Admin

SCHOOL REOPENING THINK TANK SUMMARIES


The summaries below were created by four workgroups that reviewed all Think Tank ideas submitted by employees, parents, students and others for the Superintendent and School Board members' deliberations on reopening school for 2020-2021.

The entire list of more than 6,000 ideas and comments from employees, parents and students are available via the links on the left side of this page.


HEALTH AND SAFETY WORKGROUP


Lead: William Farhat, Fire Marshall 

Workgroup Members:
Lauren Ayala, Resource Teacher; Kevin Ballinger, Director, Custodial Services; Robin Bolden, Program Assistant (OEPSA); Gerard Cattani, Director, Building Code Compliance; Beth Curran, Senior Director, Risk Management; Celena Cutts, Senior Administrator, Safety, Training & Technology; Jodi Dittell, Senior Environmental Standards Coordinator; Jennifer Fowler, Director, Environmental Compliance; Ian Gesundheit, Executive Director, ESE; Christy Kinard, Director, Risk Management; Lynda Langa, Director, Health Services and Specialized Instruction; Penni Long, Administrator, Emergency Management; Jacqueline Saccamano, Director, Safety; Rosalyn Simmons, Director, Facilities Maintenance; Mary-Grace Surrena, School Psychologist (CTA); Matthew Turner, Principal; Rowland Welch, Manager, Safety; John Zerega, Program Specialist

Below is a summary by the Health and Safety workgroup. These are a compilation of ideas from the members of the workgroup and the public and are not recommendations.

Face-to-Face Instruction

1. ESE student needs should be addressed to include increased cleaning of items and student hands; disinfection of equipment and vehicles; and appropriate PPE.
2. Barriers, signage and floor markings should be installed, including lane designations, one-way hallways and designated in/out doors (dictated by space availability).
3. Reduce classroom densities and configure spaces to maintain proper social distancing.
4. Develop guidance in regards to face coverings, which will need to be distributed; about what is appropriate (proper decorum, no inappropriate graphics or text) and face covering policies.
5. School equipment used during class should be disinfected by staff after use, including microscopes, smart board controls, manipulatives, headphones, keyboards.
6. Install no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms and throughout common areas, incorporate disinfection breaks throughout the day and teach proper hand-washing techniques.
7. Restrict visitors on campus.
8. Screen all who enter busses, come on campus or to sponsored special events.
9. Need clearly defined policies on how to deal with sick or positive-tested staff/students. These should include filling staff vacancies on short notice; how supervisors handle sick/positive staff; additional clinic area for students; additional PPE for staff/students in “sick room;” HIPAA privacy training; and disinfecting area.
10. Do away with “Perfect Attendance” award to encourage parents to keep children at home when sick.
11. Consider alternate areas for eating.
12. If used, clean and disinfect playground equipment; and require students wash hands before re-entering classroom.
13. Determine how student athletes are to get to “away” games in keeping with the social distancing guideline.
14. Vendor Facility Use Agreements have been updated. OCPS needs to monitor and inspect facility for compliance to verify new guidelines are being understood and applied. Custodial Services needs to be involved with this issue.
15. Adjust procedures for monthly safety drills due to the large gatherings.
16. Look at protocols for any large scale gathering (gym, recess, chorus, band, pep rallies).
17. Students should wipe down their spaces between classes and at the end of the day.
18. Assess if additional supervision is needed for arrival/departure oversight.

Virtual Instruction

No substantive ideas.

Blended Instruction

1. ESE student needs should be addressed to include increased cleaning of items and student hands; disinfection of equipment and vehicles; and appropriate PPE.
2. Many encouraged a modified blended model to delay full face-to-face learning. Different scenarios for blended instruction were suggested.

All Three Models

1. The district should address student and staff mental health issues.
2. Virus assessment training should be provided to all staff to be able to recognize illness and make proper referrals. Expand crisis teams to every school to monitor and assist with social/emotional health needs.
3. Expand Crisis teams to every school to monitor and assist with social/emotional health.

