• ChallengeInspirePrepare
Admin

School Reopening Fall 2020


The Plymouth Public Schools will Reopen Schools under

Plan B - Hybrid Model
As of August 13th, we will reopen under Plan B
First Day of School - Thursday, September 3 - A Day (Half Day)
Current Opening Schedule

The Plymouth Public Schools are committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff.  The pandemic has caused significant harm to our society.  Our schools play a vital role in supporting our students and parents.  The opportunities we provide for academic growth are essential.  However, the opportunities for social and emotional growth are equally important at this time.  That is why we will do our best to open schools and keep them open.

COVID-19 is a health emergency and therefore we will take guidance from experts in the field of health, especially experts of infectious disease.  The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) developed a set of primary and secondary metrics adapted from the Harvard Global Institute and supplemented with existing DPH measures.  These metrics will be reviewed weekly by the Superintendent of Schools, Director of Nursing, Medical Advisor and the DPH to guide the decision making process as it relates directly to our learning plan.  You may find the most recent indicator metrics here. Seven Day rolling average data is available for Litchfield County. You will need to click Litchfield County on the map.

Given the current metrics from the DPH, as of August 13, the Plymouth Public Schools will reopen under Plan B, Hybrid Model.  Parents may choose the remote learning option whenever the district has chosen either Plan A or Plan B.  The metrics, in conjunction with our medical team, will continue to drive our weekly decisions on our Learning Plan.  

Daily Health Screen Weekly Health Data
Cleaning Checklist Mask Toleration
Complete Reopening Plan State Reopening Plan
Reopening Communications Heat Index

COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison:  Sherri Turner

Working in conjunction with the Director of Nursing, Torrington Area Health Director and Medical Advisor, our liaison will work to ensure that the district is following all safety protocols.
 

Universal Precautions for Families
COVID Testing Sites Near Terryville
Plymouth Schools Reopening FAQ's

CT State Dept of Ed Reopening FAQ's Vol 1
CT State Dept of Ed Reopening FAQ's Vol 2

Contents
 Plan A - Full In-Person Instruction
 Plan B - Hybrid Model
 Plan C - Full Distance Learning
Remote Learning
Home Schooling
Special Education
Health Practices
Transportation
Illness Protocols
Additional Information
Chromebook Support

Plan A - Full In-Person Instruction

This plan looks the most like our traditional program.  Students will be in school with their teachers and fellow students.  The curriculum and instruction will be similar to previous years with adjustments made to accommodate social distancing (e.g. small group work done electronically where possible). Google Classroom will be used as the learning platform K-12, which will allow for more seamless transitions if/when the health metrics require a pivot from one plan to another.  Masks will be required to participate in this plan.  If you believe your child qualifies for a medical mask exemption, please contact your student’s school nurse.  Teachers will ensure students are sanitizing hands when entering the classroom, eating, and before and after mask breaks as well as provide opportunities throughout the day where students are sanitizing their hands in the classroom.  Students and staff will be expected to conduct a daily health screening at home.  No student or staff member should come to school having failed any part of the health screening. 

Terryville High School 

Students will follow the schedule they were assigned based on last year’s course selection and recommendation process, which includes access to elective classes. All classes will have teacher-led Google Classrooms associated with them used primarily for posting instructional materials, assigning and collecting work, and providing feedback. This will allow for teachers and students to seamlessly transition into either the hybrid (Plan B) or full distance learning (Plan C) plans as may be necessary throughout the school year.
Each student will be spaced as far apart as feasible from other students facing the front of the classroom. Students and staff will be required to wear masks. In order to maximize social distancing, larger classes will be relocated to larger spaces such as the gym, library, or auditorium when feasible. Additionally, excess furniture will be removed from classrooms and replaced by desks arranged in rows, facing the same direction, and spaced as far apart as possible given the size of the classroom. Where possible, students will not sit at common tables, and they will not move desks together to facilitate group work.
In order to minimize interactions between students and staff throughout the day, the schedule will be adjusted to a modified block schedule model, which reduces both the number of transitions between classes and the number of unique daily interactions between students and staff.  Changing the schedule to decrease the amount of passing time works in conjunction with a plan to stagger release times from classrooms to minimize the number of people in the hallway at any given time.  Bathrooms will be locked during these times and will only be accessible during class periods in order to reduce the number of students in the lavatory at any given time.  Seniors and sophomores will be dismissed from school at 2:10pm.  Juniors and freshmen will be dismissed from classes at 2:12pm

