First and foremost, we value the school-parent partnership, realizing that having such creates the most effective educational environment in which children learn. Therefore, the following is a compilation of family engagement items, which have always played an important role in school involvement, while now also adding health precautions:
- Family School Engagement & Health Precaution Activities:
a.Family School-Engagement Activities:
- Encourage positive attitudes about school.
- Help your child get to school on time each day.
- Encourage & help your child establish a good rest and healthy meals routine.
- Establish with your child an at-home place and time to study and a daily reading time.
- Access learning resources provided by your child’s teacher and on the school’s website to provide additional learning opportunities at home.
- Rather than asking if your child’s school day was “good,” of if they “had fun,” ask them specifics about their school day, such as: What’s one important thing you learned today? What did you read about in your class novel today? Who were you able to help today?
b.Family Health Precaution Activities:
· If possible, take your child’s temperature each morning before they leave for school. If they appear to have a fever of 100F or greater, please keep them home and call the school. Keep your child home until he/she is fever free (100F or below without fever reducer medications) for 48 hours.
· Monitor other, possible COVID-19 symptoms daily: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Promptly notify the school office if your student develops COVID-19-like symptoms.
· Be aware of those around you and your students who may be COVID-19 positive or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Have your students tested as soon as you suspect they might have been exposed. Promptly notify the school office if your student has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, or has been exposed to someone confirmed with COVID-19.
- Pre-Opening School Facility Activities
The following precautions have taken place to provide as safe and healthy a school environment as possible prior to the first day of school:
- All classrooms have been cleaned and disinfected, follow the latest sanitization guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Southwest District Health, as have the building’s frequently trafficked areas.
- All carpets have been cleaned and sanitized.
- All classrooms, bathrooms, lunchroom and offices have been provided with either soap & water and/or hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, paper towels, and no-touch trash cans.
- Designated an isolated area for ill or sick students and employees to limit the spread of illness.
- Teachers completed professional development week of July 27 (teachers will train EAs), entitled, “Covid, Classrooms & Harbor” for credit through NNU.
- A bi-polar ionization unit will be installed in the school’s HVAC units. This creates negative ions in the air that starves viruses, mold and bacteria and, in the case of COVID-19, can kill 99% of its spores. This is the same equipment used in hospitals, the White House, and a few Idaho schools already. In other words, the air that’s flowing through our building will constantly be cleansed. This is an incredible addition to our school and a major expense, but a necessary one to ensure we’re doing all we can to best protect our school community.
- Health & Safety Precautions
- Social Distancing: We will limit the mixing of students as much as possible while maintaining interactions between students. For instance, we will do the following:
- Establish easy, age-appropriate social distancing practices, such as “Airplane Arms” for maintaining a healthy distance from others.
- Minimize classroom movement in the hallways and using designated, marked entry and exit doors and pathways. Each grade’s classroom exterior door will be used for most of their movement from classroom to other activities, such as lunch, recess, PE, science.
- Only students and essential adults will be allowed in the school building.
- Unscheduled visitors will not be allowed in the school building.
- Scheduled visitors will be required to comply with the school social distancing and face covering requirements, and may be required to sign a waiver and allow a health check.
- Music will be held outside, weather permitting, or in the gym. More than the six-feet distancing guideline will be place. Hand sanitizer will be used before class.
- PE will be held outside as much as possible and non-contact activities will be emphasized. PE equipment in use will be disinfected after each class. Students will use hand sanitizer as they go to PE. Sharing of PE equipment will be greatly minimized.
- Recess: Students will continue to enjoy recess. Social distancing will be monitored by teacher and/or educational assistant.
- Each classroom’s desks will be distanced as much as possible. All desks will be facing forward. Class sizes will remain the same.
- No large-group activities or events are planned until further notice.
- Lunch Procedure
Two grades go to lunch at the same time. For as long as necessary, the two grades will rotate eating locations weekly, with one grade eating in the café so as to keep an acceptable level of social distancing, and the other eating either outside or in their classroom. As has always been the case, adult supervision in the café, outside, and in the classroom will occur to help maintain social distancing measures and safe hygiene. Students will enter café through one door and exit through the other.
