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Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District Superintendent Cliff McClure recently sent out a letter to district families informing them of the district’s return to school plan for the upcoming school year.

The letter and plan is printed below:

Dear PBL Families:

PBL’s plan with recommendations for reopening schools for the 2021-2022 school year.

We are releasing this plan to you, our families and partners in education, for your review and to assist you in planning for your child(ren). This back-to-school plan was created by following CDC guidance for schools. Please carefully review and consider all of the procedures and safeguards that will take place to ensure reopening in the fall will be as safe as possible for all of our staff and students. Our goal is to provide the least restrictive learning environment while prioritizing student and staff safety. We appreciate the patience and understanding you have continually shown throughout this pandemic. Please be aware and understanding that this situation is constantly evolving and things in the plan are subject to change with little notice. We continue to monitor guidance and recommendations daily and make every effort to keep you informed of changes as soon as possible.

Our final plan will be approved by the PBL Board of Education at their August 11th regular board meeting. If you would like to comment on the plan, you may by emailing us at: back2school@pblpanthers.org.

We appreciate and value your input, and all comments will be reviewed by

administration for consideration.

Thank you,

Cliff McClure,

PBL Superintendent

The plan is listed below:

The contents of this plan are based upon current guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and Ford County Health Department.

Changes to Federal, state or local guidance could require procedures to be relaxed or strengthened. PBL will closely monitor guidance and work to provide the least restrictive learning environment, while prioritizing student and staff safety.

• Recommend use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),

including face masks (indoors) for individuals who are not fully vaccinated

• Require social distancing be observed as much as possible

• Continue with increased school-wide cleaning and disinfection

• Increase ventilation

What can I expect from the district and your school regarding health & wellness?

• All Staff will receive COVID-19 training (including transmission, prevention, and use of masks)

• Staff & students who are not fully vaccinated are recommended to wear masks

indoors

• Staff and students who are fully vaccinated may continue to wear masks indoors based on individual family decisions and needs

• District signage posted describing signs/symptoms, proper hand washing,

social distancing, and when to stay home

• Frequent promotion of daily hygiene and social distancing measures throughout the school buildings

• Water fountains will be disabled with only the water bottle filling option

available (please send a personal water bottle for your child)

What can I do to support the health and wellness of your student, their

peers, and school staff?

• Be informed of the district’s plan for reopening and ask questions to clarify procedures

• Be patient and understanding when plans and procedures need to change to

keep students and staff safe

• Inform the school as soon as a positive COVID test result occurs with any

members of your household

• Follow health care provider or health department directives regarding the need for quarantine or isolation for you or your household

• Screen your child daily and report illness concerns immediately

• Adhere to the district procedures regarding student’s exclusion from

school and return to class after illness

• Reinforce/educate your child on proper hand washing, covering his or her

cough or coughing into a tissue, when to wear a mask, and how to social

distance

• Speak with your health provider regarding the importance of flu and

Covid 19 vaccination this season to avoid absences

• Provide your school with current contact numbers, home address, and

email addresses to assist in open communication between school and

home

• Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise, and develop good sleep

habits

• Practice ways your child can greet /interact with peers that does not

involve contact (air high fives, air hugs, nodding, waving, etc)

• Provide a personal mask for your children

• Keep your children home if they are sick or exhibiting symptoms. Actively

monitor your student’s health daily for any changes or concerns

• Reinforce the recommendation that your student wears a face mask, if not

fully vaccinated. Encourage your child to wash hands frequently, and follows good general hygiene practices. Educate your children to constantly self-regulate their behaviors in following IDPH and school guidelines for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff. Educate them about hand washing, social distancing, refraining from touching others, and refraining from touching their faces

What can I expect from the district and your school regarding mental

health & wellness?

• PBL Unit #10 is aware that all of our students and families have been

impacted in some way by COVID, and we are prepared to continue to support our students when they return in the fall

• Resources are available to assist your student with mental health needs.

This ranges from direct support from our school counselors, social

workers, psychologist, and school nurses as well as linking your child with

community resources if needed

• Teachers and staff will be carefully monitoring students and will notify

parents/guardians of any child who may need additional emotional or

mental health support

What can I expect from the district and your school regarding the facility and safety?

