Here are resources, schedules and information for Alma del Mar’s re-opening for in-person and remote scholars for the 2020-2021 school year. Please contact your child’s campus principal with any specific questions or concerns.
In-Person Learning Model (Group A & Group B* scholars)
We have made some shifts to a typical in person schedule to ensure maximum health and safety for all members of our community who will be in person. While these will only be applicable to Group A scholars at the time of opening, these would apply to any grades invited back in person throughout the year.
*Group B scholars include all scholars in Kindergarten through Second Grade who have opted in to in-person learning, beginning February 1, 2021.
- Arrival and Dismissal: There will be a longer period for both arrival (7:50-8:30) and dismissal (2:30-3:00) to ensure adequate social distancing during these high traffic times. We also have shortened the school day by moving up our dismissal time to ensure adequate time for cleaning and disinfecting each evening, as well as time for teachers to collaborate and support remote scholars as needed.
- Outdoor Breaks: The in person schedule for every grade will ensure at least two twenty minute outdoor breaks throughout the day. We will also plan for PE to take place outdoors whenever the weather permits, and are exploring the feasibility of outdoor meal times as well.
- Breakfast and Lunch: Meal times have been extended to ensure adequate time for new sanitation procedures, and to allow for an additional mask break.
- Co-Curriculars: Scholars will continue to have co-curricular classes but will not travel to the art or music room. They will also likely have the same co-curricular class for several days in a row then switch to limit teacher exposure between groups from day to day.
We want to ensure maximum health and safety to all scholars and staff who will be in person. Once we have confirmation from families about how many scholars in this grade band will engage in fully remote learning, we will re-examine class sizes, room dimensions, and available space at both of our elementary campuses, and consider adding additional sections as needed to ensure even smaller class sizes.
While our goal is to provide the same excellent early elementary program that our families expect, we know that we will have to make some shifts to classroom practice to ensure health and safety throughout the day. Scholars will continue to receive grade-level instruction in Phonics/Writing, Reading Comprehension, Math, and Science/Social Studies every day, as well as co-curricular classes. We are not making any major changes to our curricular or assessment methods.
Additionally, to ensure we are preparing scholars adequately for the possibility of another period of remote learning, we will have frequent opportunities during in person school days for our young scholars to engage in virtual learning by completing some tasks online. We know a strong foundation in technological fluency on Chromebooks will be critical to a smooth transition to remote learning, should we need to make that transition again this year. Other changes in classroom procedures will include limiting the sharing of materials and supplies, ensuring adequate social distancing during class transitions, etc. We may need to limit the amount of small group time happening in person when clusters of scholars and teachers are in close proximity.
Serving Scholars with Disabilities and English Learners in the In Person Setting
We will be able to ensure full compliance with all Special Education and English Language services in any learning model this year. For any grades that are learning in person, that grade band’s full-time Special Education and ELL teachers will continue to provide small group and individual services to scholars across content areas, as well as Occupational Therapy, Speech/Language, and Physical Therapy as needed. By only inviting a small group of scholars back into the building when we open, we will be able to designate space in each building for stable groupings of scholars who receive services to work with Scholar Support staff in a way that avoids possible cross-group mixing.
Protocols & Facilities
Please reference the Health and Safety section that begins on page 18 for detailed plans for new health & safety protocols and updates to our facilities.
Symptoms & Response Table
Health & Safety
Alma del Mar will follow all DESE guidance on Health & Safety measures. Additionally, Alma will collaborate with the New Bedford Department of Health regarding the status of the virus in the New Bedford community.
Alma is utilizing many strategies listed below to substantially reduce the risk of transmission. None of these strategies are perfect when used in isolation, but in combination will serve to protect our community as much as possible.
Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms
Families and caregivers are responsible for screening scholars for COVID-19 symptomes on a daily basis. Families should not send their scholar to school if they are exhibiting symptoms described below. Alma staff are responsible for screening themselves on a daily basis. Alma staff should not come into work if they are exhibiting symptoms described below.
Per DESE guidance, if staff or scholars have any of these symptoms, they must get a test for active COVID-19 infection prior to returning to school.
- Fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
- Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Headache when in combination with other symptoms
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies, when in combination with other symptoms
Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios
Even if all members of our community practice these health and safety measures consistently, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in schools is not zero given that the virus will still be present in our community at the beginning of the school year. We must be prepared to respond to a potential COVID-19 scenario in school, on a bus, or in our community.
