Dear Westbrook School Community,
We have drafted a document for the 2021-2022 School Year entitled "Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan" to begin planning for the new school year and as a requirement for the American Rescue Plan ESSER Grant funding. We invite and encourage you to offer feedback and suggestions as we revise this document in the weeks ahead and as new information becomes available from the Center of Disease Prevention and Connecticut Department of Public Health. To provide feedback, please follow this link to a brief survey.
On Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at the Westbrook Board of Education meeting there will be an opportunity for public comment to provide feedback at that time as well.
The draft plan is attached to this email and pasted below.
As always, thank you for your time, insights, and partnership.
Kristina J. Martineau, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Westbrook Public Schools
Westbrook Public Schools
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
2021-2022 School Year
DRAFT June 4, 2021
Feedback and Input via School Community Survey on 6/4/2021
And Public Comment Opportunity on 6/8/2021 during BOE Regular Meeting
Section I. Health and Safety Strategies
Universal and Correct Wearing of Masks
As of May 15, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend preventive, mitigation strategies to support safe in-person teaching and learning in schools. The universal and correct wearing of masks is a critical component of a layered, mitigation strategy to keep schools open and in-person as safely as possible. The schools will continue to enforce indoor mask requirements and provide disposable masks when needed for students, staff, and visitors.
Indoors: All students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings inside all school buildings and on school buses per CDC guidelines and BOE policy for the 2021-2022 school year.
Outdoors: At this time, all students and staff will be required to wear face coverings outdoors during large events if social distancing is not possible or if the event requires participants to be stationary for extended periods of time. Under certain circumstances per CT Department of Health, students and staff may remove masks during recess, gym, and outdoor activities that include movement and when other mitigation strategies are in place.
Westbrook Public Schools will continue to follow the latest CDC guidelines and CT Department of Health as it relates to universal and correct wearing of masks and periodically update this plan to reflect most recent guidance.
Westbrook Public Schools has adopted a policy requiring the use of face coverings for all students and staff when they are inside the school building, with certain exceptions listed below.
For anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, face coverings and masks should not be required, per CDC guidance.
For anyone who has a medical reason making it unsafe to wear a face covering, masks should not be required. These instances are highly unusual. A doctor’s note and review by the school medical advisor will be required.
Westbrook Public Schools will:
Request a medical note from a provider for students and staff who have a medical reason making it unsafe to wear a face covering. Review with the school medical advisor.
Provide a mask for any student or staff member who does not have one on any given day.
Teach and reinforce the use of face coverings, avoid touching the face, and washing of hands for students and staff.
Set clear guidelines regarding limited exceptions to the use of face coverings when other mitigating practices are in place and mask breaks throughout the day by taking students outside, at lunch, or at recess.
Educate staff when face shields may be appropriate and should be worn for additional protection.
Educate staff regarding the appropriate use of clear masks.
Current CDC and CT DPH guidance on social distancing remains the same for schools and unvaccinated individuals. Many of our students are not currently eligible for vaccination. At this time, we plan to continue to implement recommended social distancing practices inside all school buildings and on school transportation.
Westbrook Public Schools will:
Assist staff and students to maintain maximum social distancing between individuals to reduce the transmission of the virus per the public health guidelines at that time.
Provide face shields for staff who work with students who may require closer proximity or direct contact.
Communicate and educate students, staff, and families regarding social distancing requirements and best practices.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
Handwashing and respiratory etiquette is another element of a layered mitigation strategy for schools to remain safe, healthy, open, and in-person for the 2021-2022 school year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends handwashing techniques that include 20 seconds of washing with soap and water. If water and soap is unavailable, 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended.
CDC’s Recommended 6-Step Process for Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette:
Westbrook Public Schools will:
Expect students and staff to wash or sanitize their hands upon entry of the building or classroom and throughout the day.
Teach and reinforce hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Put systems in place to communicate the most up-to-date policies and protocols related to the considerations herein, for staff, students, and families. This information will be shared by principals in messages to families and on the district website.
Make plans available in relevant languages of families in the community, as well as accessible to those with visual and /or hearing impairments.
Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities
Westbrook Public Schools will continue to follow the most updated cleaning protocols recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Connecticut Department of Health.
Current guidelines and recommended practices for Westbrook Public Schools:
Westbrook Public Schools will continue to train all custodial staff and employees on the latest cleaning protocols as a critical component of a layered mitigation strategy plan to keep students and staff safe and healthy during this pandemic.
