Dear Students, Parents and Guardians:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year. It seems like such a long time since we have seen everyone and we are excited to have you back in school. We have spent a considerable amount of time preparing for your return and adjusting the schedule to meet the needs of our students. If interested, students may now view their schedules on the student portal.
Prior to your return, however, we wanted to make you aware of a number of modifications to help ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. Planning for school during a global health pandemic, much like shopping and dining out, has significantly altered the way schools will be operating in the best interest of the entire school community. As you already know, students will report to school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays while remaining at home on Wednesdays for remote learning.
When students arrive at school, they will enter the main entrance or the entrance near the pool. Students will still be screened by security and random temperature checks will be completed. The district is still requiring parents to conduct daily temperature and symptom screenings at home. (No child with symptoms of illness should be sent to school) Once in the school, students will quickly notice that all of the hallways will move in one way directions. Please look for the arrows and follow the correct pedestrian flow in the hallways. Stairwells are also marked as either “up” or “down” so all students will be moving in the same direction while moving throughout the school.
Of course the two biggest factors are the implementation of social distancing and the requirement that all individuals in the school wear a face covering/mask throughout the day. Students will be expected to maintain 6 feet of social distancing (or the maximum extent feasible) at all times while in the halls, classrooms, serving lines, etc. Face masks must be dress code compliant and must be worn all day. Students will be given 10 minute mask breaks by their teachers (if social distancing permits) and students may remove their masks while eating. Grab and Go breakfast will be available in the main hall and in the cafeteria prior to homeroom. Students will eat lunch in either the cafeteria or in the gym. Cafeteria tables have been replaced by individual desks/chairs so that students are able to maintain social distancing. Desks may not be moved into groups.
To aid in the cleaning of the school, the shifts of our custodians have been altered to have additional custodians in school throughout the day. Sanitizing will be a continuous process. The custodians will be moving throughout the school sanitizing restrooms, door handles and other high contact surfaces, as well as student desks in the cafeteria and classrooms. Water fountains have been turned off but the high school does have bottle filling stations. Students may bring sealed drinks into the school or bring empty water containers to fill at the water filling stations in the cafeteria and locker room areas. Bottled water is also available in the cafeteria as well.
To avoid congestion in the hallways at the end of the day, students will be dismissed in three phases. The first group to be excused will be the students who ride the bus followed by the students on the first floor, and finally the students on the second floor. Students will be asked to gather their materials and to exit the school as soon as possible. As with all new procedures, all of the previously mentioned procedures will be monitored and modified as necessary.
We fully realize that school is going to be different for the foreseeable future. We also understand that the necessary requirements may be uncomfortable for some individuals. But we strongly believe that the best learning occurs when students and teachers can work together face to face in the classroom. We are relying upon the cooperation of everyone in the community to help ensure that face to face learning can continue at Laurel Highlands. As requested, please screen your students. If they are ill or showing symptoms of an illness, please keep them at home until they are well. With everyone’s assistance, hopefully school can return to normal in the near future.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation,
John K. Diamond, Principal
Laurel Highlands High School