The primary goal of this plan is protecting the health and well-being of students, parents, staff, and their extended families while providing the highest quality Christian education. We know there are many opinions and political positions on re-opening of schools and this plan will not meet everyone’s desires. We believe the best course of action is to base this plan on the recommendations provided in the June 23, 2020 “Starting the 2020-21 School Year” document developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). All page numbers cited in this plan refer to that document. This policy is subject to change in response to new and changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
General Guidelines :
All public and nonpublic schools in Illinois serving prekindergarten through 12th grade students must follow these guidelines:
· Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
· Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
· Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;
· Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they
are free of symptoms before entering school buildings; and
· Require an increase in school-wide cleaning and disinfection
While legislation provides schools with the option of Remote or Blended Learning Days, in-person instruction is encouraged for those schools who are able to comply with capacity limits and social distancing measures. Good Shepherd Lutheran School will provide on-site instruction for all students unless conditions are determined to be unsafe for the health and safety of our students and staff. Parents may make a request to the school administration for their child to be placed on remote learning for a temporary period during on-site instruction.
Return to Remote Instruction
Good Shepherd is prepared to return to remote instruction in the event of a general resurgence of the virus or in the case or suspected case of the virus within our school. The updated Remote Learning Plan will be provided in another document.
COVID-19 Symptoms :
Currently known symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Arrival at School Procedures:
The following procedures will be followed by students, staff, and visitors arriving at school:
· Face covering check
· Temperature Check (Anyone with a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celcius
· Symptom screening or self-certification form (provided by the school)
· Hand hygiene (hand washing or sanitizer)
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celcius, or without a face covering will not be admitted to the building.
Students may enter through the canopy or front entrance and report directly to their classroom. The daily opening to our school day will take place in the classroom. Social distancing must be maintained to the greatest extent possible. All visitors must enter through the front entrance.
Preschool students may be brought into the front entrance. After a temperature check and symptoms screening a staff member will take the preschool student to their classroom. Everyone entering the building is required to wear a face covering. Parents and guardians will not be allowed in the classroom.
Dismissal from School Procedures:
Preschool students will begin preparing for dismissal at 2:55 and follow dismissal expectations that include:
· Parents will form a car line (same process as last year). Parents will not be allowed in classrooms or in the classroom
area. If a child needs to leave at a time other than the regular dismissal time the parents may check in at the office and
the preschool student will be delivered to the front entrance.
· Students will wash/sanitize hands before leaving at the end of the day and will maintain social distancing and face
covering until they are delivered to their parent’s car in the pickup line.
· Classes will remain separated until they are dismissed. Typically, this will be in their classroom but students may also
be “staged” for dismissal outside or in school common areas.
· The staff member who is directing the car line will call (cell phone or walkie talkie system) for students to be delivered to
their parents as the car line progresses.
Kindergarten through 8th grade students will be ready for dismissal at 3:20 and follow dismissal expectations that include:
· The end of the day closing will take place in the classrooms.
· Students will be dismissed directly from their classroom using a walkie talkie system.
· Bus students will be dismissed first by boarding one bus at a time.
· Latch key students will then be dismissed and report directly to their latch key supervisor.
· The rest of the students will be dismissed to the car line. The staff member directing the car line will call for students
(using the walkie talkie system) as the line progresses. The car line will form in the usual pattern.
· Parents will not be allowed to gather within the school or go to individual classrooms.
Communication between home and school is always important and even more so during these uncertain times. Our new Gradelink student management system offers email, text messaging, and voice messaging. We will communicate frequently and really make an effort to “over-communicate” during this transition and we encourage families to do the same. The only bad question is the one that isn’t asked during this time.
