Village Gate Children’s Academy
COVID-19 Prevention / Reopening Plan(s) consistent with guidance from CDPH and Local Health Dept.
14 Criteria for the San Diego County Elementary School Waiver Application
1. Webpage: The school(s) Coronavirus Disease 2019 Prevention / Reopening Plan(s) are published at web address listed below
2. Distance Learning: School plan(s) should describe how school will offer distance learning based on the unique circumstances of each student who would be put at-risk by an in-person instructional model.
- As per our school email dated July 10. 2020 all students were given the option of participating in online or in-person learning.
- Every family responded to the email personally allowing us to determine the number of online students and the number of in-person students
- The option to opt for our online program is not contingent upon health risks or needs, it is available to any family who feels more comfortable not participating in person
- A student who chooses in-person learning, may at any time, choose to revert to online learning for any reason
3. Physical Distancing: The school(s) plans describe how space and routines will be arranged to allow for physical distancing of students and staff, in accordance to California Department of Public Health Guidance
- School will happen almost completely outside. We have 10 open air tents (3- 10’x20’ tents, 4 – 10’X15’ tents and 3 11’x11’tents) and two covered decks that we will use for classroom space for the 79 students attending in person.
- We will practice physical distancing by placing each student’s desk and workspace a minimum of 6 feet apart. The workspaces will be outlined in tape for each student.
- All staff will maintain a distance of 6 feet from students and from each other.
- All walkways will be marked with directions and indicators for keeping 6 feet apart.
- As there will only be one staff member per tent, no two staff members will share the same workspace. All staff members will maintain a 6 feet distance from each other at all times
- All staff meetings will be held either socially distanced outside under one of the tents or via Zoom
- The design of our space has each tent a minimum of 12 feet from the other tents
- Indoor bathrooms will be available and Montessori materials will be kept inside and allowed to be retrieved and brought out to their tent space
- Each student will be assigned a tent. Each tent will have no more than 10 students assigned to it with one teacher.
- Each student will have their own assigned and labeled outdoor chair.
- Each student will have their own “toolbox” of supplies so that there is no sharing of supplies.
- In the event that a student goes inside to use the bathroom, to get a material or for any reason, they must wear their masks.
- Once a material is used, it will be place on the “dirty cart” until it is sanitized and returned to the shelf
- In the event of rain, school will revert to our online platform.
4. Stable Cohorts: The school(s) plans describe how students will be kept in small, stable, groups with fixed membership that stay together for all activities (e.g., enter/exit school, instruction, lunch, recess) and minimize/avoid contact with other groups or individuals who are not part of the cohort.
- Students will each be assigned to a tent with a teacher. The assigned teacher will also be assigned a drop off and pick-up location and time.
- The students assigned to that teacher will be greeted by their tent teacher, that teacher will take their temperature, as the health Q&A and take his/her group of students to their tent to start their day.
- Each class will stay together throughout the entire day including lunch and recess. Recess will happen in large fields next to our property with plenty of space for separation of groups.
5. Face Coverings and Other Essential Protective Gear: The school(s) plans describe how California Department of Public Health’s face covering requirements will be satisfied and enforced.
- Every student, parent and staff is required to have a clean face mask every day
- All students will be checked to have a face mask or be provided one at check-in each day.
- We will follow the CDPH guidelines for wearing a mask found here: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf
- If any student or staff goes indoors for any reason, a mask must be worn
- All parents are required to wear masks at all times.
- Staff members will be provided face coverings that are approved by the CDPH and CDC
- Individuals who are not exempt from wearing a face covering and who refuse to wear a face covering will not be permitted to remain on campus and will be given an option for online learning.
- Lessons will be given on proper mask wear, on not touching your face and when and how to put on a mask. Follow-up lessons will happen throughout the school year.
6. Cleaning and Disinfection: The school(s) plans describe how shared surfaces will be regularly cleaned and disinfected and how use of shared items will be minimized.
- Village Gate has a full inventory of soap and cleaning and disinfecting products that are approved for use against COVID-19 on the EPA List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2.
- All surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned at the start and end of each day with aforementioned hospital grade disinfectants. End of the day cleaning will also include spraying all surfaces and materials using antistatic disinfecting sprayers equipped with these disinfectants.
- Additionally, all surfaces, handles, materials and bathrooms will be wiped down again mid-morning, before and after lunch and mid-afternoon.
- Any material used by a student will be placed on a dirty cart and will be disinfected before being returned for use by another student.
- We have 3 outdoor handwashing stations and 6 indoor bathrooms that will all be equipped with soap and water.
