Back to School Update:
We have been having teacher and staff training the past few days and we are very much looking forward to starting the 2020-2021 school year.
Although, somewhat apprehensive as we listen to the news from mostly front range schools with only a few of the large school districts starting with in-person schooling, we notice that most rural school districts are starting in a similar manner as we are starting.
A few items to get us started:
Please have children wear a mask on the bus and all secondary students also need one to be worn entering the building and when moving throughout the halls; elementary students, masks are encouraged, but are optional.
The school will be providing masks for all secondary students on the first day, but there is a gap between when we can pass them out at school and the initial getting on the bus and entering the building on the first day.
If elementary students want school provided masks, they can ask their teachers or pick them up in the office.
Please have students bring their own water bottles as they will be able to fill them at the drinking fountains in the water bottle dispenser part of the fountain even though the drinking fountain part is shut off; they will need to wash them at home. Writing their names on the bottles will probably be a great idea.
Be Vigilant in Keeping Sick Children at Home
Throughout the year, please be vigilant about keeping sick children at home and being in contact with your pediatrician or primary care provider…thank you.
Please keep the school office updated on current contact information. It is important that if we call parents about a sick child, that we are able to have the child picked up from school promptly…again, thank you.
Testing Center Information
The Citadel Mall opened a free COVID-19 testing facility which includes people from outside of El Paso County.
It is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and you can register online here at the Mako Exchange online portal.
If in need of testing, contacting your primary care provider is probably the first step for most families.
I am also told that in addition to the free Citadel Mall test facility, that Peak Vista in Kiowa and in Colorado Springs also does free testing.
At Home Symptom Checker and Unwell at School Flow Chart Resource
Please see the following PDFs for assistance in deciding whether a child should attend school and our guidance on whether a child or staff member should remain at school or be sent home:
- COVID-19: Can I go to school Today? At-home symptom screening for parents and staff
- COVID-19: Child/Staff Feels or Appears Unwell after Arriving at School
If families decide to transport their children to school, that would ease the number of riders on the buses.
For those that will be riding our buses to school, the following information is what we have been working on for the bus routes:
School Transportation Guidelines
Students that get on the bus first will be required to sit at the back of the bus, riders will fill the bus rear to front.
The Bus Driver will have the option to seat a rider at the front of the bus if they think the student is too young and will be afraid, or uncomfortable sitting at the back of bus, or if the student has behavior problems that the driver feels would cause a problem.
Depending on the bus route, the students will be seated one per seat; siblings may be seated together.
The one student per seat loading may not be possible on some routes due to the number of students on that bus route.
When unloading the buses at the school, the first bus in will be completely unloaded before the next bus in line is unloaded to try to prevent the congregation of students in the unloading area.
The students will be instructed to be ready to unload from the bus as soon as it arrives so there is no delay in unloading the bus.
The students in the right front seat will be the 1st off of the bus and will clear the entrance door before the left front seat passengers are allowed off.
Students will need to remain seated until the students in front of them have cleared the entrance door, or until there can be a distance of 2 seats in front of them before they get into the aisle to unload.
Students will be required to wear face masks, hand sanitizer will be provided on the buses.
A driver will not temperature check a student unless they look ill. Parents must keep sick students home, and not send them to school.
Driver’s will direct students in the following manner:
- 1st grade and younger will go to the east door of the Elementary building
- 2nd and 3rd graders will go to the middle south door, and
- 4th and 5th graders will go to the west (back door)
Elementary entrance times may be staggered.
JH students will enter at the main entrance, and High School students will enter at the Gym entrance.
The buses will be misted with disinfectant when they have finished the morning route, and again when they have finished the evening route.
When loading the buses for the evening route, the students who get off last will be seated at the back of the bus, and the students who get off first will be seated at the front of the bus.
We are hoping for a great start to a great school year and we hope that by working together that we can achieve it!
Steve Wilson and the Big Sandy School Staff