St Joseph Consolidated School

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Parents » 2021-22 COVID-19 Information & Resources

2021-22 COVID-19 Information & Resources

 

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

 

All students will encounter some changes (requirements) that are being put in place to ensure their safety, the safety of their families, and the safety of our staff members who work with them on a daily basis. The most important of these prevention requirements address the need to control and maintain social distancing. Our approach to prevention will also include our plans for PPE (masks and face shields), enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures, and steps being taken to reduce touch/contact points.

 
  • Controlling and Maintaining Social Distance

The key issue regarding social distancing is to come up with a plan that keeps students as far apart as possible (ideally, 6ft) during their time in our building. Accomplishing this objective involves some significant adjustments to student seating and mobility. Our plan for controlling and maintaining social distancing is as follows:

 

Arrival 

Students arriving to our school each morning will be directed to go directly to their classrooms and immediately take the seat assigned to them. In past years, they reported to the auditorium until 7:25. This will no longer be allowed. Students must be in their desks ready for school to start by 7:30 or they will be marked tardy. 

Parents will not be permitted to enter the building with their child/ren during the student drop off/arrival time period. All business with the school office in the morning that requires entering the building must be taken care of after student arrival (7:45). Parents/visitors will be directed to remain in their cars and call the school office to request entry.  As indicated in our plan for visitors/parents, this will include:  

 

Dismissal 

 
  • End-of-Day Pickup - Parents/guardians arriving to pick up students at the end of the day will be required to remain in their cars. Directional markers will be provided to move cars through the parking lot in an orderly manner. To reduce congestion, we will begin dismissing students to parents on a staggered schedule, beginning with Pre-K and kindergarten students (and siblings) at 1:45 each day. Parents of students in grades 1 through 8 will be encouraged to sign up for a pick-up time period (2:10, 2:15, 2:15) on SignUp Genius. Dismissed students will go directly to waiting cars. Socializing in the parking lot will not be permitted for parents and students.
  • Bus Riders - Students riding busses will remain in their classrooms and be called for dismissal as busses arrive. They will come to the Hanover Street exit to be checked off and supervised during boarding. Social distance guidelines will be enforced and face masks will be required. 
  • All business with the school office in the afternoon that requires entering the building must be taken care of after student dismissal (2:40). Visitor protocols will be followed. Parents/visitors will be directed to remain in their cars and call the school office to request entry.   
 

Seating/Spacing

With the goal of maintaining maximum spacing between students at all times, we will be taking the following steps:

  • Classrooms -  We have removed unessential furniture from our classrooms and spread our desks as far as possible. The distance surrounding each student (side to side and front to back) ranges from 3 to 4 feet. All students will be facing forward toward the teacher. Students will not be seated in clusters of desks, and not across from (facing) another student. 
  • Floor Seating - Primary grade students (K-3) will be permitted to sit in groups on the floors, but distancing restrictions will be maintained with dots, hoops, floor markings, etc. 
  • Lunch/Cafeteria - Student seating during lunch will be controlled using appropriate spacing and assigned seating practices. To accomplish this, we will be using both the cafeteria and the auditorium for lunch seating. 
  • Other - Spacing guidelines will be followed at all times when students are brought together or moved as a group from place to place (Mass, PE, lunch lines, restrooms).  
  •  
 
  • Reducing Touch/Contact Points
 

Snacks

In past years, teachers in the lower grades (K-3) have used classroom fees to provide shared snacks for their students. This was done to ensure that every student received a snack. This practice will not be permitted this year. Each student will be expected to bring his/her own snack to school each day. Parent cooperation with this change will be critical. A limited supply of individually wrapped snacks will be available for, what we hope will be, occasional emergency use.   


Lockers

Students (4-8) access to lockers will be scheduled and limited to control social distancing. Students will be permitted to store only their backpacks, coats, and lunches in their lockers. All books and materials will be stored in desks in classrooms. 

 

Library

Our library will be open when school starts and students will be permitted to check out books.

 

Restroom Entry/Exit

All restroom doors will be propped open and additional screen/divider panels added to permit entry and exit without the need to touch door handles. 

 

Faucets/Sinks

All restrooms have been converted to touchless fixtures for water and soap. Touchless faucets and sinks are in the hall outside the cafeteria.

 

Hand Drying

Blow dryers have been disconnected and paper towel dispensers installed in the hallways outside all restrooms. Trash can lids have been removed to eliminate another contact point.

 

Drinking Water

The school water fountains will be open for students and staff. Students will be permitted to bring their own school-approved water bottles to school each day. (Please see our website for details on school-approved water bottles.)

