In-Person Instruction Resumes September 24

September 24
return to school

**Emails from Dr. Roach about our in-person instruction can be found on this page  Please scroll down to see each of the emails.**

Email #5: September 22, 2020: NHS Hybrid Return to School Update

Dear NHS Community,

We are only two days away from students returning to campus and we are ready! As a school, we have taken all the necessary steps per the state, county, and district guidelines to ensure a safe return. We are confident that we have done everything we could think of and more!

We have created a video for our students that reviews school expectations as well as some procedurals to help students navigate campus. Please take a moment to review it. It will also be reviewed in TA tomorrow, along with our Student Illness Prevention video that Mrs. Kensrue, our nurse, emailed a few days ago.

If your child is still in need of a Chromebook, please come to the Media Center tomorrow between 7:30 - 3:00 PM. We want to be sure that your student is ready to go for their first day of school!

We look forward to welcoming your child to campus on Thursday or Friday! As a reminder, please conduct a daily symptom screener and keep your child home if they are exhibiting any symptoms to help us stay safe and open!

Thank you!

 

Email #4: September 20, 2020: NHS Hybrid Return to School Update

Dear NHS Community,

We are excited to welcome students to campus this week! We recognize that a lot of information has been communicated, and to keep all relevant information in one place, you can find all of our emails on our website.

Transition Week

This upcoming week is a transition to our hybrid model. As a reminder, Monday and Tuesday, September 21 and 22, are non-student days due to professional development. Wednesday, September 23, will be Office Hours and T.A. T.A. is required for all students at 1:30. On Thursday, September 24, Cohort A will be on campus while Cohort B will check in to all their classes. Then, On Friday, September 25, Cohort B will be on campus. Please see the visual below.

On September 28, our hybrid schedules will be in effect. If you’re not sure what the schedule looks like, you can find them here. For the most part, students’ cohorts are based on last names. Last names A-L are part of Cohort A, and last names M-Z are part of Cohort B. Students were notified if their cohort changed.

Only Students & Staff On Campus

When we return in person, there will be many changes to keep our students and staff safe. Our campus will be open to students and staff only, and we will not have in-person meetings or volunteers on campus.

Our Attendance Office window will be open to answer questions and assist you in person. It is located in the main office building facing the pool area, near the theatre. If you are picking up or dropping off students or items, please use this window. You can also call our receptionist at 949.936.7200. One thing to note is that students only meet with each class one time a week, so we recommend scheduling appointments after the last period of the day, on independent days as appropriate, or Mondays.

Update to our Symptom Screener

We updated our symptom screener due to some discrepancies, and you can see the updated version below.

If There’s a Confirmed Case

If the District is informed that a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, the District has been directed to immediately contact the Orange County Health Care Agency, which will assist school personnel in conducting a case investigation and assessing the exposure risk. Confidentiality of identified cases will be maintained. If a case is confirmed, the Orange County Health Care Agency will provide a letter to students or staff, who were in close contact (less than six feet for more than 15 minutes) with the confirmed case. Self-isolation instructions will be detailed in the letter. Lower risk exposure notifications that do not require self-isolation may be provided in some circumstances. Please note that a letter will not be sent home to communicate unconfirmed cases. Only confirmed cases will be communicated.

Click here for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for confirmed, exposure related or suspected COVID-19 cases.

When to Close Due to an Outbreak

With guidance from the Orange County Health Care Agency, a return to distance learning may be necessary under the following conditions:

  • A classroom or school may switch to distance learning based on the number of cases, number of classroom cohorts affected, and percentage of teachers, students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • According to the California Department of Public Health, a district should switch to distance learning if 25 percent of its schools are closed within a 14-day period.

The Orange County Health Officer may consider the size and physical layout of the school when making decisions, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data. Click here for more information.

Thank you for taking the time to read our emails and help us prepare, together, for a safe return to in-person instruction. We look forward to seeing our students on Thursday and Friday!

 

Email #3: September 18, 2020: NHS Hybrid Update: A Note from the School Nurse

Hello Parents and Students-

We are looking forward to having you back on campus in person very soon. Our entire staff has been working diligently to ensure a successful return for each student. In that preparation, we are implementing measures to, not only bring students and staff back safely, but to keep students and staff back in school safely. I hope that you will partner with us in our efforts for a safe return.

Daily Home Screening

Earlier this week, you received a daily checklist and a symptom screener. It will be very important that you remember to bring the items on the checklist each day that you are on campus, especially your mask! (And maybe a backup or two) Please also ensure that you go through the symptoms screener prior to your arrival every day. If any symptoms are present before you arrive at school, it is very important that you stay home. Notify your teacher that you are staying home due to illness and ensure a parent calls the attendance line at 949-936-7201.

