Salem Christian School takes the health, wellbeing, spiritual life, and education of our students seriously. We are committed to ensuring the proper cleanliness, safety measures, and compliance to standards are taken by the school. Additionally, we continue to steadfastly focus on our mission, vision, ethos, and outcomes. It is important that each of us take responsibility for ourselves and others as we continue to flourish as a community. For, we are to love others as ourselves.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN (COVID-19)
The School Committee has reviewed and considered the following a plan to address the COVID-19 exposure and school opening.
Foundation and Position
Salem Christian School is in an enviable position in order to thrive during this pandemic. The very nature, structure, and program of Salem Christian School that exists enables the school to meet this challenge in a position of strength. Salem Christian School represents the goals that public entities are trying to achieve. Thus, most of the following mitigation strategies already exist at Salem Christian School:
- The size of the student population, classroom to teacher ratio, and building are optimal for addressing the challenges.
- Cohort groups (Block scheduling and grade-level group sizes)
- Ability to communicate changes and respond more nimbly due to size and systems in place
- Operate as a people of hope in God’s providence
- Embrace an ethos (cultural aspiration) of love, care, respect, and service.
Any mitigation that the school engages will be above and beyond what most other school districts and schools would hope to achieve.
Salem Christian School considers each of its employees as being an integral part of the school’s spiritual development and ministerial duties. Thus, caring, serving, loving, and respecting others is paramount.
Guidelines will be evaluated regularly. They may change if the state, governing authorities, or associations require more restrictions or allow for less restrictions.
Remote-learning and educational disruptions will be a last resort. If at any time a student, teacher, or staff who has participated in a school activity and tests positive for COVID-19, these guidelines may result in remote-learning in order to curb an outbreak. We would hope that great care would be exercised in order to show respect, love, and care for others through our service (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31). As a last resort, great care weighing and considering the various factors will be used when deciding which students or group of students will move to remote learning. Additionally, the school may need to make adjustments to the plan.
General school-wide measures:
- Everyone will be screened for temperature upon entry.
- Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater will be asked to return home or not granted entry into the building.
- Those who have experienced the following symptoms within 14 days should not attend: runny nose, cough (wet or dry), shortness of breath, fever (100.4 or greater), and/or vomiting. These individuals are expected to pursue medical assistance and request a remote-learning plan.
- If an absence is longer than 3 days, a physician’s note will be required for return to school attendance.
- Students/teachers/parents who have traveled to a high-risk area 14 days or less prior to the activity should refrain from attending or visiting the school. A remote-learning plan request for the self-quarantine absence should be requested.
- Students/teachers/guests who have been in contact with a confirmed or probable (symptomatic, but not tested or awaiting test results) COVID-19 patient should refrain from being at the school for the recommended quarantine period.
- If a positive case is determined, the school will disinfect the applicable classroom(s) and space in addition to the cleaning process that is already in place and then notify families within the potentially-exposed group.
- Parents are requested to report any cases to the school so that a proper course of action can be determined.
System for ensuring ongoing communication with families around the elements of the local Health and Safety Plan including ways that families can practice safe hygiene in the home:
- The school will provide updates through parent alert notifications, when required.
- Parents are expected to share exposure or pertinent information with the school, through the office, so that the school can respond accordingly.
- The school will provide alerts to potential exposure within the classroom or school for those exposed directly.
- The school will provide alerts for reported cases within the school community as is permitted/required by law.
- Parents will be notified and expected to retrieve their child immediately if a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater is noted.
- Washing hygiene before and after meals is highly expected/encouraged.
- Any adjustments to the plan will be indicated on the school’s website in addition to the Weekly Update.
As per guidelines, this COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan includes the following to the extent possible: (Much of this existed prior to this plan due to the structure and nature of SCS)
Guidelines for hygiene practices for students, staff, and families;
- Maintain class/grade-level grouping throughout the day as much as possible.
- Non-touch thermometer stations will be used to take everyone’s temperature upon entry to the building.
- Students and faculty will be provided methods and expected o clean their personal items, desks, and other surfaces at the beginning of the day and at the end of each day. Additionally, a desk or equipment will be expected to be cleaned before and after its use before it is transferred to another individual.
- Alternating class schedule, lunches, and dismissals to alleviate traffic and congestion as much as possible. There is an expectation that there will be no congregation in the halls unless within social distancing guidelines.
- Children arriving with a 100.4 or above fever will be isolated until their parent/guardian can retrieve them.
