Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
In an effort to be transparent and also avoid the many rumors that can spread around, the district will be publishing the previous week's COVID-19 cases each Monday. These will be a combined total of students and staff. The total will reflect those that have been confirmed positive through lab results. This number does not mean that each of these cases were in a school building at the time they were positive or contagious, just that they are our student or staff member. Any person who would be considered a direct contact to someone who was positive and would need to quarantine will be notified directly.
Nixa Public Schools
2020-2021 School Year
Nixa has taken steps to prepare for the health, wellness, and safety for students and staff in the 2020-21 school year. Our plans will be a living document and will be updated with new information as it becomes available. The most up-to-date guidelines and protocols will always be at www.nixapublicschools.net/covid19. Decisions will be made in coordination with local, state, and federal guidelines.
Our goal is to start school with a full week schedule. However, as we move through the various Levels in the plan (Level 1, Level 2, & Level 3), our daily and weekly schedules may have to be altered as more information becomes available to the district. We are aware that many districts across the state have chosen not to start with a full five-day seated schedule and will continue to monitor the reasoning behind those decisions as we make adjustments to our plan.
We will work to continue our consistent communication so we are partners together in this situation, and so you and your families can prepare for what to expect, which will include our Board of Education meeting in the new few weeks to review needed changes before the start of the school year.
We are in the process of developing a Frequently Asked Questions page. In an effort to make sure your questions are answered in a timely manner and so that we have a clear idea of what questions need to be added to the FAQ page, please reply to this email or send your questions to email@example.com.
Nixa Public Schools has taken steps to prepare for the health, wellness, and safety for students and staff in the 2020-21 school year. This guide is a living document and will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Please see the information below for a set of general guidelines and expectations. Decisions will be made in coordination with local, state, and federal guidelines.
- Nixa COVID Safety Plan One-Page Summary
- Nixa Public Schools COVID-19 website
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID website
In order to better inform parents, students, and staff of the current situation of the district and how best to prepare for situations, the district will use three levels so that everyone can plan and prepare for what to expect. Please note that the district could move quickly to Level 3 with little to no notice depending on the situation.
Level 1: (Green Level)
- School activities will be as normal as possible
- Social distancing will be used when possible
- Masks required based on district procedures developed from CDC and health department
- Visitors to buildings will be restricted
- Hand washing/hand sanitizer will be available and frequently encouraged
Level 2: (Yellow Level)
- Classes may take place online for one or more days due to rapid increase in number of local cases of COVID
- Restrictions on school activities may be in place
- Capacity and attendance limits may be established for events or school activities
- Masks required (district procedures developed from CDC and health department)
- No visitors in buildings (includes parents)
- Hand washing/hand sanitizer will be available and frequently encouraged
Level 3: (Red Level)
- All classes are online and will follow the district’s Emergency Alternative Methods of Instruction plan
- Classwork done independently
- School buildings will be closed to students. Staff will still work from school to administer online classes. If any situation changes in the “Red Level” where it is not safe for staff to work from school, this will be adjusted to allow staff to work remotely.
- Health screenings will occur prior to entering buildings. Social distancing will be mandatory.
- All activities will be canceled or rescheduled
- Re-entry plan will be determined for safe return to school
What will classes look like for 2020-2021?
Traditional School Model
Students will attend, in person, for the 174-day academic school year. We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom. Students attending in person will be able to participate in extracurricular activities as appropriate. Multiple safety procedures will be followed to ensure student and staff well-being. Please see all health/sanitization protocols below.
Virtual Distance Learning Model
A fully online option will be available. Students who participate in virtual learning must have access to reliable internet connectivity and commit to this model for a full semester. To meet Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) attendance requirements, students will follow a schedule set by the school and will be required to participate in local and state assessments. This model will maintain high academic standards and will be held to the Nixa Public Schools grading policies. Extracurricular activities and some elective courses may not be available for students participating in this model.
All virtual distance learning model students will have to have internet access. No paper copies will be sent home for students. Schedules for elementary and secondary students are below. Please note that all assignments will have to be completed each day. All students will have four (4) or more hours of online work each day to complete. Students must complete their work each day. If a student does not complete their work or check in online for three (3) days, parents will be notified by phone call. After seven (7) days, parents will be notified that if their child doesn’t continue to participate, they will be asked to come back to seated classes. On day nine (9), an attendance letter will be sent. On day 11 of no contact, a hotline call will be made.
Much of the elementary virtual model (K-5) will be teaching happening online at a specific time and will require students to login and participate with the class. Students will be online with their virtual teacher for at least 3.5 hours in the morning and will work through virtual lessons for another two or more hours on their own.
