COVID-19 Information

On September 5, 2020, all Bethel schools moved to red (high) risk level, which means all students will continue as remote learners until further notice. YKHC, ONC, and the City of Bethel released a joint statement on September 5, 2020 stating there is a strong likelihood that sporadic community spread of COVID-19 is occurring in Bethel.

Click here for the September 5, 2020 LKSD press release regarding Bethel schools.

Remote learning materials will be available for all students on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. More details will be shared about handing in and receiving new learning materials and student meals during the coming week.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility during these challenging times.


Family safety and well-being is the highest priority
during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Student education is considered essential, however it is not more important than the health, safety, and well-being of children and families during this pandemic. This page is a summary of important information about school during the building closure period.

Click here to view our Social Emotional Learning Resources Page to get  ideas for helping kids learn to regulate their emotions and handle stress.

ME School Smart Start 2020 

ME School COVID Information for Parents, Last Updated 8/24/20

 

Health and Safety

 

Parental Responsibilities Related to Health and Safety

  • Monitor your child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms and conduct daily health checks prior to sending your child to school.
  • Do not send your child to school with any fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • For the safety of the staff and students present in our schools, LKSD recommends a 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling back to our community from a place with active COVID-19 cases.
  • LKSD expects anyone wishing to enter LKSD facilities to follow all state mandates regarding travel, COVID-19 testing, quarantine, and/or isolation. As of August 11, 2020, Alaska Health Mandate 10 means the followingfor travelers returning from out of state:
    • For returning travelers, the FIRST COVID-19 test should be taken 72 hours prior to departure or at the airport for Alaska residents.
    • The SECOND test should be taken 7-14 days after arrival.
    • All travelers into Alaska should be strictly isolating until the 14-day quarantine period is over or until the traveler has two negative COVID-19 tests as described above.
    • During the strict isolation period, children should not attend in-person school or participate in any group activities including sporting events or practices.
    • Children 10 and under do not need to be tested, but are subject to the same requirements of the parent or guardian they traveled with, so until the guardian has quarantined for 14 days or had two negative COVID-19 tests, children who are not tested must also strictly isolate.
    • Do not send a child to school until these requirements are met.

Hand Washing

  • Students will wash or sanitize hands each time they enter and before they exit their classroom, including to and from recess.
  • Students will wash hands with soap and water in the classroom before and after eating breakfast, lunch, and/or snack.

Sanitizing Materials and Spaces

  • Each student will have their own materials and school supplies with them in their work space.
  • Individual student school supplies will be stored safely in their classroom. During the time a student is at home for remote learning, their materials will be left alone other than if they are touched for sanitation during deep cleaning.
  • Grade level teams will use a sanitizing or quarantining plan for any items or spaces that must be used by multiple users so that the items or spaces are sanitized between users.
  • Any classroom space or work area used by a member of one cohort must be sanitized before a user from another cohort can enter the space. High touch surfaces will be sanitized at least hourly.

Water Bottles

  • Water fountains will be turned off or closed off. Students will use water bottles and adults will assist with filling from a larger water container as needed, one student at a time. Individual teachers/classrooms will create washing protocols for the use of water bottles.
  • Students should send a water bottle to school if possible.

Masks

  • As per district mandate, Kindergarten through second grade students are required to wear masks and social distance at all times.
  • The school has masks available for students. Students will be issued 2 cloth masks initially that will be kept at school and washed at school. We have disposable masks for situations when their cloth mask is not available. Students can wear their own mask from home as long as it is similar in coverage to the school masks. Masks from home will return to the home daily, either on the student, or in a plastic bag if the mask is soiled or wet and requires washing.

Physical Distancing

  • ME has scheduled to limit mixing between cohorts of students.
  • Student seats and workspaces will be 6 feet apart.
  • Hallway activities, bathroom breaks, and recesses are scheduled to maintain distancing between students and all others.

Cohorts

Prevent Spreading

As a school, we will do our best to minimize physical contact between students between and within cohorts. Our routines and protocols are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the event the virus should infect any students or staff who attend in-person.

