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COVID-19 Protocols/Procedures 

(Based on CDC, Washington DOH, and TPCHD Reopening Guidelines) 

In order for Cascade Christian Schools to open in person and stay open, we must follow the protocols mandated by the health department. Everyone's safety is a top priority. The details below will help you protect our entire CCS community. 

Decisions for all protocols and programs will be made by the superintendent in conjunction with the COVID-19 Oversight Team.

General Information

All campuses will have a lead to oversee these protocols and procedures. This person will connect directly with the building administrator and help with connecting to the health department as needed.

This process can proceed as normal. It is up to each campus administrator to determine procedures for the flow of traffic and the drop-off and pick-up of students on that campus. 

Health screening of staff and students is no longer required for K-12 schools. All volunteers or visitors that will be in the facility for longer than 5 minutes must be screened (temperature check, symptoms check) when they sign in.

Appropriate signage will be placed around the building, including in hallways, offices, restrooms, and classrooms. These will include reminders about face covering, social distancing, hand washing, COVID symptoms, etc.

Reducing Transmission

While cohorting is no longer required, it is recommended to keep groups of students as “isolated” as possible. The reason to do this is so they have fewer direct contacts with the larger school community. When combining or mixing students indoors, evaluate the necessity of doing so. Mixing students can be done when it is determined that the activity will enhance the learning experience for students.

The official definition of physical distancing is to maintain physical distance of three feet or more between students in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable, that allows for full-time, in-person learning for all students (DOH, page 5).

Consider the following precautions for various settings:

  • Put three feet of distance between student desk/seats whenever possible.
  • Small groups are allowed, but maximize space between students as much as possible.
  • Maximize opportunities to increase physical space between students during all scheduled activities (such as assemblies, chapel).
  • Limit interactions in large group settings.
  • Live, in-person chapels are allowed this year, but implement increased space between students when possible (such as every other seat).
  • As much as possible, increase distance between students during mealtimes.
  • As much as possible, increase distance during activities when increased exhalation or aerosolization occurs (such as PE, exercise, singing, playing instruments, cheering or shouting).
  • Move the activities listed above outdoors as much as possible.

This year, lunch can take place in the cafeteria, gym, etc. Whenever possible, maximize the space between students since masks are not worn while a person is eating.

Schools will teach and reinforce hand washing. Everyone will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands upon entry in the building (anytime after being outside), before eating, after restroom use, after sneezing or coughing, and before going home.

In order to keep a person from transmitting the virus to others, face coverings will be worn by students and staff at all times while indoors (exceptions are noted below). A cloth covering is defined as cloth that fits snuggly over the nose and sides of the face, and below the chin. It is important that each person (adult and child) complies with this requirement for the safety of those around them.

ADULTS: All school personnel, volunteers, and visitors must wear cloth face coverings, or an acceptable alternative due to a medical condition, at school when indoors in accordance with the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order. All adults not working alone will wear a cloth face mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status. A doctor’s note is required to be excused from wearing a cloth mask. This note must be turned in to HR, who will then inform your campus administrator. If a person is excused, they will be required to wear a face shield. A face shield must cover the face (the shield should extend below the chin anteriorly, to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece – jamanetwork.com). If they have medical reason to be excused from wearing a face shield as well, they are not required to wear any protection. According to Washington Labor and Industries, teachers may wear face shields when a face covering reduces the effectiveness of instruction (for example, during speech therapy, demonstrating enunciation, or language instruction). This is determined by the educator leading the instruction (OSPI Q&A for School Districts – page 2). Physical distancing of six feet must be strictly maintained during this time. At all other times, teachers must wear a cloth face mask. Face coverings may be removed when eating or drinking or outside.

CHILDREN: The DOH has mandated that all students 5 years of age and older be required to wear a face covering. Students may wear a face shield in place of a cloth face mask. There is no need for a doctor's note for them to wear the shield in place of the face mask. The shield must cover the whole face (below the chin, to ears, no gaps on forehead). Students may remove face coverings during outside activities (PE, recess, etc.) where social distancing can be maintained. They may also remove face coverings when eating or drinking (Secretary of Health Mask Order; DOH K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for ... 2021-2022 School Year, page 4).