OPERATIONS WORKGROUP

Lead: Kenneth Winter, Senior Director, Facilities Maintenance

Workgroup Members: Shari Bobinski, Director, Media Relations; Devin Boilard, Social Studies; Robert Boyd, Administrator, Emergency Management; Keshara Cowans, Staff Attorney; Warren Davis, Bus Operator (OESPA); Nicholas Gerth, Administrator, Emergency Preparedness; Matthew Hazel, ESOL (CTA); Bryan Holmes, Chief, District Police; Russell Holmes, Senior Director, Information Security; Clinton McCracken, Art (CTA); Deborah McGill, Administrator, School Board Services; Robert Waremburg, Senior Director, Procurement Services; William Wen, Senior Director, Transportation; and Codeye Woody, Director, Legislative & Congressional Relations

Below is a summary of the District Operations subgroup. These are a compilation of ideas from the members of the subgroup and the public and are not recommendations.

Face-to-Face Instruction

1. Delay starting school until September or October.
2. Make changes to physical facilities, such as touchless doors, hand drying stations and auto flush toilets.
3. Students should not be allowed to share supplies or books.
4. Parents must sign an agreement to comply with all health protocols and be accessible at all times.
5. Ring a warning bell during class change to allow teachers an opportunity to sanitize rooms.
6. Eat meals outside or in classrooms to allow for social distancing.
7. Install Plexiglas barriers for all public facing areas.
8. Require COVID-19 testing for all OCPS staff.
9. Enhance custodial cleaning activities. Add staff to support screening, cleaning and social distance activities.
10. Sanitizing and social distancing are top priorities.
11. Eliminate fire or active assailant drills.
12. Establish physical space for isolation of students who are ill.
13. Make announcements that remind students of proper hygiene.
14. Stagger arrival and dismissal times.
15. Encourage carpooling among families and neighbors to prevent overcrowding on busses.
16. Establish social distancing and sanitizing on buses.
17. Require daily temperature checks at bus stops.
18. Limit the number of children on busses through school choice or based on need.
19. Encourage and provide more time to properly and thoroughly wash hands.
20. DIMT/EPG should write guidelines for reentry, regardless of scenario and give to principals to follow.
21. Use the gyms as computer centers or rent large tents.
22. Increase teacher debit card amount to supplement cleaning supplies.
23. No contact games at recess or PE.
24. Look at purchasing Portable UV Air Disinfection and HEPA Filtration Systems for each classroom or add to the main AC system.

Virtual Instruction

1. Distribute internet phone numbers so teachers can contact parents without giving the teacher’s personal cellphone number.

Blended Instruction

1. Schedule two sessions per day (AM/PM) with cleaning between sessions.
2. Students should not be allowed to share supplies or books.
3. Parents must sign an agreement to comply with all health protocols and be accessible at all times.
4. Enhance custodial cleaning activities. Add staff to support screening, cleaning and social distance activities.
5. Sanitizing and social distancing are top priorities.
6. Establish social distance and sanitizing procedures on buses.
7. Establish physical space for isolation of students who are ill.
8. Do not allow contact games at recess or PE.

All Three Models

1. Overhaul the entire school system by implementing year-round school.

WORKFORCE WORKGROUP

Lead: James Preusser, Senior Executive Director, Human Resources

Workgroup Members: Loubert Alexis, Assistant Director, Emergency Management; Heather Ashby, Guidance Counselor (CTA); LeighAnn Blackmore, Director, Labor Relations; Lindsay Bowlin, Director, Payroll; Lisa Coffey, Senior Administrator, Psychological and Social Services; Wendy Doromal, Union President (CTA); Michael Graf, Administrator, ADA Compliance Officer; Tiffany Islam, Administrator, Emergency Preparedness; Debi Pedraza, Laketa Jiminez, Registered Nurse; Senior Director, District Foundation; Ronald Pollard, OESPA President (OESPA); Amparo Thomas, Senior Administrator, Facilities Maintenance; and Gabriela Soto, Instructional Coach.

Below is a summary of the Workforce workgroup. These are a compilation of ideas from the members of the workgroup and the public and are not recommendations.

