|From the desk of Mr. Jones|
Welcome back to the 2020-21 school year!
We would like to welcome you to our school. We realize that this year may look different, but we are all thrilled to have students back and we are excited for the new school year!
We appreciate your patience and understanding as the current health crisis continues to unfold and evolve. Everyone at Ephraim Elementary is working very hard to make sure we make students, teachers, and staff as safe as possible, while still providing a positive and welcoming learning environment for our students.
Unfortunately, our text system is very limited on the amount of information that can be sent. Because of this limitation, we ask that you please make sure you check your email, the school website, and our Facebook page on a regular basis as we will be sending the majority of our information using these formats.
The following is a list of changes that will be implemented in accordance with the COVID-19 State School Reopening Guidelines: (Please remember that these guidelines may change and we must be willing to adapt as we learn the best ways to keep students, teachers, and employees safe and schools open for in-person learning)
4 basic practices:
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Physical distance from others - 6 feet when possible.
- Wear a face covering at school.
- STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.
- Parents are expected to perform daily wellness checks on their children and SHOULD NOT send kids with symptoms to school. THIS IS CRITICAL! (Fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches, etc.)
- All volunteers/visitors will be required to sign in at the office and will be limited and might not be allowed into classrooms.
- Volunteers/visitors must wear a face covering. Please do not come to the school if showing any symptoms.
- There will be no in person school-wide assemblies until further notice.
- Students and teachers will sanitize or wash their hands each time they enter or exit a classroom.
- There will be increased sanitation in bathrooms and on playgrounds.
- Water bottles are allowed in the classroom and we invite all students to bring a clean water bottle each day labeled with their name.
- We ask that the water bottle has a "flip top" or a "pop-up top" rather than a "screw on" top. We will remind students to take home water bottles and wash them each day. They should be refilled at home as much as possible as we are developing procedures for how to refill a water bottle in the classroom because all drinking fountains will be turned off.
- Per state mandate, face coverings are required for students and anyone visiting the school and on busses. Students, teachers and staff will wear face coverings at school. School plans will allow for social distancing as best as possible. Students, teachers, employees, and visitors should put on their face coverings before they exit their vehicle and enter the school. No one should enter the school without wearing a face covering. All visitors should wear a face covering.
- Students will be allowed to remove their face covering during lunch, at recess and during outside PE.
- Teachers will be generous in giving kids a break from their mask, if needed. This will be done at the teacher’s discretion.
- Students will be provided a lanyard to hang their mask on while they eat or participate in recess, PE, or during a break.
- We recognize that it will be a new experience for everyone to wear masks, so we will be patient and work with students to teach them to be safe. If ANY student is struggling and needs a short break from their mask then accommodations will be made.
- Face masks must follow the school dress code by having appropriate graphics.
- South Sanpete School District will continue to pick up and drop off students at the regular bus stops.
- All students, drivers and staff will wear face coverings on the bus.
- Students will have assigned seats.
- Students from the same household will sit together.
- Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus.
- Bus drivers will sanitize their buses after each route/trip.
- Students will be distanced on their tables as much as possible.
- Grade level lunch times will be staggered to provide as much distancing as possible.
- Face coverings may be removed while eating.
- Lunch tables will be sanitized prior to the next group of students coming in.
- The school doors will be open at 7:40 for students to enter and go to breakfast or directly to their classrooms.
- Students who need to eat breakfast, will go to the gym and line up, maintaining appropriate distance and then take their breakfast to their classrooms. Students that arrive early to school must wear a face covering upon entering the school.
- Students will enter through the main doors and exit through the exterior doors closest to their classroom. Kindergarten and preschool students will enter and exit through their exterior classroom doors.
- Parents must drop students off outside and wait outside after school. No parents will be allowed in the hallways.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available at the entrance of the school.
- The easiest way to protect students, teachers, and employees from COVID-19 is to ask any person who is sick to stay home and not come to school. The students may be afraid to miss school if they are sick, for fear of having their grades or citizenship grades affected. Students may also be worried about falling behind in their classwork. Please realize that we will be lenient with our attendance policy.
- Please contact the school if your student is sick or has symptoms and needs to stay home to isolate. Teachers will provide classwork and allow the students to make up anything they miss.
There will be more questions and they will be addressed as they come up. We ask that you are all patient, supportive and understanding as we work through the process of reopening. We will do our best and work extremely hard to train our students with these new procedures and protocols. Safety of students, staff and patrons are of the utmost importance to us! Please note that information is changing frequently so we will adjust as necessary.
