Middle School Guidelines & Parent Choice Form for 2020-2021 School Year

July 28, 2020

Please complete this Remote Learning Survey for the Middle School.

Return to School Plan for Maroa-Forsyth Middle School

This plan has been created by the Maroa-Forsyth Middle School Transition Team. It is utilizing the current guidelines (as of 7/20/2020) and will be modified if new guidelines are provided to schools from IDPH or ISBE.

Entry to Building:

  • All students will have their temperature taken and will be asked about symptoms prior to entry into the building. This will be documented in a Google Sheet or Google Form. The teachers and staff taking temperatures will have face shields and masks. Entry will be at different doors for bus riders and students who walk or are dropped off by grades. (six different doors will be utilized) Markings will be made at entrances to show 6' of distance between students prior to entry.
  • Students will go directly to their first period class.
  • Visitors will be prohibited without an appointment. Students are already able to sign themselves out with parent permission for appointments or if they are ill.
  • If someone is coming into the building they will need to be buzzed into the building, then someone from the office will go and take their temperature prior to walking them into the office. All visitors must also follow the mask requirement.


  • All students and staff are required to wear a facemask while in the building. If a student has a medical reason (physician's note) stating they can't wear a facemask, they will have two options:
    • Wear a face shield while at school
    • Choose the Remote Learning option
  • Students clean their desk or computer with a disinfectant wipe as they enter the room.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned using a disinfectant fogger during teacher prep periods. Rooms will be disinfected after school as well. Deep cleaning and sanitation of the building will occur on Wednesdays and over the weekends.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and throughout the school.


  • Students will not use lockers to start the year. Students will carry their materials. For this reason, as much as possible, materials will be loaded to Google Classroom and documents will be scanned so students have access. When weather gets cooler we will create a method for students to store their coats in lockers and access them before school and prior to dismissal with keeping as much social distancing as possible.
  • All students will be required to wear a mask at all times in school, and teachers will be in the hallways during passing periods to ensure this policy is followed.
  • We are temporarily moving three classrooms to the intermediate building. Mrs. Craft, Mrs. Hickey, and Mrs. Williams rooms will be located in the intermediate wing for at least the first semester.
  • Because of the design of our building and width of the hallways we acknowledge students will be not able to socially distance themselves in the hallways.


  • Classrooms are being set up for students to all be facing the same direction
  • Students are seated at least 3' apart where possible. When students aren't able to be seated this distance {labs, computer labs) they will be seated diagonally so they are as far apart as possible with no one directly across from them.
  • Students will clean their desks as they enter the classroom.
  • Masks will be required in classrooms at all times.
  • If the content allows, teachers are encouraged to take their students outside. If outside and following social distancing guidelines of at least 6' of separation students may remove their masks.
  • No shared supplies unless they are able to be disinfected between uses. (ex. paint brushes in art)
  • We encourage students to bring their own device such as a laptop or Chromebook to reduce the risk of exposure, but the school and district aren't liable for the device should it become lost, stolen, or damaged.


  • Students will not change for P.E. until the guidelines are changed.
  • As much as possible students will be outside and students will be socially distanced so they can remove their masks.
  • If the weather doesn't allow students to be outside, students will be spread out so no groups are larger than 50. The MS Gym, Intermediate Gym, and weight area will be utilized to keep groups small.


  • Lunches will be spread out to ensure no more than 50 students are in any one space.
  • Students will be seated at tables at half capacity, diagonally across from each other so they are at least 3' apart
  • Lunches will be served in the gym, cafeteria, academic lunch room, and if needed Mr. Ennis's and Mr. Peters's room.
  • Tables/desks/chairs will be cleaned with disinfectant between lunch periods.
  • Students are able to bring their own lunches, limited hot lunch options will be available until guidelines for serving change
  • No Microwaves for student use


  • It is a priority that our band and choir classes remain strong during this pandemic, but we acknowledge and adhere to the guidelines for the safety of our students and staff.
  • Band students will be seated facing the conductor with a 6' x 6' area around each student. Trombone players will be in a 6' x 9' area . Because of this social distancing guideline, the band classes will be reduced in numbers, increased in sections, and in a different location. The location is yet to be determined.
  • Students will remove their masks to play, and then replace them when they are not playing.
  • Choir students will be seated at least 3' apart in the classroom. They will all face the same direction.
  • The conductor will be at least 10' from the choir or band.
  • Choir students will wear masks while in the classroom.

