ASCENSION EPISCOPAL SCHOOL
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Welcoming Students Back Safely

Ascension reopened for in-person school for grades PreK-12 the week of August 10 as planned.

Because of our small class sizes and three separate campuses, we are able to adhere easily to Phase II or III guidelines. We are confident in delivering an excellent educational experience regardless of the phase we are in as a community. Of course, some things are going to look different, and each of us - faculty, parents, and students alike- will be required to be flexible and exhibit a positive attitude as we learn to navigate daily life under the plan. Ascension has proven to be a special community over the past few months, and I am confident our return to campus will demonstrate the strength of our school.

Our COVID Response Team has been meeting and consulting with our team of medical professionals to create a plan for reopening safely.

  As long as we remain in Phase II or III, the following will be in place.

Facility and Operations Modifications

Many changes have been made across all three of our campuses to keep our community members safe:

  • Handwashing stations have been added on all campuses to provide adequate space for proper and frequent scheduled handwashing. In addition, all classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, and quarantine areas have been stocked with CDC approved hand sanitizer to be used when hand washing is not an option.
  • Campus Directors have established patterns for movement around campus to minimize contact and reduce interactions in hallways and common areas. When social distancing is not possible, physical barriers are used.
  • Water fountains are turned off, and water bottle fillers are available for students. Many thanks to the PTO for raising funds to provide these water bottle fillers for our campuses.
  • Sanitation measures are being taken to adequately clean our campus spaces throughout the day and at the close of each day.

Health Screenings

We ask all parents and students to partner with us to promote the safest environment possible. Daily temperature checks with touchless thermometers and symptom monitoring take place for anyone entering our campus. Designated quarantine areas on each campus have been established for students exhibiting symptoms and waiting to be picked up by parents.

COVID Positive Cases and Exposure

 

With the recommendation from our medical experts and in accordance with local and federal guidelines, our policy on COVID positive cases is as follows:
  • Any student with greater than 100.4 F body temperature will be sent home and required to see a doctor to be cleared to return to school
  • According to CDC guidelines, length of contact, proximity to positive case, and social distancing will be considered when determining if an individual on campus has been exposed.
  • If a faculty member/student or anyone in their household is awaiting COVID test results, then the student/faculty member is not allowed to come to school until results are determined.
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member that is identified as a close contact to a positive COVID person is required to notify the school.
  • In the event a student or faculty member tests positive for COVID and a student is identified as a close contact, the parents will be notified that their child has been exposed and must quarantine for 10 days pending no symptoms.
  • For an individual who is considered exposed to COVID, beginning on day 6, a negative PCR COVID test result would allow the quarantine period to be shortened to 7 days, pending no symptoms.
  • Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period or having direct contact with an infected person, including touching, hugging, kissing or sharing eating or drinking utensils; or if an infected person sneezed, coughed etc.
  • When determining exposure, the infectious period includes the 48 hours before the day the person became sick (or 48 hours before specimen collection if no symptoms)
  • According to CDC guidelines, individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 will not be required to quarantine if exposed within 90 days of their positive test. Proof of a positive COVID test (either Antigen or PCR test with date) must be provided to the school nurse.
  • Any student who is in quarantine or who is choosing to stay home will participate in our HyFlex Learning option. Those students who are choosing HyFlex Learning are still able to participate in extracurricular activities.


Limiting Outside Visitors

To limit outside contact, parents are not allowed to come onto campus, unless it is to check a student in or out or to conduct school business by appointment. If parents enter campus buildings for any reason, face coverings are required.


Face Coverings

Students in grades 1 - 12 are required to wear a mask or face covering. Students on the River Ranch Campus have the option to wear a face covering, but it is not mandatory. Faculty and staff on all campuses are required to wear a face-covering at all times during the school day. Teachers direct students on when they are allowed to remove masks during the day.

Face coverings can be any shape, size, or design as long as they cover the student’s mouth and nose and are not deemed a distraction by the Campus Director. All faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear a face-covering (mask or shield) during the school day in accordance with the state guidelines. Campus Directors have found faculty face-covering options that are developmentally appropriate for each campus.

Daily Schedule Modifications

Our goal is to maximize instructional time while providing the safest environment possible. All school start and ending times remain the same. Recess and breaks are an important part of our students’ development and are adjusted to limit exposure to other grade levels. Students eat lunch in their classrooms on the River Ranch and Downtown Campuses and in designated areas on the Sugar Mill Pond Campus.

Pre-K3 through 4th-grade students remain with their class “family” throughout the day to minimize contact with other students and staff. Students in grades 5 through 12 mix groups as needed based on schedules but limit contact with other students during transitions. In addition, the Sugar Mill Pond Campus transitioned to a four period 90-minute block daily schedule to reduce contact between students.

Arrival and dismissal procedures on all campuses are adjusted to eliminate students gathering in close proximity when entering and leaving campus.

Enrichments and PE

We continue to provide Enrichments and PE throughout our daily curriculum structure on all three campuses while maintaining the guidelines of social distancing and other safety precautions. However, please note that Middle School students do not dress out for PE, so PE uniforms are not needed while we are in Phase II or III.

Athletics

As a member of the LHSAA, we are following the guidelines they have set forth and will make decisions based on CDC recommendations for all high school athletic events. Athletic seasons for our Middle School sports (practices and games) have been flipped and are conducted in accordance to CDC guidelines.  

Large Group Gatherings and Field Trips

Under Phase III, we are limiting all group gatherings to under 50 in accordance with state guidelines. Chapel is adjusted on each campus to deliver God’s Word in a way that is safe and follows maximum group size restrictions. Eucharist services are cancelled until further notice from the Bishop. Other large group gatherings are postponed or held virtually as needed. No field trips will take place until considered safe by state health officials.

Early Care and After Care

Early Care and After Care continue to operate on the River Ranch and Downtown Campuses. Students are grouped into cohorts based on grade level and classroom teachers as campus space and personnel permits.

Buses

All buses are running at a limited capacity. Phase II dictates a maximum of 35 students per bus and Phase III allows for 54. Due to these limitations, we strongly encourage carpooling if possible. For those utilizing bus service, students are assigned seats. Multiple trips may be necessary to accommodate any additional students, and sanitation measures will be taken after each trip. 

Excellence in Technology

As an Apple Distinguished School, we have the resources, technology, and ability to continue providing educational excellence for every student in the event they are exposed to COVID and must quarantine. A plan for virtual learning is implemented for these students to continue their educational experience and prevent a lapse in instruction while unable to attend school. Additionally, should the Governor move the state back into “Stay at Home” orders, our teams will be ready to deliver a purposeful virtual learning experience with improved tools and content delivery.

As mentioned above, our back to school plan allows for virtual instruction if a family is in quarantine. Click Here to watch a video from our Tech Team for more information. 

Continued Faculty Training

Rest assured that our teachers are appropriately trained and were prepared during our summer CPE days to welcome children back into the classrooms. Extra training and guidance has been provided to our faculty and staff to help address the social-emotional needs of our students.

 

 

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