St. John Lutheran School in Defiance has announced its reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year.

The following is the plan:

“The plan has been created to guide the safe continuation of St. John Lutheran School’s mission to its students and families while under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic conditions. The conditions of this current pandemic continue to evolve, and this plan is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Education and as well as the Defiance County Health Department.

Modifications and changes that affect these guidelines will be communicated as the guidance evolves. Implementation of this guidance is based on what is feasible, practical, and tailored to meet the needs of our school, as conditions warrant.”

Symptom screening

• Students, faculty and staff are expected to check their temperature before entering the building.

• Upon entering the building someone will check your temperature and may ask you various questions related to COVID-19 symptoms of illness.

• The symptoms of concern: Fever of 100 and higher and/or a new onset of multiple symptoms (two or more of the following): chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

• A student or worker who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing a new onset of multiple symptoms of concern SHOULD NOT attend school.

• Anyone who calls into school to report an absence due to illness may be asked additional questions to inquire about COVID-19 symptoms.

• St. John will have a separate room that is designated for quarantine should a student become ill while in school and needs to wait for transportation. This room will be disinfected after each use.

• Persons exposed directly to someone who has tested positive should quarantine, seek out a COVID test, and be fever/symptom free for a minimum of 72 hours before returning to school. If the test is positive, the student will need to wait at least 10 days or be fever/symptom free for a minimum of 72 hours before returning to school (whichever comes last).

Cleaning and disinfecting

• Hands are to be cleaned/sanitized each time a person enters or leaves an occupied space. Options include hand sanitizer or washing hands with soap and water.

• Hands are to be cleaned before and after the consumption of food. Options include hand sanitizer or washing of hands with soap and water.

• There will be access to cleaning supplies in each classroom to ensure frequent cleaning (desks, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, etc). Desks and chairs will be sanitized at the end of the day, as well as after any class switches to a new classroom.

• Bathroom breaks will be extended for adequate hand washing with warm water and soap.

• High touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

• Each student will bring a personal bottle of hand sanitizer for his/her personal use. Each bottle must be at least eight ounces in size and contain at least 60% alcohol. We ask that you refrain from the scented hand sanitizer.

• Students will use hand sanitizer before entering the playground and will wash hands immediately after using the playground. Classroom balls will be collected and sprayed with sanitizer at the end of each recess

Cloth face coverings and masks or face shields

• All students and staff are required to have a mask, face covering, or face shield with their name on it.

• Students are to provide a minimum of three masks ... one for daily wear, one as a back-up in case the first is lost or dirty to be kept in student backpack, and one given to teacher with student name on it in a Ziplock baggie.

• Government guidelines will determine how often students and staff will need to wear them.

• As of this publication K–8 grade students will need to wear their masks the entire school day, minus recess, lunch, PE, and other times determined by the teachers when social distancing is possible.

• Face Coverings will be required as students pass in the hallways.

• Masks will not be worn when eating or drinking.

• Masks will be required when entering or leaving the building.

Social distancing

• We will practice social distancing when possible.

• Student seating may be arranged to all face in the same direction and will be spaced as far apart as possible.

• Passing in the hall will be as staggered as possible.

• We must restrict all school visitors to promote health, safety, and social distancing. Parents will be asked to wait in the main lobby when picking up their child for an appointment.

Student health and safety

• Lunch will continue to take place in cafeteria. We will continue the hot lunch program and are working on the best way to distribute lunch to minimize standing in line.

• All students are required to have a water bottle with their name marked on it.

• Each student will have their own designated school supplies. Items shared between students will be limited.

COVID positive or suspect symptomatic

• Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or experiencing an onset of multiple symptoms during the school year must report that to the school.

• We plan to keep the school open and operating as much as possible. If someone experiences symptoms or has been tested and is positive for COVID-19, that student and potentially those in recent contact may be required, by the Defiance County Health Department, to stay home for several days for the purpose of health assessment and contact tracing.

• Students may return to school if at least 72 hours have passed since recovery (without the use of fever reducing medications) AND 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

• If you can answer YES to all three questions, your student may return to school:

1. Has it been at least 10 days since the individual first had symptoms?

2. Has it been at least three days since the individual had a fever?

3. Has it been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath?

COVID positive-asymptomatic

• Persons who have not had symptoms but test positive for COVID-19 may return when they have ten calendar days from when they got tested or when cleared with a doctor’s note.

No COVID test symptomatic

• Students may return to school if at least 72 hours have passed since recovery (without the use of fever reducing medications) AND 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

• If you can answer YES to all three questions, your student may return to school:

1. Has it been at least 10 days since the individual first had symptoms?

2. Has it been at least three days since the individual had a fever?

3. Has it been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath?

Procedures

• Transportation on the bus will follow the local school district guidelines.

• During lunch, students will sit two students per table.

• Until conditions improve field trips will not take place.

• We will work toward staggering arrival and dismissal as much as possible.

• Only essential volunteers (as approved by principal) who assist in the classroom will be allowed in the building.

Homebound learning

• Will be limited when the public health department or the State of Ohio mandates a complete closure or when a class is required to quarantine.

WHAT IF MY CHILD LEAVES SCHOOL WITH A FEVER AND DOES NOT HAVE COVID-19?

• If your child leaves school with a fever, is diagnosed with something other than COVID-19, your child can return to school after being fever free for 24 hours if documented with a doctor’s note. Examples would be strep throat, Flu A, Flu B, allergies, etc.

WHAT IF MY CHILD MISSES SCHOOL DUE TO COVID-19?

• If your child has to miss school due to COVID-19, a modified plan will be worked out between the teachers and the parents on a case by case basis.

WILL THESE PROCEDURES BE IN PLACE ALL YEAR?

• We don’t know what the rest of the school year may bring. If cases surge and the governor orders schools to close again, we will once again offer e-Learing/home-bound Learning. If the situation improves, we may be able to abandon some elements of this re-entry plan and return to normal operation procedures.

• In case of e-learning/home-bound kearning, we will be utilizing Google Classroom, Zoom and other online resources. Additional information regarding this will come later.

WHAT CAN A PARENT DO TO HELP THEIR CHILD TRANSITION BACK TO SCHOOL?

• Encourage your child to ask questions and answer them to the best of your ability.

• Have your child practice wearing a mask for short periods of time.

• Follow recommended guidelines regarding masks and social distancing this summer.

• Help your child get back to a normal bedtime/wake-up schedule at least a week before school begins.

• Stay positive and excited about the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

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