June update 2021 - Reopening Plan Required by ESSR Legislation
With all orders expiring on June 2nd, Fairbanks Local Schools anticipates a more traditional opening to the 2021-2022 school year. The district will continue to monitor recommendations and requirements from our governing agencies and consider the implications of that information on the operations of the district.
The district and administration recognizes that there still may be personal and family preferences to practice masking as we come back to school in the fall. We understand that comfort levels and medical conditions vary across the district and will be supportive of individual choices. However, there will not be requirements for masking or social distancing in our classrooms, common spaces, or during our events, unless new orders are in place.
Over the past 18 months Fairbanks has adopted some practices that will remain. Increased hygiene and sanitation practices are beneficial regardless of the pandemic status that has been in place since March 2020. Teachers may continue to configure their classroom in a variety of ways to maximize student instruction, collaboration, and safety. Regular cleaning throughout the day may continue to occur at the classroom level based on individual building situations and the amount of student transition. These routines will be established by the teachers at the classroom level in collaboration with building administration.
Here is a summary of information related to
Operations and Instruction for 2021-2022
Transportation: Bussing will resume normal capacity limits on all bus routes. Drivers will continue to clean buses in between routes.
Food service: Food service operations will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch meals through the 2021 2022 school year as approved by the federal government. Families who are normally on the free/reduced program, are asked to please still fill out a new application. If there are questions about this process, please reach out to the district or building administration. Families are encouraged to take advantage of this program.
Athletic and After School Events: The district will not require masking or social distancing at athletic and after school events, however visitors are encouraged to continue to sit in family pods when practical and remain home if not feeling well. Coaching staff will continue to use hygiene practices as appropriate for the sport or event.
General wellness: The district encourages students, visitors, and staff to stay home if not feeling well and to seek medical attention if their symptoms do not improve over an extended period of time. Daily symptom checks will not be required of staff reporting to work. Vaccinated students and staff will not be required to quarantine based on current guidance from the CDC and Health Department if they are exposed to someone who is positive for the COVID-19 virus. Contact tracing may still occur if a student or staff member tests positive in the classroom or athletic setting. The district has a limited supply of Covid-19 Rapid tests available for students and staff as an additional wellness measure, please contact the school nurse for tests. At this time, it is anticipated that there will be a return to the typical criteria for sending students home with a nurse's excuse. More guidance on this will be coming from our local health department and county nurses as the school year opens.
Classrooms: Classrooms across the buildings will look more typical, including circle time, desks and/or tables, clustering of seats, and additional spaces for student small group work and collaboration. Teachers who wish to continue to use barriers on their desks or during small group instruction should continue to do so. Teachers should consider options for sharing of supplies though sharing of supplies is permitted. Students will not be required to be spaced at the same distances as the 20-21 school year. Teachers should work with their principals for adjustments to their classroom environment based on individual needs and preferences.
Students: Student lockers will be in use. A decision about student book bags will be made over the coming weeks. Student belongings other than school supplies will remain in lockers or cubbies. Students will have less transition time between classes and at dismissal, as spacing requirements can be less restrictive. We will continue to encourage students to fill water bottles using the filling stations as filling stations are more hygienic than a water fountain in general.
Instruction: The district is returning to a primary model of face-to-face learning. The district has filed a blended learning plan with ODE and will continue to offer blended learning options for students on a case-by-case basis which is a practice that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic. We have partnered with Marysville Exempted Village Schools to offer a blended digital academy for students. Student attendance, work completion, student academic data, HS credit status, medical conditions, social and emotional well-being, and postgraduate opportunities (such as military training or confirmed employment) are factors that will be considered when making adjustments to the face-to-face model of instruction.