St. Mark’s Reopening Plan
Dear St. Mark’s Family,
The attached School Reopening Plan contains policies and procedures for our opening in August. The policies and procedures will probably be continued through the school year. Our reopening plan was developed from the Reset and Restart Education document supplied by the Ohio Dept. of Education – and from the COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools supplied by the Ohio Dept. of Health. In developing the reopening plan, we considered three things: Health and Safety, Daily Education, and Flexibility.
Health and Safety
The Ohio Dept. of Health acknowledges that the transmission rate and the death rate from COVID-19 is extremely low among children. Even though our policies and procedures will serve to mitigate risk for the children of our school, the policies and procedures also reduce risk to adults in our school and at home.
Students learn best in an in-person environment – and it is crucial that each student be engaged in active learning 5 days per week. Our reopening policies and procedures are designed to facilitate in-person learning on our campus, every day. We also have plans in place for online learning, should the need arise.
We recognize the importance of flexibility in our reopening plans due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation – as well as in response to the needs of our students and personnel as we progress through this unique school year.
The School Reopening Plan and the described policies and procedures are subject to change based on the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, guidance by the State of Ohio/Ohio Department of Education, and recommendations by public health officials.
We ask that all parents/guardians review the School Reopening Plan and become familiar with the policies and procedures. The students will receive training on the new policies and procedures – some of which are still in development. Maintaining health and safety is going to be a team effort!
St. Mark’s Lutheran School 2020-2021 School Opening Plan
General Policies: On Time and In Person!
• Students will NOT be required to wear masks while at their desks – but may choose to do so (K-8). Students will wear masks when moving in the classroom, or in common areas.
• Teachers and staff will wear face coverings such as masks or shields.
• Social distancing will be utilized. Classrooms with larger numbers will use a combination of distancing and barriers.
• If needed, we will be able to use the Fellowship Hall (four to a table with physical barriers between students) and devices that will allow students to view and participate in real time activities with the rest of the class.
• Restroom use will be limited by location. Students will only use the restroom in their classroom if it has one. Grades 1&2 will use bathroom #1; Grades 3&4 will use bathroom #2; Grades 5&6 will use bathroom #3; and Grades 7&8 will use bathroom #4.
• Recess and lunch times will be scheduled to help minimize the number of people in common areas such as hallways.
• Water fountains will be off limits – each child will have his or her own water bottle (plastic only please! The metal ones are severely noisy when they fall – and they do fall!). Bottle filling station(s) will be in use.
• Students will be encouraged to wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds a minimum of 3 times a day. Many classrooms have wash sinks available for use.
• Visitors will be required to adhere to the same protocols as students and faculty/staff and will be limited by purpose of visit.
• Personnel and students who are ill must stay home from school – and must be sent home if they become ill at school, particularly if they have COVID-19 symptoms – cough or shortness of breath without any other explanation, or fever. See Isolation Protocols.
• Hand sanitizer (60-95% alcohol based) and sanitizing products will be available for personnel and students, especially in high traffic areas, including at each school entrance and in every classroom
• High-Touch areas will be cleaned frequently (even during the school day) paying particular attention to (handrails, door handles, counters, desks, tables, chairs, lavatories, computers, books, etc.).
• We will limit sharing of supplies and equipment and sanitize between student use.
• Field Trips will be highly managed and will not involve students being in close proximity to each other or navigating large crowds. Each trip will be considered on a individual basis.
Health Assessment Protocols/Entrance Protocols
• Each Teacher/Staff member will have his/her temperature taken each morning.
• Each Student will have his/her temperature taken each day on arrival – parents will not be allowed to leave the student if his/her temperature is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Students and Adults with a temperature of 100 or greater,will be isolated and sent home.
• Students will wash their hands upon/before entering the classroom.
• Students or Adults exhibiting symptoms: (temperature at 100 degrees F or greater, and/or symptoms contained in the Ohio Department of Health: COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools) will be given a mask and immediately placed in isolation. All students in isolation will be monitored by an adult until a guardian arrives to pick them up.There will be a cot located in the designated area for them to lie on.
• An administrator will wear proper personal protective equipment and collect all student belongings.
• The administrator will document the incident. (Location, contact areas, grade, original temperature, time, etc) All contaminated areas will be disinfected immediately.
• School Personnel who care for sick persons will utilize appropriate PPE.
Diagnosed or Exposure to COVID-19:
• Families and staff must notify school if they have been exposed to COVID-19 and are quarantined, or if a family member has been diagnosed with or presumed to have COVID-19 and/or is being isolated
• Personnel and students with known exposure to someone with diagnosed or presumed COVID-19 must self-quarantine at home for 14 days
• Personnel and students who are positive for COVID-19 should be quarantined at home for 14 days.
• School policies will be adjusted so as not to penalize students and personnel for required quarantine periods.
• The Clermont County Health Department will be notified in the event of a positive diagnosis.
Returning to School Following Quarantine – Personnel and students with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 must meet these conditions prescribed by the CDC prior to returning to school:
• At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
• At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
• Symptoms have improved
Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols
• Every classroom and restroom will be cleaned and sanitized every day.
• Electrostatic sprayers will be used to sanitize classrooms each day.
• Students use wipes to sanitize their desks and chairs periodically during the day.
• Students and Staff will wash hands several times each day including after recess and before and after eating lunch and using the restroom.
• Hand sanitizer will be provided at each entrance to the building and in each classroom.
Student Learning: Expected health practices will require new learned behaviors. St. Mark’s will implement on-going, age-appropriate learning about COVID-19 control strategies for students – including:
• The importance of handwashing
• The importance of physical distancing
• The appropriate use of facemasks
• Proper cough and sneeze etiquette
• The importance of staying home when sick or displaying symptoms
• Education and training for all employees will be provided on how to properly put on, use, take off, and dispose of PPE; appropriate handwashing; physical distancing; etc. • Training will be provided for all school personnel to know and recognize the most likely symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect employees and students from transmissions.