Dear Alice Smith Parents and Guardians:
Welcome to Alice Smith’s 2020-2021 school year. This letter has been prepared with GREAT excitement as it signifies the start of our school year after being away from our students since March! Careful planning has gone into bringing our students back into our buildings on August 17, 2020. As we at Alice Smith ES prepare for the new school year, we have worked with district leadership and our staff over the course of the last few months to gather feedback and identify protocols surrounding the safety, educational, social, and the emotional needs of our students and families.
The offices of the school are open and please know that my door is always open. Our first day of school will be Monday, August 17, 2020, with Pre-K and Kindergarten starting on Monday, August 24, 2020. Alice Smith ES’s start time remains unchanged with the tardy bell ringing at 9:30 AM each day. The school day will end at 3:30 PM for all students on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesdays, the school day will end at 2:45 PM to allow for teacher training. Remember that Beckwourth Drive gets very crowded in the morning so give yourself plenty of time to have your student on time every day.
Student’s teachers and classroom assignments will be visible on the Infinite Campus/Parent Portal beginning August 3rd. Students who have chosen distance learning will be contacted later by their assigned DL teacher, once that person is assigned. Also, teacher and class assignments will likely change to meet the in-person and distance learning needs of our students.
Minimizing interactions over the course of the school day, as well as increasing our cleaning efforts are at the top of our list. To begin, we will implement the following actions: • Increased deep cleaning practices. • Hand sanitizing stations at various locations and increased hand washing throughout the day. • Students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be isolated and sent home. • Reducing social interactions by having students travel in cohort groups. • Only essential and pre-approved visitors will be allowed at Alice Smith. Those approved are required to wear a mask. • Careful thought on school-wide events and field trips.
Please note that we plan to be transparent with you and your families and as guidelines change, we will modify and adjust our plans as deemed necessary. The following will outline how things will look a little different next year as we plan for our re-opening.
Increased Cleaning and Practicing Prevention... • Signage will be displayed noting daily cleaning, as well as information on how to reduce the spread of germs and proper hand washing. • Portable hand sanitizers will be used in classrooms during arrival. • Staff training on COVID-19 symptoms and protocols will be provided. • Increased cleaning schedule of “high touch” surfaces and areas in the building, classrooms, and restrooms.
• Teachers will implement social distancing, strategic seating/grouping, and extra handwashing/hygiene as often and feasible as possible. • Our main office will be open to parents with inquiries or to pick up their child, to teachers, to substitute teachers, for deliveries, and late arrival of students. ALL will need to adhere to our safety protocols, including a mask, and use of hand sanitizer. • Parents dropping off items throughout the day, such as lunch boxes or classroom snacks will be able to drop them in the main vestibule (single point entry area). Our Alice Smith staff will be sure to get these items to your child.
Mask Guidelines for Students and Staff... • Every effort will be made at Alice Smith to keep students in small cohorts/classrooms and minimize mixing between groups. • Student must wear a mask at any time. The only time the kids will be able to remove their mask will be during breakfast or lunch, outside time where they will be 3 feet or more apart, or during designated “mask-breaks” when social distancing can be ensured. • Students must wear a face covering on buses, during congested transitions (changing classes, dismissal), and when working in close proximity to peers and adults. We ask that parents support responsible mask wearing. • Staff members will be provided masks. All faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering in common areas, large gatherings, class changes, anytime outside their classroom, and in the classroom when they cannot socially distance of at least 6 feet.
Arrival and Dismissal... • Prior to school, we ask that families conduct a health check on their child(ren). o Does your child have any of these symptoms that are not caused by another condition? § Fever or chills § Cough § Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing § Fatigue § Muscle or body aches § Headache § Recent loss of taste or smell § Sore throat § Congestion § Nausea or vomiting § Diarrhea o Within the past 14 days, has your child had contact with anyone that you know had COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms? Contact is being 6 feet (2 meters) or closer for more than 15 minutes with a person, or having direct contact with fluids from a person with COVID-19 (for example, being coughed or sneezed on). o Has anyone in your household had a positive COVID-19 test for active virus in the past 10 days? o Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told anyone in your household to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection? • In order to accomplish this efficiently and safely, families doing parent drop off must remain in their vehicles and utilize parent drop off lanes near the kindergarten and primary playgrounds. Parents will not be able to walk their student(s) to the door. All students will exit from their cars.
