Admin

Specific Area Supports

Special Education

Mental Health - Students & Staff

Technology

Transportation

Child Nutrition

Communication

Special Education

Kanawha County Schools remains committed to providing a Free Appropriate Public Education while balancing the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities during this national health emergency. Moving into the 2020-21 school year, the school system’s focus is on a safe transition back to school, implementation of IEPs, procedural implications and family outreach necessary to properly support students.

After school starts, an IEP meeting will be conducted for each student to identify any learning gaps due to the pandemic, address schedule changes, service model changes if a student will be in the Virtual school program or the eLearning program, and remote learning supports needed if the county is required to implement full remote learning.

 Elementary schools will consider how to provide special education services that enables students to stay in their core group throughout the day.

Virtual courses have been developed for K-12 special education students who have significant cognitive delays and are on the alternate curriculum. IPads will be provided for any student who is enrolled in this program. Related services will be provided virtually.

 Speech Therapists, teachers of the Hearing Impaired, Educational Interpreters, School Psychologist and Specialists have been provided face shields so that students can see their faces. Speech Therapists have been provided a sneeze guard for their spaces.

A protocol has been developed and approved by the Kanawha Charleston Health Department for one-on-one testing of students.

 Special Education staff will work with school nurses to update any health care plans for medically fragile students.

All IEPs, evaluations and Eligibility Committee Meetings will be within timelines either virtually using Microsoft TEAMs or by practicing social distancing.

 The KCS Parent Educator Resource Center and your local school will be available to support and provide training for parents to facilitate learning at home and to prepare for re-entry. 

Supporting Mental Health of Students & Staff

Supporting STAFF mental health readiness for re-entry:

Each school leadership team will extend support and provide resources for staff self-care to address compassion fatigue prevention, how to deal with grief/loss and build resiliency.

 Each school leadership team will provide opportunities for staff to process emotions, share challenges and provide support for one another.

The school counselor(s), in collaboration with school-based student support personnel, will coordinate a referral process for staff who need targeted support as well as access to school employed or a community mental health professional.

KCS HR will provide information to all staff about the KCS Employee Assistance Program.

 Supporting STUDENT mental health during reentry:

 Each school leader, teacher and staff will promote a trauma-informed school climate where safety, connection to one caring adult, and emotional regulation are fostered and promoted.

All students GR 3-12 will complete an online Student Needs Assessment during the first week of school, to identify the mental health, social-emotional, and academic needs upon re-entry.

Each School will activate the Mental Health Resource Team, as outlined in Crisis Response Plan Template Instructions to plan and implement a comprehensive system of mental health services and supports, to address student’s needs either virtually or within the school building.

The School-based Mental Health Resource Team, lead by the school counselor, will:

Include an administrator, school counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, school social worker, teacher, community MH provider, and PRO/law enforcement officer.
Establish a system to identify and refer students who need targeted support as well as access to a school employed or a community mental health professional.
Prepare tiered interventions (Tier 1-Universal/preventative; Tier 2- Secondary/strategic; Tier 3- Intensive/individualized) to assist students struggling with the transition back to school, new safety expectations, and increases in mental health symptoms resulting from COVID-19.
Maintain an updated and vetted list of professional, community mental health agency referral sources (list revised July 2020).

Plan and schedule school counselors, school psychologists and student support professionals to be available to provide mental health supports in-person or virtually via Microsoft TEAMS, particularly during the opening weeks of school.

School administrators will disseminate and provide opportunities for all middle and high school students to discuss suicide prevention information (Jamie’s Law).

Facilitate classroom discussions during first weeks of reentry, to allow all students to collectively process their personal experience with COVID-19. Validate that each has had a different experience- some are disappointed, some had fun, some are grieving, some are exhausted from added responsibilities at home, and some are scared.

Continue an intentional focus on social/emotional skill-building, by incorporating SEL strategies throughout the core curriculum and providing focus for the advisory/dev. guidance framework.

Technology

Parent Access to Schoology:

Kanawha County Schools uses Schoology as our learning management system (LMS) where we house assignments, communication and grades for all students K-12.  Along with student access, parents can also make a parent account using a code that ties their account to their child(ren).  The code can be obtained from the school and or the child’s teacher.  The parents can see all assigned work, due dates, instructional videos/materials, grades and communication that their child receives.  Here is a link to instructions for setting up a parent account in Schoology. https://support.schoology.com/hc/en-us/articles/201000823-Sign-Up-as-a-Parent

If parents need assistance creating the Schoology account or have general Schoology navigation questions, they can call the local school, email schoology@mail.kana.k12.wv.us or call 304-348-6116 and someone from the KCS technology team will assist them.

Students Without Devices:

KCS is 1:1 in grades 3-12 with iPads.  K-2 is at minimum 1:4 but most elementary schools have more iPads than that.  We are working this summer on upgrading any iPad that is outdated in our K-2 classrooms as well as seeking funding to provide more devices in those specific grade levels.

In the event the Governor would close schools and require remote learning, we will do our best to help students in grades K-2 that do not have devices at home to work from.  However, access to a device from school cannot be guaranteed.

