Reopening Plan

Revised SJCSD Restart Plan for 2020-2021

Hello, this is Tim Forson, Superintendent of St. Johns County Schools. I would like to share with you the plan to open St, Johns County schools on August 10.  This plan is revised and is built to comply with new state requirements. 

Christina Langston: Beginning in early May 2020, the school district surveyed the parents and staff on the distance learning platform that was used during the 4th quarter of the year.  We then surveyed again during the summer asking for information leading into the new school year.   Input has come from parents, business and community leaders, major local employers, teachers, school leaders, health and medical related professionals, and local, state and federal guidance.  The district has since formed task forces to build a plan for the new school year.  These task force teams have focused on specific areas of school operations such as academics, transportation and food service, building maintenance and sanitation, and health and sanitation protocols.

On July 1, the SJCSD plan became available to the community with a deadline for response of July 15.  During this time period, the FL DOE issued an Emergency Order that would impact our plan so we placed the original plan on HOLD until we could make necessary adjustments.

Superintendent Forson: Although a distance learning option is permissible, it must be a mirror image of the learning that is taking place at the schoolhouse and used as a temporary solution for providing educational services during the pandemic.

Since the Order identifies the local department of health and other health officials as the primary experts in determining school openings and closings, the district plan no longer differentiates the level of virus spread.

The revised plan looks very similar to the previous plan that parents reviewed.  Again, they are the same 4 options with adjustments made within the plan.

Christina Langston: Beginning with Option 1, the student would return to school 5 days a week and receive face to face instruction.  This is the way most of us were taught and how we would typically describe a traditional academic setting.  There would be difference at the school to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.  This may very slightly from school to school but would be in place to minimize congestion and protect everyone on campus.

Superintendent Forson: Option 2 is an innovative learning environment for students as allowed in the Emergency  Order but must closely align with the b and M classroom and students must be able to interact with their teacher and peers.  Depending on the demand for courses at the secondary level or the unique needs for resources and equipment, not all courses may be available in this option.  This will be a school level situation.  It should also be noted that students must be monitored closely in this option to be certain they are being successful.  This is designed to be a temporary option until the virus risks have diminished.

Option 3 is St. Johns Virtual School where the course pace and structure is not aligned with school based options. St. Johns County teachers lead the instruction and a semester commitment is required.

Option 4 is for is Home Education and the office of Guidance and Choice can assist parents with enrolling in this option.

This is the chart containing the 4 options

Christina Langston: The implementation timeline is very tight and will allow only 2 weeks for school leaders to prepare for staff return on August 3rd.  Presently we have identified August 10th as the start of the school year but are concerned about the volume of work still to be done at the school level.   Receiving parent responses by July 17th is critical to planning for the year.

Superintendent Forson: Next week we will be posting several FAQ documents and preparing videos that explain procedures to be in place for the new school year and answer some of the questions that have been submitted. These topics will include health screening procedures and responses, sanitation procedures, academic services and several other areas.  There are many questions that have been asked that will need to be answered at the school level as we continue to prepare for the opening of school.  Because it is a fluid situation there may be decisions and procedures there are developed that will need to be revisited at a later time.

Thank you again for your patience and support as we prepare for a new school year together.

Additional Videos & Presentations

Instructional Models 2020-2021 Presentation
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Presentation
Quarantine & Contract Tracing Interview

Important Documents

Frequently Asked Questions About the Reopening of Schools
Returning to School - Learning Options and Safety Protocols
A Safe and Healthy Return to Teaching and Learning

Reopening Plan

Back to School Options

View the Elementary and Secondary return-to-school options.

View the health and safety protocols for school-based brick & mortar.

Given the information provided in the links above, please identify which option you are selecting for each child for the 2020-2021 school year.  Adjusted DEADLINE July 17, 2020:

Option 1: School-Based Brick & Mortar
          No action necessary; your school will be in contact regarding next steps.

Option 2: School-Based Distance Learning
          Please complete the School-Based Distance Learning Registration Form

Option 3: St. Johns Virtual School
          Contact St. Johns Virtual School to enroll.

Option 4: Home Education
          Contact the District’s Guidance & Choice Department to enroll.

If an option is not selected by the adjusted July 17, 2020 deadline, your child will be considered as Option 1: School-Based Brick & Mortar.

Elementary (Grades PreK-5) school options

Elementary Option 1 – School-Based Brick & Mortar

Children will go to school as normal, five days a week. Early release days will continue to occur every Wednesday. There could be a move to full-time distance learning if required by Department of Health or Governor’s Executive Order. In the event of quarantine, students will be provided an opportunity to continue learning during the quarantine period through School-Based Distance Learning or paper packets with instructional support.

Elementary Option 2 – School-Based Distance Learning

Students remain attached to the current school while receiving instruction online. Teaching will mirror the pace and rigor of brick and mortar. Students choosing this option make a nine-week commitment. 

*Prior performance and engagement will be a consideration during enrollment.  Please understand that all courses may not be available through school-based distance learning.

Elementary Option 3 – St. Johns Virtual School (SJVS)

Students who choose SJVS withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment to SJVS. Information about SJVS and enrollment can be found at St. Johns Virtual School. Students commit to this option for at least one semester. Deadline to enroll is July 17, 2020.

Elementary Option 4 – Home Education

Students who choose Home Education withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment to Home Education through the District’s Guidance & Choice department.

