Hope Lutheran School

COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan

revised 1/14/2021

Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will be making reasonable decisions to ensure the safety of all of those under our care. This is a dynamic document, simply meaning that changes may occur throughout the year based on recommendations offered by the CDC and the Kansas County Health Department. Please know that we trust wholly in our Father God, but must also use the knowledge we have to help protect the lives He has entrusted to us.

Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support and we wade into these unknown waters.

Blessings and health to all.

Operating Assumptions

The coronavirus remains with us and Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will likely not return to normalcy until there is a vaccine or a cure. A return to school will look different. Hope Lutheran families, students and staff will need to be flexible and nimble, understanding that the priority of protecting the health of our students may require changes in procedures, sometimes with minimal notice.

The Reopening Plan laid out in this booklet is based on Moderate or Mild Community Spread allowing Hope Lutheran to function using a Modified Traditional structured response. Our plan is to have 5 days face-to-face instruction starting on August 20, 2020 (see updated calendar).

Guiding Principals

School will look different than it did before March 13, 2020. To best protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will abide by recommendations from the Department of Health and other knowledgeable governmental agencies. Whatever the circumstances, we remain committed to providing a loving Christian environment which supports the Whole Child.

While it is our goal to prepare as best as we possibly can, all plans are subject to change based on government, CDC, Health Department and KSDE recommendations. Please note situations may arise where adjustments must be made quickly as such communication is key and families are asked to regularly monitor our communication: RenWeb, email, social media, and text messages.

* School Closures and Implementing Distance Learning

If we are not able to open facilities as planned at the start of the school year we will hold small group meetings by grade/class via video conferencing for parents and students before school starts. Following the plan laid out in the Distance Learning Handbook, we will then continue with Distance Learning until we are able to open our facilities.

If school is closed for extended time, we will transition to distance learning. These closures can be the result of illness, weather, etc. Our goal with Distance Learning is to maximize instructional opportunities.

Our School is addressing these specific items:

  • Implementing social distancing strategies
  • Implementing screening procedures upon arrival
  • Intensifying cleaning and disinfecting efforts

Social Distancing Strategies

  • Only Hope Lutheran students, faculty and staff will be allowed in the building. Parents and school volunteers will not be admitted into the building.
  • Schedules will be staggered to minimize the overlap of grades in common areas such as the gym, playground, or cafeteria.
  • Chapel services and assemblies will be modified to include smaller groups or be broadcast into
    classrooms.
  • Each group of children are in a separate room as much as possible.
  • Desks and seating will be spaced out as much as possible.
  • When necessary teachers will move and students stay in the same rooms.

Drop Off Screening

Screening before school entry:

  1. According to CDC guidance, for K-12 schools, schools are not expected to screen children, students, or staff to identify cases of COVID-19.  If a community has issues with COVID-19, local health officials will help identify those individuals and follow up on the next steps.
    • CDC does not currently rocommend universal symptom scrennings (screening all studentss K-12) to be conducted by schools.
    • Parents or caregivers should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for infectious illness signs every day.
    • Students who are sick should not attend school in-person.
  2. Tempature screening in young children is not a reliable screen is fever is present is ~50% of infected children.
  3. While the CDC does not recommend routine general screening for all students and staff, it is essential that students and staff who have symptoms of illness at school be recognized, removed from the classroom and sent home as soon as possible.

    Drop-Off Procedures

    • Staff will be outside the building for drop-off as greeters and to help children out of the car.
    • Parents must drop off students in the circle drive. Then students will proceed to their assigned entrance.
    • Before school care services are available in the homeroom classroom from 7:30 am – 8:00 am. Charges will be assessed.
    • K – 8th-grade students will go to their assigned door starting at 8:00 am. Preschool students will go to the preschool entrance starting at 8:15 am. Our staff at the main entrance will meet homeschool students on Tuesday and Thursday before coming into the building.  If circumstances are such that you cannot, please come to the primary office door, and your child will be let in.
    • Designated entrance per grade are:
      • Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th, 5th – Main School Entrance
      • 6th, 1st, 2nd – FLC Entrance
      • 7th, 8th – FLC Gym Entrance (usually known as the middle school recess exit)
      • Homeschool – Main School Entrance
    • All students will wash their hands upon entering the building.

