Dr. Mark Eichenlaub,
Regional Superintendent

Staci Oliver,
Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Mark Eichenlaub,
Regional Superintendent

Staci Oliver,
Assistant Superintendent

OVERVIEW

The Regional Safe Schools Program, or Safe School, is an alternative program that provides services to 5th - 12th grade students from public schools in St. Clair County. The Safe School operates under the guidelines of the Illinois State Board of Education as well as state and federal laws. At the high school level, the program serves only expulsion-eligible students. Students in the 5th - 8th grades may be considered for placement at the Safe School for a variety of reasons, including suspension/eligibility for suspension or expulsion.  

The Safe School incorporates some practices not found in traditional public school settings. Other practices of the Safe School are similar to those found in public schools. The Safe School provides a traditional public school curriculum as well as a behavior management curriculum. The statewide program began serving Illinois students in 1997 and is based upon PA 89-383, which provided for a system of alternative education programs for disruptive students.

Every student is considered on a case-by-case basis. Students with a 504 Plan or IEP are considered, but please be aware that we have no special education services available. The special education student must able to work within our curriculum.

REFERRAL PROCESS

Students can only be referred by the home school. In late April or early May, schools should begin making decisions as to which students they are considering referring to the Safe School. When those decisions are made, we ask that referral forms be returned in early June. Decisions are made on prospective students in late July or early August. Referrals are accepted throughout the school year. Space is limited. For a referral form, click the following link: SAFE SCHOOL REFERRAL FORM

ACCEPTED STUDENTS

Using AutoSkills, a computer-based program used in our math and reading classes, students are pre-tested to determine skills in which they may be deficient. Students are then post-tested to measure improvement in each subject area. AutoSkills has shown to be an effective way to significantly improve reading and math skill levels.

Every effort is made to individualize the student's schedule to meet his/her needs and the requirements of the home school district. If at all possible, students are placed in the same courses determined by the home school. If a student enters during the semester, all attempts are made to continue his/her current course curriculum.

LENGTH OF ENROLLMENT

Enrollment at the Safe School is considered by semester. Students are normally placed at the Safe School for one semester. However, enrollments of two to three semesters will be considered if circumstances warrant.

St. Clair County R.O.E. 50

Mission: The Stay in School (SIS) Alternative Attendance Program seeks to provide continuity of the educational experience to St. Clair County students who would otherwise receive a traditional out-of-school suspension.  The certified educators who staff the program will communicate with students' referring schools and assist and instruct students as they complete all of the activities provided by the referring school for the duration of their placement.

Location: Second floor, St. Clair R.O.E. 50 Alternative Education Center (Safe School), 1722 West Main Street, Belleville, IL  62222

Schedule:

8:45 - 9:15   Students arrive: Students will be received by SIS staff and directed to the assigned room
9:15 - 11:40   Work Session: Students will meet with SIS staff to list and discuss the days assignemnts.  Materials from the referring school will be distributed, and students will begin work.
11:40 - 12:00   Lunch: Students will be served lunch in the SIS room to which they have been assigned.
12:00 - 2:45   Work Session AND conferences with SIS staff: Staff will meet with students individually, check their progress, and discuss their performance that day.
2:45 - 3:15   Students depart.

 

Expectations for Student Behavior:

  • Students will follow the instructions of SIS staff and all Alternative Education Center faculty and building staff members.
  • Students will complete all assignments provided by the home school or assigned by SIS staff for that day and ask for assistance when necessary.
  • Students will remain in the sections of the building designated for use by the SIS program.
  • Students will use appropriate language, volume, and tone; no profanity, insults, threats, harassments, bullying, etc. will be tolerated.
  • Students will refrain from physical contact of any kind with staff members or other students.
  • Any and all electronic devices, including (but not limited to) cell phones, tablets, music players, gaming devices et al. must remain out of sight and silent.

Consequences for Violating Behavior Expectations:

  1. First violation: Warning
  2. Second violation: Warning
  3. Third violation: Report sent to referring school; student may be isolated from other students where possible
  4. Fourth violation: Report sent to referring school; possible recommendation to terminate SIS placement, initiate out-of-school suspension.

Registration Instructions: Students can be registered for SIS any time before 9 A.M. on the day their placement is to begin.  Registration can be completed online in just a few minutes.

To register:

  • Go to the SIS registration site (www.stclair.k12.il.us/aes).
  • Enter your login (your three-digit distric number) and password (the first three letters of your district's name, followed by your three-digit district number).  Passwords can be changed upon request.
  • Complete the brief registration form.  SIS staff will confirm the registration before 9:00 A.M. the following school day.