• The gates to the school will not open before 9:15 AM, Students are asked to stay in their family’s car or bus until the gates are open to limit crowding and grouping. • At 9:15, students will walk to their designated line up area for their class. • If your child is late to school, please escort them to the main office and sign them in. • At the end of the day, students will be dismissed by classrooms to travel with their teacher to their bus and parent pick up locations. At parent pick up, we will require that all families remain in their cars and utilize the parent pick up lanes, rather than walking up to retrieve your child. This will allow us to expedite our process efficiently and safely while students exit the building in their cohorts. We will follow our normal process for walkers.
The Classroom... • Classrooms will travel together for lunch, recess, and dismissal. • Doorstops will be utilized to limit door handle contact. • Student desks/tables will all face forward and follow distancing guidinges. • Frequent cleaning will occur throughout the day of “high touch” areas • Students will use supplies from their own "pencil box," rather than sharing communal supplies. • Students will be asked to bring a spill-proof water bottle from home that can be refilled throughout the day as our water fountains will be limited. • Teachers utilizing masks. • Classrooms will be closed to volunteers, except by a pre-approval system with the school administrator. We still welcome your help and would love to send tasks home that you can complete for the classroom teacher.
Breakfast and Lunch... • All students have access to a free breakfast and lunch at Alice Smith. • Students who eat breakfast or lunch will have their lunches delivered to their classrooms. • Teachers will let nutrition service (NS) employees know who had the NS meal • Students will eat in their classrooms. Students can bring their own breakfast or lunch or choose the meal from the school. • Parents will not be allowed to come to the classroom and eat with their children. • ALL employees will wear masks and follow safety guidelines while preparing the food. • Considerations by our food service team will be made regarding the packaging of food. (i.e. individual containers and grab-and-go.) Self-serving for students and staff will not be option.
Other... • Please stay tuned for plans for our Open Houses and/or Virtual Open Houses. • Annual school-wide events on our calendar may be changed or delivered in a different format, such as virtually, or a revised schedule by cohorts.
Positive Case of COVID… • The District Office COVID Management Team is currently working with the Washoe County Health Department on a plan to put into action if a student or teacher should test positive or become symptomatic for COVID. • The COVID 19 Management Plan will detail the districts’ action plan that will be taken if there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case at Alice Smith. • The Health Department will take the lead and notify appropriate individuals that have been around the exposed student or staff member, if there is a positive case involving a student or staff member at Alice Smith.
Important Dates to Start… • August 17 – First day of school for 1st – 6th graders • August 17 – 21 – Kinder assessment • August 24 – First day of school for Pre-K and Kindergarteners
Staffing… We have some changes to our staff roster. I would like to welcome new staff members this year to Alice Smith. Mrs. Ann Bray will serve as our new Assistant Principal. She is joining us from Spanish Springs ES. Mr. James Mangum will be joining us as our 6th grade teacher. Ms. Roberta Bramson will be joining us as an Aide in our Elementary Strategies Program. We have had a few changes within our staff as well. Ms. Thrower will be teaching Kindergarten. Ms. Allyson Updike will be teaching first grade. Ms. Kehrig will be teaching 4th grade along with Mr. Howton. Ms. Robbins will be teaching 5th grade. We are currently looking to fill one more support staff position at the time of this letter, but we hope to be fully staffed on the first day.
Buses/Transportation… Because of the number of students that will be choosing distance learning, families must go online and register their children for the regular bus service. Please go to the district/transportation website at https://www.washoeschools.net/Domain/73 or click on the links below to register your child. School Bus Registration Bus Schedules and Routes are not yet available, but will be posted through the district’s website at http://buses.washoeschools.net at the beginning of August. If your child will be taking a bus, I encourage parents to stay with their children until the morning bus comes. If you are picking up your child after school, please make sure you arrive no later than 3:45 PM (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) or 3:00 PM (Wed) or you will need to go to the office to pick up your child.
