Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District plans to hold in-person classes 5 days a week this fall

OAK CREEK -- The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District have provided an update on their "Responsible Return to School" plan for the fall -- which includes plans to return to school in-person, five days a week with "safety and disinfection guidelines in place."

School officials say at this time, they are working on a plan to provide a virtual learning option for students and families with underlying health concerns who will not be returning to their school buildings in the fall.

If ordered to close, the district says they will pivot to temporary remote learning for individuals or groups of students, for a limited time.

The district says they have put in place "mitigation measures to limit the spread, and protect students, families and staff."

The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District shared the following infection control and mitigation measures on their website:

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Cleaning practices and handwashing/sanitizing were respectively the areas our families identified as their highest priorities in our survey from earlier this summer. As we prepare to return in September, a large area of focus revolves around disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning our facilities. Our Buildings & Grounds team uses CDC approved disinfectants to disinfect classrooms and building surfaces at the end of each day.  High touch areas such as door knobs, water fountains, handrails and other key locations will be disinfected throughout each school day. Hand sanitizing stations will be available in high traffic areas and each classroom will be equipped with disinfectant.  You can view the prior message here.

Office & Health Room Management

Several adjustments will be made to office and health room management practices in order to reduce congestion and ensure physical distancing in these highly visited school spaces.  Visual cues will be placed in each office and health room to demonstrate and reinforce physical distancing.  Classroom teachers will have access to additional first aid supplies in order to attend to  students’ needs directly in the classroom.  Clearly defined protocols of when to send ill or injured students to the health room or main office will be communicated to staff.

Students who present with symptoms of influenza like illness or COVID-19 during the school day will  rest in each school’s identified isolated satellite health room while waiting for the arrival of a parent or guardian.  The school principal or designee will contact the student’s parent or guardian to pick up the student as soon as possible.

Physical & Social Distancing

Students will be kept in consistent cohorts (classes) of students throughout the school day in order to minimize the number of contacts among students and staff.  At the elementary level, specials like art and music will be conducted in the classroom. At the secondary level, class schedules will be modified as needed to reduce contacts. Instructional practices and student groupings will be modified and minimized as well when possible. Other school logistics such as entry & exit protocols and lunch schedules & locations are being reviewed and modified to keep students physically distanced as much as possible.

Limiting Infectious Spread

Prior to the start of the school year, families will be provided with the criteria for completing health screenings of their child at home as well as guidelines on how to report symptoms and possible exposure.

Parents/Guardians will be notified by the City of Oak Creek Health Department if their child has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  This notification will include guidance and information regarding the need to quarantine. More information about the notification process will be shared with families in the coming weeks.

Personal Protective Equipment

At this time, the District is strongly encouraging students and staff to wear face coverings. However, should conditions change, required face coverings--exempting students explicitly detailed in CDC guidelines--may very well be the norm.  Should this change be made, face coverings may be required during portions of the school day, including passing times, entry/exit into the building, and other high traffic areas. Additional protocols for the use of face coverings by both staff and students will be developed closer to the start of school with additional guidance from health professionals.  Oak Creek-Franklin has secured significant amounts of face coverings for students and staff.

Since June, the district has collected feedback and input from families, students and staff through a series of surveys. To view a summary of highlights from their surveys, please CLICK HERE.