Face-to-Face Instruction

1. Ensure communication is frequent. It is important to keep everyone safe and informed.
2. Consider a COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire to be completed each day. It will allow employees to think about their systems.
3. Concerned employees are returning to work without guidance. 
4. Staff need to understand cleaning procedures.
5. Cleaning is a major concern. What does deep cleaning consist of? How often does the cleaning happen?
6. Custodial Services should have a process in place to clean frequent touch-points and use Electro sprayers for sanitizing large areas of possible transmission.
7. Each employee should be responsible for taking precautions by wiping down work stations, phones, keyboards, and frequently handled items on their desk.
8. We need very specific protocols for cleaning and contact tracing and procedures if someone in school contracts the virus? 
9. Use disaster activity log through ESE, to ensure payroll coding of proper cost centers when absences are related to COVID-19.
10. Establish instructional responsibility and compensation for when students come to school two days and are online three days.
11. Have a non-punitive protocol for employees to report to work. People are afraid to say they are sick.
12. Create an existing database of workers with various skills to fill critical gaps.
13. Observe what other counties are planning and mirror their plan if it is good, and adjust ours to be better/fit our need. Examples are Leon and Pasco county districts.
14. Provide child care for OCPS Employees.
15. Emergency sick leave and child care FMLA is being approved. Many times, employees don’t come into work. We need a procedure for substitute teachers.
16. Stock soap in every restroom and provide N95 masks and PPE to supplement what we already have.
17. Comprehensive guidelines for nurses, including isolation rooms and monitoring of children with a fever until they are picked up by parent or guardian.
18. Would like to see online training for all employees about how to deal with concerns and questions.
19. Work should be coordinated with staff; temperature checks should be taken before entering campus.
20. Train staff on health checks and ensure we have enough staff to make sure the process is not long.
21. Schools will need help keeping track of attendance. The normal rules about attendance don't quite work. A student could be at home for 14 days of isolation because of contact with someone who had COVID. Students who are feeling sick at all should not be attending school in person even though previously they would do exactly that. A student who is simply on 14-day isolation could and should still participate in school from home.
22. Each school needs to have two clinic areas. One for basic first aid and meds and the second to isolate students who are feeling ill.
23. I am a special area teacher in an elementary school. I see over 800 students each week. I am concerned that if I were to become infected by a student, I may start out being asymptomatic and unknowingly expose hundreds of students and their families to the virus. My suggestion is that special area teachers pre-record their lessons in a digital format that students can do in their classrooms. These teachers would need planning time to prep the lessons. And then during their teaching time, they could be assigned to a cohort and each day they could assist/relieve teachers in that cohort so they get break time. It would be important that they stay with the same cohort each day.
24. Keep all K-5 classrooms self-contained.
25. Install knee operated hand-washing stations. 
26. COVID-19 testing for all staff 14 days before reporting for work.
27. Teachers should wear face shields not masks.

Virtual Instruction

1. Conferencing will be better with Zoom or another product. BBB is not useful for instruction and contains many glitches.
2. Have seven periods of Zoom classes just as you would in secondary school. Allow teachers to teach from their classrooms.
3. Dedicate teachers to teach digitally.
4. Work with Spectrum to provide internet services to those that truly have a need and financially can’t pay for it. The money saved from constantly cleaning schools and other safety precautions could go to help offset the cost.
5. Provide video lessons for children from the teacher's own classroom. Unions should not be dictating to the district that recorded lessons should not be required.
6. Make distance learning flexible for parents that work. Teacher should record instruction, daily activity, etc. Many parents work 8-5, overnight jobs and cannot do distance learning in the mornings. 
7. NO iReady. I watched my child use iReady and it was riddled with errors and ridiculously confusing. 
8. Concerning payroll, delaying the start date or any of the models will mean that Payroll calendars will change. Suggest no matter what the model that we continue to pay them regardless of when they report to work.
9. Teachers should send home manipulatives for children to use during a math lesson.
10. If we do go traditional, having that knowledge of what to expect before going into the building is critical.
11. Communicate far enough in advance for people to plan and prepare for work and life.
12. Establish the work load for 10-month employees. Establish compensation guidelines if they cannot telework, including furloughs.
13. We should have virtual and face-to-face learning for students who need a place to go during the day. We need to consider training now.
14. For electives: Art packets can be picked up as well as instruments. With advanced conferencing abilities, those classes can be done online.
15. Provide hot spots for all students.
16. Every child needs a laptop, low-income family students included. Laptop carts were sitting full in schools but, by the time they were distributed, students had fallen behind.
17. Parents should be offered workshops on how to set their students up for digital learning success and how to set up a work space and materials needed.
18. Daily live-stream lessons with teachers. Teachers should interact with their students.
19. Consider allowing teachers to use the classroom to connect with students. Manipulative books and boards can be used to connect with students.
20. Cases continue to spike in Florida. We are setting new records every day. It is impossible to keep children a safe distance apart, no matter their age. Opening schools as normal will put students, teachers, and everyone they come into contact with at risk. Delay opening schools until the numbers start going down and/or until the start of the second quarter.

