St. Joseph School
First Day of School—September 1, 2021 (Please see calendar for additional information.)
Spirituality of our School Family
The Catholic Religious and Spiritual nature of our school continues to be uppermost in the minds of all. We shall continue to nourish the prayer and sacramental lives of our students, as we seek God’s guidance and protection in these COVID-19 times and going forward.
“Educating our students for life” is an integral part of our Mission as a Catholic School. With this in mind, we have prepared to keep our students on track academically through in person delivery of the curriculum, using technology when and where it is in the best interest of our students. To this end we have purchased Chromebooks for all Gr. 2 through 8 students, using a grant and a bequest given to us by a friend of the school.
Chromebooks will also be used to deliver our Catholic Education to our students should we once again need to enter a distance learning phase. The format used will be google classroom for Gr. 2-8. A format yet to be determined will be used for Gr. K-1.
Students will remain in their designated classrooms as a “cohort”. Middle grade teachers and specials’ teachers will go to these designated rooms, rather than the students moving to the teacher.
Classes within respective cohorts may be held outside when warranted and/or possible.
Frequent outdoor play and walking breaks with cohorts will be given whenever possible, keeping in mind the rule of physical distancing. Physical Education classes will take place on the playground when possible.
Face coverings are not required on the playground and during outdoor instruction with appropriate physical distancing maintained.
Lunches and snacks will be eaten within each “cohort”* (class), either outside or in the individual classrooms, as the auditorium/gymnasium may be utilized for instructional purposes. *(For the purposes of this document the word class and cohort may be used interchangeably.)
Prior to snack and lunch appropriate hand washing and/or the use of hand sanitizer will take place. After snack and lunch hand washing will also take place. Desks will be sanitized and trash bags will be removed from the classrooms.
As usual, students will bring their own snacks/lunches to school. These will be kept in a safe and appropriate place in each classroom. No lunch may be warmed. Lunches should be in a container with an ice pack. Milk will be available and distributed in a safe manner to those who wish to receive it. Hands free water bottle fillers are being installed in order that personal water bottles may be refilled during the school day, with adult supervision.
Created in God’s image, we were made to be social beings. While at this time we are asked to remain at a specified physical distance from one another and/or wear a face covering, this does not mean that as God’s people we should give up our ability to be socially in tune with one another. Many of our students have been friends throughout school and others are hoping to make new friends. With this in mind we will attempt to keep appropriate communication and activity as a part of every school day, while being ever mindful of physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings when and where it is required.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance. The staff will receive instruction prior to the opening of school regarding the specific procedures to be followed. Students will receive instruction and practice during the first week of school, and continuing reminders. Parents have been asked to speak with their children regarding school requirements and protocols with respect to health and safety, as well as practicing with their children at home as needed.
- Face coverings are required of all staff and students in the building (until otherwise specified). Parents and guardians, as well as other adults who find it necessary to enter the school must also wear face coverings.
- Outdoor “mask breaks” will be given throughout the school day.
- Physical distance will be maintained by all as required by the health department and the school. All members of the school family are reminded to respect each other’s space and personal property. Personal items (e.g., books, pens, pencils, snacks and lunches, etc. may not be shared at this time.)
- Frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers, using hands free sanitizing stations, will be required and ongoing.
- Air purifiers and hand sanitizing stations are being installed in all classroom areas through donations from Alumni and Friends of St. Joseph School.
- Disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and frequented areas, (e.g., lavatory facilities, handrails, door knobs) will be ongoing during the school day, as well as before and after school. In addition to our full time custodian, a part time custodian has been added for the hours between 12 and 3 p.m.
- Students will bring personal water bottles that may be refilled (with adult assistance) through two automatic bottle-fillers. (Also donated by alumni and friends.)
- Upon arrival at school students will either proceed to the playground, with appropriate adult supervision, or will proceed to their respective supervised classroom spaces in inclement weather. Appropriate physical distancing and face coverings are required dependent upon the area being used.
- Students or adults with signs/ symptoms in school will be isolated and sent home. The policy for the number of days out of school will be sent home dependent upon symptoms and direction from the Ledge Light Health Department.
- Directives from the Ledge Light Health Department will be followed in the event that students or adults test positive for the virus and school must recess for a specified time.
- An isolation area for adults and/or students with symptoms has been identified. The principal or principal’s designee will supervise the person with signs/symptoms while the nurse notifies the family for pick-up, and until the nurse is available.
- When and if parents/guardians are called to pick up a sick child, they are asked to arrive at school within a reasonable time, call the office upon arrival. The nurse will meet the parent/guardian at the front door.
- Hand sanitizers for common areas and school entry, as well as for the classrooms have been donated.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized multiple times during the day (e.g., bathrooms, handrails, door knobs, desk tops).
- Most St. Joseph School students are driven to school by parents.
- Students who are bused must wear masks on the bus and physically distance themselves according to the bus company’s directives. (Bus Company guidelines not received as yet.)
- All buses will have bus monitors.
- Only St. Joseph students ride the buses sent to our school during our bus runs.
Movement About the Building
- Since the hallways are wide, each side of the hallway will be designated as ONE WAY with blue arrows.
- The stairways will be designated as UP on the CHURCH OFFICE side of the building and DOWN on the CHURCH side of the building.
- Prior to arrival parents are asked to monitor the temperature, signs, and symptoms that their children are displaying. Never send a sick child on the bus.
- Cell phones may not be brought to school, unless a parent sends a note as to the reason why it is being carried to school. In this case, it must be left at the office until the end of the school day and brought in a Ziploc bag.
- All students will enter at a safe distance through the front door and proceed to the playground through the gym door. Parents are asked to drop off students between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. Parents should not congregate on the playground prior to the opening of school each day.
- Non-staff persons may not enter the school during arrival time. Those wishing to approach the office may only do so after 8:45 a.m. after calling the office. They must wear a face covering and use hand sanitizer at the door.
- If a student is to be a late arrival to school, the parent/guardian must call the office.
- No entry by non-school personnel at this time. If a parent wishes to approach the office for any reason an appointment must be made. If a child must be dismissed early, the school must be notified prior to 1:30 p.m. of the day of the dismissal. Upon arrival to pick up this child from school, the parent must call the office and will be met at the front door.
- Class dismissal will be staggered by cohort/class group.
- Walkers will be dismissed at the side door on the Church side of the building as usual.
- Parent/Guardians are asked to remain at their vehicles for students. Staff will bring your children to you.
- Bus students will be dismissed at the front door as usual, and will be taken to the bus by the designated staff member.
This plan shall be updated as necessary. (Aug. 20, 2021)