Eli Terry Jr. Middle School

Students will follow a typical middle school course load with a few adjustments.  The adjustments will include unified arts rotating by trimester, following a 7-day schedule rotation where two classes are dropped each day and classes are approximately 70 minutes. All classes will have teacher-led Google Classrooms associated with them used primarily for posting instructional materials, assigning and collecting work, and providing feedback. This will allow for teachers and students to seamlessly transition into either the hybrid (Plan B) or full distance learning (Plan C) plans as may be necessary throughout the school year.
Each student will be spaced as far apart as feasible from other students facing the front of the classroom.  Students and staff will be required to wear masks.   
In order to minimize interactions between students and staff throughout the day, students will remain in their assigned classroom cohort of approximately 12-18 students.  Teachers will rotate through classrooms and desks will be arranged in rows that comply with the CDC guidelines.  Grade level cohorts will be strategically placed in the building to ensure supervision and reduced interaction between students.  Bathrooms will be assigned by grade level.  Students entering the building in the morning will continue to use the designated entrances.  Students will be released one bus at a time.  Students who are dropped off by a parent/guardian will be reminded to walk in the building and maintain social distancing.  During dismissal, students will be dismissed by cohort.
Additional furniture will be removed from classrooms where only student desks and necessary instructional materials will be utilized.  Desks will remain in rows and 6’ apart where feasible.  Student materials will be stored at the individual’s assigned desk and lockers will not be issued.

Elementary Schools

Students will have Chromebooks assigned to them and teachers will utilize Google Classroom in grades 3 - 5 for written responses, as well as for posting assignments regularly.  In grades K - 2, Google Classroom will be utilized to post assignments and for submission when appropriate.  Think Central will be utilized in all classrooms grades K-5 as well as Lexia and Raz Kids.  
Students will remain in their classroom groups throughout the entire day.  They will eat lunch in classrooms, behind specially purchased dividers, and the outdoor spaces will be separated into sections to keep classrooms separated during recess. Specials teachers will operate on carts and will be taking their learning experiences to the classrooms.  PE will be conducted outside as weather permits.  There will be designated bathrooms and bathroom times for classrooms.  The building will be zoned so staff and students are primarily confined to one hallway.  Specials will also be conducted on a rotating 4-week basis.  For example, Class A will be in music for the first 4 weeks, Class B in art, and Class C in PE.  This will minimize exposure for staff and students.
Each student will be spaced as far apart as feasible from other students facing the front of the classroom.  Students and staff will be required to wear masks.   Teachers will ensure students are sanitizing hands when entering the classroom, eating, and before and after mask breaks as well as provide times throughout the day where students are sanitizing their hands regularly in the classroom.  

Plan B - Hybrid Model
This plan has components of both Plan A (Full, In-Person) and Plan C (Distance Learning).  If the district moves to Plan B, then only 50% of students will attend school at any one time.  When attending school in-person, students and staff will be expected to follow all expectations in Plan A.  Curriculum and instruction will be modified to accommodate the split schedule.  Students at home will engage in more independent work, while students on-site will engage in more teacher-facilitated work.  Additional on-line resources will be used to support students working from home.


School A Day
B Day
 PCS  A → Ki
 Kl → Z
 FES  A → Kos  Kot → Z
 ETJMS  A → Kles  Klet → Z
 THS  A → Kee  Kef → Z

Cohort 1 will attend physical school on Monday and Tuesday and participate in distance learning activities during the remainder of the week.  
Cohort 2 will attend school on Thursday and Friday and participate in distance learning activities during the remainder of the week.  
The cohorts were created to ensure that younger siblings with older siblings would be at home on the same days.  We reserve the right to make changes to these cohorts in order to maximize social distancing.

