Safe Return to In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services Plan
In order to qualify for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III Fund), districts must draft a "Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan" for the 2021-2022 school year and seek stakeholder input. We have responded to the state's required questions and posted them here for public review. We have divided each section up for easier review. After reading through the information, you may provide input or suggestions by clicking this link.
(This report template complies with all reporting requirements of the ARP Act (Public Law 117-2), the ESSER III grant terms, conditions, and assurances (CFDA Number 84.425U), and the interim final rule established by the United States Department of Education, 86 FR 21195.)
Maintaining Health and Safety
A district’s plan must include how it will maintain the health and safety of students,
educators, and other school and LEA staff, and the extent to which it has adopted policies or practices and a description of any such policies or practices, on each of the CDC's safety recommendations including: universal and correct wearing of masks; modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (e.g., use of cohorts/podding); hand washing and respiratory etiquette; cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation; contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the state, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments; diagnostic and screening testing; efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible; appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies or practices; and coordination with state and local health officials.
Description of maintaining health and safety
As we plan for the upcoming school year, Spartanburg District Six looks forward to seeing normal activities in our schools once again. We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. In order to create a safe environment the district will continue to maintain a positive working relationship with local and state health officials and review the latest Covid-19 safety guidelines and data and make any necessary adjustments.
District Six will follow CDC cleaning and disinfecting recommendations to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 in our schools and administrative offices. This includes the use of hospital grade products to ensure that our buildings and facilities are maintained to the highest standards. Enhanced safety protocols will include keeping high touch surfaces and high traffic areas cleaned and disinfected according to DHEC guidelines.
Based upon current data and our health and safety procedures, our plan is to provide an after-school option for parents again and to return to a normal in-cafeteria lunch schedule. Schools will encourage hand washing, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing, and also encourage students and staff to stay home if they are not feeling well.
The district’s plan includes improving ventilation and air quality. We will continue to follow the most up-to-date safety guidelines related to contact tracing, isolation, and quarantines.
District Six will continue to offer free Covid-19 testing for students and staff.
Policies or Practices Regarding CDC Recommendations
Universal and correct wearing of masks
In compliance with the executive order by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster that masks are not to be required in South Carolina schools, masks will be optional for students and staff during the 2021-2022 school year.
Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (e.g., use of cohorts/podding)
Spartanburg District Six aims to reduce class sizes during the 2021-2022 school year. This will allow us to spread desks further apart, creating more than normal space between desks.
Schools will encourage students and staff to social distance, when possible.
The district will limit the number of visitors and volunteers in our schools.
Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
District Six will continue to create an environment that encourages the health and wellness of our school community. Hand washing and sanitizing stations are available throughout each building with proper signage and hand sanitizer available in every classroom. Substantial training was provided for staff and students regarding proper procedures and respiratory etiquette.
Cleaning/Maintaining Healthy Facilities/improving ventilation
Keeping our physical environment safe and clean remains a continued priority for the 2021–2022 year.
We will continue to use electrostatic sprayers for school buses and high touch areas, hand sanitizer and oxivir wipes for student and teacher use in classrooms, additional custodians at each school to support needed cleaning and our established COVID-19 cleaning protocols.
We will continue to implement additional ventilation projects identified in our capital planning such as bi-polar ionization units on HVAC units, UV air purifiers in our health rooms, as well as other ventilation improvements at each school.
Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine
Spartanburg School District Six has maintained a close relationship with state and local health officials to ensure we are up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 requirements. District Six will continue to work with DHEC during the 2021-2022 school year to ensure that reporting, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine guidelines are appropriately followed. We will continue to isolate students and staff who begin to exhibit symptoms during the school day until they leave the building. Current procedures will be posted on our district website, at the start of the school year, so that families will be made aware of the most recent guidelines.
Diagnostic and screening testing
Starting in January of 2021, Spartanburg School District Six opened a free COVID-19 rapid diagnostic testing center that was offered two days a week for staff and students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
District Six plans to continue our COVID-19 diagnostic testing, for staff and students, using the BinaxNow test kits and the physician order supplied by SCDHEC in the 2021-2022 school year.
Families will be notified that the rapid testing center will be available again for the upcoming school year.
Efforts to provide vaccinations to students and staff, if eligible
There has been extensive coordination with Spartanburg Regional Health Systems to ensure that all school staff members have had access to vaccinations with release-time provided. We will continue to provide educational resources to staff, students and families about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies and practices
Spartanburg School District Six will continue to meet the individual needs of students with IEPs and 504 plans. The IEP team will determine services, location of services, accommodations, and supplementary supports in order to provide a first-class education for students in our district. The student's IEP team will meet to discuss any changes to the IEP and ensure that those changes are implemented in an appropriate manner. The 504 team will meet to create or change accommodations in order to ensure student success.
