St. John’s
Catholic School

SJS Catholic School COVID-19 Guidelines for 2020 – 2021

INTRODUCTION

The goal is for employees, students, and families to feel safe and to reduce the impact of COVID-19 conditions upon returning to on-site school instruction. The guidelines referenced in this plan are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), and Governor Hutchinson. Regular updates will be made to this plan based on information provided by the CDC and applicable federal, state and local agencies. 

EMPLOYEE AND STUDENT SAFETY

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

St. John’s  will not allow normal visitation to our campus.  Visitors will be restricted from entering school buildings based on current guidelines. If a visitor is admitted, their temperature is to be taken and they are to be screened for symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. The only access to the office will be through the front door.

EMPLOYEE SCREENING AND PROTOCOLS

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure to our employees, we will be requiring employees to complete a daily self-screening which includes a temperature reading and self-screening for symptoms related to COVID-19 including:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue 
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees are to report symptoms to the administration. All screening information will be kept confidential.

HEALTH PROTOCOL

If an employee/student becomes ill at school or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 at school, they will be asked to leave school and be cleared by a doctor to return to school.

Teachers returning to work from an approved medical leave should contact administration.  You will be asked to submit a healthcare provider’s note before returning to work.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you may return to school when all 4 criteria are met:

  1. At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
  2. You have improved in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, etc);
  3. At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first occurred; and
  4. A note from a medical professional authorizing return to school.

If you have symptoms that could be COVID-19 and do not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, it is assumed that you have COVID-19 and may not return to school until the four criteria listed above have been met.

GUIDANCE IF EXPOSED

While we all hope to avoid exposure to illness from COVID-19, we need to be prepared for that possibility.  If you or someone you’ve been in contact with has been exposed to the virus, our first concern is for the health and safety of you and those around you.  In this rapidly changing situation, healthcare providers should have the most up-to-date information from the CDC.

Please do the following: 

  1. Quarantine yourself in a specific room away from others in your home.
  2. Contact your healthcare provider and school administrator to let them know you have been exposed to COVID-19, then follow their instructions.
  3. Your administrator will contact the Office of Catholic Schools to determine appropriate next steps. Refer to the ADH flowchart.
  4. In case of an emergency, call 911 and let them know you have been exposed to COVID-19, then follow their instructions.

HANDLING A SUSPECTED COVID-19 CASE 

If an employee or student becomes ill on campus, he/she will immediately report to the school’s isolation room, which is the Spanish Room.  

Once the employee or student arrives at the isolation room, they will immediately be provided with a mask and gloves.  This measure is to help protect other employees and students and prevent the spread of the potential virus.   

  • The nurse/administrator must call the Arkansas Department of Health and seek advice regarding transportation and location.  Refer to the ADH flowchart.
  • The nurse and others attending the suspected infected person should also wear a protective mask and gloves while working with the suspected infected person. 
  • The nurse/administrator will direct the ill employee to leave work or call the parent of the student to be picked up and go home.  
  • The nurse/administrator must identify persons who may have come in contact with the suspected infected person.  Unless required by the local health authority, the name of the employee should not be provided.  
  • Advise employees that they may have been in contact with a suspected employee and to carry out self-screening every morning, and based on the results, contact the administration.  Maintain the confidentiality of the employee.
  • The isolation area and suspected employee’s or student’s work area/classroom must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, in addition to all other common surfaces recently touched by the employee or student.   

HANDLING A CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE   

St. John’s might need to implement short-term closure procedures if an infected person has been in the school building:

  • First, notify ADH and the Office of Catholic Schools and follow their guidelines (see flowchart at the end of this document). 
  • Dismiss students and staff for 2 – 5 days to allow local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the school and make recommendations’
  • Cancel all school-based extracurricular activities and events during the closure.
  • Discourage staff, students, and their families from gathering or socializing anywhere.
  • Communicate with staff, parents, and students. Maintain confidentiality of the student or staff member
    • Coordinate communication with local health officials and the Superintendent.
    • Plan to include messages to counter potential stigma and discrimination.
  • Clean and disinfect thoroughly.
    • Close off areas used by the individuals with COVID-19.
    • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in affected area.  
    • If possible, wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

In order to minimize exposure to COVID-19, PPE will be needed to prevent certain exposures. PPE can include masks. Face masks are an important part of employee protection, as well as personal hygiene, social distancing, and frequent cleaning efforts.  