- Outdoor handwashing stations and bathrooms are available any time
- All tents will have ample supply of hand sanitizer
7. Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School: The school(s) plans describe how movement of students, staff, and parents will be managed to avoid close contact and/or mixing of cohorts.
- We have a large parking lot attached to our school with multiple access points to our property.
- Arrival will be staggered at three separate drop-off locations in the parking lot with three separate assigned time slots.
- There will be no more than 10 students assigned to each drop off location at each time slot.
- Students 4th grade and older will be assigned a drop off location that allows parents to stay in their cars.
- Students kindergarten through 3rd grade will be assigned a drop off location where they can walk up.
- All families, not in their cars, will be required to stay a minimum of 6 feet apart in spots marked by cones to maintain distance.
- All families will remain social distant during drop off and all adults will be required to wear masks
- Each station will do a short health Q&A and take temperatures of each student daily
- After temperature checks, the parents will leave the student at the base of the stairs and the students will head directly to one of the outdoor handwashing stations to wash their hands and put away their belongings before going to their assigned outdoor tent.
- All sidewalks will have single directions and indicators for distancing.
- Tents will all be placed so that there is no need for students or staff to pass through, near or within a 12 for distance of any other tent when traveling to or from their assigned tent.
- Students will eat lunch in their tents
- Anyone who misses their assigned arrival time will be required to wait until 8:45 to arrive. An administrator will take temperatures and admit any late arrivals at that time
- Dismissal will happen in the same manner with staggered assigned dismissal times. Parents will wait at their assigned pick-up location either in their car or socially distanced as laid out with cones. Each tent will dismiss at their assigned times, Parents will be asked to retrieve their students and immediately leave so as to allow the next group to safely pick up their students.
8. Health Screenings for Students and Staff: The school(s) plans describe how students and staff will be screened for symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and how ill students or staff will be separated from others and sent home immediately.
- All Staff will be tested 1 week prior to the start of school and monthly thereafter until it is no longer necessary
- All staff will answer a health Q&A in the morning and temperatures will be taken of all staff prior to the start of each school day. If a staff member answers ‘Yes’ to any of the questions or has a temperature higher than 100 degrees, the staff member will be sent home and asked to see their primary care physician.
- All Students will be asked a brief health Q&A and temperatures will be taken prior to their entering campus each day. If a student answers ‘Yes’ to any of the questions or has a temperature higher than 100 degrees, the student member will be sent home and asked to see their primary care physician.
- Students who are ill or who have a sick family member at home are asked to stay home
- If a student or staff member becomes ill during the school day, they will immediately be removed from the group, isolated and sent home.
- If a student or staff member is sent home, they will be asked to see their primary care physician immediately and communicate back to the school the results of their appointment with their doctor.
- We will follow the symptom identification and protocols of decision tree as outlined by the SD HHSA and SD Dept of Education found here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/CASAND/2020/08/18/file_attachments/1520802/Decision%20Tree%20chart.pdf
9. Healthy Hygiene Practices: The school(s) plans describe the availability of handwashing stations and hand sanitizer, and how their use will be promoted and incorporated into routines.
- There are three outdoor handwashing stations location throughout campus and 6 indoor bathrooms. Children will be asked to wash their hands upon entering campus, after using any material, before and after lunch, after using the restroom and anytime they come in contact with another student.
- Staff will wash their hands at the start of the day and after every child interaction, before and after lunch and anytime they use the restroom.
- Staff will give lessons on proper handwashing technique at the beginning of the school year and frequently thereafter.
- There will be an ample supply of hand sanitizer under each tent
10. Identification and Tracing of Contacts: The school(s) plan(s) describe the actions that staff will take when there is a confirmed case. Confirm that the school(s) have designated staff persons to support contact tracing, such as creation and submission of lists of exposed students and staff to the local health department and notification of exposed persons. Each school must designate a person for the local health department to contact about Coronavirus Disease 2019.
- The director will be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns.
- The director will take the John Hopkins/Bloomberg course on Contact Tracing
- The staff will be trained to contact the director immediately should a concern arise.
- If any staff member or student is suspected of having COVID-19, they will be removed from their classroom tent immediately, isolated and asked to see their primary care physician immediately.
- Any adult or older student will be asked to get a test to rule out COVID-19.
- Any positive test result will immediately be communicated to the entire school community, local health officials and the SD County Department of Health and Human services.
- The director and staff will work in cooperation with all health organizations in order to trace and track potential exposure.
11. Staff Training and Family Education: The school’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan along with the 14 Elements of the plan included in the request for a waiver for in-person instruction, is posted at: www.villagegateacademy.com. This information has been provided to staff and staff representatives via email, post, and the school website.