Remote Learning Option:

  • If a student chooses to take remote learning the student will have a schedule to attend classes virtually. Student attendance will be taken as if they were in class.
  • Students must be present and visible to the teacher during the class period.
  • Students will use Google Classroom and Google Meets for virtual meetings.
  • Student work will be collected and assessed just as if they were in person at school.
  • If a student can ' t be in attendance during a virtual class session they must communicate directly to the teacher the reason why and how they will get caught up.
  • Mini-lesson videos will be provided weekly for students who can't attend the lesson during the class period. The format of these will depend on the number of students we have electing to Remote Learn. Students might livestream, through Google Meets, a class in session or there could be designated Remote Learning class periods.
  • Assignments and lessons will be paced at the same pace as the in class students.
  • Wednesday is a Remote Planning Day for teachers. Teachers will have a scheduled "office hour" where they will be available to answer quest ions from students.
  • If students need to conduct a lab it is possible a teacher may schedule this on a Wednesday. Students will be required to wear a mask, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and be only in the room where the appointment was scheduled.
  • All guardians will be invited to Google Classroom. This will allow parents to monitor the progress of their student as well as receive notifications posted by the teachers.

All Remote Learning

  • If we are directed to return to an all Remote Learning Framework all students will have a schedule of classes.
  • Students will have four classes per day, four days per week. Wednesday will continue to be a Remote Day. To the greatest extent possible classrooms will be taught in a Flipped Classroom Method. This means the teacher will provide a video lesson for students to prior to the live session. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions or get clarifications on the assignment.
  • Attendance will be taken on a per period basis.
  • Assignments will be submitted through Google Classroom. Students work will be graded, but due dates and grading guidelines may be adjusted.
  • No packets will be provided unless required in a 504 or IEP.
  • Students in need of a device or internet capability will have a procedure to borrow/lease these from the school.

Building Considerations

  • Staff will be outside of restrooms to monitor number of people in each restroom during passing periods
  • Drinking fountains will be off, students are encouraged to bring water bottles to school. They will be able to be filled during lunch periods.
  • For at least the first semester, Encore classes will be paused. This is to allow for a longer first period for announcements, attendance, and the delay of getting students into class due to the temperature and symptom checks required. And, we want to provide as much core content classroom time as possible. If we are able to return to school for the second semester with 5 days per week of attendance and full days we will consider bringing Encore classes back and students will get one class each quarter of second semester.
  • 2:03 dismissal with Remote Learning for all on Wednesdays.
  • No field trips of overnight trips
  • No Back to School Nights
  • We will start with two days of 6th graders (one day will include new students}, one day for 7th graders, and one for 8th graders
  • We will follow the same schedule as the high school.

First Week of School

  • The first week of school for in person learning will be used to teach the safety protocols outlined in this document.
  • Because we aren't able to have a 6th Grade Orientation Day/Night we will have their orientation on their first day of school.
  • The schedule for the first week is set by grade and new/returning students:
    • August 31 - 6th grade students
    • September 1 - 6th grade and all students new to the Maroa-Forsyth School District
    • September 3 - 7th grade students
    • September 4 - 8th grade students
  • During these attendance days students will be introduced to the teachers, walk through their schedule, learn how classrooms will be structured, and we will make sure students are able to login into their email, Google Classrooms, Google Meets, and Skyward.
  • Full attendance will begin September 8th.

Bus Transportation

  • Students will be screened by a bus monitor before entering a bus (temperature checks done and hand sanitizer distributed).
  • Students will have assigned seats.
  • Family members will be seated together whenever practical.
  • All drivers and students will be required to wear a mask during transportation.
  • Windows will be open for cross ventilation when possible.
  • Number of students on buses will be fewer than 48 (no more than 2 per seat).
  • Routes will be adjusted to accommodate as needed.
  • Drivers will wipe down high touch surfaces after each route.
  • Buses will be fogged after each route.
  • Students will only be allowed to ride their assigned bus.
  • Parents must inform the school district if they are using bus transportation or driving their children to school.
  • The choice for bus transportation or not is a commitment for the entire 1st semester.


Below are instructions and guidelines for daily classroom cleaning and disinfecting. These are minimum standards that must be followed to insure cleanliness and prevent the spread of disease.

*Each classroom will be equipped with sanitizer and disinfectant/cleaning supplies. Personal protective equipment will also be available in each room.


Normal daily cleaning schedules will be followed as well as extensive disinfecting procedures. CDC guidelines will be used to insure proper disinfecting of buildings.

1. Daily classroom/library/office cleaning will include but not be limited to:

Floor sweeping

Emptying of trash

Vacuuming of rugs if present

Disinfecting all hard surfaces (tables, desks, chairs)

Disinfecting high touch areas (door handles, door frames, handles and fixtures)

At minimum once daily disinfectant fogging of these areas

2. Common area cleaning will include but not be limited to:

Floor sweeping

Vacuuming of carpet if present

Disinfecting all hard surfaces (benches, tables etc.)

