Yes. As required by IDPH, except while eating and napping, face coverings must be worn at all times in school buildings, even when social distance is maintained. All individuals in a school building must wear a face covering unless they have a medical contraindication, are under 2 years of age, have trouble breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the face covering without assistance. Our observations at other schools show us that children easily adapt to wearing the masks when they learn this is our routine at school, just like washing their hands upon entry. Please begin practicing mask wearing with your child now, encouraging them to wear it at home before attending school.
Are face coverings required when individuals are outside?
Face coverings are not required outside if social distance is maintained (if individuals remain 6 feet apart from each other).
How should schools verify a student meets an exception to the face covering requirement?
It is recommended that schools require physicians notes for students and staff who are not able to wear a face covering.
Are all individuals in a school building required to maintain social distance (remain 6 feet apart) at all times?
Social distance must be observed as much as possible. Desks do not need to be spaced 6 feet apart; however, it is recommended that excess furniture be removed from classrooms to allow for as much space as possible in between desks.
How should symptom screenings be administered?
Schools must conduct temperature and symptom screenings and verification for all staff, students, and visitors entering school buildings. Schools should check for a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius and 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. Individuals who have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius or one known symptom may not enter buildings. Individuals who exhibit symptoms should be sent home and referred to a medical provider for evaluation and treatment and be given information about when they can return to school. The temperature will be written on the attendance sheet. Staff will self screen at home and will adhere to the same safety guidelines.
Who can perform symptom screenings?
Any staff member may perform in-person temperature checks and symptom screenings. It is not required that a certified school nurse perform these checks and screenings.
When must an individual self-quarantine?
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are suspected of having COVID-19 infection should seek medical attention, self-isolate, and follow CDC guidelines for discontinuation of isolation. Individuals who have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 infection should isolate at home and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Individuals who did not have close contact can return to school immediately after disinfection.
What is considered “close contact”?
Close contact means the individual was within 6 feet of the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 infection for more than 15 minutes.
What is the procedure if a student were to show symptoms mid-day?
Schools should provide a supervised quarantine space for students/staff who are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms and may be awaiting evaluation and/or pickup. Students must never be left alone and must be supervised at all times while maintaining necessary precautions within the quarantine space. Judgment of nursing professionals or the administrator/designee (in the absence of a nurse) must determine who is placed in the quarantine space and the level of supervision (e.g., supervised by nurse or unlicensed personnel) required for persons within the quarantine space.
Is a school required to transition to remote instruction if an individual who was in the building tests positive for COVID-19?
No. Only those individuals with close contact with someone who tested positive or who is suspected of having COVID-19 are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The school should provide remote instruction to students who are self-quarantining, if they are well enough to engage in learning. Teachers and staff who are self-quarantining may continue to work remotely if they are well enough to do so.
Do families provide masks for their child or will the school provide the masks?
We encourage families to purchase several cloth masks for their children to use at FVMS. We will send home masks each day to be cleaned. The school is going to order supplemental masks for staff and students. Visitors will need to provide their own masks. We ask that each child keep at least one extra mask at school, more if possible.
What will meals look like?
We will continue eating meals with our students in their assigned classrooms. We will only offer catered hot lunch to the Toddler Room. All other children will need to provide their own cold lunches, snacks, and place setting for meals. New this year, we will remove the microwave from the classroom to reduce the common touch surface area. Keep that in mind when sending in lunches. Children will be eating with a 6 foot social distance spacing with their masks off. We will also be eliminating snack preparation and baking for the time being.
Will wearing a mask reduce oxygen consumption?
If your child is struggling with wearing a mask, we encourage you to try alternate mask styles for your child. We are flexible on mask designs/patterns but the mask needs to be cloth, or surgical masks, and it cannot have a valve or vent. With our outdoor area and significant space available indoors, we are able to offer many mask breaks (opportunities to remove their mask with distance between children) throughout the day to our students. We intend to do outdoor learning as much as possible as well.
What will nap look like at FVMS?
Children will be napping with a six foot distance between cots. They will not be wearing masks while they sleep. Parents will provide the nap items for their child. No stuffed animals this year.
How will they use materials to learn?
We will ask children to wash their hands upon entering the room and again before touching materials. We will sanitize materials between children. Children will have work areas set up and have their own supplies and their own working time rugs. We will be getting complete materials needed lists out to families in the near future. We will create a space in each classroom for materials to be put which need to be sanitized. We are also looking to replace our soap dispensers with touchless dispensers to continue to reduce the potential spread of germs.
What will drop off and pick up look like this year?
We are working on the details for a staggered drop off so we reduce congestion and allow for the health screening upon arrival. We will have staggered pick up as well for the afternoon dismissal. At this time, we will be eliminating before and after school care and will reconsider opening up for extended care at a later date. Children will be dropped off at a door which enters directly into their own classroom, where they will receive a health assessment and temperature check by an FVMS staff person. We ask parents to stay until it is confirmed their child can attend. To reduce the amount of items coming to school, we ask that parents refrain from sending in backpacks with their children in the toddler and primary classrooms.
What will the cleaning schedule be at FVMS?
We are getting quotes now for increased cleaning service and to include more disinfection/sanitizing with the general cleaning. Throughout the day, we will be cleaning bathrooms and materials, along with high traffic areas.
Will you be updating your HVAC units?
At this time, we will be getting them all inspected for quality and replace any filters we can to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We will also be opening windows and can add fans where needed to keep air moving throughout the classrooms.
When will school start?
We are sending an updated calendar by July 31. We will be asking for parents to let us know by August 7, if they will be sending their child to FVMS. If you wish to have a spot held for your child, there will be a fee to keep the spot open for your child. It will be 25% of the monthly tuition based on the schedule you had chosen for your child. The fee would be due at the beginning of each month, just like a tuition payment. This will allow you to enroll your child at any time and be guaranteed a spot. Upon enrollment, the remaining percentage for that month will be due and the following months will be paid at the full rate.
Can you guarantee that my child will not get sick while at FVMS?
No. Just like any other illness, children are susceptible. In addition to the potential of a student getting ill from COVID-19, there are the typical illnesses that come with sending a child to an early childhood program or elementary school.
What will happen if the school closes due to the state mandate?
We will move to remote learning for elementary. Tuition for elementary will be due as scheduled. Teachers will continue working with students individually or in small groups. Materials will be made available for students to use as needed. Primary and Toddler classrooms will file for an emergency license if needed to allow us to remain open for families. Tuition will remain the same.
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