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Welcome Back Message from Dr. Richardson

Video Link:  Welcome Back Message from Dr. Richardson

 

Hello East Parents.

I want to begin by thanking you for all your kind words of support as we plan to start what promises to be a school year unlike any we’ve experienced.  I’m sorry that I haven’t shared a message in a while, but with the constantly evolving guidance that we are receiving regarding COVID-19, I had been concerned that any message I sent would become incorrect within a matter of days.

I want to emphasize that the best source of guidance and information regarding our school district’s response to COVID-19 may be found on the district school reopening website (https://www.vestavia.k12.al.us/covid19).  What I’m sharing today is my effort to apply that guidance to our specific circumstances at East.

I’m going to focus mainly today on our traditional/ in-school learning protocols, with more details about remote learning coming soon.

  • Face Coverings--Please know that we will do all we can to make sure that children keep those face masks on that you send to school while they are in the building.  We also encourage you to send extra in case one becomes damaged, lost, etc…  Please know that the latest requirement for our district is that all children at East, pre-K through 5th, will be expected to wear face masks while indoors each day.  We do plan to give children breaks from masks during recess and outdoor times, and, of course during lunch and snack times.

 

  • Social Distancing—This might be the single biggest challenge that schools face.  With as many as 20 children in some classrooms, it is not possible to space them six-feet apart.  We will do all we can to keep children at least three feet apart.  During recess and PE, we will also try to make sure that children do not huddle together, and that they stay spaced out as much as possible during this active time.

 

  • Disinfecting—Every classroom will be sprayed with hospital grade neutral germicidal cleaner daily and throughout the day.  Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the building, and two water bottle filling stations have been added, with more coming in the coming days and weeks.  So, please send water bottles with your children each day.

 

  • Arrival—Instead of using just one holding area for children arriving between 7:15 and 7:30, we will use multiple locations, where we can space them apart.  

 

  • Dismissal—Students will wait inside each day during afternoon carpool.  We will call numbers in to the building and display them in classrooms, where students will be waiting and watching for their number.

 

  • Lunch—We will operate our lunchroom at half capacity this year, with students alternating weeks eating in the lunchroom and in their classroom.  Unfortunately, to start the year, we will not be able to have parents or outside guests join us for lunch.

 

  • Meet the Teacher Day—Our Meet the Teacher event for traditional learners will be an all-day event on Wednesday, August 19th.  The schedule will be posted on our website.  We ask that only immediate family members attend and plan to visit their classroom during the assigned time and exit the building by the end of the 30 minute designated time.  Please wear masks and socially distance on that day.  Teacher assignments will be emailed to families that morning.  For remote learners, a virtual Meet the Teacher event will also take place that day.  Details will be coming soon.

 

  • Parent Orientation—Parent orientation will be provided through teacher-created videos this year, with parents invited to communicate as needed with questions via email, phone, or virtual meetings.

 

  • Chromebooks—Finally, I’m happy to announce that every child in the traditional and remote learning models will be issued a Chromebook to use for school this year. 

 

Please know that throughout this year we intend to make every effort to ensure that our students, in-person and remote, are safe, learning, and happy while they are attending school.

Thank you for your continuing support and flexibility as we serve your children together.

Having an Wonderful, Unprecedented Time at School,

Mark