What Ray-Pec has done to prepare for 2020-2021
The Ray-Pec School District staff has been working hard since last spring to prepare for the return to school.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Disposable masks - We have purchased disposable masks to have available for students and staff who do not have one.
- Cloth masks - The District is providing two reusable cloth masks for each employee and each student.
- Face shields - The District has purchased face shields for use by some teachers in conjunction with masks.
- Clear masks - The District has purchased face masks with a clear center for use by therapists and others when it is most important for a student to see the movements of the teacher's or therapist's mouth.
- Face mask distribution - The Ray-Pec School District will be a regional distribution center for masks from the State Emergency Management Association (SEMA) through the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. SEMA has secured 2 million cloth masks to distribute to Missouri schools (district and charter) to assist with school reopening. Ray-Pec will be a distribution site for other districts in this region.
- Lanyards for masks - The District has ordered lanyards for staff masks.
- Breakaway lanyards - The District has ordered breakaway lanyards for students to wear for masks.
- Plexiglass shields - The District has purchased an installed 65 Plexiglass office shields and 10 single-pane shields.
- Choice - The District offered parents a choice between in-person and virtual learning.
- Virtual learning - The District is developing the Virtual Instruction Program of Ray-Pec (VIPR) as an alternative to in-person instruction for students in grades K-12. More than 1,200 students are currently enrolled in VIPR. The development and implementation of VIPR included extra summer training for 70 teachers. VIPR coursework for grades K-12 is being developed. The District will continue to partner with Launch for some class offerings at the secondary level.
- A/B Schedule - To allow for the opportunity for greater physical distance and smaller cohort groups, the District is implementing an alternative schedule for in-person classes for grades 6-12. Students in grades 6-12 are divided into two groups: A and B. Group A will attend in-person classes on Monday and Wednesday, with virtual classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Group B will attend in-person classes on Tuesday and Thursday, with virtual classes on Monday and Wednesday. All students will have virtual classes on Friday. This will allow time for staff collaboration, as well as small group or intervention work with students. Class schedules for students in grades 6-12 are being created. Schedule changes or learning choice switches are restricted.
- Temporary outdoor learning centers - The District is renting four large tents (40-feet by 80-feet) for use as outdoor classrooms. Two tents will be erected outside Ray-Pec High School. One tent will be erected outside Ray-Pec East Middle School, and another tent outside Ray-Pec South Middle School. The tents will be utilized by various classes, including band and choir. Additional expenses include generators, carts, extension cords, and gas cans.
- Plexiglass tri-fold shields - The District has purchased 500 tri-fold Plexiglass shields for use at student and teachers desks.
- Possible changes from in-person learning to distance learning - If it becomes necessary for a classroom, grade level, or school to close temporarily, all of the staff members working with those students will transition to virtual instruction. Students will continue to work virtually with their same teacher. If a long-term closure is required, there will be a period of several days when students do not have school work while additional training is conducted for teachers.
- Thermometers - The District has purchased more than 500 no-contact thermometers for use by each classroom teacher, each department supervisor, and in each office.
- Hand sanitizer and hand sanitizer pumps - The District has purchased more than 200 wall-mounted sanitizer stations and more than 500 16-ounce pump dispensers for hand sanitizer gel. The 16-ounce pump dispensers will be provided to each classroom and can be refilled in the school office.
- Disinfectant - The District has purchased more than 1,000 bottles of disinfectant.
- Disposable towels - Classrooms are being provided with boxes of disposable towels for cleaning and sanitizing.
- Gloves - The District has ordered boxes of latex free gloves for use by staff.
- Isolation rooms - An isolation room is being constructed in or adjacent to each school's health room. This will provide a place to isolate a student who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms until the student can be picked up and taken home.
- Air purification - Air purifiers will be installed in each isolation room to supply fresh air.
- Additional staff and increased hours - The District is hiring four additional teachers, an additional custodian, and another employee for the Technology Department. In addition, the District is hiring permanent substitutes for each school for the first semester and increasing the hours for Student Monitors to 5.5 per day.
- COVID email - The District has created a dedicated email account for employees to use when asking questions or sharing concerns about COVID-19.
- Benefits - The District's Human Resources Department has provided information about illness leave and other benefits related to COVID-19 issues.