• Social distancing will be maintained where possible. One-way traffic flows

inside buildings may be created where feasible to improve social distancing of students and staff

• Touch points around the campus will be disinfected throughout the day and highly utilized spaces will be deep cleaned

• HVAC filters will be changed with increased frequency

• Spray bottles of germicide and microfiber cloths will be placed in each

classroom

• Hand sanitizer will be available

• An isolation room (separate from the nurses office) will be available in each school for students exhibiting symptoms

When is my child considered in “close contact?”/ What is the guidance about quarantining due to exposure?

• Vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact (within 3 feet for 15

minutes or longer) with a person who has tested positive for Covid will be

required to monitor their health and report any Covid symptoms for 14

calendar days

• PBL is waiting on further clarification on non-vaccinated individuals who

are determined to be in close contact

• Final determinations for vaccinated or unvaccinated on close contact

investigations and quarantine necessity and length will be made by the Ford County Public Health Department

What can I expect from the district and your school regarding food and

nutrition services?

• High touch points in the cafeterias will be frequently sanitized

• Breakfast and lunch will be served in designated cafeteria areas unless

otherwise directed by building administration, adhering to social distance

protocols

• Additional cafeteria tables have been purchased to enhance social distancing

• All condiments will be provided in pre-portioned packages

• National school breakfast and lunch will be FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL PBL

STUDENTS in the 2021-2022 school year. Extra milk and Ala Carte items

will remain available for purchase

• If you prefer your child not handle cash or checks for extra milk or Ala

Carte items, you can place money on your child’s meal account through

your Skyward parent portal (the fee associated with this service will be

waived)

What can I expect from the district and your school regarding transportation?

• Eligible students choosing to participate in school transportation will

continue to receive transportation services similar to years past, however,

some rural route student bus assignments may have changed to decrease

the number of students on buses

• All persons on the bus will be REQUIRED to wear a face mask (both fully

vaccinated and unvaccinated) while being transported and will follow

seating charts that are established to enhance social distancing. Children

from the same family will be seated together as much as possible

• School buses will be sanitized daily

• Hand sanitizer and tissues will be available on buses for student use.

What can I expect from my school regarding registering or enrolling

my child for the 2021-2022 school year?

• Enrollment for students who are new to the district, who did not attend PBL schools last year, or any Pre-K or Kindergarten student that did not participate in preregistration this spring will need to enroll in person.

Parents/guardians should contact the school office to schedule an appointment to enroll their child/children. For grades Pre-K-5, please call Clara Peterson School at 379-2531, Grades 6-8, please call PBL JH at 379-9202, and Grades 9-12, please call PBL HS at 379-4331

• Registration of students who attended PBL schools in the 2020-2021 school year will take place on-line. Parents will login to their Skyward family access and select RETURNING STUDENT REGISTRATION.

• Online registration began the week of July 15 and will close August 5. All registration and enrollment after August 5 will be held in person

• PBL registration information will be posted on the website, on the PBL app

through push notifications, and on the PBL Facebook and Twitter pages.

We’ll also share information with the local media

What can I expect from my district/school in regards to the 2021-2022 school calendar?

Daily Dismissal:

- Clara Peterson Elementary: 3:05p.m.

- PBL Junior High: 3:02 p.m.

- PBL High School: 2:55p.m.

PreK Information:

- Session 1: 8:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.

- Session 2: 12:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.

  • Each Tuesday during the 21-22 school year will be an early dismissal for students. CP will dismiss at 2:20, PBLJH will dismiss at 2:17 and PBLHS will dismiss at 2:10

What can I expect from your school regarding technology?

• Due to tremendous support from the PBL Education Foundation, PBL is in our 2nd year of having enough devices to allow each student in grades K-12 an individual iPad or Chromebook and we have refreshed our state-of-the-art Mac Lab at PBL HS

• PBL has utilized federal grants to supply each teacher with a laptop to

utilize in their classrooms for instructional purposes, planning, and online

collaboration

• Many teacher and student resources are available online. Resources include; Wonders reading libraries, math in-focus materials and virtual manipulatives, Science texts and videos and Social Studies virtual materials. The district is also investing in online platforms such as Newsela, vocabulary.com and IXL to support learning. Teachers may utilize Khan Academy and many other educational platforms to support and enhance instruction

• The district has installed “hot-spots” outside of buildings for student use in Roberts, Buckley, and Loda. Hotspots are currently available for student

use at CP, PBL JH, and PBL HS parking lots

• The majority of classrooms at PBL have been equipped with Promethean

Interactive Display Devices

What can I expect from the district and school regarding instructional

programming?