Secondary (Grades 6-12) school options

Secondary Option 1 – School-Based Brick & Mortar

Students will go to school as normal, five days a week. On early release days, which occur every Wednesday, the school will receive a deeper cleaning. There could be a move to full-time distance learning if required by Department of Health or Governor’s Executive Order. In the event of quarantine, students will be provided an opportunity to continue learning during the quarantine period through School-Based Distance Learning or paper packets with instructional support.

Secondary Option 2 – School-Based Distance Learning

Students remain attached to the current school while receiving instruction online. Teaching will mirror the pace and rigor of brick and mortar. Students choosing this option make a nine-week commitment.

*Prior performance and engagement will be a consideration during enrollment.  Please understand that all courses may not be available through school-based distance learning.

Secondary Option 3 – St. Johns Virtual School (SJVS)

Students who choose SJVS withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment to SJVS. Information about SJVS and enrollment can be found at St. Johns Virtual School. Students commit to this option for at least one semester. Deadline to enroll is July 17, 2020.

Secondary Option 4 – Home Education

Students who choose Home Education withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment to Home Education through the District’s Guidance & Choice department.

Return to School Protocols

Transportation:

  • Buses will run at normal capacity
  • Frequent sanitization, antimicrobial surface treatment
  • Masks required on bus routes

Arrival:

  • Masks required until temperature check is complete (before instruction begins)
    • Masks will be provided to students if needed
  • Students will report directly to classroom
  • Multi-entry points and controlled bus off loading
  • Increased supervision to maintain directional flow and reduce mass gatherings
  • Breakfast provided using distance protocols
  • Extended Day program will follow safety/temperature protocols

Classroom:

  • Elementary
    • When unable to social distance, masks are required
    • Hand sanitizer available
    • Frequent visual and verbal hygiene reminders
    • Student interaction will be limited to the students assigned to their class cohort
  • Secondary
    • When unable to social distance, masks are required
    • Hand sanitizer available
    • Frequent visual and verbal hygiene reminders

Transitions:

  • Masks required
  • Multiple access points when possible
  • Increased supervision to maintain directional flow and reduce mass gatherings
  • Frequent visual and verbal hygiene reminders

Lunch:

  • Elementary
    • Students sit with classroom cohort and are distanced from other cohorts
    • Alternative seating areas utilized when needed
    • Hand sanitizer available
  • Secondary
    • Alternative seating areas utilized to promote social distancing options
    • Hand sanitizer available
    • Increased point of sale locations during lunch periods

Dismissal:

  • Elementary
    • Staggered dismissal when possible to reduce mass gatherings
    • Increased supervision to maintain directional flow and reduce mass gatherings
    • Masks required during dismissal
    • Extended Day program will follow safety protocols
  • Secondary
    • Staggered dismissal when possible to reduce mass gatherings
    • Increased supervision to maintain directional flow and reduce mass gatherings
    • Masks required during dismissal

Sanitization & Safety Protocols:

  • Prior to school occupancy, all spaces (including permanent and portable spaces) will be cleaned and sanitized. All frequently touched surfaces are to be treated with an anti-microbial surface protection to inhibit the growth of microorganisms including bacteria, virus, fungus and mold. Frequently touched surfaces would include door handles, sink handles, playground equipment, drinking fountains, desktops, reception countertops and other surfaces as needed. Filters should be replaced in Mechanical HVAC systems with MERV 13 or higher rating, where possible.
  • During School occupancy cleaning and disinfection procedures will be conducted in accordance to CDC Guidelines. As an added precaution, frequently touched surface will be cleaned periodically throughout the day utilizing disinfectants listed for use on COVID-19. Mechanical systems should be operated in accordance with ASHRE recommendations for Relative Humidity air dilution.
  • In the event of a possible exposure, related areas will remain unoccupied until area can be disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines. Disinfection procedures will be conducted by either trained school staff, a District COVID-19 response team or Professional contracted services experienced in disinfecting procedures.
  • Hand sanitizer stations at entry/exit points
  • Masks provided as needed
  • Frequent visual and verbal hygiene reminders

Student becomes sick on campus

  • Remove from classroom setting into isolated space
    • School-based nurse will have identified an isolated space on each campus
  • Health assessment by the school nurse
  • Contact parent for pick-up
  • Next steps provided to parent
  • Report to Department of Health to begin contact tracing
    • Contact tracing is a function of our local Department of Health with our help and support

Communication when Staff/Student tests positive for COVID-19

  • Due to the requirements of FERPA and HIPAA, we cannot share information with everyone. On a case-by-case basis, we can share directly to families of students who are directly impacted as defined by who has had direct close personal contact with the student/staff member who tested positive.
  • Our Director of Health Services is in constant contact with the local Department of Health and we follow their guidelines for notification and contact tracing.

Exceptional Student Education
Students in self-contained ESE programs will participate full time at their 2020-2021 enrolled school. Remote learning and other reasonable accommodations will be determined on a case-by-case basis according to student’s individual needs. Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent any type of face covering will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Wearing face masks
Students will be required to wear face coverings while changing classes or using common areas of the school including bathrooms where they cannot social distance. They will not be required to wear face coverings if able to social distance in the classroom. Face coverings will be required on arrival until temperature is taken prior to the start of instruction.

Face coverings will be required for students on school buses where social distancing is not possible. Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent any type of face covering will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Social distancing, barriers, and other measures to prevent the spread in schools

In addition to social distancing and physical barriers in classes, other important safety measures include temperature checks prior to instruction beginning, frequent hand washing, and hand sanitizing products in classrooms. Personal protective equipment will be provided to employees.

* These protocols could change based on updated or new recommendations from the local Department of Health, CDC, local health partners, or Governor’s Executive Orders.