Plans for the Opening of School, Fall 2020
The current national and statewide response to the COVID -19 Virus has had a significant impact on education. Indications are that the impact is continuing into the 2020-21 school year as you are well aware. It must be understood that the public health situation, the prevailing epidemiology, and the developing response to both, are fluid and unable to be predicted with high degrees of specificity. As of 8/21/20 Colorado is at Stage 2 (Safer at Home – “While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces” – https://covid19.colorado.gov/). We understand that, even though much is uncertain, the community needs to know what to expect as the new school year approaches. With that in mind, Hanover School District has developed plans to provide instruction to the students of our community that are responsive to multiple eventualities.
The response options for our school fall into one of three options:
- In-Person Learning (Option #1 – PHE, Option #1 JSHS) –(CDE Cohorting guidelines) Students receive instruction by attending school daily. Prevailing public health order protection protocols are in place for all in attendance
- Remote with In-Person Hybrid Learning PHE Option #2 JSHS Option #2– (CDE Cohorting guidelines) Students receive instruction by attending school in cohorts of reduced size for a reduced number of school days. Instruction is delivered digitally on non-attending days. Prevailing public health order protection protocols are in place for all in attendance. Food service support for non-attending days is available via delivery or pick up at the school.
- Complete Suspension of in-Person Learning (PHE Option #3 JSHS Option #3) All instruction and emotional support is accessed away from the school building as during the Spring of 2019-20 school year. Instruction is delivered digitally. Limited in-person support is available on a scheduled basis as allowable by public health order. Food service support is available via delivery or pick up at the school.
The options described will be initiated by the Hanover School Board of Directors with school administrators and public health officials and county commissioners in response to local health concerns and local epidemiology where possible. To communicate the prevailing public health conditions, and the district response, a notification system has been developed to allow for the clearest and most timely means of keeping the community informed of what to expect. The system recognizes three operational conditions corresponding to the available options. When In-Person Learning is possible, the district will be on “Green Status”, if Remote with In-Person Hybrid Learning is necessary, the district will move to “Yellow Status”, and the Complete Suspension of In-Person Learning will be considered “Red Status.” The link below is the dashboard for El Paso County Public Health. This is the link we are using to gauge many of our decisions. The table below (scroll down to the next page) summarizes the possible conditions and our responses:
Detailed data at:
Rf Factor – El Paso
El Paso County Public Health Dashboard
The district will make every effort to communicate and initiate its operational status on timelines that allow for family planning. In order to allow for family planning, Yellow and Red Status conditions will not be initiated in less than 8 calendar days from the date of the communication of Yellow or Red Status conditions. The current district operational status will be publicly notified via all available means of communication, and promptly posted on the district website and message boards.
As we prepare for and begin the school year, it will be important for us all to remember that the public health situation is uncertain and fast changing. We hope that this plan provides some answers regarding what to expect as we navigate this unusual time together. Current plans are to publish the district’s opening condition within the next week, so the decision can be made with the most recent data available, while allowing reasonable time for families to plan for the start of the school year. However, the reality of the fluidity of the situation makes all decisions subject to change. We must all be prepared to remain as flexible as possible. What is certain is that the district will react in ways that consider both the school’s mission to educate, and its responsibility to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and community.
A WORD ABOUT TEACHERS TAKING ATTENDANCE REMOTELY
By now you may have heard reports about security risks and inappropriate intrusions into ZOOM and various video conferences. What is not seemingly being reported is that ZOOM can actually be made secure by “white-listing” participants or, in other words, creating passwords and waiting rooms that only allow identified people to join a meeting. You may ask why not just use a different platform for video chats and conferencing? While it’s not out of the question, we have heard from many of you that you appreciate the ease of use ZOOM offers.The JSHS have been using the Google Classroom platform and have established normed practices to facilitate their learning platform. Given the fact that ZOOM can be made secure, and we, as a district are doing so, we will stay with what you have become familiar with for as long as we safely can be it ZOOM or Google classrooms.
We think it is important to ensure our communications are secure. To achieve that, our teachers have received training in how to use ZOOM & Google Classroom securely. The steps they are taking are as follows:
- No student will be allowed to stay in a classroom (Google or Zoom) without a visual verification (i.e. Video picture – before and during the classroom). If a student closes their window for visual verification (technology issues excluded) after attendance has been taken, the student will have a maximum of 5 minutes to re-engage with visual or they will be tallied as absent and closed/exited from the learning environment.
- Passwords are set for all Zoom Meetings.
- Waiting Rooms are enabled. Waiting Room allows the host the ability to allow only people that they recognize into the meeting. As participants enter the waiting room, the teacher can allow them into the meeting. Unrecognized attempts to join are not permitted.
- Zoom is updated when prompted. Zoom updates as vulnerabilities are found.
- Personal Meeting IDs are not shared. Doing so would compromise the account and could allow an undesired participant to join a meeting.
- Participant screen sharing is disabled Disabling participant screen sharing is to make sure that the host is the one in control of the meeting and is the only one who can share their screen.
- The meeting is locked once all participants have joined. Locking the meeting makes it so that no one else can join.
- Pictures of Zoom Meetings are not shared or posted. Posting these types of images can lead to an unintended sharing of a Meeting ID and possibly uninvited people trying to join.
- Meeting links are not posted to the public. Publicly posting creates an obvious risk.
- We do not download anything that is not directly from Zoom to avoid Malware and Phishing Scams that are being pushed to try to entrap people.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR TAKE HOME MEALS
Parents, we need you to sign up for take home meals if you want your child to receive meals for the next day they are doing online schooling. Meals will be sent home with them on the afternoon they are here, for the next day. There are two sign up sheets. One for Prairie Heights, and one for Hanover High. Please make sure to sign your child up on the correct school so we know how many we need to prepare to send home.
Meal pricing has gone back to the regular school year. Our waiver ended to feed the kids for free at the end of July. So your account will be charged accordingly.
As always, we are here for you and are ready to help. Please contact us if you need support.