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Reopening Plan

Lutheran Elementary School

COVID-19 Reopening Plan 2020-2021

Last Updated September 3, 2020

The Administration and School Board of Lutheran Elementary School reserves the right to amend this plan whenever necessary in accordance with the

NYS and NYC Department of Health, NYS Education Department, and CDC guidelines

REOPENING

Guiding Principles:

  • We are a private, Christian school, with 11 classes, Nursery through 8th grade, accommodating children ages 3 (or nearly 3) to 14 years of age.
  • Our physical space has 14 classrooms, a nurses office, and an isolation room. We have an additional overflow classroom if a class must be moved in order to disinfect and sanitize a space where a possibly sick individual has been.
  • “the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in person learning is well-documented…” (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • We recognize that plans must be flexible as they are subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. All plans will be consistent with the most updated DOH, NYSED, CDC guidelines, and informed by guidance from local health professionals regarding community specific responses due to local infection rate, etc.
  • After surveying our parent community the overwhelming majority of our families wish to return to full day, full week, in person instruction as is allowable within NYS DOH and NYS Education guidelines.
  • Our goal is to provide a physically safe environment for all of our current students to attend full day, full week instruction.
  • Our goal is to provide access to in-building instruction for grades 1-8 via the internet to accommodate long term absences or children who are unable to attend in person instruction do to health or safety concerns.
  • To provide live, daily distance learning, in the event that the entire school community cannot safely be in the building, that gives appropriate time for coverage of core academic subjects, as well as enrichment activities.
  • To provide for the physical safety and wellness of our community through teaching and reinforcement of healthy habits to prevent and contain illness. To provide for the social emotional wellness of our students through maintaining connections with the school community in building, and/or online, through social emotional check ins, and through more individualized social-emotional support to students and families as is necessary.
  • The Principal, Dr. Jan Pirozzi, and Assistant Principal Mrs. Signe Campbell, will be the responsible parties who ensure all portions of the plan are followed, and who will coordinate with the NYC and NYS Department of Health for reporting COVID-19 cases, and facilitating contact tracing. They will also be the responsible parties for informing school families of possible COVID-19 exposure, confidentially.

Screening and Monitoring

  • We plan to reduce congestion using staggered arrival times, and multiple entrances.
  • We will be conducting temperature screening of ALL individuals entering the school building with a contactless thermometer. Staff performing temperature screens will be provided with additional PPE (gloves, mask and shield).
  • Any individual that presents a temperature of greater than 100.0 will be denied entry. Therefore, we highly recommend families take their child’s temperature daily before traveling to school.
  • There will be a log of those who were screened to ensure screenings are completed for ALL individuals entering the school building.
  • Faculty and staff will fill out a daily health screening questionnaire regarding COVID exposure, COVID symptoms and travel to high infection areas within the past 14 days (questionnaire attached).
  • Families will complete the same screening questionnaire, weekly, and are required to update Dr. Jan Pirozzi or Mrs. Signe Campbell of ANY changes to their answers on the screening questionnaire at ANY time.
  • A second temperature screening will be done, later in the morning. Any individual who develops symptoms of COVID, or presents with a temperature of greater than 100.0 after entry will be sent to an isolation area, while awaiting for pickup. Children will be brought outside to the parents for dismissal.
  • We will be minimizing visitors, who will also be screened and logged to facilitate contact tracing. Parents must make an appointment to enter the school building.
  • All employees will be given guidance in recognizing signs of illness, including flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity). If a child appears ill at any time during the school day, all employees will refer a possibly ill student to the school nurse, who will determine if it is best to evaluate the child in the classroom, or retrieve the child to be evaluated in the nurse’s office.
  • If any employee feels ill during the day, they will contact Dr. Jan Pirozzi or Mrs. Signe Campbell to determine if there need to be isolated, go home, and if they need a health evaluation before returning to school. Dr. Jan Pirozzi and Mrs. Signe Campbell will make such determinations consistent with the most updated CDC, NYS and NYC DOH guidelines, as well as consultation with local healthcare workers as necessary.

Policies to maintain safety and wellness within the physical building

Social Distancing:

  • Providing 36 square feet of distance for every individual in a classroom, with taped off boxes on the floor to provide visual feedback to reinforce social distancing. We will be updating our curriculum and implementation to facilitate social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
  • Classrooms will be limited to approximately 15 children to allow for appropriate distancing of desks.
  • Stickers and tape will be placed on the floors in common areas (hallways, etc), and on the sidewalk for arrival/dismissal to provide visual feedback and facilitate appropriate spacing.

Maximizing ventilation and air purity:

  • Fresh air through open windows will be used as much as is physically comfortable.
  • Each class will have an FDA certified air and surface purifier developed to purify air even in poorly ventilated areas.

Minimizing Cross Contamination:

  • Classes will be considered a “cohort” of stable groups and will remain in their classes at their desks for instructional time, specials (music, art) and lunch time. Teachers will change classes to come to students, rather than students changing classrooms. The only exception will be for recess, and maximizing use of outdoor space for yoga, and appropriate instructional activities.
  • Classes/cohorts will not be mixed except for voluntary morning care, afterschool, and voluntary afterschool activities, if deemed safe and appropriate at the time of reopening, with the guidance of local health authorities. Regular logs will be taken of participation in these groups and activities to facilitate notification and contact tracing as necessary if an individual in any of these groups becomes ill.
  • Group worship will be suspended for September. Beginning in October, Chapel Services will be done in the Church, and broadcast to individual classrooms for viewing by students.
  • Recess will occur more frequently to accommodate smaller groups children.
  • We will be maximizing use of individual supplies for all students and teachers, and minimizing the use of shared supplies (which must be thoroughly disinfected between uses).
  • Plastic barriers will be used between sinks in bathrooms, where social distancing may not possible.
  • As most teachers will be moving classes and will not have a “designated” classroom, a faculty room will be made available for teachers to have desks at least six feet apart to work. Teachers will be required to wear masks and only use their assigned individual desk.
  • Students will all bring their own water bottle during each day, that can be refreshed with a pitcher of water from the classroom. Water fountains will not be used.
  • Each student’s belongings will be kept in large plastic storage containers with lids, labelled with their names, kept in their 6ft by 6ft desk space.

