance with the school’s policy; social, emotional, mental health, or other needs will be provided in accordance with a student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Remote instruction will only be made available for non-vaccinated or vaccine ineligible students who are under quarantine as directed by the local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. Remote instruction will include assignments being posted on Google Classroom or other platform, curriculum aligned to Illinois Learning Standards, attendance being taken daily, and a teacher will be available to answer any question the student may have regarding assignments.
10. Staff absences related to a COVID-19 isolation or quarantine will be recorded in accordance with the district’s sick leave policy and collective bargaining agreements. To ensure continuity of services, staff members should contact their principals to discuss support for social, emotional, mental health or other needs.
11. To the extent allowable by privacy laws and other applicable laws, school health care professionals and administrators will continue to collaborate with the local health department to confidentially provide information about people diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, including making notifications to staff and parents as soon as possible regarding those who were in close contact of someone in the school who tested positive for COVID-19.
I. Diagnostic & Screening Testing
Temperature check system is in place if needed. The district will not temperature check or screen students and staff until there is determined a need by the Superintendent based on current conditions. We will be asking all parents to continue helping eliminate the spread of any virus by keeping their students home when they are not feeling well.
J. Visitor, Volunteer and Vendor visits will be extremely limited. If it is deemed necessary for a visitor to enter the building, he/she will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and they will be required to wear a mask. If you do come to school, please use the front doors and the intercom/buzzer to identify yourself and the reason you are there. If you are picking up or dropping off a student someone will greet them at the door (please wear your mask). K. General Classroom Guidance
1. Students will remain with the same group of students during the day, as much as possible.
2. Students will be physically distanced to the extent possible.
3. Whenever appropriate, windows will be open for increased circulation.
4. Shared supplies will be discouraged. Please be sure your child’s supplies are labeled with their name. If items are shared, proper hand hygiene will be followed after use. 5. NO toys, electronics, or other non-school related items are allowed at school or on the bus.
6. Each child in grades 3-8 will be assigned a Chromebook, charger, and carrying case that will go between home and school. Chromebooks should be charged at home nightly and sent to school each day. Students in grades K-2 will be assigned Chromebooks to be used while at school.
7. Assigned seats will be recorded in classrooms and on the buses.
8. Hand hygiene will be practiced throughout the day.
9. Classrooms will be cleaned on at least a daily basis and high traffic areas will be cleaned throughout the day.
10. Students will need a reusable water bottle (clear if possible) at school to fill at the water station. Students will not be allowed to drink out of the water fountains.
L. Building Cleaning/Sanitation will increase school-wide.
1. All custodians will be trained and will follow CDC guidelines in regards to
cleaning/disinfecting processes and supplies being used.
2. Classrooms, high traffic areas, common areas, restrooms will be cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
3. Cleaning supplies will be available to all school personnel.
4. The district has an electrostatic disinfecting sprayer that will be utilized at each building. 5. Water fountains are closed except for the water bottle fountains that dispense water into bottles directly.
6. Indoor air quality will be monitored and filters will be replaced on a regular basis. M. Playground – students will practice proper hand hygiene, and physical distancing when on the playground.
N. Non-compliance of any requests may result in the school office requesting a doctor’s note, conferences with parents/students, or to require the student to shift to the remote learning option.
II. Staff/Student Illness
A. Staff /Student Absence and Return Plan for Positive Cases of COVID-19- Each case will be dealt with on an individual basis and by consulting with the Public Health Department and/or physician. The course of action will be based on the most up to date information on COVID-19 and facts of the individual circumstance. The District will communicate information, to the extent allowable, utilizing regular methods of communication.
A. Devices-Every student will be assigned a device for learning. Students in grades 3-8 will be assigned a Chromebook that will travel between home and school while students in grades K-2 will use their Chromebooks in the classroom. The acceptable use policy is in effect for all school issued devices and accounts. Additional information will be forthcoming.
IV. School wide In-Person Learning Procedures: “The School Day”
1. School will begin at 8:30 a.m. for all students.
2. Students should arrive no earlier than 8:20 and report directly to their classrooms. 3. Student drop off procedures will be sent to you from the individual building administrators.
