Fall 2020 In School Reopening Plan
Once Santa Clara County has been off the County Monitoring list for 14 days, Carden may consider transitioning to in-person instruction through a phased approach, following the appropriate guidelines. Our remote learning program will remain unchanged and families who wish to continue remote learning will be allowed to do so. They will continue to follow the same process they are currently following for online instruction.
As we go through the planning process, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our top priority. We have put a lot of thought and detail into our plans while anticipating the challenges involved in operating the school under these extraordinary circumstances. The goal is to organize everything in a way that we are responsive, flexible and in constant communication with our families.
At this time, we are looking to have all students in grades K-5 on campus Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 3:15 pm with options for both morning and afternoon extended supervision. Grades 6-8 will continue learning remotely. We are prepared to pivot to remote learning if everyone is required to shelter in place or the circumstances evolve in a way that impacts the health and safety of our community.
Should an infection occur, Carden will follow the Santa Clara County Public Health Department guidance to quarantine an entire grade/classroom, or close the entire school, to reduce further transmission. Should this occur, parents/caregivers will receive information about the exposure and the anticipated length of time for quarantine or closure. If this occurs, the teacher and students would temporarily revert to complete Distance Learning.
- Like we always do at Carden, the class will be divided into small groups of 5-6 for teaching purposes and the students will stay with their groups for all classes and recesses.
- There will be no more than 12 students in a classroom at any given time. Everyone will be physically distanced for recesses and all classes including physical education.
The current State guidelines require the use of face coverings.
- Face coverings must be used in accordance with the California Department of Public Health guidelines particularly in indoor environments, and areas where physical distancing alone is not sufficient to prevent disease transmission.
- A cloth covering or face shield should be removed for meals, snacks, or outdoor recreation, or when it needs to be replaced.
- The school will maintain a supply of non- medical masks in the event that a student or staff member needs a replacement during the day.
- Students and staff will be taught about respiratory etiquette; students and staff who have any symptoms of illness will stay home. All will be reminded to sneeze or cough into their elbow/ sleeve.
- Employees and students may use face coverings provided from home.
- In limited situations where a face covering cannot be used for pedagogical or developmental reasons a face shield can be used instead of a cloth face covering while in the classroom as long as the wearer maintains physical distance from others, to the extent practicable.
The objective of physical distancing is to reduce the likelihood of contact that may lead to transmission and has been a widely used strategy during the pandemic.
Classroom furniture is to be arranged to spread student seating as much as possible.
When weather permits, classes may be conducted outside to promote both physical distancing and fresh air ventilation.
- Large gatherings/assemblies will not be held in the foreseeable future.
- Special consideration will be given to room ventilation, the use of outdoor space, and the distance between students.
- To the extent possible, instruments and athletic equipment or other objects will not be shared between students, and if sharing is required, the objects will be disinfected between use.
- To minimize risk of group transmission and maintain physical distancing, break and lunch times may be staggered or modified.
- Hand hygiene will be performed prior to and after lunch.
Outdoor and other activities
- Playground structures will be closed until further notice.
- During outdoor activities, such as recess, physical distancing will be encouraged within the class.
- Students will perform hand hygiene before and after outdoor play. To the extent possible, equipment or other objects will not be shared between students across grades, and if sharing is required, the objects will be disinfected between use.
- Physical education classes are encouraged and can continue under health and safety protocols.
Santa Clara County is notifying districts that multiple reports from around the world indicate that children account for less than 5-10% of COVID-19 infections. Evidence is mounting that children may be less susceptible to COVID-19 infection and may be less likely to transmit the virus to others, per the recently released publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is also strong evidence that the majority of children who become infected with COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, such as cough, fever, and sore throat. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is tracking the science of COVID-19. You can learn more at their website: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19.
Minimizing Individual and Public Health Risks
- Screening is often done to prevent symptomatic individuals from entering a school or workplace. In order to prevent the spread of infection, students, and staff who have signs/symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to stay home until they are symptom free and/or until they have a negative test for COVID-19. Decisions about testing and returning to school, including those who have had an exposure to COVID-19, will be guided by administration in accordance with Santa Clara County Public Health recommendations.
- Once school has reopened, parents and caregivers will be empowered to do a daily screening for symptoms of COVID-19 using screening protocols against a provided checklist before arriving at school.
- Symptomatic students and employees who report to school will be asked to return home and parents will be required to pick up their child immediately.
- School staff will watch for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 so that appropriate action can be taken if anyone develops symptoms during the day.
- Distance Learning will be available for children who are required to stay home because they are sick or in isolation due to COVID-19 infection or exposure.
- COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are almost exclusively spread by respiratory droplet transmission. As a result, and because virus shedding may occur prior to symptom onset or in the absence of symptoms, routine, frequent and proper hand hygiene (soap and water or hand sanitizer) is critical to limit transmission. Hand hygiene is one of the most effective strategies to prevent the spread of most respiratory viruses including the coronavirus, particularly during the pre-symptomatic phase of the illness.
