KENNETT SQUARE — Kennett Consolidated School District administrators have set up a timeline for reopening schools, which allows for both a mix of remote learning and in-school instruction, and online only, called Kennett Virtual Academy.
"While unfortunately, no plan can fully encompass meeting the needs of each individual family, our goal is to create a plan that provides the most feasible options that best support the educational needs for all students while complying with PDE guidance and prioritizing safety for students and staff," said Dusty Blakey, superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District.
The plan is set to be approved by the school board Aug. 3. The enrollment deadline for Kennett Virtual Academy is Aug. 12 and first student day is tentatively set for Aug. 31.
The hybrid model calls for students to be assigned to a group and receive in-school instruction two days per week and online learning three days per week. Students with disabilities, English language learners and gifted students may have the option to attend in-school instruction daily.
In-school instructions calls for a number of safety precautions, including daily self-screenings conducted at home for all students and staff, and temperature checks for students and staff showing signs of illness.
All rooms will be sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines and staff will be trained on the symptoms and procedure for sending students exhibiting symptoms to the school nurse. If a staff member or students is confirmed positive for coronavirus, the building does not need to be evacuated but all areas used by the sick person will be closed off until cleaned and disinfected.
Masks or face coverings must be worn by everyone above the age of 2, according to the guidelines. The masks may only be removed when a student or teacher eats or drinks. Students who are unable to remove a mask without assistance are not required to wear face coverings, as well as those with respiratory issues or a mental health condition or disability.
Desks will be placed six feet apart. Students and staff will be required to wash their hands on a frequent basis. Water fountains will be disabled and students will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Visitors will be unable to enter the building without a mask.
Custodial staff will disinfect "high-touch" surfaces, including desktops frequently.
The plan also calls for officials to implement strategies to reduce the number of individuals in the hallways at one time, including utilizing one-way traffic patterns in hallways along the outside edges.
Where possible, meals will be served in alternative areas such as classrooms to avoid face-to-face seating and allow for six-feet of social distancing. There will be assigned seating in the cafeteria.
On school buses, there can be only two students per seat. Students and bus drivers must wear face coverings at all times. Buses must be disinfected after each run and thoroughly cleaned.
No clubs or extracurricular activities will be permitted in buildings before or after school. Fees for facility use for outside organizations will be increased to accommodate the need for enhanced sanitizing.