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Changes to Garden City USD 457's COVID-19 Operational Plan approved

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Flags blow in the wind outside the USD 457 Educational Support Center, 1205 N. Fleming St.

Changes to USD 457's COVID-19 Operational Plan were approved at the board of education's regular meeting Monday.

Changes were made in regards to iPads, Elementary Level 4 library usage, intermediate lunch routines, intermediate dismissal/bus routines, intermediate curriculum/classroom routines, intermediate after school programs, Special Education at Levels 3 through 6 as well as a recommendation from the Kansas State Department of Education for special education.

For technology there the plan indicated that all K-12 students are assigned an iPad that is to be taken home each evening, the recommendation is that the language be changed so that all K-12 students are assigned an iPad that will be sent home daily with students in grades five through 12 at all operational levels, in grades K-4 at Levels 1-4 they may be sent home each evening and in Levels 5-6 they are required to be sent home.

Glenda LaBarbera, assistant superintendent, said the change was recommended because the younger students forget to plug in the iPads to charge when they get home, so they're not charged when they get to school the following day, or they come back broken.

At Elementary Level 4, in terms of library usage, it's recommended that only one class can come into the library at a time, with no more than six children searching for books at a time while others wait their turn. Students will sanitize when they enter the library and again before searching for a book.

Additionally, books will be quarantined for 72 hours after they are returned, and each class has its own tub for book returns.

Librarians do not touch the books during checkout. Students hold up the barcodes and the librarians scan them.

Students are not allowed to randomly come into the library to check out books. Only whole classrooms are allowed.

At the Intermediate Centers, one recommended change is that at lunch students will eat either in the cafeteria or gym while maintaining social distance as much as possible rather than the cafeteria or the classrooms. The safest location will be determined by each building depending on space.

The next change for the Intermediate Centers is in regard to dismissal and bus routines.

Students who are picked up by car will no longer be held in their homeroom until their parent arrives. They will stand outside and wait for them to arrive while socially distancing from others.

For students who ride the bus, at 3:45 p.m. all bus students will be called to the gym to wait for their buses to arrive. Students will socially distance in line while waiting for their bus to arrive.

At Level 4 at the Intermediate Centers play ground equipment will be open when applicable and libraries will be open to one classroom at a time just like at the elementary level.

Additionally, at Level 4, interventionists have the option of pulling small groups into the hallway or taking one to three students from the same classroom to the intervention room.

The after-school program will be open at all levels except Level 6.

For special education at Levels 3 and 4, gloves and face shields will no longer be required in Functional Rise rooms.

At Level 5, paras can go into homes with appropriate personal protective equipment and participate through Zoom. KN95 masks are no longer required.

At Level 6, Stage 1, in special education self-contained, Functional Rise and other students who need significant supports can attend on-site learning if 50% of the staff, including the teacher, are in attendance for 2.5 hours per day.

This is in accordance with a recommendation by the KSDE.

Classes will be split into a.m. and p.m. sectional allowing for social distancing, and classrooms will be disinfected in the middle of the day.

All classes will be fully remote at Level 6, Stage 2, and beyond in special education.