- Students will be taught how to clean their hands properly (with age-appropriate lessons) and to try to avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth. Lessons and reminders with students will be non judgemental and positive.
- There will be age-appropriate signage placed throughout the school to remind students to wash or sanitize hands.
- All students will have access to hand sanitizer and/or sinks with soap throughout the day and will have frequent reminders to wash or sanitize their hands.
- A regular schedule for routine hand hygiene will be in place for younger students with scheduled hand hygiene breaks. The preferred method for these hand hygiene breaks may be the use of hand sanitizer unless sinks are readily available in or nearby the classroom. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry point for each classroom.
- Liquid soap and hand sanitizer will be replenished and paper towels available for drying. No-touch waste receptacles will be available for disposal of materials.
- In order to disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly to minimize the risk of exposure, each classroom and workspace will have access to paper/cloth towels and spray bottles of disinfectant.
- Students and teachers will have ready access to wipe down light switches, door knobs, desk surfaces, shared objects, and any other high touch surfaces within the classroom, as needed.
- Younger students will be taught to avoid sharing objects and will focus on hand hygiene with regular breaks. The teacher in the classroom will have ready access to disinfecting spray and paper/cloth towels to use, as needed, throughout the day.
- Properly installed and maintained Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioner (HVAC) systems are key to ensuring healthy indoor air quality in school learning environments. Research continues to add to the evolving knowledge that environmental conditions and airflow influence the transmissibility of COVID-19.
- HVAC systems will be set to operate at a minimum of one hour before occupancy to “flush” rooms. When rooms are occupied, classrooms will have the HVAC running and doors and windows opened.
- On a regular basis, Carden classrooms will be misted with a disinfectant.
- The use of outdoor space or environments with windows or other cross-ventilation options will be encouraged
Drop Off/ Pick-up
- Carden Academy will be working with CurbSmart to provide a contactless drop off and pick-up experience for all students.
- The staff has been trained for this process.
- The parents will receive instructions on how to download the app and use it for pick up and drop off.
- All pick up and drop off will be drive through only.
Safety Measures for Employees
- The safety of Carden employees is an important consideration in our reopening. Risk mitigation for teachers and other staff are similar to those recommended for other essential workers. Staff will be encouraged to follow all guidelines mentioned above, including hand hygiene, disinfecting, and symptom monitoring. Physical distancing, and face coverings continue to be the primary means to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Physical distancing, to the extent possible, of school staff from children and other staff will be practiced, especially in our middle school program.
- Adults will wear cloth or other face coverings. Face shields are not recommended as a replacement for face coverings given concerns over their ability to minimize droplet spread to others. Teachers may consider using face shields when physically distant from students in certain limited situations: during phonological instruction to enable students to see the teacher’s mouth and in settings where a cloth face covering poses a barrier to communicating with a student who is hearing impaired. In most instances, a face shield provides an additional barrier for a staff member who is also wearing a face covering.
- Staff will be informed about symptoms of COVID19 and are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms and stay home if they have any.
- Staff will receive information about the use of available leaves related to COVID-19.
- Employees will be encouraged to get a free COVID-19 test at a county test site or with their health care provider.
- Front offices will include a clear partition as a means of separating members of the public from office staff.
Limiting Visitors and Volunteers
- In order to reduce the number of interactions at each campus, visitors will be limited. Parents and caregivers will have limited access to the front office but will be restricted from other parts of the building.
- All volunteer activity will be suspended until further notice.
Office Protocols for Parents
- During this pandemic, the preferred method to communicate with school office staff is through phone calls or emails.
- If you must come into the office, please follow the posted safety guidelines.
- In order to maintain social distance, only two parents are allowed in the office at a time. If there are two people in the office, please follow the marked spaces to wait outside the office.
- Parents are required to wear a face covering while in the school office.
Carden Academy will incorporate regular updates to the school community throughout the school year related to COVID-19, when available. Carden is committed to providing the best communication to families, staff, and the community. All protocols for disinfecting, notification, and possible quarantine, as determined by Santa Clara County Public Health, will be followed.
- Teachers who are working in their classrooms alone will be responsible to maintain a clean classroom using the disinfecting supplies provided to them.
- Office staff are responsible to help maintain clean offices.
- The custodian maintain clean restrooms and other areas outside of the classrooms.
- Disinfect all rooms/areas assigned to custodian. This will include daily disinfecting by either spraying disinfectant or using a fogging machine.
- Disinfect and clean restrooms. Disinfect/clean all sinks and soap dispensers and check and refill restroom paper towel and soap dispensers, may also include fogging.
- Disinfect eating areas. This will include daily disinfecting by either spraying disinfectant or using a fogging machine.