4. If you need to drop your child off prior to 8:20, ESP will be available at a cost on a limited basis.
1. Bathroom Visits-Students will be provided at scheduled times throughout the day or on an as needed basis.
2. Specials classes will continue to be provided, however, may have a different look due to guidance from ISBE, IDPH, and CDC. All students, at both buildings, will need to have shoes appropriate for p.e. classes. Dressing out for PE at the junior high will be optional for students. PE will be outside as much as possible, when outside, if socially distanced, masks can be removed.
C. Instructional Options – All students must be fully registered in order to begin the 2021-2022 school year.
1. In-Person Learning
a) School will occur daily, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., with the safety precautions outlined above. In addition to attending, assignments may be given for students to
complete as homework.
b) Attendance will be taken daily.
c) Our goal is to provide continued opportunities for meaningful learning experiences daily.
d) Teachers will continue to utilize our current curriculum learning targets aligned with IL State Standards and assessments to measure every student’s achievement. e) Grades will be taken as normal.
f) All K-8 teachers will use Google Classroom to facilitate learning tasks. Teachers may also be using other online learning platforms and will let you know that on a teacher by teacher basis. The District will be posting videos to help parents navigate through the process as well.
g) Regular parent communications will be emailed through TeacherEase. District communication will take place using email, text, or automated calls, please be sure we have your most up to date contact information in TeacherEase.
h) Teachers will be encouraged to utilize our outdoor spaces for instructional purposes to provide movement and breaks in the day for their students. Face coverings are not required when outside as long as social distancing requirements are being met.
i) Parents of students who need accommodations, modifications, or assistance related to COVID-19 safety protocols, disabilities, underlying medical conditions, or weakened immune systems should contact their building principal or the superintendent.
2. Remote Learning Option – For only students who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, ONLY while they are under quarantine consisten with guidance or requirements from a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health. If a student does not meet the above criteria, but requests remote learning due to a medical condition, eh request for remote learning will be evaluated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If the student has a qualifying medical condition, the student may be provided home/hospital instruction. When applicable, the remote learning activites will reflect the State learning standards. The lessons will focus on essential course skills and content appropriate for the period of remote learning.
a) Attendance – Students are expected to attend/participate daily. We will utilize an online learning check in to record daily attendance (either through TeacherEase or Google Classroom/Forms.
b) Grading – The district will utilize our traditional grading policy when students are engaged in remote learning. Students will be expected to complete all assignments, assessments, and projects in a timely manner.
c) Communication and Engagement – Teachers will provide students with assignments and materials while they are quarantined. Students will be expected to:
(1) Access assignments in Google Classroom by using their District issued Chromebook. If this is not possible due to lack of connectivity, the family should reach out to the building administrator and an alternate method will be established.
(2) Students will utilize Teacher Ease/Google Classroom to review their grades.
(3) Students will complete assignments either online or with district issued materials. Supplies will be sent home with students or can be picked up at the school office once a student is quarantined.
(4) Students can reach out to parents with questions or to get assistance with assignments, this may be their regular teacher or another teacher assigned to work with them while quarantined.
(5) Students with Special Needs –Students who receive special education services will access assignments from either their general education teacher or special education teacher or from both, whichever is applicable to their IEP. The special education teacher will continue to make modification and accommodations based on their individual IEPs. They will continue to check in with and be available to the students to check for general understanding and to provide assistance in completing assignments and learning activities.
(6) Related Services: Speech, Social Work, OT, PT – Each students related service provider will work with the student and their family to ensure the services are provided according to the IEP. They will collaborate to determine what will work best for the student, including, but not limited to or inclusive of: virtual platforms, teletherapy, Google Classroom, assignments, telephone calls, etc.
(7)IEP Meetings – Will continue as scheduled utilizing an online platform, typically Google Meets. Please watch your email for invitations and any changes from your child’s teacher and/or service provider.
(8) Homeless Students – The District will comly with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and Board Policy for education of homeless students. The district homeless liaison will evaluate the needs of each student on a case by case basis.
(9) Technology – All students will be assigned a Chromebook to take from school to home. All district devices will be the responsibility of the student and parents while at home according to guidelines and expectations set forth in the documents sent home from the District and in compliance with the Acceptable Usage Policy.
(10)ESL Students – The district will evaluate and assess the unique needs of ESL students on a case by case basis.
