St. Charles Catholic School Reopening Plan 2020
We recognize that no PS-12 school, nor any other organization, can guarantee an environment free of COVID-19, and we expect everyone associated with St. Charles Catholic School to understand that there is a risk of contracting the virus here or anywhere. Nonetheless, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of every member of the St. Charles Catholic School community. To manage the COVID-19 risk factors and resume in-person education, St. Charles Catholic School will take full advantage of the unique benefits of our size, location and campus space.
We are a big, spacious campus, which makes physical distancing more easy to accommodate than at more compact urban and suburban school campuses.
We have worked collaboratively with the local health department, local hospitals, and the Diocese of Toledo who are guiding our response to the coronavirus. We are also closely following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Most importantly, we are planning to resume in-person education in the fall, but with a difference. The difference is a set of effective practices that emphasize safeguards and measures to Protect Health and Safety and Promote Behaviors to Reduce Spread, Maintain Healthy Environments, and Sustain Academic Quality. Every member of our community must share responsibility for taking all necessary steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. This means adhering to national, state and local health guidelines, and following St. Charles requirements and practices in this document and others that may apply.
PROTECTING HEALTH AND SAFETY AND PROMOTING BEHAVIORS TO REDUCE SPREAD – GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
HEALTH SCREENING BEFORE ENTRY
St. Charles Catholic School will not be testing students in the fall upon the return to school. Families interested in having their student tested should reach out to their family physician or Allen County Public Health to inquire about the process for testing.
Before coming to school each day we ask that each family and staff member do their due diligence by checking for signs of illness, including a daily temperature check. Staff and students with temperatures 100°F or over must stay home. Please use this CDC link for guidelines: COVID-19 Symptoms
Hand Hygiene - Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Children and adults should wash hands when they arrive at school, before meals or snacks, after outside time, after going to the bathroom, after nose blowing or sneezing, and before leaving to go home. Help young children to make sure they are doing it right.
Teach children (and adults) not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
If soap and water is not readily available, we have also installed hand sanitizing stations in each classroom and other areas in the school building. The use of hand sanitizer will be supervised by an adult for young children.
Practice 6 feet of physical distancing within each group of students as much as possible. Create space between students and reduce the amount of time they are close with each other.
Limit interactions in large group settings greater than 10.
Rearrange desks to maximize the space between students. Turn desks to face in the same direction (rather than facing each other) to reduce transmission caused from virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing).
Reduce the number of students in the halls at one time by staggering the release of classes. Limit activities where multiple classrooms interact.
Movement in the hallways will be directional with all students remaining on to the right as they transition to other areas of the school building.
Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is required for faculty, staff, guests, visitors, vendors and contractors while indoors in campus buildings. The following exceptions apply:
Employees working alone in their offices/rooms
While participating in activities in which a face covering cannot be worn or would prohibit respiratory function (like eating, drinking, playing a musical instrument or singing, exercising, playing sports)
Those with a disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing a face covering
Those with certain respiratory conditions or trouble breathing
Those advised by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional that wearing a face covering may pose a risk to that person
Pre-K-2nd Grade Students: Face coverings are optional for this age group of students. However, all students should have a face mask with them at school in the event that we are placed in a situation where we cannot appropriately physically distance or where students may be at imminent risk. Please note, we will make every effort to maintain physical distancing.
Grades 3-8 Students: According to the Ohio Department of Health, wearing face masks is highly recommended. While in a classroom setting, if 6 feet physical distancing can be maintained, a face covering (mask) will not be required although it will continue to be strongly encouraged. In more congested areas face coverings will be required for the safety and protection of our school family. Examples of these situations include walking in the hallway, restroom breaks, or at times when students are working in small groups or are unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
If Allen County is listed as red level or higher face coveringss will be required for grades 3-8. Appropriate breaks from wearing the face coverings will be provided.
Students riding the school bus must follow the face covering policy provided by the school district.
Coverings should not be distracting or inappropriate and will need to cover the chin, mouth, and nose.
Individuals with health issues or disabilities who are unable to wear a mask, must have a doctor’s note on file with the school clinic.
St. Charles will provide at least one reusable face covering for each student.
COMMUNICATION WHEN A STUDENT/STAFF MEMBER HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH OR HAS SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH COVID-19
Communication will be developed by Allen County Public Health outlining the actions to be taken by Allen County schools when someone is diagnosed with COVID-19. NO INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED BY SCHOOLS UNTIL CONTACTED BY ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH.
