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COVIDFAQ for Parent/ Guardians Regarding our Reopening of Saint Anne Parish School (As of July 24, 2020)

Dear Saint Anne Families,

We know that you have many questions about the start of the school year. We hope and pray that the communications you received to date have helped in alleviating some of your concerns. That being said, our REOPENING TEAM has outlined many of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) from parents about our reopening plan. These questions are divided up into three sections, each addressing a separate aspect of the reopening process. The categories are: 

1. Health and Safety: General health and safety questions, such as social distancing, masks, and facility cleaning. 

2. Infection Protocols: How we will handle instances where students or employees become ill. 

3. Academics and Programming: Questions related to how classes will be taught. This section also includes
information on school events (such as masses or assemblies) and extracurricular activities.

Please continue to reach out to us or members of the REOPENING TEAM. We will continue to keep communications open and frequent.

In patient partnership,
Mrs. Dawn Kapka and Mrs. Lisa Torrence
 
HEALTH AND SAFETY 

Q: What does Reopening Saint Anne Parish School really mean? A: Gathering as a school community is an integral part of our Catholic education and school's mission. This means that all of our students are welcome to return to classes for face-to-face instruction in the fall. We have developed an in-depth plan that addresses including but not limited to cohorts, socially distanced traffic patterns and classrooms, and a safe arrival and dismissal process. 
 
Q: Will students be safe when school is reopened? Has your plan been reviewed by medical professionals? 
A: Safety continues to be a top priority at Saint Anne Parish School. In constructing our reopening plan, we have closely studied guidance from the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), as well as the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH). Additionally, our Reopening Team includes medical personnel that have played an integral role in the Health and Safety aspects of our plan.

Q: Who decides when a school has met the requirements to reopen? When will this happen?
A: Saint Anne Parish School must complete a checklist and submit it to OCS for review and certification for reopening. We will submit our plan on or before August 10.

Q: Will all students be allowed to return to school at the same time?
A: Yes. Saint Anne Parish School's plan provides for the safe return of all students without the need for staggered arrival times. However, in an attempt to help our students transition to the new routines/procedures, we will have a modified schedule the first days of school. Those details will follow in a later communication.

Q: Will students need to wear masks at school? 
A: Yes. As per directives of the state, all individuals above the age of two will need to wear masks while at Saint Anne Parish School. Masks may be removed for brief periods of time under certain circumstances (such as outdoor play or lunch). Additionally, teachers will be working frequent mask breaks into the students' day. However, when masks are removed, students must remain physically distant from one another (at least six feet).

Q: Do I need to purchase masks for my child? 
A: Yes. We are asking all parents to purchase masks for their child. We also ask that you remain mindful of our out of uniform dress code and stay within those guidelines for your child's mask - no foul language, inappropriate or scary prints, etc. Parents may opt to buy disposable or reusable masks. For disposable masks, each mask must be thrown away at the end of every school day and parents should send plenty of extra masks to school with their child. For reusable masks, masks should be cleaned after every use and students should come to school with at least two masks every day. Students must also have a clean paper bag to store their bag in during designated mask break times.

Q: Can face shields be used instead of masks? 
A: No. Face shields cannot be used instead of masks, as per directives of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). If your child would like to wear a face shield in addition to a mask, he/she may absolutely do so.

Q: Will teachers teach children how to use masks?
A: Yes. We know that all Saint Anne Parish School students will need training to learn how to properly wear masks. Each homeroom teacher will spend time at the beginning of the year helping children learn how to safely keep masks in place, in addition to acclimating them to the new look to a "day in the life of a Saint Anne Parish School student". This training will be done via videos and real-life modeling.

Q: Will students be required to physically distance at school? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School's plan calls for each student to be part of a larger group of students called a "cohort." Each cohort aligns with a homeroom class. When students are with their cohort, they should remain as far apart as possible, but do not need to keep at least six feet apart. (AAP recommends at least 3 feet). Students will be assigned seats that will assist them in understanding safe social distance. Homeroom teachers are also part of cohorts, and can walk around their classroom to monitor student classwork. Special Area teachers and Core Subject Area teachers (middle school) will travel to Cohort Classrooms. They are not part of the cohort and will remain socially distanced/not travelling throughout the classroom. When students are around other cohorts, they should remain at least six feet apart. We believe the cohort model provides for better containment should there be a positive case of COVID-19 (see the Infection Protocol section).

