COVID-19 Coronavirus Response

 

2021-2022 Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

In order to comply with Section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP Act and U.S. Department of Education’s Interim Final Rule, each school division that receives ARP ESSER III funds is required to submit a plan that describes how it will safely return to in-person instruction and ensure continuity of services, including school divisions that have already returned to in-person instruction. This plan is published to Fluvanna County Public School’s website.

Section 1: Introduction

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. This plan describes how Fluvanna County Public Schools will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and division staff during and following the return to full in-person instruction. Questions about this plan should be directed to Gemma Soares, Director of Elementary Instruction and Federal Programs, at gsoares@apps.fluco.org or 434-589-8208.

The primary goal of Fluvanna County Public Schools continues to be to safely offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible under the guidelines provided by the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Education. Fluvanna County Public Schools is planning for a return to in-person learning five days a week for all PreK-12 students beginning August 11, 2021. Health and safety mitigation procedures will likely continue to be in place in our schools and transportation in August, including physical distancing and face coverings. As guidance from health officials continues to evolve, mitigation practices may become less restrictive. Our instructional staff will focus on the design and delivery of engaging, in-person instructional experiences that will mirror our instructional approach prior to the pandemic.

Fluvanna County Public Schools strongly believes the best educational opportunity is provided to our students through an in-person environment. We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. There will be no virtual learning option for preschool students. Parents of K-4 students should contact their building principal to discuss virtual learning requests for next school year. Families in grades 5-12 who are interested in a virtual option are asked to submit a request to receive an application for virtual learning, and should plan for a yearlong commitment for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Approval of virtual learning applications for grades 5-12 will be based on multiple factors, including past student performance, attendance, and identified student need.

Section 2: Maintaining Health and Safety

Fluvanna County Public Schools has taken and will continue to take actions to ensure the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and division staff during and following the return to in-person instruction, five days per week. FCPS has established a COVID-19 team within the school division and a point person at each school facility. FCPS has been in contact with our local health department officials in our planning for reopening our buildings and will maintain continued contact with Thomas Jefferson Health District officials.

The FCPS health mitigation plan will continue to focus on the on the following guiding principles:

● promoting behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19
● maintaining healthy environments and operations
● preparing for and acting when someone gets sick and/or presents with symptoms

FCPS will continue to monitor student absenteeism using already established attendance procedures. Should the rate of absenteeism significantly increase in any school or across the division, then the Superintendent will be made aware of this by attendance staff at schools. The Superintendent will consult with stakeholders regarding possible causes and determine the next steps for the division. FCPS will be partnering with our families and community with the expectation that all students and staff continue to complete a health screening protocol before reporting to school.

FCPS has developed a communication strategy that includes orientation and training for staff and students specific to COVID-19 mitigation strategies. FCPS will provide information and training to staff and students on safety protocols, signs, and symptoms of COVID-19, first aid situations, provide classroom supply support, conduct virtual training sessions, and ensure social distancing is maintained during training. Staff will receive guidance on CDC recommendation for triaging students in the classroom, accommodating a sick student, isolation protocol, Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance, medication administration guidelines, and protocols. FCPS will communicate, in accordance with applicable laws and privacy policies, having staff and families self-report to the school if they or their student have
symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days in accordance with health information sharing regulations for COVID-19. FCPS will notify staff, families, and the public of school closures and any restrictions in place to limit COVID-19 exposure. Upon confirmation of positive lab findings, the school and Division Head nurse will contact the Director of Student Services, School Administration, and the Health Department. The Health Department would do contact tracing in an effort to determine the communication needs of parents, students, and address closer to infected areas.
All staff, students, and stakeholders will be provided information on the importance of staying home when sick and maintaining social distancing practices. Lesson plans, modeling, verbal wellness screenings, and skill-practicing will be used to ensure that staff and students understand the importance of personal hygiene and practice these preventative behaviors. FCPS may provide age-appropriate signage and material to all facilities to promote healthy hygiene. Materials may be posted in the entrances, hallways, classrooms, food service areas, restrooms, nurse’s offices, and other areas as deemed appropriate by the building principal, site supervisor, and Central Office staff.

Face masks will be required among all students, staff, and visitors. Students and staff will be expected to wear masks on buses, in common areas, during transitions, and in classrooms, with the exception of during socially distanced, planned mask breaks. FCPS will work with both parents and primary care providers to determine the best safety practices to make appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities and for students with medical conditions. We will work with our families to accommodate virtual learning options for students who feel that virtual learning provides a better alternative for their health needs.

Fluvanna County Public Schools will clean and disinfect each building regularly, with special attention to frequently touched surfaces; transport vehicles, and it will ensure adequate cleaning supplies are available for custodial use. FCPS will provide additional training opportunities related to COVID-19 and enhanced sanitation measures for the custodial staff. FCPS will provide health services staff working with students, staff, and areas of exposure with personal protective equipment and provide guidance according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. Each building will have a dedicated space for those who present with symptoms of COVID-19 that is separate from areas that may be used regularly.