Signs will be posted in highly visible locations that reinforce everyday protective measures (e.g., proper handwashing and appropriate face coverings). Signs will be posted in main entryways reinforcing:
· Persons may not enter the building if they have any currently known symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough,
shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or
smell,congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
· 6-foot distance from others must be maintained as much as possible
· Face coverings must be worn at all times
· Shaking hands or engaging in any other physical contact is prohibited
Daily attendance and engagement of students is expected whether students are participating in class on-site or in a remote learning situation. Our school will discontinue perfect attendance awards and recognition that might encourage students to attend school when they are ill or showing any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
We will return to traditional grading systems for completion of assignments, assessments, and other classroom instructional strategies. In times of remote learning some modifications to traditional grading systems may be necessary.
Classroom Social Distancing
Teachers will arrange their classroom and develop procedures to provide for the greatest extent of social distancing between students as possible. While each classroom is different some general practices include:
· 6 feet between student desks space allocated for entry into the room and travel within the room.
· Student desks facing the same direction.
· Students are assigned a specific desk, chair, set of books, computer, materials and manipulatives. The sharing of any
materials will be minimized as much as possible.
· Group work will be greatly minimized. Groups will social distance as much as possible, groups will be small, and
consistent partners will be established. The use of the multipurpose room, warehouse, and outdoors areas for small groups
· Combining of classrooms and grade levels will be minimized to the greatest extent possible.
· In instances where students have more than one teacher we will practice “home-room stay”, meaning the teachers will
rotate instead of the students.
· Outdoor class time is encouraged whenever practical.
· Handwashing and sanitizing breaks will be frequent.
· Enhanced cleaning (high touch areas and objects) and disinfecting measures will take place throughout the day.
Return to In-Classroom Instruction
The beginning of the school year will be dedicated to:
· Teaching and modeling the typical skills, practices, procedures to establish a new classroom.
· Instruction on the basic health and safety practices related to COVID-19 including handwashing/sanitizing, social
distancing/physical contact, face covering, cleaning and disinfecting, and COVID-19 symptoms and signs.
· Preparation for the event of a return to remote learning.
· Assessment of student skill and knowledge levels.
· Review and reinforcement of previous learnings.
· Addressing learning loss and gaps by bringing students up to grade level in critical skills.
Preschool Classroom Considerations
Our younger learners may struggle more than other students in understanding and complying with our social distancing and safety practices. The preschool classroom provides unique challenges as we move to on-site instruction we will implement the following strategies (in addition to those listed above):
· Students should remain in consistent small groups with the same students.
· Students should practice maintaining a 6-foot distance from other students and groups as much is possible.
· Furniture, centers, and play spaces should be arranged to meet distancing requirements.
· Providing outside time for instruction provides opportunities for greater distancing.
· All toys that are plush, cloth, or made of any material that can harbor germs and not be readily cleaned will not be
· Indoor and outdoor play areas will be arranged and scheduled so that classes do not mix.
· For cleaning and disinfection purposes the use of carpet squares and carpeted areas is discouraged. Mats can be used
create visual guides for distancing and are more readily cleaned.
· Classrooms may incorporate physical indicators for social distancing including mats, tape, lines, yarn, and other
· Nap time mats should be spaced at least 6 feet apart and students should lie head to toe. Mats should be cleaned
daily and bedding materials should be stored individually and washed weekly. (page 44)
Preschool Instructional Practices
· Teachers should instruct, model, and reinforce healthy hygiene habits and social skills such as reducing physical contact,
not sharing food or drink, proper hand washing technique, using tissues to wipe their nose, coughing/sneezing into their
elbow, social distancing, and the proper use of face coverings.
· Creating visual reminders around the room of healthy hygiene habits.
· Offer more opportunities for individual play and solo activities (drawing, coloring, art projects, puzzles, and other
· Plan activities that do not require close physical contact between multiple children. Keep small groups separate for special
activities such as art, music, and exercising. Again, outdoor spaces are preferred for certain activities such as exercise, play,
Special Classroom Considerations:
Special considerations for the physical education classes include:
· Face coverings must be worn and social distancing measures should be followed to the greatest extent possible.
· Face coverings are not required if activities are outside and students maintain a distance of 6 feet or greater.
· Physical contact between students including handshakes and high fives is prohibited.
