As families prepare for the return of their students to the school building for face to face instruction, the staff at Colonial School District wanted to share an overview of the planning that has been done to address the health and safety of students and staff in Colonial Nation.  Since March, 2020 the number one priority of Colonial School District was to ensure the safety of the students, staff and community during COVID-19. 

Please keep in mind that all of the information above is based on the information available to us now and can change at any time.  We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community, our available staff, and our building preparedness and if any of this information changes, we need to be able to change these plans to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Gunning Bedford Special Programs

Intensive Learning Center (ILC) and Communication & Social Learning (CASL)

Anticipated Return Date for Students:

January 11, 2021

Gunning Bedford Middle School Students

Anticipated Return Date for Students:

February 8, 2021

Updated Schedule

(Beginning February 01, 2021)

In order to accommodate 5 days of instruction for both learning options (face-to-face or remote), there will be some minor changes to student schedules starting February 01, 2021. Although we have been able to keep the basic student schedule the same for both learning options, there are some changes to the start and end times of classes. In addition, there may be changes to your child’s teacher regardless of the learning option you have chosen. Your child’s new schedule will be uploaded into Home Access Center and Schoology by Sunday, January 31st. Please make sure you and your child check Home Access Center and Schoology to prepare for the transition.

Return to school will begin on Monday, February 8th.  Student hours will be 7:55am – 2:40pm. Please be aware that students will not be able to enter the building until 7:55am.  Student’s will be considered late after 8:15am.

Expectations for in-person learning for students in grades K-8:

  • Parents must complete a COVID-19 self-screener for their child each morning.
  • All students must wear a face covering at all times unless eating.
  • Students must be spaced 6 feet apart in classrooms with approximately 15 to 25 students per room.
  • Students will remain in the same seat/desk in one classroom throughout the day and staff will rotate into the classrooms, this includes lunchtime.
  • Students will continue to use technology on a daily basis and are expected to bring devices to and from school.
  • Students must follow all safety protocols regarding handwashing, use of hand sanitizer and social distancing.
  • All bus riders must wear masks, sit socially distanced, and sanitize hands before boarding.
  • There will be no in-person clubs or sports for K to 8 students.
  • Students may not have the same teacher for in-person that they have had for virtual learning.
  • If the school nurse determines that your child is sick, they must be picked up as soon as you are notified.
  • Students will be required to follow all Division of Public Health (DPH) guidance on self-quarantining if necessary.

On Monday, November 30th all students who selected face-to-face instruction as their preference will return to Gunning Bedford.

Middle School Hours:

  • School Offices Open: 7:30AM to 4:00PM
  • Student Hours: 7:55AM to 2:40PM
  • Bus Drop Off/Leaving: 7:55AM to 2:50 PM

Please be aware that students will not be able to enter the building until 7:55am.  Student’s will be considered late after 8:15am.


Parents who have selected the face-to-face option will be receiving a mailer in the next two weeks with their child’s transportation information that includes the bus stop as well as pick-up and drop-off times.  Students will have an assigned seat on the bus to adhere to social distancing guidelines.  Students are required to wear their masks while on the bus. Students will be directed to enter a specific entrance depending upon their grade level:

Sixth grade – South Staff Center Entrance

Seventh grade – Main Office Entrance

Eighth grade – Auditorium Entrance

Car Riders:

Morning (AM) car riders will be dropped off at the front of Gunning Bedford, around the visitor parking lot, along the sidewalk.  Please pull up in a single car line. Students must remain in vehicle until instructed by a Gunning Bedford staff member. Students will be directed to enter a specific entrance depending upon their grade level:

Sixth grade – South Staff Center Entrance

Seventh grade – Main Office Entrance

Eighth grade – Auditorium Entrance

Students are not permitted to loiter at the entrances or bus court or enter the building prior to the school day. Students must adhere to social distancing guidelines and continue to wear masks while entering the building.

Afternoon (PM) car riders will be dismissed to the side parking lot by the gymnasium.  Parents/families picking up will make a left into the parking lot upon entering Gunning Bedford.  Continue to the back of the parking lot and turn right to pull up along the sidewalk.  Students must adhere to social distancing guidelines and continue to wear masks while waiting for their ride.  Parents/families who are picking up should remain in their vehicle at all times.

The Delaware Department of Education and Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health have requested that we provide you information regarding practices related to COVID-19.  We request that students and/or their families complete a health assessment consisting of a self-screening every morning before leaving for school.

