Information on COVID-19 Operations Plan: www.msdwt.k12.in.us/covid19

December 01, 2020


Latest Information

If you need student login information, you can view the username and password for your student in Skyward Family Access. You can also call the school directly or email our Skyward Support Team for assistance.

COVID-19 Operations Plan

Introduction

This plan for WT has been developed in collaboration with Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), Mayor Hogsett’s Office, Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) and with the benefit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. This Plan is contingent upon executive orders related to COVID-19 from the Governor’s office or directives from IDOE, Mayor’s office, ISHD or MCPHD.

COVID-19 Thresholds for School Opening / Closure

The WT School Board will use the following thresholds to determine school opening or closing based on data from MCPHD COVID-19 School Guidance Dashboard Rate of Positive Cases 7 day average posted in the yellow box at the top of the page. The data must maintain threshold range for two consecutive weeks in order to change levels. The change between levels will be implemented within 7 calendar days, as determined by administration, of the second consecutive data point being met.

Percent Positivity (MCPHD COVID-19 School Guidance Dashboard Rate of Positive Cases)LevelPreschool & Elementary School
Middle & High School
8.0 or lower

Green

(Open)

Preschool Option #1 Hybrid Learning 2 days in-person and 2 days virtual per week

(Commitment = 1 Semester)

Elementary Option #1: Full time In-Person Learning (Commitment = 1 Semester)

Preschool & Elementary Option #2:  Full time Virtual Learning Academy from home (Commitment = 1 Semester)

Option #1: Hybrid Learning

2 days in-person and 3 days virtual per week

(Commitment = 1 Semester)

If data remains under 5% for extended period of time, full time in-person can be considered

 

Option #2:  Full time Virtual Learning Academy from home  (Commitment = 1 Semester)

8.1 or higher

Red

(closed)

All Students Virtual Learning From Home

 (with the exception of designated assessments and students where IEP determines in-person services per School Board Resolution)

All students Virtual Learning From Home

(with the exception of JEL, designated assessments and students where IEP determines in-person services per School Board Resolution)

