Welcome toO'Brien STEM Academy!
Proud home of the Lions!We are excited about the wonderfully, positive things happening here at school!Check back often for updates!
Dear O’Brien Families,
As we approach the start of the 20-21 school year, we know there are many questions and concerns. We hope that this document will help to answer some of your questions and make certain that we consider as many scenarios as possible to ensure the safest approach to our new and returning Lions. Please reach out with any additional questions, comments, or suggestions, contact information for administration can be found at the end of this document.
The Washoe County School District Board has reaffirmed the July 7th action for Middle School Education which includes the Hybrid Learning Option, Full Time Distance Learning, and daily attendance for vulnerable populations option for students returning for the 20-21 school year. Thank you for taking your survey and for also reaching out regarding updated decisions that you have been making as a family.
- Hybrid Learning Option: Students physically attend school every other day and participate with distance (at home, online) learning every other day. A Day students will begin school on Monday August 17th and then will attend school every other day from that date moving forward. B day students will begin school on Tuesday August 18th and will attend school every other day from that date moving forward. Students on Hybrid learning may shift to distance learning upon completing a parent, counselor admin meeting. We encourage all shifts to take place at the end of the quarter in these scenarios.
- In Person Every Day: Students who participate in person every day as part of Special Education Services; Children in Transition Program; Newcomer English Language Learner Program; Gifted and Talented Programming including Middle School Magnet.
- Full Time Distance Learning: Students attend all grade level core classes at home, online daily. They will have distance learning teachers and an advisory teacher that will monitor and provide support for students as they work on classes via Edgenuity and directly from the distance learning teachers. Students engaging in full distance learning may transition to attending in the Hybrid model at the end of each quarter.
All students will have the opportunity to view our “Virtual Prideland Day” which we will email out in a connect ed on August 13th. As we prioritize safety for our learning community, students who are brand new to O’Brien will be invited to an in person Prideland day on August 13th by their Advisory teacher when they receive their “Welcome Call” between August 6th and August 12th. New students attending Prideland day in person will have the opportunity to have their picture taken and receive their Student ID, purchase uniforms from Kate’s Logos, and may also schedule a short tour with one of their team teachers. New students will have the opportunity to schedule a tour with their advisory teacher during their “Welcome Call”.
First Day of School Guidance
Students will arrive on campus on their scheduled mornings and may walk to the cafeteria to be served breakfast (if they so choose). All 6th and 7th grade students not eating breakfast should report to the large gym on the first day of school and all 8th grade students not eating breakfast should report to the basketball courts on the first day of school. 6th and 7th grade students will be encouraged to transition to their Advisory class at 7:20 on the first day of school. 8th Grade Students will be encouraged to transition to their Advisory class at 7:25 on the first day of school. During Advisory, their teacher will assign them a recreation zone for the year. Recreation zones are outdoor areas on campus that will have around 50 student limits, so that students are able to socialize with a 6-foot safety radius, take mask breaks, and enjoy the outdoors. Students will access their recreation zones before school, and during lunch. Each zone will also have an interior assignment that we use in the event that there is inclement weather. Students will learn all about their zone assignments, what to do when lunch occurs, and how to move about the building while in their Advisory class the first morning that they report to school. In that setting, we will answer their questions and make sure they are oriented for the day.
Duty teachers will be monitoring students and reminding them to wear their masks and maintain social distancing. We will also be assisting them in locating their classrooms.
We have increased the passing time between classes to 5 minutes in order to provide plenty of safe transition time. Students will not be assigned lockers (academic or athletic) this year and we are asking that they not to bring anything to school except for their mask, and their student ID (once they have received these from us). Parents who desire for their student to bring a phone or technology device to school may do so, however, O’Brien and WCSD cannot be responsible for student owned technology devices that are lost, damaged or stolen, so please make sure your student is careful with their technology if they chose to bring it to campus.
We will continue with an Early Release (1:15 dismissal) each Wednesday. Students will be released no later than 2:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
STUDENTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO BRING A WATER BOTTLE AS DRINKING FOUNTAINS WILL NOT BE UTILIZED.
Student Drop Off and Pick Up/Transportation
WCSD Transportation will continue to be provided to students that live in areas where transportation had previously been provided. Parents must register for bus transportation by accessing https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/176. All students riding buses are required to wear a mask, sit in assigned seats, and maintain social distancing. The routes with times and locations for stops will be published on WCSD website in the days just before school starting. If students will be dropped off in the morning or will be walking, we are asking that students arrive at 7:20am. Students should report directly to their Advisory class when they arrive each morning.
At the end of the day, students will dismiss directly to the front or back of the school.
*Students riding a bus will directly board their bus and sit in their assigned seat.
*Students that are walking will head directly home.
*Students being picked up will wait at the front of the school.
Duty teachers will monitor that students continue to wear their masks and maintain social distancing.