Please answer any of the following questions:

  • In the past 14 days, have you been near (within 6 feet for at least 15 minute) a person who has a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, or have you had direct contact with their mucus or saliva?
  • In the last 48 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever of 100. 4 For above ( or symptoms like alternating shivering and sweating)
    • New cough
    • New trouble breathing, shortness of breathe or severe wheezing
    • New chills or shaking with chills
    • New muscle aches
    • Sore throat
    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • New loss of smell or taste
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Headache, congestion, runny nose (with no other known cause such as allergies}

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, DO NOT send your child to school today. Instead contact your child’s primary health care provider. (This screening tool was adapted at from the mayo clinic’s online self assessment. To use the Mayo Clinic’s tool online, visit


Additional Considerations:

  • Students must stay home if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been confirmed to have COVID-19 or if required by DPH to isolate or quarantine.
  • Keep children who are sick at home; do not send them to school.  Do not send children to school with a fever of 100.4º or greater.
  • Teach your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and running water for 20 seconds.
  • Students in kindergarten through grade 12 must wear face coverings in the school building, except when doing so would inhibit the individual’s health.
  • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of the elbow.
  • Teach your children to practice physical and social distancing by staying at least six feet away from people other than your family. 

If you have questions, please contact your school nurse or child’s primary healthcare provider. You can also email the school nurse, Olivia Taylor,  

For information or general questions on COVID-19 and prevention, visit the Delaware Health and Social Services’, Division of Public Health’s website at, or you can call 2-1-1 or text your ZIP code to 898-211 for deaf and hard of hearing.

Colonial School District Health and Safety Guidance for Students and Families

Introduction/Guiding Principles

As families prepare for the return of their students to the school building for face to face instruction, the staff at Colonial School District wanted to share an overview of the planning that has been done to address the health and safety of students and staff in Colonial Nation. 

Since March, 2020 the number one priority of Colonial School District was to ensure the safety of the students, staff and community during COVID-19.  A variety of staff members from across the district have worked to develop protocols to help “prevent the spread” of COVID-19.  Throughout the district, four main behaviors continue to be reinforced:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Maintain social distance
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash and sanitize your hands

All students, staff and visitors to Colonial buildings are expected to follow these expectations at all times.

Included in this document is a summary of health and safety protocols to support the physical well-being of your child as they return to the building.  Specifically, you will learn about the expectations for:

  • Facial coverings
  • Hand washing and sanitizing
  • Daily health screenings
  • Social Distancing
  • Cleaning
  • Transportation
  • Breakfast, lunch and access to water.

It is our hope that this information will address many of the questions you have regarding your student’s return to the building.  If you have any further questions, please visit to submit your question through the Contact Us link.  

Stay well and remember……WE Got This!


Face Coverings

In accordance with the 25th Modification of Delaware’s Declaration of a State of Emergency, all students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade are required to wear a face covering each day.  Students in preschool are encouraged to wear a face covering while at school.  Any student utilizing district provided transportation (Preschool-12th grade) is required to wear a face covering while on the bus. District employees are also required to wear a face covering while at work.  Any visitor to a Colonial School District Building will be required to wear a face covering inside school and office buildings.

In support of these requirements, Colonial School District has purchased one reusable cloth face coverings for each student and employee.  It is recommended that students and staff pack a spare facial covering for use in the event their mask becomes soiled or damaged.  Disposable face coverings are available at each building in the event a replacement face covering is needed. 

The Division of Public Health provides the following guidance on face coverings:

  • Must cover both the nose and mouth as well as fit snugly against the side of the face
  • Must be made of at least 2 layers
  • Must not contain valves, vents or holes
  • Must not be shared between students or staff

It is acknowledged that in certain circumstances a face covering cannot be worn by a student or employee.  Students that are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons must present a note from the physician to the school nurse.  The school nurse will contact the physician for further information, if needed, and notify family and the school-based team of exemption status.  Non-medical exemptions will be coordinated through the building administrator or special education/504 coordinator.

Health Assessments

Any student developing COVID-19 symptoms while at school will be assessed by the school nurse using a Delaware Department of Education Assessment Tool.  Students determined to potentially be positive will be provided will be placed in the school’s “cares room” (isolation room) to wait for pick up.  (All building isolation rooms will be monitored by an adult assigned to the building.)  While in the “cares room”, students will continue to wear their face mask.  Parents are asked to have their student picked up from school as soon as possible (preferably within 60 minutes of the phone call).  School nurses will discuss return to school protocols with parents based on the student’s individual circumstances.

Social Distancing


The Delaware Department of Education expects all staff and students, in grades K-12, to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet between individuals when wearing a facial covering.  For students in grades K-12 not wearing a facial covering, the spacing must be increased to at least 6 feet.  Within the Colonial School District, it has been determined that student desks, in grades K-12, will be spaced at 6 feet to address times when students may not wear a mask (i.e. water breaks and meal times).  