Illness on Campus

If a student becomes ill on campus, it will be necessary to send the student home immediately to limit exposure to students and staff. In years prior, we may have determined that a student can rest in the health office and then go back to class with minor symptoms; however, this year we are taking extra measures to slow the spread of any possible illness. We ask that parents pick up students immediately after notification that your student is ill. In the event that a parent or guardian is not able to pick up immediately such as working a significant distance away from school, we recommend that a backup plan is in place for another adult to pick up the student in a timely manner when parents are unable to do so.

Students with symptoms of illness will be waiting for parent pick up in an isolated area away from non-ill students. There may be other students who are also ill awaiting the arrival of parents in the same room so ensuring a prompt pickup will limit unnecessary exposure to both students and staff. We also ask that when picking up an ill child from school, parents wait in the car at the curb outside our front office. Please call the health office at 949-936-7211 once you arrive at the curb and a staff member will walk your student out to you, eliminating the need to come into the office.

Please also take time to review our updated Illness Notification form. It now may be necessary for students found to have certain symptoms of illness to stay home for 10 days since symptoms of illness began and the student has been fever free without medication for 24 hours and symptoms are improving. We realize that these measures may seem extreme but these are the guidelines established by local health authorities to mitigate the spread of illness in our community.

Persons with COVID-19

If your student or a member of your household is determined to be positive for COVID-19 or is awaiting test results, please notify me as soon as possible. Prompt notification will ensure that we partner with local health agencies and ensure all proper guidelines are met. Patient confidentiality will always be a priority and private information will never be shared with others. Please also ensure that unnecessary rumors are not spread about students or other families suspected of having COVID-19. If there are any concerns, please contact me directly at 949-936-7211 or via email at shadliekensrue@iusd.org.

Illness Prevention

We have implemented many measures over the past several weeks to ensure that students and staff have the resources they need to stay healthy including:

  • Increased access to hand washing and sanitizing
  • Required cloth face covering or face mask while on campus (be sure to bring an extra as well as a bag for proper storage when mask is not in use)
  • Physical distancing in the classroom and in common areas
  • Increased air filtration in indoor spaces

Students, please view this video made for you by some of our district nurses on how to stay healthy this year.

We also ask that students limit unnecessary time on campus before and after school and ensure that they are adhering to physical distancing in common areas such as hallways and bathrooms. The school campus will remain closed to parents as in years past. Any parent coming onto campus will need to check in at the window at the front office near the theater. Parents, please also ensure that you wear a face covering and adhere to physical distancing when coming onto campus.

We realize that this year is going to look different in many ways but there is one thing that will never change; our dedication to “the good of the pack”. We are confident that we will have a very successful school year. Welcome back, Timberwolves!

 

Shadlie Kensrue, BSN, RN, CSN

 

Credentialed School Nurse

Northwood High School

Irvine Unified School District

 

Office: 949-936-7211

Fax: 949-936-7219

shadliekensrue@iusd.org

 

Email #2: September 15, 2020: NHS Hybrid Update: Expectations for In-Person Instruction

 

Dear NHS Community,

Since March, we’ve been looking forward to welcoming students back to our campus and classrooms for in-person instruction.

What’s Next

As we continue to formalize our plans and monitor directives from the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency, we thought this would be a good time to run through what you can expect when in-person classes return, as well as some steps you and your family can take to help keep our community healthy.

Our Commitment to Families
IUSD is committed to following and sharing guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health and our local partners, including the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education. This means we will promote physical distancing measures, healthy hygiene practices, stringent cleaning standards, smaller cohorting to the extent possible, and face coverings. Visit IUSD’s Opening and Safety Planning webpage for more information.

All school HVAC systems have been recalibrated to pull in fresh air from outside, rather than recycled air from inside the building, and have been equipped with HEPA filters. Additionally, each classroom has been provided a HEPA air purification system that cleans the air every 30 minutes. As reported by expert health agencies, proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the risk of airborne contaminants, such as COVID-19.

What We’re Asking of You
We are encouraging each of you to discuss with your child what their return to school will look like, along with some of the ways we’re working together to keep one another safe. Also, reinforce the importance of hand-washing, physical distancing and face coverings. If your child has any underlying health issues, please schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to talk about risk factors for vulnerable children. If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, please keep your child at home and contact your school for guidance. Finally, if your child has any symptoms associated with the coronavirus, make sure they stay home and get tested if necessary. Keep children home when they are sick.

We have created two checklists to help prepare students for a safe return to school:

We ask that you take some time to review them with your child and ensure that they are prepared on a daily basis. We are asking that students conduct a daily symptom screening using the “Daily Symptom Screening Checklist” to confirm they are healthy and to remain at home if they are exhibiting symptoms. Our “Stay Safe @ School Checklist” is meant to serve as a daily reminder of things that students should do before and bring when they come to campus.

Aside from symptom screening, masks, and charged devices, which are required, the items listed on our “Stay Safe at School Checklist” are optional. As previously mentioned, families should be checking for any symptoms prior to sending their children to school, students are required to wear masks on campus at all times, and moving forward, students should bring charged Chromebooks or laptops to use during class each day, fully charged.

