STSJP Return to School COVID-19 Plan 2020-2021
Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School strives to maintain a safe and healthy school environment for all students and staff. Due to the current health crisis, the STSJP Return to School Task Force has developed the following guidelines based on guidance from the CDC, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana State Department of Health, Howard County Health Department, and the Diocese. As the COVID-19 pandemic continually poses new problems, the guidelines and restrictions in our state continue to change. STSJP will continue to work with the local Health Department and area experts to make sure that we provide the safest school environment possible. While honoring each family’s privacy, we will strive to keep all school families informed throughout the year of any effects that COVID-19 may have on our daily activities.
Following are the guidelines for STSJP for the 2020-2021 school year. Keep in mind that all of these guidelines will be assessed each quarter. Due to the fluid nature of things, each guideline may be altered as needed, based on guidance from our local health department. For the complete CDC guidelines, please visit the Communication Guidance for Indiana School Re-entry.
- School is opening Wednesday, August 12 with full day in-person classes for students in K-8. School is opening Monday, August 17 with in-person classes for students in PS and PK.
- Hours: 8:00-3:00
- Students must wear masks when riding the bus and/or entering the building.
- Students may wear their own masks from home if they wish, as long as it covers the nose and mouth reliably.
- Masks will be worn when social distancing cannot be guaranteed. Students will be required to wear masks in places such as school buses, hallways, and bathrooms. All students will wear their masks at the teacher’s discretion.
- All masks will be school-appropriate as determined by the school administration.
- Classrooms will be set up to ensure that social distancing can occur. In some classrooms, plexiglass barriers will be in place to separate students. Teachers will decide when masks must be worn. Students may wear their masks at their discretion as well.
- Masks will be provided daily at school to all students unless they are wearing masks from home.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and throughout the campuses.
- Surfaces will be cleaned frequently during the day and thoroughly each evening.
- School staff will use a sanitizing spray on all equipment and materials used by students. Recess equipment may not be sanitized between each usage but students will wash their hands before and after using.
- In the instance of a school closure, deep cleaning practices will be employed in the entire building.
All positive COVID-19 cases at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School will be reported to the Howard County Health Department to determine the next steps. A constant line of communication will be open between the school, parents, and Howard County Health officials to keep the community up to date as much as possible as the situation evolves.
- Students and Employees will be trained to recognized the following COVID-19-related symptoms:
○ A fever of 100 degrees or greater
○ Persistent cough
○ Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing
○ Repeated shaking with chills
○ Muscle pain
○ Prolonged Headache
○ Sore throat
○ New loss of taste or smell
○ Runny nose
- Students and employees exhibiting any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 (without otherwise being explained) are prohibited from coming to school:
○ A fever of 100 F or greater
○ Persistent cough
○ Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing
○ Repeated shaking with chills
○ Muscle pain
○ Prolonged Headache
○ Sore throat
○ New loss of taste or smell
- A person who develops any of these symptoms during the school day will be sent home immediately. If the symptom is determined to have an alternate explanation, the student or staff member may return after a 24-hour resolution of fever and/or a note from a physician.
- Ill persons may return to school if the following conditions are met:
○ Have received a doctor’s note releasing them to return to school and/or
○ Have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (3 full days without the use of medication to reduce fevers)
- Students and staff should remain home if someone in the household has COVID-19 symptoms or is being tested for COVID-19. If there is a positive test, the family will work with the school to follow all CDC and Health Department regulations before returning to school. These regulations include a minimum of 10 days at home in isolation and consultation with a physician and a school administrator.
Persons who have not received a test proving or disproving the presence of COVID-19 but experience symptoms with no other explanation may return if the following three conditions are met:
- They have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever); and
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath have improved); and
- At least 10 calendar days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
Tested Positive- Symptomatic
Persons who experienced symptoms and have been tested for COVID-19 may return to school if the following conditions are met:
- The individual no longer has a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers); and
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when cough or shortness of breath have improved); and
- At least 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared; or
- The individual has received two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
Tested Positive- Asymptomatic
An individual has not had symptoms but tests positive for COVID-19 may return to school if the following conditions are met:
- At least 10 calendar days have passed without symptoms; and
- Has been released and approved to return to school by a healthcare provider.
