COVID-19 Info for the Start of 2020-21


River Grove’s Current Status 8/26/20

Dear River Grove Families, Staff, and Community

Thank you for your patience and understanding of all of the adjustments necessitated by new information and frequently changing conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, the teaching team, front office staff, and board members work hard to make well-considered decisions rooted in our families’ best interests of both health and education. We understand the difficulty that the pandemic and its required school responses are placing on families.

This page contains a lot of information; we expect to share more with you as decisions are made. 

Please also be aware that our decisions and the information presented here are subject to change prior to the start of the school year, and it is likely we will have to shift during the school year including changing learning models at various times in the year as COVID rates fluctuate.


[ TOP ]

COVID-19 Response Handbook

Please consult the 2020-21 COVID-19 Response Family Handbook for up-to-date information on our learning models, health and safety procedures, the “Decision Tree for Potential Cases of COVID-19,” our quarantine protocol, and other modifications we’ve made.

2020-21 COVID-19 Response Family Handbook


[ TOP ]

Required Online Orientation for Parents via Zoom

Week of August 31. Only one session is required. These meetings may be recorded and may be posted to a public YouTube channel.

Session 1: Monday, Aug 31, 2020 — 7:00 PM
https://zoom.us/j/91397407184pwd=QXB5RU5aMFNpZzQyemR1eWZuaGcvdz09
Meeting ID: 913 9740 7184
Passcode: Gb79V5
——————————
Session 2: Tuesday, Sep 1, 2020 — 1:00 PM
https://zoom.us/j/95055540817?pwd=aUgzZW50VllPanlVZHlHdlZxc2tOdz09
Meeting ID: 950 5554 0817
Passcode: Gb79V5
——————————
Session 3: Thursday, Sep 3, 2020 — 5:00 PM
https://zoom.us/j/99103313268?pwd=R1F1aXlPTFhmblV5L1IzVWJlRlBCdz09
Meeting ID: 991 0331 3268
Passcode: Gb79V5


[ TOP ]

 

Welcome Conferences / First Week of School

To start the year, we will be holding Welcome Conferences for each student. Click here for the sign-up page. This will be an opportunity for you to meet your teachers in a small group setting (one family at a time), drop off school supplies, pick up a mask or two and a parent transportation “car card,” confirm your transportation and emergency contact information, get acquainted with the campus and our revised arrival and dismissal procedures, and for the teachers to get to know the kids. Because all students, new and returning, have not been in a school setting for some time, this is an especially important back-to-school transition for all families and students (including Distance Learning students).

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, September 1-3: Welcome Conferences for 1st through 6th and Distance Learning kindergartners
  • Tuesday, September 8: First day of school (for grades 1-6)
    • Hybrid Group A at home
    • Hybrid Group B on campus
    • Distance Learners at home (every day)
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8 and 9: Kindergarten Welcome Conferences
  • Wednesday, September 9: Grades 1-6
    • Hybrid Group A on campus
    • Hybrid Group B at home
    • Distance Learners at home (every day)
  • Thursday, September 10: First full day of kindergarten
    • Hybrid Group A at home
    • Hybrid Group B on campus
    • Distance Learners at home (every day)
  • Friday, September 11: Distance Learning for all students
  • Monday, September 14: Grades K-6
    • Hybrid Group A on campus
    • Hybrid Group B at home
    • Distance Learners at home (every day)

[ TOP ]

Revised School Hours

  • School hours: 8:30am – 3:00pm

Please note that actual arrival and dismissal times may vary, as the school may be implementing staggered arrival and dismissal times. More information on this topic will be released soon.

Please note that actual arrival and dismissal times may vary, as the school may be implementing staggered arrival and dismissal times. More information on this topic will be released soon.


[ TOP ]

Revised Calendar


[ TOP ]

School Year to Start with “Hybrid Learning” Model

River Grove will start the school year with the Hybrid Model.  The school will operate at a maximum of 50% capacity both in schools and on buses. All students will be divided into two groups, A group and B group, as follows:

Hybrid Schedule

The reasons for this decision are many and include considering students’ educational needs and schedules of families who have students in our resident district. River Grove had an individual consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health, who confirmed that the school’s plan for daily morning cleaning of each classroom is sufficient disinfecting in between A and B days, and that there was likely not a significant advantage to having a Wednesday being the “C” day for cleaning.

Please refer to the 2020-21 COVID-19 Response Family Handbook for additional information on the Hybrid Model.


[ TOP ]

Distance Learning Opt-In: Deadline is Friday, August 28

As stated previously, all families are allowed to select full-time Distance Learning as their model. A medical reason is not required.

We believe that full-time Distance Learning can be a viable option to match many of our families’ comfort levels while still keeping them a part of our River Grove community. The previous survey offered families a chance to select Distance Learning; we will contact you to confirm your choice. If you didn’t select Distance Learning previously, and would like to opt into Distance Learning, please let us know no later than Friday, August 28. If we do not hear a specific written request for your family to opt into Distance Learning, we will assume your family will be in the Hybrid Model.