· Hand sanitizing measures are followed before and after physical education class.
· If possible, avoid shared equipment. Equipment will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Special considerations for the computer class include:
· Face coverings must be worn and social distancing measures should be followed to the greatest extent possible.
· Hand sanitizing measures are followed before and after computer class.
· When possible students should use Chromebooks, I-pads and other forms of technology specifically assigned to them.
· All shared technology should be disinfected after each use and the use of wipeable keyboard covers is encouraged
· When possible students should receive instruction in their home classroom. If computer instruction is delivered in the
computer classroom all equipment and student desks must be sanitized/disinfected after each class.
· Initial lessons early in the year should focus on helping familiarize students with the technology devices and programs
they will utilize if there is a return to remote instruction (page 29).
There is documented evidence of substantial spreading of coronavirus during musical events. Therefore, special considerations for music activities include:
· Face covering and social distancing measures must be followed.
· Equipment and instruments must not be shared.
· Indoor rehearsals are discouraged. Consider moving music and band related courses outside.
· Hand sanitizing measures should be followed.
Special considerations related to the library include:
· Face covering and social distancing measures must be followed.
· Hand sanitizing measures should be followed.
· One class at a time in the library.
· High touch areas must be disinfected after each class.
Special Circumstances and Areas:
Cafeteria and Lunch
Expectations related to the cafeteria, school lunch program, and food consumed at times other than mealtimes include:
· Social distancing measures should be followed to the greatest extent possible.
· Face coverings may be removed while eating.
· Perform hand hygiene prior to and after eating.
· Classes will be released on a staggered schedule to go to the cafeteria to pick hot lunches. All food items including milk
must be served by the food service personnel.
· Students will eat their lunches in their classroom or outside if conditions permit.
· Sharing of food items or utensils is not permitted.
· Students who bring their lunch from home should consider the use of disposable sacks and utensils to prevent the
transfer of disease between school and home.
· Food service personnel will be required to use appropriate PPE and perform frequent hand hygiene.
· The classroom should be disinfected after eating prior to resuming regular activities.
Recess and Playground Areas (page 47)
Expectations related to recess and playground equipment include:
· Students should perform hand hygiene measures prior to and after recess.
· Classes should stay segregated as much as possible during recess time. Some combining of classes during outdoor recess .
may be acceptable.
· Face covering is required for indoor recess. Face coverings may be removed for outdoor recess as long as social distancing
measures are met.
· The use of playground equipment is discouraged unless the number of students using each piece of equipment is
limited. High touch surfaces such as swings, slides, handles, and railings should be cleaned/disinfected frequently.
· Playground equipment such as balls, hula hoops, etc. should not be shared and cleaned/disinfected after use.
Extracurricular Activities (page 47)
Extracurricular activities must follow IDPH requirements including:
· Face coverings and social distancing measures apply.
· Limiting the number of individuals in one space to 50.
· Temperature and symptom checks.
· Cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Multipurpose Room (page 47)
Expectations related to the use of the Multipurpose Room include:
· The multipurpose room is considered “a space” and is therefore limited to 50 individuals at one time.
· Face covering and social distancing measures apply.
· Classes should stay as separate as possible when using the multipurpose room.
· The multipurpose room will be used for classroom purposes when a larger space to social distance is required.
· The multipurpose room will be cleaned daily and between groups.
Opening, Closing, and Chapel
Arrangements will be made to conduct opening, closing, and chapel in the classroom.
Hallway Areas and Lockers
Special considerations for hallway areas, traffic flow, and locker use include:
· All face covering and social distancing measures apply.
· To the greatest extent possible the number of individuals in the hallway areas should be limited. One class in the
hallway at a time under most circumstances.
· Lockers should be assigned on an every other or every third locker basis. One class at a time in the locker area.
Expectations for restroom use include:
· The number of students in a restroom at any one time should be limited to comply with social distancing measures to
the greatest extent possible.
· Classrooms will stagger the use of the restroom and students will practice distancing measures while waiting.
