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SSC Reopening Plans for 2020-2021

Please see Mr. Green's letter regarding the 2020-2021 School Year Reopening plan here.  Information regarding the online option for students who cannot attend school in person due to health difficulties and/or are not comfortable being on campus can be found here. All parents will need to complete the Regular Registration online.


Elementary School Reopening

In an effort to provide more specifics on how this plan will look at the elementary level, please review this document for details regarding the re-opening of Shenandoah Elementary School.


Middle School Reopening

Specifics on how SSC's plan will look at the middle school level can be found here.


High School Reopening

The High School's reopening plan can be found here.


Frequently Asked Questions...

Below are a list of questions and answers regarding the re-opening of school.

What happens to the pre-k kids who are in there for developmental and speech delays and need to interact with other kids and share toys as that's how they learn? Do they get left behind? This works for older kids but what about the little ones who are already behind and this is their only option bc they've aged out from state help?

The preschool classroom presents many unique circumstances and sharing of toys is certainly a concern. The CDC is recommending that they do not share toys, unless they are washed and sanitized before being moved from one group to another. We will be sure to work with Mrs. Mingle (and all teachers) to implement appropriate procedures that protect student's health while maintaining an appropriate learning environment.


What is the purpose of sending out surveys if the school is not going to take our feedback?

The main purpose of the recent surveys, which asked about a variety of options for the upcoming school year, were to help us plan for potential scenarios. While we are planning on being in session right now, we have to plan for the possibility that this may not be possible at some point in the school year.


Why did it have to be decided to be one way or the other exactly? All one way or the other? Why couldn’t you have offered an option of x amount of days during the week to physically attend and x amount of virtual or e-learning? Such as three at school and two of virtual or e-learning? Other states have this model for various reasons.

At this time, the DOE and Henry County Board of Health believe that five days per week is the best option. We are preparing for other options if they become necessary, but hope to have students here for the full week.


How are we insuring that parents are doing daily temp checks? As a nurse I know that MANY people claim to not have a thermometer so is this just on the "honor system". No temp check at the door or anything?

The DOE is not recommending daily temperature checks on everyone because it creates logjams in which health individuals could inadvertently be exposed and could contribute to other safety hazards. They are recommend home screening so individuals are taking their temperature and checking for symptoms daily before leaving school. We are all in this together and have to rely on each other to do their part.


My only concern is are we going to shut down the school for two weeks every time a kid has a cough and fever? They would probably do E-learning all winter if that’s the case! I hope they only close if there is an actual POSITIVE case, not just presumed positive because of a cough or fever.

Decisions on whether part of a school or an entire school will need to close will be made in consultation with the local health department as part of the contact and trace case investigation. These decisions will depend on how many students were cohorted and the movements of the individual. The CDC says schools MAY need to close for 2 to 5 days, but the case investigation will ultimately determine the most appropriate actions. Here is the guidance from the Department of Education regarding symptoms: "If a student presents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, that student should be sent home and presumed to have COVID until such time as a healthcare provider determines the illness is caused by something else and provides a note. Without a healthcare provider’s note, the student would need to stay home for 10 days and be fever-free for 72 hours without use of fever-reducing medication.".


If my kid gets a cough in the winter from a cold, he has to be out of school for 10 days? Bc I'm not taking my kid to the dr every single time he has a cold to get a note, what happens with attendance rules? I understand there's no perfect attendance but are they still restricted on the amount of days they are allowed to miss?

The CDC states that students should be excluded from school if they test positive for COVID-19 or exhibit one or more symptoms...that is not otherwise explained. It will depend on the individual situation, but a common cold should not result in the need to be out of school for 10 days.


So if we have a note from our children's doctor stating that they should not wear a mask then you will honor that and allow them to come to school? Or will they be forced to do e-learning if they can not wear a mask? Not all parents can stay home and homeschool their child but we also don't want to put our children at any risk from wearing a mask... it's a lose, lose.. so what do you suggest?

We are following guidelines set forth by the Indiana Department of Health, Henry County Department of Health, and the CDC. The Department of Education encourages parents (of children who due to health needs may not be able to wear a mask) to talk with their healthcare provider about whether returning to school in-person is medically appropriate.