    End of Day Pickup

    A new app will be used for end of day pickup. Procedures for end of day pickup will be forthcoming. Please follow these guidelines until further notice.

    • Stay in your car.
    • Students will be notified that you have arrived and will be directed to your car.
    • Follow the dismissal traffic pattern.
    • To reduce the volume of students together we will have a staggered release time.
    • Dismissal Times for all Monday – Friday:
      • Kindergarten – 3:20 pm
      • 1st & 2nd Grade – 3:30 pm
      • Pre-K – 3:35 pm (preschool entrance)
      • 3rd & 4th Grade – 3:40 pm
      • 5th Grade – 3:50 pm
      • 6th – 8th Grade – 4:00 pm
    • Early Dismissal Times
      • Kindergarten – 11:20 am
      • 1st & 2nd Grade – 11:30 am
      • Pre-K – 11:30 am (preschool entrance)
      • 3rd & 4th Grade – 11:40 am
      • 5th Grade – 11:50 am
      • 6th – 8th Grade – 12:00 pm

    Students, faculty or Staff who Become Sick at School

    • If a student becomes ill while at school:
      • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will provide an isolated space for the ill student to rest while waiting for the arrival of a parent/guardian.
      • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will contact the student’s parent/guardian to pick up the
        student as soon as possible.
      • Staff person, wearing PPE, should stay with the student while awaiting parent/guardian’s arrival.
      • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use before cleaning and disinfection.
      • Notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of a possible case while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • Sick children, staff, and faculty will not return to school until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation.
    • Those with fever cannot return to school for 72 hours or proof of wellness.

    Handwashing and Hygiene

    Staff will wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and will assist
    children in doing the same. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can
    be used if soap and water are not readily available. Children will be supervised if they
    use hand sanitizer to prevent ingestion. Posters describing hand washing steps are near
    all sinks.

    All children and staff will engage in hand hygiene at the following times:

    • Arrival and after breaks
    • Before and after preparing food or drinks
    • Before and after eating or handling food, or feeding children
    • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
    • After using the toilet
    • After coming in contact with bodily fluid
    • After playing outdoors
    • After handling garbage

    Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will:

    • Teach and reinforce washing hands and respiratory etiquette among students and staff.
    • Practice frequent handwashing and advise students and staff to avoid touching their face.
    • Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
    • Install alcohol based hand sanitizing stations at entrances, common areas in the school, and classrooms.

    Face Masks and Cloth Face Covers

    • Pursuant to Executive Order 20-59 Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will comply with the mask mandate when 6 feet distance is not possible. For example, entering and leaving the building, transitions, hall passing, etc.
    • The use of face coverings will be dependent on a variety of factors. We understand that face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school.
    • Students’ desks will be at least 6 feet apart in the classroom therefore face coverings will be optional.  Contact the principal if you want your child to wear a face covering all day.
    • Individuals will be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands
      frequently.
    • Hope Lutheran will provide information to staff, students, and students’ families on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
    • Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
      • Kindergarten and preschool students
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
      • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
    • Mask covering will not be required during recess and PE.
    • Student mask covering must be consistent with our dress code and Christian values.

    Cleaning and Disinfecting

    • Cleaning is physically removing dirt, debris, and sticky film by washing, wiping, and rinsing.
    • Disinfecting kills nearly all germs on a hard, non-porous surface when applied correctly. Prior to disinfecting, cleaning must be completed. Note: Disinfecting is different from sanitizing.
    • Sanitizing is the reduction of bacteria and viruses to safe levels as set by public health standards. It is required for any surface that comes in contact with food.
    • The following will be disinfected at least daily:
      • Playground equipment
      • Door and cabinet handles
      • Sink handles
      • Shared objects (e.g., toys, games, art supplies) should be cleaned in between uses.
    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool is taking steps to ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods. We will not open windows and doors if they pose a safety or health risk (e.g., allowing pollen in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) to children using the facility.
    • Cleaning and Disinfecting Materials, Toys, and Manipulatives
      • Toys and objects that cannot be cleaned and sanitized will not be used.
      • Cloth toys may be used if they are able to be run through the washer with disinfectant cleaner on a regular basis or able to be sprayed with disinfectant fabric spray.
      • Toys and objects that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by bodily fluids will be set aside until they are cleaned by hand with water and detergent, rinsed, sanitized with disinfectant, rinsed again, and air-dried.
      • Staff will not share toys and manipulatives with other classrooms, unless they are washed and sanitized before being moved to another classroom.
      • Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfecting procedures.