 

  • During in-person medium risk, ME cohort A attends Monday and Tuesday. Cohort B attends Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, the day between the two cohort groups, is a deep cleaning day for the facilities.
  • ME cohorts are groups of 6 to 10 students.
    • Recess times and areas will be separate for each cohort.
    • Students from a cohort may be pulled out for a special lesson if they have identified needs, however there is no mixing of cohorts. Any area used will be sanitized before a student from any other cohort will work there.
 

Health Screening

Sick Students

  • Health screenings will occur daily before starting class or breakfast in the classroom. Health checks include taking and recording the student’s temperature and checking for any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • A student who feels ill or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at any point in the day in the classroom will be sent to the office immediately.
  • Students who are ill will be kept in a separate isolation area to prevent cross-contamination. A parent will need to pick them up as soon as possible.
  • Students displaying any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be sent home from school and not allowed to return until they are symptom-free for 2 days and fever-free without medications for at least 24 hoursorhave proof of a negative COVID-19 test that occurred after the symptoms began.

Adult Health Screening (When Visiting the ME School buildings)

  • Before entering any ME School buildings (main building or portables) to attend an appointment, each adult intending to enter will need to complete an ME Facility Health screening. If an appointment is made in advance, we will make every effort to call ahead to complete the screening questions over the phone within 48 hours of the visit. Body temperature checks are the only part of the health screening that cannot be completed by phone.
  • Body temperatures are checked at the ME School gym screening area before visitors are allowed to enter any other buildings or building spaces.

 

Visitors & Volunteers

 

Visiting the Building

ME School staff members normally love to have volunteers and visitors join us, however this year, we will not be able to host visitors as often because we have to maintain social distancing space.

  • To limit mixing of cohorts and thereby reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19, we will not have visitors or volunteers when in-person cohorts are attending. Appointments for in-person visits or volunteering activities can be made outside of student attendance hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, or at certain times on Wednesdays.
  • Visitors must wear masks and use hand sanitizer when entering the building, and also must wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon entrance to and prior to exit from any classroom.

 

Parent Pick/Up Drop Off

 

Arrival: Parent Drop-off

  • The front doors will be locked until 8:00am. If you arrive before 8:00am, please wait in your car.
  • Drive up and use the drop off lane along the boardwalk to drop off your child.
    • We encourage you to use this option to help with congestion.
    • Please have your child ready with their backpack and mask on.
  • If you need to speak with school staff, you will need to call and make an appointment in advance of your visit.

Be mindful and patient in our parking lot. Please stay off cell phones. Watch for people and any other potential hazards.

Dismissal: Parent Pick-up

  • Pick up time is TBA (to-be-announced).
  • Please wait in your vehicle.
  • A sign with the student’s name will be issued to each guardian. The sign will need to be highly visible in the passenger-side window of the vehicle picking up the student. ME Staff will be posted outside so they can radio in the names of students who need to meet their parent or an approved person outside for pickup. ME Staff will keep record of each student’s pickup time. In the event someone picking up a child does not have the sign for pickup, that adult will need to be prepared to show ME Staff identification to prove they are authorized to pick up that child. If multiple vehicles share pickup duties of a student, please contact the ME School office to get an additional sign.
  • If you are on foot to pick up your child, keep 6 feet of distance between you and others.
  • Please contact ME Front Office (543-2845) for any dismissal changesbefore noon. Only absolute emergency changes can be made after that time and if we are notified too late, we may not be able to change your child’s dismissal in a safe manner.

Student Sign-in/Sign Outwhen checkingin late or out early

  • Students arriving late:
    • After 8:35am, the front door will be locked. Once you arrive, please call 543-2845, to have your student checked in.
    • Please wait to ensure your child is safely in the building before departing.
  • Students checking out early:
    • Please contact the office, 543-2845, and inform the school of your planned arrival time.
    • Once at the front door, please call or ring the doorbell and we will meet you at the front door with your child(ren).

Advance communication is appreciated, as well as your patience.