I don't see how it is right for an enrolled student in your district that chooses the E-learning route to be excluded from sports. Some may choose the E-learning to limit the exposure. To exclude them from a group of less than 20 kids on a team is uncalled for. Many districts are still allowing their E-learning students to participate in extracurriculars. You should reconsider this.

While the exposure would be less, we just do not feel comfortable taking this risk.


Will there be anything they can be included in via zoom? And if we choose the e-learning do we need to reach out to the counselor about their schedule if they are in classes like choir?

We will send this information out next week with instructions to sign up for classes (and which classes will be available).


Is it 5 days a week or 4 or how many days a week is it?

Unless conditions change, we are planning on having students attend five days per week.


So if a student has a slight cough everyone is gonna automatically assume the virus? Some kids have allergies.

The CDC states that students should be excluded from school if they test positive for COVID-19 or exhibit one or more symptoms...that is not otherwise explained. It appears that this falls under the category of "otherwise explained," so we would not assume COVID. It may be helpful to have documentation from your physician, if possible.


What about Jr High? Will they be moving classes as usual?

There will have to be some adjustments, but yes, students will continue to have multiple teachers in middle and high school.


What kinds of masks are acceptable? Cloth masks, homemade masks, and/or medical masks?

The CDC is recommending cloth face coverings, but a homemade mask will likely work as well. Here is the information from the CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html


Will the school be getting the free masks for teachers, student's along with the hand sanitizer that the governor's update spoke about earlier in the week?

We will be receiving a limited supply of masks from the State, however, if students already have a mask that they can use, it would be helpful. We will have hand sanitizer stations throughout each building.


I’m needing to know what activities the mask needs to be worn throughout the day. Doing school work? Waking the halls ? Etc. I have an asthmatic. Also can they wear cloth masks?

Students with health needs who may not be able to wear a mask should talk with their healthcare provider. Generally, students will wear a mask whenever they cannot socially distance. Yes, cloth masks are ok.


What about lunch and specials for elementary? Will they be held in their normal way? Or done in the classroom?

Each building will have to make adjustments. You will want to check with Dr. Kinsey (bkinsey@shenandoah.k12.in.us) for specific information about the elementary.


Not sure if this is the best place to ask questions or not, but is it possible to start school online and then transition to in school later on? If we wanted to trial online for a while and then decided to send our children to school later, is that an option?

It is not really logistically possible to go back and forth, so we will be asking for a semester commitment from high school students.  We are looking at the possibility of a quarter commitment from elementary and middle school students.


Where can we find information on how the online option will work?

That information will be sent out later this week (week of July 13th).


Will there be more specific info released? Most schools got 12+ pages of information.

Yes. More specific details will be coming from the building administration. Also, more information becomes available, the District will send updates.


Will the school provide my child with a mask?

Parents should plan to have cloth masks as part of their back-to-school supplies. The schools will have face coverings available in the office for students, but supplies will be limited.


I don't want to wear a mask, do I have to wear it?

We know that there are strong opinions about the use of masks. The Indiana State Department of Health cited a 40-60% reduction in COVID-19 transmission when masks are used by all, which is why we are requiring them for certain portions of the day. This is especially important since some carriers of COVID-19 may not have any symptoms. Children, despite being generally less affected by COVID-19, expose school staff and adults at home who may be more at risk.


What happens if my child has symptoms of COVID?

  • If a student or staff member presents symptoms of COVID-19, the individual will be sent home and presumed to have COVID until a healthcare provider determines that the illness is caused by something else and provides a note to the school.
  • Without a healthcare provider's note, the individual will need to stay home for 10 days and be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medicine and be without nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea for 72 hours before returning to school.
  • SSC students who present symptoms of COVID will be cared for in the front office, separate from the school clinic, until a parent can come pick him/her up.


What should I do if my child is diagnosed with COVID?

Please notify the school office immediately if your child has tested positive for COVID-19. There will be an ISDH mandated 14 day at home quarantine period for all positive cases and close contact at school. The Henry County Health Department will assist our school in contact tracing and follow all guidelines for containment.


Do Parents/Guardians have to make an appointment every time the want to enter a school building?