If choosing the KCSchoology eLearning option for grades K-2, students will need to have their own device to work from.  It is not guaranteed that we will have enough to supply both in-person school devices and KCSchoology eLearning devices.

Internet Access:

Kanawha County Schools has been using BrightBytes to collect the data on internet access for the last 6 years. What we have found is that 92% of our students have access to internet at home.  There are several options for those that don’t have internet at home.

Parents should check with their cell phone company.  Many of them are offering hotspot service for free or low cost for students who may be affected by lack of internet during this time.

Parents/students can see their work from their smart phone, complete it on your iPad and then submit it when they can get to Wi-Fi or take a picture of it with the phone and submit it from your phone.

If students live in Suddenlink’s area and have never been a customer, they offer low cost/free internet service to those who may qualify due to need.  Parents can find out more at the following link and/or call 844-358-3147.  https://www.alticeadvantageinternet.com/

Every KCS school has accessible Wi-Fi for school owned devices that can be accessed from outside the school building.  Students can download and screenshot their work and then complete it and upload it when they are able to get Internet again.  We know this isn't ideal but it will work considering the situation.

Transportation

Facemasks are required for all staff and students based on health department guidelines.

 Driver to wear mask during loading and unloading.

Special Needs students addressed individually.
 
Two students per seat, unless from the same household.
 
Students are to ride in assigned seats.
 
Bus will operate with enough windows down to circulate the air. Driver can
still maintain AC and heat when needed.
 
Hand sanitizer is to be maintained on the bus at all operational times. Students will have easy access to sanitizer when entering and exiting the bus.
 
Seat behind the driver will remain empty – subject to change.
 
Bus is to be cleaned every morning and every afternoon. Terminals will use cleaning teams to ensure consistency throughout the county. The driver still maintains responsibility to ensure the bus is clean.
 
 Buses will load and unload as directed by the principal at each school.

Child Nutrition

In-person: Breakfast and Lunch meals are provided free of charge, with proper social distancing, staff usage of face masks, gloves and face guards during all stages of meal preparation, serving, and cleaning.

·Meals will be served in a variety of locations to ensure social distancing. Each school will determine safe places for students to have ability to consume the meals safely and within the proper time limitations provided by the WVDE. Areas that can be utilized are classrooms, cafeterias, auditoriums, and outside eating areas ( if weather permits). Preschool meals will be exclusively served in the classrooms. Grab n Go breakfast and lunches may be an option at many schools.

·Meals will be served in various disposable food safe compartmentalized containers, plates, and/or trays. Utensils shall be disposable.

·All fresh fruit and vegetables shall be wrapped and labeled for food safety. Self Service of food is prohibited; therefore no salad bars, condiment stations, coffee bars shall be used during this time of re-entry.

·All schools shall be under the required age appropriate USDA meal plan.  Milk, pre-packaged fresh fruit and vegetables shall be student directed to complete their meal.

·No share tables shall be utilized at this time due to the increased pandemic challenges.

In the case of a single school closure: Meals from that closed school shall be prepared at another school in close proximity to the home school. Meals will be made available for parent pick up only. Meals will be available daily unless notification of longer days of closure have been received. If the school is to remain closed and food is available for 5 day meal kits to be distributed, then the school will move to that option.

In the case of a complete countywide closure: meals will be ordered, and delivered via bus routes as soon as the meal kits are available.

eLearning or KCS Virtual: Students choosing this option may pre-register for a 5 day meal kit. 4-5 sites will be made available for parent pick up.

Communication

**It is extremely important we have correct contact information.  Please make sure that you update phone numbers on the emergency contact online forms and/or with the school.

KCS and/or individual KCS schools will communicate frequently with parents, staff and appropriate communities. Communication will be sent via the following platforms. As often as possible, the district and school will communicate via as many of these platforms as possible:

“Communicate” Program – This is the district’s new mass communication notification system which replaces ParentLink. This is the primary vehicle for phone messages and very soon will include texting.

 KCS app – in development now. This will allow for parents to receive notifications on their smartphone like through other downloadable apps. District and school information will be available in an easy-to-use format.

Schoology – important district and school messages will be shared through KCS’ learning management system. Starting this school year, all teacher-to-parent communication will be through Schoology.

 District and school websites

Social media – the district has both Facebook and Twitter. If you do not already follow these accounts, please do. You may also wish to following your school’s social media accounts.

 Emergency Forms. When completing beginning of year emergency forms, please make sure all contact information is accurate for all children. This information is placed into WVEIS and the WVEIS information populates into KCS’ communication tools. Every guardian should make contact information adjustments with their schools.

Signage in Schools. Signs will be posted throughout KCS buildings reminding students and staff of recommended healthy hygiene practices. Students will be reminded of proper hand-washing and covering techniques for coughs and sneezes.

 Communication of Cases in School. Once school starts, there may be situations where a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Each case will be evaluated individually and in conjunction with the school nurse and/or KCS Head Nurse. School personnel will communicate with the involved students and families as needed. Due to HIPPA and privacy requirements, we will not identify individuals with COVID-19, we will not publicly share their information, and we ask that others not speculate about such instances.

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