On October 26th, the school district updated their 105 page draft on the guidelines for reopening school. Please keep in mind that this is only part of the information presented and everything here is subject to change.
The San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD) has set up 4 different instruction plans to respond to different levels of viral threat:
- Plan A (“Normal School”): Reopening school to all students for full educational days with few protective measures, such as face coverings.
- Plan B1 (Socially Distanced School): Plan A but keeping students six feet apart when possible and using face coverings.
- Plan B2 (Hybrid School): Half of students attend physical school with Plan B1 requirements in the morning and attend virtual school (Plan C) in the afternoon. The other half of students do the inverse.
- Plan C (Virtual School): Distanced learning full time for students, with no on-campus learning.
Morro Bay High School is currently implementing Plan C, and the school board is currently deliberating on moving to Plan B2. Even if this shift happens, a family can still decide to keep their student in Plan C.
If school resumes with Plan B2 protocols, here are the principles for safely laid out by the SLCUSD COVID-19 Working Guidelines:
- “Prevent people from coming to school who have, may have, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Promote and utilize the accepted methods of hygiene that reduce virus spread.
- Use physical distancing to reduce spread whenever possible.
- Wear face coverings when there and facilitate, to the extent possible, 6 feet of physical distance between individuals.
- Ensure that student and staff groupings (cohorts) are as static as possible by having the same cohort of students stay with the same staff—all day for young students and stable learning groups, and as much as possible for older students.”
This next section will cover some of the 25 “guidelines” laid forth by the school board. Each guideline covers a different aspect of the Plan 2B Hybrid Model of school. The eight guidelines reviewed below are written as basic overviews, and omit some information. For a complete and up-to-date look at school reopening, please read the source material.
Guideline 1: “Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Spread”
This is essentially the same safety practices that we have been hearing for months. First off, students and teachers should stay away from school if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Everyone should wash or sanitize their hands everytime that they enter a new room or come in contact with something that could spread the disease. If one has to sneeze, it should be done into an elbow. Classrooms will have as much ventilation as possible, students should not line up without acknowledging social distancing, and the sharing of objects will be limited. Face masks will have to be worn AT ALL TIMES when on campus, with the exception of eating or structured outdoor activities while respecting social distancing, and those who are exempt from wearing masks.
Guideline 2: “Classroom Physical Distancing”
Desks will be set up with a 6 foot “bubble” of space, limiting the number of students in a classroom. Students will have to wear masks, and stay in their bubble as much as possible. This will greatly reduce the possibility for group work, and emphasise lecture-based teaching. Before they enter the classroom, staff and students should wash or sanitize their hands.
Guideline 3: “Physical Education and Physical Activity”
Physical Education (PE) will continue. Some activities required heavy exertion, so masks may not always be a possibility. In those cases, social distancing will be mandatory. There is usually a lot of shared equipment in a PE class, which will be cleaned daily, and while being used students should not touch their face. After-school sports have been put into three different categories:
|Low Risk||Track and Field (minus jumping and relay events), Individual Swimming, Golf, Sideline Cheer, and Cross Country|
|Moderate Risk||Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Waterpolo, Tenis, Relay Swimming, and Track and Field Jumping and Relay Events|
|High Risk||Westling, Football, Stunt, and Dance|
While practicing and training for sports will be permitted, actual events/competitions/tournaments will not. Practices should be socially distant conscious, and either be outdoors or masked indoors. Shared equipment will be cleaned between uses.
Guideline 5: “Choir, Band, and Drama”
In short, “singing, yelling, chanting, blowing wind instruments – are not permitted at this time.”
Guideline 6: “Student Transition Periods”
While moving between classes, face masks are required (expect for those who are exempt). Hallways will be marked to enforce one-way foot-traffic, and to reduce “lining-up.” There may be staggered passing-periods and lockers may be prohibited.
Guideline 7: “Restrooms”
Face coverings and social distancing will be required, and restrooms will limit the amount of students allowed in at a time. Handwashing procure signs will be posted by sinks and it will be encouraged to use paper towels to open doors. Restrooms will be thoroughly cleaned daily.
Guideline 8: “Food Services”
Students will be encouraged to bring a lunch from home, however the district will continue to provide the option for food to be purchased and received on-site. Food provided by the school will be prepackaged and utensils will be disposable. There will be social distancing in the cafeteria, with the possibility of staggered meal times. Sanitation will be required before entering the cafeteria, and students will be reminded not to touch their face. Cafeteria staff will wear masks and gloves, and tables will be cleaned between uses. Drinking fountain use will be discouraged. Secondary students will be encouraged to pre-order meals.
Guideline 9: “School Bus Transportation”
There will be daily disinfection and limited amounts of students on the bus at a time. Social distancing will be practiced both standing in-line for the bus and seated on the bus. Hand sanitizers will be available for use on the bus. A division between students and the driver will be installed.
The remainder of the Guidelines can be found in full detail in the source material. The information listed there will be the most current. The purpose of this summary is to summarize the plan for SLCUSD reopening as it relates to Morro Bay High School. This summary is subject to become irrelevant at any point, and should be read in context with other relevant information about the handling of COVID-19. The SLCUSD will decide if school will reopen on November 20. More information about their decision can be found right here on The Spyglass.