Transition back to on-site learning --- Upon the State Superintendent’s declaration that remote learning days or blended remote learning days are no longer deemed necessary for students under quarantine who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, students and families will be provided with specific details and the timeline to transition from remote learning to onsite learning.
D. Students with Special Needs (IEPs, 504s, ELL Plans, RtI Plans)-
1. District 105 will adhere to timelines for annual IEP meetings and required evaluations. All meetings are encouraged to take place through an online platform or utilizing a phone conference.
2. If you have questions or concerns please reach out to your child’s case manager, the school psychologist (Heather McIntyre) or the building principal.
E. Physical Education- Physical activity can support students’ overall health and help reduce stress and anxiety. PE Teachers will be encouraged to instruct classes outdoors. If used, all equipment will be sanitized in compliance with the CDC guidelines. When outside and socially distanced, students may be allowed to remove their masks. Junior high students will not be required to dress out, but can if they would like. At both buildings, students will need to have appropriate shoes available for PE classes.
1. Band and chorus will adhere to all safety protocols and follow guidance as outlined by IDPH, ISBE, and the CDC.
2. Music classes will adhere to all safety protocols and follow guidance as outlined by IDPH, ISBE, and the CDC.
G. Dismissal- Dismissal is at 3:00 p.m. Student dismissal procedures will be sent to you from the individual building administrators. Dismissal will be staggered for car riders, walkers and bus riders.
A. Food Service
1. Breakfast and lunch, which adhere to State guidelines and follow USDA standards, will be available for students.
2. Additional information regarding breakfast and lunch procedures will be sent home once those protocols are established.
3. Within the cafeteria, students will be physically distanced to the extent possible and will be asked to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
1. Masks must be worn on buses at all times.
2. Seating charts will be established and we will try to keep families together on the bus.
3. When circumstances allow, transportation staff will keep vehicle windows open at least a few inches to improve circulation.
4. Please complete registration and indicate if your child will be riding the buses (if they are eligible for district transportation)
5. Buses will be disinfected on a regular basis.
1. ESP will have limited space available, the spots will be limited and provided on a first to enroll/pay basis.
2. You must specify what type of care you need: before, after, or both and declare the hours you will need your child to attend within those groups.
3. ESP will host students Pre-K-5th grade. If you are a junior high parent in need of ESP please contact the building administrator.
4. Hours will begin at 6:30 a.m. for before school care and end at 6:00 p.m. for after school care.
5. As always, ESP fees will need to be paid in advance or your child can not attend the following week.
1. Our Pre-K program will continue as a full day program, mirroring regular school hours. 2. Snacks and lunch will be provided for pre-k students as part of the program.
3. More information regarding pre-k will be sent to families with students enrolled in pre-k.
A. Extra-curricular activities and sports will take place, to the extent possible. Additional information will be sent from the building administration and/or athletic director/coaches/sponsors.
A. New family registration- Please call building to schedule an appointment.
B. Registration for returning students – Please register as soon as possible on TeacherEase. We are watching enrollment numbers closely to ensure our classrooms and buildings are properly staffed. If you have any questions please contact the building secretary/administrator.
C. Open House/Locker Days- Additional information will be sent from your building principals.
VIII. Needs from Home
A. Teamwork, Positive Outlook, Flexibility and Consistent Communication!
B. Daily symptom screening-please do not send students to school if they are exhibiting symptoms or exposures of COVID-19. Even if your child does not have a fever, but does have symptoms, do not send them. They can make up the work at home and it won’t be held against them.
District officials will continue to collaborate and consult with St. Clair County Health Department officials throughout a pandemic on various logistics and decision-making including, but not limited to, school health and safety protocols, contact tracing, vaccine clinics, and emergency school closings.
This plan will be reviewed and revised on a regular basis, but no less frequently than every six months. Strategies in this plan may be removed based upon local conditions, levels of community transmission (i.e., low, moderate, substantial, or high), local vaccine coverage and in consultation with the local public health department to determine prevention strategies needed. In determining whether revisions are necessary, and in making any revisions, the District will seek public input and take such input into account. Any changes will be communicated through the district’s regular communication platforms.
The plan will be available on the district’s website. Upon request, the plan will be provided in an alternative format accessible to parents who are individuals with a disability as defined by the ADA.