- Disinfect exterior door handles and high touch areas
- Empty exterior waste and recycling receptacle
- On call for emergency clean up
Office Staff Protocols
The School Office is open to employees who perform their work in the office. The modifications made to the office work environment below are done as recommended by the local Santa Clara County Public Health Department. The employees are reminded of the following guidelines:
Stay Home, When Appropriate
- As we reopen the School Site Office, we are asking that employees self-monitor their health and symptoms. If desired, take your temperature at home.
- Employees should stay home if they or anyone in their household have any of the following symptoms: persistent cough, fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea or any other symptoms of illness.
- Employees are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 at one of the free testing sites whether or not they have symptoms if they have reason to believe they may have been exposed or to have a reassurance that they are not infected.
- Employees should mind social distancing rules upon entrance and ensure immediate hand sanitizing upon entering the school site.
- Employees should use the restroom closest to their work area. Only one person in the restroom at a time. Bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized in the evenings.
Wear Face Covering
- Wear a face covering, provided from home, upon entering the building. Reusable cloth mask covering are acceptable. Please contact your supervisor if you do not have a mask to wear.
- A face covering is to be worn whenever an employee walks into or around the building.
- An employee may remove the mask whenever seated at their workstation and there are no other employees nearby.
- A face covering should be worn even at the workstation if another employee is within a 6-10 ft. radius and there are no other barriers between them.
Socially Distance/Avoid Congregational Behaviors
- Employees will remain primarily at their workstation for the workday.
- Travel within the building is restricted to essential movement only. Employees will use Zoom, Google Chat, or telephone to communicate when at all possible.
- Employees will maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other employees, whenever feasible, and will use common sense to remain distant from one another when using common areas such as hallways, workroom, lunchroom, and lobby.
- Gatherings or meetings of any type should primarily be conducted virtually with very limited in-person meetings.
- Any gathering of employees in a congregated area must adhere to the 6 feet rule of social distancing and all in the group must be wearing a face covering.
- No employees may have members of the public in their workspace. Individual meetings with the public should take place in spaces designated by the principals/supervisors
- If absolutely necessary because a virtual meeting cannot accomplish the task, employees are reminded to wear their face covering and maintain a 6 ft distance, whenever feasible, for any meeting of 2 or more employees that may occur in an office, hall, or confined room.
- Common areas and workspaces’ will not be used as gathering places. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask while they heat their food items, get a cup of coffee, or retrieve items from the refrigerator and either return to their workstation or go outdoors to enjoy their break/lunch. During this time, we encourage employees to take their breaks outdoors to physically move about and get fresh air; however, social congregational behaviors are discouraged unless social distancing rules can be followed.
Use Hand-hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Upon reporting to work, employees are encouraged to wash hands for at least 20 seconds or use sanitizer and to repeat this process multiple times throughout the workday.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue. If a tissue is not available, sneeze into the elbow and shirt sleeve, but NOT into the hands. Tissues are to be discarded into a lined garbage bin and hands washed immediately with soap and water or sanitized after each cough or sneeze.
- Be aware of high touch surfaces in the workplace (copier, touch pads, office equipment, door knobs, sink handles, shared staplers, etc) and sanitize or wash hands after touching these surfaces and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Disinfecting supplies will be provided in multiple locations throughout the office for employees to clean and disinfect high use surfaces before/after each use.
- Employees may provide their own and wear gloves when using high use surfaces but should discard them after each use.
- Employees are encouraged to consider their own work space and clean/disinfect surfaces regularly with available supplies.
- Carden has posted social distance messages, or social distancing guides.
- Employees will process as much as we can without paper.
- Digital signatures and email will be acceptable forms of notification.
Employees Unable to Return to Work
- If an employee falls within a high risk/vulnerable group and has concerns about returning to work, they should contact Karen Portman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Response to Symptoms, Potential Exposure, or Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Test
- In the event that a staff member exhibits symptoms, has potential exposure, and has tested positive for COVID-19, the staff member shall report their condition to their immediate supervisor who will then reach out to administration.
- Carden Academy will work with Public Health to implement all necessary communication and follow up to support contact tracing and health and safety of staff. Anyone may call SCC Public Health if a suspected exposure has occurred.
Training for Staff
As staff returned to campus, staff has been trained on cleaning protocols, expectations, and interacting with students, staff, and members of the public.
ALL FACULTY AND STAFF MEMBERS WILL GO THROUGH A TEMPERATURE CHECK AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING COVID SCREENING QUESTIONS EVERY DAY
1. Do you have any of these symptoms that are not caused by another condition?
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Recent loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
2. Within the past 14 days, have you had contact with anyone that you know had COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms? Contact is being 6 feet (2 meters) or closer for more than 15 minutes with a person, or having direct contact with fluids from a person with COVID-19 (for example, being coughed or sneezed on).
3. Have you had a positive COVID-19 test for an active virus in the past 10 days?
4. Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told you to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection?