Glastonbury Public Schools
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).
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.
Health, Safety, and Learning Booklet
Health, Safety, and Learning Booklet
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.
At this time COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and up (updated 11/20/21). 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.
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 (updated 1/1/22: Due to the increased community spread of the virus, we have returned to keeping class groups together during recess.). 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. 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. 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.
GWS and SMS Chorus/Band/Orchestra (updated based on October 18, 2021 state guidance). Ensemble chorus, band, and orchestra will practice following state distancing guidelines for music programs. At GWS, ensemble chorus, band, and orchestra classes will be held in alternate spaces to accommodate appropriate distancing.
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. 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.
GHS Chorus/Band/Orchestra (updated based on October 18, 2021 state guidance). Ensemble chorus, band, and orchestra will practice following state distancing guidelines for music programs.
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
Updated 1/1/22: Individuals who are even mildly symptomatic with any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 should immediately isolate at home, test for the virus with a PCR, antigen, or self-test, and remain away from activities outside of the home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are significantly improved. 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.
The CT Department of Public Health recommends that schools discontinue individual contact tracing for in-school and school activity contacts. School resources will instead be used to identify, isolate, and manage students and staff with active symptoms. There are several reasons for this change that include 1) individual contact tracing is less effective when community transmission is high; 2) in-school transmission has remained low throughout the pandemic; 3) the need to prioritize our limited school resources.
We will continue to contact trace for contacts that happened during non-school activities (sleepovers, parties, athletic activities, etc.)
Our head nurse and administrators will individually review specific procedures for anyone who needs to test, isolate, or quarantine. See the testing and quarantine “quick guides” below. In addition, please see the documents below for more details.
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
Congestion or runny nose
New onset of severe headache, especially with fever
Loss of taste or smell
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.
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.
Testing Quick Guide
If any student or one of their family members receives a positive COVID-19 test, please immediately notify the school nurse (during the school day) or principal (after school hours). For staff, please notify the school principal/your supervisor.
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.
Updated 1/1/22: Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who are notified that they have had close contact with an individual who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should immediately quarantine at home and test for the virus 5 days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 case. This is especially important in situations where extended high-intensity exposure may have occurred, such as with household contacts, in unmasked social settings (e.g., sleepovers, parties), and/or during athletic activities.
If you've been notified by a non-school organization (e.g. sports) that your child is a close contact of a person testing positive and your child is NOT fully vaccinated, please keep them home from school and notify the school nurse (during the school day) or school principal (after school hours).
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 unvaccinated siblings would also need to quarantine and the school should be notified.
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 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.
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.