On Monday, October 5, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) students whose families opted for the Schoolhouse model will begin returning to school in a phased approach for five-days-a-week of learning. Students whose parents selected My School Online (MSO) will remain in distance learning. Parents should have received notification cards in the mail, indicating the preference they selected. This information may also be found on the Dadeschools Mobile app or on the Student Portal. On the first day of school, students should be prepared to show the card or a device indicating that they are confirmed for a physical return to school.
Click HERE for Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho’s video message to parents/guardians.
M-DCPS has spent several months sanitizing, maintaining and upgrading its school sites and school buses, and has developed a variety of new protocols and procedures to maximize safety for students and employees. These are provided in detail in M-DCPS’ reopening of schools guide, which is available in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole at reopening.dadeschools.net.
Students and their parents/guardians also play a critically-important role in facilitating safety for all. Most importantly, parents should keep their children home when they are ill, experiencing signs and symptoms of a communicable disease, and/or when they have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, M-DCPS has created a pre-arrival checklist, “At-Home Daily Student Health Screening,” for parents to determine if their child should attend school. The checklist may be found at reopening.dadeschools.net.
All M-DCPS employees must also complete a daily health screening, prior to entering schools or district facilities. While teachers and administrators will do everything possible to encourage safe behavior in school, it is equally important that families emphasize and model healthy behavior at home, and that they talk to their children about changes expected during this school year.
Expectations of All Students
· Stay home if sick.
· Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol upon entering the building. Hand sanitizing stations can be found in high-traffic areas and in classrooms.
· Wash and/or sanitize hands frequently.
· Avoid touching face and eyes.
· Maximize physical distancing to the extent possible.
· Every day, wear an appropriate, well-fitted personal facial covering/mask that protects both the nose and mouth, at school and on a school bus. Students will be expected to know how to use a facial covering throughout the school day. (More information on facial coverings below.)
· Limit the use of shared objects, such as physical education equipment, playground equipment, art supplies, toys, and games. Shared objects will be cleaned after each use.
· Bring personal, reusable water bottles. Water fountains will be out of service and bottle-filling stations will be made available for refills.
· Follow all directions provided by teachers or administrators for the safety of the school community. It is especially important that students stay in their assigned classrooms and spaces.
Facial Coverings and Social Distancing
· Parents and guardians need to ensure that they send their children to school with an appropriate mask, and that students understand how and when to use a mask throughout the school day.
· All persons must wear masks when on School Board property, at a School Board activity, or riding a school bus or other approved transportation. Students and children over the age of two are expected to come to school each day with their personal facial coverings.
· If a student needs a facial covering, parents are asked to contact their child’s principal in advance.
· It is recommended that the facial covering has two or more layers of breathable, washable fabric, completely covers the nose and mouth; and fits snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps.
· Students must never share masks.
· Exemptions to the facial covering requirement must be approved, in advance, directly by the school principal.
· Masks must not include obscene, profane, drug-related, gang-related, or inflammatory messages or pictorial graphics.
· Eye goggles and/or face shields may also be worn, in addition to a mask, so long as they are not darkened or excessively tinted.
If there is a COVID-19 Diagnosis in Household
· If anyone in a student’s household is diagnosed with COVID-19, parents/guardians must report that exposure to the school(s).
· The school will consult with the public health department to assess appropriate precautions which include, but are not limited to:
o Requesting student(s) to remain home for 14 days to protect the school community.
o The school will work with the parent and student to keep student(s) engaged and current on schoolwork, to the extent possible.
o Information will be kept confidential, as required by law, except to the extent that it is necessary to protect staff and other students from transmission of the virus.
Other Important Information for Parents/Guardians
School Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
To the extent possible, students, parents and visitors are always required to maintain a maximum amount of social distancing. Schools will share with parents specific procedures for arrival/dismissal for their site.
Digital Devices and School Supplies
In the Schoolhouse model, individual teachers will determine whether there is a need for students to bring in digital devices for use in the classroom. If a student does not have a device, parents should contact their child’s school principal to request one. Students should charge devices at home overnight. Schools will provide grade-specific school supply lists to parents.
M-DCPS has the ability to communicate accurately and efficiently with parents through voice, text, and email messages. It is important that your child’s school has the most current parent contact information. Parents can update their details by contacting their child’s principal. They may also opt in for emergency text messages by texting “Y” to 67587 on their mobile device.
Dadeschools Mobile App
The Dadeschools Mobile app is a one-stop shop for parents. Access important information including class schedules, school grades, District news and much more. Download the free app to your iPhone or Android device.
Immunizations and Flu Vaccine
Parents are urged to check their children’s immunization records to see if they are due for any mandated school entry vaccines. All M-DCPS students are required to have the mandatory school age vaccines for the 2020-2021 school year, including those participating exclusively via My School Online (MSO). Additionally, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to prevent the seasonal flu is to get an annual flu vaccine. Click HERE for a list of locations for M-DCPS students to receive free immunizations and flu vaccines.
All students will have access to free breakfast and lunch until the end of December. Students who are attending in person will eat their meals in the cafeteria, classroom or another designated area, based on based on school-specific plans. Student identification badges will now be scanned for meal accountability, eliminating the use of keypads. Students attending MSO will be able to pick up multiple meals at school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Students who are eligible for District transportation services are being provided information as part of the mailed notification. Parents can also check the Dadeschools Mobile app and the Student Portal for bus route information. Strategies such as reducing bus capacity, requiring face coverings while riding the bus, and reconfiguring bus routes are being implemented for maximum safety. Hand sanitizing stations are available on every school bus. School buses will also be sanitized daily and between morning and afternoon routes.
School Site Visitors
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitor access will be limited and restricted to the main office. Parents should contact the school directly to make an appointment. Any visitors who are permitted to enter District buildings will be subject to a screening and must adhere to all District guidelines.
· Attached is a helpful checklist for parents whose children are returning to the schoolhouse.
· Reopening of Schools: reopening.dadeschools.net provides continuous updates and resources, including the M-DCPS Reopening Guide, FAQs, helpful links and a parent webinar.
· The Parent Academy: www.parentacademymiami.com supports and motivates families with access to information and vital resources in the form of a wide variety of training tools, webinars and resources. The Parent Academy is holding new, weekly webinars in three languages.
· Department of Mental Health Services: mentalhealthservices.dadeschools.net(305) 995-7100 for support, services and resources for students and families.
· Distance Learning Help Desk: 305-995-HELP (4357) for students and parents/guardians who have distance learning questions.
· General Support Help Desk: 305-995-3000 for general, non-distance learning questions.
· Project UP-START: 305-995-7558 for students experiencing unstable housing.
· Adult and Career/Technical Education: 305-558-8000 for adult and/or career technical students and enrollment information.
For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools mobile app to your iPhone or Android device. Follow us on Twitter @mdcps and @miamisup, on Instagram @miamischools and @miamisup, and on Facebook at MiamiSchools and AlbertoCarvalho
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