The Alice Smith Staff continues its commitment to working collaboratively with you and with one another to provide results-oriented instruction that focuses on the success and achievement of every student. We are counting on each and every parent to partner with us to continue our work to raise the bar and grow achievement for all of our students. To this end, we have updated our Mission, Vision, Shared Commitments, and Values. Mission: It is the mission of Alice Smith Elementary School to ensure high levels of learning and growth for each student within a positive atmosphere. Vision: The staff of Alice Smith Elementary School, through our collective effort, will ensure our policies, programs, and practices reflect our commitment to prepare all students to achieve high levels of learning and growth. In doing so, our students will have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to pursue and attain their goals and dreams- (College, Career, and Life Ready). Collective Commitments: In order to achieve the vision of our school, Alice Smith Elementary School staff will commit to the following: • Adhere to the curriculum pacing guide established by the district/teams, identify and teach the agreed-upon essential outcomes, and help students to discover ways they can use their knowledge. • Create both common formative and summative assessments, administer them according to a teams agreed-upon timeline, review and use results/data from common assessment to improve instructional practices and advance academic growth for all students. • Contribute to an effective system of intervention and enrichment.
• Be positive contributing members of our PLC’s as we work interdependently to achieve shared goals, responsibilities, and accountability. • Contribute to a culture of celebration by acknowledging the efforts and achievements of our students and colleagues as we continually strive for even greater success. • Agree to a common language about behavioral expectations, model that behavior, and consistently reinforce our expectations. • Come to our workplace each day as the best version of ourselves. • Provide families with resources, strategies and information to help students succeed. • Commit to an attitude of continuous learning and ongoing professional development. Goals: 1. To improve student achievement in Language arts for all students in each grade level as measured by local, district, and state assessments. 2. To improve student achievement in math for all students in each grade level as measured by local, district, and state assessments.
Supplies… Many families ask about supplies lists. Families wishing to do so may get basic supplies for their students (notebook, pencil box, paper, pencils, etc.). Many regular and specialty supply items will be provided by the school. The school district will provide students with 1 washable mask. It is highly recommended that families find multiple masks that their children like and are more comfortable using.
Parent-Teacher Home Visits… Our school proudly participates in the Parent-Teacher Home Visit project with over half of our staff working with families to meet at our student’s homes. These visits are a chance for our families and teachers to get to know each other and build partnerships as we work together to support your child’s learning and growth. We will begin this program once we have received guidance on proper safety and distancing procedures.
Parent/Student Handbook… Students will be taking home a new Alice Smith Handbook shortly after school begins. These handbooks will be a key tool in helping students learn to organize their work and maintaining frequent communication between parents and teachers. The first planner is free, but there will be a replacement charge if lost.
Uniform… SITE-BASED STUDENT UNIFORM POLICY 1. General a. The following student uniform policy shall be in effect for school years 2019-20 through 2022-23 unless changes are directed by the Superintendent in accordance with Board Policy. b. All provisions of the Washoe County School District’s student dress code, as documented in the Parent/Student Handbook and/or any posted rules of this school, shall remain in effect. 2. Description of the Uniform a. Tops. The approved uniform top is a Navy Blue or Dark Red t-shirt, polo shirt, sweatshirt or sweater. i. The uniform shirt may be plain or have the approved school logo on it. Non-approved school logos are not permitted on the uniform top, whether or not the logo is related to the school or a school activity. ii. T-shirts of any color may be worn under the approved uniform top. b. Bottoms. Approved bottoms are defined as jeans, slacks, shorts, athletic pants, leggings/jeggings, skirts, and skorts and must be black or khaki (light tan or brown). No other colors shall be allowed. c. Outerwear. Jackets, coats, and zippered sweatshirts are considered outerwear and are permitted over the uniform in accordance with the school’s dress code.
d. Misc. Other items of clothing such as shoes, socks, belts, hats, ties, and accessories shall comply with the WCSD dress code. 3. All students enrolled at Alice Smith Elementary School shall be in compliance with the provisions of this site-based student uniform policy, as well as the school dress code during the school day. The only exception to this policy shall exist with the permission of the principal during a free day, Free days shall apply to all students. No content-based exceptions shall be allowed. 4. Sale of Uniforms / Financial Assistance. a. Reasonably priced polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and the purchase location of adopted colored tops and bottoms will be left to the discretion of students and their parents or guardians. There are many reasonably priced options. b. Any family in need of financial assistance with the purchase of approved tops or bottoms should contact the office for information or to make arrangements. c. Uniforms of students moving on have been donated and “recycled” for students.
These are exceptional times right now. Please know that the teachers, staff, and administration of Alice Smith ES are committed to providing strong rigorous and relevant learning experience for your child that is safe and supports their social and emotional growth.