Blended Instruction

1. There should be very small groups of students if there are positive cases and limit movement in schools. Limit how many people students can come in contact with. Let older students have more digital distance learning.
2. Create an ABC schedule, alternating on a weekly basis with Fridays to clean.
3. All for virtual/blended instruction to give time for schools to be cleaned.
4. Have multiple options for parents but have IEP and ESY face-to-face. Have guidelines for these meetings. Specify safety guidelines. Most ESE students will likely not wear masks.
5. Students could go home and transmit the virus to vulnerable people.
6. Bulk of instruction should be distance learning with the face-to-face component limited to interventions.
7. Grade K-3 should be face-to-face and Grades 4-12 should be distance.
8. High school students should have distance learning for the first quarter. Elementary students should have face-to-face with limited transitions. Middle school students should have a blended schedule: M W, T TH and online Friday.
9. For parents who work, send students to home school, but turn in work through Canvas.
10. Face-to-face one day per week, distance learning four days per week
11. M/W - Group 1 has face-to-face. T/TH - Group 1 is distance learning. T/TH - Group 2 has face-to-face. W/F - Group 2 is distance learning. Group students based on iReady or other diagnostic scores.
12. Use block scheduling to give teachers an additional planning period.
13. Hold classes on M/W for one group and T/TH for the second group. All students receive distance learning Friday. Do away with early dismissal Wednesdays.
14. Switch to year-round learning. http://www.nea.org/tools/17057.htm. Implement a 90/30-day plan for the first semester, then a 45/15 plan for the second semester. If cold and flu season seems to be bad, the district can always change second semester to a 90/30, if needed; or the 45/15 plan but start with 15 additional days (three weeks) off then go into distance learning, if needed.
15. Stagger face-to-face: Mondays-seniors; Tuesday-juniors; Wed-teachers only; Thursday-sophomores; and Friday's-freshmen. Off days are for distance learning.
16. Students begin with face-to-face for four days then have distance learning for 14 days; then back to four days. Studies show the virus will appear during those 14 days away, if it is present. Students need some contact with peers and teachers. Clean schools during those 14 days, especially hot spots like tables and door handles.
17. Give families the option of face-to-face or distance.
18. Partner high school teachers for direct instruction and online monitoring so students can rotate between classroom and online learning. Ideally, the teacher partnership could include a teacher from the high-risk category and one who is not.
19. I think this is a good model:  http://www.lexdistrict1.com/stronger-together?fbclid=IwAR3XaBBPNn2rqG6YyGPoCxd7uiqgDVP9cSf4o085C20-eg0Ah1rfZAojopc

All Three Models

1. Transitioning between models needs to be seamless.
2.     We have some states that have put out plans for three models so look at what is out there.


ACADEMICS AND INSTRUCTION WORKGROUP

Lead: Rob Bixler, Associate Superintendent, Curriculum and Digital Learning 

Workgroup Members: Jennifer Bohn, SAFE Coordinator; Martha Chang, Principal; Laura Davis, School Secretary/Bookkeeper (OESPA); Carletta Davis-Wilson, Principal; Ursula Evans, Administrator, Emergency Preparedness; Scotty Ferguson, Area Manager, Food Services; Kimberly Fry, Director, Transportation; Farrah Hawkins, Kindergarten Teacher (CTA); Sara Hudson, Resource Teacher (CTA); Andrew Jenkins, Senior Director; Rahim Jones, Area Superintendent; Carol McGowin, Director, Student Enrollment; and Sylvia Schaffer, Senior Director, ESE

Below is a summary of the Academic & Instruction workgroup. These are a compilation of ideas from the members of the workgroup and the public and are not recommendations.

