- Bethel School District
- Back to School
Back to School 2020-21
March 19, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the agency has changed its recommendation on COVID-19 social distancing in schools from six feet to three feet.
The CDC made no change to the guidance around mandatory face coverings for all students, staff, and visitors, and we do not expect that to change.
We do not anticipate any near-term change to our current six-foot distancing standard here in Bethel. With less than three months remaining in the school year, we will need to wait for both the Washington State Department of Health and the Pierce County Health Department to review the CDC’s recommendation. We will then need to decide if the benefits of another change this school year outweigh the benefits of waiting.
March 2, 2021
With elementary students back in schools and middle school students returning next week, it is now time for high school students to return to in-person learning in a hybrid model. We will transition into the hybrid model beginning with 9th graders. By transitioning 9th grade students in first, students who have never attended high school before will be able to acclimate to their new school. The phased plan will also allow staff to put safety protocols in place one group at a time.
As part of the transition to in-person learning, high school students will have a ½ day of school on March 18 and no school on March 19.
The phase in process will be implemented as follows:
- March 18 - ½ day for all high school students
- March 19 - No school for all high school students
- March 22 - 9th grade cohort A, in person
- March 23 - 9th grade cohort B, in person
- March 24-26 - ½ day for remote student learning, ½ day for conferences
- March 29 - 12th grade cohort A and 9th grade cohort A, in person
- March 30 - 12th grade cohort B and 9th grade cohort B, in person
- April 1 - All cohort A students (9th-12th), in person
- April 2 - All cohort B students (9th-12th), in person
- April 5-9 - Spring Break
At this time, principals are finalizing balancing work on the master schedules to accommodate the 6-feet social distancing requirements for student capacity that will divide students into two groups (Cohort A and Cohort B). As soon as the schedules are complete, principals will inform you about the group your child is assigned to and the days when they will attend school in person. When possible, students who have sibling(s) attending a Bethel elementary or middle school will be assigned to the same schedule as their sibling.
Based on the responses to the hybrid learning survey, some families have decided to have their students remain in the remote learning setting. Parents of remote learning students will receive information about their child’s schedule as soon as schedules are complete.
We are very excited to begin this transition to in-person learning for our high school students and their families. Watch for more information from your principal this Friday about the school start and end times, the schedule all students will be following for Trimester 3, and dates for parent meetings that will be held to answer questions about Trimester 3 and in-person learning.
February 12, 2021
After almost a year of remote learning, it is now time to return to in-person learning in a hybrid model for our middle school students. We will transition into the hybrid model during the month of March, beginning with 6th graders. By transitioning 6th grade students in first, students who have never attended middle school before will be able to acclimate to their new school and allow us to assure all our safety protocols are in place. Shortly after the 6th grade, the return of 7th and 8th graders will follow.
The return to in-person instruction for all middle school students is as follows:
- March 8: 6th grade students return via a hybrid A/B schedule
- March 15: 7th and 8th grade students return via a hybrid A/B schedule
Students will return on an A/B Hybrid model with students attending school in person two days a week on either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. Then two days a week, students will work individually on assigned lessons after remote class check-ins. On Wednesdays, students will meet remotely with their teachers.
Next week you will receive information from your principal about the start and end times for school and the date for a parent information meeting. At this time, principals are finalizing balancing work on the master schedules to accommodate the 6 feet social distancing requirements for student capacity that will divide students into two groups (Group A and Group B). We hope to have that work completed prior to the end of February. As soon as it is complete, principals will inform you about the group your child is assigned to and the days when they will attend school in person. When possible, students who have sibling(s) attending a Bethel elementary school will be assigned to the same schedule as their sibling.
As part of the transition to in-person learning, middle school students will have a ½ day of school on March 4 and NO SCHOOL on March 5.
- March 4: Half day for all middle school students
- March 5: No school for all middle school students
Based on the responses to the hybrid learning survey, some families have decided to have their child remain in the remote learning setting. Parents of remote learning students will receive information about their child’s schedule as soon as schedules are complete. Many students who are continuing in the remote setting may have some changes made to their schedule.
We are very excited to begin this transition to in-person learning for our middle school students and their families. Watch for more information that will be shared with you next week from your principal.
January 19, 2021
As previously announced, following the latest guidance from the Governor, along with information and resources from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we have determined start dates for all of our elementary grade levels:
- February 1: Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade
- February 17: 2nd and 3rd grade
- March 1: 4th and 5th grade
If you haven't visited our Frequently Asked Questions page, you can find it at bethelsd.org/Page/6023.
Students will return in a hybrid A/B model
In the A/B hybrid model, half of our students will meet in person at school on Monday and Thursday (Cohort A) for full days of instruction, with the second half of the students meeting in person on Tuesday and Friday (Cohort B.)
On days when students are not attending in person, they will be engaged in teacher-directed independent learning and Zoom lessons.