Ventilation systems- requirements and protocols- will remain in effect and in compliance with the most current CDC and CT DPH guidance.
Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine Procedures
Westbrook Public Schools will continue to follow the guidelines outlined in Addendum 9 to Adapt, Advance, and Achieve document for the 2021-2022 school year. As additional guidance becomes available, Westbrook Public Schools will update our district plan.
Under current state guidelines for schools, Westbrook Public Schools will follow recommended contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine procedures as described below:
Diagnostic Screening and Testing
Westbrook Public Schools will continue to follow CDC and CT DPH guidance regarding diagnostic screening and testing recommendations, including partnering with local health departments to increase access to the most updated information regarding screening and testing locations.
At this time, Westbrook Public Schools does not plan to test students and staff onsite.
Covid-19 Vaccinations- Eligibility and Access
Westbrook Public Schools will continue to partner with the Westbrook Health Department and CT River Area Health District to communicate the most updated information regarding vaccination sites, student eligibility, and access as it becomes available.
Accommodations for Children with Disabilities (Health and Safety)
Children with disabilities, whether on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a Section 504 plan, are expected to comply with all district health and safety protocols. Individualized accommodations can be provided through a PPT or 504 meeting based on individual student medical and/or social/emotional/behavioral needs by team recommendation. A plan will be developed and communicated to appropriate staff members implementing services for that student. Teams will reconvene as needed to review progress and revise plans if necessary.
Section II. Continuity of Services
For the summer and next school year 2021-2022, Westbrook Public Schools must ensure that students with specialized needs, i.e., IEP, 504 or English Learner (EL) plans, have access to the general education activities available to all students. Additionally, some students with specialized needs may require recovery services. We are cognizant of the potential disproportionate effect the Covid-19 pandemic may have had on certain student subgroups, in particular, the groups mentioned above. The primary focus of Westbrook Public Schools will be seeking authentic engagement of families and students to address students’ current needs by reviewing data, updating present levels of performance, examining student progress toward annual goals and short-term objectives, and reviewing, revising, and/or temporarily increasing the intensity of specialized services, including related services, as needed.
Educational recovery is academic and related services provided to a student to remediate lack of expected progress and/or regression of skills as a result of delayed, interrupted, suspended, or inaccessible services caused by the pandemic. Educational recovery is not intended as a minute for minute replacement for disrupted educational time, but rather aims to make time-limited adjustments to the student’s learning plan to address lack of expected progress, mastery of essential skills, and prevention of further regression. Education recovery is distinct and separate from compensatory education, which is an equitable remedy to address situations where a school district has failed to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
Not all students with specialized needs will need educational recovery. In fact, many students have made meaningful progress and growth during this time period while being educated through in-person or remote learning modes of instruction. The district has committed to engage in a data-driven, individualized, and collaborative process when determining if a student needs education recovery in addition to general education programming.
Educational recovery can be provided at any time (e.g., during the school day, before/after school, during breaks, etc.). District staff and parents/guardians will work together to maintain a balance of a student’s placement in general education environments and opportunities to participate in extracurricular/nonacademic activities with the need for educational recovery. Despite the benefit of educational recovery, it should not be rushed or delivered at the expense of a student’s social/emotional well-being.
Extended School Year (ESY) means special education and related services that are provided to a student with a disability beyond the school district’s normal school year in accordance with the student’s IEP and at no cost to the parent. An individualized determination regarding a student's eligibility for ESY services must be made annually. The Connecticut standard for determining if a student qualifies to receive ESY services includes both regression/recoupment criteria and non-regression criteria. The need for ESY and the need for educational recovery are separate determinations.
Opportunities for Public Comment, Feedback and Suggestions
This plan will be updated every six months (and earlier, if needed) based on the most updated data and guidance available to Westbrook Public Schools from Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Connecticut State Department of Public Health as it relates to Covid-19. This plan will be posted on the district website and emailed to the school community via SchoolMessenger. This plan will also be available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Anticipated Future Public Input Opportunities:
School Year 2021-2022
December 2021 BOE Regular Meeting
Revised Plan posted by January 2022
June 2022 BOE Regular Meeting
Revised Plan posted by July 2022
School Year 2022-2023
December 2022 BOE Regular Meeting
Revised Plan posted by January 2023
June 2023 BOE Regular Meeting
Revised Plan posted by July 2023
DRAFT Westbrook 2021-2022 Safe Return to In Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan.pdf