- Visitors must set appointments with the school secretaries ahead of time. All appointments must be approved by the principal.
- Upon entry, all visitors to STSJP must wear a mask.
- Visitors will not be allowed in the school building past the school office.
- All efforts will be made to have conferences and meetings via phone or Google Meet.
- Upon arrival, students will follow the directions of the on-duty staff. Students are to maintain social distance as they walk up to the building.
- The on-duty staff will hand each student a new face mask for that day.
- Once in the building, students are to go directly to their classrooms.
- All student drop-off will be curbside. Parents need to remain in their cars and may not walk their kids into the school building. (PreSchool/PreKindergarten and Kindergarten TBD)
- If a student will be arriving late, the parent must call the school secretary so that a staff member may meet them at the door with a mask. The phone call will serve as the “sign-in” for the late student.
- Students arriving by bus will already have masks on and will follow the same procedures.
- All students and staff will wear masks during dismissal.
- Specific directions for student pick-up will be communicated in the upcoming weeks.
- All staff will self-screen each day before starting routes.
- Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus.
- Parents are to conduct health screening prior to placing students on the bus and have the students wash hands prior to getting on the bus. Please do not send the student on the bus if they present any COVID-19 symptoms.
- All staff and students who board or ride on the school bus are required to wear a mask.
- Extra masks will be available on the bus.
- Students will be assigned seats on the bus.
- Buses will be sanitized after each route/shuttle.
- Students will not be allowed to eat or drink on the bus.
- Students are required to remain in their assigned seats for the duration of the school bus trip. All students must remain facing forward and remain seated. Failure to comply with seating requirements will result in loss of bus privileges for a student.
- Buses will be filled as minimally as possible.
- All bus drivers will be trained on recognizing the symptoms of COVID-19 as well as proper sanitizing practices
IN THE CLASSROOM
- Students will remain in their classrooms as much as possible for instruction.
- Classes and grade levels will not be combined for special activities.
- Precautions will be taken to limit the sharing of materials for special classes and in regular daily instruction.
- Teachers will utilize assigned seating.
- Social distancing will be utilized in classes that use desks. Other classrooms will utilize plexiglass dividers and/or social distancing throughout the day.
- Teachers will determine when masks must be worn.
- Restroom breaks will be scheduled to avoid unnecessary grouping/overcrowding.
- Masses will be held during the school day prior to lunch period.
- These Masses will be closed to all non-students and non-staff (at least at the beginning of the year)
- Mass schedule will be as follows:
○ Monday: Grades 1 & 2
○ Wednesday: Grades 3 & 5
○ Friday: Middle School (6 - 8)
- Water fountains will not be used.
- Students may bring water bottles from home. STSJP also has water bottles to provide to students who don’t have their own water bottles.
- STSJP will provide each student with their own device. Students will not share laptops or tablets.
- At the beginning of the year, teachers will work with students on how to use various applications to be ready for any time away from school.
- STSJP will utilize “synchronized teaching” during any mandated shutdowns. Synchronized teaching means that students will be “in school” while at home. Instruction will occur just like a normal day following that day’s normal schedule. Rather than students simply logging on to get assignments, they will be involved in instruction.
- If a student cannot be at school due to COVID-like symptoms or for another reason that has been discussed with the principal, but that student is capable, he or she may utilize synchronized teaching from home with their school-issued electronic device.
- It is our hope that all students who are able will be in school for instruction. If a parent is interested in synchronized teaching as an alternate to the traditional school setting, a conference must be scheduled with the principal and assistant principal to discuss.
- Students and parents will sign an agreement form with the school stating that they take personal responsibility for the devices and will ensure that they are used solely for school purposes.