- The staff met to go over this plan on August 10, 2020 1:00 – 3:00 PM
- The staff will meet again on August 24, 2020, 1:00 – 3:00 PM to go over any revisions and to solidify their understanding of the plan, protocols and expectations
- The school will train all staff and provide educational materials to families on the following current safety guidance from the CDPH as well as any updates provided by the CDPH
- Enhanced sanitation practices
- Physical distancing guidelines and their importance
- Proper use, removal, and washing of face coverings
- Screening practices
- How COVID-19 is spread
- COVID-19 specific symptom identification
- Preventing the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, including the importance of not coming to work if staff members have symptoms, or if they or someone they live with has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- For staff, COVID-19 specific symptom identification and when to seek medical attention
- The school's plan and procedures to follow when children or adults become sick at school.
- The school's plan and procedures to protect staff from COVID-19 illness.
- The school’s closure or quarantining criteria.
- Bi-Monthly Staff meetings will also include regular training and conversation about our practices & protocols any updates and revisions from the CDPH
- On August 12, 2020 at 4:30 PM, the director is leading a Zoom call with the entire parent body to go over the plan verbally, to educate and provide a solid understanding of the plan, protocols and expectations
- On August 25, 2020 at 6:00 PM, the director will lead an additional Zoom call with the entire parent body to provide any additional updates and parent training needed to ensure a smooth reopening and commitment to everyone’s health and safety.
- A weekly email to the entire school goes out on Sunday evenings. There will be a weekly segment in the weekly email for updates and new information.
- We also have a monthly parent Zoom call that will include training, education and additional information
12. Testing of Students and Staff: The school(s) plans describe how school officials will ensure that students and staff who have symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 or have been exposed to someone with Coronavirus Disease 2019 will be rapidly tested and what instructions they will be given while waiting for test results. Describe how staff will be tested periodically to detect asymptomatic infections. At a minimum, schools will direct staff to contact their primary care provider or community testing site for testing.
- Every staff member will be tested one week prior to the start of school and monthly thereafter until longer necessary
- Staff will do daily temperature checks prior to arrival each morning
- If any student or staff member is symptomatic, they will be asked to go home immediately and stay home until they see their primary care physician to determine if they possibly have Covid-19. It is recommended that the potentially infected student or staff member is tested either through their primary care doctor or a community testing site.
- If they are determined not to have Covid-19, they need to remain home for a minimum of 3 days and until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours. At that time, they can revert to our online classrooms that will already be active
- If anyone in a classroom tests positive, the entire school will be notified immediately via Bloomz and email. The infected person will need to stay home for a minimum of 10 days and until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours. Any siblings will also need to remain home for 10 days.
- If a student, staff member or any member of their household comes in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, that person must quarantine at home for 10 days. The student can revert to our online learning program during that time.
- If a student, staff member or any member of their household travels internationally and for that student to quarantine at home for 10 days. The student can revert to our online learning program during that time.
- We will follow the decision tree as outlined by the SD HHSA and SD Deprt of Education found here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/CASAND/2020/08/18/file_attachments/1520802/Decision%20Tree%20chart.pdf
13. Triggers for Switching to Distance Learning: The school(s) plans describe the criteria the superintendent will use to determine when to physically close the school and prohibit in-person instruction adhering to the California Department of Public Health Guidelines
- Village Gate Children’s Academy intends to work with the County of San Diego public health officials to determine triggers for switching to distance learning and will be following the recommended measures outlined in the COVID-19 and Re-Opening In-Person Learning Framework for k-12 Schools in California for the 2020-2021 School Year.
- Village Gate Children’s Academy will follow the guidelines of the state of California, the County of San Diego and the California Department of Health to switch to distance learning if that should be necessary.
- We successfully switched to online learning in March 2020 with a turn-around time of 3 school days. We were not prepared then but are prepared now. As such, we expect to be able to make the switch with ease.
14. Communication Plans: The school(s) plans describe how the Superintendent(or Equivalent) will communicate with students, staff, and parents about cases and exposures at the school, consistent with privacy requirements such as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
- The school uses an app called Bloomz that allows us to communicate with families quickly as it is one their phones and notifies the parents immediately. We will continue to use that as well as a school-wide email system.
- Should a potential case, positive case or school closure occur, all families will be notified immediately using the aforementioned communication tools.
- The school will post all pertinent and necessary information on our school’s website
- All information communicated to school staff, families, public health officials and the community will maintain confidentiality as required by FERPA, HIIPA and state law related to privacy of educational records