Lemoore High School District Board of Trustees approves plan to return students to class by January 11

By The Leader Staff
Lemoore High School District Board of Trustees approves plan to return students to class by January 11

The Lemoore High School Board of Trustees voted on October 22 to begin the process of bringing students back to campus, and on that note, the district expects all students to return to campus by Monday, January 11, 2021.

District leaders plan to bring students back to school in stages to promote their safety.

“As we progress toward that reopening, we will be bringing groups of students on our campuses in stages to ensure that all of the precautions that we have in place will ensure everyone’s safety. School officials advise that the student’s individual school contact parents if the parents’ child plans to attend. Participation will be voluntary,” stated a Thursday post on the district’s website.

The reopening plan can be found on the district’s website

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout the school, the district has purchased what they refer to as state-of-the-art bipolar ionization units in the heating and air conditioning units, which officials say will kill the COVID-19 virus in the air.

The district will also reinforce mandates for masks and social distancing while on campus, along with other efforts to combat the virus, including hand sanitizer stations scattered throughout the campus.

School officials say the proposed timeline will allow the district and students to “get past the flu and holiday seasons,” which could spike COVID-19 cases, possibly forcing the district to close down before winter break.

The proposed timeline also allows teachers to prepare for the expected transition to the classroom.

As cited on the website, school officials are currently developing schedules in anticipation of their schools’ reopening. The opening will include the district’s alternative education program and Middle College High School, located on the West Hills College Lemoore campus.

As currently envisioned, Lemoore will likely begin with a schedule that involves just half of the student body on campus at a time to allow for social distancing requirements and transportation needs. Jamison High School and Lemoore Middle College High School will allow all its students at the same time.

Parents will retain parents' option to remain in distance learning or enroll in Independent Study or the school’s online high school.

The Lemoore Union High School District has listed the following precautions that parents and students may take to return successfully to Lemoore High School.

