Dear HGSD Parents, Staff and Community, August 28th, 2020
School starts on Tuesday! It certainly has been a long haul for all of us as we are finally at the point to reopen our schools. This week we worked with our new and returning teaching staff to prepare for the start and I know that I speak for all that we are excited, anxious, and very much looking forward to seeing students again.
Last week I wrote to you about safety measures. I want to reiterate those points again this week as they will be so crucial to us reopening, and staying open safely. Communication and parent involvement are going to be keys to staying open beyond the first few days. Please keep your child home if they present any symptoms. You can find the student screener checklist on our website. I would suggest that you print a copy and hang it on your refrigerator so that you can review it daily. We know that you know your child best, so please keep us informed if they have any symptoms or illness that we need to be aware of. If we can reduce and trace the exposure to all students, we will be able to manage this virus and remain open for the duration.
Please remember that we will not be allowing visitors into the schools. I know that many of you will want to bring your child to school on the first day but please say your good-bye’s, good lucks, and I love yous at the entrance. Students will be going directly to their homerooms. Teachers will be ready to greet children and get them situated inside the building. Additionally, keep in mind that face masks are required when in school. We will be providing additional cloth masks to everyone once they are in class. There is a full list on our resource page of additional safety procedures you should review, some examples include: practice good hand hygiene, social distance when possible, wear your facial covering when in school, cleaning/disinfection, and stay home when you have COVID-19 symptoms or you just don’t feel right.
An additional safety precaution outlined by County and State Health Departments requires us to discontinue the use of our water fountains (bubblers) until further notice. We will be installing bottle fillers in the all the buildings. The bottle fillers will not be installed until after the first day, so we will have additional bottled water throughout our buildings for students and staff. Please send your child to school with a filled water bottle. Hopefully the weather helps us out and it isn’t overly hot or humid.
I also have shared that our cleaning and disinfecting efforts have been increased. Cleaning staff will clean rooms daily as well as utilize the Clorox® Total 360™ System. That system utilizes innovative electrostatic spray technology to allow Clorox® disinfecting and sanitizing solutions to reach surfaces outside the line of sight, covering what conventional trigger sprays may miss, including the sides, underside and backside of surfaces.
Finally, I want to share that I am very proud of the work that our entire staff has put forth in planning and preparing to reopen in a COVID safe environment. The combination of thoughtful planning, movement throughout the building, social distancing, safety education, and cleaning has been remarkable. The Howards Grove School District has truly tried to address every possible issue that may come up in the coming weeks. I continue to stress how important it will be to have great communication. Please reach out to our building principals if you have questions or concerns. While we have tried to anticipate every scenario, we realize that our plans will have to be fluid and are likely change as we move forward.
We are all looking forward to a successful start and working together with everyone to keep our students and staff safe as we begin the 2020-21 school year. We are all in this together and are here to help. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Chris Peterson, Scott Fritz, Heather Zizis, Jason Cole, and Tracy Bandt