Echo Ridge Christian School

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Covid-19 Response

Echo Ridge Christian School Reopening Plan 2020-2021

Our plan for the 2020-2021 school year is to have classes on site 5 days per week, with 12-14 students per classroom. Being a small school we have a lot more options than larger schools. As our classrooms only have 8-14 students in them, we can more easily social distance and pay attention to proper sanitation. For a more detailed look at our plan, please read the following information.

Click here for the Nevada County Public Health Exposure Guide


1. General Measures


• ERCS will establish and continue communication with local and State authorities to determine current disease levels and control measures in Nevada County. The following measures will be taken, but are not limited to:
- Review and refer to, the relevant county variance documentation.
- Consult with Nevada County health officer in order to receive advice on local conditions.
- Collaborate with other local educational agencies in our region, including Nevada County Office of Education.
- Regularly review updated guidance from state agencies, including the California Department of Public Health and California Department of Education.
• Evaluate whether and to what extent external community organizations can safely utilize ERCS campus resources. Ensure external community organizations that use ERCS facilities also follow ERCS guidelines.
• Development of defined criteria and/or plan for closing ERCS if certain conditions are met that will facilitate prompt action should the virus surge or cause another wave of cases.
• Development of plan to further support students with access and functional needs who may be at increased risk of becoming infected or having unrecognized illness due to COVID-19. Existing student health plans will be reviewed to identify students who may need additional accommodations and a process for engaging families for potentially unknown concerns that may need to be accommodated or identified for additional preparations for classroom and non-classroom environments as needed. Groups that might be at increased risk of becoming infected or having unrecognized illness include the following:
- Individuals who have limited mobility or require prolonged and close contact with others, such as direct support providers and family members.
- Individual who have trouble understanding information or practicing preventive measures, such as hand washing and physical distancing.
- Individuals who may not be able to communicate symptoms of illness.
- Cal/OSHA training for all teachers and staff members in order to conduct site-specific hazard assessments; development and implementation of an effective plan to protect employees.


ERCS Protection Plan Prior to Reopening


• Conduct a work-site risk assessment
• Update ERCS safety and/or injury and illness prevention plan to address issues specific to COVID-19 and steps that will be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, including:
a. Training of students, staff and parents on behaviors that reduce the virus spread, including:
1. Staying home with they/their children when they are sick, test positive for COVID-19, or had close contact with an individual with COVID-19
2. Frequent hand washing in classroom and upper campus bathrooms
3. Coughing and sneezing etiquette
4. Keeping hands away from the face
5. Students in grades K-8 use face coverings when necessary
6. Maintaining physical distancing
7. Following CDC guidelines
b. ERCS will alert Nevada County public health department of COVID-19 cases and in contact tracing in collaboration with Nevada County public health department
• Updated plan will be made accessible to parents and employees via email and school website at www.echoridgeschool.com.
• Staff parents and community will be properly updated with new procedures to prevent spread of the virus, and they can help develop understanding of, and support for, the plan and new procedures.


2. Promote Healthy Hygiene Practices


• Teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one’s eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff.
- Students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms are to stay home and to remain at home and follow care instructions from healthcare provider and Nevada County Public Health Department until they are advised they may return to school. Distance learning will be provided for those that have to remain off campus for 14 or more days of school.
- Teach students and remind staff to use tissue to wipe their nose and to cough/sneeze inside a tissue or their elbow.
- Students and staff should wash their hands before and after eating; after coughing or sneezing; after being outside; and before and after using the bathroom.
- Students and staff should wash hands for 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and use paper towels (or single-use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly.
- Staff should model and practice handwashing. Grades K-2 will also use bathroom time as an opportunity to reinforce healthy habits and monitor proper handwashing.
- Students and staff should use fragrance-free hand sanitizer when handwashing is not practicable. Sanitizer must be rubbed into hands until it is completely dry. Frequent hand washing is more effective than the use of hand sanitizers.
- Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be provided in every classroom and bathroom on campus.
• Classroom sinks will be utilized for handwashing throughout the day.
• Daily handwashing routines will be scheduled for staff and each classroom: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8.
- All staff will use cloth face coverings or face shields when necessary. Teachers can use face shields to enable younger students to see their teachers’ faces and to avoid potential barriers to phonological instruction.
- Cafeteria workers will use gloves and facial coverings.
- Students and staff will frequently be reminded not to touch their face and to wash their hands regularly.
- Information will be provided and posted in all classrooms and workspaces on proper use, removal and washing of cloth face coverings and face shields.
• Adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, tissues, no-touch trashcans, face coverings and hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethyl alcohol for staff and children who can safely use hand sanitizer will be provided.
• The principal will provide and ensure staff use face coverings and all required protective equipment.


