With districts around the state switching to a hybrid delivery model there have been questions about what that will look like in Sterling Schools. We hope our plan of keeping students masked, using social distancing, and frequently sanitizing hands and surfaces will allow us to avoid going hybrid. We will continue to serve all kids in school until the county gating criteria is red, AND we are not able to quickly identify infected students and their close contacts. If there is widespread community transmission and positive cases are in the buildings exposing concerning numbers of staff and students, we will consult with the county health officer and local physicians to help decide if it is time to make the change. There are many factors that could impact our implementation, but this is what hybrid would look like for us.
Sterling Grade School
Keeping elementary kids in school is critically important for their mental, physical, and academic well being. Young students are less likely than older children to catch or transmit the virus. That fact, paired with the careful implantation of precautions, will allow us to keep all of our kids in school safely. Some studies indicate students are less likely to become infected at school than if school is not available everyday. Students in daycare or being cared for in groups at a private residence are less likely to take precautions. There is also a serious impact on families and the community when young children are out of school. Parents have to miss work and businesses have to do without workers
The enhanced precautions will include:
Pre-K-6 students will continue to come to school every day, but the day will look different.
Students will not travel around the building. Art, music, library, and lunch will all be done in the classroom. We will assign staff to work outside to give the kids PE/Recess outside or in a large group area where they can get a mask break, and teachers can do their planning.
Schedules will change slightly to keep students from congregating in large areas, or passing in the hallways in large numbers. That will mean a slightly staggered start and dismissal. It will also mean breaks are carefully scheduled in assigned areas so that there is not intermingling of classes.
Sterling Junior/Senior High School
Because the risk of infection and transmission is higher for older students changes will be more significant. The impact of a hybrid instruction is likely to be less severe for older students as they are more able to work independently and ask for help when they need it. Students that start to fall behind will be assigned in-person instruction everyday allowing us to be able to keep all of our kids moving forward.
Students will be divided into two groups. Half will attend school in person every Monday/Tuesday and the other half will attend in person every Wednesday/Thursday. The days that they are not in school they will attend live online through Google Meet. We will adjust for weeks with fewer than five days and notify students and families via email, our website, and social media in advance.
Students that need the most help will attend every day. The criteria for determining who that will be has not been established. It will likely include students with an IEP, students with a grade of D or F, and students with missing assignments.
On Friday, only the students identified as needing the most help will attend in person. All other students will be expected to participate online.
A decision on activities will be made based on the situation at the time, but we will continue with everything that we possibly can.
A few additional considerations:
If the time comes to move to hybrid we will close school for one day to prepare for the transition
We will plan to go to hybrid for two weeks then reassess.
It is possible that we would only implement in one building. The grade school may even have only one wing in hybrid (pk-2 or 3-6). We will do our best to impact the fewest students possible while making sure we are taking necessary steps to keep our staff and students safe.
The decision to make a change to this model will be made by school administration in consultation with county health and our local healthcare providers. The KSDE/KDHE recommended gating criteria will be taken into consideration and well as the specific details of our situation.