- STSJP will not have academic field trips at the beginning of the school year. This will be assessed each 9 weeks.
- Students in K-8 will eat in the cafeteria. Students at the St. Joan of Arc campus will eat outside on the lawn from time to time when weather permits. Social distancing will be enforced outside as well.
- Students in PS/PK will eat in their classrooms.
- Closed lunches until further notice.
- Parents must have direct permission from administration prior to taking a child out to lunch.
- Social distancing and assigned seating will be used in the cafeteria.
- All students will wash their hands before and after lunch.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided for students and staff.
- Self-serve food items will be eliminated.
- Napkins, silverware, and condiments will be provided.
- All lunch staff will wear masks.
- All food sharing is prohibited.
- Cafeteria will be sanitized between each meal service.
- Students go in small groups to dispose of trash in cans spread throughout the cafeteria.
- Floor markings will be utilized to help students keep appropriate social distancing while in line.
- A sneeze guard will be in place in the serving line.
- Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the lunch menu will be modified this school year.
- All vending machines will be closed in both campuses until further notice.
- All students in elementary grades will have daily recess.
- Recess groupings will be smaller and scheduled throughout the day.
- Students will wash hands before and after each recess session.
AFTER SCHOOL CARE
- After School Care will be provided at the St. Joan of Arc Campus from 3 pm-6 pm Monday through Friday as long as school is in session.
- STSJP will provide a mask that will cover both the nose and mouth for all staff and students daily. STSJP has enough face masks for each student to have a new mask each day for the entire school year.
- Masks will be worn when social distancing cannot be guaranteed. Students will be required to wear masks in places such as hallways and bathrooms. All students will wear their masks at the after school care supervisor’s discretion.
- Handsanitizer will be available in all areas that are used for the after school program.
- After School Care will be split into two or three age-level groups depending on numbers using designated areas.
- Each group will have a rotating activity time. Cleaning procedures will be the same as they are during the school day.
- All snacks will be prepackaged and provided by the school.
- Parents will not be allowed in the school to pick their children at ASC. Parents must call the ASC Director from the parking lot to have their child/children brought to the designated exit door.
- All perfect attendance incentives for students will be discontinued.
- Students who are out of school for an extended period of time due COVID-19 (individuals who have tested positive, individuals who have been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive, or individuals who are symptomatic) will be required to utilize synchronized teaching to meet attendance requirements who are well enough to participate in synchronized teaching. Synchronized teaching guidelines may be changed depending on the needs of the student.
- If an STSJP student is absent due to COVID-19 related symptoms, it will be recorded as a student illness/medical absence. If a student is not ill but he or she is required to quarantine, the student will be able to still access synchronized teaching so his or her attendance will be recorded as “synchronized attendance”.
- Tardies, absences, and truancies will be recorded for synchronized learners in the same way as traditional classroom attendance.
ATHLETICS AND EXTRACURRICULARS
All students and staff are required to self-screen for COVID-19 before participating in any school activity. Any person with COVID-19 related symptoms will not be allowed to take part in any school related activity which includes workouts, practices, or rehearsals and should contact his or her healthcare provider. Any person with a positive test COVID-19 test must report it to the school. All coaches must track COVID-19 impacted attendance and report it to the school administration. Follow return-to-school health protocol. Below are the guidelines for STSJP athletics for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Fall sports begin in August following the CDC guidelines.
- All State and local guidelines and limitations will be followed.
- All returning athletes are not required to obtain a new physical, but will need to fill out and return all school-issued forms.
- All individuals will follow social distancing guidelines when possible.
- Coaches wear face masks when social distancing is not possible.
- Students, when not engaging in vigorous activity and when practical, should wear masks.
- All equipment must be sanitized before and after every use.
- Students must supply their own water bottles and no sharing of water bottles will be allowed. Water bottles must be labeled.
- Lockers rooms remain closed at this time.