Cleaning and Sanitizing:

  • Toys and objects that cannot be cleaned and disinfected easily (cloth, fabrics, etc) will be stored away and not used for this school year.
  • Our daytime janitor will be completing frequent disinfecting of high touch areas at least three times throughout the day, including banisters, doorknobs, faucets.
  • Touchless hand sanitizers are being installed in every classroom and at every entrance to the building. All individuals will sanitize hands as they enter the building, upon leaving or entering a classroom, after using the restroom, before and after eating, and after recess and more as necessary. Daily logs will be maintained to ensure daytime cleaning.
  • We contracted with a nightly cleaning crew who will clean and disinfect with CDC compliant cleaning products and will log nightly cleaning procedures
  • We contracted with a cleaning crew to provide additional CDC deep cleaning as necessary

Masks, Respiratory and Hand Hygiene:

  • We will require use of masks throughout the school day except at snack, mealtimes, and in preschool, rest times when children will rest at least 6 feet apart, head to toe. All students over the age of two, all faculty and employees will wear a properly fitted mask at all times. During instructional time, while seating 6 feet apart, students and teachers may wear masks designed for the hearing impaired, with clear plastic windows to allow greater visibility of the mouth. Once a child or individual moves from their desk, they must put on their full cloth face mask.
  • All faculty will be trained during faculty orientation week in all social distance and hygiene guidelines and protocols, and in proper instruction of children for mask wearing, storage, distancing and respiratory hygiene.
  • All students will be given guidance in a developmentally appropriate manner, as part of their regular classroom routine and science class, about proper mask usage and storage, respiratory hygiene (cough into elbows/tissues, etc) as well as hand hygiene (frequent and thorough washing).
  • Signage will be posted throughout the building with visual and written reminders for proper mask usage, social distancing, and hand hygiene.
  • Masks are required for all adults at arrival and dismissal, and for any individual visiting the school building.

Gatherings:

  • All gatherings with our school community including curriculum night will be planned to be conducted remotely, rather than in-person, until it is deemed safe, in consultation with local health authorities, to gather.
  • Faculty meetings will be conducted in small groups of individuals at least six feet apart, or remotely if necessary for larger meetings

Containment

  • ALL INDIVIDUALS must notify the school of any changes to their answers to their health questionnaire at any time, including if someone develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the day, or if there has been a COVID-19 exposure outside of school since their last health questionnaire has been completed.
  • Administration must inform the NYC DOH immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 case by anyone within the school facilities, and administration must assist them in contact tracing and notifying any potentially exposed individuals, confidentially.
  • Administration will immediately notify families if there has been a COVID exposure via email-we ask that individuals respond to the email ASAP to confirm receipt, otherwise we will follow up with individual phone calls to families. Notifications will be confidential; no names will be used.
  • If someone is suspected of having COVID-19, or has a confirmed case of COVID-19, consistent with the CDC and NYS DOH recommendations, we will be closing off the areas used by the sick person until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred. Other unaffected individuals will be relocated to a designated, overflow classroom while necessary spaces are cleaned and disinfected. If there are multiple affected individuals, if necessary, that class may resume via distance learning until quarantining/isolation/health clearance are completed.
  • Once a space which has been used by a sick individual has been appropriately disinfected, it can be reopened to individuals without close and proximate contact with the person who was suspected of having COVID-19, or had a confirmed case.
  • Students and employees suspected of having COVID-19 will be required to get documented medical clearance (including medical guidance of isolation and/or negative test result) before returning to school.
  • Dr. Jan Pirozzi and Mrs. Signe Campbell will provide a list of referrals for local testing sites in the community for families.

Closure

  • If there is concern of widespread COVID-19 exposure within the building, or within the local community, the physical school building will close if necessary. Parents will be informed via email about school closures. Soon thereafter, the school will transition to a full distance learning plan.

Proposed Zoom Schedule of Live Classes in the event of a Schoolwide Closure (Subject to change)

Nursery:

  • Daily Morning Meeting
  • 1 daily lesson

Pre-K:

  • Daily Morning Meeting
  • 1 morning class
  • 1 afternoon class

First Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Science 2x a week
  • Social Studies 1x a week
  • Religion 1x a week
  • Music 1x a week
  • Yoga 1x a week

Second Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Social Studies 2x a week
  • Science 2x a week
  • Religion 1x a week
  • Music 1x a week
  • Yoga 1x a week

Third Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Science 4x a week
  • Social Studies 2x a week
  • Religion 1x a week
  • Music 1x a week
  • Yoga 1x a week

Fourth Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Science 4x a week
  • Social Studies 3x a week
  • Religion 1x a week
  • Yoga 1x a week
  • Music 1x a week

Fifth Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • Humanities 9x a week
  • Science 5x a week
  • Religion 1x a week
  • Yoga 1x a week

Sixth Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Science 5x a week
  • Religion 3x a week
  • Spanish (Spring) 2x a week

Seventh Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Science 5x a week
  • Social Studies 4x a week
  • Religion 3x a week
  • Spanish (Spring) 2x a week

Eighth Grade:

  • Homeroom 5x a week
  • Math 5x a week
  • ELA 5x a week
  • Science 5x a week
  • Social Studies 4x a week
  • Religion 3x a week
  • Spanish (Spring) 2x a week