3. Intensify Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation


• All drinking fountains will be turned off and labeled “Out of Order”. Staff and students will be required to use reusable water bottles.
• Staff will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within school daily, and, as practicable, frequently throughout the day by trained custodial staff.
• Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected daily:
- Door handles
- Light switches
- Sink handles
- Bathroom surfaces
- Tables
- Student Desks
- Chairs
- Toilets
- Toilet handles
• Playground equipment use will be limited in favor of physical activities that require less contact with surfaces.
• Objects and equipment sharing will be limited, such as toys, games, balls and art supplies to the extent practicable. But where allowed, they will be clean and disinfected between uses.
• Cleaning products will be EPA approved.
- To reduce the risk of asthma related to disinfecting, ERCS will select disinfectant products on list N with asthma-safer ingredients (hydrogen peroxide, citric acid or lactic acid).
- Products that mix these ingredients with peroxyacetic (paracetic) acid, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or quaternary ammonium compounds, which can cause asthma will be avoided.
- Disinfectants labeled to be effective against emerging viral pathogens, following label directions for appropriate dilution rates and contact times will be used. Employees will be provided the necessary training on manufacturer’s directions, on Cal/OSHA requirements for safe use and as required by the Healthy School Act, as applicable.
- Custodial staff with the responsibility of cleaning and disinfecting ERCS will be equipped with proper protective equipment, including gloves, eye protection, respiratory protection and other appropriate protective equipment as required by the product instructions. All products will be kept out of children’s reach and stored in a space with restricted access.
- The daily cleaning and disinfecting schedule will avoid both under- and over-use of cleaning products.
• Safe and correct application of disinfectant will be practiced, and all products will be kept away from students.
• Proper ventilation during cleaning and disinfecting will be practiced. Fresh outdoor air will be introduced as much as possible. When cleaning, the space will be aired out before children arrive. There will not be any cleaning when children are present. When using air conditioning, the setting that brings in fresh air will be used. Air filters and filtration systems will be checked and replaced regularly to ensure optimal air quality.
• Necessary steps will be taken to ensure all water systems and features are safe to use after prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.


4. Implementing Distancing Inside and Outside of Classroom


Arrival and Departure
• All classroom windows will be opened daily and space will be maximized between students during arrival and departure.
• Contact between students will be minimized during the school day between students, staff, families and the community at the beginning and end of the school day.
• Clearly marked routes will be designated for entry and exit, using as many entrances as feasible. Daily protocols will be in place in order to limit direct contact with others as much as practicable.
Classroom Space
• There will be no more than 10-14 students in each classroom in order to maximize safe distancing between students and teachers.
• Students will remain in the same space and in their classroom groups. The same students and teacher with be with each group throughout the school day.
• Classroom doors will be left ajar so that students and staff do not have to touch doorknobs.
• Daily classroom circulation of outdoor air will be increased by opening windows and doors when safe to do so.
• Movement between students, teachers and staff will be minimized. Teachers will be responsible for their classrooms throughout the school day.
• Space between seating and desks will be maximized. All student desks will be 6 feet apart, along with teacher desks. There will also be markings on the classroom floors to promote distancing and desks will be arranged in a way that minimizes face-to-face contact.
• Classroom activities, play spaces and furniture will be redesigned in order to maintain separation and safe distancing.
• Staff will develop instructions for maximizing spacing and ways to minimize movement in both indoor and outdoor spaces that are easy for students to understand and are developmentally appropriate.
• Adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch or foot-pedal trash cans will be provided.
• Each classroom has two doors which will be marked for entrance and exit only.
• Daily procedures will be in place for turning in assignments to minimize contact.
Non-Classroom Spaces
• Nonessential visitors, volunteers and activities involving other groups will be limited.
• Communal activities will be limited where practicable. There will be staggered use of common meeting areas, such as the gym and lunch tables. Occupants will be properly spaced and such spaces will be disinfected between uses.
• Weather permitting, outdoor space will be used daily for instruction.
• Congregate movement will be minimized through hallways as much as practicable.
• If meals are served on campus, they will be served in the classrooms or outdoors. Lunches will be plated or bagged individually. Sharing of foods and utensils and buffet or family-style meals will be avoided.
• Recess activities will be held in separated areas designated by class.


5. Limited Sharing


• Each child’s belongings will be separated and in individually labeled storage containers, cubbies or areas. All belongings will be taken home each day to be cleaned.
• Adequate supplies will be available to each student in order to minimize sharing of high-touch materials (are supplies, equipment, etc.) to the extent practicable or use of supplies and equipment will be limited to one group of children at a time and cleaned and disinfected between uses.
• Sharing of electronic devices, clothing, toys, books and other games or learning aids will be avoided as much as practicable.


