My child goes to daycare and does not have to wear a face covering. Will they have to wear one at school?
Yes. All students in public schools are required to wear face coverings (with medical exceptions documented by the child’s physician, in collaboration with the school nurse).
I’ve heard children will be expected to maintain social distancing. What does this look like in kindergarten?
Kindergarteners will need guidance and support to maintain social distancing. Our teachers will use visual supports, make environmental modifications, and adapt routines to help make this easier. Your child may talk about lining up on the dots on the floor, playing with their own bin of legos, or engaging in a learning “station”, all thoughtfully designed strategies to help naturally keep space between children.
How many times will kindergarten students be reminded to wash their hands?
The Department of Health guidelines advise children to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available. Children should thoroughly wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival, prior to and after designated play times such as recess, before and after eating, after using the restroom, after blowing their nose/covering a cough or sneeze, and any time hands are visibly soiled. Teachers will encourage and work on proper hand washing routines in the classroom.
What will drop-off and pick-up look like?
The BUUSD is working on drop-off and pick-up procedures that support social distancing and allow for temperatures to be checked and COVID questions to be asked. Parents will not be admitted into the building. We are planning some virtual “get-to-know-you” activities to help your child begin to feel connected to his or her teacher. We’ll do our best to work with you around any separation concerns that may come up...just let us know!
Will there be recess?
Yes, however recess will look different this year. Our teachers will develop plans for outdoor experiences that are fun and engaging, while adhering to socially distant expectations. Hikes, scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, and many other activities are all fun ways to keep your kindergartener moving outdoors.
Will children still participate in ECO (Educating Children Outdoors)?
Yes, classrooms that normally participate in ECO will plan on continuing this learning opportunity. Please be aware that children will need to be prepared for all conditions and that lending gear is being discouraged. More information on this will be shared by the classroom teacher at a later date.
Can my child bring their own water bottle to school?
Yes, this is something that we encourage and will be something that will be sent home daily-not able to be left in classrooms. Please clearly label all personal items with your child’s name.
Will Kindergarten students have quiet time?
Quiet time will look different in K classrooms this year. Children will have time to re group mid-day but please note that no blankets and stuffed animals will be allowed in classrooms.
Will my child be able to look at books?
Yes, following the guidance, children are able to look at books. Teachers will ensure that materials are being properly dispensed and sanitized after use.
Will the teacher be able to help my child tie their shoes, button their pants or zip their jacket?
Teachers will assist children during the school day in a safe manner. We ask that these self help skills be practiced at home prior to school starting in order for us to maintain safety for all. Other helpful options include: velcro shoes, pull up type of pants (rather than button or zip).
Will the kids be able to distance themselves from each other when eating?
Classroom environments will be set up to maintain social distancing during meal times.
What will happen for my child if they get hurt or are sad and crying? Will anyone be able to comfort them?
The Vermont Department of Health has addressed this in their guidance for educators of young children. “We all need physical contact. Children need it when they are upset or hurt and for reassurance. Children may need physical contact to meet some of their needs. It is okay to help a child wash their hands and/or dress themselves, console a crying child, and rub a child’s back. It is also important to remind and encourage parents to snuggle with their children at home. Especially for older children who may not get any physical touch during the day when they are away from home”
How will parents be notified if there is a case of COVID in the classroom/building?
Students or staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home and asked to check with their primary care physician. The Vermont Department of Health will notify the district if a student or staff member tests positive. We will cooperate with the Department of Health as they conduct the appropriate notifications of individuals who have been in contact with the person infected. BUUSD will use the advice of the Department of Health in order to make decisions around closing classrooms, sections of buildings or schools if needed.