    Drinking Fountains

    Drinking fountains should not be used at this time. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles labeled with their name from home, or the school will provide cups that are disposable and labeled with student’s names.

    Clothing

    • Faculty and staff will engage in proper hand hygiene if they come into contact with bodily fluids.
    • Students will change their clothes if they have come into contact with bodily fluids.
    • Any contaminated clothes will be placed in a plastic bag for laundering at home.

    Limit Sharing

    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will keep each student’s belongings separated and in individually labeled storage containers, cubbies, or areas, or have them take their belongings home each day to be cleaned.
    • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (art supplies, equipment etc. assigned to a single student) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect between use. Shared supplies will be sanitized between each student’s use.
    • If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each student. No homemade treats.
    • Avoid sharing of foods and utensils.
    • Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids.
    • Discourage families from bringing materials/toys from home.

    Food Service

    • All food service workers should wear a face mask or cloth face covering, and they will be SafeServ certified.
    • Frequently wash and sanitize all food contact surfaces and utensils.
    • Workers must practice frequent hand washing and glove changes before and after preparing food.
    • Serve food using gloves.
    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will stagger meal times to provide adequate physical distancing.  Students, faculty, and staff will eat meals in the classroom or outside depending on community spread
      levels.
    • Encourage faculty and staff to sit with and talk to children, serving as role models and offering support and normalcy.
    • All kitchen/cafeteria/dining areas will be cleaned and disinfected after use and prior to a new group of students entering for meals.

    Gym and Playground

    • Physical education will be taught outside as much as possible depending on weather conditions.
    • Face masks should not be worn while engaged in physical activity.
    • Physically distancing will be encouraged with non-contact sports and activities.
    • According to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and other credible health resources, COVID-19 is not spread through sweat. However, surfaces touched by multiple people and that are dirty will be cleaned prior to being disinfected.
    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool faculty and staff members will be responsible for ensuring regular cleaning and disinfection.
    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will minimize sharing of equipment as much as possible and disinfect shared equipment between use.

    Restrooms

    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will increase cleaning frequency for restrooms.
    • Hope Lutheran School & Preschool will place a trash can by the door if the door cannot be opened without touching the handle, so restroom users can cover the handle with a paper towel and easily dispose of it afterward.
    • There will be signs instructing students, faculty, and staff on how to wash hands after using the restroom.

    Athletics and Extra-Curriculars

    Our Lutheran league will be waiting on recommendation from the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) to determine sports and extracurricular activities.

    Outside Groups

    Not allowing outside groups to use school facilities because it can increase the risk to students, faculty and staff.

    Distance Learning

    Hope Lutheran School will support remote learning for students during this coming year in parallel to in school instruction. There are two scenarios where this could take place.

    • Distance learning to support students will need to miss extended periods of school due to contracting COVID-19 or needing to self-quarantine due to exposure or homesickness for more than 3 days.
    • There is a COVID -19 outbreak in the school and we need to quarantine at home until the building is fully cleaned and disinfected.
    NEW COVID-19 Quarantine: The CDC recommends a 14-day quarantine as the gold standard for COVID-19 infection prevention/control. Although the risk of transmission after the 10-day quarantine period is low, the risk is not zero. The modifications to a 14-day quarantine period are optional. For more information, please refer to the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html

    Hope Lutheran School will continue to use the 14-day quarantine as it is the gold standard for infection prevention.

