Delayed Opening (part two)

Dear EVCS Families,

Thank you for your patience as we navigate the ever shifting sands of school reopening. You may have heard that this morning the mayor and chancellor announced that they would once again delay in-person learning for all K-5 students. Pre-K students will still have their first day in the building this Monday, but the first day of in-person learning for our K-5 students will now be on Tuesday September 29th. I know that these last minute changes are confusing and frustrating, to say the least, and I’m really sorry about that. Our teachers and staff have been working incredibly hard to get our school ready to open and we were really looking forward to opening our doors to our blended learning students this Monday. We’re disappointed that we’ll have to wait another week, but please note that even though in-person learning has been pushed back, the first official day of school will remain this Monday September 21. All students in grades K-5 will attend school remotely next week. Please look out for specific instructions from your child’s teacher for how this first week will roll out. You should have already received your child’s account information and an invitation to their Google Classroom. Be sure to sign in and join the Classroom to ensure you are ready for the first day of school on Monday. Here are our school calendars for the first few months, adjusted for the new start dates.

A few other important announcements and reminders about school reopening for blended learning:

Our official school hours for in-person learning are:
8:30 – 1:45 for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade
8:30 – 1:55 for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade
8:50 – 2:00 for Pre-K.
Remote learning hours for students in all grades will be from 8:30 – 2:00.

We will use the schoolyard for our arrival and dismissal, but our protocols will function a little bit differently this year. We will not open the schoolyard to welcome students in until 8:20, and we ask that you try to come as close to your child’s start time as possible. Unfortunately, there will not be free play time in the schoolyard before the school day starts. When students arrive in the morning they will enter through the schoolyard gate closest to the school building. Students will say goodbye to their caregivers at the gate, we will quickly take their temperature with an infrared, contactless thermometer, and then students will be welcomed in. Parents are also asked to take students’ temperatures and do a wellness check before leaving home. If you would like a digital oral thermometer to take home for this purpose, I will have plenty to distribute at arrival and dismissal this month. K-5 parents will not be permitted in the schoolyard at arrival time so we can ensure that there is enough space for physical distancing while students wait for their teachers in designated areas. At 8:30 teachers will meet their class in the yard and walk them upstairs, one class at a time. Pre-K students and parents will enter the schoolyard together beginning at 8:45, and join their teachers in the Tree of Knowing Garden, where they will start every day.

Dismissal will follow a staggered schedule beginning at 1:45 in the schoolyard. Very important – we ask that parents and caregivers please leave with their kids immediately after picking up from school. Our goal is to have a quick, safe dismissal this year and that we avoid gathering in the schoolyard after the school day.

All students and staff will be expected to wear a mask or face covering while at school at all times, other than when they are eating or drinking. We recognize that this will take some getting used to for some of our students and our teachers are prepared to support students in developing these habits, but we ask for your help in this effort. Please try to find masks that fit your child’s face relatively comfortably, and plan for your child to practice wearing them for extended periods of time. Any type of face covering is acceptable, as long as it covers the mouth and nose, fits securely and does not have a valve. If your child ever comes to school without a mask, or needs a fresh one during the school day, we have plenty of child sized disposable masks on hand.

Thanks again for your flexibility and understanding. Despite the confusion and uncertainty at the system level, we are getting closer every day to having all of the many moving parts in place and ready to go for our kids. We’re almost there! If you have any questions about school reopening, please reach out any time.