2021-22 School Opening Plan

School Opening Plan 2021-22

(Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan)
As of August 12, 2021

As conditions around COVID-19 continue to fluctuate, Platte County School District (PCR-3) is evaluating mitigating measures that can best support a return to more normal operations. Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely continuing in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year is a priority. 

PCR-3 is planning to implement the following updated protocols for the 2021-22 school year, based on current data. 

This approach remains focused on layered mitigation strategies with the ability to reinstate or discontinue specific strategies based on community transmission rates. PCR-3 will continue to monitor community transmission trends and data, and will adjust protocol accordingly should the need arise. If increased community spread of COVID-19 becomes a concern, the District will strengthen or add to prevention strategies. Community transmission data can be found by visiting the following websites:

We will continue to seek guidance from health authorities, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Should circumstances change, adjustments to our plans at the building and/or district level may be necessary, and we will communicate these adjustments with our families and staff.

Platte County School District COVID-19 cases and quarantines will continue to be tracked once the school year starts and will be updated weekly on the District website here.

Mitigation Measures

  • As of July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends face coverings be worn indoors by all individuals within schools, regardless of vaccination status. As of August 5, 2021, the Platte County Health Department released recommendations stating, “residents and visitors of Platte County are strongly encouraged to follow CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People and any revisions thereof, which includes the ‘Summary of Recent Changes (Updates as of July 27, 2021).’“ The Platte County R-3 School District Board of Education has determined the school district will operate under the following guidance in regards to face coverings in schools:
    • At this time, face coverings will be required for all students, staff, and visitors aged 3 and older while indoors at Platte County School District buildings when physical distancing cannot be maintained. The Board will be reviewing this strategy as needed. In general, people do not need to wear face coverings when outside.
    • The required use of face coverings as a mitigation strategy will continue to be reviewed and considered based on school and community transmission rates, as well as staff and student isolations and quarantines.
  • Face coverings will continue to be required for all individuals on a school bus per federal order. 
  • Self-screening will continue to be emphasized and expected for all staff, students, and visitors before entering any school facility (stay home when signs of any infectious illness are present and refer to healthcare provider for testing and care). Staff, students, and visitors will be asked to conduct the following daily wellness check.

  • Staff and students will continue to be expected to wash or sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day.
  • Physical distancing of 3 feet or more in classrooms will be implemented to the greatest extent feasible. The inability to sustain physical distancing of 3 feet or more will not be a restriction for in-person learning.
  • Stable seating charts will be used to limit student exposure inside the school building and on buses for all students. This includes all instructional settings and cafeteria at the elementary and middle school level, and all instructional settings at the high school. This does not apply to outdoor activities.
  • Hand hygiene, including hand washing and sanitizing, will continue to be encouraged. This will occur frequently throughout the day, including before and after eating, recess and activities outside the classroom. Staff and students should practice respiratory etiquette and hand sanitizer will continue to be available in all schools.
  • District cleaning and maintenance procedures will continue to follow enhanced disinfection and sanitation protocols, especially for frequently touched surfaces.
  • Increased outdoor air, ventilation and filtering through the HVAC systems will continue to be used as a mitigation strategy.
  • Plexiglass may be used when warranted.
  • School supplies and classroom materials can be shared amongst students and staff, as surface-related transmission of COVID-19 is rare.
  • School food service will resume normal meal serving strategies, as research has shown the virus is not transmitted as easily on surfaces. Personal snacks will be allowed to be brought to school when done in accordance with current handbook procedures; classroom-wide snacks and treats are not currently allowed. Students and staff should sanitize their hands before and after eating.
  • The use of refillable water bottle stations will be allowed, and these will be sanitized and disinfected frequently throughout the day. Students and staff are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles to school.
  • Students who are asked to quarantine will receive instruction during their quarantine period.
  • Families, students, and staff will continue to be expected to report suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Dr. Jen Beutel, beutelj@platteco.k12.mo.us or 816-858-5420 ext. 2199.
  • Quarantine Guidance GraphicContact tracing and quarantine measures will be aligned to guidance from the Platte County Health Department and implemented as follows:
    • Exposed individuals who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine outside of school, unless symptomatic, but Platte County Health Department guidance requires monitoring of symptoms and masking for the quarantine period of 14 days.
    • If exposed individuals are fully vaccinated, they will need to mask appropriately to continue their quarantine at school. If they are unable to mask at school, they will need to fulfill their quarantine at home.
    • For those individuals who are not fully vaccinated, if both people are correctly wearing masks throughout the encounter and are 3-6 feet apart, that is not considered a close contact and those individuals will not have to quarantine outside of school, but will need to be masked during the quarantine period of 14 days and continue monitoring of symptoms.
    • Exposed individuals who are unmasked and unvaccinated will complete their quarantine outside of school.
    • Please see the attached quarantine guidance graphic which outlines the requirements if all parties are appropriately masked, as well as if they are not appropriately masked.
    • Student quarantine instruction will continue as needed.
  • Schools will limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations. Essential visitors will be allowed on campus, following standard visiting rules. Currently, due to social distancing challenges, parents wishing to eat lunch with their students are not permitted at this time. Examples of essential visitor functions include:
    • Parent/staff meetings
    • Student check-in and check-out
    • Student/staff internships and academic experiences, including class presentations
    • Student mentorships (Pirate Pals, A+, etc.)
    • Approved parent volunteers
  • Capacity restrictions at events will be finalized after more information is obtained from DESE, MSHSAA, the Suburban Conference, and the Platte County Health Department. Currently, there are no capacity restrictions, but capacity may be reduced to allow for physical distancing, based on community transmission rates.
  • Families requesting remote learning for the 2021-22 school year should contact the District Education Center at 816-858-5420. Please note, the window for Kindergarten through 5th grade remote learning options is now closed (as of August 26, 2021). Because K-5 remote learning is synchronous (students learn from instructors, in real time, but not in person), classes are full and will not be enrolling students again until second semester. 