The secondary (for 6th-12th) model will include their four core classes and elective classes. Due to a limited number of electives that NPS offers virtually, most electives will be taken solely through Launch. Students will have weekly online meetings with their teacher, but most of the work will happen on their own through posted lessons, videos, and other resources. They will have to complete their core and elective assignments each day, which will keep them online for four to six hours each day.
Virtual distance learning model students who receive special services - special education, related services, 504 accommodations, or English as a Second Language supports - will want/need to have conversations with their educational team prior to the start of school to determine how the virtual distance learning model will be effective in meeting each student’s unique learning needs.
Seated Verses Virtual Questionnaire
Would you like a guide to help determine which option is best for your family? Use the link below to find the guide that can help you make the best decision through a series of questions.
Virtual Learning Sign-Up
If after reading the plans for the 2020-21 school year you feel like you would like to sign-up your child for the virtual option, Click Here to fill out this form.
****This must be filled out by July 31 to be considered for this option.
Back To School Events and Information
Information Update For Returning Students
The yearly online information update will be open for returning students for the 2020-2021 school year on August 3. It is critically important to complete the process for each student as this assists in planning for class sizes, teacher units, etc, and will make sure we have the correct contact information as we know we will be communicating a lot with our families this year. Please complete as soon as possible to help with school year planning. Watch your email for information once the system is live for a reminder of your login. If you have questions about your login information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration will be open for new students for the 2020-2021 school year on August 3. It is critically important to complete the registration process for each student as this assists in planning for class sizes, teacher units, etc. Please read our registration information at www.nixaregistration.net to complete this process starting August 3. Please complete as soon as possible to help with school year planning.
Orientation, Meet the Teacher, and New Student Events
Schools in the district will hold virtual open houses to communicate and orient parents to their building. Building transition grades will hold in-person orientations to help with switching buildings. This includes students entering early childhood, kindergarten, 4th grade students at Summit, 5th grade, 7th grade, and 9th grade.
New students to the district will be able to schedule an appointment with their building to receive an orientation to their building.
All orientations and tours will require masking by students and families.
Daily/Regular Procedures In School Buildings
Updated September 2020
- Students will be separated on the bus where feasible, but social distancing cannot be guaranteed.
- Buses will be appropriately disinfected after each use.
- Buses will have a hand sanitizer dispenser installed.
- Bus drivers have been properly trained in COVID safety measures.
- All bus riders will follow district masking guidelines.
- Parents are encouraged to pick up/drop off their student if possible to decrease the number of students on the school bus.
- Students should not be dropped off earlier than necessary before their scheduled start time unless they are attending XLT. Schools will communicate with parents the times they are able to begin dropping off students, which will be between 15-30 minutes before the start of school based on various situations.
- Parent drop off will be car lane only to reduce the number of people entering the building.
- Students will use hand sanitizer or hand washing upon arrival into classrooms.
- Common and large group areas will be restricted where feasible .
- Social distancing will be used where possible at buildings while students are waiting to report to classes.
- Use of the car line for student pick-up or bus only. There will be no in-person parent pick-up to avoid parent gatherings in the school lobby or in front of school.
- For K-6th, walkers will be dismissed from the building/walked to crosswalk by staff member (in buildings where walkers are permitted).
- For 7th-12th, social distancing will be encouraged. Students will not be permitted to loiter in groups after school on school property.
- Hand washing/hand sanitizing will be available at dismissal.
Breakfast & Lunch
- Breakfast will be bagged and served in a grab-and-go style.
- Self-service lunch options will be adjusted.
- For PreK-6th, breakfast and lunch will be eaten in classrooms or in cafeterias at reduced capacities.
- For 7th-12th, social distancing will be encouraged and additional spaces will be available for lunch usage.
- Hand washing/hand sanitizer will be available before and after lunch.
- Multiple social distancing strategies will be implemented based on feasibility of the unique space and needs of each school.
- Students will be encouraged to maintain distance from each other in the school and taught appropriate hygiene/COVID practices: COVID 19 Do the 5! & The Sanitize Five.
- The district will still find ways for students to socialize with each other in an appropriate way so that we address both the health and social/emotional needs of students.
- Pre-K-6th students will keep their own supplies for use in the classroom
- Desk cleaner will be available for usage after each class period (7th-12th) since students will be sitting where another student was sitting.
- Personal water bottles will be encouraged as drinking fountains will have limited availability. The district is installing water bottle filling stations to take the place of water fountains.
- There will be built in time during the day for frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
- Use of classroom areas will be adjusted for space and physical distancing.
- Appropriate measures will be taken for cleaning Chromebooks.
- Students and staff will be observed for illness prior to starting class or the school day. Those experiencing symptoms will be referred to the nurse.
- For 7th-12th, multiple class groupings or entire grade-level activities will not be permitted
Passing Periods/Classes in Hallways
- Passing periods will be limited by schedule and students will be monitored while walking in hallways.
- Movement throughout buildings will be limited or reduced.
- Hand washing/hand sanitizer will be available.
- Masks will be required while students are on the move.
- Students will be monitored for social distancing while on playgrounds while still allowing interactions with each other.
- Handwashing/sanitizer will be available upon re-entry to the building.
- Frequently used playground hard surfaces will be cleaned routinely.
- Regular cleaning will occur with COVID and EPA approved products. The cleaning and disinfecting will target frequently touched hard, non-porous surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, stair rails, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, drinking fountains, and any other surfaces that are visibly necessary.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed in every classroom and at most exterior doors.
- Students and families will be provided with best practices for hygiene during the school day and upon arriving at home.
- The district will use additional equipment and cleaning procedures across the district. These include the UVC light machine and fogging machines (uses HOCI from Pure and Clean).
- School Nurse Procedures
- School nurses will provide COVID safety training/materials to faculty and staff. They will also work to educate students in various methods.
- If you have medication for your child, please schedule a time with the school nurse to drop it off.
- Staff will be expected to self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Parents and students are expected to self-screen at home prior to students entering the building.
- Students or staff demonstrating symptoms will be referred to physician or virtual clinic. Prior to returning to school, consult school nurse or provide documentation from physician
- Procedures on how many days students must be quarantined will follow best practices (ex: CDC, MSBA, etc) and the guidance of our local health department.
Masks/Face Coverings (PPE)
- Use of personal masks will be required per district procedure (Can be found on COVID-19 page)
- Nixa staff and students in grades K-12 are required to wear a facial covering. Students in PreK are strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering.
- They are NOT required when at recess, P.E., meal time, or anytime that students are ABLE TO PROPERLY SOCIAL DISTANCE. (6 feet in most cases or 3 feet in certain situations). Certain situations include classrooms that have cohorts or assigned seating with students sitting at desks in rows facing forward or when classrooms have appropriate dividers for seating.
- Masks will be required while moving between classes, periods, or rooms.
- The district will follow the definition of a face covering/mask as defined in the the masking procedure.
Action Plan if Confirmed Case
- The district will follow the direction of the Christian County Health Department and communicate with the public based on CCHD’s recommendations and guidelines on who can be notified based on direct contact with others and facility exposure.
- For all COVID-19 exposure notifications, the district will only notify those who are deemed necessary to be notified by our local health department. We will not do district-wide notifications for positive or presumptive positive cases unless a child or staff member needs to be notified of the potential exposure to that positive case. The only exception to this procedure would be in the case of a community or school-wide event where contact tracing could not happen. The district has a legal obligation not to violate HIPPA guidelines and rules, and will follow those rules and the guidance of our health department in all notifications.
- Address possible student/adult exclusions using best practices: DHSS Exclusion Recommendations & DESE Procedures.
- Address the infected space using proven practices (UVC Light Machine and HOCL Foggers) for designated time.
- Perform targeted cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched hard, non-porous surfaces, such as counters, appliance surfaces, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, drinking fountains, phones, technology, and any other surfaces that are visibly necessary.
- Inspect areas to determine readiness for re-entry into building and/or classroom or offices.
- Consult with CCHD prior to re-entry.
- District may use a schedule that does not have students coming every day of the week.
- Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA)/Missouri Department of Health Guidelines will be followed for student participation in activities/athletics.
- Due to recent changes within the Central Ozark conference, Nixa will allow junior high and high school students to take all virtual classes and still maintain MSHSAA eligibility for athletics and activities, as long as they continue to meet all other MSHSAA eligibility requirements.
- The option to attend a combination of virtual and seated will only be open to those at the high school level and maybe a few junior high classes. These options will be limited to those participating in activities and athletics.
- The high school and junior high will provide a list of available classes in the coming weeks that students could take to make a blend of a seated and online schedule.
- Secondary students who would like to take seated classes for a particular activity or athletic class will need to indicate this on the virtual school form and will then be contacted to arrange classes. Examples of these classes would be band, choir, theatre, or JTSD.
- Students at the elementary or intermediate levels that choose virtual will only have access to those classes and activities that are available virtually.
Large Events/Sporting Events/Performances/Field Trips
- Events will be limited and decisions on attendance, social distancing, and other safety procedures will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Field trips will be limited and will only be considered if proper safety procedures and social distancing can occur.