At dismissal, all available exits will be used to minimize numbers in any particular area.
Family/Community Access to Building
Parents and families are encouraged to call the school at 775-667-5420 prior to entering the school. Most requests and situations can be successfully addressed over the phone. We will significantly limit the number of non-staff or student entrance into the building. All visitors must wear a mask and will be limited to the front foyer or main door entrance. This is to limit the potential exposure in the building and keep our students and staff as safe as possible.
Inside School Logistics
- One-Way Traffic Routes - When students enter the building, they will need to maintain social distancing (they will not be able to congregate in any area) and proceed directly to their class. There are social distancing and directional arrows showing students how to travel in all areas. Staff will be on duty during all passing times to help students with maintaining the one-way traffic flow throughout the building. Doors will be propped open into rooms and learning spaces, limiting the need for students to touch knobs or hold doors open. Students need to follow traffic patterns, use doors marked for entry and exit, and follow directions of staff.
- Switching Classes: Students will attend/pass to all of their classes each day. They will need to follow the end of class directions and wait to be dismissed from class. Once they are released, they will make their way to their next class where they will line up on the wall outside of the class and wait to be admitted once the student desks have been disinfected by the teacher. Students will utilize hand sanitizer that we provide as they enter each class.
- Restrooms: Restroom use will happen during class time. Each teacher/classroom will have an assigned restroom area. Sinks will be limited to every other sink so that social distancing can be maintained. Teachers will have passes for students to fill out if they need to leave the room for any reason. Only 1 student will be permitted to leave the room at any time.
- Clinic/Medical: We will maintain 2 separate clinic areas; one for students and staff presenting with contagious/virus symptoms and one for non-Covid or virus reasons (personal hygiene, medication, first aid). A staff member will monitor the entrance to the clinic to direct students and staff to the correct location depending on their need to visit the clinic. Should any student or staff member be officially diagnosed with Covid-19, O’Brien will work closely with and follow all direction of WCSD Health Services and Washoe County Health Department.
- Hand Washing: Any classroom or learning space with a sink will have a hand washing station (soap and paper towels) set-up. Handwashing will be encouraged throughout the day.
- Breakfast Pickup in Cafeteria: Students will have access to hand sanitizer before eating their breakfast. Nutrition Services staff will pass food out to students before they make their way to their recreation zone. All food items must be disposed of in the trash cans in their recreation zone before students make their way to class.
- Lunch: Our daily lunch period is 30 minutes long. Students will be allowed to socialize and take mask breaks within a 6 foot safety radius after eating lunch in their recreation zone. Hand sanitizer will be available to each student in the classroom and as they enter and exit the lunchroom.
- Seating: Cafeteria seating will be provided especially for students who are sun sensitive or cannot eat and recreate outdoors. All students will be seated facing in the same direction, no face-to-face seating.
- Seating: Each classroom is equipped with 17-20 desks and chairs. Each student will be assigned a seat.
- Supplies: Students will be provided with all the supplies they need to succeed each day. There will be no shared supplies that are not sanitized between use. If labs or activities are assigned, students will receive individual packets of materials and supplies. Teams may design systems and procedures for supplies and may permit students to take home and bring back items as system improvements and safety evolve.
- Dismissal: At the end of each class period every desk and chair will be sanitized. Teachers will dismiss students individually so that they may pass safely to their next class. Students entering the class will wait outside the room until the teachers has prompted them to enter (room is empty) and they will follow the instructions of the teacher where to wait to take their seat. Teachers will set procedures for a bell-ringer exercise while students wait. The sanitizing agent needs 5 minutes to dry, this will accommodate the time needed for the process to finish.
Athletics and Activities
The movement of NIAA athletics to the Spring Semester has happened for WCSD High Schools and Middle Schools. In addition to this, we will not have extracurricular activities or clubs for the first 9 weeks of school. We will re-assess this at the end of each quarter. Please be prepared that it is a possibility that athletics and activities at the middle school level may be cancelled for the 2020-2021 school year. As soon as we have more details, we will pass them along.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this document, we are confident of a successful implementation with all of us working together. We will update as more information becomes available. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please reach out to Principal Baker at Melynda.email@example.com.
Looking forward to seeing many of our Panthers and families soon! Remember, if you need to reach the office, our number is 775-677-5420.
The O'Brien community empowers all student to be compassionate and productive citizens who are life-long learners.
Parents, students and staff work hard daily to practice and develop leadership skills.
From the District...
Notice of Non-Discrimination and Web-Accessibility
The District prohibits bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation in any of its educational programs/activities, employment, and employment opportunities. For the District's full Notice of Non-Discrimination statement as well as methods to address questions and concerns please visit our Notice of Non-Discrimination and Web Accessibility page. For more information, visit the Civil Rights Compliance Department page.
WCSD Parent Student Handbook