As we prepare for the opening of the 2020-21 school year, there are many steps needed toward ensuring that all schools are safe to welcome back students and staff. Creating and maintain optimal learning environments for our students while minimizing the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19, is our main objective.
During this time of uncertainty and crisis, there are a few assumptions that must be made in order to achieve our main objective:
- COVID-19 will not be totally eliminated; there will always be cases in our communities.
- Every COVID-19 case cannot be prevented; the disease needs to be managed.
- Development of a vaccine would greatly reduce disease incidence.
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To stop the spread of illness, students and staff must stay home if they are feeling sick.
School personnel will screen employees, students, and visitors for overt signs of illness in a safe and respectful manner.
Students will be assessed during the time of morning drop off. Parents are to stay in their vehicles at all times. (Parents of kindergartners or new students may park and walk their child(ren) to class on the first day of school only and after going through the screening process; parents must be wearing a mask). The school staff member assisting the drop off will visually inspect all individuals using the symptom checklist:
- Feverish or unusually warm (has flushed cheeks)
- Coughing/sneezing Sore throat Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing Headache/stomachache/nausea
- Muscle pain/unusual fatigue
- New loss of taste or smell
If any of these symptoms are present, the child will be sent home immediately.
To fully prepare the campuses, all staff (including janitorial and substitute teachers) as well as students (age appropriate) will receiving health and safety training and signage will be posted to serve as reminders of health and safety procedures.
Handwashing and/or sanitizing
Handwashing and sanitizing stations are available near or inside of classrooms and in all meeting areas.
- All students and staff should wash or sanitize their hands frequently, including upon arrival, before and after meals, after bathroom use, after coughing or sneezing, in between classes, and before dismissal.
- Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and hand sanitizer (provided by the school but donations are certainly welcome) of at least 60% alcohol.
- School janitorial staff will regularly maintain the restrooms and sinks with adequate supplies (i.e. soap, sanitizer, and paper towels).
- All school parents are expected to provide paper towels and tissues per the regular school supply list.
Keeping six feet apart in the school setting is not always feasible, but we will promote and practice social distancing by maintaining a six-foot distance to the extent possible.
- Guidance for minimizing contact will be established with marked passages to indicating the flow of student traffic throughout the campuses. Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet between seats, including group tables, if students
- are facing the same direction and at least 6 feet of distance should be maintained when students are facing each other.
- Minimize classroom time by using outdoor teaching areas
- Use physical barriers in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain distanced
Minimize the sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect. Have cleaning schedules for equipment and materials.
- Each student's belongings should be separated from others'; kept in individually labeled containers, cubbies, lockers, or areas. High school students need to confine all of their school belongings to their locker or to the backpack that they are carrying; they may not keep items stacked up outside of classrooms.
- Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, or other games or learning aides.
- No sharing of food or utensils. Any birthday items to be shared must be pre-packaged or individually bagged.
- The school campus water fountains will be turned off. Students need to bring their own labeled water bottle from home.
- Consider each class a cohort (family unit) and limit and control interaction with other class cohorts. As much as is possible, 7th-12th grade students have been placed in classes with as many of the same students as possible. For example, groups of 7th and 8th graders will travel together as a unit throughout the day. Ninth -12th graders will stay grouped into cohorts as much as possible. Please remember that all effort has been made to create these cohorts for the safety of the students and requesting schedule changes may upset these delicate groupings.
Travel and Extracurricular Activities
- High school sports will function according to the league (BIIF) rules and regulations with shortened seasons.
- There will be no other travel permitted for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, including field trips.
- Visitors, including chapel speakers, will be by invitation only and principal approval.
Face coverings for adults and students must be worn when outside the classroom (e.g. moving from class to class, to an office, the library, the restroom, arrival and dismissal, etc.)
Parents/legal guardians will be responsible for providing students with face coverings or masks. (The school will have backup disposable masks available for staff and students when needed.)
In the classroom setting, where the class is considered a cohort, it is not required that students wear a mask. Until it is otherwise recommended by the DOH or CDC, teachers will be required to wear a face covering in class. Because facial recognition and expressions are very important social cues in a child's development, the teachers will wear full face shields that are clear.
- Masks should be worn when keeping 6 feet apart is not possible, or when children face each other and interact in similar ways. However, if students are sitting three feet apart and facing the same way, wearing a mask is not required.
- In a classroom setting, wearing a mask may be very difficult for younger students in grades PreK to 2nd grade.
- Elementary students should wear masks if it is likely they will touch their mouths and/or noses without wearing one.