- External field trips are suspended until further notice. Future requests for field trips will be evaluated on an individual basis: student exposure, ability to maintain social distancing, and smaller than a group of 25 will be some of the components of that evaluation.
- In addition to school personnel and students, family members, and guests will be temperature-checked using a no-contact thermometer upon entry.
- Require individual drinking and other personal items so that there are limited shared items.
- Drinking fountains are closed for non-water bottle use. More non-touch bottle filling stations in addition to the existing ones are being pursued.
- Students are expected to wipe down shared equipment before and after use.
- Proper hygiene, washing hands, and limited shared equipment will be expected.
Guidelines on the use of face coverings (masks or face shields) by staff and students;
- The state mandate will be posted with the allowed exceptions.
- We expect each parent to exercise good judgment and demonstrate love, care, respect, and service when evaluating what is best for their family and others. (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31)
- A member of the faculty or staff will be wearing a mask and will perform a temperature check of students as they enter the building.
- In order to limit exposure within the community, visitors to the building are requested to wear masks at all times when students are present. And, only necessary visitors will be allowed. No visitors or guests in the classroom unless academically necessary.
Protocols for classroom/learning space occupancy that allow for 6 feet of separation among students and staff throughout the day when appropriate;
- Salem Christian School’s pre-existing size, program, and structure represent the goals presented for schools desiring to return to in-school instruction.
- The school population will work within cohorts (small groups of students).
- School assemblies will be limited and allow for and expect physical distancing.
- When assemblies are conducted the seating will be within social distancing guidelines and cohort groups.
- Recess and lunch will practice social distancing practices, wherein possible. Lunch times and spaces will be expanded to allow for the social distancing guidelines. Enhanced cleaning of playground equipment and tables will be performed.
- Upon arrival the students will go directly to their homerooms. Locker access will only be allowed if social distancing is maintained.
- The school will make every attempts to limit groups to class/grade level as much as possible.
Methods of limiting the number of individuals in classrooms and other learning spaces, and interactions between groups of students;
- The size and nature of SCS already addresses this recommendation.
- No more than 25 students in a classroom.
- Group activities will be curtailed beyond the ability to provide space for social distancing.
- Staggered times and limited number of students allowed on field/playground.
- Increased cleaning of playground equipment and shared equipment between usage.
Methods of staggering the use of communal spaces and hallways and ensuring regular cleaning;
- Upon arrival students will go to homerooms.
- Staggered schedules, dismissal, and arrival established to mitigate gathering in the hallway and at lockers in order to provide allowance for physical distancing.
- Students are not permitted to congregate in the hallways.
Procedures to limit the sharing of materials among students;
- Students will use their own books, desks, and resources wherein is possible.
- Personal items should not be shared.
- Desks will be cleaned each day and between different users.
- Group tables and shared spaces will be cleaned between groups.
Processes for identifying and restricting non-essential visitors and volunteers;
- Maintain the strength of the cohort and limited exposure of the faculty, staff, and students.
- Non-essential visitations will be limited. Classroom volunteering will be limited to essential instructional needs only.
- Volunteers, where essential, will be requested to wear masks.
Protocols for adjusting transportation schedules and practices to create social distance between students;
- Transportation is determinant upon what the public school provides or parent drop off.
- Traditional arrival and departure practices comply to the guidelines.
Processes to communicate and coordinate with local child care regarding on-site care, transportation protocol changes, and when possible, revised hours of operation or modified school-year calendars.
- Parent alerts will be provided in the event of needed schedule changes, potential exposure, and confirmed cases.
- A good faith attempt will be made to inform the transportation provider and others who may have been exposed.
- Demonstrate RESPECT: Everyone will hold different opinions, beliefs, and tolerances. As a Christian community, we need to respect those views that may be opposite ours and deeply held. (Matthew 7:12)
- Demonstrate CARE: Take proper care of personal hygiene, health, and shared items in order to demonstrate: serve, love, and respect others. (Ephesians 4:32; James 2:3-6)
- Demonstrate SERVICE: Service toward others and setting aside ourselves is a cherished Christian attribute. (Galatians 6:2)
- Demonstrate LOVE: Loving others is paramount. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Athletics will be addressed through an additionally approved plan that will be developed with consideration of partnering leagues and associations. As of August 1, 2020, PIAA and ACCAC league rules prohibit spectators.
A COVID -19 Release Form will be required for each enrolled student in order to attend.