Fluvanna County Public Schools will provide access to additional hand sanitizer at key locations throughout the building including high traffic areas like the main offices and classrooms. Students will continue to be encouraged to wash hands regularly and frequently especially before eating and after using the restroom. Fluvanna County Public Schools will work to provide adequate access to learning materials and technology to minimize sharing to the greatest extent possible (e.g. dedicated student supplies, lab equipment, computers, etc). The sanitization of shared items between uses will be a high priority. Fluvanna County Public Schools will strive to
make certain our ventilation systems operate properly and to increase the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible. Systems will be checked regularly and filters will be replaced regularly.

Bottle fillers have been installed as an alternative to traditional water fountains, and students will continue to be encouraged to bring water bottles from home daily for hydration.

FCPS classrooms will be arranged to ensure appropriate social distancing, to the greatest extent possible, between students while maximizing available space and ensuring proper entry and egress routes. While students and staff are in the building, communal areas will be monitored for cleanliness and physical distancing. FCPS will maintain appropriate social distancing, to the greatest extent possible, on buses and other transportation vehicles. Drivers and schools will assign seating based on recommendations and guidance provided by the state, our stakeholders, and collaborative partners.

Meals may be served and consumed in the cafeteria along with the classroom setting to optimize physical distancing. Students may continue to bring their own meals as appropriate. Students and staff should avoid sharing food and utensils. Distribution of food items and utensils will continue to follow guidance of best health mitigation practices. All non-disposable food service items, including cooking and preparation equipment and student trays, are handled with gloves and will be cleaned and sanitized after each use with a high-temperature dish machine or washed with dish soap and hot water. Food Service staff will wash their hands in accordance with CDC guidelines. Food Service staff will clean and disinfect frequently touched student surfaces; including keypads, and tray guides and employee surfaces; including door handles, sink handles, and keyboards.

FCPS continues to work closely with Blue Ridge Health District officials to coordinate and communicate vaccine efforts, as well as allow for the use of school buildings to provide vaccination sites for school staff, students and community members. Multiple vaccine clinics were hosted at FCPS sites, for both staff and community. FCPS continues to assist with clinics to support the vaccinations of 12-18 year olds and their household members, as well as any remaining staff and community needs.

Section 3: Continuity of Services

Fluvanna County Public Schools has taken and will continue to take actions to ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs.

Academic Needs

All students Pre K-12 will be eligible to return to school for in-person learning five day per week for the 2021-2022 school year. FCPS has made plans for continuity of new learning to exist alongside planning and responding to loss of learning through modifications of curriculum, pacing, and targeted assessment and remediation opportunities. Fluvanna County Public Schools will be offering a summer school program June 21, 2021 – July 15, 2021. This program will support students who have been identified as needing intervention. The focus will be on remediating reading and math skills in grades K-8, and Credit Recovery/SOL remediation for grades 9-12 for English, Math, Science and Social Studies. A K-12 Literacy coordinator, two additional reading specialists, an additional math specialist, and an additional instructional technology resource teacher will be employed to provide direct services to students, support teachers in the classroom, and provide schoolwide professional development to address needs related to learning loss. Twelve additional core instructional positions will be added for the 2021-2022 school year in grades K-8 to reduce class size to provide in-person instruction five days per week with appropriate physical distancing, as well as to assist teachers in addressing the increased learning needs of our students.

Assessments will be administered at the start of the school year to identify individual student needs. Formative assessments and delivery will be adjusted accordingly, and progress monitoring will be utilized to assess effectiveness, and drive future instruction. Collaboration with all instructional staff will be imperative to provide the instructional delivery necessary for all students to succeed. Students who fall into the Response to Intervention (RTI) Tier 2 and Tier 3 level of instructional needs, will continue to receive specialized instruction through the implementation of best practices, which will be progress monitored for effectiveness.
Students in need of services including English Language Learners (ELL) and Students with Disabilities (SWD) will be provided the opportunity to receive instruction based on the direct service time indicated in the student’s Individualized Instructional Plan (IEP) and/or Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP). Students with 504 plans and identified gifted students will continue to receive differentiated and accommodated instruction.

Dedicated daily and weekly time scheduled for teacher planning, collaboration, and continued professional development and support based on both student and staff needs will continue. Reflection of student data and progress will be used as a means to improve student services and instruction. The administration will continue to monitor instruction and classroom/school operations.

