Reopening Update 10-09-2020

Posted Oct 9, 2020

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Dear EASTERN Family,

Thank you for your support during our virtual learning model. Parent and Student survey results have reported very positive experiences with this model and we are pleased you have been satisfied with the experience. We also understand that nothing can fully replace in-person instruction for many of our career and technical programs. Next week, we will be recommending to our Joint Operating Committee (JOC) that we transition to a hybrid model starting November 5th, 2020. This coincides with the start of our second marking period. This recommendation is supported by our district Superintendents who have been and continue to be extremely supportive of EASTERN. I am pleased to tell you that all our districts have committed to providing transportation to students starting November 5th, even if the district is still in a virtual model.

We are sure you have many questions about schedules, safety protocols, and transportation. We have included a PDF presentation for your review that provides information on safety protocols, schedules, and other pertinent information. Please take a few minutes to review it. Pending JOC approval of the November 5th start date, we will set up a platform to meet with parents virtually to review our safety plan and answer any questions or concerns they may have. We also have prepared training that will be delivered to students virtually to prepare them to return to school.

Safety Planning: We have made extensive modifications to our building to prepare for students to return for in-person instruction. These include the following:

Sanitizing Stations: Hands-free sanitation stations have been installed at every entrance and sanitizer is available in every classroom

Restrooms: Converted to hands-free functionality (soap, water, towels, and flushing)

Water fountains: Replaced to include filtered fill-stations

HVAC System: Increased air flow and filtration and installation of bipolar ionization

Nurse’s Suite: Moved to larger space to allow for social distancing and isolation room

Practical Nursing: Entrance vestibule expanded to completely separate adult student access to building from secondary student access

Classrooms: Learning stations are being set up and clearly marked in each program area to ensure social distancing

Safety Protocols: We have safety protocols in place that adhere to CDC recommendations. These protocols will be monitored and strictly enforced. These include:

Masks: Must be worn at all times by everyone in the building. Masks must be worn correctly, with complete coverage of the mouth and nose. Students may wear their own mask as long as it has two or more layers of fabric and does not have exhalation valves. Each student will be given an EASTERN Cares mask in their EASTERN Cares Kit. Students and staff will not be permitted to enter the building without a mask.

Social Distancing: Students and staff must maintain a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing at all times. With reduced class sizes and large lab/classrooms, we are able to ensure 6 feet of social distancing between students and staff in all of our classrooms.

Water Fountains: Water fountain “bubblers” have been disabled, but students may refill a water bottle at the fill-station part of the water fountain. Four of these have been installed in our building. Students will receive an EASTERN Cares refillable water bottle as part of their EASTERN Cares Kit.

Student Traffic: Students and staff will be directed to walk down the right hand side of hallways to provide one-directional pathways.

Cleaning/Disinfecting: High-touch areas will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day and classroom/lab areas will be disinfected after each session. Every Wednesday, our building will be closed to allow our custodial staff to perform a deep clean of the building.

Screening: Staff and students will be asked to self-screen before coming to EASTERN. (Click Here for Screening Directons). Student and staff who are symptomatic must stay home. Staff/students who become symptomatic while at EASTERN will be sent home. We have renovated our nurse’s suite to include an isolation room where students can be held until a parent can pick them up.

Transportation: Districts will be providing transportation. Students may elect to apply for a driving pass or to have a family member drop them off or pick them up. More information will follow on this topic, but for now, please note that students must be dropped off for the AM session between 7:30 and 7:45. Please do not transport students to EASTERN before 7:30. Students must be dropped off for the PM session between 11:45 and 12:00. Please do not transport students to EASTERN before 11:45.

Schedules: Our hybrid model offers in-person instruction to students on Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays. Students will attend on the days they are assigned during their regularly scheduled session (AM 7:45-10:30 and PM 12:00-2:45. On days that students are not in attendance at EASTERN, they will engage in virtual learning. Virtual learning, in most programs, will switch from a synchronous (live) model to an asynchronous (independent learning) as our teachers will be engaged with hands-on learning for the students who are in-person. Please see the schedule below:

Cohort schedule by weekday

Cohort schedule by school

Opting out of in-person instruction

A virtual model will be offered to students who need to temporarily quarantine or opt to stay in a virtual model.  We do not recommend a 100% virtual model for most of our programs for a long duration because students will be unable to acquire technical skills and access our state-of-the-art equipment.  We also understand that each situation is unique.  If you are requesting to stay in a virtual model, please contact Mrs. Allison Larson, CTE Supervisor, at alarson@eastech.org so she can coordinate information with our districts and discuss how maintaining a virtual model will impact a student’s ability to meet their career objective.

As a reminder, we will be scheduling an opportunity for parents to hear more about our health and safety plan.  In the meantime, please email me directly with questions, concerns, or general feedback:  Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, Executive Director, cplesnarski@eastech.org

We are looking forward to having our students back for in-person instruction.

Cathleen Plesnarski, Ed.D.
Executive Director