 

Terryville High School

Homeroom would be added as an 8th period and treated as a structured study hall where students would have a guaranteed opportunity to work on their asynchronous work.  
Instruction and assignments will continue to be accessed primarily through Google Classroom. Work will be posted on a weekly basis, with students receiving direct instruction from their teachers when they are in school and utilizing their home days to access additional instructional resources and complete assignments, similar to the distance-learning model. Students in school will attend a 4x4 block schedule for the two days they are in session.  

Eli Terry Jr. Middle School 

The middle school schedule will include all students remaining in their cohort and engaging in 5 core classes and 2 Unified Art Classes.  Classes will be 50 minutes in duration.  When students are receiving their education at home, they will access content and assignments through teacher videos and resources on Google Classroom.  
Instruction and assignments will continue to be accessed primarily through Google Classroom. Work will be posted on a weekly basis, with students receiving direct instruction from their teachers when they are in school and utilizing their home days to access additional instructional resources and complete assignments, similar to the distance learning model. Students in school will attend a 7 period schedule for the two days they are in session.  

Elementary Schools

When students are in school, they will continue with their schedule as in Plan A.  When students are receiving their education at home, they will access content and assignments through teacher videos and resources on Google Classroom.  On Wednesdays, students will meet with teachers in small groups, as assigned by the teacher, and teachers will have time to develop and post videos.

 Plan C - Full Distance Learning

Our full distance learning plan will incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for all students.  Google Classroom will be the primary platform for teachers to post instructional videos, resources, and assignments.  Curriculum and instruction will switch into a fully on-line mode with the goal that roughly 50% of the learning would be synchronous and 50% asynchronous.  Students at the elementary level would have approximately 3-4 hours of work a day.  Students at the secondary level would have approximately 4-5 hours of work a day.  Due to the decrease in instructional time, the curriculum would be paired down to the essential standards for the grade level and additional online resources will be used to support students working at home. 

Terryville High School

Distance learning will follow a similar schedule to the hybrid model with 45-minute synchronous classes  taking place by period.  Periods A-D will meet on Mondays and Thursdays and periods E-G will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Wednesdays will be reserved for asynchronous work and office hours for students to receive additional support where applicable.

Eli Terry Jr. Middle School

Distance learning will follow an AB block schedule, with ELA, Social Studies, and  ELA lab classes posting on Monday/Wednesday; Math, Science, and Math Lab classes posting on Tuesday/Thursday; and Friday being utilized to complete outstanding work, engage in small groups for additional support, SEL opportunities, and clubs.  Assignments will be due the following day by 3:00pm.   Unified arts classes will post their assignments on Monday by 12:00 PM. Students will submit their UA assignments on Friday by 3:00 PM

Elementary Schools
Teachers will provide daily mini lessons in reading, writing and mathematics through 8-10 video lessons on Google Classroom.  Assignments will be provided for students to complete regularly and submit in Google Classroom, Think Central, Lexia, and Raz Kids.  Teachers will have office hours and meet with students weekly to provide assistance and differentiated instruction.  This differentiated instruction may include scheduled small groups and/or 1-1 conferencing, if necessary, on a scheduled basis.  Specials will provide one lesson and one learning activity per week via Google Classroom.  History and science will be provided, with weekly lessons through Google Classroom.  Tier II and III students will meet with tutors weekly based on their achievement in Think Central and Lexia to receive individualized instruction.

Remote Learning

If the district implements either Plan A or Plan B, then parents have the right to keep their child home and engage in “Remote Learning”.  Remote learning is not the same as Plan C.  If a parent chooses to engage in the Remote Learning option, they must be prepared to follow all of the expectations laid out by the State Department of Education for this option.  You can access these expectations here.  In summary, parents are expected to fully engage and supervise their children to “fully and effectively access the remote learning program”; Districts are expected to track daily attendance for all students in the remote learning option; and the instructional program developed by the school district for this option will likely not include instructional advantages that will be received by students attending physical school in Plan A or Plan B.  Finally, if the district moves to Plan C, this remote learning option will no longer be available to any student.  
If a parent chooses Remote Learning for their child, then the student will engage in either synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction.  Google Classroom will remain the learning platform and students will be assigned the same or similar work as their classmates who are physically present in school.  In many cases, students will watch the actual instruction that occurred in their classroom but not necessarily in “real time”.  Students engaged in remote learning will receive less teacher feedback than peers who are physically in the building because of the remote nature of this option.  Like all students, students in remote learning will have access to a district Chromebook for their use.  

