District Reopening Plan

Original publication first published July 22, 2020. For copies of previous drafts, please contact the Superintendent's Office at 509-346-2222.

Last updated: April 3, 2021

Introduction

Like districts across our state and nation, Royal School District has been working diligently  to plan and prepare for how to return all students to in-person learning. Schools and communities across our nation learned many valuable lessons since school closures began in 2020. We also recognize that a reopening and return to in-person learning plan that works in one district may not work in a neighboring district. Each of our communities are unique.

As we prepare to welcome students back for in-person learning beginning April 12, 2021, we are committed to keeping our staff, families, and community members informed. We have developed a webpage dedicated to our reopening information and plans at www.royalsd.org/reopen. As guidelines and expectations from state and health authorities come our way, we will continue to post updates to our Reopening website. We will remain flexible and prepared to make necessary adjustments in our plans for how best to deliver instruction and support services.

As a school district, our commitments are to:

  • Lead with the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff as our first priority
  • Continue to collaborate with the Grant County Health District regarding health and safety requirements of the Washington Department of Health (DOH)
  • Provide all Royal students with high quality instruction that meets Basic Education requirements and essential learning standards
  • Provide our staff with the training and support necessary to safely and successfully perform their work
  • Ensure that any hybrid learning models:
    • Safely maximize the amount of face-to-face, in-person instruction for all students
    • Are differentiated in their approach by grade band and student need
    • Provide consistency for families

This document reflects Royal School District’s return to in-person learning plan effective April 12, 2021. The original Reopening Plan was submitted to and approved by the Royal School Board for adoption through an official resolution at their August 13, 2020 meeting, and submitted to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). For copies of the original and subsequent updates, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 509-346-2222.

COVID Reopening Contacts in Our District

  1. Primary local health officers:
    • Theresa Adkinson, Grant County Health District Liaison to Royal School District
    •  Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer
  2. Royal reopening district-level point of contact: Roger Trail, Superintendent, 509-346-2222
  3. Linda Achondo, Executive Director of Student and Teacher Services, 509-346-2222
  4. Kim Mead, Director of Food Services, 509-346-2257 Ext. 3500
  5. Gary Winston, Athletic Director, 509-346-2434

 Reopening Schedule Timeline

Royal School District began school on August 28, 2020 providing families with two learning model options: Option 1: Hybrid 50/50 model – All Grades in School + Remote Learning; or Option 2: 100% Remote Learning. Those models are described below.

On October 9, 2020, we announced our decision to gradually transition all* students in kindergarten through fifth grade, as well as special education and high-risk students K-12, back to school in-person every day.

On March 25, 2021, the Royal School Board of Directors adopted a resolution approving a return to full-time in-person learning after careful consideration, planning, and the recent release of new guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reducing the physical distancing requirement for students from six feet to three feet. However, the goal is to strive to keep six feet of distance with no less than three feet.

Beginning Monday, April 12:

Beginning April 12, the District will no longer be operating on a hybrid schedule. Students will either receive 100% in-person or 100% online learning. Students in grades 6-12 who were on the hybrid schedule will begin attending school in-person, Monday-Friday. Students in grades 6-12 who were following the online schedule may choose to continue online until the end of the 2020-2021 school year or return to in-person learning.

Any families of students in grades 6-12 who are currently attending the hybrid model may choose to switch to 100% online if they are not comfortable with the new three-foot physical distancing. However, the student must be academically successful to be allowed to switch to online.

Late Start Fridays will continue as currently scheduled for the remainder of the school year.

Health Requirements

Health & Safety of Staff

All Washington school districts must adhere to the Department of Health (DOH) and Labor and Industries (L&I) guidance. It is important for all Royal school staff to familiarize themselves with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition of high-risk employees, and to understand they have the right to identify themselves to the Royal School District as a high-risk individual. From July 22-26, nearly 70% of Royal School District employees responded to a district survey around priorities and concerns for returning to school in the fall.

Any staff member with questions or concerns about workplace accommodations, leave expectations, and other employee rights is encouraged to contact Lara Snyder at 509-346-2222 Ext. 4004.

General Health and Safety Measures

In anticipation of having students and staff back in our school buildings, the district will implement a variety of health and safety measures. All schools will continue to practice diligence adhering to established health and safety protocols, including wearing face coverings, and screenings with temperature checks. Staff responsible for cleaning and sanitizing buildings and buses are preparing for the increased number of students.

Screening & Attestations

Students and staff must attest they are healthy and free of COVID-19 symptoms before they enter the building each day.

All students are screened before getting on the bus or entering the school building. Daily screening consists of taking their temperature and asking screening questions regarding symptoms and exposure. After completing the screening, the student receives a stamp for the day, which staff look for as students enter the building.

Screening Questions:

  1. In the last 24 hours, have you had:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue (tired no energy)
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • Muscle or body aches
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  2. In the last 14 days, have you had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19?

Please see the Washington Department of Health “K-12 Schools 2020-2021 Guidance” (pages 15-16) for details on the process Royal School District is following in regards to when students/staff can or cannot go to school or may be sent home if they are exhibiting symptoms.

All students riding buses will have their temperature taken prior to being able to board the bus. Additionally, students will be screened prior to entering the building and will have their temperature taken by identified staff screeners at specific sets of doors for each building. 

All school district employees must complete a daily health screening and attestation utilizing the Skyward app prior to entering the building. Any student or staff member determined to have a fever will be sent home immediately.

Handwashing

Students and staff will be reminded regularly about the importance of proper handwashing. Teachers may allow for more breaks to give students the opportunity to wash their hands, either at a classroom sink or in a restroom.

In addition, we will place hand sanitizer units throughout our buildings. Students and staff will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer regularly.