COVID-19 Testing and Access to Vaccinations

In the spring of 2021, PCR-3 provided COVID-19 Vaccinations to all staff who sought them. PCR-3 continues to leverage its partnership with Platte County Health Department for testing and vaccinations related to COVID-19, and partners with parents and staff who seek vaccination or testing. Assistance for testing for COVID-19 or vaccination can be obtained through calling 816-858-5420, ext. 2199. 

Instructional Impact of COVID-19

PCR-3 will leverage its Multi-Tiered System of Support to identify students who experience learning gaps due to COVID-19 or other reasons. Students struggling to meet academic and behavioral standards will receive evidence-based interventions aligned with best practices. Students who have gaps in their learning, including those who experience homelessness, second language influence, foster care, lack of access to basic resources or those experiencing extended absences, as well as those who have gaps related to the impact of COVID-19, will be identified through the process of universal screening. Interventions will be aligned with identified areas of need, and progress towards intended outcomes will be measured. PCR-3 will use a component of their American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds to provide additional academic, social-emotional-behavioral, and mental health support during the summer learning program. The additional ARP ESSER funds will be used to support the infrastructure of the system, including implementation of mitigation and prevention strategies as well as instructional support. 

Special Education: Students identified as disabled under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will continue to receive specially designed instruction, accommodations, modification and other related services according to their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Students with IEPs who require additional accommodation or modification due to the pandemic will continue to have those needs addressed through the IEP. 

Section 504: Those qualifying under Section 504 will continue services, accommodations and modifications according to individualized plans. Students who attend in-person learning should receive no gaps in service. If students are quarantined, they will be able to remote in for services. Progress towards goals will assist teams in determining if IEPs or 504s need to be adjusted.

English Learners: Services for English Learners are provided in-person and in alignment with best practices. 

Students who are quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure can remote into class for instruction or complete assignments following the requirements of PCR-3’s approved Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) Plan.

Process for Periodic Review

This plan details mitigation and other strategies aligned to the current level of transmission of COVID-19 in the area. It will be reviewed monthly during regular school board meetings and changes, if any, will be shared through District communication channels. Ongoing feedback and consultation from students, families, administrators, building leadership teams, and other staff will provide input to further revisions of this plan. 

Understandable Language 
PCR-3 is able to provide translation services for documents or speech in native languages through a telephone translator or via Google Translate. Families can request translation services through their English Language teacher, their child’s school office, or by contacting the Pupil Services Department (murphys@platteco.k12.mo.us or 816-858-5420, ext. 2121). All pages of the District's website are translatable into 12 languages.

Sources