In order for the student to be exempt from wearing a mask or face shield, because of medical condition, mental health condition, developmental or cognitive condition, or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, a parent must fill out and sign the face covering exemption form and turn it in to the school office. This form can be picked up at school. It will be held on file in the school office and be noted in FACTS, in a similar fashion as an allergy alert, so teachers are aware of the student’s exemption.

Enforcement of face coverings for adults and students will be universal. It is expected that each faculty and staff member will be the example setters for this protocol.

OUTSIDE (EVERYONE): Face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Dealing with Student Illness

It is important that staff, faculty, and families be educated on COVID-19 symptoms and what to do to prevent the spread of this virus. We do not diagnose, but we will assume that any sickness is contagious and will follow these procedures if a student becomes ill at school. Cascade Christian Schools has a response and communication plan in place that includes communication with staff and families.

If a student is ill, that student should be kept at home. If a student becomes ill at school, the student will be separated and kept isolated from other students until picked up by the parent. Areas used by the student will immediately be disinfected, both in the classroom and in the isolated area. The student will follow the quarantine or isolation guidelines (see below) as specified by TPCHD before the student can return to school. If a student has tested positive for COVID-19, we will work closely with the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department for guidance on contact tracing and disinfecting procedures.

The TPCHD is allowing schools to implement a modified quarantine procedure to allow for students to not miss days in school as a result of a quarantine after exposure to COVID-19. Once a person has been established as a close contact, the COVID-19 Oversight Team will determine if this person is eligible for the “Test to Stay” program. If the student is eligible, the following must occur:

  • Parents must sign a permission form allowing their student to be administered the antigen tests.
  • The student must be experiencing NO COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The student is to be tested at school each morning immediately upon entrance.
  • If test is negative, the student may go to class.
  • If test is positive, the student is to leave immediately and get a PCR test (one that is sent to a lab for processing). If PCR test is negative, student may return to school. If PCR test is positive, student is to isolate, as directed for all positive cases.
  • The student must remain masked at all times while on campus indoors and outdoors.
  • Student agrees to not participate in any other activities outside the regular school or work hours (e.g., Extended Recreation, sports, shopping). Doing so negates the “Test to Stay” opportunity for the student.
  • This process will be followed for the required quarantine period (as directed by the COVID-19 Oversight Team).

Dealing with Faculty and Staff Illness

Each campus must have a back-up plan in the event that a faculty or staff member contracts COVID-19 or is quarantined because of exposure. Keeping a robust substitute list will be critically important during this time.

If a faculty or staff member's absence is COVID-19 related, the employee needs to connect with HR to understand the process for using sick leave or alternative leave. HR will work with the campus administrator to understand the required absence. It is also important that the employee connects with the administrator for any absence, so that a substitute is able to be secured if needed.

Definitions:

  • Close Contact – You have been in close contact with someone if you have been with them longer than 15 minutes, closer than 6 feet, and/or no face covering was used.
  • Quarantine – Quarantine is what you do if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine means you stay home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case you are infected and are contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Isolation – Isolation is what you do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means you stay home and away from others (including household members) for the recommended period of time to avoid spreading illness.
  • COVID-19 Symptoms – These are identified symptoms that are not caused by another known condition. They include:
  1. Fever (100.4 F or higher) or chills
  2. Cough
  3. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  4. Unusual fatigue
  5. Muscle or body aches
  6. Headache
  7. Recent loss of taste or smell
  8. Sore throat
  9. Congestion or runny nose
  10. Nausea or vomiting
  11. Diarrhea

Products used will be those approved by the FDA. This will include hand sanitizers and cleaners.

It is no longer recommended to have constant disinfecting of common touch areas throughout the day. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces each night after students leave and when someone is sick in the room. Evening custodians are to take care of the deeper cleaning of each classroom, restrooms, and other areas of the building. This cleaning will take place after hours each day.

Teachers should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in their classroom each night after students leave and when someone is sick in the room. This would be mainly areas that are frequently touched by multiple students (e.g., classroom faucet handles, doorknobs, pencil sharpeners, keyboards).

Each campus will provide the supplies for each classroom.

Computer labs, including keyboards, should be disinfected at the end of each day. Hand sanitizing is to be done before and after the use of common items.

Commonly used PE equipment should be sanitized at the end of each day. Hand sanitizing before and after use will also take place.

If lunch areas are utilized at a campus, cleaning of tables and benches will take place between each lunch. Who does this will be determined by each campus.

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