School Board discussed schools reopening plan
Posted on 07/07/2020

OCPS News Release

Orange County School Board members discussed the 2020-21 school reopening plan in a 11-hour work session Tuesday, July 7. A vote is expected after a public hearing Tuesday, July 14, during its next regularly scheduled board meeting.

Three Instructional Models
Face-to-face - On campus, regular schedule, five days a week to follow CDC guidance:

  • Staff and students over age 3 wear face coverings
  • Scheduled hand washing or sanitizing regularly and upon arrival and departure
  • Daily temperatures checks prior to entry for staff and students
  • Social distancing when feasible

Virtual - Families who do not want children to return on-site would have the option of enrolling full-time in Orange County Virtual School, a fully accredited OCPS school. This provides location, time and pace flexibility. Family commits for one semester at a time.

Innovative Learning - OCPS [email protected] provides live stream for each lesson, following a traditional bell schedule. This option provides location flexibility, while also offering continuity of student experience and campus connections, as well as wrap-around support services. Teachers will use Swivl technology so students online receive the same instruction as those in the classroom. Family commits for one semester and students will transition back to school, when possible.

Face-to-face Virtual Innovative
    This option is for families who are ready to return to the school campus and the classroom where students will interact directly with their teacher(s) and classmates
  • Students wear face shields PK-2
  • Students wear masks 3-5
    This option is for families who want a fully self-paced virtual environment
  • Commit for a minimum of (1) semester
  • Some web conference meetings, as needed
  • Not the same as [email protected]
    This option is for families who would like to maintain their connection to their enrolled school, but don't yet feel comfortable sending their student(s) back to school in August
  • Commit for a minimum of (1) semester
  • Transition back to school when possible
  • Follow traditional schedule using synchronous web conferencing

Work Groups and Think Tank submissions
Four different workgroups (Academics and Instruction, Health and Safety, Operations and Workforce) made up of administrators, teachers, union representatives, parents and students reviewed more than 6,000 ideas and comments regarding reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year.

Each of the workgroups reviewed the Think Tank submissions and created highlights. Review the online pages for a detailed list of each work group's summaries. Ideas include:

  • Face-to-face expectations
  • Virtual learning expectations
  • Social distancing
  • Student and staff hygiene
  • Building and equipment disinfection
  • Treatment and isolation protocols
  • Education on infection prevention and illness recognition

Recommendations for school configurations
The Board also heard recommended protocols and concerns related to classroom set up, school clinics, cleaning and disinfecting protocols and transportation services. These include:

  • Maximize distance where feasible (3-6 feet recommended)
  • Hygiene separation partitions between student workspaces
  • Two school clinics (well room and sick room)
  • Prioritize cleaning frequently used areas with EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19
  • Bus riders will socially-distance at bus stops and utilize face coverings to increase rider capacity

To read the full recommendations, see slides 65-76 in the full reopening presentation.

COVID-19 Response Plan configurations

  • If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, district and county health officials will initiate response procedures that include:
  • Communicate with staff, parents and students
  • Clean and disinfect thoroughly
  • Establish contract tracing
  • Make decisions about school's dismissal (switch to LaunchEd during quarantine, if necessary)
  • Activate Instructional Continuity Plan

Based on guidance, recommendations and investigative findings, the district procedures outlined can change or be altered at any time.

Financial Implications
When considering the reopening plan, a variety of financial implications should be considered. For example:

  • Potential Full-time Equivalent/Enrollment decline
  • Personal protective equipment/face shields ($6.4 million)
  • Electrostatic sprayers ($70k)
  • LaunchEd (Swivl) cameras ($1.4 million)

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 and Immunization
Dr. Raul Piño, Health Officer Florida Department of Health, presented statewide and Orange County data and trends related to COVID-19 cases: average age affected, positivity rate, hospitalizations, recovery rate and symptoms. He also addressed the concern regarding childhood immunization compliance. Here is the presentation Dr. Piño presented to the board.

Dr. Piño said when the Board reopens it needs to have different operating procedures than it had in place before schools closed in March. His recommendations include:

  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Hand washing
  • Wearing masks
  • Social distancing
  • One-way hallways
  • Keep same groups of students together throughout the day

Guidance for Reopening Healthy Learning Environments
School districts must comply with the Florida Commissioner of Education's Emergency Order 2020-EO-06 "Further Guidance for Closing Achievement Gaps and Creating Safe Spaces for Learning" (July 6) and must create a local safe schools plan to maintain in person learning, create a framework for local planning by creating a crisis response team and establish supports and partnerships in communities to make local decisions. Recommendations to fulfill the EO include:

  • Fluid to allow staff to pivot as CDC guidelines change
  • Plan design allows for post-deployment modifications based on monitoring results and allows for an individual class, school, school cluster bus, or district adjustments based on available data
  • A comprehensive plan review to occur at the end of each quarter and adjustments made as needed
  • Broad communication strategies to ensure families can make timely decisions regarding options for the upcoming school year.

Statutory Guidelines
John Palmerini, Associate General Counsel Litigation and Employment, reviewed statutory guidelines to consider when making the plan to reopen schools related to the powers of the School Board, Superintendent, Collective Bargaining and Impact Bargaining. These statutes include mandated days and/or hours of instruction required, operational policies, and employee relations, wages, terms and conditions.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Professional Development
As part of the OCPS 2025 Strategic Plan, all instructional personnel will receive training and supports to provide SEL to students. Teachers will utilize the CASEL framework's three pillars: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Responsible decision-making skills to increase their capacity to make positive choices and maintain positive relationships.

In addition to SEL training, all staff will receive best practices professional development related to the successful use of technology tools necessary for face-to-face and online learning.

Summer School CARES Act Recovery Programs

  • Face-to-face learning opportunities will provide support for identified students in primary, middle and high school beginning July 13. Schools will be taking safety precautions including:
  • Providing teachers with personal protective equipment
  • Enhanced sanitizing protocols
  • Small class sizes
  • Temperature checks
  • Lunch in the classroom

Elementary level opportunities include kindergarten students who did not pass the early readiness screener, grades 2-5 for school-identified students, and Extended School Year and Gifted students in grades 3-5 identified based on Individualized Educational Plan and/or Psychological Evaluations.

Middle School students will have the opportunity to schedule office visits for Speech and Language Therapy. Parents will need to make an appointment for these services and provide transportation.

High School students who attended the PERT Camp are eligible to participate in the PERT summer test administration. Students who attend the Algebra 1 End of Course Prep Camp can participate in the upcoming Algebra 1 EOC examination administration. The specific test dates are:

  • PERT Math July 14, 2020
  • Algebra 1 Session 1 July 15, 2020
  • Algebra 1 Session 2 July 16, 2020

The Board will digest the information presented today and vote on their reopening plan at next week's Board meeting, July 14, 5:30 p.m.

Here is the Reopening of Schools presentation. All work sessions are also live-streamed on the School Board's YouTube page and accessible after the meeting.

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