November 4, 2021

Dear EPS Families,

With the steady decrease of COVID cases in our schools, we have been able to relax some of the mitigation measures we had in place in the buildings from the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. While our mask requirement is still in place, following are the practices I am happy to share as reinstated in our schools.

Field Trips
On October 19th, schools were given permission to resume field trips that are based on curriculum standards.

Book Fairs
Book fairs are reinstated as typical. Parent volunteers are welcome to assist with book fairs.

Parents in the Classroom
We love having parents in our buildings. Currently, parents are welcome to volunteer in our buildings, but they must work in common areas or PAL/PTO rooms, book fairs, and holiday stores. Volunteers should not be working in the classroom. However, we do want to open up our classrooms for teachers to invite in guest readers, Star Student parents, and guest speakers such as community workers, etc as appropriately connected to the curriculum.

Keeping students in “families” or “pods”
Because we still need to contact trace, at this time, teachers will still need to keep seating charts and keep students in families or pods, but they can change up the families and pods as often as they need to. It is suggested in elementary schools to have half of the students come to the rug at a time for now, and alternate which students are seated on the rug.

Water Fountains
We strongly encourage students to keep bringing water bottles to school; however, we will reopen most water fountains for students and staff to use as needed. In the meantime, we are trying to get more of our water fountains converted to bottle fillers.

School Assemblies
Schoolwide assemblies may be held in large group settings indoors or outdoors. Arrangements should be made for an alternative location for any student who may choose to avoid crowded environments. Principals will work with site leadership teams to establish site expectations for guests at assemblies. Many elementary schools have transitioned to virtual school announcements and virtual weekly assemblies and may consider keeping this practice in place.

Just like schoolwide assemblies, fundraisers may be held in large group settings indoor or outdoors. Arrangements should be made for an alternative location for any student who may choose to avoid crowded environments.

Class Parties
Classes will be allowed to have up to four volunteers present for the party to assist with set-up, clean-up, facilitating games, etc. Beginning with winter parties, principals and PTO board members will communicate these new district outlined procedures with their families.

To avoid crowding and congestion in hallways, lockers will continue to be out of commission for the foreseeable future. Should your child have a particular challenge that requires a locker or storage space, please visit with the site administrator.

Visual and Performing Arts
Visual and performing arts may fully resume indoor practices, performances, concerts, and exhibits.

Interscholastic Athletics
All previously practiced mitigating measures required of middle and high school athletic programs are now lifted.

College and Military Recruitment and Information Visits
Counseling offices may now schedule on-campus college and military recruitment visits as a service to interested students.

School Lunch
Until otherwise announced, during the 2021-22 school year juniors will be allowed to leave campus for lunch to provide additional seating in the cafeterias, which are experiencing greater patronage and reduced available seating as a result of the free lunch now available for all students.

Mascot, Advisory, and Tutorial Periods
Mascot time and advisory in middle school and tutorial in high school may be scheduled without restrictions as often as the sites find them useful.

School Dances and Socials
Middle schools may now schedule age-appropriate grade-level socials indoors. High schools may resume indoor school dances and other social activities.

Charity Weeks
There will be no facility limitations placed on the charity week events. All approved events held in previous years will be allowed this year upon clearance via proper channels (administrator approval and Kissflow).

Thank you for your trust and support over the past several weeks. We are enthusiastically looking forward to resuming activities that were previously restricted due to the virus.

Angela Grunewald