- Cafeteria procedures - Students will wash hands prior to eating and will consume meals in the classroom. In some schools, carts and bus tubs have been purchased to deliver meals to the classroom. Older students will walk to the cafeteria to pick up a meal and return to the classroom to eat.
- Meal payment - The District has purchased touchless ID scanners to be installed at schools. Students will not need to touch a keypad to enter a PIN.
- Packaging - Food items will be individually packaged. Condiments and plastic ware will be individually wrapped. Dishes will be disposable.
- Meals for at-home learners - The Child Nutrition Department is offering a 5-day meal pack for students participating in Virtual Instruction Program of Ray-Pec (VIPR) and a 3-day meal pack for students in 6-12 for their days of at-home learning. The meal packs would require pickup once a week. A delivery option is under consideration. Read more
- Hotspots - The District has purchased hotspots to provide to families who need assistance with internet access during at-home learning.
- Internet service - The District added wireless access points that are accessible from some school parking lots.
- Additional Chromebooks and chargers - The District has purchased additional Chromebooks to ensure one device per student.
- Additional iPads - The District is purchasing additional iPads for use by kindergarten students during at-home learning.
- Go Pro cameras - The District is purchasing Go Pro cameras to be use to film some athletic activities.
- Canvas licenses - The District has purchased additional licenses for Canvas, the District's learning management system for grades 6-12.
- Technology support - The District has provided assistance to parents and staff members, as well as procedures to replace devices, as needed.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) - Air quality improvement
- Upgraded filters - Ray-Pec plans to increase the air filter filtration rates from our standard 8MERV to 11MERV by the start of school. Ultimately, the District plans to install 14MERV filters, as those filters become available for purchase. Read more
- Dampers open to 15 percent - Rather than recirculating air, the outside air dampers will be set at a minimum of 15 percent. The goal is to improve airflow by bringing in a minimum of 15 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) per person in standard classrooms.
- Fans running continuously - Rooftop unit fans will run full time when a building is occupied. Fans will run two hours before students arrive and two hours after students leave. Continuous fan usage before and after school will allow for a complete exchange of fresh air.
- Lower cooling set points to 72 degrees - The District is lowering its cooling set points to 72 degrees to help people feel more comfortable due to the amount of outside air coming into the buildings. Currently, the District cooling setpoints are at 74 degrees. Indoor humidity levels will be monitored closely, and additional automation Is being installed
Changes in procedures
- Health and hygiene - Students and staff will be trained in practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hand washing will be required. Additional hand sanitation stations are being installed. Daily temperature checks of all staff and students will take place. Staff and students will strive for a 6-foot separation when possible.
- Masks/face coverings - For adults and students in grades 6-12, face masks will be used when closer than 6 feet. For students in PreK to grade 5, face masks will be used when closer than 3 feet. For students with special needs, exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
- No large group assemblies - Schools will not have large group assemblies, and students will not gather in the gym or cafeteria.
- Water fountains - No water fountain use (except to fill water bottles). Students are asked to bring personal water bottles this year. Personal water bottles were added to the school supply lists.
- Arrival and dismissal - Parents will stay in vehicles during arrival and dismissal and will follow each school's traffic pattern. Students will report directly to the classroom upon arrival.
- Bus transportation - Drivers and monitors will wear masks while students are loading and unloading. Students should wear face coverings at all times while riding the bus. Buses will be cleaned and sanitized between routes.
- No visitors - No parents or visitors will be allowed in the schools.
- Recess - Students will wash hands before and after recess. Additional supervision will be provided to assist in encouraging social distance guidelines.
- Specialty courses - At the elementary schools, special classes (except physical education) will take place in he classroom. Equipment will be sanitized regularly.
- Stay home - Students and staff should stay home if experiencing these symptoms: Fever of 100 degrees or higher, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, cough, chills, headache, sore throat, or muscle pain.
- Staff who exhibit symptoms at work will be sent home.
- Students who exhibit symptoms at school will be moved to an isolation room. The student must wear a mask until the parent picks up the student. No bus transportation will be provided for a student experience COVID-19 symptoms.
- Weekly District leadership meetings to plan for 2020-2021
- Weekly department meetings in the areas of Academic Services, Special Education, Child Nutrition, Technology, Buildings and Grounds, and Finance
- Meetings with teachers for input and feedback about the return to school
- Meetings with PTA presidents for input and feedback about the return to school
- Daily collaboration with the Cass County Health Department
- Weekly updates from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education