Coordination with state and local health officials
District Six administration will continue to coordinate with state and local health officials to take the necessary steps to keep our faculty, staff, and students safe. These individuals will meet with health and safety officials on a consistent basis to stay up-do-date on the latest Covid-19 guidelines and recommendations.
Continuity of Services
Districts must describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students' academic needs and students' and staff social, emotional, mental health and other needs, which may include student health and food services.
District Response on Continuity of Services
During the 2021-22 school year, Spartanburg School District Six will ensure the continuity of services for students by providing programs and services that support students’ academic and social/emotional needs. District Six has offered face-to-face instruction to students since August of 2020, providing the necessary precautions in order to keep students and staff safe. The district will continue with the traditional school model of providing face-to-face instruction for five days per week for students in K-12 for the upcoming school year. A virtual option is made available to families through the Spartanburg County Public Virtual Program for those students who meet the criteria and are seeking a virtual mode of learning.
Spartanburg School District Six has created an Academic Recovery Plan to address the learning needs of students and how teachers can produce optimal learning outcomes. Teachers and district personnel have adjusted pacing guides and curriculum maps to include the State’s identified priority standards. This will allow teachers to accelerate student learning and focus on the most critical aspects of teaching and learning at each level and for each content area. The Recovery Plan goals specifically address reading and math priority standards and concepts to ensure students receive a strong foundation in the most fundamental areas. Opportunities for students to recover credits and receive tutoring are also made available to students. Providing support to students transitioning from virtual learning back to face to face learning will be a priority for the district. As such, building capacity for learning and meeting the intended learning targets will be stressed at all levels for all students. Emphasis has been placed on high school students beginning their college and/or career experiences early to gain exposure and ensure success upon graduation. District Six will continue to employ effective technology approaches that enhance student learning. As a one to one district, students at all levels are provided with devices to tap into their learning through a variety of resources, many created due to the pandemic. By design, teachers and students can engage in activities in and out of the classroom through the effective use of programs that support intended learning outcomes.
The district’s MTSS Framework will guarantee all students receive tiered systems of supports for academics as well as social and emotional learning. The tiers consist of high quality interventions provided by trained staff members to address specific academic, social and emotional needs. The structured approach in providing such services will allow teachers to accelerate learning for all students. Spartanburg District Six has hired additional reading interventionists for the upcoming school year as well as a MTSS Coordinator. These additional personnel will be ready to partner with teachers to provide students with services needed to move forward in their learning. In addition, the district has selected additional materials and programs to care for the social and emotional needs of students and staff. Recognizing the significant impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on all members of our District Six family is at the heart of all decision-making. The goal is to provide students as well as staff with programs and services to maintain health and well-being as the new school year begins.
Spartanburg District Six will maintain services for students throughout the school year to minimize gaps in learning and maximize opportunities for growth and welfare for all students. Students who may need to be quarantined or placed on homebound during 2021-22 school year, will receive instruction from their assigned teacher(s) to maintain academic progress. Additionally, counselors, psychologists, teachers, and nurses will provide support with academic, emotional, and mental health needs. Students can also receive prepared meals from the district’s food services program. District Six aims to provide students with the necessary services and support to achieve success while face to face or during times of intermittent participation due to quarantine.
Districts are required to review and, as appropriate, revise their Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan at least every six months through September 30, 2023, including seeking public input and taking such input into account in determining whether to revise the plan and, if revisions are determined necessary, on the revisions it makes to its plan.
If a district developed a plan prior to enactment of the ARP Act that was made publicly available and was developed with public comment, but does not address each of the required aspects of safety established in the ARP Act, the district must, as part of the required periodic review, revise its plan consistent with the ARP Act requirements no later than six months after it last reviewed its plan.
District response on ensuring periodic updates to its plan
District Six schools will periodically review and, as needed, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The plan will be reviewed at least every six months, and the school system will seek and take into account public input during the review process. Plan revisions will address any related updates from the CDC and/or DHEC.
The ARP Act requires that school districts make their Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan available to the public online and that the plans be in an understandable and uniform format; to the extent practicable, are written in a language that parents can understand or, if not practicable, orally translated; and upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability, provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent.
Before making its plan publicly available, school districts must seek public comment on the plan and develop the plan after taking into account public comment.
District response on public input in development of its plan
The draft plan is posted at www.spart6.org under the parents and students section of our website. This will make the plan readily available to our school community. While on our site, this plan can be translated into more than 100 languages through the use of our web provider.
District Six has emailed the draft plan to parents using our School Messenger system. As always, we welcome input from our parents and all stakeholders. A link has been posted for anyone to provide feedback. All input/suggestions will be read and considered before posting this final plan.
The plan may be orally translated for parents in need of this option. Also, upon request, any individual with a disability as defined by the ADA, may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting our administration office at 864-576-4212.