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COVID-19 On-site Learning Plan and Procedures

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. 

Plan Details

The CCS leadership team, COVID-19 task force, and planning committees have made extensive efforts to meet or exceed the requirements that will be in place once we transition to on-site learning. Please see below for CCS district-wide information regarding our on-site learning plan and protocols. More details will be communicated as we approach our transition to on-site learning.

GENERAL INFORMATION

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

The way students are to be dropped off and picked up each day may vary from what has been the “normal” in years past. The purpose is to keep students socially distanced and allow for screening to take place. How this is done has been decided by your campus committee. 

All people entering the building will be screened for temperatures and symptoms checks as described by the DOH. This includes all faculty, staff, students, and visitors:  

  • Temperatures will be taken upon initial entry of the building.  
  • A completed symptoms checklist will be required for each person entering the building (adult and child).  
  • All those entering will be encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs in the building (CDC recommendationsDOH, K-12 Schools – Fall 2020-2021 Guidance, page 6).  

Signs have been added throughout the schools to remind students of physical distancing, handwashing, and other appropriate health and safety protocols to adhere to. 

We have developed a more fluid remote learning model that will make transitioning smooth if we are required to do so. The following are reasons for transitioning back to remote learning: 

  • Department of Health mandate 
  • Governor mandate 
  • An individual tests positive for COVID-19 and the health department requires a group/individual to isolate (with the more fluid model offering a smoother transition to a remote learning plan for any student instructed to isolate) 

REDUCING TRANSMISSION

It is our intent to keep groups of students as small and as separated as possible. It is best practice to “cohort” students wherever possible—so they have fewer direct interactions with the larger school community. At the elementary level, this will mean that students stay in their classroom groups and in their classrooms while some specialists will move from class to class. At the secondary level, this will look a little different, but class sizes have been capped to allow for social distancing. 

The definition of physical distancing is “six feet within each group or classroom of students as much as possible” (DOH, page 5). In order to follow this guideline, we will be implementing the following: 

  • Rearranged classroom furniture 
  • Increased space between desks 
  • Directed hallway flows 
  • Altered recess schedules (smaller groups in play area at a time, designated areas for certain grade levels, etc.) 
  • No large groups of students (large groups to be done virtually instead, if possible, including chapel and assemblies) 
  • Use of screens when necessary 
  • Limiting of non-essential visitors, vendors, and volunteers 
  • Limiting of locker use 
  • More outside activity when possible 

Students at the elementary campuses will eat lunch in their classrooms. Students at the secondary campus will eat either in classrooms or on a varied lunch schedule in PAC to reduce number of students in area and allow for social distancing.  

Handwashing will be continuously instructed and reinforced. Everyone will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands upon initial entry into the building, before eating, after restroom use, after being outside, after sneezing or coughing, and before going home.  

In order to keep from transmitting the virus to others, face coverings will be worn by everyone at all times (exceptions are noted below). It is important that each person (adult and child) complies with this requirement for the safety of those around them.  

Adults 

All adults not working alone will wear a cloth face covering at all times. 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, that person 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 anyone has a medical reason to be excused from wearing a face shield as well, that person is 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, Reopening Washington Schools: Questions & Answers for School Districts, page 2). Another guidance about teachers’ use of a face shield when a face covering reduces the effectiveness of teaching says, “Physical distancing of at least six feet must be strictly maintained during this time” (OSPIReopening Washington Schools 2020District Planning Guide, page 26). At all other times, teachers must wear a cloth face covering. Face coverings may be removed when eating or drinking. 

Children 

The DOH has mandated that all students over 5 years of age be required to wear a face covering. Students may wear a face shield in place of a cloth face covering. 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 (DOH, page 3). 

If a student has a medical reason for not wearing either a face mask or a face shield, the student must have a written note from the doctor. This note will be held on file in the school office and will be noted in FACTS in a similar fashion as an allergy alert, so teachers are aware of the valid excuse. 

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.  

Click here for the enlarged flow chart for COVID-19 symptoms with no exposure

Click here for the enlarged flow chart for situations with a positive COVID-19 test or close contact 

 

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING

Products used for cleaning and disinfecting are approved by the FDA. This includes hand sanitizers and cleaners.  

The plan for keeping the buildings disinfected consist of two steps:  

  • There will be a “day shift” that disinfects the high touch areas throughout the building on a cyclical, all-day schedule.  
  • The “night shift” crew will do the deeper cleaning of each classroom, restrooms, and other areas of the building. This cleaning will take place after hours each day. 

Teachers will be responsible for making sure the high-touch areas in their classrooms are disinfected throughout the day. It will be communicated to students and staff to avoid high-touch areas as much as possible. This would be mainly areas that can be touched by multiple students (classroom faucet handles, doorknobs, pencil sharpeners, keyboards, etc.).  

Sharing of student materials is strongly discouraged. If students share materials, those items must be disinfected between each use, and students mush handwash or hand sanitize before and after use of those materials. 

Computer labs will be one area that will be used by multiple students throughout the day. Disinfecting plans for this area and keyboards will be in place and utilized on each campus. As with other shared materials, hand sanitizing is to be done before and after the use of common items. 

