Monday, August 3, 2020

Reopening Waterford School Update -- New Start Date, Busing, Face Coverings, Preview of Fall Options

*This update includes information regarding new start date, face coverings, busing and a preview of fall options in preparation for the reopening of school. 

New Start Date -- September 8th

On July 28, Governor Scott announced September 8th as the universal start date for instruction of students. Please note, as a result the following adjustments have been made:

August 21 - September 4: Teacher In-service
September 8th: First student day

Face Coverings

All staff and students are required to wear facial coverings while in the building, as well as outside where physical distancing cannot be maintained. CDC recommends facial coverings in settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Adults doing drop-off and pick-up should wear facial coverings. Instructions for making, wearing and washing facial coverings can be found on the CDC website. PreK students require special consideration regarding age and child development when wearing masks. 

It is the responsibility of each family to provide masks for their children. 

The following stipulations are for students, as well as staff, where applicable and come from State of Vermont guidelines 

  • Facial coverings are developmentally appropriate when children can properly put on, take off, and not touch or suck on the covering. 

  • Students who have a medical or behavioral reason for not wearing a facial covering should not be required to wear one. These decisions should be made in partnership with the health care provider and school nurse. 

  • Students/staff should not wear facial coverings while sleeping, eating or swimming (or when they would get wet). 

  • Facial coverings with ties are not recommended for young children as they pose a risk of choking or strangulation. 

  • Facial coverings may be removed during outdoor activities where students and staff can maintain physical distancing and have ready access to put them back as needed when activity stops. 

  • Staff may take off their facial covering in select circumstances to accommodate specific needs, for example: when an individual is hearing impaired and reads lips to communicate. It is also recommended to use facial coverings with clear plastic windows to support communication when there is ongoing contact with individuals who are hearing impaired. 

  • The use of clear facial shields for students and adults is allowable as long as they meet all of the health guidance of the Vermont Department of Health. Face shields should extend below the chin and to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.


It is my understanding that this information along with the below survey may not have reached all parents. If you have already responded to this survey you do not need to submit another response.

Please complete this survey by August 7

We are currently planning the transportation needs for our upcoming school year. It is important for our school and Butler’s Bus Company to determine whether your child will require transportation or if you will transport your child to and/or from school. The state has shared specific guidelines for student transportation and social distancing while on the bus. Butler's will be designing bus routes and assigning seats on their buses based on these guidelines. Having a specific count of how many children will ride the bus to and from school will assist them in designing bus routes for our students. 

If you can provide transportation to your child, please consider doing so. A more limited ridership will allow us to provide a safer experience for those students who need bus transportation to get to school.

If your child(ren) will require the school provided transportation, please be aware of the following changes and requirements based on State guidelines:

  • Buses will need to make multiple runs. This will result in delayed entry time for some students as well as early dismissal for others. Please keep track of when your children will be picked up and dismissed.

  • Students on the buses will be physically distanced from each other as much as possible. Six feet of distance may not be the reality.

  • Students will have assigned seats.

  • Masks will be required of every person on the bus regardless of age.

  • Each morning, students will need to have a slip signed by their parent stating to the best of their knowledge, the student does not have a high temperature or any symptoms of COVID 19.

  • Failure to provide such a slip may result in students losing their bus privileges. 

  • Parents will be responsible for their child(ren)’s care when they are not able to board the bus.

  • Buses will be cleaned between runs and at the end of the day.

Please complete this survey by August 7. It is critical that you complete this survey whether you intend on having your child ride the bus or not. We only need one response per family. 

Preview of Fall Instructional Options --

For clarity, below are the three Instructional Options for Waterford students:

Option 1 - Return to Waterford School Building -- On Site, Full Day/Full Week
Option 2 - Full-Time Remote Learning with Instruction provided by a Waterford/CCSU Teacher
Option 3 - Enrollment in the Vermont Agency of Education Home Study Program

The details for each option above will be shared with you later this week. During the course of this week, both CCSU teacher representatives and administrators will be planning what the Remote Learning Option could look like and I will meet with Waterford Staff to review the plan. I will then share with families the full details. I will also be including a survey: The purpose of the survey is to learn more about your intentions regarding where your child(ren) will be accessing their schooling given the latest update on fall structures.


Chris Miller