Aurora R-VIII School District

Response to COVID-19

Summer School 2020


The mission of the Aurora R-VIII School District is to “ensure that all students are successful learners.”  It is also the responsibility of district personnel to “ensure that all students are safe” while attending school on campus.  Based on survey results, consultation with the Lawrence County Health Department, discussion with district nursing staff, guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, requirements from Missouri State Government officials and input from the Aurora R-VIII Board of Education; the following precautions were developed to minimize negative effects regarding COVID-19 during summer school.  Based on survey comments, underlined items were noted by parents as areas of importance.  If you have further questions regarding the document, please contact personnel in your child’s building or Central Office at 417-678-3373.

Student/Teacher/Staff/Parent Interactions

Increasing Hygiene-All students will be encouraged to practice proper hygiene strategies during the summer school session.  These practices will be taught and modeled to ensure student comprehension.  Hand washing will be required and the length of washing time observed in order to ensure effective completion.  Additional time will be allotted during the daily schedule for hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and other hygiene activities.  Teachers and staff will monitor student restroom time and other activities where these hygiene protocols should be followed. 

Periodic Health Checks-Nursing department staff will be available during the summer session to assist with administering periodic health/wellness checks.  For students who may be displaying symptoms or if there is a perception that an individual is affected, staff members will conduct measures to minimize interactions.  If a student appears ill, the nurse or office personnel will move the student to an isolation area until a parent is contacted and retrieves the child.  Office personnel and teachers will also be cognizant of student health and will alert nursing staff if any problems arise.  All students and staff will have temperature checks before boarding buses or entering buildings with non-contact thermometers. 

Smaller Class Sizes-Typical summer school classes are arranged with a 25:1 student-to-teacher ratio.  For this session, ratios will be decreased to allow additional space to disperse students and limit possible harmful interactions (15:1 ratio).  With smaller class sizes, additional assistance can be given to overcome academic deficits that have arisen due to school closure in March 2020.  Smaller class sizes will also allow teaching staff to accommodate social distancing regulations and better monitor student health and any needs that may arise. 

Desk Spacing-Rooms will be arranged in a manner that enables the most distance possible between students.  Interactions, which in the past have occurred in a whole group manner on a rug or carpet, will be eliminated to keep from having side-by-side contact.  This will reduce virus spread that would lead to detrimental consequences.  Sharing of supplies will also be eliminated.  Parents may be asked to provide supplies in order to ensure their children have needed materials. 

Social Distancing-Students will be encouraged to maintain a safe distance when in the classroom, walking in hallways or playing at recess.  Scheduling will be maximized to lessen the amount of opportunities where students will be together in close quarters. 

Online/Virtual Participation-An online/virtual alternative for the Summer School 2020 session will be available.  Requirements will be in place regarding assignments, work completion, academic progress and teacher interaction via technology if parents choose the online/virtual option.  Parents/students must commit to completing the requirements in order to be considered enrolled in summer school.  More details will be provided and an enrollment procedure will soon be shared with parents.    

Field Trips-There will be no field trips taken during the Summer School 2020 session.  It is believed that students will be better served during the COVID-19 outbreak if they are kept on campus.  One priority for the Summer School 2020 session is to limit interactions with outside people.  While field trips are important regarding the learning process, at this time students will not have the opportunity to participate by going to outside locations.  

Recess Precautions-Small groups of students will be scheduled to be on the playground in order reduce the amount of interactions that would occur during a typical recess period.  After completing recess, students will be taken to the restrooms in order to perform hygiene practices.  Hand sanitizer will also be available at the playground entrances to allow students and teachers to use the product.    

Protecting Vulnerable Students-All parents will need to evaluate whether it is safe for their child to attend the Summer School 2020 session.  If a parent sends a child to participate in the session, district personnel will review all health records to determine what additional precautions may be needed.  If district personnel do not believe it is safe for the student to attend, a conference with the parent will be scheduled explaining the reasoning behind the decision.  Students with prior health history or underlying conditions will be regularly checked/observed to ensure their safety.  The district has the right to request that a student does not attend the summer session if it is determined that safety is an issue. 

Allowing for Outside Activities-Teachers will be encouraged to complete appropriate outside activities if the weather and other circumstances allow.  By having activities outside, students will be able to social distance and research shows that fresh air/sunlight provides benefits for positive mental health.