For students who receive free for reduced-price lunches, please forward documentation to amccammon@aecroe50.org

 

Mark Eichenlaub: REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT

          

Stacy Louderman, Principal

slouderman@aecroe50.org

 

Heather Wallace, Lead Teacher

hwallace@aecroe50.org

 

Tracy Gocal, Teacher

tgocal@aecroe50.org

 

Chris Schilling, Teacher

cschilling@aecroe50.org

 

Olivia Rowan, Teacher

orowan@aecroe50.org

 

Mindi Lembke; Teacher

mlembke@aecroe50.org

 

Patty Watkins; Co-Op

pwatkins@aecroe50.org

 

Catherine Sanders, Administrative Assistant

casanders@aecroe50.org

 

Andy McCammon, SIS Coordinator

amccammon@aecroe50.org

 

Steve Argus, Custodian

Alternative Education Center Safe School

Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services plan

2021-2022 Reopening

Executive Summary

In order to provide St. Clair County students to  have as much of a normal school day experience as possible, the Alternative Education Center Safe School will be implementing a system of layered strategies which are shown to prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. This includes encouraging vaccinations for those who are eligible, self-screening before attending school daily, universal masking at school, social distancing to the extent possible, implementing a district-wide testing system, and cleaning and sanitizing on a regular basis.

When these layered strategies are followed, students attending the Alternative Education Center Safe School will be able to reduce the need to quarantine and allow students to remain in school even if they are identified as a close contact to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Students who are absent from school due to COVID-19 will be provided with the opportunity to participate in remote instruction at identified times during the school day. When new content is being taught, both synchronous remote learning (through Zoom and Google Meet) as well as with asynchronous instruction (through Google Classroom or other modalities as necessary) will be utilized to allow students to maintain pace with their peers. Remote instruction is only available to those students who are isolated or excluded from school due to COVID-19, and only for the time indicated by the health department, unless otherwise authorized on a case by case basis.

The Alternative Education Center goal is to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff, and be able to sustain that learning environment five days a week throughout the school year.

 Introduction

In March of 2020, the majority of the United States went into closure due to COVID-19. During the ensuing months, school districts across the country were faced with changing day-to-day operations from in-person to a combination of in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning while also working to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

As a result of the pandemic, school districts were forced to make changes that significantly impacted the work of teachers, students, and the partnerships with parents in ways that were unprecedented. As we return to school in the fall of 2021, organizations across the country have changed the way in which they operate to meet the needs of new societal norms, continue practices which we have learned improve the way in which we function, and address areas which previously were known to be concerns but were put under a spotlight when viewed during a pandemic.

This fall, The Alternative Education Center Safe School ROE 50 will emerge from the COVID-19 Pandemic stronger and will approach education with an intentional purpose to learn from the experiences had by many in our community. This document is intended to provide stakeholders in our community with an update regarding practices which were put in place during the pandemic, but during a post pandemic review, were identified as practices which should continue, be evaluated, or modified to improve the education provided to students and provide a safe environment for all students and staff throughout St. Clair County in which are serviced.

School Day/Time

The Alternative Education Center Safe School ROE 50 school day will return to scheduled times from the 2019-2020 school year for student and staff attendance as shown below:

Student times:

Arrival 8:00 a.m.-8:25 a.m.

All classes begin at 8:25 a.m.

All classes dismiss for the day at 2:15 p.m.

 

Layered Mitigation Approach

On August 6, the Illinois State Board of Education in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Public Health released guidance which reinforced and adopted the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and provided additional clarification for school administrators on how to best maintain a safe environment for the 2021-2022 school year. The information states “The CDC’s guidance is meant to help K-12 school administrators and local health officials select appropriate, layered prevention strategies in order to keep in-person learning environments safe for students and staff during times of fluctuating transmission.”

This layered approach to implementing strategies which are shown to limit the spread of COVID-19 is important in helping the Alternative Education Center Safe School ROE 50 achieve the goal of ensuring a safe learning environment for students and staff and allow five days a week of learning throughout the school year.

Each of the layers of intervention provides a different level of protection against the spread of COVID-19, and the AEC Safe School will continue to use school and community data regarding the spread of COVID-19 to add or remove layers of protection. These layers of intervention include: 

  • Vaccinations 
  • Masking    
  • Contact Tracing and Exclusion 
  • Cohorting 
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing

Together, these layered strategies form a strong level of protection against the spread of COVID-19. Each of the strategies is defined below:

 

Promoting Vaccinations

Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic (CDC, 2021) Vaccinations are available for anyone 12 and over, and the Alternative Education Center Safe School ROE 50 will continue to work with the St. Clair County Health Department to provide opportunities for those who wish to be vaccinated to do so.