What is the current status of the positivity rate?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the WT COVID-19 Plan & Resolution change so much?
COVID-19 creates a very fluid situation for organizations during an unprecedented pandemic. It is necessary for WT Schools to conduct on-going reviews of the COVID-19 Plan for improvements, updates and implications based on current information. We realize that this very fluid situation provides frustration, but like all other organizations, we have to remain flexible due to complexities, new information and changing implications of the pandemic.
Why doesn’t the WT School Board follow the MCPHD guidelines for school closure due to COVID-19?
The WT Board made a choice to follow more conservative guidelines in an overabundance of caution during a global pandemic.
What will change for students already enrolled in the Virtual Academy?
Preschool & Elementary - The elementary and preschool students already enrolled in the Virtual Academy will remain with their already existing virtual teachers for the remainder of the semester. Second semester teacher assignments will be based on virtual enrollment and staffing. Secondary - Secondary students who are currently in the Virtual Academy will remain in their assigned courses, but as is the case when secondary students transition from fall semester to spring semester, students may have different teachers for some courses.
What is the exact data point WT uses to determine school opening/closure per the Board approved thresholds?
MCPHD School Guidance Dashboard is our official source for WT decision-making regarding school closure and opening using the data posted in the yellow box at the top of the page. This data source uses a rolling 7-day average to indicate how much the virus is being found in the county. WT uses the number which is updated each Friday afternoon to remain consistent. The 7-day average positivity rate smooths out the daily variation in daily test results reporting. Dr. Gibson, Director of Epidemiology for MCPHD states, “Our data always lags by 7 days for an average on the day we post it because the data is too incomplete (i.e. too many lab results are not yet in the state dataset) until 7 days after the test's specimen collection date.” As a result, we posted a chart to our COVID-19 Plan titled “What is the current status of the positivity rate?” that demonstrates how WT tracks and monitors the weekly data.
Where can I find information on COVID-19 positive cases in WT Schools?
Please access the public ISDH School COVID Dashboard for data on positive COVID-19 cases in our schools. Click on the “School” tab and enter the school name you would like to review.
When will in-person instruction be offered again and what metrics does WT use to determine school closure/opening for in-person learning?
Per our COVID-19 Plan, schools can reopen for in-person learning after 2 consecutive weeks of Marion County’s 7-day average positivity rate of 8.0% or lower. We will keep the community updated after we reach the first of two required data points. The District would implement the change in levels within 7 days after the 2nd consecutive data point is reached. Please note that if directives from the Governor's office, Mayor’s office and State/Local Health Department are more restrictive for closure than the COVID-19 Plan we will have to follow those orders.
Will my student’s teacher(s) remain the same from in-person moving to virtual?
Preschool & Elementary - The elementary and preschool students who are attending in-person will remain with their current teacher during the in-person closure for the remainder of the semester. Second semester teacher assignments will be based on in-person enrollment and staffing. Secondary - Secondary students who are currently in the Virtual Academy will remain in their assigned courses, but as is the case when secondary students transition from fall semester to spring semester, students may have different teachers for some courses.
Will the school day schedule remain the same?
Preschool & Elementary - The preschool school day will remain the same. Elementary students will begin their day at 8:30. There will be a lunch and recess break at 12:30 each day. Schools will communicate their daily schedules, however, the majority of the core instruction will be completed prior to the lunch break. Secondary - No, in an attempt to address what we know about adolescent sleep patterns, we will revert back to the schedule used prior to reopening when the high school students and the middle school students were on a different schedule in an all virtual learning environment. Details will be shared with families by each Principal. The middle school student day will run from 9:10 AM to 4:00 PM with lunch from 12:40-1:10 PM. The high school student day will run from 8:30 AM
If students turned in their district issued device, will another device be reissued?
All students should have a district issued device at this time. If you need assistance with your laptop or need to arrange for repair, contact 317-254-5566 or complete the Virtual Learning Support Form.
What changes will be made to meal service?
Free meals will continue to be available for our students throughout the school closure. Families currently enrolled in virtual learning who have already pre-ordered meals for the week of November 16th at MyPamentsPlus, your time and location selected will still be honored. Beginning Wednesday, November 18th through Friday, November 20th, free breakfast and lunch meal packs will be available DAILY for curbside pick-up at ALL school locations from 11:00-1:00 PM. Please visit the Child Nutrition Website for updates regarding free meals after Thanksgiving break.
Will virtual learning be the same as it was prior to reopening? Students join Zoom for a designated period of time for teacher instruction.
Preschool & Elementary - The elementary schedule will be similar to the beginning of the year with the majority of core subjects taught during the morning portion of the day. However, students will have activities to complete in the afternoon as well. Students will access their learning through Canvas and Zoom with their teachers. Students should be able to access their learning without a great deal of help from parents as the students are used to the platform and the daily schedule. The school day schedule will be slightly different from the 4 hour schedule that was previously followed at the beginning of the year. Secondary - Secondary students will access their classes through Canvas and Zoom. Students should be able to access their learning without a great deal of help from parents as the students are used to the platform and the daily schedule.
