Reopening schools safely for our teachers, scholars, and families for the new school year is our top priority. We have a strong commitment to our families and community to continue to improve the lives of children through quality education in a safe and nurturing environment.
Our school reopening plans have been developed using state and national health guidance. The goal of our plan is to provide clear policies and protocols to reopen safely. As with every COVID response plan right now, this information is fluid and will change as necessary based on guidance from the state, Center for Disease Control (CDC), and considerations to our families and our staff.
Please see our family Q&A below:
1. What are you doing in my school building to prevent the spread of germs?
The school will take the temperature of scholars, employees, and vendors before the may enter school property every day. If a child is sneezing or coughing, he or she may be excluded to minimize the spread of bodily fluids, even if the person is not exhibiting signs of COVID-19. If a scholar is obviously ill, the school may make additional inquiries. To ensure everyone's safety, parents may be called to pick-up the scholar. If a scholar or staff member is exposed to COVID-19 as confirmed through testing, we will notify any families or staff that may be impacted. Scholars or staff may be asked to quarantine.
Siblings or Other Students in the Household
If a scholar is excluded from school due to COVID-19 symptoms or has had a positive COVID-19 test, his or her siblings or other scholars living in the same household will be questioned and if they exhibit symptoms, they will also be excluded from school. If they do not exhibit symptoms, they may still be excluded from school and asked to self-quarantine.
2. Will teachers wear masks?
Yes, all staff will wear face masks and/or shields matching CDC requirements for the highest level of protection and prevention at all times while on campus. Staff members must also pass a temperature screening before entering the building.
3. Will scholars and parents wear masks?
Yes, scholars and parents will also be required to wear face masks and pass a temperature check before entering the building. This includes during the school day and during any on-campus family events.
4. What do I do if I think my scholar is sick?
The school recommends that parents take their scholar's temperature prior to coming to school and verify that the scholar has not exhibited any COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, scholars will have their temperature checked before attending class.
Scholars and employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without other obvious explanations are prohibited from coming to school, and if they do come to school, they will be sent home immediately. Scholars and families should be familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 based on CDC Guidance:
Know the Symptoms
5. What do staff do if they feel sick?
If an employee calls in sick or appears ill, the school will inquire as to whether the employee is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without other obvious explanations are prohibited from coming to school, and if they do come to school, they will be sent home immediately.
6. What safety protocols will be in place to help protect my scholar?
We will ensure a clean school, including the regular cleaning of objects and areas that are frequently used, such as bathrooms, conference rooms, playground equipment, door handles, and railings. Classrooms will be disinfected regularly throughout the school day.
Water fountains will be closed and scholars will be allowed to bring labeled water bottles. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed in areas where soap and water are not readily available, and we will be modifying common areas in our building to increase the ability for physical distancing. Masks will be worn by all staff, scholars, and parents. No visitors will be allowed in the school building. Sporting events will operate at 50% capacity for spectators.
7. What kind of training are teachers getting on possible positive cases?
Employees are required by the school to participate in various health and safety trainings in an effort to mitigate the risk of spreading an infectious disease. Training will be issued throughout the year given the fluid nature of the pandemic.
8. What support is available if I have questions about returning to campus?
Parents with questions or concerns about our reopening plans are encouraged to reach out to the school. You can reach us by phone at 219.944.3100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. PLA also has a help center available to parents in need of technical support. Parents can contact our help team at 888.655.0777 or they can email email@example.com@phalenacademies.org.