• Our goal is to resume full day, on-site student instruction while meeting

state mandates and CDC guidelines to insure the safety of our students

and staff

• Students will attend school 5 full days a week (with the exception of prescheduled holidays and breaks)

• Students who are unable to attend school physically due to a medical condition due to Covid 19 illness or quarantine may be offered learning

opportunities through remote or other forms of instruction. This instruction and the delivery platform will vary from grade-to-grade and from building-to-building.

What can I expect from my district and my school regarding extracurricular

activities & athletics?

• PBL will adhere to guidance issued from the CDC, ISBE, Illinois Elementary

School Association (IESA) for junior high school athletics and the Illinois

High School Association (IHSA) for procedures around practice and activities. Coaches and or athletic directors/administration will communicate detailed information regarding participation and spectator procedures regarding their sport/activity

• At this time according to guidance, masks are not required for participants

or spectators at outdoor activities regardless of vaccination status

• Social distancing will be adhered to for both indoor and outdoor activities

• Unvaccinated participants and spectators are recommended to wear a

mask for indoor activities

• Please refrain from attending any school activity if you are experiencing

any Covid 19 symptoms

• Crowd sizes could be limited due to social distancing regulations, and

community transmission rates

What can I expect when other schools visit PBL?

• All competing schools and spectators must adhere to the guidelines in

this document when events are being hosted at Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

• All visiting schools must report to PBL officials that their coaches and

athletes are healthy to the best of their knowledge. Anyone displaying

symptoms should not be in attendance

• Upon arrival schools will be directed to a designated area by a PBL coach

or administrator. Opposing schools will notify PBL of their planned arrival

time

• Concessions will be provided abiding by safety protocols

• Bathrooms will be available and signs will be posted limiting the number

of people in restrooms

• All spectators must remain in the designated spectator area. Signage will

be posted for spectator areas

• Spectators must not come in contact with any of the competitors, coaches,

or other personnel working the event unless medical attention is needed for your child

Please see the following frequently asked questions regarding PBL guidance?

Q: Is there anytime during the school day where a mask is required not just

recommended?

A: Yes, masks are required on school buses and school transportation regardless of

vaccination status based on CDC guidance. In times where social distancing is not

possible, masks shall be worn and in cases in which students or staff become

symptomatic during the day until they leave school premises. We ask that you continue

to provide a mask for your child.

Q: Could wearing masks be switched from RECOMMENDED to REQUIRED? Why would

it change?

A: Yes, for vaccinated or unvaccinated, if CDC or IDPH guidance changes, transmission rates necessitate it, or there are a number of clustered cases that could lead to an outbreak the district could require mask wearing as a mitigation effort in order to maintain in-person learning in a class, grade level, school or district. This decision will be made in collaboration with the public health department.

Q: Who specifically is recommended to wear a mask?

A: According to CDC guidance, masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Since children who are under 12 years of age are currently ineligible for the vaccine it is recommended that all students up to age 12 and all unvaccinated students and staff age 12 and above wear a mask in indoor spaces.

Q: Will PBL offer a fully remote learning option for the 21-22 school year?

A: No, In accordance with the ISBE declaration on July 9, 2021, all schools will be open fully for in-person learning. However, we will have a supportive education plan for those students who are under quarantine for an extended period of time as directed by Illinois Department of Public Health. Please note that a fully remote option is NOT the same as shifting to remote learning if needed as a result of inclement weather or COVID outbreak in our district. The district may choose to temporarily implement remote learning in either of these situations.

Q: Will PBL require or track COVID 19 vaccination status?

A: No, it is not our plan to track student or staff vaccination status. However, you may choose to share this information with school officials as it will be helpful in discussions centered on a student’s or staff members health and type of quarantine. COVID19 vaccinations are not mandatory. PBL will continue to share information regarding vaccination clinics.

Q: Will PBL require daily student and staff temperatures and health screenings?

A: No, it is imperative as we decrease mitigations that parents keep ill students at home and ill employees shall not report to work.

Q: What if a student or staff member tests positive?

A: Please report all positive tests results immediately to your school nurse or administration. The school nurse will provide you with specific instructions. While anyone in your household is waiting on test results please keep your child at home unless they are fully vaccinated.

Q: Will this plan change?

A: This plan will be reviewed and updated when necessary or as instructed by

the health department

To read the full plan online visit: www.pblunit10.com.

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