We are sending this letter to let our families know that La Tierra Community School is currently planning to start the school year on our originally planned date of August 6, 2020. We are excited and confident to start school in a safe and healthy way by implementing protocols that follow ADE and CDC guidelines. We have worked hard to look at all the information given to us to create a plan that works for our students, staff and community as a whole. These protocols will be implemented on the first day of school and will be reviewed monthly as to their effectiveness and need according to changing guidelines. Julie and Rhette will be calling each family starting 6/29/20 to answer any questions and address any concerns pertaining to this letter and the opening of school.
PICK UP & DROP OFF/ SICK POLICY Starting the first day, LTCS drop off and pick up protocols will look different. We are working with the City of Prescott to try to institute two pull-through areas, one at the front of the school and one in the alley, where parents will drop off their children. We will assign which pull through area each family will use based on last names- please look for an email with this updated info in July. For the health and safety of our students and staff we are requesting that parents do not park and walk students on to campus for the first month of school. We will be revisiting this policy at the end of August. Upon arrival, each child will have a forehead temperature check as they enter campus. These temperature checks will be mandatory for all students and family members entering campus at any time during the day. Additional temperature checks will be given at specific times throughout the day. If at any time your child has a temperature that is at or above 100.4 degrees, the parent will be called and the child will need to be picked up. LTCS will be strictly adhering to our Sick Policy and students will be sent home according to the guidelines in this policy (Please refer to the Student Health and Wellness Policy from our Community Handbook.)
LATE ARRIVALS For the health and safety of our Office Staff and students and to maintain social distancing, parents and students will not be permitted in the building if arriving late for the start of school. If you do arrive late, parents will need to accompany their child/children to the sign in table outside the front of the office. Mrs. Heather will be supervising the sign in process and issuing late passes.
STARTING THE DAY Upon entering campus on the first day of school, students will go straight to their classroom to engage in various activities set up by their teachers before the start of the day. Free play on the playground before the start of school will be limited to one class per playground (upper and lower playgrounds) on a rotating schedule per social distancing guidelines. This will start on 8/10/20. All classes not assigned to the playground for that day will go straight to their classroom for inside activities before the
bell rings. Again, these protocols will be reviewed monthly and we will go back to free play for everyone before school as soon as we safely can.
WHAT TO BRING In order to cut down on the amount of things brought from home, we are implementing a NO backpack policy for the first month of school (we will revisit this policy for September). Each student will have individual space in the classroom to store all supplies. We will have set days before the school year starts when you can bring your child’s supplies to the classroom or they can bring them on the first day. There will be no homework for the first month of school so there will not be a need to transport supplies back and forth from home. Please only send your child with a lunch box/bag and a water bottle.
HANDWASHING & SANITIZING Hand washing and sanitizing surfaces will also be mandatory throughout the day. LTCS is in the process of purchasing handwashing stations for different places on campus as well as upgrading our handwashing facilities in bathrooms and classrooms. Teachers will be sanitizing surfaces throughout the day and whenever necessary. Face coverings are optional for all students and staff and must be appropriate and not a distraction from learning.
SNACK, LUNCH & RECESS For the first month of school snack and lunch will be eaten in the classroom and classes will rotate daily so that each class will have a chance to eat at the outdoor lunch space twice a week. We understand this is not ideal, but ADE and CDC guidelines dictate that shared lunch spaces are not conducive to social distancing. Classes will have recess but recess groups will be smaller (1-2 classes on the playground at a time) again promoting social distancing guidelines. Ms. Kelly will be teaching a Movement Class in place of Art Class for the first month so that kids can move around as much as possible during the day. We are also in the process of hiring a part time PE Teacher as there will be no Community Connections or off campus visits for the month of August. We are in the process of creating protocols when classes leave campus to keep students and staff safe and healthy while going out into the community.
END OF THE DAY The school day will end with students staying in their classrooms until a parent/guardian arrives for pick up. We are hoping to use the same two pull-throughs in the front and back of the school for student pick up and there will be staff at the gate to call students from classrooms when their parents arrive. Aftercare will now be in the Cottage (our new Kindergarten Classroom) and students will be walked over at 3:30 with their teachers to sign in. Parents will pick up students from the Cottage by 5:15 when Aftercare ends.
SCHOOL CLOSURES In the event there is a positive case of COVID-19 at LTCS we will follow the CDC and ADE protocols with a possible school closure for up to 14 days. In the event there is another Statewide school closure, our teachers, staff and administrators are preparing a more comprehensive plan to make sure that we offer the best possible distance learning for our students and families.
We understand this is a lot of new information and are here to answer all of your questions and concerns. The Directors will be calling each family personally the week of June 29th to answer all of your questions about the plan outlined above so have your questions ready:) Additionally, we will be producing a video for the students of LTCS to walk them through what to expect prior to their arrival to school on the first day. We will send an email notifying you when this video will be posted on our LT YouTube page. Please know that we have the best interests of every LTCS student, family member and community member in our hearts as we try and navigate this challenging time- we are all in this together and want to make a safe, healthy and fun learning environment for your child.
We look forward to seeing you all on campus soon and answering any questions you have before then!
With Gratitude, Julie Jongsma and Rhette Buller