Face-to-Face Instruction

1. At first, teachers were in favor of three days face-to-face and two days online but after trying distance learning they prefer face-to-face. Reduce the number of students per class. 
2. Consider asking parents to sign waivers that prevent anyone from holding the school or students responsible for exposure?
3. Preference is for elementary to be face-to-face. Preference is for smaller student to teacher ratios, daily temp checks and frequent hand-washing. Art or music teachers, etc. can come to the students’ classrooms instead of the students going to their classrooms. Recess can be held on fields instead of playground equipment that requires cleaning. Lunch can be brought to the classrooms. Parents with full time jobs need an option of face-to-face education.
4. Clinical components require face-to-face in some cases; up to half of the course hours have to be done face-to-face. Technology classes that require specialized software and medical classes that require clinicals need to be face-to-face classes.
5. Packets are liked as additional resources to core instruction; live online or face-to-face sessions are preferred to connect and teach students and break down information.
6. Sanitize between classes at secondary level.
7. Keep elementary face-to-face M-F and put into place all safety and health guidelines.
8. Do temperature screenings at schools using no-touch thermometers. Ensure social distancing (6 feet apart) in the classroom.
9. Ensure Kelly substitutes pool is large enough to cover sick teachers or those who need to isolate themselves? Kelly Services would have to test their subs weekly or as needed.
10. Hold half days face-to-face. Prioritize instructional time and keep noncurricular-based items to a minimum. Keeps class sizes small and maintain a consistent social school experience for the children.
11. If parents do not want their child to do face-to-face have them enroll student in virtual school. 
12. Look at ways to ensure schools do not run out of room when applying social distance requirements.
13. Parents want to know what happens during contact tracing when a student is COVID-19 positive.
14. If staff and students are required to wear masks, staff need guidance on how it will be enforced.
15. Need procedures to address absenteeism due to illness, to ensure students continue learning.
16. Elementary and sixth grade students should go to school unless the parent wants them to do virtual or a blended format. They should also have the option to change their mind..
17. Do temperature checks in hallways while they wait to go into classrooms. Everyone should wash their hands or use sanitizer before sitting down. Send people home or to the hospital if they have a high fever.
18. Provide professional development for staff regarding safety measures; instructional requirements (face-to-face or digital); scheduling for teacher's planning (duty free lunch); support for parents (who do not feel comfortable to send their child to school); and accountability for everyone.
19. PPE should be recommended but not required in ESE classrooms. Give schools direction on whether PPE will be provided by the district or schools need to purchase?
20. The children need to be in a building with as much "normal" as possible. Not every student has the ability to do well with distance learning. Face to face is more than just the academic piece. As teachers we are able to closely see emotional and social cues, flag concerns, be stability for many. The kids need to interact with each other.
21. Consider face shields instead of masks for PK-1.
22. Use clear dividers between students to allow for the use of tables. Use desk dividers in classrooms. No more sharing of supplies in elementary classrooms. Each must have its own, to reduce spreading of germs.
23. Consider purchasing swivel cameras so students can log in to a video conference and attend class on a regular schedule when quarantined at home.
24. Delay start of school until after Labor Day as current cases are climbing.

Virtual Instruction

1. Use distance learning for middle and high school students plus face-to face classes for review and testing. This would free up the buses for elementary students. 
2. Elementary parents expressed frustration with distance learning. If we have to be on campus, have elementary school with separate morning and afternoon sessions.
3. It is very challenging for a departmentalized elementary school to do distance learning because students have to attend live sessions for ELA and math.
4. For teacher contact via Canvas, all lessons should be recorded. Divide students into A groups and B groups with alternating schedules. Track attendance based on class participation.
5. Some students were unable to complete their program due to distance learning.
6. Virtual instruction is hard for elementary school especially with child care.
7. 50% increase in DCF cases during distance learning may seem like a good thing but it could mean that the students who need us the most are not being helped.
8. We need to bargain the use of Canvas as the standard LMS.
9. Would like to see guidance on how attendance will be done in virtual learning environment.
10. Need consistent assignments practices from school to school. Assignments for some were to log in to apps. That's not the same as one-on-one work with the teacher. 
11. Packets are not an option going further. This was busy work that students did not take seriously.
12. We need to renegotiate with the CTA.
13. Upgrade video editing software so teachers can make video lessons (with training of course).
14. Provide more professional development for teachers to ensure consistency in instructional delivery. Wednesday should be a planning day for teachers to disinfect classrooms and prepare lessons or training on how to stay safe.
15. We need to follow the bell schedule for virtual. Students still need a bell schedule to follow.
16. Incorporate ideas/concepts used by Steve Spangler in virtual summer camps (deliver kits to students with all items needed for science classes) so students can do what the teacher on the screen is doing or leading them through).
17. Establish that all homework be completed through programs such as “Seesaw,” “Prodigy,” and “Mathseed.”
18. Students say they need more structure. They need a schedule and time frames to follow.

