Glastonbury Public Schools

School Operations

2021–2022




Introduction

The Glastonbury Public Schools health and safety practices are in compliance with guidelines from the State of Connecticut and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Our COVID-19 Resources section can be found on this page.

Plans A, B, and C

Plan A is in-building learning for all students. Plan B is a hybrid plan (mix of in-school and eLearning) for students. Plan C is eLearning for all students. Please note that we would need Connecticut State Department of Education approval to go to plans B or C that involve eLearning.

We plan to begin the 2021-2022 school year under Plan A.

At any time we may switch to another plan based on the spread of COVID-19 in our community, our state, and our nation.

Website Contents

Plan A: In-Building Learning for all Students

VaccinationsThe 3 W's: Wear a Mask. Wash Hands. Watch Distancing.Class Groups/SchedulesTransportation, Drop-Off, Pick-Up, School VisitorsCleaning, Sanitizing, and Ventilation Illness Protocols, Testing, and Quarantines

Plan B: Hybrid

Plan C: eLearning from Home for all Students

School Meals


Health, Safety, and Learning Booklet

Grades K-5

Elementary Health Safety Learning Fall 2021.pdf

Health, Safety, and Learning Booklet

Grades 6–12

Grades 6-12 Health Safety Learning Fall 2021.pdf

Plan A

Plan A is for In-Building Learning for All Students

We will use a layered approach to health and safety practices to help protect our students and staff. This includes vaccination, wearing masks, keeping social distance, washing hands, and contact tracing.

Vaccinations

At this time COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 12 and up. Vaccinations will help keep our schools and our community safe. We encourage you to contact your pediatrician with vaccination questions about your children. Vaccinations can help keep them safe from serious illness, learning, and active.

Out-of-State Trips and Vaccination (updated 10/19/21). Glastonbury Public Schools expects that any student participating in a school out-of-state trip should be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Out-of-state travel includes any school-sponsored trips taken by classes, athletic teams, clubs, etc.

We have deemed this necessary due to the close proximity of students to one another and to students from other districts that come with travel, participating in large group events and tournaments, and overnight lodging. This protocol helps us prevent COVID-19 infections and breakthrough cases in our student body. In rare, special circumstances we have made exceptions to this practice when parents kept their children socially distant during the trip by providing alternate transportation and accommodations and when large group activities were not involved.

The 3 W’s— Wear a face covering. Watch distancing. Wash hands.

Wear a face covering. Our schools, in compliance with the State of Connecticut and CDC guidance, will require face coverings that cover the mouth and nose for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Students will supply their own face coverings. They will be available for those who forget. Arrangements will be made for parents if this presents a financial hardship. During outdoor activities/classes students will be able to remove their masks. Students will be given mask breaks throughout the day.

Watch distancing. We will maintain social distancing of 3 feet OR to the maximum extent possible in classrooms. We will position desks as far apart as possible. We will use additional lunch waves and alternative spaces to spread students out during lunchtime. Shared bathrooms will have limited capacity.

Wash hands. We will continue emphasizing frequent student and staff hand washing and sanitizing/disinfecting of hands. We will remind students of proper hand washing techniques. We will position hand sanitizer/disinfectant dispensers throughout the schools.

Staff and students will receive instruction and training on the three Ws. Signage to remind staff and students of proper practices will be placed throughout the school. Our teachers will work with our youngest students to help them adjust to these routines.

Class Groups/Schedules

The following practices will be in place. They will help us to maximize social distancing and to provide a safe learning environment.

Elementary Classes. At our elementary schools we will keep class groups (“cohorts”) together and self-contained to the extent possible. Elementary classes will stay together throughout the day. This year our specials (art, music, library, and some Spanish classes) will take place in separate rooms. P.E. classes will be held outside, weather permitting. There will be no combined grade 4 and 5 chorus, band, or orchestra ensembles due to cohorting. Music teachers will rotate to teach choral techniques to every class group. There will be grade 5 instrument lessons only. These lessons will include only students from the same class group. The grade 4 instrument program will be deferred at this time due to instrument program safety and social distancing requirements. Meals will be served in the cafeteria and gymnasium (and possibly library) to maximize spacing among cohorts. Students will have staggered snack times in their classroom (or outside) to allow for distancing while eating. Drinking fountains will be closed. Students are asked to bring water bottles from home. Water filling stations (for buildings that have them) will be open. Students will stay in cohort groups during recess. The movement of students and hallway traffic will be organized to maximize distancing when possible. Students will be able to access lockers. Optional before and after-school activities will take place with all health and social distancing practices in place.