Disinfecting outside surface and handles of lockers

At minimum once daily disinfectant fogging of common areas

3. Restroom cleaning will include but not be limited to:

Multiple cleanings throughout the day following a set schedule

Disinfectant fogging will take place daily in all restrooms.

Repetitive disinfecting of restroom fixtures, knobs, and handles

4. Cafeteria cleaning will include but not be limited to:

Floor sweeping

Emptying of trash

Hard surface disinfecting (tabletops, chairs)

At minimum once daily disinfectant fogging of cafeteria

(If lunch is provided in classrooms, additional instruction will be added)

*All other areas of building not listed will follow a similar disinfecting and cleaning schedule

Teachers- All teachers will be asked to clean and disinfect their personal workspace. This will include their desk, chair, phone, computer and small desk items. Keeping a small amount of things on the desk surface will make the process easier. Cleaning must be done daily and is recommended to be done at the end of each day.

Work Schedule

Custodial work hours could exceed a normal 40-hour workweek. This may include extended hours throughout the week or additional hours on the weekend.

In additional to our normal custodial staff, Wednesdays will potentially include the participation of bus drivers and kitchen staff. A set schedule will be provided to these additional staff, and they will work their normal amount of daily hours. These employees will be involved in disinfecting of the buildings under the guidance of custodians and Buildings and Grounds Supervisor.

COVID-19 Supplies Purchased (as of July 21, 2020)

The following items related to school disinfecting have been purchased. These supplies are intended for COVID-19 related cleaning and protection equipment and are in addition to our normal cleaning supplies.

6 handheld corded disinfecting foggers

2 handheld battery disinfecting foggers

8 manual 2 gallon disinfecting sprayers

8 manual 1 gallon handheld disinfecting sprayers

(48) 20oz handheld sprayers

40 gallons of non-toxic disinfectant to be used with above listed sprayers

6 cases of Virextb disinfectant

64 gallons of bleach

6 cases of foaming disinfectant cleaner

8 gallons of disinfectant concentrate

Hand Sanitizer- Adding to this daily

(24) 64 oz. refill bottles

(75) 16 oz. pump bottles

15 floor stands and no touch sanitizing stations (ordered but not yet received)

Wipes- Adding to this daily

50 containers


20 boxes of gloves (1000 pair total)

2400 disposable masks

150 face shields

Plexiglass shields for GS/HS office areas and MS/HS kitchen areas

Signage- Work in progress

(10) 50 ft. rolls of floor signage

(50) 8” keep six-foot distance floor decals

Multiple wall signs

Frequently Asked Questions

(As of July 23, 2020)*

* Please refer to the date of the FAQ as we anticipate answers to change.

What is the first day for students?

We have changed the first day of school to not be on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 but rather depending on your child’s grade will start on the week of Monday, August 31. More details from the building principal will be send out regarding the opening week schedule. Planning demands and COVID-19 data support this change. The school year will end June 4 then instead of May 27.

Will face coverings be required?

The Illinois Department of Public Health is requiring all individuals inside school buildings to wear a face covering at all times except while eating and during band. Unless this changes, we will have to require all students and staff to wear them while on school property.

Do we need to provide masks for our students or will they be provided?

Yes, parents need to provide masks for their children. The schools are equipped with masks in case a mask gets lost or is dirty.

Will bus transportation be provided?

We will continue to provide transportation for students. We understand some families may prefer to avoid having their student on a bus and will transport their child to and from school. Students will be required to wear a face covering when riding the bus. And, we plan on temping students upon boarding the bus.

How normal will the day be for a student?

We are all adjusting to a new normal, but we strive to continue to provide a nurturing, educational environment. Frequent and regular sanitation will occur throughout all facilities and buses each day.

Will students at the elementary school still have extra classes like PE, art, music, guidance, and library?

Classes like band and PE are still being analyzed so that we can provide the safest environment possible to our students. All other extra classes will continue as planned but may be adjusted slightly by taking place in the student’s classroom to reduce the amount of cleaning necessary.

Will my elementary student still have recess?

Yes, students will still have outdoor play time with physical distancing observed as much as is possible and practical. At this time, playground equipment will not be used.

Will physical distancing guidelines be observed?

As much as is possible and practical, physical distancing will be observed. At times when students will be closer than 6 feet, such as class exchanges, students will be in face coverings. Practically, 2 to 4 feet distancing with masks will be more of the normal reality.

Will classrooms be arranged differently to protect students?

Classrooms and cafeteria spaces will be redesigned to increase the space between students. We cannot guarantee it will be 6 feet, but we will do our best to space out students.

Will students attend school every day, or will we have some type of alternative schedule?

Parents will have the choice between sending their kids to school for in-person learning or keeping children home for remote learning. We ask that parents commit to one or the other for the entire semester.