Q: Should I take my child's temperature every day before school? 
A: Yes. A high fever is a key symptom of COVID-19. Parents should take their child's temperature every day before their child is taken to school. If your child has a fever of over 100.4°F, your child should be kept home from school. You should contact your child's doctor and the school's main office. Similarly, you should ask your child if he/she has any of the other symptoms of COVID-19, such as a sore throat, coughing, or nausea. If your child complains of these symptoms, you should keep him/her home and contact your doctor and the school office. Completing the Google Daily Self-Certification Form is a requirement before your child will receive the "Go Card" to enter the school building. Please refer to the July 22nd video and July 23rd Broadcast for these details.
For more information about how to handle the potential illness of your child, please see the Infection Protocol section.

Q: How will drop off and pick-up be handled? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School's Arrival and Dismissal Procedure was carefully detailed in a video sent out on July 22 with a follow up Broadcast on July 23. Please see those links here.

Q: What does the plan say about safety and cleanliness requirements for school buildings? 
A: Our plan includes very specific requirements for the ongoing cleaning and sanitizing of Saint Anne Parish School. Generally speaking, the building will be cleaned frequently throughout the day, with a particular focus on high-traffic areas and common surfaces. Windows and/or vents will be opened to maximize air flow. Plexi-glass barriers will be installed in the main office area. Touch-less hand sanitizers are placed throughout the school, in addition to pump sanitizers in each classroom.

Q: How will lunch/snack take place when school reopens? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School's Reopening Team has planned for lunches/snacks to take place in Cohort Assigned rooms that will allow students an area separate from their homeroom yet remain with their cohort. Special lunch days will NOT take place this year, nor will we allow lunches to be delivered to the school. All students must bring their own lunch. Please be aware that we have students with severe nut allergies and take care when packing your child(ren)'s lunch. We strongly suggest that the items that are packed are easily opened by the student in order to avoid the need for faculty/staff coming in close contact or touching food.

Q: What about recess? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School will still conduct recess within the defined safety requirements. This means cohorts must be spread out from one another. If recess is outdoors, masks may be removed, but students will stay at least six feet apart.

Q: Can I still volunteer at school? 
A: No. We are eliminating volunteers and visitors to the building. The only volunteers that will be seen at the school will be Board Members/Reopening Team Members that will assist during our Meet the Teacher event, first days of Arrival/Dismissal, etc.

Q: Is it okay for my family to travel out of town during the COVID-19 pandemic? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School's Reopening Team recommends that you not travel out of town during the current pandemic. However, if travel is necessary, we encourage you to become familiar with the IDPH's Travel Guidelines. If your child travels to another country or to a state identified by the IDPH as having a surge in COVID-19 cases, we ask you to wait for 14 days until returning your child to school.

Q: What happens if there is a COVID-19 surge in greater Chicago and the state imposes more restrictions on schools? 
A: If a COVID-19 surge occurs, we will work closely with OCS and state officials to determine whether we can continue face-to-face instruction (even on an alternate schedule). If necessary, we will return to at-home virtual instruction.
For more information see our Academics section below

INFECTION PROTOCOLS
 
Q: What is Coronavirus (COVID 19) and how does it spread? A: COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness. The virus is primarily spread from person to person and so you can become infected by coming into close contact (about 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has COVID-19. This might occur from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Infection may also occur by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 
A: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified several symptoms of COVID-19, including high fever (above 100.4°F), sore throat, coughing, nausea, headache, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhea and difficulty breathing.

Q: What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19? 
A: If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your doctor. Your doctor may ask that your child participate in a COVID-19 test. You should alert your Saint Anne Parish School's main office and not send your child to school.

If the symptoms occur during the school day, your child will be immediately guided to the isolation room where he/she will be monitored until you have been contacted and picked your child up from school at Door #1.

If your child needs to remain home for the 14 day isolation period, he/she may continue with academics through our carefully planned parallel E-Learning.

Q: My child had COVID-19-like symptoms, but tested negative for COVID-19. When can he/she return to school? 
A: If your child does not have COVID-19, but has another illness, you should keep your child home until the illness' symptoms disappear. Saint Anne Parish School will require you to provide a negative COVID-19 test and/or a doctor's note before your child can return to school.

Q: What should I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19? 
A: You should immediately contact your doctor for additional instructions. You should also contact your school's main office. You should not send your child to school.
If your child needs to remain home for the 14 day isolation period, he/she may continue with academics through our carefully planned parallel E-Learning.

Q: When can a student return to school after receiving a positive COVID-19 test? 
A: If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or does not seek medical attention, students must isolate and not return to school until they have met CDC's criteria to discontinue home isolation. This includes:
1. Three or more days without a high fever;

2. A reduction of other COVID symptoms by at least 75 percent; and

3. At least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If your child needs to remain home for the 14 day isolation period, he/she may continue with academics through our carefully planned parallel E-Learning.