 
  • Health Education and Good Hygiene Practices

 

Students and staff will be trained on good hygiene practices. Signs and posters will be in place throughout the building to reinforce these practices. Ongoing parent communications will include information and reminders. Key issues that will be addressed here are handwashing, face covering (wearing masks/shields), and stay-at-home-when-ill directives. 

 

Handwashing

Multiple opportunities will be provided each day for students and staff to wash their hands with soap and water. Planned and monitored opportunities will be built in student schedules.  Upgraded facilities will make this process safer. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the building. 

 

Facemasks

Wearing a mask while indoors will be required, strongly recommended, or option for 2021-2022 school year based on guidance provided by our local health department and data provided by the CDC. The specific data used will be the "Level of Community Transmission." Transmission rate data is provided county by county in four levels: Low, Moderate, Substantial and High. St. Joseph will use these data in our decision making on masks. At this time 8/17/21 the level in Butler County is HIGH l so at this time it is Required for students and staff to wear masks.

 

Category

Transmission Rate

Mask Policy 

LOW

0-10 cases /100,000

Optional 

MODERATE

10-50 cases/100,000

Recommended

SUBSTANTIAL

50-100 cases/100,000

Strongly Recommended

HIGH

More than 100/100,000

Required

 

 

Stay At Home When Ill or Exposed

When Ill - Parents must to build into their family’s daily morning routine the taking of each child’s temperature and checking for any symptoms that may warrant keeping a child at home. Based on CDC recommendations, any child registering a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more must not be sent to school. A check list of other symptoms will be provided. Helping us by monitoring these symptoms at home may prevent unplanned trips to school to pick up sick children and will go a long way toward preventing the spread of COVID-19 and all other illnesses. An ill child may return to school when symptom free and fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.

 

When Exposed - Students or staff may become exposed to COVID-19 from coming in close contact with a family member who tests positive or through a family member who has recently traveled to a COVID-19 hot spot. In either case, the school must be notified. Members of this family may be required to be quarantined at home for 14 days, or as directed by the City of Hamilton Health Department. Parents assume a moral obligation to follow this directive faithfully and honestly for the safety of our school community.  

 
  • Building, Environmental, and Other Issues
 

Food Service

Our school cafeteria will continue to provide hot lunches each day. We will operate under the guidance and direction of the City of Hamilton Health Department. All cafeteria staff will wear masks and gloves at all times. Other changes to our food service plan to increase safety will include:

 
  • Students will come to the cafeteria and pass through the serving line spaced out by markers on the floor. 
  • Sneeze guards will be in place at all times to protect the food and the staff. 
  • There will be no self-service items available. All condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.) will be provided in single serving packets. 
  • Student seating will be spread out to maintain social distancing. This will require using our auditorium as well as the cafeteria for lunch seating. Classes and students will be assigned seating. 
 

Ventilation

We are fortunate to have air conditioning throughout our building. The settings on our air conditioning units will be adjusted to provide a constant exchange of air with outside air. Because our system is not a central air system, we are able to limit to some degree the sharing of air from room to room. 

 

Daily Cleaning and Sanitation

Thorough cleaning of all surfaces will be done on a daily basis by our maintenance staff and teachers. Special attention will be given to critical touch points, such as railings, door knobs, restroom facilities, etc. 

 

Visitors/Parents

We will make every effort to limit the number of visitors permitted to enter our building in general, as well as the number permitted to enter at any one time. At this time, 8/17/21, the level in Butler County is HIGH so at this time it is all visitors need to wear masks. Parents who need to come into the building during the school day are encouraged to call ahead and notify the office of their arrival time or schedule a time.   



RESPONSE MEASURES

 

Health Department officials have guided our planning for responding to a student who becomes ill during the school day and shows symptoms of COVID-19. The most obvious of the symptoms we will be monitoring will be a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more. When this occurs:

 
  • The student will be placed in a controlled environment away from other students and staff members. We have created a space for this purpose in our Hanover Street foyer. 
  • Designated staff member(s) with appropriate PPE will monitor the student until a parent arrives to pick him/her up. 
  • Parents arriving to pick up an ill student will be directed to the Hanover entrance.   
 

When an ill student tests positive for COVID-19, the school will report the incident to the City of Hamilton Health Department and follow their directives.  (Parents are expected to cooperate fully with the Health Department’s contact tracing efforts.) We have been advised that, with appropriate safety measures (wearing masks/shields) and social distancing practices in place, this may not require the quarantining of the entire class. 

 

All other ill students will be permitted to return to school when symptom-free and fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. COVID-19 testing will not be required unless symptoms warrant. The decision to have a child tested will be left to the child’s physician. The school must be notified if a child tests positive for COVID-19. Parents assume a moral obligation to follow this directive faithfully and honestly for the safety of our school community.  

