Dear Howe Parents;
Two weeks from today on Thursday, Aug 13, all Howe Staff and Students will be returning to school to kick-off the 2020-21 school year. I know many are feeling anxious about the unknowns, and hopefully this communication, will help to fill in some missing information. As we begin the new school year, we are working diligently to provide a safe learning environment for our students. The information provided in this correspondence is not intended to be all inclusive, but a basis to understanding how school will look in the first few days.
Please be assured that we will follow the Oklahoma School Safety Protocols released by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Based upon the linked guidance, and current day COVID-19 data, LeFlore County is under a Yellow Level classification. This level allows for our plan to return to school, and we have chosen for our Teachers and Staff to wear masks when in close proximity to others. For Yellow Level designation, following OK SDE guidelines, we recommend that students in grades 4th-12th wear a mask, and we will be providing masks to all students and staff once school starts. Additionally, all students transported on an AM and/or PM bus route will be required to wear a mask. Based on the color coding system, this could change in the future if LeFlore Co.if the designation color level changes.
The Administration, Teachers and Staff look forward to our continued relationship with your child(ren) and your family as we work together to provide the best possible learning path for all of our students. It is important to note that our efforts to support virtual, blended or distributed learning this year will be significantly different than anything experienced in the Spring. With that said, we hope that an elevated level of patience and understanding will be extended to all of our Howe School’s Family as we are working through circumstances that no one has ever experienced.
The following information is an outline of Howe Public School’s Covid-19 Procedures for the return to school:
Back To School Night: We would like to invite our new students and transitional grade-level students and their parents only to physically attend our open house night on campus scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 11 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm.
Transition Grades are PK, Kdg ,2nd, and 6th. 9th grade students are invited to a Freshman Orientation on Aug 4 at 6:00 pm in the Auditorium. A virtual video orientation for Freshman will also be published online in lieu of a face-to-face meeting. Those links will be shared soon!
Back To School Night: For all returning students in non-transitional grade levels, teachers will provide class information through a virtual meeting AND/OR a pre-recorded video (on demand) for each grade-level/class. More information about accessing these meetings and videos will be shared soon!
First Day of School Procedures: Parents may walk their child into the classroom on the first two days of school (Aug 13-14) if needed, but the parent must wear a mask.
Drop-off Procedures: Starting on Monday, Aug 17, parents will not be admitted to the buildings/classroom and will be asked to follow the following drop off procedures for screening and entry to the classroom:
3YO-PK students should report to the East entrance of the Classroom/Cafeteria building.
Kdg-1st grade students should report to the North entrance of the Early Childhood/Auditorium Building.
2nd-5th grade students should report to the North or South Cafeteria building entrance.
6th-8th grade students should report to the North or South Middle School entrance.
9th-12th grade students should report to First Hour Class and enter the Main High School building from the East or West entrance.
All late arrivals will need to check in at the Elementary or High School Offices.
Parents may check in at each office as needed to speak to the office staff and/or Principal only.
All busses will be assigned seats ONLY and masks will be required while riding the bus, parents are encouraged to transport their students to/from school if your schedule would allow.
Monday, Aug. 3 is the last scheduled Grab and Go Summer lunch program pick-up date. Be sure to complete the meal request form at https://bit.ly/howemeals
Parents will be encouraged to complete a daily log indicating temperature check/home health monitoring to assess daily health of children in the home prior to sending students to school. Hard copies of this form will be sent home on the first day of school.
PPE guidance will come from the OKSDE guidance. Once again, (with the exception of AM/PM bus routes) masks will not be required for any student, but will be strongly recommended for students in grades 4th-12th. These requirements are subject to change based on the OKSDE and State Health Department guidelines linked above.
All classrooms will have access to a temperature wand. Every staff member and student will be issued at least one mask. Certain teachers will also be given plastic face shields to be utilized to maintain the health of our staff and students.
Hand sanitizer will be available at entrances and additional supplies may allow hand sanitizer to also be in every classroom.
All staff will be required to wear a mask when in direct contact with others.
Students in grades 4th-12th should be prepared to carry their personal belongings and school supplies with them between classes in a backpack as we will not be initially using our lockers.
Fogging equipment and classroom disinfectant will be used throughout the school and on busses on a daily schedule.
Water fountains will be used for filling water bottles only, and not for drinking. Students will need to supply their own water bottle. The District is in the process of adding bottle filling stations.
Additionally, If anyone in the student’s home has travelled to a known hot spot within 14 days of school starting please notify the building Principal. The building Principal will review the information shared to determine your individual requirements for returning to school. Mr. Dyer, Elem Principal at 918.658.3508 or Mr. Shoup, HS Principal at 918.658.3368.
I know that this is a tremendous amount of information to take into consideration through a back to school letter, but we feel it important to provide you with a detailed outline of what we are doing to safely start school during this Covid-19 Pandemic. Please contact me at 918.658.3666 or your building Principal if you have any questions or concerns.
We look forward to serving our students during the 2020-21 school year, and we will strive to make this a great year in spite of the perceived challenges! Feel free to visit www.howeschools.org and submit any questions you might have. We are working on publishing a Frequently Asked Questions page on our website.
Scott L. Parks
Howe Public Schools