   

Busing and Other Transportation Methods

 

Busing

  • Only healthy, symptom-free riders are allowed on the bus.
  • Parents/Caregivers are expected to check on their child(ren)’s health status each day to make sure children do not have any fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Bus seating will be only one household to a seat.
  • Masks will be worn by all riders.
  • Upon arrival at school, students must maintain physical distancing and continue to wear their masks while lining up on distancing markers for health screening, which occurs in the ME gym before a student gains access to classrooms and hallways.

Walkers and those who are dropped off at school

  • Only healthy, symptom-free students should be sent or brought to school.
  • Parents/Caregivers are expected to check on their child(ren)’s health status each day to make sure children do not have any fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Upon arrival at school, students must maintain physical distancing and continue to wear their masks while lining up on distancing markers for health screening, which occurs in the ME gym before a student gains access to classrooms and hallways.


Communication

 

COVID-19 Communications (about risk levels and protocols)

  • Local public health officials determine community outbreaks.
  • Communication to staff and families when there are changes between risk levels will occur in a similar way to weather closures or delays. Changes will be announced using SchoolMessenger to make automated phone calls and emails to parents. Changes will also be added to school Facebook pages.
  • Please seelksd.orgfor more information about the LKSD Smart Start 2020 plan.
  • Should exposure to a positive COVID-19 case occur, ME administrators will notify the LKSD Superintendent and YKHC who will work together to make a plan to ensure all exposed students and staff receive notification as soon as possible.

School Communication

  • ME communication will be found on our school website, school Facebook page, school newsletters (monthly, if not more frequently), letters from the office, and will also be communicated through SchoolMessenger.
    • SchoolMessenger is an automated system that gets contact information from PowerSchool in order to contact multiple families simultaneously.
  • Only urgent notifications (major plan changes or emergencies) will be sent by phone with SchoolMessenger. General communications through SchoolMessenger are sent through email.
  • Updated PowerSchool information is essential for ongoing communication with families.

Teacher Communication

  • Teachers will communicate general information with families using their weekly newsletters and additional classroom platforms. Newsletters will be sent home with students who attend in person and will be combined with remote learning materials for those attending remotely.
  • Teachers will still be available for communication through phone calls, email, and other methods arranged with the families of students in their classes.
  • We will update our communication procedures and notify parents when we have a change of method, which will be very likely when the LKSD intranet goes online to connect everyone.

 

Scheduling/Transitions - Social Distancing Plan

 

Hallways

  • Transition schedules will be staggered to decrease exposure to other classrooms and decrease the development of lines forming to enter an area.
  • There are floor markers and wall signs we will be teaching students to use to maintain social distance.

Bathroom

  • Scheduled bathroom breaks
  • The Front Office has to be notified about emergency bathroom breaks so that sanitation procedures can be followed

Lunch/Recess

  • ME will have designated times available for individual cohorts on the playground.
  • In-person cohort students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classrooms. Remote students will receive breakfasts and lunches to eat at home.

Outside Walkways

  • Markers and signs outdoors will help students maintain social distancing of 10 feet while awaiting access to screening and any building entrances.

 

Classroom In-person & Remote Instruction

 

Remote and In-person class

  • Academic content and lessons for both in-person and remote learners will be very similar.
  • Once LKSD Intranet is running, Zoom meetings and Seesaw will be the primary platforms for communication and instruction, with the majority of the learning taking place outside of those platforms through practice opportunities (games, worksheets, projects, art, etc) provided by the teacher.
  • At home, parents will facilitate and guide these practice activities.
  • In school, the teacher will facilitate the same or very similar practice activities as those provided for remote learning.
  • Students will show evidence of their learning by returning completed work and/or by providing feedback to the teacher. Students will often need help from their caregivers to get feedback to the teacher. There are many ways to connect to provide feedback, including passing papers, talking on the phone, texting, and emailing.
  • Elementary Students will receive a minimum of two grades per week is each class they are enrolled in. Grades are made up of classwork, project work, classwork at home, projects, and assessments.
  • Home assignment minimums to expect in the learning materials (after the first week, which is different) include:
    •  Math: 2 assignments
    •  English Language Arts: 2 assignments
    •  Science: 1 assignment
    •   Social Studies: 1 assignment
    •  PE/Health: 2 assignments
  •  Return work and feedback to the teacher from remote learners is expected weekly. Teachers can be flexible about due dates, but consistently late work impacts planning, learning, and grading.
  •  Please talk with your child’s teacher if you find the remote learning materials challenging or unclear.
  •  The school will keep attendance records for students who are placed with in-person cohorts.