- Students must wash their hands before and after all practices and games.
- Gathering sizes should be decreased. Attendance at all events will be limited to half-capacity.
- Contact is limited to only contact necessary to compete as defined by the IHSAA.
- Schedules may be adjusted to reduce the number of events, duration, and participants present.
- Spectators, media, and vendors may be present at the games or competitions, but must social distance. Spectators may be limited.
- Events, activities, and crowd attendance will be continually evaluated with the Howard County Health Department.
- Hospitality rooms for officials will allow for social distancing.
- No sharing of clothing, shoes, towels, or water bottles.
- If any equipment is shared it needs to be sanitized before and after usage.
- All students need to report to their activity in proper gear and should immediately go home to shower and wash their workout clothes. If a student does not have a clean uniform, he or she may not be able to participate in the practice or competition.
- Water fountains are closed until further notice so individuals need to bring their own water bottles from home. Water bottles will be available to students who do not have one.
The current CDC guidelines recommend screening all students and employees for COVID-19 symptoms and history of exposure.
- All students and employees are required to self-screen daily before coming to school.
- Students and employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without being otherwise explained, are prohibited from coming to school, and if they do come to school, they will be sent home immediately upon exhibiting symptoms.
Self-Screening Daily Checklist - Every morning before you send your child to school, please check the following:
- Does your child have a fever greater than 100 degrees?
- Does your child have any signs of illness such as:
- Congestion or runny nose
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Prolonged headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain and fatigue
- New loss of taste or smell
- Has your child been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with anyone confirmed with COVID-19 within the last two weeks.
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, do not send your student to school. Instead, begin quarantine of your child and contact your health care provider and the school. Strongly consider COVID-19 testing.
- Immunization requirements remain the same at this time. STSJP staff continue to keep in contact with the Howard County Health Department, state health department, and the Diocese of Lafayette. If your child is out of compliance with any of the immunization requirements, you will receive a letter from the school in the coming days.
Federal law typically limits the type of medical inquiries that can be made, but given the nature of the pandemic more leeway has been given to districts/schools in this circumstance to make additional medical inquiries of staff and students than would otherwise be allowed.
- If a parent tells the school that a student is ill, the school may ask the parent whether the student is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.
- If an employee calls in sick or appears ill, the school can inquire as to whether the employee is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
- If a person is obviously ill, the school may make additional inquiries and may exclude the person from school property.
Even without symptoms, if a student or employee has recently had contact with a person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, has someone in their home being tested for COVID-19, or has recently traveled from somewhere considered to be a “hot spot” by the CDC, the school may exclude the student or employee from the school building and recommend that they self-quarantine for 14 calendar days.
CLINICAL SPACE COVID-19 SYMPTOMATIC
Each STSJP campus will have a room or space separate from the school office where students and employees who are feeling ill are evaluated or wait for pick up. All waiting staff and students should wear a cloth face covering. Only essential staff assigned to the room may enter. A record will be kept of all persons who entered the room. Strict social distancing is required and staff must wear appropriate PPE. Students who are ill will be walked out of the building to their parents. If a student or staff member has a fever, for any reason, it is required that the student or staff member be fever-free, without the use of fever-reducing medications, for 72 hours before returning to school.
All staff and students with fevers or symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be encouraged to seek medical attention for further evaluation and instructions. Students and staff may return before the 72-hour window has elapsed if they are approved to do so in writing by their healthcare provider.
CLINIC SPACE NON-COVID-19 RELATED
Students who do not display symptoms of COVID-19 can be seen and treated in the school office. These would include students who are injured during the school day or students with special health care needs such as those with chronic health conditions (diabetes or seizures), those requiring medical treatments (nebulizers or prescription medications), and those with individual health plans.
- If parents need to bring medication to the school for their child, they will call the school secretary to set an appointment. Masks must be worn.