- Disposable utensils will be used.
- School lunches will continue to be provided. However, the salad bar will be removed until further notice with salad bar items now individually wrapped.
- All Café workers will wear face shields and gloves, in addition to what they already have had in place for proper food service operations.
- Health & Hygiene:
- School employees will take their temperatures and complete a wellness check prior to coming to school. Any employee having a fever at 100°F or greater, or experiencing obvious COVID-19 symptoms, will stay home. The school will follow its already-established procedures for sick-leave, short- and long-term subs.
- Parents are asked to check their students’ temperatures prior to coming to school, if they can, and observe students for COVID-19 symptoms. If fever is 100°F or greater, or student is experiencing obvious symptoms, they must stay home. The parent must call the school office notifying the secretary of their student’s absence. Parents should decide if their child should be tested. If a child tests positive, parents must to notify the school as soon as possible.
- In the event of a positive student or staff COVID-19 test, the school will work with Southwest District Health to provide appropriate notices and next steps. SWDH has provided to schools outstanding planning checklists, decision-making trees, communication plans and protocols to assist when a positive case is determined. We will follow this expert guidance while keeping our school operating in as normal a manner as possible.
- Several temperature checks will occur daily. This includes first thing in the morning before students enter their classroom and at least two more times during the day. The teachers will include on their class schedule the times their students’ temperatures will be taken. Copies of these schedules will be kept with the administrator. At any point that a student registers a fever of 100°F or greater, they will be sent home.
- Proper hand washing at bathroom breaks and when needed in the classroom will be adhered to. Teachers will remind students of the 20-second hand-washing technique, demonstrate it, and come up with age-appropriate, creative approaches at each grade level in which to help students establish this habit of good hygiene, while checking that hands have been washed, while making it fun.
- Hand sanitizing will be a constant throughout the day. Our students are already very familiar with this practice. However, specific times of the day have been established for hand sanitizing, in addition to what students might do themselves -- first thing in the morning as they enter their classroom, as they enter the café for lunch, and as they enter PE, music, science, computer lab, and after recess.
- Science: Students will use hand sanitizer as they enter the science room. Desks and chairs in the science room will be disinfected after each class. Sharing of science equipment will be greatly minimized.
- Computer lab: Tables, keyboards, screens will be disinfected after each class. Students will use hand sanitizer as they enter the room.
- Water fountains will be used ONLY to fill water bottles.
- Sharing of classroom materials and commonly-used items will be kept to a minimum – for instance, classroom novels or other shared books will be assigned to students rather than returned each day to a common area. If there are not enough books for every student, books will be wiped down after use.
- Students will not be able to share their school supplies with others. Food and drink will also not be shared.
- Since Legacy’s K-8 grades are self-contained classrooms, meaning these classrooms are not shared by multiple grades, K-8 teachers will disinfect their classrooms at the end of the day and as needed during the day.
- Desks in all classrooms will face forward.
- All teachers and staff will use face shields (more on face coverings, below).
- Should a student or staff member become ill during the day, all areas in which the ill person was present will be thoroughly disinfected and sanitized.
- Our custodial staff will continue to clean the school building nightly, including disinfecting bathrooms, hallways, front office, etc.
- Face Coverings: At the time of finalizing this plan, COVID-19 spread among “tweens” had been steadily increasing. Therefore, our face coverings protocol is as follows:
- Face coverings for 6th-8th grades will be required, meaning all 6th-8th grade students must have a face covering that will be used anytime they are not able to maintain a six-foot distance from another person. Face coverings will not be required during PE, recess, while eating lunch, or during outside breaks the teachers provide when apparent students need to be able to remove them for a time. If a student is unable to wear a face mask for long periods of time due to health issues, parents can provide a doctor’s note to the school excusing the student from its use.
- The face covering requirement for K-5th grade will not be as restrictive, realizing the difficulty of long-term, continued use by younger children. However, they will need to be prepared to practice wearing face coverings for periods of time, as best they can, and when they’re speaking to an adult who is within six feet of them. (Again, a technique, such as “Airplane Arms” will be used to help students become comfortable in this practice.) K-5th students will not need to wear face coverings during PE, recess, while eating lunch, or during outside breaks the teachers will provide when a face-covering “recess” is needed. If a child is unable to wear a face covering for long periods of time due to health issues, parents can provide a doctor’s note to the school excusing the student from its use.
