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Primary school reaches COVID threshold

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Wednesday afternoon, Chadron Primary School students, staff and parents were notified that the school is now at 5% threshold for COVID-19 cases. Per the school opening plan approved by the Chadron Public Schools Board of Education earlier this year, the school moves from Green to Yellow status. Under the plan when any threshold is met all students and staff will follow color-status guidelines regardless of vaccination status for 14 days, beginning Oct. 7. Threshold status may increase during the 14 days, but will not decrease until the 14 days are over and cases are reevaluated.

The next threshold level, which would put a school into Red status, is 10%. Chadron Intermediate was at 2% threshold, Chadron Middle School was at 1% and Chadron High School was at 3% as of Wednesday afternoon.

According to Primary Principal Libby Mack, there will be modifications at the school. She further stated, “Please keep in mind these are all things we have done before (2020-2021 school year) so our staff and many of our students are familiar with these accommodations.”

Among the things teachers and staff are working on are:

• Face coverings are now recommended

• Teachers will space desks to maximize social distancing to the fullest extent possible.

• Teachers will organize student desks so that they do not directly face each other.

• Any group work that is assigned will ensure social distancing and therefore may be limited during this time.

• Teachers are encouraged to use larger areas in the school and outdoor spaces for class activities when appropriate and available.

• Students and staff are expected to maintain and respect social distancing and personal space in the classroom and all other areas in the school.

• Students will wipe down desks and shared supplies with district approved disinfectant at the end and at the beginning of every class period.

• Students will be expected to sanitize hands when entering each classroom.

• Face coverings will be expected when social distancing is not possible.

• No outside visitors allowed in buildings without authorization

The school opening plan is divided into different categories of guidelines, and the changes when going from Green to Yellow include:

• Face Coverings: Green – Optional; Yellow – Recommended

• Taking Temperature and Symptom Check: Green – Take temperature and symptom check at home. Do not attend School if symptomatic; Yellow – No change

• Travel Restrictions: Green – No travel restrictions unless specified by PPHD, NSAA or other governing bodies; Yellow – No Change

• Hand Washing: Green – Consistent use of sanitizer of soap/water; Yellow – Staff/students use of sanitizer or soap/water entering and exiting building and classrooms

• Student Work Areas: Green – Normal building routines. Cleaned consistently and routinely; Yellow – With modifications. Cleaned between classes by students and staff

• Bussing: Green – Face coverings optional and based on NSAA guidelines. Cleaning supplies available on each bus for continuous disinfecting by staff and students; Yellow – No change

• Cafeteria/Lunch: Green – Normal building routines. Consistent use of sanitizer or soap/water; Yellow – Sanitize hands upon entering and exiting the cafeteria. No modifications unless specified by PPHD or other governing bodies

• Arrival at School: Green – Normal building routines; Yellow – With modifications

• Dismissal from School: Green – Normal building routines; Yellow – With modifications

• Cleaning During Day: Green – Consistent and routine cleaning; Yellow – Clean door knobs, handles, rails (touch surfaces) at least twice a day. Clean student work areas between classes

• Cleaning Overnight: Green – Consistent and routine daily cleaning; Yellow – No change

• Signage and Communication: Green – Normal; Yellow – Entry signage, hallway signage provided by PPHD and district. Reminders sent to stay home if exhibiting symptoms. Hand washing signs n restrooms. District communication with updated PPHD guidelines

• Extracurricular Activities and After School Programs: Green Follow NSAA guidelines; Yellow – Masks are recommended. Follow NSAA guidelines. Social distance. Limit attendance at student activity events to immediate family and use social distancing rules for spectators

• Locker Rooms/Weight Room: Green – Normal. Consistent and routine daily cleaning; Yellow – Cleaning supplies available. Continue to educate students on guidelines. Supervised locker rooms by school staff to enforce social distancing, hand washing and hand sanitizing

• Drinking Fountains: Green – Normal use. Water bottle filling stations will be provided. Students and staff bring own water bottle; Yellow – Open with modifications.

• Vending Machines: Green – Open/clean touch surfaces consistently and routinely; Yellow – Open/clean touch surfaces twice a day

• Visitors: Green – Normal building routines and policies; Yellow – No outside visitors allowed in buildings without authorization

• Teacher Break Room: Green – Normal use; Yellow – Social distancing. Clean areas before and after use. Encourage limiting time and/or alternative settings

• Playgrounds or outdoor curricular activities: Green – Normal use; Yellow – With modifications

• Class Size and Instruction: Green – Class sizes normal per schedule. Instruction in person; Yellow – Class sizes normal per schedule with modifications

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