- Nixa will adjust the attendance policies to better reflect the uncertainty of this year. These will have to adhere to any requirements at the state level for various programs.
- Building-specific policies will be communicated to students prior to the start of school.
- Students and staff are encouraged to stay home when sick.
- To ensure the safety and wellness of our school community, we ask all members of the school community to agree to the following
- Perform daily temperature checks on my child(ren) to screen for fever before arriving at a school campus. Generally, those with COVID-19 have a fever above 100 degrees, but this is not always the case. Parents, students, and staff should use a fever or the symptoms below as a way to screen for the virus or any other illness.
- Make a visual observation of my child(ren) or myself for signs of illness which could include one or a combination of the following (check CDC symptoms page for any updates to the list):
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Promptly pick up my child(ren) or arrange pickup if signs or symptoms of illness are present.
- Support my child(ren)’s use of face covering.
- Confirm that my child(ren) has not been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days or is waiting for test results.
- According to the CDC, if you think you have or know you have COVID-19, you can be with others after the following (CDC Information as of July 22, 2020):
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
- Symptoms have improved
- Depending on your healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you are tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved, and you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.
- If you do not have symptoms, you will need to wait until 10 days have passed since the positive test.
Nonessential visitors will be limited
- No lunch guests or volunteers at the elementary/intermediate levels.
- Screening procedures will be used for those entering buildings, which can include temperature screenings.
- Hand washing/hand sanitizer will be available.
- Masks are required by all visitors.
- Visitors can first contact the school/office to determine whether an onsite visit is necessary.
- Visitors should check in at the front office behind the secure glass window.
- If entrance is determined as essential, a designated space for meeting with visitor(s) will be determined for the facility.
- Prior to entrance, visitors should follow collective commitments mentioned above.
- Surfaces will be cleaned before and after the visit.
- In addition to these safety measures, school board policy KK will continue to be implemented.
- Please note from policy KK the following: The superintendent or designee has the discretion to prohibit a parent/guardian or other relative from, for example, eating lunch with a student, attending class parties or field trips or pulling a student out of class if such a visit could interfere with the education program or be disruptive; if one of the parents/guardians objects; if there is a current dispute regarding custody or visitation of the student; or if district employees are uncertain as to whether a person may legally have contact with a student.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Should I register my student if I am not sure about the upcoming school year?
- YES! In order for us to make decisions (class schedules, numbers, cohorts), all students must be registered for the 2020-2021 school year.
- When will teacher/school student schedules be available?
- Student class placements for K-6 students will be available during the week of August 10-14. Student schedules for those in 7th-12th grades will be released the afternoon of August 17. These schedules are tentative based on current student registration information and are subject to change.
- Are there any changes to the school calendar or school day?
- No. We will follow the school board approved calendar for the academic school year. Additionally, school hours will remain the same.
- Does a student who is quarantined automatically go into the virtual learning program?
- THey will continue to receive assignments and instructions from their homeroom or subject area teacher. This practice will be continuously monitored and adjustments may be made if deemed necessary.
- Can parents form groups for those students who are doing virtual and organize activities for them?
- The district cannot organize groups for non-school activities, but parents can do things like Facebook groups on their own to organize activities however they would like to.
- Will JTSD students currently in the school lose their spot if they choose to go virtual for 2020-21?
- No, these students will retain their spot at JTSD and can return to the seated class after one year of being virtual. We will reexamine this situation for the 2021-22 school year.
- Will JTSD students currently on the waiting list lose their spot if they choose to go virtual for 2020-21?
- No, these students will retain their spot on the JTSD waiting list.
- Do you plan to hold sporting events at Eagle Stadium this fall?
- We are planning on having sporting events and other events in the stadium this fall. We are going from about 2500 total (home and visitor) to 4400 (home and visitor) seats, so we should be able to get about the same number of people in the stands at 50% capacity with the new seating as we could in the previous stadium full capacity seating. We recommend that students and parents get athletic passes since single game tickets could be limited at times. We hope this is not the case, but it will be a game by game decision.
- What will the supply lists be for virtual students?
- Most classes will not have supplies. If they do, that will be communicated by the teacher.
- Will virtual students at all grades receive Chromebooks?
- Yes, we will plan a time for students to pick up one if they do not have one.
- For alert kids, will there be ALERT/gifted available virtually?
- ALERT will only be offered in person and on the scheduled day for that student.
- For students with special education services, will there be support available for virtual students?
- Yes, you will receive services and that will be worked on through your child's case manager.
- How much access will virtual students have to teachers?
- Students will have just as much access as normal classroom teachers, but it will just be virtual.
- What about new students signing up for virtual classes?