For preschool students, staff will encourage students to maintain social distancing as feasible. 


Social distancing in hallways will be reinforced to students and staff.  Students will be encouraged to keep moving when in hallways and to maintain 6 feet distances.  Signage reminders of social distancing  will be placed on the walls and floors throughout the building.  Students will have limited movement throughout the building to minimize contact.

Spaces Outside the Classroom

Throughout the school day, it may be necessary for students to visit the nurse, main office, school counselor, etc.  Prior to a student visiting these locations, the classroom teacher will confirm the office is available to receive the student by calling the location or sending an email.  The purpose of this communication is to avoid overcrowding of the offices.

Nutrition Services

Students will continue to have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school.  Grab and Go Breakfast will be available upon arrival at school. Lunch will also be served from kiosks in the hallway located near the classroom.  All meals will be eaten in the classroom with students seated at their desks.  Students are able to bring meals in from home.  


All water fountains in Colonial buildings have been disconnected to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Students are encouraged to pack a non-glass water bottle for use throughout the day.  Classrooms will have additional disposable bottles of water available for replenishing their supply.


Hand washing, with soap and water,  is one of the most effective ways in reducing the spread of COVID-19.  When hand washing is not accessible, use of hand sanitizer is the next best step.  Students will be provided with opportunities to wash their hands multiple times a day, including before eating and after using the bathroom.  Hand sanitizer will be readily available for use throughout the school building.  (Parents wishing to opt out from the use of sanitizer will need to send a note or email to their building’s school nurse.)

Health Screenings

Each morning, prior to attending school, staff and students are asked to complete a COVID-19 screener.  This screener asks staff and families to consider their exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases and any symptoms being experienced.  Students that answer yes to any question on the screener must not report to school that day.  Families should contact their primary care physician to discuss next steps.  Families should also contact their school nurse with details of their positive COVID-19 Screener and plan recommended by the physician.

In support of completing health screenings each morning, Colonial has purchased a digital thermometer for each student for use at home.

If a student has a positive COVID-19 test, families must contact the school nurse with this information.  The Division of Public Health will complete contact tracing, with the support of the school nurse.  All families in a school building will be notified if a positive COVID-19 case for students or staff is  determined.


In order to minimize the exposure of students and staff to COVID-19, visitors to school buildings will be limited.  We ask the following:

  • Please call the main office to discuss your questions or concerns with the appropriate staff member
  • If it is necessary to visit the school, please call the main office to schedule an appointment with the requested staff member
    • The number of visitors from a family should be limited
    • All visitors should complete a self screener (including temperature check) prior to entering the building.  If the visitor is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the visit should be rescheduled. 


Recess/Outdoor Spaces
Classrooms will continue to have access to the outdoors for recess and instructional activities.  While outdoors, students will need to remain with their class while maintaining 6 feet social distancing.  Students and staff will continue to wear their facial coverings.  Upon return into the school building, students will have the opportunity to wash their hands with soap and water. 

Schools will be cleaned using an intensified schedule.  Custodial staff will be disinfecting high touch items (door knobs, light switches, etc) and bathroom facilities at least every two hours. Within the classroom, teachers will disinfect high touch items within the classroom on the same schedule.  Student desks and chairs will only be disinfected when there is a change in the student using those items.  If a student remains at the same desk and chair throughout the entire day, the desk and chair will be disinfected at the end of the day.

Custodial staff will disinfect classroom spaces using the “Protex Wand” at the end of each school day.  For spaces that are utilized by multiple classes, classrooms will be disinfected in between each class.


Students utilizing district transportation to and from school have the following requirements:

  • Facial coverings must be worn (regardless of age)-Exemptions must be determined by school based team
  • Social distancing-Students will be seated no more than one per seat using a staggered pattern.  Students with a mask exemption will be seated with increased spacing from others.
  • Use of Hand Sanitizer-Students should use hand sanitizer (provided from home) prior to boarding the bus.
  • Bus Stops-While waiting to board the bus, students and families must continue to wear their facial covering and maintain 6 feet social distancing.

It is expected that students travel to and from school with their Colonial School District Chromebook.
Additionally, the following supplies are recommended during the transition to face to face learning:

Required Materials:

  • Fully charged Chromebook 
  • Mask
  • Non-glass water bottle
  • Math book**
  • Grade level novels**

Recommended Materials:

  • Composition notebook 
  • Pencils, pens
  • Graphic whiteboard**
  • Dry erase markers**
  • Hand sanitizer

**These materials were distributed in August on the Technology and Materials Distribution days.