Students Will Return Under Hybrid Model on Oct. 15
*To see a full photo gallery of modifications made to buildings in the district, click here.*
MANSFIELD — Superintendent Teresa Murphy is pleased to announce that Mansfield Public School students will soon be returning to all schools in the district under a hybrid learning model.
Starting Oct. 15, all students who opted for the hybrid cohort model will return for two days of in-person learning. Cohort A will return Oct. 15 and Cohort B will return Oct. 16.
Masks will be required for all students in grades K-12, and classrooms have been equipped with hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and tissues to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Once in-person learning begins, families, students and staff will be asked to conduct a daily self check for COVID symptoms. An example can be found here.
Each school will also be hosting a Return to Hybrid Information Session. There will be a separate meeting that will cover issues such as transportation, food services and health services.
To further assist families, a Returning & Learning Website has been created to assist families with accessing all important information they need to know. The site can be accessed here.
Families in need of additional support, such as internet needs, school supplies, nutrition and social-emotional needs, are encouraged to contact their school principal or their student’s counselor.
Several additional modifications to each school in the district have been made to accommodate the return of students to the buildings. These measures include:
- Floor markings and decals have been placed throughout all buildings with social distancing reminders.
- Qualters Middle School and Mansfield High School students are able to carry backpacks with them during the school (pre-COVID this was not allowed).
- Modification to the Health Offices include the creation of Respiratory Protection Rooms (RPR) for when students or staff present COVID symptoms.
- Food Services has implemented a contact-free payment system. All secondary students will receive an ID with a barcode. Seating in cafeterias will be 6-feet apart and students will face the same direction.
- Truckloads of non-essential furniture were removed from classrooms and put into off-site storage in order to free up space and ensure 6-feet social distancing in classrooms, including rugs.
- Library books returned by elementary students will go into quarantine before being re-shelved.
- Drinking fountains will not be accessible. Water bottle fill stations will be functional for students and staff.
- Tents will be set up at MHS and QMS for mask breaks, weather permitting.
- Assigned seating will be mandatory in all classrooms and on the bus.
“Remote learning, which began for all students on Sept. 16, has been running smoothly and we appreciate all the hard work our staff, our students and their families have put into the process,” Superintendent Murphy said. “But we are so excited to soon be welcoming our students back to their classrooms for two days a week under the hybrid learning model. We will be doing everything we can to ensure the safety of all those who enter our buildings, and will continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation closely.”
Additional Advice for Families
As the district prepares for the start of its hybrid plan, families are encouraged to start their own planning for transitioning back to school and offer the following suggestions.
- Families should acquire and maintain a supply of masks for their children and practice the appropriate way to mask and unmask. Face coverings can be disposable or reusable and will need to fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin, be made with at least two (2) layers of breathable material, fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, and be secured with ties or ear loops.
- Families may want to consider a face mask lanyard for their student. This is a helpful solution for students to prevent them from losing their mask. Mask lanyards provide an easy way for students to unmask when eating or during a mask break. Lanyards, like face masks, should be cleaned on a regular basis. Please practice safety when purchasing a lanyard for your child and determine what is appropriate.
- When in public places, families can practice asking these questions to their children on a regular basis: Am I touching a clean surface? Are my hands clean? Am I wearing a mask? Am I 6-feet away? If your child answers no to any of these questions, help them understand the situation and what they can do to turn their no into a yes.
- Help students understand that there will be no hugging, high-fives or fist-bumps in school, as well as no sharing of snacks and school supplies, and no sharing seats on the bus. Recess and lunch will look and feel drastically different to students. The district’s Returning and Learning website is full of resources to assist families through these difficult conversations, and families are encouraged to check the site often for updated information.