We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. There will be no virtual learning option for preschool students. Parents of K-4 students are asked to contact their building principal to discuss virtual learning requests. Families of students in grades 5-12 received a survey opportunity to request to continue with virtual learning for next school year. Depending upon the number of requests for virtual learning, the delivery may look different by grade span. Options being considered are a Virtual Fluvanna program, utilizing Virtual Virginia to support virtual requests, or a hybrid of the two depending
upon the course. In June, specific details about what virtual learning will look like, and an application process asking for a commitment for the 21-22 school year will be sent to families of students in grades 5-12 who completed the survey. Approval of virtual learning applications will be based on multiple factors, including past student performance, attendance, and identified student need. It is important to note that students and families interested in virtual learning should plan for a yearlong commitment for the 2021-2022 academic year.

In the event of a quarantine or school closure, Fluvanna County Public Schools has a contingency plan to move forward with virtual/remote learning with new instruction for all students. All students will be issued a learning device (Chromebook). Students who are unable to access content remotely via the internet will be provided with hotspots and/or alternatives to be able to continue to access new learning.

Social/Emotional/Mental Health

Teaching staff will embed social and emotional learning opportunities and will explicitly instruct students on safety and health habits as we progress through the phases of reopening. School counselors will target their instructional delivery and support based on communication with staff and families, as well as observations of student behaviors and needs. Our schools focus on PBIS Positive Behavior Interventions and Support in all aspects of the school day. At all schools across the division for the upcoming year, we will implement the use of BEST (behavioral, educational, and social-emotional teaching) Labs. The BEST Lab is a calm space not related to
discipline, which is used for students to cool down, regroup, refocus and problem solve. It is also used for academic support and groups as well as social-emotional groups, and sensory breaks.

Fluvanna County Public Schools has developed a plan to implement Tier I trauma-informed practices, including classroom meetings and SEL curriculum at appropriate grade levels. All staff members were trained in trauma-informed practices during the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, many staff members have participated in full-day Mental Health 101 training. Additional training in trauma-informed practices will be made available to new and/or interested staff via face-to-face, virtual, or video-recorded formats.

Fluvanna County Public Schools will have trained staff available by phone or in-person to assist any student who self-refers or who is otherwise identified as experiencing mental health issues. Fluvanna County Public Schools will continue to provide crisis support to students via each school’s established Risk and Threat Assessment Teams. For students receiving special education services, their IEPs will be amended, if appropriate, to ensure the provision of essential supports and/or services to address their social-emotional functioning.

Family members of enrolled students who may need or request mental health support will be referred to the school social worker, who can help make a referral to a community or private mental health provider. School staff who may need mental health assistance will be referred to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Referrals to local mental health services for students will continue as normal, including accessing services (e.g., emergency services) through Region Ten Community Services Board and FAPT-funded services. In addition to the division’s school social worker, an additional student support specialist will be hired for the 2021-2022 school year to assist in addressing the social/emotional needs of our students and assisting families in connecting them with appropriate school and community resources.

Section 4: Opportunity for Public Comment

In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Fluvanna County Public Schools sought public input and took such input into account. Staff and parent input was collected through surveys, Superintendent Staff Advisory meetings, Superintendent Parent Advisory committee meetings, public comment opportunities at advertised school board meetings, and individual communications received at the school and division planning levels.

Section 5: Periodic Review and Revision of Plan

During the period of the ARP ESSER award (until September 2023), Fluvanna County Public Schools will periodically review and, as needed, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The plan will be reviewed at least every six months, and Fluvanna County Public Schools will seek and take into account public input during the review process. Plan revisions will address updated CDC guidance on safely reopening schools, if any are issued.

Section 6: Making the Plan Available to the Public

Fluvanna County Public Schools has taken the following steps to make this plan available to
the public:

● The plan was sent to parents via our school messenger system.
● The plan is posted at www.fluco.org
● The plan was included in the June School Board meeting packet and opportunity for public comment on the plan was provided.
● The plan is available in multiple languages through use of our translation service, Language Line, and in Spanish through our Family Engagement Liaison. For translation of this plan, please contact Jocelyn Stevens at jstevens@apps.fluco.org or 434-981-4910. Si usted necesita ayuda con la traducción de este documento, favor de llamar o textear a Jocelyn Stevens a (434) 981-4910; o se puede poner en contacto con ella a jstevens@apps.fluco.org. Nos alegra poder brindarle servicios de interpretación o traducción a su familia.
● Upon request, a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting Jen Valentine, Director of Special Education at jvalentine@apps.fluco.org or 434-589-8208.

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The Fluvanna County School Board is committed to nondiscrimination with regard to sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, color, national origin,disability, religion, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information or any othercharacteristic protected by law. This commitment prevails in all of its policies and practices concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, andindividuals and entities with whom the Board does business. Mr. Don Stribling, Executive Director for Human Resources, Operations, and Student Services, isdesignated as the responsible person (Compliance Officer) regarding assurances of nondiscrimination. Any complaint alleging discrimination based on adisability shall be directed to Ms. Jennifer Valentine, Director of Special Education (the Section 504 Coordinator). Both may be reached at the following address:14455 James Madison Highway, Palmyra, VA 22963; telephone (434) 589-8208. The Fluvanna County School Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer.