ANSONIA — The Ansonia school district has released its reopening plan — and it is no coincidence it is very similar to the other seven Darke County schools.
“You see a lot of the same things in all the plans,” Ansonia Superintendent Jim Atchley said. “As a county, we all sat down with Dr. Holman (Darke County Health Commissioner Dr. Terrance L. Holman) and he had some really good ideas that we implemented.”
But, Atchley knows the situation can change at any moment, like Thursday when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced all school age children would need to wear masks.
“It is a fluid situation,” Atchley said. “I told my staff, things can change before we even get started on September 8.”
Some of the highlights of Ansonia’s reopening plan, which can be found on the school’s website, include
1. Ansonia Local School District will implement recommended safety protocols to the highest degree possible;
2. Ansonia Local School District will work closely with the Darke County Health Department (DCHD) to promote safety in each school building;
3. Ansonia Local School District will be transparent with all stakeholders that some level of risk will always be present when children and school district employees occupy school district facilities.
4. Ansonia Local School District recognizes the need for consistency in areas of operations while recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, and building operations may lead to some inconsistencies.
5. Ansonia Local School District is planning to maintain their previously approved school calendars with some front-loading of employee professional development or waiver days.
• Families and students are responsible for monitoring temperatures and students’ health on a daily basis before coming to school.
• Any student with a fever over 100 degrees should stay home.
• Any student that has the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing or two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, muscle soreness, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea) should stay home.
Returning to School after Illness
• If a student is diagnosed as having COVID-19, they must meet the following criteria to return to school:
• 3 days with no fever (without using fever reducing medication) AND
• Other symptoms improved AND
• 10 days since symptoms first appeared
• Students that only have a fever and no other symptoms and have not had any contact with an individual that has COVID-19 may return to school after they are fever free for 24 hours without using any fever reducing medications. • Any other illnesses should be handled in the routine manner according to district procedures.
• To return to school the child must be transported to school by the parent and must be checked by the school nurse.
• Ansonia Local School District will cooperate with the Darke County Health Department in contact tracing to identify close contacts of the case of COVID-19.
• 10-day quarantine will be required of any student who is determined to have close contact with the case of COVID-19 by the Darke County Health Department.
Face Coverings/Face Shields
• Face coverings/face shields will be required to wear for staff, unless doing so interferes with the learning process, when it is not advisable for health reasons, is a violation of documented industry standards, there is a functional reason to not do so, or when staff work alone in an assigned area.
• Students in grades 3 – 12 are encouraged but not required to wear masks.
• All visitors must wear a mask entering the building.
• Ansonia Local School District recommends wearing a face covering in situations where social distancing is not easily attainable.
• Ansonia Local School District will offer food service with the following requirements:
• Following social distancing to the extent possible;
• No self-service
• Individual condiments
• Face coverings will be required by cafeteria staff
• Parents are encouraged to keep money in their student’s account to limit passing of currency.
Daily Cleaning, Hygiene, and Sanitation
• Ansonia Local School District will establish cleaning and sanitizing routines.
• Hand sanitizer will be available at the building entrances, classrooms, common areas, and high traffic areas.
• Students will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.
• Interior doors will be propped open when possible to eliminate frequent contact and to provide more air circulation.
• Buses will be sanitized between routes
• Additional deep cleaning will occur on a daily and weekly basis.
• Ansonia Local School District will inform parents that safety protocols are in place but any student who attends school will incur some level of risk. Ansonia Local Schools will decrease the likelihood of infection with hygiene, cleaning, and safety procedures, but being in a public place has a certain level of risk that cannot be eliminated.
• Classroom occupancy will be determined based on each individual circumstance with the maximum amount of safety considerations possible.
• Face coverings are recommended for all students, particularly grades 3 through 12.
• School employees will be required to use face coverings when they are within six feet of students unless the face coverings would significantly interfere with the learning process.
• Seating charts will be maintained.
• Ansonia Local School District may offer remote learning options to be available to students based on the district plan.
• Visitors are generally discouraged from being in school district facilities during the school day.
• Safety protocols will be implemented for all visitors such as taking temperatures and screening questions during the school day.
• Ansonia Local School District will attempt to keep two students per seat. (3 if from the same household or group stop).
• Districts will attempt to seat siblings together.
• Seating charts may be required to assist with contact tracing if that is needed.
• Face coverings are required for drivers and recommended for students.
• School districts will make every effort to maintain consistency with other safety procedures.
• This may mean that districts limit student access to certain pieces of playground equipment and restrict activities that are “high touch” and difficult to clean or maintain social distancing.
• Students must sanitize their hands after recess.