Communication/Family and Community Engagement
To view the below plan information in PDF format, click here.
To help inform its reopening plan, the district sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations.
The district remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents/guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website at www.gateschili.org/Coronavirus and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. A link to the plan appears on the website homepage. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into other languages, via the translate feature located in the top, righthand corner of the district website.
As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication channels including automated phone calls, email, social media, newsletters, the Gates Chili CSD website, Schoology and Microsoft Office 365, as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. This includes information about meal distribution for students.
The district will use existing internal and external communication channels to notify staff, students and families about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules, with as much advance notice as possible. The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote instruction, including email, phone numbers and Schoology.
The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents/guardians regarding the provision of special education services for their child(ren). In addition, the district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication.
The district is committed to ensuring that all staff, students and their families learn and understand new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, the district will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each student’s age group and will provide frequent opportunities for staff and students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all staff and students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. These trainings will cover hand hygiene, proper face covering procedures, social distancing, respiratory hygiene, cleaning/disinfecting and identifying symptoms. The district will create and deploy signage throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. In addition to signage, the district will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to CDC and DOH guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment.
The district will inform families and staff that daily health screenings are required. The district will utilize an app which will alert parents/guardians to complete a daily health screening prior to a staff and student arrival at school. For more information about health screening, refer to the Health and Safety section.
The district is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. If a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic or has had close contact with a positive case, the district will follow the protocols outlined in the Health and Safety section.
School building administrators will communicate with each other regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. Specific conditions that warrant the closure of schools will be identified and displayed to all stakeholders in advance. The district will be in close communication with state and local health departments to determine when the school is unsafe for in-person instruction. Close communication will be ongoing between the superintendent and building administrators in the case of an emergency closing so that each building will be able to plan for an orderly closure and the district can notify students and their families.