Chromebooks are available for each student and can be checked out from our Media Center on the following days:

  • Wednesday, September 16: 7:30 - 9 AM and 1 - 3PM
  • Thursday, September 17: 7:30 - 9 AM and 1 - 3PM
  • Friday, September 18: 7:30 - 9 AM and 1 - 3PM
  • Monday, September 21: 1- 3PM only
  • Tuesday, September 22: 7:30 - 9 AM and 1 - 3PM
  • Wednesday, September 23: 7:30 - 9 AM and 1 - 3PM

Stay Informed

For ongoing updates and information, visit the District’s COVID-19 resource page, which includes an FAQ that may also provide answers for many of your questions. For detailed information about the District’s safety planning, visit our Opening and Safety Planning webpage.

Week of September 21- 25

As recently communicated by the District, in-person instruction will begin September 24-25, for those who selected in-person academic models, assuming the county’s COVID-19 rates continue to trend in a positive direction. To support the transition from online to in-person instruction, the District has moved two staff development days from October 12 and February 12 to take place on September 21 and 22, which will now be non-student days for all IUSD students. 

The transition schedule for in-person instruction is as follows:

  • Monday, September 21: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day
  • Tuesday, September 22: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day
  • Wednesday, September 23: Distance Learning Day
  • Thursday, September 24: First day of in-person instruction
  • Friday, September 25: Second day of in-person instruction

October 12 and February 12 will be restored as instructional days.

We’re in this Together

We hope that our county continues to see declines in its COVID-19 rates and that our schools can reopen for in-person instruction safely without any setbacks. But it’s going to take a concerted effort from all of us to keep students, employees and families safe when in-person instruction resumes.

We’re all in this together and we appreciate your partnership and support. For updates and past communications regarding the return to school, visit our website here.

Sincerely,

Leslie Roach, Ed.D.

Principal

 

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Email #1: September 10, 2020

Dear NHS Community,

As you have heard, IUSD announced that schools will reopen for in-person instruction for those students who selected the hybrid model or who elected to return for specific classes at Northwood. Our first day of in-person instruction will be September 24. This applies to NHS-Hybrid students only and those who will be on campus for the Arts or Athletics.

To prepare for our in-person return, Monday, September 21, and Tuesday, September 22, will be non-student days for all IUSD students. The transition schedule for back to school in-person instruction will be as follows:

  • Monday, September 21: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day
  • Tuesday, September 22: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day
  • Wednesday, September 23: Distance Learning Day
  • Thursday, September 24: First day of in-person instruction

When we begin in-person instruction, in the Hybrid Schedule, on September 24, we will do so by COHORT. Our student body has been divided into two cohorts by last name (A-L and M-Z). This means that we will have only half of the students on campus each day. We have made a slight adjustment from our previous communication to balance out classes for safety concerns. If for some reason you would like to request a change in your student's cohort, please fill out the form here and we will accommodate requests as space is available.

Beginning Monday, September 28, the cohort model will follow the schedule outlined in the attachment below. Mondays will remain reserved for office hours and TA and students will follow the cohort schedule Tuesday - Friday. The schedule for each cohort is linked below and identified by last name:

We understand that some families may have questions about safety precautions that we are taking on campus. We would like to assure you that we have been busy preparing for a safe return to school. Here are some things that we have in place already:

Schedules

Our cohorts will ensure that class sizes do not exceed 20 students and desks are distanced as far away as possible with screen partitions available when needed. In addition to having fewer students on campus because of the cohorts, we designed our master schedule with safety in mind so that students are arriving and leaving campus at different times. Students are expected to only be on campus for their classes and leave campus during lunch time, in hopes of limiting the number of students walking around at the same time. This is also true for our breaks that are built into third and fourth periods. Students will be split into two groups to, again, lessen the number of students out at one time.

Cleaning

The district has daily and weekly cleaning plans that we will follow as a school. Beyond those, our custodians will be cleaning frequently touched surfaces five times a day: Before school, after the start of each period, and after school. Door handles, staircases, and restrooms will be wiped down and cleaned. Throughout the day, tables, water fountains, and vending machines will also be cleaned before and after school and after each break during the day. Our air filtration has been updated and each classroom is also equipped with a HEPA air purifier.

Logistics

While on campus, students will be asked to travel one-way on certain staircases and socially distance in lines for the restroom or food stations. We will have multiple food stations available for students to purchase snacks or lunch so that lines move quickly. Unfortunately, visitors will not be permitted on campus and any questions or drop-offs can be handled at the window of our attendance office (near the theatre).

There is a lot of excitement surrounding our return and we recognize there may be feelings of uncertainty, too. Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and healthy. With this in mind, we will also be asking for your student to take an active role by wearing a mask, social distancing, and following protocols. We will share more information in the upcoming days via email. We thank you for your trust, patience, and cooperation as we take this journey together!