School Supplies

In-person Learners:

 

  • A backpack is very important for in-person learning days!We receive donations from various community entities every year, so if your child does not yet have a backpack, please let the teacher or an office staff member know.
  • Inside Shoes: Students must be able to tie their own shoes or have slip-on or velcro. Shoe tying is a fantastic and easy fine motor practice activity to work on at home.
  • Onewater bottlewill be supplied by the school. It will be washed and refilled at school and stay at school with the student’s own things.
  • Masksare required in all school facilities. Students are encouraged to wear their own masks if they have them.
  • The school will provide each in-person learner with a supply box and a basic set of supplies to use at school. Please keep the school supplies you purchased at home for the remote days of each week.
    • We welcome parents sending school supplies to school to add to a student’s classroom school supply box, but first make sure you have what you need at home.
  • If you need any assistance with school supplies, please let your child’s teacher know about it so that the school can assist.

Remote-only Learners:

  • Please keep the school supplies you purchased at home for the remote days of each week.
  • If you need any assistance with school supplies, please let your child’s teacher know about it so that the school can assist.

Switching from remote learning to in-person learning or in-person to remote

  • ME School discourages rapid switching from remote to in-person/vice versa.
  • It will be a minimum of 48 hours before a change of placement can occur after a request.

New students or students transferring from homeschool

  • Contact the office and fill out a registration packet to meet district requirements for new students (ie: updated immunizations, birth certificate etc.).

 

  • It will be a minimum of 48 hours before a new student can start in-person attendance. If a student has arrived from outside of Bethel, prior to placing the student into a cohort, we will review the quarantine requirements and recommendations. After the review, we will communicate the student’s in-person start date with the guardians.

 

Remote Period Materials and Meals


 

Meals

  • As we move between remote and in-person learning periods, meals will still be supplied for all enrolled students. Watch for updates about the procedures for getting school meals.

Remote Materials

  • When we have in-person learning at Yellow (Medium) Risk, materials for fully remote learners will be exchanged on Wednesdays. Please watch for updates about the details. In-person students will exchange materials at school.

 

Your Parent Responsibilities

 

Please note: Unless otherwise noted, these responsibilities apply to all guardians, regardless of a child’s remote or in-person attendance status.

Your Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Responsibilities:

  • Screen your child’s health daily before sending them to school.
    • Do not send your child to school with any fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
    • Do not send your child to school in violation of any State or local mandates.
  • If your child is expected at school in person, please call the school in the morning as soon as you recognize the child will not attend.
  • Teach, reteach, and remind your child about good hygiene. Make sure they know one needs to:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
    • Wear a mask to cover mouth and nose.
    • Keep physical distance from those who do not live in the same home and from sick people.
  • Ensure that your child gets adequate sleep, regular medical attention, and proper nutrition
    • Kidsages 3-5 need 10-13 hours of sleepeach day.
    • Kidsages 6-13 need 9-11 hours of sleepeach day.
    • Kids need alow sugar dietthat is high in nutrients and includes plenty of protein.
  • Read with your child 15-20 minute every day.
  • Pick up or arrange to get your child’s materials.
  • Limit play time with screens and devices to less than 15 minutes per day. Play time away from screens is better for the young brain.
  • Arrange and support contact between your child and your child’s teacher at least once every week of school.
  • Provide feedback about your child’s response to learning (both materials and activities) regularly as requested by your child’s teacher.
  • Contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns.
  • If your child is expected at school in person, make sure they are dressed for any possible weather.
    • For cold weather: Hat, gloves or mittens, snow pants, heavy coat, and warm boots.
    • For rainy days: Raincoat or waterproof coat, waterproof boots.
  • Be respectful to the school, students, staff and other families.