Masking

“Masks for unvaccinated persons are the most effective measure to prevent transmission. The CDC strongly recommends that masks should be worn by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated when indoors and when in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission” (CDC, 2021). When masking is used as a strategy, students will be more likely to remain in school even if exposed to COVID-19.

Social Distancing

“CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk. Because of the importance of in-person learning, schools where not everyone is fully vaccinated should implement physical distancing to the extent possible wit

hin their structures (in addition to masking and other prevention strategies), but should not exclude students from in person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement.”

Contact Tracing and Exclusion

Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 (cases) and people who they came in contact with (close contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.

Fully vaccinated persons who remain asymptomatic and those with documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days are excluded from quarantine. In Illinois, contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine is required per Part 690 Control of Communicable Disease Code, Subpart I. Further, the Communicable Disease Code also requires mandatory reporting of any suspect, confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 to the local health department immediately (within 3 hours).

The AEC Safe School ROE 50 will continue to partner with the St. Clair County Health Department to identify close contacts of individuals who are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

Sanitizing/Cleaning

While we recognize that COVID-19 is not prevalently spread on surfaces, the AEC Safe School ROE 50 would like to continue to ensure that there are cleaning protocols in place to provide a healthy learning environment for students and staff. Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day and disinfected with approved COVID disinfectant. Routine cleaning will be performed on a regularly scheduled basis by district custodial staff assigned to that building or area. Routine cleaning will include daily cleaning and disinfecting through electrostatic spraying and/or manual cleaning methods of all restrooms, scheduled sweeping of all floors, sanitizing of cafeteria tables, emptying trash and other building based tasks.

Supplemental cleaning will be performed routinely by regular custodial staff, or building staff assigned to perform cleaning over and above what is considered routine. Supplemental cleaning will be focused on cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, specifically for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID.

All employees will be strongly encouraged to perform daily area cleaning in their personal workspace, including their desk, telephone, keyboard, chair or any other items they use in performing their duties. This cleaning will be customized to personal preference and standards, and will be done utilizing the AEC Safe School ROE 50 supplied cleaning products. Employees will have the ability to sanitize their work spaces through the use of liquid spray bottles that will be available in all classrooms.

 

Quarantine Guidance

Based on the most recent guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and CDC, there is modified guidance for students who have been identified as close contacts of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, all close contacts will work through the St. Clair County Health Department (SCCHD), and guidance is subject to change depending on current data indicating the level of community and/or school spread. Officials at SCCHD will work closely with each school and each individual to determine the strategy for each individual situation. Students who are vaccinated will not be required to quarantine as a close contact at this time. Proof of vaccination will be required. 

  • Option 1: Quarantine at home for 14 calendar days. Date of last exposure is considered day 0. 
  • Option 2: Quarantine for 10 calendar days after the close contact’s last exposure to the COVID-19 case. Date of last exposure is considered day 0.
  • The individual may end quarantine after day 10 if no symptoms of COVID-19 are developed during daily monitoring. SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing is recommended and may be required by the local health department.
  • The individual can maintain physical distancing and masking at all times when returning to school; for classrooms where masking is strictly adhered to, physical distance of 3 to 6 feet is acceptable for return. 
  • Option 3: Quarantine period is for seven calendar days after the last exposure if:
  • No symptoms developed during daily monitoring AND the individual has a negative SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test (PCR) that was collected within 48 hours of exposure day 7 (starting on day 6 or after). 

❖     The individual is responsible for obtaining a copy of the negative results for documentation purposes.

  • The individual can maintain physical distancing and masking at all times when returning to school; for classrooms where masking is strictly adhered to, physical distance of 3 to 6 feet is acceptable for return. 

Implementation of Prevention Strategies Alternative Education Center Safe School

Schools Universal Measures:

All cleaning and sanitizing protocols previously described will be followed daily. Students will be encouraged to wash hands and/or sanitize frequently throughout the day. When in classrooms, students will be in assigned seats. When modified, seating charts will be updated and shared with building administrators.

Middle School/High School 

Vaccinations:

Once vaccines become available for students under age 12, a vaccine will limit a student’s exposure and ability to be named a close contact. 

Masking:

Masks will be required for all students and staff.

  • Middle School/High School Students: Students will be provided mask breaks upon request. No more than one student at a time will be allowed a mask break, and must be six feet from any other students when taking a mask break.

Social Distancing:

Social distancing will be expected to the greatest extent possible in the classroom and other settings; however, students may be closer than 3’ at times. 

