Inola Schools Safe Return and Continuity of Services for 2021-2022
As you are aware, the guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 have changed frequently (sometimes daily!). Because of this, we assume there will be times we have to adjust our guidelines to adequately address these changes. When we do, we will update the information below.
As we did during the 2020-2121, Inola will be open for in person school attendance. We hope the following information helps answer many of the questions you may have regarding this.
Our goal will be to provide an ‘as safe as possible experience’ while will include a rich educational experience, with opportunities for social interaction and extracurricular activities. IPS will, as far as is allowed by Oklahoma State Law, adhere to guidelines provided by the Oklahoma Department of Health and the CDC.
What is the first day of school for students?
School will begin on August 12, 2021. This date will only change if ODH sends updated guidance on the reopening, but this is not anticipated.
Who will be required to wear face coverings?
In accordance with state law, face masks are not currently required at Inola. We recommend that non-vaccinated adults and students age 10 and up wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved, particularly on school buses. Students are encouraged to wear face coverings in areas with a high concentration of students where social distancing cannot be maintained. In the event the Governor declares a state of emergency, face coverings will be required. The mask should fully cover the mouth and nose unless eating or drinking. Parents and guests would then be required to wear a mask upon entering the building. Masks will not be provided for parents and guests.
Do we need to provide masks for our student or will one be provided?
IF the ODH or CDC begin requiring masks, parents are expected to provide their student(s) with a mask. If the student age 10 or over arrives at school without a mask, the district will provide one mask, one time for that student, then additional masks will be available for purchase in the school office as supplies allow.
Will bus transportation be provided?
Yes, the district will provide bus transportation for all students. Based on current ODH guidelines, students are encouraged to wear face coverings when riding the bus. Due to the requirement to keep the bus numbers as low as possible, student’s will only be dropped off at one location (this location will be the address provided upon enrollment). If your child needs to get to any alternate location, you will need to provide transportation (for example, attending a friend’s birthday party after school). The exception is that we will still provide transportation to the Daycares and Wednesday Church programs.
Diagnostic and Screening Testing
Our goal is for your student(s) to have as normal of a school day as possible while we also provide as much safety as possible. While we will not begin the year with daily screenings, if active cases of COVID19 increase and it is recommended by the ODH, we will return to them. If this occurs, when students arrive at school, either by bus or parent, they will have a temperature screening before entering public spaces such as the cafeteria or gymnasium. Upon completing the screening, students will proceed to their designated area. Students, during this time will be screened daily. Inola schools, with permission from parents, can administer a test to determine if the student is positive for the virus (as long as we have the test kits available). Students will not remain in the same classroom all day but will be able to transition from one class to another, following social distancing as much as possible.
Will students at Inola still have extra classes like athletics, art, music, guidance and library?
Yes, students will continue to participate in activity classes, check out library books, and receive guidance and gifted instruction. Sporting events will be held according to OSSAA and ODH recommendations.
Will social distancing guidelines be observed?
Social distancing will be observed as much as possible but at times students will be closer than the recommended 3 ft. apart. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained such as class exchange time, etc., students will be encouraged to wear face coverings. We will redesign classrooms and cafeteria spaces to increase the space between students but cannot always guarantee it will be 3 ft. We encourage students to wear a mask and to not touch or breathe on one another.
Modified facilities to promote Social Distancing
In every space possible, classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students. That might mean all desks are arranged in rows facing in a single direction. It might result in reading areas with bean bags, couches or comfy chairs being removed. It might include dividers between students who are seated at a table. We will make every effort to provide distance but not limit students’ ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom. Additionally, supplies and materials will not be shared by students. Students will be allowed and are encouraged to bring their own laptop, tablet, phone or other personal resource available to them for virtual learning.
Positive Tests/Contact Tracing/Quarantine
In the event that a student tests positive for the virus, we will follow the latest guidance from the ODH. Currently this means the student must be isolated for 10 days and have had 24 hours symptom-free before returning to school. When we have a student test positive, the ODH recommends contact tracing. They try to determine anyone who was within 3 feet of that student for more than 15 minutes or who participated in a contact sport. This exposure must have happened within 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms. Unlike the 2020-21 school year, the end result of that contact tracing will be notification to the appropriate parents that their child had close contact with an individual who has since tested positive for COVID19. After receiving this notification from the district, students will not be required to quarantine. Instead, we ask that parents who receive such a notification monitor their child’s health and contact their family physician should they develop symptoms. If the OK Dept. of Health begins to enforce quarantines again, Inola Schools will comply.