· Hand hygiene practices will be emphasized and signs will be posted encouraging proper hand washing procedures.
· Preschool staff should wear proper PPE (gloves, masks, face shields) when assisting students and cleaning the restroom
· Appropriate sanitation of the restroom areas will be emphasized
Drinking Fountains (page 39)
Special considerations for the use of drinking fountains include:
· The drinking fountains (and other water systems) will be flushed following CDC guidelines. The extended shutdown
creates hazards within water systems due to lack of use.
· The use of refillable and single use water bottles will be promoted.
· Students will be taught proper fountain use including keeping their mouth from contacting the nozzle during use,
allowing the water to run for 10 seconds before drinking, and proper flow height.
· Hand hygiene should be conducted prior to and after the use of the drinking fountain.
· Frequent cleaning of the fountain, especially the push button, will be conducted.
· Students should practice proper distancing measures while waiting to use the fountain.
Student Transportation (page 41)
Expectations for student transportation include:
· All face covering and social distancing measures apply to the bus.
· The number of individuals on a bus is limited to a maximum of 50 at any one time.
· When entering the bus students must undergo temperature and symptom checks which may include self-certification.
· To create distancing seating charts should be established.
· Bus drivers must wear a face covering and perform regular hand hygiene.
· Buses must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Fieldtrips (page 48)
Field trips are discouraged until state and local health officials have determined that it is safe to resume them.
Volunteers and Visitors (page 40)
Volunteers will be allowed on a limited basis and at the discretion of the school administrator. Any volunteers must observe the following:
· Temperature and symptom checks must be conducted.
· Face covering and distancing measures must be observed.
· Travel in the building will limited and restricted to certain areas.
· Frequent hand hygiene measures must be practiced
· Cleaning and disinfection protocols must be practiced.
Office Area Guidelines (page 40)
Special considerations for the school office area include:
· Face covering and social distancing measures apply to the school office. The number of people in the office area at any
one time will be limited.
· Frequently touched surfaces (phone, light switches, door handles, copier, laminator, refrigerator handles, microwaves, etc.)
will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
· Accurate records of all visitors will be kept.
· The restroom off of the student health/sick room will be reserved for sick students.
Before and After Care (Latch Key) Programs (page 45)
Expectation for before and after care services include:
· Temperature and symptom checks, including self-certification must be conducted.
· Face covering and social distancing measures must be observed.
· Hand hygiene must be practiced as individuals enter and leave the program.
· Visitors should be limited to the entrance area.
· All objects such as craft items, toys, and play equipment should be limited and cleaned after each use. Items should not
be shared between students.
· Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces must be conducted during and at the end of each session.
Back–to-School Events (page 19)
The typical beginning of the year events such as Meet the Teacher Night are subject to the same mandates as other school activities including face covering and distancing measures, temperature and symptom screening, capacity limits and hand sanitizing. Therefore, traditional events will need to be conducted in a different manner. More information regarding Meet the Teacher and other school events will be communicated as we get closer to that time.
Through our new Gradelink student management system (replaces TeacherEase) we will be offering online registration and bill payment as a convenience to families and as a way to facilitate social distancing.
Health and Safety Protocols (pages 30-36, 43, 45-47):
Group Size Restrictions
In Phase 4 group size is limited to 50 in any one space. When outside “one space” is defined as an area separated by at least 30 feet from another “one space”. Face coverings are required outside unless a social distance of at least 6 feet is maintained between individuals.
Face Coverings (page 32)
“All individuals in school buildings, including all public and nonpublic school that serve students in prekindergarten through grade 12, must wear face coverings at all times unless they are younger than 2 years of age; have trouble breathing; or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.” This mandate applies at all times when in the school building, even when social distancing is maintained.
A physician’s note is required for students and staff who are unable to wear a face covering due to trouble breathing. Teachers may wear face shields in lieu of masks in situations, especially with early learners, where it is important for students to see how words are pronounced and certain facial expressions.
Refusal to wear face coverings, follow social distancing mandates, and comply with other health and safety practices will be addressed through the school disciplinary code.
