Southwest school district officials detail re-entry plans

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

School started for students on Aug. 13

The Southwest school district excitedly started the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 13, however, precautions were implemented due top the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tosha Tilford, Southwest superintendent, said in a letter to parents, guardians and staff members that there are two education opportunities available to the students.

The first is traditional face-to-face instruction, and the second is Providing Remote Instruction Daily Education (PRIDE).

With the face-to-face instruction, there will be safety precautions in place. With PRIDE learning, students will receive instruction via technology-based avenues.

PRIDE learning will require internet access and will provide instructional logins during class periods.

Tilford said the PRIDE learning will be more rigorous and demanding than what parents and students experienced in the spring during the wellness break.

The PRIDE learning will require attendance and grades to be taken which the students will be held accountable for as well as their performance on all assignments.

The Southwest school district’s priorities for the 2020-2021 school year which is likely to be continuously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are:

• Providing environments that are safe as possible for students and staff

• Providing equitable, guaranteed and viable education

All Southwest students and staff are required to follow the protocol of “When you move, you mask.”

Drop-off and bus procedure

For morning bus pick-up, bus drivers will take take the temperature of students as they board. Students with temperatures that are not under 100 degrees Fahrenheit will be sent back home.

Parents and guardians will need to stay with students until they are cleared to board.

As students board the bus, they will sanitize their hands and receive a face shield which they will keep throughout the day.

Substantial cleaning of the bus in the morning and evening will occur.

For those dropping off their students, no parents or guardians will be allowed int he building.

Those students will also have a drive-thru temperature check, which follows the same 100 degree Fahrenheit rule, and be given a face shield.

Building Entry — congregating in the hallway is not allowed

In the elementary building, bus riders will enter through main entrance. If they are eating breakfast at the school, they will grab a breakfast bag and head to their classrooms where they will read their meal.

Car riders will enter through the cafeteria, passing a temperature check before following the same breakfast procedure.

In the middle school building, bus riders will enter through the north doors if they are eating breakfast, while car riders enter through the main doors past a temperature check after receiving a face shield.

Middle school breakfast will be delivered to the building.

In the high school, those who are not riding the bus will enter through the main doors and have their temperature check and receive a face shield.

Those that drive or are being dropped off will be dropped off at the corner sidewalk and enter through the cafeteria side door.

Those eating breakfast will grab a breakfast bag and head to their first hour class, those not eating breakfast will also report top their first hour class.

Leaving school

Bus dismissal and boarding will be organized by each building administration. There will be a focus on minimizing the number of students in the halls and wait time of students already boarded.

For car riders in the elementary, parents will take a new route to pick up children.

Parents will turn down the high school entrance, turn left in the high school parking lot and then turn left again to head south onto the gravel road by the elementary building. Parents will line up in a single file fashion starting at the playground sidewalk and remain in their vehicles. Parents will place their school provided pickup signs on their dash and students will be brought the the parents individually.


Teachers and staff must also take part in a daily temperature check prior to entering the building, and temperatures must also be lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, teachers and staff will respond to COVID screening questions.

Staff members will also be required to follow the “When you move, you mask” protocol, as well as be trained on potential use of additional PPE .

Hygiene and Social distancing

Students will hand sanitize or wash their hands when they leave and re-enter classrooms. Touchable surfaces will be washed and sanitized multiple times per day.

Classes will have assigned seating and seating will be spaced six feet apart with students facing the same direction whenever possible.

Students fifth grade and older must wear a face shield anytime social distancing of six feet is not possible.

Regardless of age, students will be required to wear a face shield during transition periods and on the bus.

Lunch periods and cafeteria use will be monitored following a specific order of guidelines including rotating class use, social distancing protocol and use of PPE.

Special/elective classes, recess, nurse’s office

All students will wash and sanitize their hands when leaving and entering a classroom, as well as guidelines including rotating class use, social distancing protocol and use of PPE. When outside, like for P.E and band when weather allows, students must social distance but are not required to wear face shield if social distanced.

Transparent barriers have been installed in all offices.

Nurses will provide any positive COVID-19 test results if notified to Ms. Tilford.

Virus Containment

Students and staff will be excluded from school if they test positive for COVID-19, as well as if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

At any moment if a student or staff member is identified as a direct contact or becomes symptomatic, they will be isolated and required to wear a cloth face covering until they can leave the building.

Parents should develop a plan to pick up their child as soon as possible in the case school needs to send the child home.

Room 428 in the lower elementary building will be used as the isolation room.

The school district will follow the guidance of the Barry County Health Department in reference to positive cases.

Electronic devices, sports, field trips

Students will receive a Chromebook to use at the start of the day which will be returned at the end of each day and sanitized.

All athletic activities will be conducted according to guidelines from MSHSAA.

Assemblies and field trips will be limited until the Health Department and the school district feels it is safe to continue them.

Club meeting will be held via school approved virtual platforms when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Emotional well-being

Counselors will be available to students, as well as the Clark Community Mental Health Center, which is implementing “Show Me Hope Missouri” and can be contacted at 417-476-1000.

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