Common PE equipment will be sanitized between classes. 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 the campus committee. 

Recess play structures and other outdoor areas will be routinely cleaned throughout the week. 

(DOH, page 8) 

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. Please make sure your contact settings are up to date. You can update your contact settings here. 

  • If a student is ill, the 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 the parent arrives. 
  • Areas used by the student—the classroom, the isolated area, others as pertinent—will immediately be disinfected.  
  • The student will follow the quarantine or isolation guidelines (see below) as specified by the CDC before being able to return to school. 
  • If a student has tested positive for COVID-19, we will work closely in partnership with the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department for guidance on contact tracing and disinfecting procedures. 

DEALING WITH FACULTY AND STAFF ILLNESS

Each campus has a back-up plan in the scenario that a faculty or staff member contracts COVID-19 or is quarantined because of exposure. Each campus will keep a robust substitute list for this reason. 

QUARANTINE/ISOLATION GUIDELINES (DOH)

DOH Definitions Below:

Close Contact – You have been in close contact with someone if you have been with the person longer than 15 minutes, closer than six feet, and 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 the following (though the list does not include all possible symptoms): 

  • Fever (100.4 F or higher) or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Unusual fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Recent loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

 

Scenarios for No Quarantine: 

“I have had close contact with someone who might have COVID-19.” 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Resume normal activities 
“I live with someone who had close contact with someone who might have COVID-19.” 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Resume normal activities 
“I live with someone who had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.” 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Resume normal activities 
“I live with someone who is ill but has tested negative for COVID-19.” 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Resume normal activities 
“I live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 but has not been tested.” 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Resume normal activities 

Scenarios for Quarantine (CDC): 

“I have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not have further contact with them.” 
  • Self-quarantine (date of last close contact with person who has COVID-19 + 14 days = end of quarantine) 
  • Notify your administrator/supervisor and HR 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
“I live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and can avoid further close contact with them.” 
  • Self-quarantine (date the person with COVID-19 began home isolation + 14 days = end of quarantine) 
  • Notify your administrator/supervisor and HR 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
“I live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot avoid continued close contact.” 
  • Self-quarantine (date the person with COVID-19 ends home isolation + 14 days = end of quarantine) 
  • Notify your administrator/supervisor and HR 
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 
“I am in self-quarantine and have additional close contact with someone who has COVID-19” (e.g., another family member gets sick). 
  • Restart quarantine any time a new household member gets sick with COVID-19 and you had close contact 
  • Notify your administrator/supervisor and HR 
  • Self-quarantine (date of additional close contact with person who has COVID-19 + 14 days = end of quarantine) 
  • Self-monitor for symptoms 
“I have suspected COVID-19 and have symptoms.” 
  • Self-quarantine 
  • Quarantine ends: 
    • When you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND  
    • Your symptoms have improved, AND  
    • At least 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared 
Scenarios for Isolation (DOH): 
“I have tested positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms.” 
  • Self-isolate (away from other family members if possible) 
  • Notify your administrator/supervisor and HR 
  • Self-isolation ends: 
    • When you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND 
    • Your symptoms have improved, AND 
    • At least 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared 
“I have tested positive for COVID-19 but have not had any symptoms.” 
  • Self-isolate (away from other family members if possible) 
  • Notify your administrator/supervisor and HR 
  • Self-isolation ends: 
    • At least 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test, AND 
    • You have had no subsequent illness 

 

Transition to On-site Learning

The following elements have contributed to our decision to transition to on-site learning as soon as possible:

  • Multiple sources conveying the importance of in-person learning for student’s health
  • CDC statement that “no studies are conclusive, but the available evidence provides reason to believe that in-person schooling is in the best interest of students”​
  • American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) statement that “the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school”
  • Input from several local medical professionals​
  • Weekly update sessions with Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS)
  • Conversation with multiple other schools planning to open on-site
  • Input from members of the CCS community
  • CCS experiences in early learning center and summer Thrive programs with no positive COVID-19 cases and adherence to health and safety protocols by children and staff
  • The ability to offer plans that meet the needs of all CCS families by providing on-site and remote learning options


C-19 Task Force Planning Committees

Decisions for all protocols and programs will be made by the superintendent in conjunction with the district leaders team.

C-19 Oversight Committee

The role of the oversight team is to identify obstacles and oversee the process, structure, and protocols related to district-wide adjustments due to COVID-19. 

Health and Safety/Facilities Committee 

This committee will oversee the common district-wide health and safety protocols and practices as required by the Department of Health. 

Educational Program Committee

This committee will oversee the common district-wide educational program for school openings in the three different phases.

Campus Committees 

Frederickson Campus Chair
Tina deVries

High School Chair
Ray Ossman

Junior High School Chair
Jennifer Walling

McAlder Campus Chair
Tim Lorenz

Puyallup Elementary Chair
Terry Broberg

Puyallup Early Learning Chair
Quimby deWitt

A committee for each campus will take the information from the above committees and plan for implementation on their specific campus. Each of these committees include a combination of administration, support staff, teachers, and parents. Details coming soon.