Face coverings should fully cover the mouth and nose and fit snugly against the side of the face with no gaps. Reusable face coverings should be washed and dried each day. We are asking each family to provide face coverings for their child. The school will maintain a supply of masks for situations where a mask breaks or is forgotten.
Close Contact (page 31)
The CDC defines close contact as any individual within 6 feet of an infected person or an individual with symptoms for at least 15 minutes.
Hand Hygiene (pages 31-32)
Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is the recommended first line of defense. Where hand washing is not feasible or readily accessible, the use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol may be used. Hand sanitizers are not effective on visibly dirty hands. Hand hygiene should be frequent.
Sanitizing and Disinfecting Materials (CDC Guidelines)
The following guidelines apply to the use of sanitizing and disinfecting materials:
· The expiration date on all sanitizing and disinfecting materials including wipes, bleach, disinfectant cleaners, and hand
sanitizer should be checked with each use.
· Instructions on disinfectant materials should be carefully followed including proper “wet time”. Wet time is the amount
of time that the surface must stay visibly wet for the disinfectant to work.
· Bleach solutions must be prepared with non-expired 5-6% hypochlorite bleach. A proper bleach solution is 5 tablespoons
(1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons per quart of water. This solution has a wet time of
1 minute and is good for 24 hours.
School-wide Cleaning and Disinfecting (page 35)
Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols are being implemented by our cleaning service. Careful consideration is given to frequently touched surfaces and restrooms. EPA-approved disinfectants will be used and label instructions followed carefully.
Sick Students or Staff Members (pages 30-31):
As our school proactively prepares to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease it is important to remember a critical first step – Any student or staff member that has any of the signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home. Additionally, families and staff should report possible cases to the school to initiate contact tracing.
Currently known symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Considerations and practices for sick students and staff include:
· When absences are reported the office personnel will request and document specific symptoms, COVID-19 diagnoses, and COVID exposure. Contact tracing will be important with any instance of COVID-19 or suspected cases of COVID-19. It may be necessary to report this information to the local health department.
· School community members who are sick or are suspected of having COVID-19 may not return to school until they have met certain criteria (whether they were tested or not) including:
o 72 hours must elapse from the resolution of a fever without fever reducing medication.
o 10 days must pass after symptoms first appeared.
o Returning students or staff must consult with the office personnel or building administrator
o Doctor permission is required prior to returning to school.
Considerations for individuals who show signs of illness at school include:
· Any individual who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately isolated.
· Individuals that are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home as quickly as possible.
· Staff members interacting with students or staff who may be sick should wear appropriate PPE including a mask, face
shield, and gloves. Safe distancing should be practiced to the greatest extent possible.
· A safe area will be established in the “board room”. This area may be continuously monitored by office personnel and is
attached to a restroom designated for sick individuals. Modifications will be made to the area, including the use of plastic
tarps, to contain the illness and facilitate disinfection.
· Areas that have been used by the sick individual will be closed off until proper cleaning and disinfection have occurred.
If available, windows should be opened to increase air circulation in the area. Close communication will be maintained
with our cleaning staff.
· Clean all areas, equipment, and materials used by the sick person.
· If possible 24 hours should elapse before cleaning and disinfecting – if 24 hours is not possible, wait as long as
possible. Personnel performing the cleaning should wear PPE including gloves, face mask, and shield.
· Individuals that have not had “close contact” with the person who is sick can return immediately after disinfection.
· Those who have had contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19 should isolate at home for 14
days. Testing is encouraged. Remember that close contact is being within 6 feet of someone who has symptoms for 15
· Additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary if more than seven days have elapsed since the person who is sick
visited or used the school.
Return to Remote Learning for Individual Classes or Subgroups Within the School:
There may be situations where circumstances (a confirmed case of COVID-19) necessitate the return to remote learning for a particular class or group of classes. Decisions of this nature will be made in cooperation and consultation with the Tazewell County Health Department.