The student day for in-person learning will be 4½ hours. This will allow teachers to conduct a Zoom check-in with the cohort of students learning at home that day. The shorter student day will also support students as they learn in an environment very different from what they have previously experienced while in school.
You will find a copy of the Hybrid Elementary Bell Schedule by clicking here. You will be notified the week of January 25th what cohort your student(s) are in.
Health & Safety
Mask wearing and social distancing is mandatory for all students and staff in our schools. To learn more about our building safety protocols, please click on the Health and Safety tab above.
If you have specific questions, or didn’t fill out the recent survey regarding your preference of returning to hybrid or remaining in remote learning, please contact your school office.
January 8, 2021
It is time to begin the process of getting all students back into classrooms for in-person learning.
Following the latest guidance from the Governor, along with information and resources from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we have determined start dates for all of our elementary grade levels:
- February 1: Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade
- February 17: 2nd and 3rd grade
- March 1: 4th and 5th grade
Because middle and high school environments are very different from those of an elementary school, secondary start dates will be announced later, and will align with the Governor’s updated school guidance for in-person instruction.
Students will return in a hybrid A/B model
In the A/B model, half of our students will meet in person at school on Monday and Thursday (Cohort A) for full days of instruction, with the second half of the students meeting in person on Tuesday and Friday (Cohort B.) On days when students are not attending in person, they will be engaged in teacher-directed independent learning.
We used the elementary parent survey conducted in October for our preliminary planning. We know much has changed since then, so we are asking elementary parents to take the time to redo the survey now, so we have the most up-to-date information about your student’s needs.
We are also asking parents of middle and high school students to fill out a survey with their preferences. This survey will help as we plan the hybrid model for middle school and high school. If, as more information is available about the hybrid model, you want to move your middle or high school child from one plan to the other, you will be able to do so by contacting your school by a date that will be publicized.
Special Education Students
We will increase in-person services for students served in K-12 self-contained special education classrooms to four days per week beginning on February 1. Schools and IEP case managers will be in contact with families prior to February 1 with more information.
Health & Safety
Mask wearing and social distancing is mandatory for all students and staff in our schools. To learn more about our building safety protocols, please visit www.bethelsd.org/backtoschool.
Any changes to this proposed schedule will be determined by the Superintendent, in consultation with the Board of Directors, based on guidance and direction from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Governor, and state and local health authorities.
BSD Health & Safety Protocols
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. The District regularly reviews guidance from state and county health departments, as well as the state Department of Labor & Industries to update the District’s measures as the guidance evolves. Listed below are the current guidelines for physical distancing, health screening, personal protective equipment (PPE), handwashing, sanitation/cleaning, and COVID-19 Exposure Guidance. For more details on safety protocols, please refer to the additional resources linked at the conclusion of this document.
In an effort to keep families informed of any new confirmed COVID-19 cases, BSD will maintain a COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated when a new COVID-19 case is confirmed and/or each Friday by noon, or as needed.
Key Principles for Reducing Exposure
Bethel School District’s primary method for reducing exposure to the Coronavirus and other respiratory pathogens:
- Keep ill people out of school. Educate students, families, and staff to stay home when sick, and use screening methods.
- Use Cohorts. Conduct activities in smaller groups that remain together over time with minimal mixing of groups.
- Physical distancing. Minimize close contact (less than six feet) with other people.
- Hand hygiene. Frequently wash with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand gel.
- Protective equipment. Use cloth face coverings and other barriers between people.
- Environmental cleaning and disinfection. Prioritize the cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Isolation. Isolate sick people and exclude exposed people.
Staff and students practice physical distancing of six feet or more by creating space between students and reducing the amount of time they are close to each other. Maintaining six feet of distance is most important when students or staff will be engaged in something for more than a few minutes, like during class, reading or quiet time, or eating lunch. There may be brief moments, such as passing by others in the hallway or during play at recess when students are less than six feet apart from each other.
Building-specific strategies to increase physical distancing may include:
- Rearranging desks/tables to maximize the space between students
- Keeping students in cohorts/clusters to the maximum extent possible
- Reducing the number of students in hallways at any time
- Mark traffic flow and designate entrances and exits to minimize face to face contact
- Place tape, spots, cones, paint or other markers to signal six feet in areas where students may be waiting in line
- Limiting access to only essential visitors or volunteers
- Reducing congestion in office areas
- Limiting building use outside of school hours to approved District activities
Parents/caregivers will sign an electronic Student Wellness Screener in ParentVue every week. This will affirm that parents/caregivers will check their children daily for all symptoms of COVID-19 and agree not to send their child to school if the child has any symptoms, is in close contact with someone with COVID-19, has tested positive for COVID-19, or has been told to self-monitor, isolate, or quarantine. School staff will verify completion of the Wellness Screener and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Buildings will have protocols in place to have students screened on-site if the parent has not completed the wellness screener.