What are my options, if I do not want my child to return to the traditional classroom?
Inola Public School will provide a digital option for 3rd Grade through HS Students. This would provide a total online educational program for students who did not feel comfortable returning to onsite instruction. Students may also choose a blended program that offers some online and some traditional classes. Parents will be asked to sign up for the virtual education program and commit to a minimum of a semester. The fall semester is August 12, 2021 to December 17, 2021. Parents and students will be required to commit to the Virtual Education option no later than July 31st, 2021. There is another page on the HS Website that better illustrates these options.
If students choose to do full-time virtual, will they be able to participate in extra-curricular activities?
Yes, students participating in full-time virtual learning will be able to participate in extra-curricular activities but will have to adhere to OSSAA guidelines.
Enrollment will be held online where students can choose their classes for the new year.
HS students have been emailed their enrollment information. Any questions about HS enrollment can be directed to Dr. Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Will we have an open house?
Yes, we will hold a normal Open House. This will be held on Tuesday, August 10th from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. and will be open to all. Masks are recommended.
Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities and sports in the fall?
Yes, we anticipate sports activities in the fall with possible modifications as required by the OSSAA. All uniforms and practice equipment will be washed and sanitized after each use.
Special precautions implemented in regard to cleaning, sanitizing, and ventilation
Sanitation and cleanliness will be a high priority for our district as we return in the fall. Last school year we made a large purchase of electrostatic disinfecting sprayers for each building and will be using them as needed. We will be encouraging staff to frequently disinfect frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, light switches, etc.) on a continuous basis throughout the day. Students will be encouraged to sanitize and wash their hands each time they leave and enter a new space. They will be reminded to cover their mouth if coughing or sneezing. Inola Schools have recently replaced multiple AC/Heater units which we believe have improved our ventilation system. We plan on replacing seven more this year.
What will happen if a student comes to school sick?
We are requesting that parents take their child’s temperature every morning before sending them to school. If they have a temperature of 100, do not send them to school. If a student comes to school and feels bad, the office will screen the student and check their temperature. If their temperature is over the ODH guidance of 100.4 or they show other symptoms such as coughing or difficulty breathing, the student will be sent home and will need to be fever free for 48 hours without medication before returning to school. The student will be isolated in a designated area until the parent or guardian gets there to pick them up. When the child returns to school they will check in with the school office/monitor and be screened for temperature before attending class or going to any public areas with a note stating that they are no longer sick or showing symptoms associated with the COVID virus. On our website we have posted the SDE guidelines we will follow when there are concerns that a student has been exposed. These pages are titled, “What Do My Test Results Mean” and “When Can I Be Around Others”.
How will you help fill any gaps my student has from the previous year?
Students will be assessed to determine individual strengths and weaknesses using programs we have purchased for this purpose. These assessments may determine if students need additional support. Tutoring and other aids will be provided to students throughout the year who need it. We are adding Faculty members to decrease the size of each class in an effort to provide more one-on-one attention. We are adding counseling staff to help address social and emotional needs students may have.
What happens if we have school closures again?
If schools close again, a plan for at-home digital learning has been developed. Teachers and students will utilize Edgenuity, and Google Classroom to deliver virtual and online lessons. Students will learn how to use these Learning Systems by participating in lessons throughout the week while at school. Blended learning that includes both on-site traditional instruction and digital instruction will become the norm. This approach will allow students who might be ill or quarantined for a limited amount of time to continue their education even if they are not physically present in the classroom.
In the event of a temporary school closure, or the determination of the virtual program, how will the district serve students with special needs?
Parents of children with disabilities on a Section 504 Accommodation Plan or on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will want to meet with their team to determine which program is best suited for their child. Inola Public Schools will provide services to meet the needs of the child according to their individual plan. A variety of methods will be used to meet these needs. Each family will be contacted to determine the best plan to meet their student's needs. For additional assistance, please contact Tracy Mootry at 918-543-3104.