Will AYS child care services still be offered?
AYS (child care) will transition to their all-day virtual learning support model (AYS Liftoff) as they did prior to the October reopening of schools. AYS will take place at Nora Elementary starting November 18. Please visit the AYS E-learning website for registration details and additional information.
During virtual learning, will extra-curricular activities and athletics continue?
There are no changes to extra-curricular activities per the previously approved Board resolution during closure for in-person learning. Please note that directives from the Governor's office, Mayor’s office and State/Local Health Department that are more restrictive than our resolution will be implemented. Any changes to athletic events or protocols specific to athletes will be communicated directly from Athletic Directors to school communities. Additionally please note, after school buses will not continue per the Board approved resolution which states the following apply when schools are closed and instruction is virtual only: All District in-person extracurricular and co-curricular events or programs are suspended; and WT athletics for grades 6-12 may commence in accordance with MCPHD guidance using Indiana High School Athletic Association (“IHSAA”) and Indiana Department of Education (“IDOE”) protocols. MCPHD guidance must be followed, even if it is different than IHSAA protocols. Athletic participation is optional, and athletes should follow guidance of their health care providers regarding participation. Transportation will not be provided for practice during virtual school. Athletic schedules cannot interfere with virtual academic schedules. Sports may not continue, and may be suspended, without a head coach or assistant coach in attendance due to COVID-19 implications. MCPHD and Indiana State Department of Health guidance regarding public events will be followed, even if such guidance is in conflict with IHSAA or IDOE guidance. Additionally, the District concessions may be suspended, face coverings for all spectators will be required, and family social distancing of 6 feet or more will be required for all events.
Will there be changes to attendance and/or COVID-19 reporting requirements for students?
Continue to report your child’s absence to the school attendance line in the event your child cannot participate virtually. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please make sure you report this to your child’s school following typical absence reporting procedures. Teachers will take attendance daily. Compulsory school attendance mandates still apply in a virtual learning environment.
Will there be changes to WT property or facility use/rental?
The modified resolution approved by the School Board October 28, 2020 states the following for use of facilities when schools are closed due to COVID-19: Use of facilities is suspended immediately when schools are closed due to COVID-19. The following organizations are exempt from the use of facilities COVID-19 modifications: Dynamo Soccer (91st & College), Washington Township Little League (Westlane Baseball Diamonds), Allisonville Youth Baseball/Softball (Clearwater Elementary School Fields), Glendale Soccer (Clearwater Elementary School Fields), Holt House Boy Scouts (John Strange) and AYS (locations determined in collaboration with WT).
Will there be changes to midterms or grades?
There will be no changes to the grade windows on the district calendar. Families and students will receive their grade reports via Skyward.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
The COVID-19 area on our website has comprehensive details that all families should review. Please contact your child’s Principal directly if you have additional questions.
What if my child has an IEP or Section 504 Plan?
Your child’s school and teacher will provide virtual special education and related services to the child in accordance with the child’s individualized education program (IEP) or, for students entitled to FAPE under Section 504, consistent with a plan developed to meet the requirements of Section 504. The team in collaboration with parents/guardians will determine if a meeting is needed to review/adjust the IEP or 504 plan.
Will students and staff be required to wear a face covering at school?
Yes, face coverings are required both inside and outside on school property and using school equipment such as buses for all students. Details and exceptions, are located in the comprehensive plan.
Due to COVID-19, can I enroll my student in a virtual learning option in WT and how long will this commitment be?
Yes, parents/guardians of PK-12 may choose to attend the WT Virtual Learning Academy. Special programs, such as JEL Career Center, may have in-person requirements as outlined in the plan.
If a family selects the Virtual Learning Academy will there be connectivity support from WT?
Chromebook or iPad devices are available for checkout by all Washington Township students. Internet support is available on an as-needed basis through your students’ school social worker(s).
What is the difference between virtual learning for the upcoming school year and at-home learning from this past spring?
Virtual learning will have live direct instruction and interaction from your child’s teacher that follows all academic pacing guides and standards for the enrolled grade level. All parents/guardians and students are encouraged to read the detailed guidance on WT Virtual Learning Academy prior to making a decision.
Why isn’t hybrid instruction, where there is some in-person and some virtual learning, an option for elementary parents?
Due to our teacher class loads and scheduling requirements, we are unable to effectively accommodate 100% virtual, 100% in-person, and hybrid instructions all at the same time. Additionally, students in the elementary school will be in a classroom cohort for a majority of their school day with minimal interaction with other classes. This is not possible with secondary schools.
Why are there differences in CDC guidance and MCPHD guidance to public schools?
CDC makes general recommendations but local health departments are tasked to personalize the guidance based on public health data in that area.
What happens if a staff member or a student is confirmed with COVID-19?
