ASCENSION EPISCOPAL SCHOOL
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Welcoming Students Back Safely

Ascension will reopen 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 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.

We are committed to making these changes as seamless as possible and are relying on your partnership to start school safely. Please know that your child’s Campus Director will provide more specific details in the coming weeks. I apologize in advance for the length of this email, but we have many important details to share.

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

Facility and Operations Modifications

Many changes are being 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 will be installed.
  • Water fountains will be turned off, and water bottle fillers will be available for students. Many thanks to the PTO for raising funds to provide these water bottle fillers for our campuses.
  • Sanitation measures will be taken to adequately clean our campus spaces throughout the day and at the close of each day.

Health Screenings

We are asking all parents and students to partner with us to promote the safest environment possible. Daily temperature checks with touchless thermometers and symptom monitoring will 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 be cleared by a doctor to return to school.
  • COVID-positive students and faculty will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days and must be symptom-free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member who has DIRECT contact (15 minutes or longer and within 6 feet) with any positive individual will be required to notify the school and self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • More information on the exposure protocol and communication guidelines will be provided to you before the beginning of school.

 


Limiting Outside Visitors

To limit outside contact, parents will not be 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 will be required.


Face Coverings

Students in grades 1 - 12 will be required to wear a mask or face covering. Students on the River Ranch Campus will have
the option to wear a face covering, but it will not be mandatory. Faculty and staff on all campuses will be required to wear a face covering at all times during the school day. Teachers will 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 will be required to wear a face-covering (mask or shield) during the school day in accordance with the state guidelines. Campus Directors are working on 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 will remain the same. Recess and breaks are an important part of our students’ development and will be adjusted to limit exposure to other grade levels. Students will 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 will remain with their class “family” throughout the day to minimize contact with other students and staff. Students in grades 5 through 12 will mix groups as needed based on schedules but will limit contact with other students during transitions. In addition, the Sugar Mill Pond Campus will transition to a four period 90-minute block daily schedule to reduce contact between students.

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

Enrichments and PE

We will 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 will not dress out for PE, so PE uniforms will not be 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. As of now, athletic workouts are allowed in Phase II and are continuing under our COVID-19 Workout Protocol. We have postponed the start of Middle School sports and will send updates regarding other sports as we have them.

Large Group Gatherings and Field Trips

Under Phase II, we will be limiting all group gatherings to under 25 in accordance with state guidelines. Chapel will be adjusted on each campus to deliver God’s word in a way that is safe and follows maximum size restrictions. Other large group gatherings will be 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 will continue to operate on the River Ranch and Downtown Campuses. Students will be grouped into cohorts based on grade level and classroom teachers as campus space and personnel permits.

Buses

All buses will run 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 will be assigned seats. Multiple trips may be necessary to accommodate any additional students, and sanitation measures will be taken after each trip. A bus rider enrollment form will be sent to families next week and more information shared with bus riding families as the start of school approaches.

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 will be implemented for these students to be able 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.

Should you feel that your family is not ready to return in person in August, please contact your child’s Campus Director for information on our Hyflex Model. As mentioned above, our back to school plan allows for virtual instruction if needed. Click Here to watch a video from our Tech Team for more information. 

Continued Faculty Training

Rest assured that our teachers will be appropriately trained and prepared during our summer CPE days to welcome your children back into the classrooms. Extra training and guidance will be provided to our faculty and staff to help address the social-emotional needs of our students as they return to school.

 

 

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