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What to Expect When We Return
What to Expect When We Return
Sean Wightman
Thursday, October 08, 2020

Greetings Dowagiac Middle School Parents,

The information listed below is being provided to you in an effort to communicate how we are preparing for our return to school on October 12th for in-person instruction.  We hope this document will demonstrate the care and commitment we have undertaken to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students and faculty is being met. 

If you have questions about any of the information presented below, please feel free to contact me.  I can be reached at (269) 782-4440, ext. 1105.  

Thank you for your continued support.

We are looking forward to educating your child to “be their best in and for the world.


ONWARD CHIEFTAINS!

Dr. Sean H. Wightman

Principal

Dowagiac Middle School

swightman@dowagiacschools.org


  • Self Health Reporting/Monitoring: 

    • Parents/Guardians should monitor the status and/or any changes to the health of their school aged child.  If a caregiver suspects their son or daughter is sick,  they should keep them home. Their absence should also be reported to the Middle School Office (269) 782-4440. 

    • It is everyone’s responsibility to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever of 100.4 or higher, sudden onset of uncontrollable cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell or taste, etc.)  and stay home if illness is suspected.  If a student is confirmed as having COVID-19, or has been informed he/she has had an official exposure to someone who has been identified to have COVID-19, please report this information to our District Nurse, Ms. Suzanne Dormann, for further instructions. She may be reached at:  (269) 782-4400, ext. 1129

  • Morning Arrival:

    • The building will be open at 7:20 AM for car riders and walkers (East Entrance/Main Doors)

    • Students who ride the bus will be dropped off at 7:20 AM (South Entrance/Athletic Field Doors)

    • Students will have the option of picking up a “Grab and Go” breakfast from our cafeteria or will be directed to go immediately to their lockers and 1st hour class.

    • First Hour begins at 7:32 AM

  • Lockers & Backpacks:  

    • Students will be asked to limit the number of times they visit their lockers (before 1st hour, before/lunch, and at the end of the day)

    • *Backpacks will not be allowed in classrooms.  Instead, students will be expected to carry their belongings with them to their classes.

  • Students Sick at School:  

    • If a student becomes ill at school, the family will be notified so arrangements can be made for the student to go home.  

    • If symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, the student will be placed in a room away from others (“Quarantine Room”) until he/she is released to go home with a parent/guardian. 

  • Emergency Information and Parent Contact Information:  

    • Please ensure all parent and emergency contact information is up-to-date so we can reach an adult during school hours.  This will help us limit exposure of others to illness. 

  • Masks:  

    • All students are required to properly (covering mouth and nose) wear a mask to enter the building, ride the bus, or attend class.  

    • Masks are required throughout the school day in the halls, classrooms, and all common areas.  

    • If possible, students should wear their own masks to school the first day.  If a student is medically exempt from wearing a face mask, documentation must be provided from a physician and on file with our school nurse.  

  • Chromebooks:  

    • Students are required to bring their school issued Chromebooks to school each day .  

    • School issued Chromebooks will be utilized throughout the day by teaching staff. 

    • Personal family/student devices will not be permitted to connect to the district's wifi system.   

    • *Students are responsible for fully charging their school issued Chromebooks before the scheduled day’s instruction.  

    • Teaching staff will not have chargers available for student use in their rooms. 

  • Extra Masks:  

    • Students will be issued 2 washable masks on Monday, October 12th as a part of their required supplies.  

    • Outside/personal masks may also be worn as long as they are appropriate and cover a student’s nose and mouth adequately.  

    • Students are required to wear a clean mask daily. 

    • Disposable masks will be available for students/staff if the need arises

  • Social Distancing:  

    • Students are required to maintain social distance when feasible outside and inside the building.

    • Furniture arrangements in common areas and classrooms has been done to maximize social distancing and teacher instruction

  • Hallway Traffic: 

    • Students will move/walk on the right side of the hallways to maintain “traffic flow.” 

  • Sanitizing: 

    • Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms for student/staff use.  

    • It is recommended students sanitize their hands upon entering a classroom.

    • Additional hand sanitizing stations are located around the building for public use. 

    • Touchless sanitizing stations have been installed near most common areas (restrooms, cafeteria, etc.) throughout the building. 

  • Classroom Cleaning & Sharing of Items:

    • Teachers will sanitize student desks and other materials as required at the conclusion of every class period.  

    • Students should NOT share personal items with other students (e.g. pencils, computers, calculators, rulers, etc.)  

    • If sharing must occur, then items should be property sanitized before they are returned.

  •  Personal Hygiene:

    • Students will be communicated to utilize good hygiene practices.  

      • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you can.

      • Wear masks at all times.  

      • Sanitize when you can.  

      • If you have to sneeze or cough, use your elbow.  

      • Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces, etc.

    • Students will be provided time during the school day to wash their hands (At minimum: once before/after lunch and during a scheduled time

    • Students will be given instruction on how to wash their hands thoroughly 

  • Seating at Lunch:  

    • Students will be required to report directly to the cafeteria after visiting their lockers prior to lunch.

    • Students will be assigned seats during their lunch period and will be required to sit in their assigned seat during lunch. 

    • Attendance will be taken to assist with contact tracing. 

    • Students may remove their masks only if they are eating/drinking.

    • Once a student has completed their lunch, they will be required to wear their mask.

    • Students will obtain permission from a supervising  adult to leave their seat if they need to use the restroom or throw away their garbage.   

  • Food at Lunch: 

    • There will be food kiosks throughout the cafeteria that will offer a hot or cold sandwich choice, or pre-packaged salad.  

    • Lunches will be pre-bagged and contain everything needed including sides, condiments, utensils, etc.   

    • Students will be provided a choice of drink  

    • Students may bring lunch from home. 

    • It is important to note: Lunch deliveries from outside the building will not be permitted until Phase 4 restrictions have been reduced.

  • Water Fountains:  

    • Water Fountains will be available to students throughout the day to hydrate themselves.

    • Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle from home

    • Flavor packets/additives  will not be permitted 

    • Drinking spouts on water fountains have been disabled to maintain the health of students and staff

  • Dismissal:  

    • School will be dismissed at 2:20 PM each day.  

    • Bus riders will exit the building using the South exit doors located in the back of the building.   

    • Students who ride the bus will be required to wear their masks for the duration of their ride home. 

  • Students Being Picked Up and Walkers:  

    • Walkers and car riders will exit the building using the East exit doors (front of the building).

    • Students will be required to wear masks until they exit the building and will be encouraged to socially distance while waiting to be picked up.

    • If students are unable to wait outside because of the weather, they will be required to wear masks in the building until they are picked up.

  • Extracurricular Activities:  

    • Students participating in extracurricular events should report directly to their supervised activity after school.

    • While waiting for their supervisor, students will wear their masks and remain socially distanced until they arrive.

  • Guests/Visitors to the Building:  

    • In an effort to maintain the safety of our students and staff, we are requesting limited access to the building because of COVID-19.  As a result, we are limiting all non-essential staff/visitors from being  permitted to enter the building, unless approved by administration.  This restriction will remain in effect throughout Phase 4 until it has been lifted.

    • If you have valid business, you will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 Self-Assessment Questionnaire upon arrival in the front foyer.  Once completed, a secretary will take your temperature before allowing you entrance in the building.

    • If you drop your child off  late or if you  need to pick your child up early, please  contact the Middle School Office (269) 782-4440 and we will be happy to assist you. After verifying some information, we will call your child down and allow them to leave with you for the day.

    •  To assist us in providing quality service to all families, please call ahead.  This will allow us time to gather information in advance which will  help limit the need for you to enter the building.