Check here for announcements.
First Day of School:
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Elementary and Middle: In-Person
High School: HYBRID
We look forward to welcoming our students back into the building!
Please check your email for a link to fill out all of the required annual forms online.
Please ensure that your child has a mask each day. If they arrive to school without a mask, one will be provided.
Thank you for your support and your cooperation this summer.
VWS Expectations of Students and Families for Appropriate Virtual Technology Use
under the Parents Tab. Thank you.
Comprehensive Re-Opening Plan
Valley West School, with guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is planning on beginning the school year (September 3rd) with in person services for our elementary and middle school students, and a hybrid schedule (described below) for our high school students. Our students present with a high level of need, and it is extremely beneficial to them if they can receive our services as directly as is possible and safe. Contained in this document is a detailed plan for our return to in person regular school year services. In addition, this document contains plans for remote instruction and hybrid instruction (a combination of remote and in person instruction) should safety conditions require us transition out of full in person services for any time period. Parents/guardians who are not comfortable sending their children for in person services may choose to have their child receive remote instruction.
In Person Services
Valley West School is currently operating our summer program in person, and we went through a great deal of preparation to reopen and operate safely. We believe that this experience has helped us further prepare for a safe in person reopening for the fall. We have detailed below our current plans and protocols for fall reopening. These plans may be continually adjusted to ensure for safety and smooth operation.
All students and staff will be asked to wear a face covering inside of the school building. Students are asked to come to school with their own masks. If a student arrives without a mask, a disposable one will be provided to them.
Guidance suggests that after about 30 minutes of mask wearing, students should be given an opportunity for a mask break. These breaks are built into each class. Support staff and clinicians will be supporting the implementation of breaks as needed.
Students are being asked to remain in the same room for most of the day and also wear face coverings/masks. They will need the opportunity to take masks off and move around. These breaks may take place outside at teacher discretion. Distance must be maintained during these breaks.
Some students may have a documented medical reason for not wearing a mask. This will be communicated to staff working with those students.
Busses will pull into the front turnaround and drop off all high school students. High school students will follow the sidewalk on the woods side of the building and enter their classrooms through the exterior doors. Teachers will be standing in doorways ready to receive students. On inclement weather days, high school students will enter the front door and use the main hall.
Busses will then proceed to the back of the building where they will drop off all middle school and elementary students. Teachers from these programs will be awaiting the arrival in the gym and will gradually escort students to their classrooms as soon as they arrive. Teachers will monitor students at all times so that they maintain appropriate distancing in the hallways.
Upon entry to the building, students will be checked to ensure that they are wearing a mask and will be given hand sanitizer. (This will be done by staff outside right after students get off of the busses.)
Once students are in class, teachers and support staff will facilitate handwashing for the students.
There will be three breakfast carts prepared in the kitchen each morning, one for each section of the school
Designated staff will bring the carts room to room and offer breakfast to all students.
Breakfast staff will collect individual student lunch order forms at this time.
Students will receive a full academic schedule. Students will be based in one classroom with very few exceptions to schedules.
Teachers will transition between classes so that students are not transitioning in the halls.
It is very important that all students remain supervised through these transitions. Each program will have their own system for these transitions based on the layout of the rooms. Support staff will be asked to assist with these breaks/transitions.
Physical Education classes will take place outside with proper social distancing whenever weather permits. When weather does not permit, then PE classes will be held in the gymnasium with doors open when possible. PE classes will be limited to no more than 12 students per class.
Art/Music classes will be held in the art room and will be limited to 5 students per class. The art/music room will be disinfected between uses as will any shared tools/instruments.
During the breakfast service, all students will fill out a lunch order form. At lunch time, a bagged lunch will be provided for each student.
We will be using a combination of classrooms, the cafeteria and outside seating for lunches on a rotating basis. This will give students the opportunity at least twice per week to have some extra time out of their self-contained classrooms when eating lunch.
The cafeteria will be limited to 8 students, and students will be appropriately distanced. The cafeteria tables and chairs/benches will be disinfected between each lunch.
Process for getting students to and from the cafeteria: Teachers will facilitate handwashing then walk students down to the cafeteria using the main hall or outside of the building to the loading dock door. Students will be directed into the cafeteria and given bagged lunches. At the conclusion of lunch, students will be prompted to wash hands and teachers will pick up students from the other cafeteria door and will walk students back to class outside. In case of inclement weather, students may return to class by way of the main hall.
All students will be dismissed from the front of the building so that all traffic flow is in one direction.
Students will be called individually by name and not by district.
Staff will be stationed throughout the halls to monitor the flow of foot traffic towards the front door.
If safety conditions dictate, Valley West School may move to a remote schedule of services. If a shift to remote instruction occurs, students will be expected to follow the school calendar and participate in remote learning on each regularly scheduled school day. A schedule will be given to each student for them to follow daily. This schedule will mirror each student’s in person schedule. Remote classes will be conducted using Google classroom. All classes will have a daily “live” component using the Google classroom “Meet” feature or Zoom. Teachers will design lessons based on the regular curriculum the school uses for each grade and subject.
Assignments and classes will be graded as they would be for in person instruction according to the VWS grading policy. Report cards and progress reports will be issued as normal. Classroom attendance will be taken daily as it would for in person instruction.
Students who do not have appropriate technology for remote learning will be issued a Chromebook by VWS.
Our high school program will be starting the school year with hybrid services, and if safety conditions dictate, Valley West School may move to a hybrid schedule of services for our elementary and middle school programs as well. Our plan for implementing hybrid services involves breaking up our students and teachers into two cohort groups (Green & Blue). These groups will alternate between in person and remote learning daily. Students will follow the same academic schedule whether they are in person or remote. The academic schedule will be sent home with students so that they know when to report to each of their online classes. On remote days, teachers will be using the Google classroom “Meet” feature or Zoom, and will be facilitating each class on their schedule “live” with the students. On remote days, assignments and classes will be graded as they would be for in person instruction according to the VWS grading policy. Classroom attendance will be taken daily as it would for in person instruction. A schedule will be sent home each month so that parents/guardians can see what days their child will be in person and remote each month.
Students who do not have appropriate technology for remote learning will be issued a Chromebook by VWS.
Considerations for Students with Disabilities
All of our students have documented disabilities and an IEP. All of our students will continue to receive the services and accommodations contained in their IEP. If remote instruction becomes necessary, students will continue to have a regular and consistent schedule of classes, interventions, services and therapies aligned as closely as possible with the student’s IEP.
Students will continue to receive quarterly progress reports. When students are engaged in remote learning, appropriate staff will review a student’s IEP and identify the types of data that can be collected from the student, family, and home environment and develop a means to collect data from direct remote observation, interviewing parents and students, using assessments, etc.
INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
In the event of school cancellation, delay, or early dismissal, Valley West School will submit notice to the following stations:
WWLP– Channel 22 television WGGB– Channel 40 television
Any student who has had school cancelled in his/her town will not be required to attend Valley West School for that day.
When your town does not have school due to inclement weather, the buses aren’t running.
If you drop your child off at Valley West, you will also be responsible for picking him/her up.
In the event of a one-hour delay , students should arrive to school no earlier than 8:45 A.M.In the event of a two-hour delay, students should arrive to school no earlier than 9:45 A.M.
PLEASE listen to the news in the morning on days of inclement weather before dropping-off your child.