Appointments will be necessary for parents wanting to meet in-person with school staff or administration. However, if you need to sign your child after the morning tardy bell, drop-off an item your child needs for school but forgot at home, pick-up for an appointment, etc... a call ahead notice is appreciated, but an appointment is not necessary. The school office will be implementing new procedures and protocols for those parents entering for "everyday business". We appreciate your patience and flexibility.


Can my child ride the bus home with a friend?

A: In order to help with potential contract tracing for COVID-19, students will be in an assigned seat on the bus. Therefore, students will not be able to ride buses that they are not assigned to at this time.


Will my children be able to ride the bus to daycare in the afternoon if they ride a different bus from our house to school in the morning?

Yes, as long as bus transportation is established and students have assigned seats on both morning and afternoon buses.


Will students have to eat in their classrooms for lunch?

At this time, we are planning on using the cafeteria and large group areas in or near the cafeteria for students to social distance while enjoying their meal.


Will kids be able to use sports equipment?

While we will have sports equipment available for students to use during physical education, high contact games will not be allowed.


Will the 8th grade students go to Washington, DC?

At this time, we are still planning this trip for our students. More specifics will be released as we return to school.


I usually bring in medication each week for my child. How will this work now?

Parents will no longer be allowed to bring medications into clinics. If you need to provide medication for your child, a nurse will meet you in a designated area to handle this.


If my child attends school in-person but then is sent home for COVID symptoms, what will she do for those days she is out?

The office will make contact with the parent to determine the best course ofaction for virtual instruction while s/he is not able to attend in-person. This will most likely be a case by case situation, as we will not be able to predetermine if your child will feel well enough for structured instruction or if recorded lessons that could be completed at a later date would be more appropriate. Regardless, the teachers and administration will work with the parents to form an individual learning plan for the child.


Will back to school events still be happening?

Our annual back to school nights have been cancelled. Plans for back to school events are still being evaluated. More information on these events will be coming at a later date.


What can we encourage parents to do now for a smooth start to school?

  • Allow your child to ask questions and answer them to the best of your ability. Find Guidance here.
  • Explain the why behind wearing a mask and have your child practice wearing their mask.
  • Read a story about returning to school such as Going Back to School or Welcome Back to School.
  • Encourage following recommended guidelines regarding masks and social distancing this summer to prevent a future surge in cases that might impact the start of school.
  • Help students get back into a normal schedule at least a week before school begins, such as reinstituting bedtime and wake up routines.
  • Be sure that all immunizations are up to date, including newly required immunizations for entering kindergarten.
  • Stay in close communication with the school should health situations or return plans change.


What other changes can I expect?

We'll be reviewing our overall attendance policies for staff and students, as well as eliminating any attendance recognitions that could encourage attending school when not feeling well. More information on the specific attendance policy changes will be coming at a later date.

The pandemic shifts rapidly, and we don't know what the rest of the school year may bring. Other changes could certainly be implemented, and we will be in close communication with staff and families as future decisions are made.


What is the reason for the early dismissal? Is this solving an issue brought to your attention?

Our teachers will need time to prepare, plan, and record online lessons for students choosing the Online Option.


Will high school and middle school sports practices start early as well?

It will depend on the sport and the availability of their coach. If a coach is available to start practice, then they will likely begin right after school. If not, we have a plan for students to be supervised until the coach is available to start practice. The buildings will share this information when school starts so students and parents know the plan for their individual sport.


How will the Governor's Mask Mandate affect students?

Face coverings/masks will be required in schools for students in the third grade and above, faculty, staff, volunteers, visitors, and anyone else in schools or on the SSC campus. Masks are also required for participants and spectators at co-curricular and extra-curricular activities with exceptions for strenuous physical activity. The order will have exceptions for medical purposes, disabilities, exercising, and eating and drinking. Breaks from masks will be given to students when social distancing can occur. Masks are strongly suggested for children ages two to seven. 


I signed my student up for Online Only Instruction.  When will I hear back from the school about this?

Parents will be contacted by the building during the week of July 27th-31st.


Will grab and go meals be provided for those families participating in online learning?

We do not have plans to offer grab and go meals for online students at this time.