Q: What should I do if a member of my household (who is not my child) tests positive for COVID-19? 
A: You should immediately contact Saint Anne Parish School's main office. Your school will ask that you keep your child home for at least 14 days. If your family member recovers from COVID-19 (through meeting the criteria in the previous question) AND your child shows no COVID-19 symptoms for the 14-day period, your child may be allowed to return.
If your child needs to remain home for the 14 day isolation period, he/she may continue with academics through our carefully planned parallel E-Learning.

Q: What happens if my child's teacher tests positive for COVID-19? 
A: Should any faculty/staff member of Saint Anne Parish School have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, we will follow the same protocols used for students. If your child's teacher becomes sick and is unable to work remotely, we will provide a substitute teacher.

Q: What happens if another student in my child's class tests positive for COVID-19? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School will make all parents aware that a student has tested positive for COVID-19. All students in the cohort will be asked to isolate at home for at least 14 days. Students will be allowed to complete work virtually through E-Learning while the cohort is away from school. 

Q: Could my child's school building be closed down due to COVID-19 this year? 
A: We will do our best to ensure a safe and healthy environment in the coming year. If cases appear, resulting in the isolation of classes/cohorts, we may need to close the school building and transition all students to virtual E-Learning for a time. Parents will be updated regularly should that need arise. 

ACADEMICS AND PROGRAMMING

Q: Will my child's curriculum be changed this year? 
A: Saint Anne Parish School will still deliver the high-quality faith based instruction that you have come to expect. We have taken great steps to put a curriculum in place across all subjects and grade levels that will address in-person instruction, parallel e-learning instruction, and still maintain safety and health protocol. Additionally, consistent Learning Management Systems and planning tools have been put into place. Teachers will be sharing and training students and parents alike in August in order to ensure comfortable, purposeful learning whether at school or at home.
 
Q: Will my child's classroom look different?
A: Saint Anne Parish School's faculty/staff are working to plan and "map out" classroom environments that will maximize distancing among students. Non-essential furniture and other items have been removed. Additionally, desks and tables will be arranged so that they face the front of the room. These steps were taken to minimize risk of any infection within the cohort. Special requirements will also be in place for departmentalized classes and special area subjects to minimize cross-contamination among cohorts. The implementation of safety and health requirements will be met by having these teachers travel to the assigned cohort room, rather than the students traveling.

Q: Will students share school supplies? 
A: No. We are asking that Saint Anne Parish School students not share school supplies (e.g., books, crayons, technology, etc.), including for such subjects as art and music. Exceptions may be made for activities outdoors (such as outdoor physical education classes). However, such supplies will be cleaned/sanitized after every use.

Q: Will tests still be given this year? 
A: Yes. It is important that we continue to gauge student academic growth throughout the school year. Saint Anne Parish School will administer the i-Ready diagnostic tests for students in K-8 and the ACT Aspire tests for students in grades 3-8.

Q: Will students participate in field trips? 
A: No. Saint Anne Parish School will not be conducting outside field trips during the 2020-21 school year. However, we are planning to provide virtual experiences for the students.

Q: My child has a Individual Service Plan (ISP) because of an identified learning, behavioral or physical need. Can the needs of my child still be met this year? 
A: As each Individual Service Plan (ISP) is different, Saint Anne Parish School will be evaluating each ISP to determine whether additional modifications are needed in light of COVID-19-related health and safety protocols. Our staff will contact you if it is determined that changes to the ISP need to occur. If you have urgent questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Q: I need to meet with my student's teacher, Mrs. Kapka, or Mrs. Torrence. Can these meetings occur? 
A: Yes. These meetings can take place virtually via phone or video chat.

Q: Can we still have meetings of stakeholder groups, such as the Saint Anne School Advisory Board, Home and School Association,...? 
A: Yes. These meetings may take place virtually.

Q: Will school masses still take place?
A: Yes. Saint Anne Parish has achieved the certification to host masses for groups as large as our student body. Students will be able to plan and host All School Masses and remain within Covid Compliance.

Q: Will First Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation take place this year? A: Saint Anne Parish School will continue to provide preparation for the Sacraments of First Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation. For the celebration of the Sacraments, we must follow a specific plan defined by the Archdiocese of Chicago. We will work closely with Fr. Bernie and the Parish Core Staff to determine the timing and schedule of these sacraments.

Q: How will co-curricular activities and athletics be impacted this year? A: Currently Saint Anne Parish School has cancelled co-curricular and athletic activities. This will be reevaluated after the start of the school year.