Contact Tracing and Exclusion: Whenever the district is notified of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, we will continue to notify the St. Clair County Health Department of others who were within proximity to be identified as a close contact. 

Assigned Seating: Students will be assigned to seats in the classroom in order to better identify any potential close contacts. Students will move from class to class following their daily schedule.

Each of the layered strategies mentioned for schools will be reevaluated on an ongoing basis as we continue to have data communicated from the St. Clair  County Health Department and evaluate the data from our school.

Student Instruction During Quarantine/Isolation Due to COVID 

  • Students subjected to exclusion due to contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID AND individuals who have tested positive for COVID will be allowed to participate in remote instruction. Students who are subject to quarantine/isolation will be issued a device if needed. Remote instruction will be defined as:
  • Synchronous instruction at the middle school level will occur for social-emotional learning (weekly), core content courses when new content is taught, and the opportunity to meet with teachers during scheduled “office hours”. 
  • Synchronous instruction at the high school level will occur for core content courses anytime new content is taught, with additional opportunities to meet with teachers during scheduled “office hours,” as well synchronous instruction will occur for social-emotional learning.
  • Synchronous instruction is the opportunity for the student to join the classroom via a zoom link or google meet; this will be an opportunity for students to be present for the delivery of information. Asynchronous instruction will also occur via Google Classroom for all grade levels. Students will have the opportunity to interact with teachers as needed during scheduled “office hours”. 
  • When students are affected by COVID either due to positive testing or exposure, students will be responsible for work assigned and submitting in an appropriate time frame. Time for makeup assignments will be granted based on teacher discretion. Full credit will be provided based on timely submission of work.

Areas of School Management Impacted by COVID-19

In addition to the layered mitigating strategies previously identified for each level, a number of steps taken during the 2020-2021 school year will be continued or modified to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff.

Health Screenings

Only students and staff who are healthy should report for in-person learning. Students will not be penalized for missing school and are encouraged to stay home when not feeling well. Students and staff with any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 must remain home:

  1. Congestion or runny nose
  2. Cough
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Fatigue
  5. Fever or chills
  6. Headache
  7. Known close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  8. Measured temperature of 100.4º Fahrenheit or greater
  9. Muscle or body aches
  10. Nausea or vomiting
  11. New loss of taste or smell
  12. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  13. Sore throat

Any student or staff member who begins to exhibit a high fever associated with COVID-19-like symptoms must report to the designated area at the school, inform the office staff, and follow the building procedure.

Outside Visitors

Due to the number of individuals who are still unvaccinated, the AEC Safe School will not allow visitors to classrooms, cafeteria, or elsewhere within the school day. Permission may be provided for individuals who have the opportunity to positively influence the instructional environment of the school and will be handled case by case.

Breakfast/Lunch Protocols

The ACE Safe School will offer a breakfast and lunch program to all 5th-12th grade students. Students will be directed to assigned seats and will be able to remove masks while eating. Participating students at grades 5th-12th will be assigned seats for breakfast and lunch and students will be distanced as space is available to do so.

Transportation

Per CDC Guidelines for public transportation, all students will be required to wear a mask when being transported on the bus/EMT/Van. Students will also be required to sit in assigned seats.

Mask Breaks within the Classroom

Each AEC Safe School teacher will be allowed to provide mask breaks to students on an individual basis as requested. When taking a mask break, students should be under adult supervision (as applicable) and should distance at least six feet from other students in the classroom. Only one student at a time should be allowed to be without a mask.

Dismissal

Students will be dismissed from classrooms following the last class period of the day. Students who utilize their home district’s transportation will follow the procedures established for the transportation provided.

Grading

The standard grading scale listed in the student/staff handbooks will continue to be utilized.  Staff discretion will be maintained throughout the school year in regards to timelines/turning in materials/late assignments and will vary from class to class.

Parent Conferences/IEP Meetings

IEP Meetings, Parent/Teacher Conferences, and other meetings which include multiple stakeholders will occur as scheduled. Participants will have the option to schedule meetings/conferences in person or via Zoom or Google Meets.

Plan for ESSER III Funding

2021-2022

 

As COVID-19 has brought on numerous challenges for staff, students and families at the St. Clair County Safe School Alternative Education Center, administration recognizes the overwhelming need to have a plan and staff in place to provide for the social and emotional welfare of our students.  As such, the ARP – LEA American Rescue Plan Esser III funding will be used to help support the new position of social worker at the school.  All of the ESSER III funds will be put towards salary.  Other funding sources will be used in addition to ESSER III funds to provide support for this position.    The Safe School has never had a social worker on staff, hence, this is new position, not supplanting of current funds.