With plans to bring kindergarten through second-grade students back into school buildings later this month, the Edmonds School District provided families with a preview of what returning to classrooms would look like.
The district announced last month its bargaining team had struck a deal with the Edmonds Education Association — which represents the district’s certified teachers — to return K-2 students to in-person learning under Stage 2 of the district’s school re-entry plan.
In a video posted Monday to the district’s YouTube page, Superintendent Gustavo Balderas said that students will be required to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms each day — before arriving at the bus stop or being dropped off at school. The district will email staff and families an online health screening link (also called an attestation) that must be filled out.
“Daily symptom screening is one of the most effective ways to control the spread of COVID-19,” Balderas said.
For students arriving by school bus, hand sanitizer will be required when students first board and face masks must be worn for the entire ride. Students will fill the bus from back to front, with not more than one student in each seat, with the exception of students living in the same household. While exiting, students at the front of the bus will get off first. In addition, some seats may be assigned.
Additionally, bus windows and roof vents will remain open, and buses will be disinfected between each drop off, Balderas said.
Each school will have its own designated drop-off and pick-up area for students arriving by carpool. Balderas added that staff are limiting the number of people allowed on campus, including parents and guardians.
In school buildings, social distancing measures will be in place like markers and arrows designating foot traffic. Face masks will also be required while indoors. School buildings have sanitizer stations and students will be given opportunities to wash their hands. In classrooms, students will be socially distant and use their own supplies
The school day will include lunch time. During recess, students will remain with their classroom cohort and classes will be separated into different areas to minimize risk of exposure, Balderas said.
The number of students allowed in restrooms will be limited to allow for social distancing and custodial staff will be increasing cleaning high traffic areas throughout schools.
Students who begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms will be quarantined in a designated isolation area until their parent or guardian can pick them up, the superintendent said. Parents must be prepared to pick up their students if they become ill during the day, he added.
Balderas said each school will have its own protocols. For more information, families can visit the district’s website or contact their students’ school.
–By Cody Sexton