BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN

Our Father's Ev. Lutheran School

Per Executive Order 82 issued by Gov. Evers, to take effect Aug. 1 at 12:01 am, face masks are to be worn indoors in public spaces by individuals 5 years of age and older. Please note, the plan below was developed before this order was issued on July 30, and thus contain language that does not mandate masks. The order issued does supersede such language and those statements are marked with an asterisk. Further information on the use of face masks in school will be forthcoming as clarifying details are provided to schools regarding exemptions, breaks, etc., specific to the school setting. If the issued order were to be changed, restricted, or over-ruled, the procedures outlined below will be followed as written.

OUR MISSION

The mission of Our Father’s Lutheran School is to assist parents in their God-given responsibility to educate their children and train them in the one true faith in Jesus Christ.

Our mission is critical to understand in light of our present circumstances. We seek to work with you at all times. There will undoubtedly be disagreement regarding the plan outlined below. We ask that concerns be brought in a Christian manner, keeping in mind that the conclusions we have come to at this time, while possibly different than yours, were made with great thought and care.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  1. Support Health and Safety of School Community

  2. Maximize In-person Instruction

  3. Ensure that all instruction continues to meet/exceed grade level expectation

  4. Provide time and support needed for staff to be prepared for successfully reopening

  5. Provide consistent, clear, and timely communication to our community

REVIEWING OUR FATHER’S INITIAL CLOSURE AND RESPONSE

In-person instruction was suspended the week of our Spring Break. The following is a partial list of our actions during the time face-to-face instruction was halted (hereinafter referred to as “closure”):

  • Virtual instruction included daily homework assignments, teacher-created videos, links to additional resources, and a check-in mechanism for attendance. 

  • Content was offered in both a virtual and physical format 

  • Chapel videos were streamed daily and daily devotions were posted to each assignment page

INTRODUCTION 

The Back to School plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was developed in consideration of information from and, in some instances, in consultation with:  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI); the Greenfield Public Health Department; and various other public resources. Some of the resources consulted are shown at the end of this plan.

The goal of this plan is to inform our community of the steps Our Father’s is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously providing high-quality, Christ-centered education for each student.

Because information about the virus changes rapidly, and because we cannot plan for all scenarios, this plan is subject to regular review and change as new data becomes available. Our Father's leadership will continue to monitor federal, state, and local guidance. 

 

The following points should be considered ahead of reviewing this plan:

  1. Parents and families must make the best decisions for the safety and well-being of their children; this includes participation in private education. 

  2. Wellness of the whole child includes physical health, but also social-emotional and spiritual health as well. Relationship building, student voice, teacher engagement, and our core mission would be harmed by excessive restrictions put on student movement and face-to-face interaction.

  3. Policies should be practical, feasible, and appropriate for child and adolescent developmental stages, and must be flexible and nimble in responding to new information, and administrators must be willing to refine approaches when specific policies are not working.

  4. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) Education Forward document provides numerous items for districts and schools to consider when planning and implementing a “safe, efficient, and equitable return to school”. The document does not comprise a mandate or list of requirements schools must follow.   

  5. No school can fully prevent the spread of communicable disease, including COVID-19. Measures used in various schools can be highly dependent on staff size and available resources.

  6. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are responsible for their own reopening plans and will likely be different than others in surrounding communities. Our plan is unique to Our Father’s, but made with LEA and state recommendations in mind.

  7. Our Father’s will commit considerable time at the beginning of the year to the education of proper hygienic practices along with intentional time spent on social/emotional wellness as we welcome students back as a community for the first time in months.

  8. The use of masks is recommended by many health officials and organizations when physical distancing cannot be maintained despite early conflicting guidance and evidence of efficacy and associated risks.*(superseded by Order 82)

  9. The virus disproportionately impacts seniors; children are not considered high risk.

  10. Risk of transmission via surfaces is not the ‘main way’ the virus is transferred; associated risk remains low.

  11. Our Father's leadership has actively monitored and analyzed available data and research towards the production of this document; it is subject to change.

