Winona Wildcat Families,
The past several months have been challenging and difficult for our community. I believe many of us can agree that our students need to return to the classroom. With that being said we have been working diligently on developing a plan that focuses on student safety, while attempting to maintain a “normal” school environment. I ask for patience and grace during the 20-21 school year. I promise you we want children back in our care, and want nothing more than for things to be back to normal. Until that day comes we will have several changes in place to stop the spread of germs, and protect everyone to the best of our ability. I hope the following bullets answer many of your questions and concerns.
- School will start for everyone on August 17th. I firmly believe we have the best teachers in the country, and nothing replaces the education our students get in the classroom. Kids benefit from social engagement, peer interaction, recess, physical activity, and all of the other interactions that happen during the school day. With that being said, we will have virtual programs available for students who need to stay home. If you believe that online learning would be best for your student please email the appropriate principal BEFORE August 3rd. Include your child’s name/grade, and a good contact number. They will call to discuss the program, and help make a decision to move forward.
- Masks are strongly encouraged, but they are NOT mandatory. Even if your child does not plan on wearing one all day, packing one in their school supplies is a good idea. Sometimes with young students it is difficult to predict when someone will start feeling ill/coughing/running a fever, etc. If your child has a mask with them at least they will have the choice of whether or not to wear it, when someone in their class gets sick.
- Perfect attendance will not be recognized nor encouraged. If your student is sick, PLEASE keep them home. This includes fever, chills, sore throat, headache, coughing, difficulty breathing. We will still be calling home to check on students when they are absent.
- Students need to bring a refillable drinking bottle, water fountains will not be in use, only water filling stations.
- Outside adults will not be allowed in the buildings (with exception to parent/principal or other necessary meetings). Please call the high school/middle school office to check students out. There will be a window at the elementary office to check students out, or deliver medicine/forgotten items. Classroom parties will also be closed to parents or adults. This is extremely difficult for us, we LOVE having our parents here, we have always been a close knit school, and will miss visiting and seeing your smiling faces during the day.
- Bus transportation is an area that is extremely difficult to socially distance properly. We will still be running routes, and will gladly transport your child to and from school. Busses will be sanitized and students will have assigned seats. If a child riding the bus tests positive many students on that same bus will likely have to quarantine for 14 days. For this reason we are asking a couple of things
- NO bus changes (with the exception of calling to let us know someone will be coming to pick your student up). On most days we have over 30 bus changes, it becomes almost impossible to maintain seating charts, and trace who might have been exposed when students are constantly riding different busses every day.
- If you can deliver your child to and from school please let us know. Call the superintendent’s office @ 573-325-8101. This will cut down on the potential exposure/quarantine for your child, and it will provide additional space for students/parents who depend on bus transportation.
- Because of the close quarters we strongly encourage students to wear a mask on the bus
- The lunch room is another area of concern. Outdoor seating will be available for students, and some classes will be allowed to take their food back to the classroom to eat. A rotating calendar will be developed. Primary grades (kdg.-2nd) will most likely always eat in the lunch room, while older students will rotate to other seating areas. Students who pack their lunch….please stay away from food that needs to be warmed. If 10-15 students are constantly going to the lunch room to heat food, it defeats the purpose of attempting to keep grades separated.
- Teachers will have seating charts, focusing on a 3-6 foot distance between desks, as well as forward facing.
- There will no open house prior to school starting for grades 3rd-12th. Students in these grades need to bring their supplies with them to school on the 17th. Mrs. Williams will release times for grades kindergarten-2nd to drop by in the coming days.
- This plan is NOT fool proof! A lot of time and discussion has went into identifying areas of concern, and developing ways to address the issues. Things will change as the year progresses, we are far from perfect, please be patient as this is uncharted water for us all!
Kindergarten-6th grade contact: Jana Williams
7th grade-12th grade contact: Gilbert Miley