HEALTH & SAFETY
Are students and staff required to wear face coverings?
Yes, when social distancing is not possible. Face coverings are an important strategy to reduce transmission of the COVID-19, primarily by reducing the spread of infection from the wearer to those around. Times when face coverings will be required include on the bus, in hallways, during arrival & dismissal and any time 6’ of separation is not possible. Students will also be required to wear a face covering when directed by a staff member.
What is considered a face covering?
Face coverings include non-medical grade disposable face masks or cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth).
Will the district purchase face coverings for students? How many face coverings should each student have?
No, however, we will have disposable masks available if a student forgets his/her mask for the day.
The CDC recommends washing face coverings after each use. Therefore, we would suggest a minimum of two masks for each student. The CDC outlines the best practices for washing and drying as follows:
- You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
- Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.
- For drying in a dryer, use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
- For air drying, lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the cloth face covering in direct sunlight.
Who will be responsible for helping students keep their face coverings on when in school?
All school staff will work to educate the students about the importance of wearing a face covering in situations where adequate social distancing cannot be achieved. We ask that families work with their children at home to practice wearing a face covering and also to stress the importance of wearing a face covering to keep everyone healthy.
Harrisonville Schools will do our best to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DESE, Cass County Health Department, and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, but we cannot guarantee that all students will be 6-feet apart at all times of the day, including in the classroom. We expect our students to play an active role in adhering to these guidelines established for the safety of students and staff within our schools.
How can I help prepare my students for wearing a face covering?
Parents can work with their student(s) to practice putting on and removing their face covering. The CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
- Handle the face covering by the ties or ear loops
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- Don’t put the face covering around your neck or up on your forehead
- Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect
- When removing the face covering, fold outside corners together
If one student or a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, does that mean the teacher and the rest of the class have to quarantine for 14 days?
It depends on the situation. Our district nurse will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures. When we are made aware of a confirmed case by a parent, we will notify the Cass County Health Department. Upon confirmation of a positive case, the Cass County Health Department will conduct contact tracing and notify those individuals who need to quarantine.
What is contact tracing? How does it work?
From the Cass County Health Department
When it comes to case investigations, the Health Department receives the notification of a reportable disease (in this case, COVID-19) with the patient's name and contact information. The person who has tested positive will then be contacted by phone by Health Department staff and interviewed about their medical history, their current symptoms, and any significant contacts they had going back to 2 days prior to symptom onset (or 2 days prior to testing, if asymptomatic). The CDC and the State of Missouri define a contact as anyone who has spent 15 continuous minutes or more within 6 feet of a positive case. (If both parties were wearing masks properly during the entire interaction, that is not considered a significant contact.) Once the health department gathers information about known contacts of the positive case, they will reach out to those individuals to inform them of their exposure and direct them to quarantine for the 14 days after their exposure.
Will the school district assist with contact tracing?
The health department may contact us for information such as seating charts, student schedule, attendance information, parent contact information, etc. The district can provide this information to the health department without violating FERPA based on the health or safety emergency exception. The disclosure will be noted in the students’ file as “disclosure for COVID-19 contact tracing.” The health department will make all contacts regarding exposure.
If a student or staff member in a school tests positive for COVID-19, will the building be shut down?
Harrisonville Schools will follow guidance from local, state, and federal health officials. At a minimum, the building will be deep cleaned and disinfected. The health department will contact trace to notify staff and families about possible exposure to the virus and to screen for symptoms. A decision to close the school will be made in conjunction with Cass County health officials.
What is considered a close contact to someone potentially exposed to COVID-19?
According to the Cass County Department of Health, anyone within 6-feet for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more with a positive case is considered a close contact.
What happens if my student gets sick or is exposed to the virus from a sick relative at home?
If there is a confirmed case in a household, all individuals living in the household would be considered close contacts and will be instructed by the Cass County Health Department to quarantine for 14 days.
We expect parents/caregivers to keep sick children at home. If a student is exposed to COVID-19 through a close contact, a parent/caregiver must call the school to report. The health department will provide guidelines for quarantine. The student will learn from home and stay connected to their assigned teachers through Google Classroom if possible. Additional or alternative learning options can be considered as appropriate.
The district nurse will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures and then work with the families and staff to determine the next steps based on guidance from DESE, CDC, and local health officials.
As more is learned about COVID-19, we expect that there may be changes to this health guidance, and we will keep our families informed.
Will students’ temperatures be checked daily at school?