In order to provide our students with both learning options and to give our teachers time to prepare plans for two types of student learning options, our school days will end earlier 2:03/2:13 M, Tu, Th, F, and Wednesday will be a remote learning day for all. And, we will be able to deep clean the school mid-week as well as on weekends

If an individual should test positive for COVID-19, what will happen?

In the event that a student tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow the latest guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health. This could result in a brief closure of a single school or the district as a whole while the school is sanitized and contact traced. The local and state Health Departments control the decision on school closures related to COVID-19

Will students and adults be screened daily?

Yes, we are working on a plan to do just that. We are also contemplating a plan to have parents self-certify that their children are safe to come to school. More details to come.

If I don’t want my student to return to a traditional classroom, what are my options?

We are offering remote learning to all of our families. We realize some students are high risk or live in a home with a high-risk family member.

If a student is enrolled in Online Learning, will they be able to participate in extracurricular activities?

Yes, but you must be in our Remote Learning option and this does not apply to Homeschooling.

Will Online Learning students be provided with a device?

We will be surveying students who want Remote Learning now so that we can determine who needs internet access or a device to complete Remote Learning assignments. We are also working on a long term plan to supply all of our students with Chromebooks.

Will internet service be provided at my home?

We will make sure all students have the ability to work from home as needed by providing Hotspots.

Will we have an open house?

We must stay at 50 people or less for these type of events so open houses will not occur as normal. We are looking into what modifications can be made so that we can still hold an open house in some fashion.

Will lunch time be in the classroom?

We will make every effort to continue to feed students while maintaining appropriate physical distancing during mealtimes. Traditional water fountains will not be available to students, but the bottle filler fountains will. We are working on spaces in and around our cafeteria spaces to accommodate lunch periods but yes, it is a possibility that students may eat in their classrooms.

Will I be able to come to the school and eat lunch with my student or deliver food for them?

Access to the buildings will be limited to essential business only.

What special precautions will be implemented in regard to cleaning and sanitizing?

High-touch surfaces will be cleaned routinely throughout the day. All school buildings will be deep cleaned on Wednesdays and weekends as well as the normal overnight cleaning schedules.

If a student comes to school sick, what will happen?

The school nurse will screen the student and check their temperature. If the student has a temperature that is above the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the student will be sent home. Before the child can return to school, parents will need to show a negative COVID test, and the child will need to be fever free for 72 hours without medication.

How will you help fill any gaps my student has from the previous year?

Students will be assessed and missed essential standards will be addressed when students return.

What happens if we have school closures again?

If we are forced to shut down, we will provide Remote Learning to our students. We are working to improve Remote Learning for all students.

Will our students have the same arrival and dismissal times?

We anticipate arrival times being the same or close to the same and dismissal times will be adjusted to 2:03 at grades 6-12 and 2:13 for grades PreK-5.

What advice do you have for students with special needs (autism, asthma, panic attacks, anxiety, etc.) or students with weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions?

It will be up to parents to determine what is best for their children at this time, whether that is In-Person learning or Remote Learning.

What will happen if a student refuses to wear a mask and/or is having difficulties keeping the mask on?

We will work collaboratively with the student and parents to come up with a game plan to meet the mask requirement. If this cannot be achieved the Remote Learning option will need

to happen. If there is a signed off doctor’s note not requiring the mask another option might be to use a face shield/plexiglass barrier in an isolated classroom. All situations case by case.

Why are you not offering a 5 day In-Person option?

Our survey data along with special circumstances causes us to offer a Remote Learning option. If we have to provide an In-Person Learning experience AND provide Remote Learning at the same time, it is not possible at this time to offer In-Person 5 days a week.

If a vaccine becomes available, will students or staff be required to get one?

We are unable to answer that question at this time.

What will be the expectations for the Remote Learning Day for ALL on Wednesdays?

No new material will be taught. No live streaming will be conducted. Assignments will be made for that day related to practicing skills already learned. Teachers will hold “office hours” and be available to support students.

What are the requirements for the type of masks that must be worn?

The mask should fit snugly around the mouth and nose. Have more than one mask so they can be laundered daily.

Can my child ride a friend’s bus home?

No. At this time, we must be consistent with same group of students on a bus.

Will the plan that was released in July of 2020 be applied to 2nd semester?

We are unable to answer that question at this time. However, we anticipate that our 2020-21 school plan could change at any time during the course of the 1st semester. It is likely we will have a different plan for 2nd semester. Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the 2nd semester plan and be able to make different or other choices depending on what that plan looks like. Everyone must be flexible as changes are anticipated.

2020-2021 District Plan arrow_forward

For more information about the 2020-2021 school year please click here.


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