To be as transparent as possible, permissible information will be shared with parents and staff, while at the same time, maintaining required confidentiality, and countering potential stigma and discrimination. The communication will explain/define what is considered a close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) to someone with COVID-19 that will result in quarantine.
Any student or employee who is diagnosed with COVID-19 may not return until released by Allen County Public Health. The duration of the isolation for anyone sent home and/or diagnosed with COVID-19 will be based on the current CDC guidelines. As of June 2020, this includes absence of fever (under 100 degrees Fahrenheit) without the use of medication for 72 hours (three full days) AND improvement of all other symptoms at least ten days have passed since symptoms started. If the student or employee is positive with COVID-19 but has no symptoms, they will stay at home in isolation until after 10 days have passed since their positive test.
14-day quarantine will be required for anyone who is determined to have “close contact” to someone who has COVID-19. “Close contact” is to be determined by Allen County Public Health.
Students, who must isolate or quarantine, will coordinate electronically with their teachers for assistance with remote learning, if they are well enough to participate.
STUDENT/STAFF HEALTH ISSUES THAT ARE NOT RELATED TO COVID-19
St. Charles will follow our usual procedures for student and staff medical issues/illnesses.
Students or employees with a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home. They may not return until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
MAINTAINING HEALTHY ENVIRONMENTS – GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
CLEANING AND DISINFECTION
Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in all classrooms and offices on campus.
Surface cleaning products available in all classrooms and other shared facilities (e.g. copy machines, teachers lounge, office, etc.) for wiping down surfaces touched before and after every use.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in campus facilities (e.g. door handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, handrails, and bathroom stalls) twice each day.
Clean shared objects (gym equipment, books, technology) between use.
Outdoor areas, like the playground, generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection. High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings, should be cleaned routinely.
Clean and sanitize hands-on materials often and after each use. Limit shared teaching materials to those you can easily clean and sanitize or disinfect. Children’s books and other paper-based materials are not high risk for spreading the virus.
Lunch will be available for students, and students will eat in the cafeteria and in other assigned spaces with a safe rotating schedule and safe distancing at tables.
The cafeteria and food service program will be adjusted to allow for distancing and the limitation of shared contact areas. There will be no self-service foods or condiments.
Like other areas of a school building, common kitchen and dining surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
Masks and gloves will be worn by dining staff, and proper training for COVID-19 transmission and disinfection of facilities will be provided.
SUSTAINING ACADEMIC QUALITY IN A FAITH-BASED ENVIRONMENT
St. Charles Catholic School intends to resume in-person education five days a week in the fall by instituting safeguards to optimize student, faculty and staff health and safety and by sustaining quality student learning experiences.
The start date for students in grades K-8 is August 19th. We are planning on doing a transitional start with half of the student body on August 19th and the other half on August 20th. All students in grades K-8 will come on August 21st. Prekindergarten will begin on August 24th and preschool on August 25th. Please note in the event that we receive guidance from state and local officials that changes become necessary, our calendar will be adjusted accordingly.
MULTIPLE DELIVERY METHODS
Classes will be delivered using multiple methods in order to maximize in-person instruction. However, hybrid instruction and remote learning technology may be implemented to ensure social distancing and where it is necessary to accommodate individual student or faculty needs. In the event that students are out due to illness, they will be able to access assignments through Google Classroom if they are feeling up to it.
SAFE CLASSROOMS AND LABS
Classroom occupancy will be determined based on each individual circumstance with the maximum amount of safety considerations possible.
Seating in classrooms will observe 6 feet physical distancing where possible. We will do our best to maintain a minimum of 3ft physical distancing in areas where 6ft is difficult to obtain.
Common spaces will be limited by requiring physical distancing.
Designated seating in areas such as the cafeteria will be marked with appropriate distance in between seating. Cohorting and/or assigned seating may be enforced.
TECHNOLOGY LEARNING RESOURCES
All teachers have access to the resources available through the Google Classroom “Online Learning Community.”
Students will use only the device that is assigned to them.
In the event that school should temporarily close, students may take home a school owned Chromebook (grades 3-8) or iPad (grades K-2) for remote learning use.
Parents and students will sign a remote learning agreement at the start of the school year accepting responsibility for the device and acceptable use guidelines.