City officials discuss in-person learning safety protocols for Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A news conference to discuss in-person learning safety protocols and guidelines for the city of Springfield was held at Rebecca Johnson Elementary School Tuesday morning.

According to the Getting Back to School Safely presentation from Springfield Public Schools, uniforms are encouraged but are not mandatory. The students may wear appropriate attire if they do not have access to a school uniform.

Students will be positioned at 6 feet apart, cones and markers will be used to social distance outdoors, and staff will monitor the student use of masks, social distancing and hallway activity. Face masks are required in school and on school grounds. Mask breaks will be conducting to include asking students to take the face masks off and putting them back on.

The students will remain the the same group for the entire day. The teachers will travel to the classrooms while the student stay at the same desk.

Lockers, and water fountains will not be permitted. The students will be able to fill personal water bottles at designated times throughout the day.

COVID-19 Testing

If a staff member or student is diagnosed with COVID-19 school officials will provide contract tracing and school wide notification. Students will be regularly tested for COVID-19 as part of a pooled testing program, after obtaining written consent.

If the pool is negative, then all individuals are presumed to not have COVID-19. If the result of the test is positive, then all individuals in the pool will be retested individually.

Springfield Public Schools

Transportation

Students who are riding the buses will be required to wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer before boarding. The bus windows will remain open/cracked.

Springfield Back to School Dates

High Need Special Education: Preschool – 12th

  • April 5 – Five days a week

Students with Interrupted or Limited Formal Education (SLIFE): Preschool – 12th

  • April 5 – Five days a week

Putnam: 10th – 12th (shop classes only)

  • April 5 – Two or Three days a week (TBD for five days a week)

English Learners at Level 1 (not including SLIFE)

  • Preschool – 5th: April 5 – Five days a week
  • 6th Graders: April 5 – Five days a week
  • 7th & 8th Graders: April 26 – Five days a week
  • 9th – 12th: TBD

All Other Students

  • Preschool – 5th:
    • April 5 – Two or Three days a week
    • May 3 – Five days a week
  • 6th Graders:
    • April 5 – Two or Three days a week
    • May 10 – Five days a week
  • 7th & 8th Graders:
    • April 26 – Two of Three days a week
    • May 10 – Five days a week
  • 9th – 12th Graders: TBD

Meals in the classroom

Meals will also be provided in classroom, not the cafeteria. The meals will be distributed to each student with the following protocols:

  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Pickup their meal, paper towel, and sanitizing wipes
  • Return to their desk
  • Use a sanitizing wipe on their hands
  • Wipe down their desk with the sanitizing wipe
  • Place a paper towel on their desk
  • Wait until all students have obtained their meal and returned to their seat
  • Remove their mask and place the mask on the paper towel
  • Eat and do not share food
  • Put their mask back on
  • Dispose of their trash one at a time

Distribution for grab-and-go will still be available, beginning Monday, April 5 from 4:00 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the following locations:

  • Boland
  • Bowles
  • Brookings
  • Chestnut
  • Forest Park
  • Indian Orchard
  • Milton Bradley
  • Rebecca Johnson
  • Talmadge
  • Warner
  • Washington

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