Staff and Other Adults

  • All adults must wear a face covering when 6 feet of physical distancing is not feasible.

Classroom Settings

  • All students must wear face coverings when entering the building and during transition times. Examples of transition times: lining up to go to recess, moving in the hallway, restroom breaks.
  • Once a student is seated at their desk and there is 6 feet of distance from other students, they may remove their face covering.  Students will have assigned seating.
  • At any time a student is not 6 feet from another student, they should wear their face covering.
  • The teacher should wear a face covering if working in close contact with a student.
  • The teacher may remove their face covering while teaching if 12 feet of physical distance is maintained between the teacher and the closest student. 

Recess 

  • Students and adults will wear face coverings when transitioning to and from recess if necessary.
  • Classes will be kept together so that they do not interact with other classes.
  • Students may remove face coverings once outside (keep labeled baggies for each individual student to put their face covering in and return to that student at end of recess to wear while returning to the classroom)
  • Recommend outside organized activities to help students maintain social distancing while at play.
  • Playground Schedule as follows:

9:15-10:00 Prek4

10:00-10:45 PreK3

10:45-11:15 1st and 2nd rotating between playground and soccer field area

11:15-11:45 Kindergarten

11:45-12:15 5th Grade 

12:15-12:45 6th, 7th, & 8 rotating between playground and soccer field

12:45-1:15 3rd and 4th rotating between playground and soccer field

1:30-2:00 Kindergarten (optional)

2:00-2:25 Prek 3

2:25-2:55 Prek 4

Cafeteria

  • Students and adults must wear face coverings while transitioning to and from the cafeteria.
  • Students may remove face coverings when seated while eating.
  • In the cafeteria, students will be distanced from other students while eating and have assigned seating.  
  • Cafeteria Schedule as follows:

At 10:45, PreK3 and PreK4 will be seated and served at their socially distanced tables.

At 10:50, the Kindergarten will line up in marked socially distanced formation to get lunch trays.

Each grade will follow the same procedures at their scheduled time.

We regret that families will not be allowed to eat in the cafeteria with their child/children.

Restrooms

  • Students and adults will keep face coverings on at all times during a restroom break.
  • Restroom capacity will be limited to one student at a time.
  • Green (GO) or red (STOP) signage will be placed outside each bathroom to indicate availability.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned daily by janitorial service.  

In addition to wearing masks, please remember to: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Social distancing is an effective way to prevent potential infection. School employees, students, parents, and visitors should practice staying approximately 6 feet and eliminating contact with others.  Keep this in mind as students travel down hallways, to mass, etc.

PERSONAL WORKSPACE/CLASSROOM

All teachers and students are asked not to visit another classroom outside of their class.  Employees are encouraged to disinfect their own personal workspace (teacher desk, phone, etc) throughout the day, giving special attention to commonly touched surfaces.

SHARED WORKSPACE

Face coverings are to be worn in shared workspaces.

Teachers are encouraged to disinfect their own workspace multiple times throughout the day, giving special attention to commonly touched surfaces. The school will furnish hand sanitizers throughout the school and in common areas. Cleaning sprays and wipes are to be made available to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as telephones and keyboards. The Custodial Team will clean all workspaces at their designated cleaning time.

Please note that proper equipment such as acceptable disinfectant and PPE should be used when cleaning individual workspaces.

There will be limited access to certain workspaces to reduce exposure to risks and ensure employee safety. Protocol pertaining to workspace usage includes:

Capacity– Monitoring the number of teachers in the offices while the risk of infection exists. 

Breakrooms or Teacher Lounge/Multipurpose Room– A cleaning protocol will be developed and implemented for shared spaces and appliances such as coffee machines, refrigerators, and microwaves. 

FACILITIES CLEANING           

The safety of our employees and students are our first priority. Prior to reopening, our school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and we will continue to adhere to all necessary safety precautions. In addition to the deep clean of the office and school before employees and students return, the cleaning steps outlined below will  be taken to disinfect workplace surfaces, chairs, tables, etc. to protect employees and reduce the risk of spread of infection. Teachers will be required to maintain this safety standard by continuously cleaning and disinfecting based on the frequency stated below.