Personal Protective Equipment-For students or personnel who wish to wear masks or other personal protective equipment, these items will be provided.  This includes gloves.  Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed and stand-alone bottles will be placed in all classroom and multiple locations in the building to allow for safe hygiene practices.  If a teacher is unsure or feels participating in summer school is unsafe, he or she is encouraged to forego teaching during the session.  This also applies to parents who are considering the option of sending their child to summer school. 

Feeding Precautions-In order to practice safe physical distancing, students in grades kindergarten through sixth will eat breakfast and lunch in classrooms.  Ample space is available at the Junior High and High School to allow students to eat in the cafeteria.  Spacing requirements will be enforced while students are getting lunch trays at these.  Drinking fountains will not be used during summer school.  Individual water bottles will be provided to students for hydration.  All students, even if not enrolled in the Summer School 2020 session, are eligible for meals.  Parents of children not attending summer school should call district personnel to enroll for participation.  Pickup times will be scheduled for these children.  Food service personnel will wear personal protective equipment to ensure preparation and service practices are safe.

Visitors to Campus-Any person wanting to visit the campus will be encouraged to conduct business by phone or email.  Parents retrieving a child before the scheduled drop-off and pickup times will be encouraged to call district personnel in the building office and the child will be escorted outside to eliminate interactions.  Normal security protocols will be in place regarding locked entrances and speaker communications for those attempting to enter the buildings.  

Building Care/Cleaning Regimen

Inspection of All Buildings for Readiness to Re-open-Before the Summer School 2020 session opens, both maintenance and custodial personnel will inspect all buildings to ensure they are safe for re-entry.  While the buildings have been mostly empty since the school closure in March, additional deep cleaning will occur as a precautionary measure.  All other safety issues will be addressed to ensure buildings are in the best condition possible for student re-entry.

Daily Deep Cleaning-Even though recent CDC information indicates transfer of the virus is less probable through hard surfaces; custodial staff will be conducting daily, deep cleanings in all areas occupied by students during summer school.  During the day, while students are present, custodians will also be disinfecting restrooms and other high traffic areas on hourly rotations.  Both spray and wipe disinfectant products will be used.  Custodial personnel will wear personal protective equipment to ensure safe practices are implemented during cleaning.

Utilization of Fogging Equipment-Custodial staff and district personnel will be using fogging equipment to double the efforts put forth during daily, deep cleaning activities.  This will include disinfecting buses after morning routes and evening drop-off.  The product used with the fogging equipment not only kills bacteria/virus particles after a minimal amount of time, but also adheres to surfaces for up to six hours to keep others safe who may come in contact with the item after it has been fogged. 

Transportation Precautions

Disinfecting of Buses-Drivers will be disinfecting all bus surfaces with sprayers and/or wipes after every route.  This will include both morning and evening transports.  Products will be made available and used immediately after returning to the bus facility. 

Seating Arrangements for Students-Students will be spread out as much as possible during transport.  Alternating rows, with siblings sitting together, is one option to limit student contact. 

Personal Protective Equipment-Bus drivers will be required to wear masks provided by the district.  If drivers choose to wear gloves, these will also be made available.  Thermometers will be used on all buses as students load during the morning route.  Hand sanitizer will be placed on all buses for use by both students and drivers.  If a bus driver is unsure or feels participating in summer school is unsafe, he or she is encouraged to forego driving during the summer school session. 

Increasing the Number of Routes-A typical summer school session utilizes ten or fewer bus routes to transport participating students.  In order to allow for safe physical distancing, all regular school routes will be utilized during summer school. 

Bus Transfer for Students-During the regular school year, a transfer of students takes place at Pate Early Childhood Center.  This will not occur during summer school in order to lessen interactions and mixing of students.  Students will ride their regular bus and stops will be made at each individual building.  At the conclusion of the day, all buses will load at each building before starting routes to drop-off students at their homes. 

Building Hours of Operation/Attendance Hours-Previous information indicated summer school hours would be 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for all buildings except for Pate Early Childhood Center.  Hours for this building was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Since the bus transfer will not occur at Pate Early Childhood Center, hours of attendance for all buildings will be 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.