BACK TO SCHOOL INFORMATION
Fairfield Parents, Students, and Community Members...
Fairfield Schools would first like to thank all of you responded to the survey and information provided last week. We appreciate the information as it will help us finalize our planning.
We all have the same goal and want the same thing, to give our students a great education. The whole world is working through how to make that happen and there are a lot of questions about the best way to get back into school. There are also a lot of decisions that we do not get to make as well as some that are certain to be questioned that are out of our control. One thing is certain though, we all want to get our kids back in school and do that as safely as possible for everyone in the community.
There were 181 responses that represented 258 students.
89.5% of the responses indicated their students would be returning to school on campus this fall.
9.4% were either not sure yet, and/or wanted more information about a distance learning option.
2 responses believe home school is their best option at this time.
The feedback gathered was also extremely valuable as we are able to clarify and address some expressed concerns created by conclusions drawn from previous pictures and information.
Every school and business is getting feedback on wearing masks. 77.9% of the responses didn't feel the state and/or county mask mandates would affect their decision to return to school.
There were almost the same number of responses indicating that 1) If masks ARE required, they would not send their students to school... as 2) If masks ARE NOT required, they would not send their students to school.
We understand both opinions and have no control over statewide mandate or county health if it happens. Our current position requiring on the bus and in hall passing is in the middle, and subject to change depending on the circumstances. Allowing teachers to decide within their classroom is for their safety and will be determined by class size and other options we have to reduce "transmission" which is different from "exposure." Mask requirement will certainly be age appropriate.
STUDENT BARRIERS -
This was interesting information and I believe we can make a few of you with concerns about the white ones pictured on our school website/facebook earlier this summer feel a lot better!
Schools receive daily information from a variety of expert professional organizations, who are all dedicated to helping us make good decisions for education. The two prevailing options for schools earlier this summer...
1) Split classes and limit to 12 students or less. This would be achieved by creating an A / B schedule splitting days or weeks in half. This would create additional busing, limited curriculum, and a wide variety of major scheduling issues to overcome. And, it was still possible we could get shut down completely regardless.
2) If classes had more than 12 students, barriers could be utilized to limit exposure and create a safer option for students to be in school, which has been our goal since last spring. Options for Barriers (Online Purchase)
Cardboard: Approx $4 ea if bought in bulk and cleaning problems.
Solid Color Plastic: Approx $8 ea bulk, but not available until ?
Clear Plastic: $12 ea and one size fits all, with limited availability.
*We found a way to make our own for less than $2 ea and very adaptable to every age level, desk, or table. They are very easy to cut for appropriate size and shape by grade level. The ones pictured earlier this summer are durable plastic, you can clean them easily, and we can make them ourselves very efficiently.
Our teachers have been using the cardboard ones for years when students take tests. These new ones will still have a use for every class when the current situation ends.
YES, WE DO HAVE CLEAR DIVIDERS
We do have a clear divider solution, but had to overcome some obstacles. We regret not getting pictures of those up earlier, but getting the supplies was difficult, and honestly we did not know until the survey that there was such a concern about dividers as our focus has been to get our students in the building and the safety of our staff, even if there might be a little discomfort.
Again, cost and availability are factors. Plexiglass has been extremely difficult to get and demand has made it very expensive. The first source having student dividers from plexiglass were available for $89 ea, and might be obsolete in the future.
We saw the pictures on social media utilizing clear shower curtains, and again, our maintenance people found a design and invented clips with our 3D printers that made them not only efficient to build, but very adaptable to different size tables and desks.
(Little shout out to Brooke and Cassidy for doing a little experimenting of their own! Great team effort!)
After finding a supply, we now have enough clear barriers and white barriers to supply every classroom and have done so very efficiently and cost effectively.
There were some good questions about the short video and the electrostatic sprayers. Those have a complete disinfectant that is "Botanical" and completely safe for people. It is used in schools, motels, public transit, etc.
COHORT CLASSES AND SPECIALS
We are working this week on scheduling. Recess, PE, Lunch, and music have always been in the schedule, they will just look a little different for a while and will vary by grade level.
There is a conscious effort to keep classes together. This does not eliminate exposure, but it does minimize transmission if it happens. There will be student interaction and social development as well as other special classes.
Now that we have are getting an idea of how many students might need a distance learning option, we are looking a different options. We are even working on a potential solution that would involve a 4 or 5 school shared on-line curriculum and distance learning coordinator due to the limited number of students and wide range of grade levels.
There will be more information about this option as we continue to work on it.
Again, we appreciate your input on the survey. We will continue to find good solutions to the problems we can control and will keep getting ready for school this fall. Things will undoubtedly continue to change as well and we will do our best to adapt as they come.