 

Suggestions to make the most of remote time:

 

With every student having some remote time for learning during this COVID-19 period, there are a few things educators want to share as tips that help with students’ remote time.

  • Routines are extremely helpful for young people to thrive and have better moods.
  • Exercise activities (at least 60 minutes per day) are important to build into a child’s routines.
  • Bedtime should be close to the same time each day and early enough to provide enough sleep for their age. Studies show primary-age children’s brains typically learn best on an early-to-bed and early-to-rise schedule.
  • Remote learning activities at the primary grades should only take 2 to 3 hours a day when you are working one-on-one with a 5 to 8 year-old learner. Learning or remote work periods should be scheduled to happen for the child routinely throughout the week.
  • If weeknights are a struggle for your family to fit in learning time, consider building in some time on the weekend to make up for that.

Your Teacher’s Responsibilities

Your Teacher’s Responsibilities

  • Connect with each student weekly.
  • Provide all learners with curricular goals, must-do activities, a way to know if goals are met, and additional learning options for the core subject areas.
  • Endeavor to motivate students to learn.
  • Have high expectations and help every child to develop a love of learning.
  • Communicate regularly with families about student progress.
  • Send home weekly newsletters informing parents about lesson topics, and about school and classroom events and activities.
  • Provide meaningful learning assignments to reinforce and extend learning.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities that improve teaching and learning and support the formation of partnerships with families and the community.
  • Actively participate in collaborative decision-making and consistently work with families and school colleagues to make school an accessible and welcoming place for families.
  • Provide a warm,safe, and caring learning environment to in-person learners.
  • Respect the school, students, staff, and families.

Your Student’s Responsibilities

Your Child’s Responsibilities

  • Come to school or start remote learning each day ready to learn and work hard.
  • Ask for help when they need it.
  • Use devices as learning tools.
  • Read or be read to everyday for 15-20 minutes.
  • Show parents and teachers what they can do. (Assessments and feedback about lessons are mainly ways to show what a child can do.)
  • Respect the school, students, staff, and families.

Student View of the Day at Yellow (Medium) Risk Level:

  1. I will arrive at school by (transportation means) wearing my mask and a backpack.
    1. If I don’t yet have on my mask, I will tell an adult as soon as possible. An adult will give me a mask to wear.
  2. I will stand on a distancing marker until it is my turn to have my health checked. 
    1. I will tell an adult in the school how I am feeling. 
    2. I will let an adult take my temperature.
  3. I will hang up my coat, change into inside shoes, wash my hands.
  4. I will have my breakfast in my work area and clean up after myself the way the teacher shows me.
  5. I will learn at my desk and only leave my work area when the teacher tells me to go to a different place.
  6. I will wash hands before and after lunch, after using the bathroom, and between lessons at times when the teacher says it is time.
  7. I will eat lunch at my work area and clean up after myself the way the teacher shows me.
  8. If I am the only one who needs to use the bathroom at any time, I will ask my teacher before I leave my work area.
  9. I will follow my teacher’s directions when we have to leave the classroom together for recess, outdoor learning time, or bathroom breaks.
  10. I will stay apart from other people even when I walk in line to recess and back and whenever I am waiting my turn to use another area.
  11. I will follow a one-way walking pattern in the main building.
  12. If I have to leave my class for any special lessons, I will follow the teacher who picks me up from my classroom and I will use a work area in another room. The teacher will sanitize that work area before and after I am there. 
  13. I will not be with any other classes when I am at school. I have only one main class. Adults will probably call my class a “cohort”.
  14. I will wear my mask all day at school. If my mask is wet, dirty, or has some other problem, I will tell my teacher about it. I will not touch my mask when it is on.
  15. I will have my own water bottle and my teacher or another adult will help me fill it and keep it clean. 
  16. All of the things I use during learning will stay with me in my work area. I will put them away in the spot my teacher tells me before I go home.
  17. I will see staff wearing a lot of different kinds of clothing. Everyone will be wearing a mask or shield with a mask, but sometimes my teachers or other adults at school will also wear a yellow gown and gloves. I know they are wearing those things to help keep our school safe from a virus.

 


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