- The above information also addresses our concern for teachers, staff and, possibly, students whose health is compromised.
- The school will provide face coverings to students who do not have one, or students can bring their own. Since face coverings now have varieties of designs, sayings, etc., on them, teachers and administrator will monitor for appropriateness for school setting. The face coverings provided by the school will be left at the school for washing. Students who bring their own face coverings will take them home each day. Students will be given lanyards in which to attach their face coverings so as to keep them from getting lost, falling on the ground, etc. Face coverings, such as gaitors, will be encouraged as they reduce the need for lanyards and can quickly be pulled up or down from the neck as needed.
- Teachers and other employees will wear Personal Protective Equipment, including face shields, during the school day.
- Brown Bus is requiring its riders to wear them. Therefore, parents of bus riders will be informed to plan accordingly.
- School Day Routines
Beginning the Day:
- When students arrive at school, they will line up at the exterior door of their classroom. In other words, students will no longer be allowed to enter the front doors in the morning, or use the front hallway to sit and study prior to the start of the school day. Students will be trained, as appropriate per grade level, in social distancing techniques, such as Airplane Arms.
- As students are welcomed by their teacher at their class’ exterior door, they will have their temperature checked with a no-touch thermometer. Normal temperatures will receive a checkmark on the teacher’s COVID Daily Checklist. If a student shows a temperature of 100°F, it will be noted on the checklist, the student will immediately go to the front office where the secretary will notify the parent or guardian to pick up their student. The student will be placed in a separate area from other students until their parent arrives. The school will share with the parent the protocols for informing the school of the student’s condition.
- Following the temperature checks, students will enter their classrooms, use hand sanitizer, don masks, and put backpacks in cubbies. Students will be provided lanyards to attach their masks to so they don’t get lost during the day.
- See III. Health & Safety Precautions, b. Health & Hygiene for the additional school-day routines.
Ending the Day:
- At the end of the day, students will disinfect their desk, chair and lanyard. Our teachers are the best at making “chores” such as this fun and age-appropriate. When students have left for the day, the teachers will disinfect door handles, countertops and other high-touch surfaces in their classrooms.
- In the Event of Student or Staff Member COVID-19 Probable or Confirmed Case
- Symptomatic staff or students will be encouraged to seek COVID-19 testing from their regular physician or through the local public health authority.
- If a student or staff receives a positive COVID-19 viral (PCR) test result the person will stay home for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and until no fever for at least one day, without use of fever reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving, OR alternatively, a person who had a positive viral test may return to school when they have received two subsequent negative COVID-19 viral tests at least 24 hours apart and until no fever for at least one day, without use of fever reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.
- Students, their parents, and staff who were in close contact with the person testing positive will be notified and encouraged to seek COVID-19 testing from their physician or local public health authority. We will use SWDH Schools and Public Health Districts: Planning for Positive or Probable COVID-19 Exposure in a School Setting document (below) for next steps and notifications.
- Those testing negative, but exhibit symptoms should remain home until symptoms have improved.
- If they have a negative COVID-19 viral test (and if they have multiple tests, all tests are negative), they should remain home until 72 hours after fever is gone, without use of fever reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.
- If they do not undergo COVID-19 testing, the person should remain home until 72 hours after fever is gone, without use of fever reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.
- In all cases where a positive COVID-19 test is confirmed among our school community, Southwest District Health will be notified so that we can work in concert with their resources, guidance, and support.
In the event of State-mandated closure for all Idaho schools in-person learning
- In the event the State mandates all Idaho school buildings close and use a form of remote learning, our school will comply by returning to a similar remote learning format that was in place during spring 2020.
Remote Learning: For those parents considering remote learning for their students, they will be instructed to email or call the school office so that they can be contacted personally by administrator.
Attendance Policy: As has been our practice, excessive absences will be considered on a case-by-case basis when extraordinary situations occur within a family, which could include a student or family member contracting COVID-19.