Masks and PPE

All students, staff, volunteers, and guests must wear cloth face coverings at all times, consistent with DOH and L&I requirements. School districts are required by law to provide face coverings for all employees as part of Washington employer requirements. Families are asked to provide the required face coverings for their student(s), and the District will maintain an adequate supply of face coverings on our premises to accommodate students who arrive at school without a face covering. Each school and district building will have disposable face coverings readily accessible for students, staff, and/or guests who arrive without a covering.

*NOTE: In early August, RSD received updated guidance from our local health authority prohibiting the wearing of face shields in place of face masks. Face shields may be worn in addition to, but not in place of, face masks. Face shields should not be used as an alternative to cloth face coverings without an approved waiver.

Employees should consult these resources:

Cleaning & Disinfecting:

Our custodial staff will significantly increase the wiping down and disinfecting of public spaces and high-touch surfaces across our buildings and throughout the school day, consistent with DOH guidance and the Infection Control Handbook 2010. We will also provide greater access to cleaning materials for our teachers and staff so that they can clean and disinfect spaces, as needed.

Each afternoon/evening, our custodial team will conduct a thorough cleaning of our spaces, again disinfecting high-touch surfaces like sinks, drinking fountains, door handles, tables, and desks.

Physical Distancing:

We have altered our indoor classroom and common spaces and reconfigured our processes to ensure six feet when possible and no less than three feet of physical distance between all persons in our school facilities as a planning framework. All K-12 desks will be separated by 6 feet whenever possible and no less than 3 feet.  We are using additional common spaces to ensure six feet and no less than 3 feet of physical distance between all persons in our school facilities.

OSPI Reopening Guidance recognizes that there will be limited times when students and/or staff may need to be within three feet for short periods of time.

This includes the accommodation of students with disabilities or others who meet the exceptions in order to deliver equitable services.

Student Transitions

Student Drop-Off / Pick-Up

Parents/guardians will be asked to remain in vehicles when dropping off or picking up students.  Morning drop-off of students at RIS will be moved to the lane where buses park in order to facilitate an increase in parent drop-offs.  A fence will be installed to create a walking lane in the drop off area for student safety.  Work with Grant County has begun to create an additional exit out of the intermediate school parking lot.  RRE & RMS will continue to enforce their new parking lot drop-off and pick-up procedures. Detailed instructions on the drop-off and pick-up guidelines will be communicated with families prior to the start of school.

Transitions Between Classes

To help avoid situations in which large groups of students are gathered in one place, we will adjust the way students move between classrooms and other spaces in our schools. While in hallways, students will maintain six feet of distance between themselves, wearing face coverings at all times.

Entering/Exiting Schools

To protect students’ safety and provide for more orderly temperature taking, all students will enter and exit each building at identified sets of doors. Family members should not leave their vehicles when picking up or dropping off students.

Food Services

The district will provide meals to children on a daily basis, even if they are not physically in our school buildings on a particular day. We have altered physical spaces, reconfigured schedules, and adopted necessary plans to provide meals to students that ensures six feet of physical distance between all persons.

In-School Cafeteria Procedures

To avoid situations in which students are gathered in groups, we will adjust our typical breakfast and lunch room service schedule in each of our schools.

At Red Rock Elementary, the Food Service staff delivers breakfast and lunch to the classrooms.  The students stay in their classroom to eat. Red Rock students will return to their classrooms to eat lunch, removing their face coverings while eating and maintaining six feet of distance between students at all times.

At RIS, students will eat their breakfast in their classrooms and lunches outside (weather permitting) or in a combination of the cafeteria and gymnasium. Students will maintain six feet of distance while in line and when eating.  Face coverings will be removed while eating. Students will be seated by their cohort class.  

At RMS, students will have staggered lunch times.  Students will maintain six feet of distance while in line and when eating.  Face coverings will be worn at all times, except when students are eating.  All students will be encouraged to eat outside (weather permitting). 

At Royal High School, we will return to the two lunch schedules. To reduce congestion, our 9th & 12th grades will have first lunch, and our 10th & 11th grades will have second lunch. Students who remain on campus will be encouraged to eat outside socially distanced, and/or may use the socially distanced cafeteria or commons seating.

Technology Access

Due to the high likelihood that all students will need to engage in remote or online learning at some point in the school year, the district will provide Chromebooks for students who do not have reliable access to a computer at home. During the Spring of 2020, all Royal students in grades K-12 were issued a Chromebook and instructed to keep it over the summer.  If you did not receive a device at that time and would like to learn more about reserving a device for your student, please call our Technology Department at 509-346-2455 or email tech@royalsd.org.

We also know that not all families have reliable internet access at home. The district provided Wi-Fi hotspots to many families during the spring of 2020. These hotspots are disabled during the summer months and will be reactivated on the first day of school. We want to ensure all students have the tools they need to learn remotely. If you did not receive a hotspot during the spring of 2020 or are experiencing connectivity issues, please contact our Technology Department.

Athletics & Extracurriculars

Washington’s schools will follow the guidelines provided by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).  We will continue to provide updates for students, parents, and community members regarding athletics through our Royal Facebook page and the Royal athletic website (royalsd.org/athletics).

Transportation

Ensuring students remain physically distanced on school buses is a significant challenge, and OSPI reopening guidance requires that students sit one child to a seat, to the extent possible, as long as there are enough seats to do so. OSPI has designated busing as an exception to the six-foot physical distancing rule, so long as the district exercises proper cleaning, maximum ventilation when reasonable, face coverings on students and adults, and proper PPE for our drivers.[MC2] 

Face coverings must be worn by bus drivers and all students. Students not wearing a face covering will be provided a disposable face covering. All students will sanitize their hands prior to boarding the bus and will be assigned seats by household to the extent possible based on seat availability. Outside airflow will be maximized by keeping bus windows open as much as possible.