Garvey School District
American Rescue Plan Act
Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER III)
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction Plan
HEALTH & SAFETY MEASURES
The Garvey School District has been implementing health and safety measures in accordance with the State and County public health guidance and regulations. Based on the latest guidance, the health and safety measures to ensure a safe return to in-person instruction include:
Wearing of Masks
- Anyone entering school buildings or transports (school buses as well as school buildings) who has contact with others (students, parents, or other employees) is required to wear a face mask.
- Employees and students are offered, at no cost, an appropriate face mask that covers the nose and mouth. The mask must be worn at all times during the workday when indoors and is in contact or likely to come into contact with others. Employees and students who have been instructed by their medical provider that they should not wear a face mask must wear a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it. A drape that is form fitting under the chin is preferred.
- Employers are required to provide, upon request, respirators (e.g., KN95 or N95) to any unvaccinated employee. This is particularly important if the employee is not fully vaccinated and is working in an indoor or crowded outdoor setting.
- At times when the school is open for any in person student programming and services, all staff must wear a face mask at all times when indoors, except when working alone in private offices with closed doors or when eating or drinking. During periods when the school is not providing any in-person student services, for example during a holiday or summer break, or at a district office which does not provide direct student services, staff may follow less restrictive Cal/OSHA ETS masking requirements.
- A medical grade mask is provided to any employee who cares for sick children or who has close contact with any child with a medical condition that precludes the child’s use of a cloth face mask.
- Alternative protective strategies may be adopted to accommodate students who are on Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plans and who have medical reasons why they cannot use or tolerate a face mask. They should substitute a face shield with drape at the bottom if tolerated. They may also receive instruction and services in a one-to-one setting with staff wearing appropriate PPE or be accommodated via distance learning.
- It is recommended that employees be instructed to wash or replace their face masks daily and parents be instructed to ensure that children have clean face masks.
- Reduce crowding as students, parents or visitors enter and move through the school building. These may include: schedules are adjusted to ensure that only one cohort or stable group is moving through common spaces (such as hallways and bathrooms) at a given time.
- School employees are deployed in hallways to promote physical distancing and reduce loitering and crowding as students enter, go through symptom checks and proceed to classrooms.
- Maintain an increased distance as much as possible during times when students or staff are not masked (e.g., due to eating or drinking).
- Increase space, when possible, between employees in any room or area used by staff for meals and/or breaks, especially when space will be shared by employees who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.
- Maintaining measures to promote physical distancing of students on school transportation since many students remain unvaccinated, including face masks required at all times and open windows.
- Implementation of measures that make it easier for parents to drive students to school, such as availability of early opening with staff presence, drop-off areas to assure safe movement of students from drop-off to school entry.
- Create and maintain stable groups, to the extent possible, in which supervising adults and children stay together for all activities (e.g., meals, recreation, etc.).
- Provide physical barriers to be used inside the classroom to minimize contact.
- During school meals, the following measures are used, to the extent possible, to increase physical distancing: greater distance between students, use of outdoor facilities, staggered schedule, and physical barriers.
- Sharing of equipment and supplies is avoided where possible.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
Promote frequent hand washing by staff, students, and visitors by implementing the following measures:
- Students and staff are given frequent opportunities to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and use paper towels to dry hands
- Younger students are regularly scheduled for frequent handwashing breaks, including before and after eating, after toileting, after outdoor play, and before and after any group
- Staff are instructed to model frequent handwashing and to reinforce healthy habits and monitor proper hand
- Portable handwashing stations have been placed near classrooms to minimize movement and congregations in bathrooms to the extent
- Hand sanitizer is made available to students and staff at strategic locations throughout the school campus.
Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities
Promote optimal ventilation in the school by implementing the following measures:
- Evaluate and service the HVAC system on a regular basis to make sure that the system is in good, working order.
- HVAC systems are set to maximize indoor/outdoor air exchange unless outdoor conditions (recent fire, very high outside temperature, high pollen count, ) make this inappropriate.
- Portable, high-efficiency air cleaners are installed.
- Doors and windows are kept open during the school day if feasible and if outdoor conditions make this Existing fire codes requiring closure of fire-rated doors must be respected.
- Air filters have been upgraded to MERV-13 or higher rating.
Infection Control and Response to COVID-19
- The COVID-19 Containment, Response and Control Plan that describes the school’s comprehensive approach to preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19 on campus is posted in the office and on the website.
- The School Exposure Management Plan is consistent with DPH guidance, which includes the plan to immediately report a cluster of cases (3 or more cases within 14 days) to the Department of Public Health.
- If any student or staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Garvey School District will:
- Inform any individual who has been identified as having been in close contact with the ill person within the past 14 days that an individual has been identified as presumptive or confirmed with COVID-19 and that they have been identified as an individual for whom there was sufficient contact to warrant notification. “Close contact” in the workplace under CDC guidelines is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (more than 15 minutes) or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
- Instruct the affected individual to go home and self-isolate. The affected individual should self-monitor for symptoms. Individual should not return until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.
- Maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). At no time should the identity of the individual ever be disclosed to any other persons; this information should remain confidential and only known to the Compliance team.
- Isolation and Quarantine: Compliance Team will determine whether the individual should be excused from the facility according to DPH guidance on Symptom and Exposure Screening Pathways. Individuals who screen positive are given a surgical mask and accompanied to a pre- selected isolation space where they can remain while a determination is made on exclusion and arrangements are made for their return home, where
- Per the DPH Symptom and Exposure Screening Pathways, students, staff, and visitors who have had close contact with an individual who has screened positive for symptoms consistent with possible COVID-19 are notified of the potential exposure. These individuals are not required to quarantine unless the exposure has been confirmed through a positive COVID-19 diagnostic viral test or a clinical diagnosis from a medical provider. Individuals who have a confirmed exposure are accompanied to preselected quarantine space where they can remain until arrangements are made for their return This space is a part from the one set aside for symptomatic persons. It may be a separate room or an area within the same room that is set apart by a barrier. Once they return home, they are instructed to self -quarantine as required by Health Officer Quarantine Order.
Diagnostic and Screening Testing
- Symptom screening will be conducted before students, visitors and staff enter the Screening will include a check-in concerning symptoms consistent with possible COVID-19 and any other symptoms the individual may be experiencing. These checks will be done through a digital application as well as in person upon arrival. A temperature check with a no-touch thermometer at entry will be completed.
- COVID-19 routine testing (rapid response) will be available on a daily basis to all students, staff and visitors.
- The district, in partnership with local agencies will continue to provide opportunities and resources (including on campus vaccination clinics) for all students, staff and community members to be vaccinated.
Accommodations for children with Disabilities
- Students with IEP or 504 plans who require specialized services may be pulled out of their general education classroom and grouped with other students requiring similar services as needed to provide appropriate level of instruction and care. This additional special education learning group may also follow stable group principles to keep membership the same day to day to the extent possible.
- In addition to working with different stable groups, specialized staff who serve students with IEP or 504 plans may pull out individual students from group settings to provide 1-to-1 interactions, without limit on the number of individual students they work with. It is recommended that the space used for 1-to-1 meetings have contact surfaces and objects cleaned between meetings, to the extent possible.
- Specialized staff who serve students with IEP or 504 plans may also enter multiple classrooms in order to interact with individual students, without limit on the number of classrooms they may enter. It is strongly recommended that such staff be fully vaccinated before engaging in this behavior, and any staff not fully vaccinated should wear a face shield in addition to the required surgical mask if entering multiple classrooms for this purpose. All staff must wash or sanitize hands after leaving a classroom and before entering another classroom with a different stable group of students.
CONTINUITY OF SERVICES
In case isolation, quarantine, or future school closures are required, the following services and supports will be provided to ensure continuity of services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental and other needs.
Services to Address Students’ Academic Needs
To ensure continuity of instruction and learning, the District will continue to stay equipped with the technology necessary to facilitate an immediate shift to the distance learning platform, in case isolation, quarantine, or school closures are required.
The following support actions will be implemented in support of distance learning.
- Computer and hotspot devices will be distributed to the impacted students (and families). Parent training sessions will continue to be provided on the use of Google Classroom and other education tools, tutorial videos and written manuals will be posted on the District website, and one-on-one technical assistance will be provided via the parent hotline services.
- All adopted programs have standards-aligned online resources accessible to teachers and students. Additionally, hard copies of student textbooks and practice books will be distributed to impacted students to enable multiple learning modalities and to provide an alternative in case of technical problems.
- Additional supports will be provided for students with learning needs, based on the progress data collected through the district benchmark assessments (e.g., iReady). For example, English learners will receive during school ELD intervention, additional one-on-one or small group instruction provided by intervention teachers, extended-time instruction and intervention, and extensive parent outreach, training and support. Students with disabilities will receive during school and extended-Day Intervention in the areas of need, push-in support from RSP and other support staff, specialized technology and tools, and extensive parent outreach, training, and support. Low-income students will be provided with school supplies, such as paper and pencil, student desks and organizers. The district’s foster student and homeless students liaison will continue to work with the students and their families to identify the areas of learning need and coordinate services and resources to meet the needs.
Supports for Social, Emotional and Mental Needs of Staff and Students
The District has established a focus team on mental and social-emotional supports. The team is tasked with identifying the needs, developing an action plan for students and staff, and providing support and monitoring for the plan implementation. Key actions include:
Professional Development, Support & Resources for Staff
Ongoing training and support for all staff will be provided in the area of mental health and social-emotional well-being, including strategies and resources for students as well as self-care practices for staff. The training series, designed and facilitated by the District counselors and behavior specialists, will be provided prior to the start of the school year and will be conducted throughout the year. It includes topics such as:
- Social Emotional Wellness
- Counseling and Behavior Intervention Referral Process
- Suicide Awareness and Resiliency
- Second Step Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum
- Self-Care & Bereavement/Loss Training: Responding to Students who have experienced loss
- Behavior Services and Strategies (Using Motivation to Teach)
- Mental Health (Anxiety, Depression, Coping Strategies)
- Trauma Informed Care Practices
- Crisis Prevention
- Behavior Intervention Strategies (weekly training for Behavior intervention Assistants)
In addition to the ongoing professional development, the District participates in the Employee Assistance Service for Education (EASE) program through the Los Angeles County Office of Education, to provide support and resources for all District staff and their families. EASE offers 24/7 confidential counseling hotline service and in-person and telehealth counseling, provided by licensed professional counselors, to address issues, such as stress, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, family and marital issues, job stress and burnout, work relationships. All District staff have been provided with the information on EASE to access its services in a confidential manner.
