Auburn City Schools unveiled its plan to return to school this fall during the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night.
The plan includes a number of safety and health measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the requirement that all students and staff wear masks or facial coverings in school.
ACS is providing two learning options for students this academic year — a traditional learning environment that will take place on each school's campus and a remote learning environment to any students selecting that option.
The plan, which was posted online on Wednesday, includes a learning intent survey that parents are asked to fill out for each student by 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For grades K-7, remote learning will be provided by both synchronous and asynchronous meeting approaches facilitated by ACS teachers. Grades 8-12 will receive their digital content through ACCESS, a virtual learning program that ACS has used since 2016.
"The remote learning content will be available in all courses, the same as it would be in a traditional setting," said ACS Superintendent Cristen Herring, who summarized the plan for the board. Herring added that a parent and student orientation will be provided for those in remote learning.
Students in both the traditional and remote learning environments may participate in after-school activities, including athletics.
Safety will be at the forefront for those students participating in the traditional learning environment.
ACS has asked parents and guardians to screen their students at home for symptoms of Covid-19 daily before they go to school or get on a bus. Bus service will be provided, with masks required for students and drivers and buses sanitized daily, although the use of personal vehicles is preferred.
"Students will have assigned seats on school buses, and parents are again asked to carefully screen students before allowing them to board a school bus in the morning," said Herring.
ACS is purchasing a washable, reusable mask for every student, and disposable masks will be provided for incidental use.
"We will take into consideration the student health needs and developmental stages in the implementation of this requirement," said Herring.
Personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and face shields, will also be provided for all ACS staff and employees.
Social distancing and hand washing will be routine during the school day for students in traditional learning, said Herring.
"To every extent that is practical, physical distancing will be enforced at school," she said.
ACS has also made plans in the event a school or the entire system must close due to the pandemic.
"In the event of a positive diagnosis or a confirmed exposure, a student would be required to present a written statement from physician or health care provider permitting their return to school," said Herring, who added that if a student in the traditional learning environment tests positive and must be quarantined, instruction will be provided by their traditional teacher. "In the event of a school or system closure, distance learning for all students would begin on the third day to allow time for teacher transition."
ACS will provide potable water for students, per the law, as well as serve breakfast and lunch.
"Students will be discouraged from using water fountains and encouraged to bring a personal water bottle," said Herring, who added that the current plan calls for the return of all teachers by Aug. 4 and all students by Aug. 10.
The plan can be accessed through this link.
"It is our hope that this document will help to inform the decision that parents make about the learning environment of their student in the year ahead," said Herring.