- New students to Nixa can sign up for virtual after July 31 at the time they register with the district.
- What will lunch look like at the schools?
- We will be adding lunch tables and also working to see what classes can eat in the classroom on a rotating basis to help encourage distancing. Schools are looking at assigned seating or other options as well.
- Will any changes be made to passing periods at the high school or junior high?
- Since it is difficult to change the passing periods at the junior high and high school, the district has made sure that masks in hallways are not optional. COVID19 is spread more with close contact for an extended period of time so there is a lower risk in the hallways, but since they have more people, masks are required.
- What if I choose virtual at the junior high or high school and they do not have all of the elective classes or specific classes I would like to take in the seated format?
- While core classes will be offered, students may have to choose alternative classes if there is not a comparable one to the seated course they originally signed up for.
- How will the schools ensure that all who are exposed are properly notified and quarantined?
- We will work with the health department to determine who needs to be quarantined. They will make the decision based on the facts of each different situation.
- If at any point the school is required to close for a period of time, will all teachers already have an online format prepared to transition to learning at home?
- Yes, our staff are supposed to be prepared for us to move to virtual quickly if needed. That is why we are using the Level system so people can know where we are and how to be prepared.
- What is the process to determine what Level is appropriate?
- This is a decision made by our health services team in conjunction with local health officials. There are many factors that go into the decision, so we would review where we are at and then make a decision based on that information. We do take into account the positive testing rate, number of students missing school, current hospital conditions, staff absence rate, and the current number and increase in active cases into our decisions.
- In Level 3, it says “classroom work done independently.” What will this look like?
- It will be where the teacher posts lessons for students to complete while they are at home. We will work to have some time for students to interact with the class or teacher, but since parents did not sign up to have their students online for certain hours of the day, we will not require that if we go into Level 3.
- What does the virtual teacher option look like? Specifically for the lower grades.
- There will be teachers who have a class of students they work with for a designated time during the day and have assignments for that class. Students will be actively engaged and doing activities and lessons with the teacher for the morning hours and then have work to do on their own in the afternoon. For elementary, most will require a couple of hours for instruction online for students. The teachers will be teaching and interacting with students in the whole group and in small groups. There will be two recess breaks in the morning as well as a lunch break. Students may also be encouraged to read or work on math without being online during the morning instruction.
- What will band and choir look like for 6th grade students?
- Band and choir will still happen for 6th grade students. We will be making modifications or adjustments to the classes for safety, but they will still happen. For those taking virtual classes, band will be an option for students to take as a seated option during that time period each day or each day that band is offered.
- How will missed work be handled for those that miss class due to COVID? What if a whole class is quarantined?
- Teachers are being asked to prepare to go virtual at any time so their classes should be set up like that from the beginning. If a student misses, the teacher will be providing work and should engage with the student who is missing class to make sure they stay caught up.
- Are the AP Seminar and other AP capstone classes being offered virtually?
- There will not be an online option for AP Seminar and Capstone
- Can high school and junior high students participate in afterschool clubs and activities if they take virtual?
- Yes, students can participate in certain after school activities and sports. The schools will communicate which options are open for those students taking virtual classes.
- What is the plan for addressing special education students needs and accommodations before school starts?
- The special services department will be making sure all families of students with special needs have plans in place before school starts.
- For virtual, will there be online live teaching, or will it be pre recorded videos and posted assignments?
- For K-5 it will be live teaching. For 6th-12th grade it will be posted lessons that can be done on their own time and by deadlines established.
- What will virtual electives for K-6 look like (music, art, PE, library)?
- 6th grade electives will be through Launch elective options.
- K-5 will have online lessons each week through PE, Music, Art, Coding, and Information Literacy.
- For elementary students, if my child does virtual school, can they participate in the youth sports program?
- Can you switch from virtual to seated or seated to virtual at any time?
- No, you can only switch from virtual to seated or from seated to virtual at semester
- What program is used for the live virtual component?
- Microsoft Teams will be the videoconferencing software used
- If we travel out of the area will my child or myself have to quarantine?
- The district will not require that unless you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. We will also follow CDC or health department guidelines if they would recommend or require someone to quarantine because of the area they have been to.
- Can students who do not take band first semester in 6th grade access the class during second semester?
- Students who choose a virtual learning environment and do not attend seated band classes, will be able to join band upon returning to seated classes. For questions related to band, please email email@example.com.
- Can a student wear a face shield instead of a cloth covering?
- Since face shields have not been shown to be effective without a face covering (mask), then a face shield would be an accommodation that would be needed to be approved through the accommodation request form. For students in special services, you can ask your child's process coordinator as well.
Resources and Helpful Links