Yes. Contactless temperature checks of students at school will be conducted at the beginning of the day.
All staff and students coming to school will commit to conducting a daily COVID-19 screening at home, which will include temperature checks, prior to entering a Harrisonville school/facility. Reminders will be posted at building entrances.
Will there be hand sanitizer?
There will be hand sanitizer stations throughout the building as well as hand sanitizer in each classroom. Students may also bring their own travel-sized bottle to use. Frequent hand washing will be emphasized. For younger students, the most important thing will be stressing proper handwashing. We appreciate parents helping younger students understand how to wash for a long enough time (singing happy birthday or the ABC song); to make sure soap reaches all parts of their fingers, hands, and wrists; and to fully rinse and dry hands.
Will the district be using plexiglass dividers between desks?
Our school administrators and district facilities team are looking at every classroom space to determine the best way to create social distancing among students, including rearranging desks and tables. Classrooms will have different configurations based on student capacity and square footage. Dividers will be used in areas where it is difficult to create appropriate social distancing.
What other health precautions will be in place?
Harrisonville Schools will continue to educate our students, staff, and community members about the importance of frequent hand-washing; covering a cough or sneeze; not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth; staying home when sick, and other measures to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
Harrisonville Schools will provide extra cleaning, including disinfecting every bus and room daily. Staff will set up procedures for disinfecting the classroom during the day. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed on every campus, and additional equipment will be provided in high traffic areas.
We will provide bottle fillers at each school. Sanitizer will be available for students and/or staff to use on the bus and in the classroom. We are also increasing the fresh-air intake of our HVAC system to pull in more outside air as well as checking our HVAC filters regularly for replacement. Interior classroom doors will be left open to limit surface touching and for ventilation. Schools will implement procedures to minimize hallway traffic and use one-way traffic flow.
We will create universal signage for all facilities including, but not limited to, signs for the use of face coverings, social distancing, hand-washing/sanitizing, directional signage for all staff, students, and visitors when they are permitted to be on campuses.
How will immune-compromised students be accommodated?
Students with health-related issues who do not feel comfortable participating in In-Person learning may choose Virtual learning that is facilitated by Harrisonville staff.
Will each building be required to have an isolation space for students who show symptoms while at school?
Yes, every school will have a designated isolation area where students who show symptoms of COVID-19 will wait to be picked up.
Will the district be suspending attendance incentives and awards for students?
Daily attendance and engagement of students is expected whether students are participating in-person or virtually. School officials will monitor student absences and learning management system inactivity and reach out to families who are not in attendance or not engaging in classes, whether in-person or virtually. All schools will discontinue practices or rewards that encourage perfect attendance & attendance-based incentives or would discourage individuals from staying at home when they are ill.
What will block scheduling look like at HMS/HHS?
At HMS, the A day will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th hours for 90 minutes. The B day will be 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th hours for 90 minutes. A & B days will be alternated (each week will be different as Mondays will not always be A days).
At HHS, the A day will be 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th hours for 95 minutes. The B day will be 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th hours for 90 minutes. A & B days will be alternated (each week will be different as Mondays will not always be A days).
Can a high school student enroll in a CCC block program then do the rest virtually?
Yes, due to the hands-on nature of Cass Career Center block programs, a student may take the CCC course in-person and the remainder of his/her coursework virtually. Please contact the HHS students services center to get additional information - 380-3273, ext. 6223.
Are we able to select a different learning option after we’ve made a decision?
Parents will need to make a selection for their student to either be in-person or virtual learning by August 5. The selection you are making for your student will be for the first semester, running August 24-December 23, 2020. Additional information for the second semester will be shared with parents in late fall.
For virtual learning, will grades count?
Yes. Online school grades will count toward GPA, class rank, and eligibility, just like in-person grades will count. Grading policies will be similar for all students, whether they participate in In-Person or Virtual Learning.
How much time will students be online?
Launch (grades 1-3) provides 6 hours of daily teacher-support programming to include videos, online activities, and project-based activities (not necessarily all online).
Students in grades 4-12 using Odysseyware can expect approximately one hour a day per course.
Kindergarten students would have approximately 30 minutes per day online. The teacher will provide activities, website links, and other resources to complete offline with the parent.
Why are we using Odysseyware & Launch?
District students have used both platforms in the past. Both platforms follow the Missouri Learning Standards. These platforms have demonstrated that the content and system they provide is high quality. Our current teachers will be teaching in-person all day and we cannot ask them to also teach online - effective online teaching is very different from in-person teaching especially for elementary students. With some families choosing virtual learning, we will readjust class sizes to provide more space in our classes.
