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Elementary School » ABC's of Reopening

ABC's of Reopening

Last Updated: July 30, 2020
While we are all excited to be planning for a return to on-campus learning, we are well aware that there are concerns about the health and safety of everyone involved. We want to assure you that we are taking precautions to keep students, teachers, staff, and all others on campus as safe as possible. We have created plans and systems that are safe, healthy, and stringent, yet provide peace of mind as you prepare to send your children back to school.

The theme for Poth Elementary this year is based on the Olympics. We will encourage students to not only learn, but model the Olympic values of Friendship, Respect, and Excellence. We encourage you to join us as we begin the year of “Bringing Home the Gold Together!”

Please note that all information is preliminary and subject to change based on state and local health decisions as well as decisions made by the Texas Educations Agency. 
ABCs of Parenting According to Dr. Robyn J.A. Silverman of Reopening

All about Safety


  • All teachers and staff will self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to campus each day.  If any symptoms are shown or they are lab confirmed with COVID-19, they must remain off campus until all conditions are met to return to campus. (Please see Symptoms of COVID-19 and Conditions for Returning to Campus below.)
  • Parents must ensure that they do not send a child with COVID-19 symptoms to school but should instead opt to receive remote instruction until all conditions are met to return to campus. (Please see Symptoms of COVID-19 and Conditions for Returning to Campus below.)
  • Each classroom will have a hand sanitizing station at the entrance to the classroom.
  • Teachers will encourage and teach good hand washing techniques and have built in breaks during the day for students to wash hands.
  • Teachers will encourage and teach students to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and/or their elbow.  Hand washing/sanitizing will occur following coughs or sneezes.
  • As students transition from class to class, students will wipe down their area before they leave the room.  Teachers/Staff will monitor and will wipe down common areas of the classroom such as light switches, door knobs, shared items, etc.
  • Custodial staff will do frequent cleaning of restrooms, hallways, and common areas throughout the day. 
  • All teachers and staff will be required to wear a face coverings throughout the day.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings while in common areas such as hallways, restrooms, library, and the classroom when social distancing cannot happen due to space.  Face coverings will not be required when students are outdoors or when social distancing can occur within the classroom.
  • District Nurse clinics have been arranged to have a closed off isolation area with a separate area for general nurse needs or injuries.

Symptoms of COVID-19


In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following questions:


Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache
  • Diarrhea


Close Contact


This document refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Close contact is determined by an appropriate public health agency. For clarity, close contact is defined as:

  • being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask or face shield); or
  • being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes, while not wearing a mask or face shield; if either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious.


Conditions for Returning to Campus


In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, or who has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19,  the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications)
  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
  • at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.


If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location.