6. Train All Staff and Educate Families


• All staff will be trained to provide educational materials to families in the following safety actions:
- Enhanced sanitation practices
- Physical distancing guidelines and their importance
- When necessary students and staff will be properly trained on how to wear face coverings and/or face shields
- Screening practices
- COVID-19 specific symptom identification


7. Check for Signs and Symptoms


• Prevent discrimination against students who (or whose families) were or are diagnosed with COVID-19.
• Staff and students who are sick or who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 will be asked to stay home. Policies that encourage sick staff and students to stay at home without fear of reprisal will be in place.
• The following screening procedures for all staff and students will be in place upon entering ERCS campus.
- Daily visual wellness checks of all students and taking the temperature of all students with a no-touch thermometer. Each classroom teacher will be responsible for checking each student’s temperature before they enter class.
- All individuals will be asked about COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours and whether anyone in their home has had COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test.
- Hand washing stations will be made available in each classroom along with hand sanitizer.
- Incidents of possible exposure will be documented and tracked and local health officials, staff and families will be notified immediately of any positive case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality, as required under FERPA and state law related to privacy of educational records.
- If a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, staff will communicate with the parent/caregiver and refer to the student’s health history from and/or emergency card to identify if the student has a history of allergies.
• All staff and students will be monitored throughout the day for signs of illness; students and staff will be sent home with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, cough or other COVID-19 symptoms.
• Students and families will not be penalized for missing class.


8. Plan for When a Staff Member, Child or Visitor Becomes Sick


• An isolation room has been set-up in order to separate anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.
• Any students or staff exhibiting symptoms will immediately be required to wear a face covering and be required to wait in the isolation area until they can be transported home or to a healthcare facility, as soon as practicable.
• Procedures have been established to arrange for safe transport home or to a healthcare facility, as appropriate, when an individual is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms:
- Fever
- Cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chills
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Headache
- Sore Throat
- New loss of taste or smell
• For serious injury or illness, 9-1-1 will be called without delay. If COVID-19 symptoms become severe, medical attention will be required, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face.
• Local health officials, staff and all families will be notified immediately of any positive case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality as required by state and federal laws.
• Areas used by any sick person will be closed off and not used until they are cleaned and disinfected. In order to reduce the risk of exposure, janitorial staff will do their best to wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, janitorial staff will wait as long as practicable. Safe and correct application of disinfectants using personal
protective equipment and ventilation will be provided. Disinfectant products will be kept away from students.
• Sick staff members and students are not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation, including 3 days with no fever, symptoms have improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
• Students will have access to instruction when out of class via Zoom, as required by federal and state law.
• Students, teachers and staff will be provided with opportunities for telework, virtual learning, independent study and other options as feasible to reduce travel to school in higher transmission areas.


9. Maintain Healthy Operations


• Staff absenteeism will be monitored. Back-up staff and substitute teachers have been secured if needed.
• Types of illnesses and symptoms will be monitored among students and staff to help isolate them promptly.
• A staff liaison has been designated to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees will be informed who they are and how to contact them. The liaison will be trained to coordinate the documentation and tracking of possible exposure, in order to notify local health officials, staff and families in a prompt and responsible manner.
• Healthy and consistent communication systems will be maintained in order to allow staff and families to self-report symptoms and receive prompt notifications of exposures and closures, while maintaining confidentiality, as required by FERPA and state law related to privacy of educational records.
• The Nevada County Public Health Department will be contacted if routine testing is being considered by a local educational agency.
• Support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness or who cannot safely distance from household contacts at higher risk, will be provided with options such as telework, Zoom, virtual learning or independent study.


10. Considerations for Partial or Total Closures


• State and local orders and health department notices will be checked daily about transmission in the area or closures and adjust operations accordingly.
• When a student, teacher or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and has exposed others at school, the following steps will be implemented:
- In consultation with the Nevada County Public Health Department, the appropriate school official may decided whether school closure is warranted, including the length of time necessary, based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the Nevada County health officer.
- Given standard guidance for isolation at home for at least 14 days after close contact, the classroom or office where the patient was based will need to close temporarily as students or staff isolate.
- Additional close contacts at school outside of the classroom will also isolate at home.
- Additional areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual may also need to be closed temporarily for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Communication plans will be implemented for school closure to include outreach to students, parents, teachers, staff and the community.
- Information for staff regarding labor laws, information regarding Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave and Unemployment Insurance, as applicable for public local educational agencies will be provided.
- Will provide guidance to parents, teachers and staff reminding them of the importance of community physical distancing measures while a school is closed, including discouraging students or staff from gathering elsewhere.
- Distance learning will be provided if needed for continuity of education.
- Regular communications with Nevada County Public Heath will be priority.

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