For more information on COVID-19 and School Safety please see the manual produced by the Utah Association of Local Health Departments, the Utah Department of Health, and Governor Gary Herbert.
We encourage you to read more about South Sanpete School District’s ‘Reopening Plan’’ at www.ssanpete.org
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Students who are sick must stay home. Students will be sent home if they come to school sick. Please make sure that your contact information is correct and current with the school in the event that the student needs to be picked up for any reason.
Monday and Friday Early out at 1:40 p.m. The first day of school is Thursday the 20th of August, and school will be out at 1:40 p.m. on Thursday and Friday the first week. We will also be starting with an early out at 1:40 p.m. schedule on Monday and Friday until Labor Day when it will be reevaluated to see if we need to continue this schedule. We will inform you of any changes.
Doors will not open until 7:40 a.m. Because of COVID supervision and safety concerns the school doors will remain locked until 7:40 a.m. this year. Please plan accordingly when dropping off students in the morning. This is being done because we are no longer able to have kids watch a movie in the gym in the morning. As soon as the doors open students will be allowed to go down to their classrooms. Students eating breakfast will grab their breakfast and take it to their classrooms.
Online Learning: The school year is divided into quarters. Parents that opt for online learning will need to stay with this option until the end of the quarter. If your child is attending school online or homeschool and wants to go back to in person learning, they will need to wait until the beginning of next quarter. These dates can be found online at www.ssanpete.org on the South Sanpete School District Calendar. Any extenuating circumstances need to be coordinated with the principal.
Visitors and Volunteers: On a regular year we would gladly encourage visitors and volunteers at our school. Unfortunately, the current guidelines have prohibited volunteers and visitors in the classrooms. We ask that all visitors wear a mask when entering the building and come straight to the office. Please help us to keep the school open and safe by not coming to the school if you have any symptoms, know that you have been exposed to someone with COVID, or have tested positive for COVID.
Back to School night will not be held this year. Teachers will be sending home or emailing a packet of information on the first day. Feel free to email the teachers with any back to school questions.
First grade open house will not be held in person this year. Teachers will instead create a video to introduced themselves and talk about what to expect being a first grader. Teachers will email out information on how to watch the video.
The Summer Reading Reward Swimming Party will not take place this year. Mrs. Wayman will have a treat and a reward for those students who completed the requirements over the summer.
First Day of School: Unfortunately, for safety reasons and to follow COVID guidelines, parents and guardians will not be allowed to walk students down to their classrooms on the first day of school. We will have a number of adult employees in place to make sure students get to their correct classroom.
Please refer to the following link for more COVID guidelines and information:
A few other items of importance:
Once again, because of state safety protocols regarding student information, class lists will not be posted on the doors. Student classroom placements will be made available on by logging on to your child’s PowerSchool account. We apologize for any inconvenience, but our students’ safety is of the upmost importance.
Regular kindergarten will start on Monday, August 31st. The kindergarten teachers will be conducting initial testing and a meet and greet the first week of school. Parents will sign up for a time on our School Bookings page. This information will be emailed to parents.
We would like to strongly encourage you to make it a goal for your children to read at home every night, and for you to read to your children. The National Education Association has stated that having kids read on their own at home is a crucial component of becoming good readers. Young readers need to become practiced at recognizing letters and sounds. The only way to keep improving is to practice. The U.S. Department of Education found that the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores.
This year we are excited to be continuing our researched based program called Second Step to teach and reinforce positive social, emotional, and bullying prevention skills in grades 1 - 5. Social and emotional skills, like math skills, build on each other. This classroom-based program is designed to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, control their reactions, be aware of others’ feelings, and have the skills to problem-solve and make responsible decisions. Each grade-level will receive weekly lessons that include engaging songs, games, daily activities, and take-home materials to reinforce learning.
Please be patient during this extremely unique and unusual school year, and realize that if recommended by the health department we may have to shift to a modified daily/weekly schedule or full dismissal at any time. Your concerns, ideas, and positive comments are appreciated and respected. Communication is vital to student success, and to our overall growth and sense of community here at Ephraim Elementary.
We look forward to another great year at Ephraim Elementary, and we will see you soon!
Principal Gannon Jones
Important Dates and Events in August
August 18 -21 Kindergarten testing (parents will schedule online)
August 20 First day of school (Short day schedule out @ 1:40 p.m.)
August 21 School out at 1:40 (Friday is our regular early out @ 1:40 p.m.)
August 20 Summer Bridge Packets/Workbooks due
August 24 Monday- (Short day schedule out at 1:40 p.m.)
August 28 Friday- (Short day schedule/ out at 1:40 p.m.)
August 31 First day for Kindergarten