As we plan for the return to campus this fall, we are working to develop health and safety guidelines for the community. Please revisit this page in the coming weeks for updates and information as it becomes available.
2020-21 School Year FAQ
Updated September 11, 2020
When is the school planning on opening?
Riverbend opened on September 3rd with a full complement of our student body on campus, in person. With the combination of small class sizes and a large physical campus, we have the indoor and outdoor space to accommodate this while complying with the social distancing recommendations put forth by DESE (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).
Is the school be “in person” or using a remote/hybrid model?
As we start the school year off in-person, we are also planning for a robust remote learning plan, should there be the need to toggle between the two teaching scenarios.
What would cause the School to need to toggle between “in-person” and remote learning?
The school would need to switch to remote learning (either in part or in full)
- If there is a confirmed case of COVID within our school community.
- If the State makes a decision that would require “stay at home” plans to be implemented
What are Riverbend’s travel guidelines?
The State of Massachusetts has issued new travel guidelines going into effect August 1st. Anyone who travels outside of New England, NY, NJ and Hawaii must self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return. A negative COVID-19 test can reduce the length of quarantine. We ask that Riverbend families to comply with this travel advisory.
What is the plan for PPE this school year?
- Masks are required for all adults in the community. Students in Lower Elementary (grades 1-3), Upper Elementary (grades 4-6), and Middle School (grades 7-8) will be required to wear a mask. Toddlers are not required to wear them, but should if they are safely able. Primary students (ages three and older) are required to wear a mask. The CDC recommends children ages 2 & up to wear a mask.
- Gaiters, bandanas, and masks with vents are not permitted.
- As of this time, face shields have not been approved as an effective face-covering unless used in combination with a mask. Teachers may use face shields in combination with masks as an extra step of protective equipment if they choose. The school sees this option as viable if they are approved.
- Mask breaks are recommended throughout the day when students are outside or in a large open indoor space, such as the gymnasium. We look to DESE to supply further information on mask breaks including frequency and duration.
- Families must provide their own masks.
How will students be grouped and safely social-distanced?
- Physical distancing requirements: to the extent possible students should remain six feet apart.
- DESE has issued no “required maximums on cohorts or group sizes so long as schools adhere to the physical distance requirements.”
- We are examining all of our learning spaces to reflect social-distancing protocols.
- Lunch will be eaten outside, weather permitting. When the weather is inclement students will eat in their classrooms with their cohort in a socially distanced manner.
- Students are safest when they stay in small consistent groups and the number of adults they interact with is minimized. This reduces the risk of transmission and allows for specific cohorts to quarantine in the event of an infection without requiring the entire school to close.
- Specialists schedules will be altered to reduce the number of children they interact with daily. The plan for specials is still being developed. At this time we are planning on holding all specials, albeit in altered forms in some cases. PE will operate in the gym and outside with appropriate protocols in place. Specialists will travel to the children where feasible, and some specials will be virtual. More details will be released by division.
What are the daily health screen requirements?
The School is utilizing the MyMedBot app to monitor the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff on a daily basis. At this time the state is not recommending taking temperatures due to preponderance of false positives. The School does have a supply of thermal thermometers and we will consider if/how best to leverage them.
What is the school’s daily cleaning and sanitation plan?
Riverbend is cleaning classrooms, bathrooms, and common area high-touch surfaces three times per day, with the last cleaning being performed when all buildings are empty and rooms can be sanitized for the next school day.
In the event of a shutdown, what will remote learning look like?
Riverbend will follow a blended learning model this school year which will bring forward the virtual learning platforms adopted during the school closure last year (Seesaw, Google Classroom and other curriculum-specific resources) and continue using those platforms to support student learning in the classroom. In this way, when and if the school closes, the transition to virtual learning will be a smooth one. Our experience last spring is helping Riverbend to design an even more effective distance learning curriculum. Synchronous lessons across the curriculum will be supported with asynchronous resources and assignments. In addition, there will be increased focus on social-emotional learning at every level to ensure that all students benefit from a daily dose of the other Vitamin C – Connection.