Home Schooling
Home schooling is always an option for parents.  The home schooling option puts the responsibility of education directly into the hands of the parent.  If a parent would like to home school their child, they should write the Superintendent of Schools and declare that they will take full responsibility for home schooling their child.  The school will withdraw the child with the expectation that the parent/guardian will provide a home-school curriculum.  Parents who choose this option may reverse their decision at any time by writing another letter to the Superintendent of Schools. 

Special Education
The Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Education, in coordination with building based special education teams, will oversee the transition back to school for all students with Individualized Education Plans. Plymouth Public Schools understands that there has been no waiver of requirements under IDEA and will continue to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students, as well as those individuals providing education, specialized instruction, and related services to these students. Federal disability law does allow for flexibility in determining how to meet the individualized needs of students receiving special education services and this will be considered throughout reopening.
Teams will treat students with disabilities as general education students first; guidance and policies related to school reopening plans apply to all students. Teams understand that the challenges of reopening may impact students with disabilities to a great extent than their peers and it may take longer to remediate their learning. If a student with a disability is unable to access the reopening plan as designed, teams will facilitate individualized and alternative means of re-entry based upon student need, present levels of functioning, developmental levels, and student/parent input. Blended learning schedules may be considered.
Programming decisions for students will not be made based on a student’s disability category. However, the nature and/or severity of a student’s disability may require unique considerations. Protocols for individual students will consider that student’s developmental level and skills. Under the supervision of the Director, the schools will be prepared for any special or unique needs for students with disabilities related to planned district or school wide procedures.
Plymouth Public Schools understands that masks exceptions may be necessary for special education students or other special populations. In situations where a student cannot wear a mask or a mask needs to be removed; other mitigation strategies will be implemented including but not limited to maximum social distancing. Special Education teams will oversee appropriate accommodations for students and share innovative ways to meet unique student needs with teachers.

 

Health Practices: Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance.

Students and staff will be trained on each of the areas below.  Signage will be placed around all schools to reinforce proper routines and protocols.
Wear a mask: Our schools, in compliance with the State Department of Education School Reopening Plan, will require all students and staff wear masks that cover the mouth and nose throughout the day. Masks or cloth masks with an exhalation valve or vent are not recommended by the CDC and therefore should not be used while at work. Students and staff will supply their own masks. Masks will be made available if you do not have one. If children qualify for a mask exemption then alternatives may be explored.  When children are outdoors, they will likely be able to remove their masks. Students who refuse to wear a mask will be subject to disciplinary consequences that will include suspension from school.
Wash your hands: We will require frequent student and staff hand washing and/or sanitizing. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the schools. Students will be taught proper hand washing techniques.
Keep your Distance: We will stay 6 ft away from each other to the maximum extent possible.  Desks will face the same direction and as far apart as possible.  Unnecessary furniture will be removed to allow for additional space.  

Transportation

Current guidelines allow school systems to run buses close to maximum capacity.  Therefore, we ask that any parent who is able to transport their child to and from school do so.  
Students and adults waiting and school district designated bus stops are required to wear a mask.  
Any adult and all students riding the bus are required to wear a face mask.  Failure to comply may result in loss of bus privileges.  Bus drivers will have additional masks if a child loses his/her mask.  
Buses will load from the back to the front but Kindergarten and Grade 1 students will have assigned seating at the front of the bus.
You should expect changes to parent drop-off and pick-up protocols.  Please look for those from your building principal in the future.

Illness Protocols

Staff and students should complete the Daily Health Assessment and stay away from schools if they are experiencing any of the symptoms in the assessment.  

An isolation room will be available for any staff or student who becomes ill while at school.  

Students who are home sick will be allowed to participate in our remote learning program.

Additional Information
Visitors will be allowed into the schools on a very limited basis.  Please call the school before trying to visit.


*Back to the top*

Copyright © 2016 Plymouth Public Schools
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.