[ TOP ]

Switching Models

Once either the Hybrid (by default) or Distance Learning Model is selected by your family, we will ask your family to remain with that schedule at least until after MEA break. Remember that it will take some time to re-adjust to school, whether you are Hybrid or Distance Learning: Give yourself and your kids time to adjust to model! Staffing, curriculum pacing, and transportation are other factors that have gone into this decision.

If your family would like to change models, we will need a written request no later than Friday, October 2. The change would be reviewed by teachers and administration and take place after MEA break: Monday, October 19 (assuming the same models are in place at River Grove in general and space exists in the alternate model). Please see the Handbook for additional information.


[ TOP ]

Safety Protocols

River Grove staff are carefully developing safety and hygiene protocols that fit our unique campus. All of our revised procedures and policies will be discussed at student Welcome Conferences and during online orientation. Following the protocols and policies will be emphasized regularly and will allow us to have kids on campus for longer. Some of our plans include (but not limited to):

  • Symptom screening: We will ask parents to conduct a COVID-19 screening of their children at home before coming to school (or getting on the bus); as a safety measure, staff will also screen students for any symptoms upon arrival using an infrared thermometer.
  • Extensive cleaning: Additional procedures are being developed, including daily disinfecting in the mornings before school starts for every classroom.
  • Hygiene: Hand-sanitizing stations are being added in each building. All students and staff will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Masks: Governor Walz has directed that masks or face coverings must be worn throughout Minnesota in all indoor public spaces, including buses and school buildings. This will apply to all visitors, staff, and students (kindergarten and older). Students should practice wearing masks now!
    • Students should wear masks during the morning symptom screenings and on the pathways when going to and from classrooms and buses/parents’ cars.
    • River Grove will supply at least one free mask per student (available at our student Welcome Conferences).
    • Masks will be provided for students and visitors who forget theirs at home.
    • In outdoor classrooms, masks may or may not be required depending on the situation/activity. This decision will be at the discretion of teachers who will follow state safety requirements. In general, MDH guidance allows for masks to be removed outdoors when social distancing can be maintained or when participating in a physical activity.
  • COVID-19 exposure: Please refer to the 2020-21 COVID-19 Response Family Handbook for additional information.
  • Supplies: We will restrict the sharing of supplies between students.
  • Revised procedures: Changes are being developed for arrivals and dismissals, lunch, recess, and office operations that involve families.
    • Important note: Students MAY walk by themselves to their classrooms in the mornings. Staff will be positioned on the pathways to help guide kids.
  • Emergency contact information: Families will be asked to review and update emergency contacts.
  • Field trips and extracurricular activities: Social distancing and limiting the amount of time for student contact will help limit the spread of the virus. For the time being, we will not have in-person assemblies or field trips, etc.
  • Ventilation: We are working with our landlord to inspect, test, and ensure that the ventilation systems are functioning at maximum levels. Windows and screen are being assessed to ensure they are in working order.
  • Buses: All buses will be disinfected following state guidelines. We will follow social distancing guidelines on buses, and students will have assigned seats. We will encourage parents to provide their own transportation when possible.
  • Visitors and volunteers: We will limit non-essential visitors, volunteers, and external groups/organizations on campus.
  • Lunches: Students will eat lunches within their own classrooms or outdoor classrooms. See below for more information.

[ TOP ]

Childcare for Critical Workers

Per the governor’s executive order, Minnesota schools must provide care for children of “essential workers” at no cost during the school day at times when the district is operating in a hybrid or distance learning model. Essential workers will be asked to provide verification of employment. No verification is required if you already have a letter on file with us from spring 2020, or if you are an employee of River Grove. The exact details for childcare are still being decided.


[ TOP ]

 

Lunches

To start the school year off, the lunch program will look a bit different. There will be a limited menu with four days of different lunches offered. Please see the website menu and continue to sign up for lunches two weeks at a time.

The lunches will be prepared, packaged individually, and delivered to each classroom. Coolers have been purchased to ensure the lunches are kept properly while in route to their class. A class checklist will also be used to make sure each student that needs a lunch will be provided one. Unfortunately, at this time there will be no option for seconds.


[ TOP ]

Parent Transportation

In order to reduce the number of kids on the buses, we are asking all parents who are able to provide transportation. If you indicated on the survey that you are able to provide transportation, we will be in contact with you to confirm.


[ TOP ]

At-Home Resources (Not Part of the “Core Curriculum”)

  • Some of our wonderful paraprofessional staff created a list of suggestions to help you and your kids during this trying time. Take a look here!

[ TOP ]

Again, we expect to share more with you as decisions are made. Please also be aware that our decisions and the information presented here are subject to change prior to the start of the school year, and it is likely we will have to shift during the school year including changing learning models at various times in the year as COVID rates fluctuate.

The River Grove Team


[ TOP ]

Comments are closed.