Will all students have access to a device for learning?
Yes, all students will have access to Chromebooks. All K-12 students who choose virtual learning can be issued a Chromebook for use at home. All 1-8 students will be assigned a Chromebook for use during the school day as needed (these would go home with students if school is closed for an extended period or if a student is quarantined). High school students will receive their Chromebook at the start of school (as in the past) and will be able to keep it with them at all times.
Can my student switch from virtual to in-person or in-person to virtual in the middle of the semester?
The choice made at the beginning of the year (by Aug. 5) is for the full first semester (through December 23, 2020). At semester, families can choose to switch their learning.
Will my high school student still be able to participate in the A+ program if the virtual option is selected?
Yes, students who are enrolled in the A+ program and complete/pass the courses will meet the A+ program attendance requirements. Regardless of whether a student is enrolled in virtual or in-person coursework, all A+ program requirements still apply.
What about the tutoring class/component of A+?
High school students who are enrolled in the A+ tutoring course for first semester and choose in-person learning will do that tutoring on site at HHS.
My Internet is spotty, so my family has trouble learning virtually. What is the district doing to assist with that?
Other options are available, including a limited supply of hotspots. Please contact your school’s Virtual Learning contact for more information.
If I opt for Virtual Learning, would my child still be able to utilize special education resources?
Yes. Each student's IEP team will meet to determine the best course of action for the student to receive their special education services IEP teams will ensure the provision of free, appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) is met and provided with parental input in a fluctuating environment.
How will attendance be taken for virtual learning?
Students who choose virtual learning will automatically receive 94% attendance for completing assigned coursework. High school students who participate in virtual learning and complete all courses will earn 95% attendance for the A+ program. Our virtual learning coordinators will monitor attendance/coursework and contact parents as needed.
What school supplies do we need for virtual learning?
Information regarding any specific supplies needed will be provided along with enrollment information after August 5.
Where will students eat meals at school?
Each building will create a lunch and breakfast plan that follows social distancing guidelines based on their space/facility size.
Will Grab & Go meals be available for students if they choose Virtual Learning?
For students on Free & Reduced meals who choose virtual learning, meals will be provided for pick up. Additional information on this will be provided after August 5.
What is being done to limit class sizes?
Once families make their choice regarding In-Person or Virtual Learning, we will adjust the number of students in each class. Our classrooms are different sizes throughout the district so each building/teacher will utilize the space available to distance students as much as possible. Per Children’s Mercy and the Missouri Reopening Guidelines, 6’ is the ideal spacing between desks, however, when 6’ cannot be achieved, desks should be spaced at least 3’ apart.
Will elementary school students have recess?
Yes. Outdoor play and learning will be encouraged as public health conditions allow. Students will be required to wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon re-entry to the building.
Will students share school supplies?
No, for the 2020-2021 school year, students will have & use their individual school supplies.
Will designated times for hand hygiene be scheduled throughout the day?
Yes, staff and students at all schools will implement frequent hand hygiene routines during the school day. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will be available in all classrooms. Staff and students will have scheduled hand sanitizing routines during each block of time that comprise the school day. Handwashing will also be integrated into scheduled hygiene routines during the school day.
Will field trips be allowed?
Per the guidance of the CDC, Harrisonville Schools will encourage virtual activities and events in lieu of in-person field trips, student assemblies, special performances, school-wide parent meetings, and spirit nights.
Will the district have fall sports?
We will follow MSHSAA recommendations & guideilnes for fall sports.
Can students who choose virtual learning participate in sports?
Yes, students who choose virtual learning can participate. As long as the district offers in-person learning, all students are eligible for participation.
Will bus transportation be available to students for the 2020-2021 school year?
Yes, but the district does encourage families who can provide transportation for students to & from school to do so. All bus riders will be required to wear masks.
What safety procedures will be followed on buses?
- Students will be separated on the bus where feasible
- Load from back to front; Unload from front to back
- Students required to wear face coverings on bus
- Students in same family will sit together
- Windows open when weather allows
- Use of seating assignments/chart so that students sit in the same place each time (for contact tracing)
- Buses will be unloaded one at a time
- Buses will be appropriately disinfected after each use
- Buses will have hand sanitizer dispensers
- Bus drivers have been properly trained in COVID-19 safety measures
- Drivers will wear face coverings while loading and unloading. Face shields will be used by bus monitors.