 

 



 

Wearing a mask while indoors will be required, strongly recommended, or optional for 2021-2022 school year based on the guidance provided by our local Health Department and data provided by the Center for Disease Control. The specific data used will be the “Level of Community Transmission.” Transmission rate data is provided county by county in four (4) levels: Low, Moderate, Substantial, and High. We will use these data in our decision making on masks as follows:


MASKING POLICY 


Masks will be required, strongly recommended, or optional for all students and staff, whether vaccinated or not, based on the Level of Community Transmission Data for Butler County provided by the Center for Disease Control:


Level of Community Transmission Data for Butler County


Category

Transmission Rate

SJCS Mask Policy

LOW

0-10 cases /100,000

Optional 

MODERATE

10-50 cases/100,000

Recommended

SUBSTANTIAL

50-100 cases/100,000

Strongly Recommended

HIGH

More than 100/100,000

Required

 

***CURRENT LEVEL OF TRANSMISSION (8/17/2021) is: RED/HIGH. Therefore, masks will be required for all students and staff, vaccinated or unvaccinated. This will remain the case until the rate of transmission drops below RED. 

 

WEEKLY STATUS UPDATES

We will update our status on masks as necessary based on weekly data reporting provided by the CDC. These data updates can be tracked via the following link: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

 

HEALTH DEPARTMENT GUIDANCE

Our local Health Department has issued the following guidance for schools: “Based on current data (8/17/21) which indicates that our community transmission rate is HIGH, we recommend that students and staff returning to school in August wear a mask while indoors whether vaccinated or not.”

 

CLASS BY CLASS, SCHOOL BY SCHOOL OUTBREAKS

Each school will respond to a class by class or school-wide outbreaks with adjustments to this policy as circumstances require. 

 

 

Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

This letter is to notify you of the school guidelines and expectations for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the following guidelines will be followed and strictly enforced.   

 

  •  A STUDENT IS SENT HOME WHEN :
    • Students experiencing any of the following symptoms will be sent home immediately 
    • (Students must be picked up within 30 minutes of notification). 

and

    • The Health Department recommends you contact your physician office to see if  COVID-19 Testing is needed if your child has :

 

      • Fever of 100.0 or higher
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

 

OR   2 or more of the following symptoms

 
        •  Sore throat
        • Headache
        • Chills
        • Rigors (shivering)
        • Myalgia (body aches)
        • New loss of taste and/or smell
        • Nausea and vomiting or diarrhea
        • Stomach ache

  • RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER BEING SENT HOME:          
    • The classroom teacher and transportation will be notified that your student can’t return to school the following day per current recommendation from the Hamilton City Health Department.
    • Students MUST be symptom free for at least 24 hours.
    • Students MUST be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
    • Parents  MUST call the school office to inform us that their child is returning to school. 

 

  • WHEN TO KEEP YOUR STUDENT HOME:
    • Students should stay at home when they have a fever of 100° F or higher or any of the symptoms related to COVID-19. Students should also stay home if any member of their household is registering a fever of 100° F or higher or any of the symptoms related to COVID-19. 
    • Any student that has the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school and should call or see their physician to be assessed for COVID-19:
      • Any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing

    OR

      • Two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

    OR

      • Any of the above symptoms and exposure to a known case of COVID-19

 

  • RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER POSITIVE COVID 19 DIAGNOSIS:
    • If a student is diagnosed as having COVID-19 or suspected to be a moderate or high risk exposure to COVID-19, they must meet the following criteria to return to school:
      • 72 hours with no fever (without using fever reducing medication) AND
      •  Other symptoms improved AND
      • 10 days since symptoms first appeared
      • A release from the Health Department will need to be provided. 


Test Centers -  coronavirus.ohio.gov    or    coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/testing-ch-center

Visitor Protocol

We will make every effort to limit the number of visitors permitted to enter our building in general, as well as the number permitted to enter at any one time. At this time 8/17/21 the level in Butler County is substantial so at this time it is Mandatory for all visitors to wear masks. Parents who need to come into the building during the school day are encouraged to call ahead and notify the office of their arrival time or schedule a time.   

As of August 5, 2021 all students using buses as transportation are required by Federal Law to wear a mask while on the bus.

The tables below have been updated with current information regarding our ongoing battle with COVID-19. 

SJCS Weekly Covid Status Report Update 9/17/2021

Status Reporting - 

 

Student Data

Total Tested Positive

# Currently Positive & in Isolation

Students Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

14

5

 

Total Placed in Quarantine Due to Exposure

# Currently in Quarantine

Students in Quarantine Due to Exposure

17

4

     

Staff Data

Total Tested Positive

Currently in Isolation

Staff Who Have Testing Positive for COVID-19 

3

0

     
 

Total Placed in Quarantine Due to Exposure

# Currently in Quarantine

Staff Currently in Quarantine Due to Exposure

1

1