The most important thing that any member of our community can do if they exhibit the symptoms listed above under Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms is to stay home. If staff or scholars have any of these symptoms, they must be tested for an active COVID-19 infection prior to returning to school. Alma del Mar will work with our families and staff to identify testing sites available in the New Bedford community.
Overview of response protocols:
- Evaluate symptoms
- Separate from others
- Clean and disinfect spaces visited by the symptomatic person
- Test for COVID-19 and stay home while awaiting results
- If test is positive:
- Remain home for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever, in addition to improvement in other symptoms
- Continue to monitor your symptoms
- Notify the school and personal close contacts
- Answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative to help identify close contacts to help them prevent transmission
- Secure release from contact tracers for return to school
Close contacts in a school setting include scholars or staff who were within 6 feet of the COVID-19 positive scholar or staff for at least 10-15 minutes in a classroom, school bus, or other school space. In a situation where scholars are in a self-contained classroom for an extended period, all scholars/staff within this “cohort” are considered close contacts as they may have been within 6 feet of the person with a positive test result. Close contacts should not return to school until they have been tested or until they have self-quarantined for 14 days.
Per DESE guidance, Alma del Mar will follow the following protocols for responding to COVID-19 scenarios: (best viewed on a larger screen, or turn your mobile device to landscape)
|Event||Location of Event||Testing Result||Quarantine|
|Individual is symptomatic||If an individual is symptomatic at home, they should stay home and get tested. |
If an individual student is symptomatic on the bus or at school, they should remain masked and adhere to strict physical distancing. Students will then be met by the nurse and stay in the medical waiting room until they can go home. They should not be sent home on the bus. If an individual staff member is symptomatic at school, they should find coverage for their duties and then go home and get tested.
|Individual tests negative||Return to school once asymptomatic for 24 hours|
|Individual tests positive||Remain home (except to get medical care), monitor symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from local board of health or MA Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.|
|Individual is not tested.||Remain home in self-isolation for 14 days from symptom onset|
|Individual is exposed to COVID-19 positive individual||If an individual is at home when they learn they were in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, they should stay at home and be tested 4 or 5 days after their last exposure.|
If an individual is at school when they learn they were in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, they should be masked for the remainder of the day and adhere to strict physical distancing. At the end of the day, they should go home and should not take the bus home. They should stay at home and be tested 4 or 5 days after their last exposure.
|Individual tests negative||Return to school, if asymptomatic or once asymptomatic for 24 hours|
|Individual tests positive||Remain home (except to get medical care), monitor symptoms, notify the school, notify close personal contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local board of health or MA Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.|
|Individual is not tested.||Remain home in self-quarantine for 14 days from exposure.|
Remote Learning Model (Kindergarten – 8th Grade)
We plan to open the school year with all Kindergarten through 8th grade scholars learning remotely from home. We are confident that, by focusing our staff energy on preparing for a strong remote start to the school year, we can meet the needs of all scholars and families through our remote learning model and continue to ensure scholars on the path to college and becoming service-minded leaders.
We are committed to continually evaluating the safety and effectiveness of our in person model, and plan to consider inviting more scholars back to in person learning as soon as possible.
In Spring of 2020, scholars were expected to attend Crew each day at the same time with their teacher and peers (a synchronous structure), but otherwise completed all of their assignments independently on their own time (an asynchronous structure). For several reasons, we will be moving to a more structured school day schedule with more synchronous learning time for all scholars. We are planning for an 8:30am-3:00pm remote school day each day. We believe that a more structured, consistent daily schedule will ensure scholars are more attentive to new learning and the completion of high quality work. Lead teachers, Associate teachers, and Specialists will be able to better coordinate daily supports for individuals and small groups through the use of a consistent schedule.
All scholars will be expected to engage in their remote learning during these hours every day Monday-Friday. You may find your finalized grade level schedule in this blog post.
Schedules & Calendar
Find your class and school below. Links will bring you to your class schedule on Google Docs where you can print or download.
Download and print out technology how-to’s for Chromebooks, Google Classroom, SeeSaw and Zoom.
Alma del Mar 2020-21 Reopening Plan
Draft Full Year Calendar
Alma’s Families Helping Families
Join our Families Helping Families Meetup!
What is it?
One Meetup Alma parent/guardian facilitator and a handful of Alma parents/guardians meet up over Zoom to share with each other:
- Solutions to daily children education struggles
- Parenting successes and difficulties
- Information/Resources within our community
- Time and space to get to know one another by building an Alma community!
When and where are the meetings?
Once every week time and date that you select, via the Zoom app.
We will help find the perfect meetup crew for you! Contact FHF Coordinator Marie Tavares at 508-203-7546 for more information.