Staff entering a District facility will perform health monitoring of symptoms prior to their arrival using a digital attestation application.
Visitors entering a District facility will need to attest that they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been knowingly exposed to COVID-19.
Currently, visitor access to schools will be extremely limited in order to reduce potential exposure to students and staff. Please check with your child’s building administrator for specific building safety protocols.
Personal Protective Equipment
Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is required for staff and students in all indoor public spaces. There are specific exceptions based on age, development, or disability. See the Washington State Department of Health Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings. All students, staff, volunteers, and guests must wear cloth face coverings while in the buildings. Bethel will provide face coverings for staff and for students who don’t have them. Higher levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) are provided to staff working in specific school scenarios.
All staff, students age 5 and older, and visitors must wear cloth face coverings or other approved face coverings upon arrival to any district facility.
Children age five years or older must wear cloth face coverings at child care, preschool, or day camp when indoors.
Children aged two to four years may wear cloth face coverings.
Cloth face coverings should not be worn by children younger than age 2 years.
- Those with a disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing a face covering.
- Those with certain respiratory conditions or trouble breathing.
- Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who provide instruction to such people, and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication.
- Those advised by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional that wearing a face-covering may pose a risk to that person.
- Staff not able to wear cloth face coverings will need to contact human resources to get accommodations.
Even when cloth face coverings are worn, continue practicing physical distancing.
The district will not allow the use of gaiters/bandanas as an acceptable cloth face covering beginning January 22nd, 2021.
Handwashing for hands with soap and water for 20 seconds will be promoted over the use of hand sanitizers because it works better and to prevent students’ exposure to high levels of alcohol in hand sanitizers.
- Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will be present in every room that does not have a sink
- Young children will be supervised when using hand sanitizer.
- Hand washing instructions will be provided to students.
- Signs promoting hand washing steps and when to wash hands appropriate to students’ development will be placed in rest rooms and at sinks.
- Teach children and adults not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, then clean hands with soap and water or hand gel.
Children and adults should clean hands when
- Before getting on the bus
- Arrival at school,
- before meals or snacks,
- after outside time,
- after going to the bathroom,
- after blowing nose or sneezing,
- before leaving to go home.
Sanitation, Cleaning, and Disinfection
All schools and district facilities will be provided with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers that have been approved by the EPA for effectiveness and low toxicity. Ventilation will be set to maximize outside airflow continuously. Filters will be used that provide the maximum filtration recommended for the HVAC equipment of the building and will be changed on a routine basis.
Custodial staff have implemented cleaning protocols to ensure that high touch surfaces like light switches, remotes, door handles, phones, countertops, tables, and toys are cleaned multiple times a day.
Cleaning and disinfection protocols for a probable case of COVID-19 will comply with CDC recommendations.
COVID-19 Exposure Guidance
The following is public health guidance on what to do if you've been exposed to someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis or positive test.
Close contact includes the following circumstances:
- Living in the same household with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Being within six feet of a confirmed positive case for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period.
- Being in direct contact with secretions from a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, sharing utensils, etc).
Staff or students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can return to work or school after:
- 14 days have passed since the last day they were in close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19.
If a staff or student develops symptoms during their 14 days quarantine period they should consult with their Healthcare Provider and seek testing for COVID-19. If testing is sought and you test positive for COVID-19, follow the COVID-19 Positive Guidance.
COVID-19 POSITIVE GUIDANCE
A staff member or student with confirmed COVID-19 can return to work or school when:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND At least 24 hours have passed since the fever has resolved (without the use of medications) and symptoms have improved.
Asymptomatic staff or students with confirmed COVID-19 can return to work or school when:
- 10 days have passed since the date of the COVID-19 test.
Local and Regional
Bethel is proud to partner with the Right at School to provide before and after care options for your family.
Right At School will be offering before and after school care at the following schools beginning February 2, 2021 with the return of K-1 students: Graham, Evergreen, Nelson, Fredrickson, Clover Creek, Camas Prairie, Naches Trail, and Kapowsin. Right At School will phase in opening additional schools as students are phased into in-person learning - all locations will be open when 4-5 grade students return. Remote learning days will continue to be offered at Graham Kapowsin High School and Spanaway High School. Please visit www.rightatschool.com for further information, including registration and safety protocols!Camas Prairie: https://
rightatschool-camas-prairie- elementary.jumbula.com/#/2020- 21-before-after-schoolFrederickson: https:// rightatschool-frederickson- elementary.jumbula.com/#/2020- 21-before-after-schoolNaches Trail: https://rightatschool- naches-trail-elementary. jumbula.com/#/2020-21-before- after-school
RIGHT AT SCHOOL CONTACT INFO
Phone: (253) 329-6223