Social-Emotional Learning for Students
The District will continue to implement the adopted curriculum on social-emotional learning, including Second Step and School Connect. The lessons will be provided on a regular basis by teachers and counselors working in collaboration to focus on students with social-emotional challenges.
Additional Mental and Social-Emotional Supports for Vulnerable Students
Counselors, working in consultation with the principal, teachers, and support providers, will identify students with mental and social-emotional challenges and implement the appropriate strategies and services to address their needs. Some key strategies include: high-interest engagement programs and activities, counseling, social skills group chat during lunch, home visits, ongoing communication with parents, and Student Success Team (SST) meetings with parents and staff to discuss concerns and supports strategies.
Training, Support & Resources for Parents
- Parent Training: A series of parent training has been developed to focus on mental health and social-emotional well-being. Specific topics include: identifying children with mental health and social-emotional challenges, strategies and resources parents may use to address the challenges, school/district referral and support procedures, and parent self-care practices. The training is provided in four different languages to ensure meaningful participation of all parents, particularly parents whose home language is not English. The training will be provided to parents in an ongoing manner throughout the school year.
- Parent Support Staff: A district hotline service, provided in four languages, has been established for parents to get individual assistance in addressing mental health and social emotional challenges. Parents will be referred to District support staff, including counselors and behavior specialists, as well as community services, as necessary.
Health and Food Services
- The District is committed to providing nutritionally adequate meals for all students at all schools. In case isolation, quarantine, or future school closures are required, the District will continue to provide school meals every day at distribution sites, geographically distributed to provide convenient access for parents. To ensure that all parents are provided with timely updates on the school meals program, parent newsletters (in four languages) are sent in multiple ways: US mail, emails, text messages, voice messages, District website postings, and Instagram messages.
- Food, health, and clothing items will be provided to students whose families are experiencing economic hardships. Referrals for high-need students (and families) will be made to assist these families in accessing necessary community support services.
PUBLIC COMMENTS & FEEDBACK
To promote engagement of the stakeholders in the development of the plan, the District has offered and will continue to offer the following opportunities for stakeholders to provide comments and feedback in the development of the safe return plan.
To inform and solicit input from parents, the following opportunities have been provided for the various parent groups.
- Parent Advisory Committee (PAC): The PAC is composed of parent representatives from each school that include parents of low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners. The Superintendent conducts regularly-scheduled meetings to present pertinent information and updates, respond to questions, and solicit recommendations to further refine the plan. Parents have the opportunity to ask questions and provide recommendations.
- English Learner Parent Advisory Committee (ELPAC): The ELPAC includes parents of English Learners. The Superintendent meets with the ELPAC at least three times a year to provide updates and seek input.
- In addition to PAC and ELPAC, the Superintendent has facilitated ongoing Parent Information Meetings for all parents, provided in four (4) different languages and scheduled for different times of the day and week based on parent input. At the meetings, updates are presented, and parent questions and feedback are discussed.
- For all parent meetings, written notifications and invitations are sent in four different languages (i.e., English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese). Interpretation services are provided in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese as necessary.
The District has utilized a School Climate student survey and Student Focus Group meetings facilitated by the Superintendent to engage students and solicit input on the development of the plan. The students have provided input on actions to address the challenges related to distance learning and the mental health and social-emotional well-being for students. The Student Focus Group has met in an ongoing manner to assess the effectiveness of the planned actions and solicit additional student input to refine the plan.
The District has made extensive efforts to engage staff, in various roles and positions, in the planning process.
A School Reopening Committee and Focus Teams have been established with representatives from teachers, the certificated and classified bargaining units, principals, and district administrators. The Focus Teams focus on various specialized areas, including health and safety, academic programs, social-emotional supports. The Committee and the Focus Teams have conducted meetings, as necessary, to assess the current conditions and strategize next steps.
In addition to the representative School Reopening Committee and Focus Teams, staff information meetings and communication have been provided by the Superintendent and principals to discuss updates and seek input.
An online survey has been posted in the District website, in four languages, to invite the community to provide input on the plan.
Ongoing feedback collected through surveys, information meetings, and focus group meetings from stakeholder groups have guided the development of the safe return plan. Some examples include:
mental and social-emotional training for parents and staff (Input from parents and staff), high-interest student engagement programs (input from students), air cleaners (input from parents and staff), physical barriers (input from staff).