Below is a summary to our Road Map to Re-opening Full Draft
We would like all staff, parents and students to read our full draft and complete our important Fall 2020 re-open Road map feedback forms. Your input will be very helpful.
The Tiger Team, NHPS’s Reopening Task Force, has been working since April 2020 to plan for a return to school in the Fall of 2020 that prioritizes the health and safety of ALL stakeholders, and is consistent with the mission, vision, and values of the New Haven Public Schools. Our recommendations for re-opening meet all of the latest guidelines from the CDC and the State of Connecticut, and will continue to do so as those guidelines evolve.
The Tiger Team has created a plan to open NHPS schools using a model that anticipates both in-person and distance instruction for all students, subject to evolving State guidelines on school operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Road Map to Reopening reflects our collective responsibility to meet the needs of all students. Throughout the planning process we have considered and incorporated the support needed to ensure equity for all students and to address the distinctive needs of students with disabilities, English Learners and disengaged youth.
Addressing Key Areas
Health and Safety: We have developed Health and Wellness guidance in collaboration with the Health Department to complete a “Hazard/Pandemic Response Plan” for the District that addresses: Student and Staff Accommodations for Health Needs; proper set-up of School Based Health Centers/School Nurse Offices; protocols for Screening & Assessment of Staff and Students; Protecting Members of the School Community through development of sanitizing stations and protocols; and emphasizing the Social-Emotional Learning needs of students at all grade levels.
Operations: We are planning for all students to have regular in-person instruction with reduced occupancy on a daily basis to adhere to state health guidelines. All schools will be set up to address 4 key requirements: Social Distancing (maintaining 6-foot distance); Hygiene (hand-sanitizing and cough-covering); Face Covering; and Health-Screening (temperature checks and isolation of sick community members). These requirements will govern important factors in each school building, such as entry procedures, movement in the building, classroom set-up, and food service.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: We provide guidance for schools to develop their individual plans for the 2020-2021 school year to meet district requirements, taking into consideration the importance of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness for all as we return from school closure. We have developed two Instructional Models* to meet student and staff needs in 2020-2021: The Hybrid Instructional Model is based on a reopening with both in-person and distance instruction and learning. The Online Learning Instructional Model is based on the need for prolonged distance learning (in the event of a statewide decision to close schools or a local outbreak). Our assessment of students’ progress will need to shift to account for not only students’ skill, content knowledge and proficiency, but also, to account for their social-emotional progress, and their ability to learn using technology.
*To date we cannot specify which model we will use until further guidance is issued for the State of Connecticut in early July 2020.
Professional Development & Training: Staff at all levels of NHPS will require training to meet the needs of students in this new environment. The Tiger Team has developed Educator Institutes and virtual professional development throughout the 2020-2021 academic year to meet professional development needs. We will also coordinate with local health officials to provide necessary training to all staff to ensure that we meet all health, safety, screening, and social-distancing guidelines.
Technology: We have used the experience of a sudden shift to distance learning in the Spring of 2020 to craft a technology plan that prioritizes the following: a 1:1 ratio for all students/staff with technology; the use of approved educational platforms, software, and programs that support instruction & curriculum; ongoing professional development/technology training for all stakeholders.
Meeting the Needs of Special Populations
Students with Special Needs: Students with special physical, emotional and/or special education needs will be accommodated to ensure they receive highest quality, individualized instruction in the least restrictive and safest learning environment.
English Learners: English Learners and their families may feel particularly isolated due to language and cultural barriers. We will provide needed support to English Learners in accessing information and engaging with the curriculum on all levels.
Disengaged Youth: All levels of our plan call for schools to work in collaboration with the Youth, Family, and Community Engagement Team to reach out and support struggling or disengaged students and their families.