Opening of Schools 2020-21

August 26, 2020

We are just 5 days away from seeing students again and we are very excited!

Hello MTF Families & Students,

The purpose of this communication is to give you some important reminders and updates. Please read carefully and review the attachments.

August 31 - September 4

In-Person Orientation Days by Grade Levels (check your building plan for your scheduled day)

Monday, September 7

No School - Labor Day

Tuesday, September 8

First Day of School for ALL both In-Person & Remote Learning

Exclusions from School

As you hopefully know already, all schools are under serious health guidelines & requirements that would cause us to exclude students and adults from being at school. I strongly encourage you to read our full packet of Health Guidelines & Requirements which I have attached once again. To further expand your understanding of what we are up against with exclusion, please also review the attached Exclusion Chart. The chart gives you clear step by step guidance on what you need to do and what the school needs to do if there is a:

  • Positive COVID-19 Test
  • Negative COVID-19 Test (after the onset of symptoms)
  • Symptomatic Individual without a COVID-19 Test
  • Symptomatic Individual with Alternate Diagnosis
  • Close Contact to Confirmed/Probable COVID-19 Case (showing no symptoms)

As we have mentioned before, there is a pretty good chance that we will have to go to Remote Learning for ALL as a result of implementing the requirements of the Exclusion Chart. While we have not established a hard number on the exclusion of students/adults needed to go to Remote for ALL, our main concern is making sure we have enough adults to be able to implement In-Person learning. Further, at the Grade School we are able to isolate groups of students from other groups of students. This decreases the chance of having to do Remote for ALL at the Grade School. It is the opposite at the Middle School and High School. Because students will be more around all of the students, the chance increases at the Middle School and High School of having to do Remote for ALL.

Depending on the data and recommendation from the health officials, a variety of scenarios are possible when it comes to how we might shift to a more Remote Learning for ALL mode. In other words, we might have to exclude a small group of students, a classroom of students, a grade level of students, a single building of students, or the entire school district. As a family you need to have back up plans "B,C, & D" ready to go at a minute's notice.

Symptoms

All schools are under strict requirements related to sending students home that are showing symptoms. Please read the attached COVID-19 Student Sent Home form. It provides you the 13 symptoms that could cause us to send your child home. If a student shows any ONE of these symptoms they will have to leave school and parents will have to follow the directions on the form before the student may return. In addition, any sibling of any student showing one symptom will also need to leave. If the child has a parent that works in the school district, that staff member would also be sent home.

The FIVE

It is important as parents you partner with us here at school. No matter what the age of your child, at home please help us by teaching The FIVE. We ALL need to take personal and individual responsibility for The FIVE. The FIVE: Wear Masks, Social Distance, Wash Hands, Sanitize Surfaces, Stay Home if Sick/Symptomatic. Write The FIVE somewhere in your house (refrigerator, etc..) The more we ALL do The FIVE, the better the chance we will be able to maintain our In-Person plan.

Masks

Please do not shoot the messenger on this one, but Gaiters are not allowed as health officials have determined they are not as effective as masks in terms of the spread of the virus.

In closing, please know all the information in this communication is subject to change upon recommendations from the Macon County Health Department and Illinois Department of Health. We need everyone's compassion, grace, kindness, patience, and flexibility as we navigate the situation together. And, together we must be. We are here for you as a school district and are committed to doing "whatever it takes" to make this a fantastic school year no matter what the circumstances.

With Maroa-Forsyth Trojan Pride,

John


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