Blended Instruction

1. Students will need social/emotional support. Make available improved social-emotional support for teachers, students and parents outside school hours.
2. Schools should develop home-visit teams. Do home visits and phone calls to make sure things are well in the home setting and that parents know how to support their students.
3. Livestream each classroom. Or if that is too much for elementary students, only livestream one class per grade level. Middle school livestream only one subject area class. Allow the students who can and want to return do so and for those who do not, they can continue virtually.
4. A or B days: students either attend Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday, learning from home on the days they aren't in school. Wednesday teachers work from home while classrooms are cleaned.
5. Students who are watched by COVID-19 high-risk individuals may bring risk to the school when they return.
6. One week on and one week off may be easier for cleaning because it is the same group of children for five days.
7. Title I parents might struggle with this model. Allow all low-income families access to computers, even primary grades. The learning hasn’t been equal for all OCPS students.
8. Schools have put in a lot of effort to regulate attendance and keep students engaged and online.
9. From an elementary parent perspective, blended learning is a challenge when both employees work for OCPS.
10. Have elementary students return but spread campuses out over elementary and secondary schools.
11. In blended learning, have middle school students go Mondays and Wednesdays and high schools go Tuesdays and Thursdays. Use face-to-face time to focus only on mandatory coursework. Complete specials through use of BBB as these classes are normally larger in size. Courses from home would be physical fitness, band, chorus, art, STEM and second Languages. On Friday, host all school meetings, tutoring sessions, teacher lesson and curriculum planning, and professional growth.
12. Teachers spent a lot of time checking on students and not doing work.
13. Develop methods by which teachers participate safely in collaborative planning time. We may have to limit the use of Kagan Strategies and cooperative/collaborative structures until after Covid-19 is gone.
14. Instead of requiring teachers to teach twice, once online and once face-to-face, consider one dedicated online teacher per grade level or course?
15. Parents were overwhelmed with the number of sessions and keeping times straight for each student.
16. Some programs work well blended and some do not. Mondays-seniors only come into school to attend classes. Tuesdays-juniors only come to school to attend classes. Wednesdays-teachers only. Thursdays-sophomores only come to school to attend classes. Fridays-freshmen only come to school to attend classes.
17. Elementary, middle and high school should be evaluated separately. High school students are a lot more capable of Distance/Blended learning. Use block scheduling with students attending certain days and using teacher recorded sessions on their off days; do half-days in shifts that includes recorded sessions.
18. Consider access to technology versus availability of technology- some students share with a sibling, etc.
19. We may need to seek waivers for FISH reports if we use a high school to house other school populations.
20. Distance learning or blended may work if and ONLY IF CFE, teacher evaluations, VAM scores and Deliberate Practice are eliminated, because there is no way material can be covered with 100% distance learning.
21. Teachers should report to work at school while hosting live and recorded lessons. 
22. Students should attend periods 1-4, M/W, and periods 5-7, T/Th. For middle and high school, implement block scheduling with a staggered bell schedule. Busses could be staggered or a study hall to host everyone starting/ending at the same time, despite staggered schedules. 
23. Start year blended (first nine weeks) then move to face to face for second nine weeks.
24. If classes are separated into groups ex. A, B, C. should go to school for one week, as to not over burden custodial staff with deep everyday cleaning, but weekly deep cleanings.

All Three Models

1. For the secondary core subjects, OCPS should develop a district-wide Canvas lesson suitable for the large group with expected formative and summative instruments; and expect all schools to use it while the teachers have their freedom and wide latitude during tutoring/small group sessions. Elementary PLCs know their school and students better and should develop those lessons that suit the level of their students.
2. HS- Distance Learning, Middle School attend the HS campus, 3-5 attend the MS campus and K-2 stay at their own campus.
3. Every neighborhood area should have a facility that supports each of the models.