    Symptomatic Individuals in a School Setting 

    Individuals can spread COVID-19 even before they develop symptoms, and individuals who are infectious (spreading the virus) may not have any symptoms. The symptoms of COVID-19 are wide-ranging, from a loss of taste and smell to severe respiratory issues.

    FACULTY AND STAFF

    Staff who have at least one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms are assumed to have COVID-19 and should be excluded from school and school-related activities and isolate at home. Fever is a primary symptom in adults. Staff with symptoms should consult with a health care provider to be tested for COVID-19 and/or obtain an alternative diagnosis. Many primary care providers offer COVID-19 testing, as does JCDHE (schedule an appointment online at jocogov.org/coronavirus). Staff members who exhibit one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms and are either not tested or test positive for COVID-19 should remain out of school and all school-related activities for 14 days after their symptoms began AND 24 hours after their fever (if present) has resolved without the aid of medication AND their initial symptoms have improved. Staff who test negative for COVID-19 can return to work 24 hours after their symptoms improve. If a physician indicates the symptoms are due to a non-infectious diagnosis (e.g., allergies, asthma), they can return to work prior to symptom resolution. If an employee only has one secondary symptom, the individual should be excluded until 24 hours after their symptom improves. 

    Primary Symptoms (at least one):

    • Fever (>= 100°F)
    • New cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Loss of taste/smell

    Secondary Symptons (at least two):

    • Extreme fatigue
    • Chills
    • Congestion/runny nose
    • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Muscle or body aches

    STUDENTS 

    Students with at least one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms are assumed to have COVID-19 and should be excluded from school and school-related activities and isolate at home. Fever is considered a secondary symptom in elementary school children, but a primary symptom in middle and high school students. Children who exhibit one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms and are not tested or test positive for COVID-19 should remain out of school and all school-related activities for 14 days after their symptoms began AND 24 hours after their fever (if present) has resolved without the aid of medication AND their initial symptoms have improved. 

    Primary Symptoms (at least one):

    • Fever (>= 100°F)
    • New cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Loss of taste/smell

    Secondary Symptons (at least two):

    • Extreme fatigue
    • Chills
    • Congestion/runny nose
    • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Muscle or body aches

    Considerations in Determining Exclusions 

    Individuals who were unmasked within 6 feet for 10 cumulative minutes or more in a single instance or participated in a high-risk activity with the COVID-19 positive individual during their infectious period, must be excluded for a minimum of 7 days (with negative test AND no symptoms) from their last interaction with the individual. Individuals who do not get a negative PCR test should be excluded for 14 days from last exposure, provided they remain symptom-free. All close contacts should self-monitor for 14 days from exposure. If symptoms develop during the 14-day period, a person should self-isolate/be excluded from school and school activities and get a PCR test.

    Exposures outside of the school setting 

    NEW If a student or staff member is a close contact of a positive individual, no matter the setting in which they were exposed, they should be excluded per current public health recommendations. All close contacts should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from exposure. If symptoms develop during the 14-day period, a person should self-isolate/be excluded from school and school activities and get a PCR test. 

    NEW Household Contact If a household member (sibling, parent, etc.) tests positive for COVID-19, then all other household members must be quarantined per current public health recommendations following their last interaction with the positive case. If the positive individual can isolate in a separate bedroom, with a separate bathroom, spending little to no time in common areas and always wearing a mask in the presence of other household members, then the quarantine begins on the day the positive individual began isolating away from the household. If this is not possible, then household members will need to quarantine per current public health recommendations following the end of the infected person’s isolation. This may mean that family members are quarantined for longer periods. If additional household members become symptomatic/test positive during the isolation or quarantine period, the quarantine period starts over.

    Presumed Positive 

    NEW In the absence of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 after the onset of symptoms, individuals with a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual who becomes symptomatic within 14 days of last exposure are presumed positive. They should already be in quarantine. Becoming symptomatic/presumed positive should trigger a move from quarantine to isolation. Contact tracing activities should begin at school/JCDHE. The individual should be encouraged to get confirmatory testing.

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