SB Unified district administrators hold informational meeting
What should be expected once elementary schools reopen?
In an effort to provide information to district parents and families, the Santa Barbara Unified School District held informational meetings for elementary school families Wednesday night. Administrators reviewed the COVID-19 safety plan for elementary schools as the district prepares to reopen as early as Feb. 26.
This week, parents will receive a message on Parent Square, the district’s parent messaging system, to confirm their choice for in-person or distance learning. Parents were asked about this in the fall, but are able to change their minds this week.
Next week, families will receive class schedules. Some students may have a new teacher or a class with multiple grade levels, depending upon families’ decisions.
“Our priority is to make the least amount of changes possible based on the results of your choices,” Ana Escobedo, assistant superintendent of elementary education, said.
Students will not be on campus five days a week but will instead have a hybrid plan, allowing two days on site. In the fall, administrators decided that a traditional schedule was not attainable under health and safety protocols, such as social distancing.
Principals will provide school-specific guidelines to parents and hold information sessions.
Each school will have a check-in and screening station that students must go through prior to entry. Students should verify they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms on the iPass application on their school iPads. The app is also available for Apple and Android phones.
Classes will have drop-off and pick-up schedules that parents must follow to avoid crowding and ensure a smooth screening process.
Buses will operate with windows open and students seated every other seat. Siblings will share a seat.
The district will provide two cloth face masks to students. They must wear face coverings throughout the day, except when eating or drinking.
Students with medical conditions that prohibit them from wearing a mask must have physician verification. They will wear a face shield instead.
There will be mobile hand-washing stations around campus and hand-sanitizer dispensers in classrooms. Students must wash or sanitize their hands throughout the school day, including before entering the classroom, before and after lunch, before and after recess, before and after entering a community space like the library, after sneezing, coughing or touching their face.
At recess, students will have an assigned play area to keep them within their cohorts.
Students will eat lunch outside when the weather allows and in classrooms otherwise.
School nurses track, monitor and isolate cases. If students are a close contact, families will receive notification.
For the district’s full COVID-19 safety plan, go to sbunified.org and click on the desired language under the “SBUSD COVID Safety Plan.”