Manteca Unified has invested more than $100,000 in personal protection equipment and alterations dealing with COVID-19 to make campuses as safe as possible when students return to classes.
*250 paper hazmat suits for teachers that request them.
*2 face shields for each of the district’s 1,200 teachers to start the year.
*4 face masks for every employee — including teachers — to start the year.
*Two cloth face masks for every student.
*Issuing re-useable water bottles.
All water fountains on campuses have been converted for use either to refill water bottles or to wash and sanitize hands.
The district has adopted an extensive list of protocols that are tailor made to specific age groups that comply with guidelines for dealing with the pandemic as established by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The age groups include preschool, transitional kindergarten/kindergarten, elementary grades 1-3, elementary grades 4-6, middle grades 7-8, and secondary grades 7-12.
The rules will be implemented whenever students return to school. While the plan as of Monday as adopted by the board was to have the option of a hybrid learning model using an alternating day schedule to slash class sizes in half in place Aug. 6 along with a distance learning option, the board gave Superintendent Clark Burke the flexibility to switch to a 100 percent remote learning model if he determine conditions warrant it. The expressed goal, however, is to offer the hybrid model option whenever it is determined safe to do so. That could mean switching back and forth as conditions change.
The board also has a more “normal plan” that could go into effect this school year if conditions improve significantly to allow that to happen.
Face masks are being required for 7th through 12th grades for both students and adults are unable to maintain 6-foot social distancing.
Face masks are recommended but not required for students in the 1st through 6th grades should wear face coverings when harms do not outweigh benefits. Such harms include increasing hand-mouth/nose contact that would go counter to COVID-19 risk reduction.
District spokesperson Victoria Brunn stressed while masks are mandatory for the 7th grade and up students will not be disciplined when they violate the rules.
Each age group has detailed protocols that are now posted on the district’s website.
Among those for high school students are:
*The elimination of lockers.
*Student movement would be eliminated as much as possible with students changing classes three times a day.
*Teachers would rotate classes instead of students when feasible.
Additional details and a wealth of other information about MUSD’s “plan for returning to school that attempts to balance the academic programming, current allowable health conditions, safety, socio-emotional well-being, childcare, and resources available within the guidelines and recommendations issued while acknowledging the uncertainty and fear associated with any efforts to start the 2020-2021 school year” appear on the district’s website. It can be accessed from the district’s front page at www.mantecausd.net.
There are subpages that go into detail such as quick facts, learning and teaching models, employee screening and protocols, personal protective equipment, frequently asked questions, facilities safety and sanitation, explanation of on campus and in the classroom safeguards, rules for visitors and office hours, nutrition services, health protocols and communications, technology, sports and extracurricular activities, and resources.
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