FALL 2020 SCHOOL-DAY OPERATIONS

Our Father’s cannot fully prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases; however, resuming face-to-face instruction will include some considerations towards mitigating transmission. The following areas include new and/or adjusted procedures to be implemented at the start of the 20-21 School year:

  1. Pick-Up and Drop-Off Procedures:

    • Our Father’s will not screen each student upon entry (this includes family members who are dropping off students). Families should monitor signs of illness and check their child’s wellness against existing CDC identified symptoms, with extra attention paid to gastrointestinal symptoms in children. Families are responsible for ensuring their child comes to school healthy and ready to learn.

    • Parents will be permitted to walk their children into school in the morning, though we do ask that parents refrain from entering the classroom. We do request that parents wear a face covering if they choose to enter the building with their child in the morning, similar to the requirement of guests we have during the school day.

    • Our pick-up will proceed as in past years. However, students will not wait outside. They will be released from the classroom as families arrive. We will have numbered cones for vehicles to pull forward to so children can be directed straight to their vehicle. Parents should not wait in the school building for pick-up.

  2. Classroom Instruction: 

    • Class sizes remain small and will allow for appropriately distanced seating arrangements; Plexiglass barriers will be used on tables when desks are not available;

    • Classroom desks will face the same direction (not towards each other in groups); group work and discussion will continue, but within a modified arrangement; 

    • Desks will be set back from the Clevertouch Boards allowing for appropriate spacing between the teacher and students;

    • With general distancing measures in place (see above) masks for teachers and teacher’s aids are recommended but not required during general instruction*(superseded by Order 82)

    • Physical education (PE) classes will be encouraged to go outside whenever possible and limit interaction between students where possible;

    • Music will be held in the music room. Scheduling has been adjusted to allow for cleaning between all classes. 

    • Art will be held in the classroom for 5K. Scheduling has been adjusted to allow for cleaning between 1st-8th grade classes. 

    • Technology will be held in the classrooms for 3rd-8th grade. 5K,1st, and 2nd grade classes will be staggered to allow for alternation of devices and appropriate cleaning.

    • During general instruction (see above), masks for all students are recommended but not required*(superseded by Order 82)

    • With our staff size, it is not feasible to run both in-person and virtual instruction simultaneously. 

  3. Chapel:

    • Chapel remains an essential aspect of promoting and maintaining the social-emotional and spiritual health of students.

    • Chapel will be held in the church when weather permits. Students will sit in cohorts by classroom with a pew of space between group as has been done during church services. (may change due to Order 82) 

  4. Recess:
    • Our Father's will not prevent the gathering-of and interaction-between students as part of their play during planned recess.

    • Instead, students will receive instruction and guidance on limiting touching and physical interaction while at play both at the beginning and during the school year.

    • A hand-sanitizing station will be placed just inside the entrance for students to utilize upon returning from recess. Students will be encouraged to make use of this station or to wash their hands before and after recess.

  5. Lunch: 

    • 5K-2nd Grade students will eat lunch in the lunchroom with appropriate distancing.

    • 3-6th Grade students will eat lunch in the lunchroom with appropriate distancing.

    • 7-8th Grade students will eat lunch in their classroom. Milk will be delivered to the classroom.

  6. Water Fountains:

    • Water fountains in the lower grade hallway will not be used.

    • Students need to provide their own water bottle and may use the bottle refill station or classroom sink.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

This section describes the efforts that will be made by school personnel and the policies to be enacted with students to mitigate the likelihood of disease transmission. These measures may be adjusted at any time in the future based on feedback or guidance from the Greenfield Public Health Department or other resources.

  1. Staff Self-Check

    • All staff and volunteer personnel must conduct a self-check each day, along with a temperature of less than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, this simple questionnaire should be answered:

      • Shortness of breath?

      • New or worsening cough?