- When students are outside the classroom and when physical distancing is not feasible, they must wear a mask.
- The Department of health does not advise having students wear masks while playing at recess since wearing masks may be dangerous on the playground, Instead classes will be do recess and PE by cohort.
All employees responsible for the cleaning and sanitation of facilities will be trained on proper procedures, supplies, and frequency of cleaning.
Elementary classroom teachers will clean the following areas at the end of the school day (or a change in cohort for 5th and 6th graders) while teachers of Jth-12th graders will clean the following areas at the end of each class period with disinfectant wipes: desks, chairs, door knobs, light switches, railings, sink handles and counters, pencil sharpeners, and any shared electronic devices. Proper personal protective equipment should be worn at all times during the preparation, cleaning, and disinfection of school facilities wash hands properly after cleaning. Touch free trash cans are provided in each classroom. Trash removal and a thorough wipe down will be done in each classroom at the end of each school day.
Biweekly cleaning of classrooms
Classrooms will receive thorough cleanings (including those things done on a daily basis) in addition to vacuuming of the rooms.
Bathrooms - Cleaned and sanitized daily
- Door handles and light switches. Bathroom doors will be propped open during the school day (where feasible while still providing privacy) to eliminate the necessity of making contact with the bathroom of door handles.
- Cleaning of door handles and light switches includes one foot above and below the handle.
- Soap dispensers and paper towel holders
- Bathroom handles on toilets and sinks
- Toilet seats and splash walls
- Privacy stall doors
Offices and Staff Areas - to be done daily
- Clean high touch surfaces
- Door handles and light switches
- Soap dispensers and paper towel holders
- Appliances (microwave, coffee pot, refrigerator handle, etc)
- Tables and food contact surfaces
- Empty trash
- Clean sink
- Desk tops, conference table top, library table tops
- Staff bathroom
Outdoor Areas - Playgrounds, picnic tables
- Require routine cleaning but not disinfection
- Do NOT spray disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds - it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19
High school students should use their own personal computer, if possible. (The computer stays in the student's backpack unless required by a classroom teacher for the immediate classwork.) For devices used throughout the day by multiple people (checked out of the main office),
'cleaning must occur upon return and before use by the next person. Devices in teachers' classrooms will be cleaned by the teacher between student usages.
Approved COVID-19 disinfectants safe for computers, accessories and electronics
- Using a Clorox disinfectant wipe or a wipe containing 70% alcohol, gently and carefully wipe the hard, nonporous surface of the item. This includes the display, touchscreen keyboard, mouse and the exterior surface of the item. If you have concerns about the cleaning product being used, please refer to the manufacturer's recommendations and warning label.
- When using a disinfectant wipe, it is important to follow the contact time found on the label. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the recommended contact time.
- Do not use fabric or leather surfaces on items, as this can scratch or damage to the items.
- Do not use bleach to disinfect computers and electronics.
When a student becomes sick (with any illness) at school, the student will be sent to the Health Room (main office on each campus).
- The school personnel will call the student's parent/guardian to pick the student up from school.
- While waiting to be picked up, the sick student will be isolated from those who are well, in a supervised area outside the health room.
- The student will NOT wait in the main office or any other high traffic area.
- If a student is experiencing symptoms of respiratory influenza, he/she should isolate and stay home from school for 7 days after illness onset or 24 hours after the resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer.
- If a student is sent home due to any illness symptom other than a respiratory illness or influenza, he/she can return to school when fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication.
- For a student who has tested positive for COVID-19, the DOH will determine the dates of quarantine and will guide the student as to his/her subsequent care and return to school. A student may not return to school without proper authorization from a doctor stating the child is no longer contagious.
When a student or school employee either tests positive for COVID-19 or has been identified as a close contact or household member to someone who has tested positive:
- The DOH will conduct an investigation and those individuals involved will be directed to a 14-day quarantine. The affected individuals will receive a letter from the DOH notifying them once they have completed their quarantine.
- Though the DOH will notify the school, the returning student should bring the letter upon return to the school.
- If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 on the school campus, protocols will intensify as decisions about closing school facilities.
- A route to health room that minimizes interactions
- Issue a facemask to the student showing symptoms of illness
- Anyone dealing sick children must use PPE and wash hands before and after each encounter
- Screen, isolate, and send home ill students; advise parent to contact health care provider
- Promote air flow while maintaining privacy
- Clean and disinfect surfaces after each use
- Document the visit
- Keep supplies stocked
COVID-19 Point of Contact Person