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Update on Return to School Plans 9/1/20

Text of today's one call:
 
Hello UCPS families,
 
We have several important updates to share with you today as we move toward our opening of school on September 14.
 
We have been working on our Blue/White schedule for students who will be attending school in-person and will have our rough draft completed tomorrow, Wednesday, September 2nd.
 
The Blue/White schedule will allow us to have less than 50% of all of our students in our buildings each day and allow room for social distancing of students. We have worked to ensure that all members of the same household will be grouped on the same schedule. The Blue group will attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the White group will attend in-person on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The days the students are not attending in-person, they will be doing NTI work at home. On Tuesday evenings, we will have additional custodial staff in each building to perform deep cleaning to prepare for the new group coming in on Wednesdays.
 
There has been an important change in state requirements regarding the wearing of masks for students and staff during the school day. Today, during the Superintendent’s Webinar with the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Department of Public Health, we were told that students and staff will be required to wear a mask all day at school unless eating or drinking or outside with ample social distance. This is a change from the guidance we were given all summer and from what we previously communicated to you all.
 
Also, with this change in masking guidance we will now be requiring masks for our preschool and kindergarten students. This means that ALL students from preschool through 12th grade and ALL staff members will be required to wear a mask all day at school and only removing the mask to eat or drink.
 
We know this is a significant change and understand this may change some of your responses about whether your child will be attending school virtually or in-person. If you need to change the option you have selected for your child, we ask that you contact the school no later than this Friday, September 4th. We will be finalizing the Blue/White schedule and class rosters next Wednesday, September 9th.
 
Many parents have asked what will happen if there is a positive COVID case in the classroom when we return to school. In a conversation with the health department today, we were informed that if students were masked and had maintained 6 ft. or more of social distance the entire time, then a whole class quarantine would not be issued. The only people who will be required to quarantine will be anyone who has been within 6ft. for 15 minutes or more of the person who tests positive.
 
After the Blue/White schedules and rosters are finalized next Wednesday, Sept. 9th, you will be receiving more information from your school. Schools will be contacting our virtual learning students as well. Our start of school on Monday, Sept. 14th will be different than our “normal” first days of schools. We will be using a “phase in” approach to the start of school. With this approach we will only be bringing in certain grade levels each day. We will use these days to meet teachers, hand out Chrome books, walk through login procedures, and get familiar with schools. If you have your own device, and your child will not need a school-issued Chrome Book, please let us know. It could be helpful to us as we are still awaiting a shipment of Chrome books that is on back-order.
 
The phase in approach means that on the first week, not all students will come every day of their assigned Blue/White Days. Your school will be communicating more details to you next week about which day your child will attend school the first week.
 
Finally, as you all may be aware, there has been a rise in the past week in cases in Union County. We are keeping a close eye on that as we move toward our re-opening date. We ask our entire community to help us out by following all the safety precautions in our community events and social gatherings. In Union County, it is a community effort to get our students back in school and to stay in school.
 
Have a great evening and stay safe.