Early Dismissal Winter Wednesdays (updated 10/5/21). Elementary students will continue with the half-day Wednesday schedule through the winter months of December, January, and February. These extra early release days will provide our teachers with the time needed to collaborate and strategize to address acute academic needs and pressing mental wellness concerns for our students. We believe this extra time will result in improved instruction and support for all children.

Gideon (Grade 6) and Smith Middle School Classes. Gideon Welles and Smith Middle School will operate under their traditional schedule including electives/specials. P.E. classes will be held outside, weather permitting. Ensemble chorus, band, and orchestra classes will be scheduled by cohort and/or held outside or in alternate venues. Meals will be served by teams in the cafeteria and gymnasium (and possibly library) to maximize spacing. Drinking fountains will be closed. Students are asked to bring water bottles from home. Water filling stations (for buildings that have them) will be open. The movement of students and hallway traffic will be organized to maximize distancing when possible. Students will be able to access lockers. Optional before and after-school activities will take place with all health and social distancing practices in place.

High School Classes. GHS is using a block schedule. Every school day will include four extended class periods plus a lunch period. This schedule limits hallway transitions. It also allows students to maintain their current schedule with a full variety of classes. GHS plans to hold P.E. classes both in the gymnasium and outside (weather permitting). P.E. students WILL change for class this year. Ensemble chorus, band, and orchestra will practice following state distancing guidelines for music programs. They will practice outside or in alternate venues as appropriate. Students will eat in the cafeteria, gymnasium, library, and other rooms deemed appropriate to maximize spacing. Drinking fountains will be closed. Students are asked to bring water bottles from home. Water filling stations (for buildings that have them) will be open. Students with free periods at the beginning or end of the day will be encouraged to arrive late or leave early. Some classes will meet outside. The senior Current Issues class will be held in the auditorium, maximizing spacing between students. The movement of students and hallway traffic will be organized to maximize distancing when possible. Students will be able to access lockers. Optional before and after-school activities will take place with all health and social distancing practices in place.

Transportation, Drop-Off, Pick-Up, School Visitors

Buses are available for all who need it and buses will stop at each stop daily. The State of Connecticut requires that all bus/van passengers wear masks. Based on current virus conditions, schools are not required to limit the number of students on the bus or vans. However, we are also unable to maintain any class “cohort” groups on buses/vans so we are concerned about the number of children riding on buses/vans. Therefore, we are asking all parents who are able to drive their children to and from school to please do so.

Students not complying with wearing a mask on the bus will lose their bus privileges.

Parents should expect a change of traffic patterns and scheduling for parent drop offs and pick ups at each school. More information will come from your child’s school.

At this time, in order to protect everyone’s health, visitors, including parents, will not be permitted to enter our school buildings during the school day unless absolutely necessary.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Ventilation

Cleaning and Sanitizing. There will be regular cleaning and sanitizing/disinfecting of common high touch surfaces throughout school such as classrooms, bathrooms, etc. All products used for cleaning and sanitizing/disinfecting are safer for students and staff and have been approved by our Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Ventilation. We will continue to increase the circulation of fresh, outside air and air filtration as appropriate for each type/size of school space. We will use the highest filtration levels allowable within our air handlers. This includes the use of increased outside air and filtration for air conditioning in the fall and heating when the weather turns colder.

Illness Protocols, Testing, and Quarantines

It is absolutely critical that students showing any signs of illness are kept home and not sent to school. This includes cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever, chills, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Parents should use the Daily Student Assessment Tool every morning to ensure their children are healthy and ready for learning in school.

Students who become ill while at school will be isolated from others and will need to be picked up. We will continue to work closely with local health officials and will follow state and CDC guidelines for the safe operation of our schools.