      • Have you or anyone in your family been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19?

  2. Staff With Symptoms

    • It is fully possible that staff can be sick with common cold or flu-like symptoms and NOT have contracted COVID-19.

      • As such, it is critical that determination for work is made between each employee and their health care provider, not between Our Father's and the employee. As a general rule, staff must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to work.

  3. Staff Testing Positive for COVID-19

    • Should a staff member contract COVID-19, Our Father's will coordinate with the procedures of the Greenfield Public Health Department, which will likely follow CDC guidelines for returning to work.

  4. Students Exhibiting Symptoms At School

    • It is fully possible that students can be sick with common cold or flu-like symptoms and NOT have contracted COVID-19. Parents are expected to exercise extreme caution when sending their child to school with any symptoms. The amount of in-person instruction missed individually for being overly cautious will be far less than the amount missed for all should positive cases arise in the school.

    • Honest communication with the school about the symptoms a child exhibits at home is expected.

    • Verbal communication of a doctor supporting entry into the school will not be considered.

    • Per normal procedures, students with ailments are sent to the office to receive initial care.

      • Upon receiving students exhibiting ailments:

        • Office or administrative personnel will don PPE and attend to the student;

        • If the student’s symptoms are temporary or fleeting, and the student does not exhibit mild to severe symptoms or a temperature above 99.5, the student may be permitted to return to class; 

        • If the student’s symptoms are not temporary, office or administrative personnel will contact the student’s family to be sent home. Students may be sent home without having a fever if other symptoms are not temporary.

        • Students are not required to receive COVID-19 testing to return to school; COVID-19 testing should be determined by the student’s family and their health care provider.

    • For students who must be absent from school, individual arrangements will be made with families in order to ensure that the necessary learning and work completion take place during the absence. 

  5. Students Returning to School

    • It is fully possible that students can be sick with common cold or flu-like symptoms and NOT have contracted COVID-19. As such, it is critical that the determination of cause of symptoms, and possible testing, be made by the child's health care provider.

      • Per the Parent Handbook, students must be fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medicine before returning to school;

  6. Student(s) test positive for COVID-19

    • Our Father’s will work with the Greenfield Public Health Department through their written procedures.

    • Families in classrooms with a confirmed case will be notified that a confirmed case has happened in their child’s classroom. Student names will be kept private.

VISITORS

All parents, guardians, visitors, and volunteers (non-delivery personnel) seeking access to the building will be screened and documented at the reception desk in the main school lobby and will be required to use PPE.

  • Screening procedures include the following:

    • Temporal scan (temperature must be less than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit)

    • Simple questionnaire (self-reporting)

      • Shortness of breath?

      • New or worsening cough?

      • Have you or anyone in your family been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19?

Any parents, guardians, visitors, and volunteers who register a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, affirm any symptoms of the screening questions, or refuse to comply with the use of PPE will be asked not to enter the premises.

CLEANLINESS

  • Hand Sanitizing stations will be available in the hallways and outside the office.

  • We will continue to work with the Greenfield Public Health Department to determine the procedures followed should a positive case in the school arise.

  • There will be daily cleaning of common-use spaces (doorknobs, light switches, common areas, etc.) as there normally is. We continue to work with our cleaning services supplier to ensure we have appropriate cleaning supplies.

  • The sharing of common classroom supplies will be limited as much as possible. 

  • Plexiglass will be installed in the main office, 4K, and 5K classrooms.

THIS PLAN IS SUBJECT TO REGULAR REVIEW AND CHANGE

 

RESOURCES

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics – Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry

    1. https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/

  2. Greenfield Public Health Department - Consultation

  3. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction – Education Forward

    1. https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sspw/pdf/Education_Forward_web.pdf

  4. Center for Disease Control – Considerations for Schools

    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

  5. Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Data

    1. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/cases.htm

  6. The New England Journal of Medicine

    1. ​https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp2006372?articleTools=true

© 2017