Back to School Basics


  • We are asking that no students be dropped off at school prior to 7:30 am. Teachers will not be in their classrooms until 7:30 and we cannot allow students to congregate outside the front door as in years past.
  • Students who need to be dropped off prior to 7:30 may be dropped off at the cafeteria no earlier than 7:15. They will stay in the cafeteria with social distancing in place until they can be released to their classrooms at 7:30.
  • The computer lab will NOT be open in the morning before school starts.
  • Coaches will have dots on the floor where students will do their daily calisthenics (exercises). This is not new to the students. They have always done this.
  • Outdoor activities will occur when weather permits.
  • Shoes will not be removed.
  • Students will not be bused to the track. Mile club will be implemented at the practice field whenever possible.
  • Students will be spaced as far apart as possible in the computer lab.
  • Computer lab will be sanitized between groups.
  • Music will be held outside when weather permits.
  • The campus wide schedule has been adjusted so that only one grade level will be on the playground at a time.
  • The students will be divided into two groups and will be separated in two different areas when on the playground.
  • Students will sanitize hands prior to going to the library.
  • Returned books will be sanitized and held on a cart for 24-48 hours before being placed back on the shelf for others to check out.
  • Story time will happen at tables rather than on the carpet area.
  • PK and Kinder will not go to the library; however, they will have access to library books in their classrooms.
  • No more than two students will be allowed in the restroom at a time.
  • Students must wear a mask while in the restroom.
  • Students will be encouraged to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds when leaving the restroom.
  • Teachers will encourage the use of hand sanitizer upon return to the classroom as well.
  • Hallway and outdoor water fountains will be turned off.
  • Students will be issued a water bottle and will use refilling stations in classrooms.
  • PK, Kinder, and 1st grade are self-contained. They will not be switching classes.
  • 2nd and 3rd grade is divided into 2 teams. (Mrs. Cabrera and Mrs. George will share students) (Mrs. Rodgers and Mrs. Dunn will share students) (Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. L. Yanta will share students) (Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Johns will share students)
  • 4th and 5th grade will move to three classes; however; students will be taught a strict protocol for the transition time. This system will keep students from interaction with one another as much as possible while switching classes.
  • Schedules are such that only one grade level should be in the hallway at a time.
  • Students will be taught to stand at arm length from one another and to face forward at all times when in line.
  • All students and staff will wear face coverings when in the hallway.
  • If your child (grades PK-5) eats breakfast at school, they will need to report directly to the cafeteria, no earlier than 7:15 and no later than 7:40. This will allow them time to eat and get to class in time to start their day.
  • Due to limited seating in the cafeteria and the need to sanitize between groups, we have worked out a rotation schedule for students eating in the cafeteria and in their classroom.
        • PK will always eat breakfast and lunch in their classroom.
        • Kinder-5th grade will have an opportunity to eat in the cafeteria as well as in their classrooms on a three week rotation schedule.
  • If classes are assigned to eat in their classroom, students will go through the cafeteria line, get their “to go” lunch and take it back to their classroom to eat.
  • ALL students will be able to get a hot lunch from the cafeteria even if they are assigned to eat in their classroom. 
  • Visitors will not be allowed during breakfast/lunch times. 
  • If your child is not eating the prepared school lunch, you must send their lunch with them in the morning. We will not be accepting lunch deliveries during the day.
  • Visitation to campus will be limited to those persons essential for school operations.
  • All visitors to campus will be screened prior to entry and will not be admitted if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Visitors will not be allowed during breakfast or lunch times due to limited spacing. 
  • We will run car line much the same as in the past with a few exceptions. We cannot have all the children waiting on the porch so we must insist on specific grade levels at certain doors.
  • Families will be released together, so please pick up your children at the front or back door based on the grade level of your youngest child.
        • PK, K, 3rd, and 4th will pick up at the back door
        • 1st, 2nd and 5th will pick up at the front door
        • With the location of the new LIDS classroom, LIDS students can be dropped off and picked up Dickson Street near the cafeteria.
  • Students will remain in their classroom until their name is called.
  • In an effort to keep everyone safe, we will NOT be allowing parents to walk up to pick up their children during carline. If you want to walk to pick up your child, you will need to wait until after cars have all been dismissed.
  • We realize that this will be a slightly slower process; however, we must do all we can to protect our children and we thank you for your patience.
Classroom Instruction: Face to Face or Poth @ Home
Parents will have two options for instruction during the school year. We will ask you two weeks prior to the start of school to select your option. This will hold for the entire six week grading cycle. You will then be allowed to continue or change your option for the next grading cycle. (six week period)
Added: July 31, 2020
  • Instructional videos will be provided for students to watch and assignments will be required daily.
  • Online learning programs will be utilized to enhance instruction. There will be daily requirements for these programs as well.
  • There will be synchronous learning opportunities for students to participate in. These will be scheduled in advance in order for parents to make plans for their child to participate. (these will be required attendance sessions)
  • Students will come to campus and experience a routine day five days per week.
  • Health and safety of students, teachers, and staff will be priority following guidelines and procedures outlined throughout the document below.
  • On campus attendance will be taken. If the student is physically on campus at the attendance time (10 am), they will be counted present for the day.
  • In order to receive credit for daily attendance for remote learning, students must be present at the required online meeting time and assignments must be turned in daily by 8 pm. Assignments can be turned in via the remote learning platform (SeeSaw for grades PK-2 and Google Classroom for grades 3-5) or by logging into the online learning program for the day prior to 8 pm.
  • Each grade level will post their grading guidelines. These guidelines will be for both on campus, face to face learners and Poth @ Home, remote, learners. There will be no difference in grading expectations based on choice of instructional model. 

We hope that these guidelines give you some comfort and peace of mind in knowing that we will do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy for the 20-21 school year. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at kbrysch@pothisd.us or 830-484-3321


“Let’s bring home the gold TOGETHER!”