- Daily treatments and medications will be arranged by the school secretary so as to avoid having sick students present during these times.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
STSJP will coordinate with Western School Corporation at St. Joan of Arc Campus and Kokomo School Corporation at St. Patrick Campus to conduct annual case reviews within the one-year timeline, regardless of the school closure. As the school reopens, the case conference meetings with parents may be scheduled to review the provision of services and the educational progress of each student. These conferences will determine whether or not there is a need for an ISP (Individualized Service Plan) revision.
- Whether the student participated in continuous learning opportunities provided by the school and district during the COVID-19 school building closure;
- Parent observations of the student’s learning during the continuous learning opportunities provided by the school or district;
- Teacher observations of the student’s learning in the continuous learning opportunities provided by the school or district;
- Whether there were services identified in the student’s ISP prior to the school closure or district was unable to provide during the building closure due to restrictions on in-person services;
- Whether the student continued making progress toward meeting his/her ISP goals;
- Whether the student experienced any additional or new social-emotional health issues during building closure and re-entry;
- Whether the student experienced any regression during the period of school building closure.
Future Services/Compensatory Services
STSJP is required to make an individualized determination as to whether compensatory services are needed under applicable standards and requirements. This does not mean the school must immediately offer compensatory services to all students with ISPs; rather, it requires the CCC (Case Conference Committee) to lead a discussion of the educational needs of the student, including potential loss of skills. Based on these individual needs, the CCC may consider the appropriateness of collecting data for an agreed-upon time following the student’s return to school and subsequently reconvening to discuss the need for future services at that time.
Transition assessments will continue to be updated annually. When updating transition assessments, teachers of record (TORs) may conduct assessments virtually or in person. Assessments may be administered prior to or during the meeting. In all classes, assessment information needs to be documented within the Summary of Findings utilizing the SPIN method - Strengths, Preferences, Interests, and Needs. Transition services will be created in-person and virtual ways to complete the goals and objectives during this COVID-19 situation.
CCC Meeting Method Options
CCC meetings may be conducted virtually while school buildings are closed. As school buildings reopen, CCC meetings may be conducted in-person or through virtual means.
Requirements for evaluations remain unchanged. Evaluations may be conducted remotely if the evaluator has been appropriately trained in conducting remote assessments and has access to the digital assessments.
Medically Fragile Students
Medically fragile students are at high-risk of severe medical complications if exposed to COVID-19, and therefore may be unable to attend school. Medically fragile students unable to attend school will need to be provided with educational services remotely. The determination of the services to be provided must be made by the CCC based upon the individual student’s medical and educational needs. Special education and related services determined by the CCC could be provided online or in a virtual instructional format, through instructional telephone calls, or through other curriculum-based instructional activities (511 IAC 7-42-10). If the services are to be delivered through online or virtual instruction, technological competency and the need for additional assistive technology must be considered.
The required therapies will be followed with the provisions in accordance with the CDC community-level guidance for schools.
- Intensified cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and surfaces between therapy sessions;
- Class and therapy group size reductions, staggered (alternate days/rotation) scheduling and/or spaced seating to facilitate physical distancing, restricted sharing of equipment/learning aids, and possible shifts to non-traditional class settings to improve ventilation;
- Instruction about and observance of frequent handwashing and face covering recommendations;
- Remote therapy needs, including assistive technology, as necessary, for special student populations who cannot yet safely return to congregate settings;
- Contingency planning to continue services if COVID-19 transmission requires intermittent or extended school building closures;
- Technology training and access to therapists to serve medically fragile students;
- Flexible and adaptive scheduling to maximize therapy service provision despite personnel shortages, staff/illness/isolation, and limited access to students.
The school districts are required to provide equitable services to parentally-placed students with disabilities attending reopened non-public school buildings within the district boundaries.
DOCUMENT CHANGE LOG
- Any changes made to this document will be noted below and the official publication date is July 17, 2020. (Create chart below)
Added 2 Covid 19 Symptoms
Added 2 lunch policies