The confirmed COVID-19 person should follow the directions from their health care provider and notify the Principal or supervisor immediately. WT Schools will follow the steps outlined by MCDPH for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Resource for understanding COVID test results.
How will meals be served?
Elementary students will have breakfast and lunch provided in the classrooms - or in the cafeteria at significantly reduced capacity. Secondary students will have breakfast and lunch served traditionally (same process as in the past) in the cafeteria with social distancing modifications and with reduced capacity. Face coverings must be appropriately worn by all staff and students when they are not eating. Grab and go meals will continue to be provided to students enrolled in the Virtual Academy. Elementary students will have breakfast and lunch provided in the classrooms - or in the cafeteria at significantly reduced capacity. Secondary students will have breakfast and lunch served traditionally (same process as in the past) in the cafeteria with social distancing modifications and with reduced capacity. Face coverings must be appropriately worn by all staff and students when they are not eating. Grab and go meals will continue to be provided to students enrolled in the Virtual Academy.
What will happen on school buses?
Parents/guardians are encouraged to transport their students to school per MCPHD. All students and staff on school buses are required to wear a face covering appropriately unless they meet the requirements for exemption per procedure. Students will have assigned seats; no more than two to a seat; students from the same household will be seated together. Weather permitting, the bus windows will be open to increase outside air circulation.
Will WT schools implement staff and/or student temperature or routine symptom checks?
No. Staff and students must contact and work with their appropriate health care providers on COVID-19 health concerns and follow guidance on self-screening and self-reporting symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms.pdf
Where can staff or students be tested for COVID-19?
Anyone in the community should check with their health care provider or MCPHD for COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 Testings Sites in Marion County
What procedures will be in place in the classroom setting?
The “WT Reopening of Schools Plan for In-Person Learning” outlines details for schools by level. Generally speaking, social distancing of 3-6 feet will be implemented, and face covering requirements will be put into place for both staff and students. Additionally, shared materials will be minimized, and extra opportunities for hand washing will be scheduled.
Why is social distancing 3-6 feet?
The recommended 3-6 feet social distancing for schools is a guideline from MCPHD and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Can a school or multiple schools close again due to COVID-19 once reopened?
Yes, a school or multiple school closures are possible due to continued concerns from COVID-19. Public schools are under the direction of the Governor's office, the Mayor’s office and the Marion County Public Health Department since COVID-19 is a public health issue. These government agencies would issue closure notices to WT for one or more schools. Additionally, schools can close based on the thresholds the School Board established in this plan.
What if my child has an IEP or Section 504 Plan?
Your child’s school and teacher will make every effort to provide special education and related services to the child in accordance with the child’s individualized education program (IEP) or, for students entitled to FAPE under Section 504, consistent with a plan developed to meet the requirements of Section 504. The team in collaboration with parents/guardians will determine if a meeting is needed to review/adjust the IEP or 504 plan.
Will students selecting the Virtual Academy be eligible for in-person extra/co-curricular activities including athletics?
Yes. Virtual Academy students may participate in extracurricular and/or co-curricular activities or competitions at the secondary level that are offered in-person. All students may also participate in activities that are offered virtually. Transportation to school will not be provided to students in Virtual Academy who choose to participate in extra/co-curricular activities including athletics.
Will playgrounds be open for elementary students?
Playgrounds will be open during the day for students to use. However, we are limiting the number of students out at recess at a time and face coverings will be required.
How long is the “WT Reopening of Schools Plan” in effect?
This plan is in effect until we are directed otherwise by the School Board, Governor, Mayor, and/or Health Department for COVID-19 implications.
What supports are available for students with language support needs (English as a New Language, ENL)?
Principals and ENL teachers will collaborate with the general education teacher to ensure that the appropriate supports and accommodations are provided to students. The team in collaboration with parents/guardians will review the student’s plan and adjust the plan appropriately to meet the unique needs of the student.
If a student or staff member has been exposed, per the health department guidelines, to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, what should they do?
Contact their health care provider for directions and notify the Principal or supervisor immediately. WT Schools will follow the protocols from the local and state health departments.
Upon reopening for in-person teaching and learning, if a school building or multiple school buildings close again due to COVID-19, will the students who are enrolled in the Virtual Academy be able to continue in the same format?
Yes, students in the Virtual Academy will be able to remain in the virtual learning environment if a school or multiple schools close due to COVID-19.

WT Collaboration for Reopening of Schools

graphic with district collaborators: IPS, Lawrence Township, Speedway Schools, Decatur Township, Perry Township, Franklin Township, Pike Township, Warren Township, Beech Grove, and Wayne Township Schools.

Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) Review June 24 – August 21, 2020
Washington Township (WT) School Board Approval July 6, 2020
Washington Township (WT) School Board Review of Updates August 12 & 18, 2020
Washington Township (WT) School Board Vote on Updated Plan August 26, 2020
Washington Township (WT) School Board Vote on Updated Plan September 15, 2020
Washington Township (WT) School Board Vote on Updated Plan November 11, 2020