  • TRANSPORTATION Please note: Routes have changed to allow for social distancing, and transportation may not be provided for many students who have previously ridden. This does not affect students with transportation services on their IEP or 504 Plan. Students must wear face coverings on the bus per CDC guidelines and will be required to use hand sanitizer upon entering and departing the bus. Students may walk to school or be driven by parents if they do not wish to ride the bus. Drivers will wear face coverings and have been trained to recognize COVID-19 symptoms. Buses will be cleaned between each route.
  • PARENT/GUARDIANS must screen their children each morning before leaving for school so that they may be kept home if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Students exhibiting symptoms may be turned away from boarding a school bus. The 90 % attendance policy will not be enforced this school year to feel free to stay home when not feeling well. The Community Service graduation requirement has been waived for the Class of 2021. If possible, it is requested that parents send their students with a bottle of hand sanitizer for their safety. There will be hand sanitizer on the buses, in classrooms, and freestanding hand sanitizer stations on campus. Parent/guardians are asked to call with questions or make appointments to see staff members, including administrators, to reduce the number of visitors to the school offices. When possible, SSTs and IEPs may be done virtually as well. Only items essential to students may be brought to school and must be handed directly to the student by the parent/guardian.
  •  STUDENTS must be screened by parents before leaving home for school and kept home if they exhibit symptoms. Information regarding what to look for will be sent to parents from Lemoore Union High School District. Students will be visually screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entering campus each morning. Upon entering and departing classrooms, they must sanitize their hands when entering a school vehicle upon entering and departing classrooms, after eating, coughing, sneezing, or leaving a restroom. Hand sanitizer stations are readily available throughout all campuses. Students will be trained in effective hand washing, face coverings, social distancing, and marked paths of travel on campus. They will be required to wear face coverings in the school’s vehicles, classrooms, and campuses. Accommodations will be made for students with health conditions that prohibit them from wearing a face covering. Students are encouraged to bring water bottles to refill at campus filling stations as water fountains will not be available. All students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (temperature of 100.4 or higher, headache, cough, muscle pain, chills, sore throat, trouble breathing, new loss of taste or smell) at school will be immediately separated from others and evaluated by a nurse to determine if they need to be sent home to contact their physician and/or be tested.
  • ALL STAFF will be self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms daily before coming to school. All staff has been trained in the areas of 1) recognizing COVID-19 symptoms and protocols for reporting, 2) when to stay home, 3) social distancing, 4) hand hygiene, 5) cleaning and disinfecting using EPA approved materials, and 6) how to wear, remove and wash face coverings. All staff must wear face coverings while on campus except when eating or have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing one. If they cannot wear one, they must wear a face shield with a drape.
  •  SCHOOL NURSES Each school site will have a room for students with COVID-19 symptoms to be isolated until they can go home. Students in direct contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer, or a cumulative time of 15 minutes within a 24 hour period) with someone who has tested positive and those who have tested positive will be provided short-term independent study during their isolation/quarantine period. Should your child become exposed to someone who has tested positive, we will contact you. Please make sure that your contact information is always current with your child’s school so that we reach you.
  • CLASSROOMS will be free of unnecessary furniture and clutter to allow for social distancing. They will be set up for students to be seated six feet apart to the extent practicable as students will all face the same direction. Students will be given assigned seating. Students will not be asked to work in groups or be face to face. Teachers will teach six feet from the students. Classrooms will be stocked with hand sanitizer and tissue for student use. Replacement disposable masks will be provided as needed. Students will not share textbooks. Students should bring their personally assigned Chromebook to school daily. School devices may not be used. Students will not share classroom materials unless they are sanitized between each use. Physical Education will be limited to activities that do not involve close contact or sharing equipment. Locker rooms will not be used.
  • All LUHSD campuses will be marked/signed to show a path of travel to maintain social distancing while traveling on campus and when waiting in line.
  • CLEANING/SANITIZING LUHSD custodians will follow the CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools. Only cleaning and disinfecting agents known to be effective against COVID-19 will be used and will be asthma safe. A known infected person's areas will be closed down for 24 hours and will then be cleaned and disinfected. All restrooms will be cleaned and stocked with handwashing supplies at least four times each day. All classrooms will be disinfected each evening using a disinfectant fogger. All high touch surfaces will be cleaned between periods and each night. Campuses will all have freestanding hand sanitizer stations for student use.
  • VISITORS All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, including having their temperature taken before being allowed to enter the campus. All visitors will be required to wear face coverings. Parents must make appointments to meet with the staff. Campuses will limit visitors to those essential in supporting our students, such as Rancheria Liaisons, Social Workers, and College and Behavioral Health Counselors.
  • SCHOOL MEALS will be prepackaged. Food Service staff will wear gloves and face coverings when preparing and serving meals. Food carts will be available at brunch and lunch at LHS and Jamison High Schools. The LHS cafeteria will have two new socially distanced service lines available at lunch. The West Hill College Student Union will continue to serve meals on a limited basis on the West Hills campus for LMCHS students. The LHS cafeteria will also continue to serve meals at LMCHS. Juniors and Seniors will continue to be allowed to leave campus for lunch.
  • BAND/CHOIR Both band and choir may only perform outside due to COVID-19. Students must be physically distanced and wear face coverings to the maximum extent possible. The playing of wind instruments is prohibited at this time. Parents need to be aware of the increased likelihood of transmission from exhaled droplets during singing and band practices.
  • ATHLETICS AND OTHER EXTRACURRICULAR Large group gatherings, field trips, and competitions will not be allowed until we are in the Yellow Tier. Athletic conditioning began on September 21, 2020, for the following sports: cross country, water polo, volleyball, cheer, and football. Practices will be allowed to start on December 9, 2020. Soccer, tennis, swimming, wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, and track dates will be set later. All dates are subject to change due to air quality and the status of COVID-19 in Kings County.
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