GENERAL DISINFECTION MEASURES

CategoryAreaFrequency
WorkspacesClassrooms, OfficesAt the end of each use/day
Electronic EquipmentCopier Machines, Shared Computer Monitors, TV’s, Telephones, KeyboardsAt the end of each use/day and/or between use
General Used ObjectsHandles, Light Switches, Sinks, RestroomsThroughout the day by teacher
Common AreasCafeteria, Library, Conference Rooms, Gyms, Common AreasAt the end of each use/day

The goal is to establish a sanitary baseline before the site opens.  The site will be 100% disinfected prior to anyone returning to school.

DEEP CLEANING AND DISINFECTION PROTOCOL

Deep cleaning is triggered when an active employee or student is identified as positive for COVID-19 based on testing.  

SIGNAGE

The following signage will be placed throughout the offices and school:

FOOD DELIVERY

Bringing or sharing refreshments during meetings is prohibited in order to limit the risk of contamination.  Snack items, candy, and drinks will not be provided until further notice.  We ask that there be no food delivered and that food be kept at your assigned space.  Personal deliveries such as packages should not be delivered to school.

PREVENTIVE  MATERIAL  INVENTORY

  1. The school has an adequate supply of soap, disinfection, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and tissues.
  2. Touchless thermometers are on-site for teacher and student screening.

SCHOOL DAY PROCEDURES

RESTROOM USAGE

Each bathroom will only be able to have one occupant at a time unless an emergency.  Stop and Go signs will be placed in front of each bathroom.

DROP OFF AND PICK UP 

Drop and Pick will be done by grouping of grades.

Prek3 and Prek4 will be dropped off in the foyer area by the gym and parents will sign their child in as required by DHS.

K-4th grade will use the School Street entrance and will have their temperatures taken before they exit the vehicle by the gates next to the parish hall and proceed directly to their classroom.

5th-8th grade will drive up through Linwood and students will have their temperatures taken before getting out of the vehicle and will proceed directly to their classroom wearing their masks.

CAFETERIA, MEAL PERIODS, and DRINKING WATER

Define protocol for school based on the following considerations:

  • Students are going to cafeteria for lunch. Alternate serving and seating to maintain social distancing will be put in place.
  • Students may not use water fountains and should bring refillable water bottles from home.

CLASSROOM ARRANGEMENTS

  • Students will be kept in respective classrooms as much as possible.
  • Each student (Prek3 – 4th) will have their seats assigned. 5th – 8th will sanitize desk areas between each class.
  • Arrange desks and tables so that there is at least 6 feet of separation between students when feasible. 
  • Students’ desks will not face each other.

MASS (Will start later in the year)

Follow Diocesan and parish guidelines for mass attendance. Prior to mass attendance, instruct students on current procedures including receiving the Eucharist while wearing a mask.

STAFF TRAINING

  1.  Pre-return to school training

Presented remotely to ensure understanding and preparedness to align with this manual.

  1.  First Day Training/Orientation 

Align local protocols and procedures with this manual; meeting area must adhere to social distancing protocols or present via digital platform.

  1.  Cleaning Crew Protocols

Disinfection methods, comprehensive cleaning training.

It is very important that all employees understand the safety requirements, protocols and expectations to ensure everyone and their communities stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.  Structure the training plan to effectively disseminate information to all teams and audiences.  Content to be covered:

  1. All training topics can be reinforced with signage in the buildings.
  2. School checklists
  3. Response teams
  4. Disinfection measures
  5. Isolation protocols
  6. On site health screening
  7. Daily self-screenings
  8. Visitors
  9. Cleaning crew protocols
  10. Effect on daily school routines

COMMUNICATION 

We will share our current plans with parents emphasizing that the plan may change as guidelines from the CDC and ADH change.

We will remind our parents that we will continue to provide a faith filled, loving, and caring environment which reflects the school mission.

We encourage teachers, students, parents and stakeholders to stay updated on the most up-to-date information by:

  1.  Checking their email often.
  2.  Visiting the school website. 
  3.  Following our social media platforms.
  4.  Regularly checking Renweb and whatever other platform your child’s teacher uses.

ACADEMICS AND HOME-BASED LEARNING

AMI will not be offered at this time.

Leave a Comment