When a school community member tests positive for COVID-19, we will contact trace to determine anyone who has had close contact. Classroom close contact means 3 feet apart for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period (and certain other types of contact of less than 15 minutes) while the person was contagious. Other school activities outside of the classroom (bus, meals, recess, athletics etc.) will use a 6 foot distance. NOTE: If there is a positive case inside an elementary classroom, the entire class (cohort) will quarantine for 10 days with no early return.

Our head nurse and administrators will individually review specific procedures for anyone who needs to test, isolate, or quarantine. Like last year, elementary classes will be sent home for eLearning. See the testing and quarantine “quick guides” below. In addition, please see the documents below for more details. They outline the close contact, testing, and quarantining practices we follow. There have been some changes from last school year.

Testing Quick Guide

  • If any student, staff member, or one of their family members receives a positive COVID-19 test, please notify the school principal immediately (for students) or the school principal/supervisor (for staff).

  • Any unvaccinated student or staff member awaiting COVID-19 results may NOT be in school until they have been cleared for return.

  • Any unvaccinated student who has a family member awaiting COVID-19 test results should also stay home until the family member has received a negative test result or the student has completed quarantine following a family member's positive test result.

  • The CDC recommends vaccinated people test 3 to 5 days after the date of contact with an infected individual.

Quarantine Quick Guide for Parents

  • Quarantines are put in place to help protect our staff and students so our schools can remain open.

  • Vaccinated people who are asymptomatic will not need to quarantine.

  • Our district will notify parents and provide them with details if their child needs to quarantine.

  • Students quarantining may not attend school in our buildings or in-person school activities. In compliance with State Department of Health guidelines, people in quarantine should remain home in the household and NOT participate in any activities outside the home (including sports, parties, etc.) during the quarantine period.

  • Quarantining students should be monitored for symptoms, including regular temperature checks.

  • Only the child in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 is to quarantine. Their siblings or family members do not need to quarantine. However, if a quarantining child develops symptoms or tests positive, then his/her siblings would also need to quarantine and the school should be notified.

Keep Children Home with ANY signs of Illness

  • Fever above 100.4 when taken by mouth

  • Chills, muscle pain, body aches

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cough (or new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing for students with chronic allergies/asthma)

  • Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • New onset of severe headache, especially with fever

  • Loss of taste or smell

Non-School Activities

Please be sure your children follow proper health and safety practices during all activities outside of school including social gatherings and youth sports. The layered practices of vaccination, mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, and contact tracing can all help reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. We must all work together to keep our children and our community safe and thereby keep our schools open.

Flu Vaccine

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older (with very few medical exceptions) get the annual flu vaccine by the end of October. Flu vaccines do not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.

Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time. More information is available on the CDC Influenza (Flu) Website.

Plan B (Hybrid)

Plan B is a mix of in-school classroom learning and at-home eLearning.

The Hybrid Plan B would only be implemented if the rate of virus spread in our schools, community, or state are concerning. Note: We would need Connecticut State Department of Education approval to go to plans B or C that involve eLearning.

This Hybrid Plan B is a step between Plan A (in-building learning on all days for everyone) and Plan C (eLearning from home on all days for everyone). Our most recent hybrid plan involved students in grades 6-12 attending school in-building for 2 days per week and attending school via eLearning 3 days per week. Students in grades K-5 had the option of attending school in-building all 5 days of the week or eLearning all 5 days. It is possible that Glastonbury Public Schools would follow the same hybrid plan, if needed, during the 2021-2022 school year. This would involve setting up separate eLearning only classes at the elementary level. However, It is also possible that a different hybrid schedule would be implemented. This decision would be made, as always, in the best interest of the health, safety, and learning of our students.

Plan C

Plan C is for eLearning from home for all students.

In Plan C, school buildings would be closed and all students would engage in eLearning from home. Note: We would need Connecticut State Department of Education approval to go to plans B or C that involve eLearning.

School Meals

Free School Meals for all Glastonbury Children

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended approval for school districts to continue providing free meals to students during the 2021-2022 school year. Just like last year, all student meals will be available at no charge. There is no action required (no registration) to receive the free meals.

More information is available on our Foods Services website.