2020-2021 Covid-19 Handbook Addendum
Dear DLH Academy Families,
As we embark upon our new norms, in efforts to ensure the safety and continued progression of learning for all students, we find that we must work together and share certain obligations. Change can be difficult, but progress does not occur where change is not present. Below are guidelines that ensure the safety and continued learning for all students. It is important that families and school team members work closely to observe the new safety guidelines so that education can continue with as few interruptions as possible for our learning community. When signing the parent agreement, please note that families are acknowledging agreements to items stated in the handbook as well as all safety addendums necessary. Your cooperation is imperative to ensure the best outcomes for the virtual, hybrid and/or face to face learning environment. Your continued partnership and patience is greatly appreciated during this transition.
Student attendance will be verified during virtual learning sessions. Teachers must verify students visually and or via an attendance assignment. Administrative approval must be granted for students who complete attendance assignments instead of attending virtual instructional sessions.
Morning Drop-Off Screening Procedures
When we move to the phase two (hybrid model) Morning drop-off will be from 7:00 - 8:00 am, but the drop-off process will take longer than normal. All students will be dropped off in the rear of the building. We ask that you give yourself extra time every morning to ensure that your child has been cleared for building entry; this will be a daily process. Parents departing before their child is cleared for building entry during morning drop off, will result in a mandatory virtual learning requirement for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Any student who fails the wellness screening upon arrival must remain in virtual instruction for at least 10 days or return with a negative COVID testing result and no further symptoms.
During morning drop-off, COVID-19 signs that list questions and symptoms will be posted at the doors. A staff member will check to make sure students are entering the building with a mask on. Students’ temperatures will be taken upon arrival daily. If our infrared thermometer registers that your child’s temperature is at or over 100.4 degrees, we will take the temperature again. If your child’s temperature still registers at or above 100.4 degrees, or if your child displays visible COVID symptoms, the student must return home with the parent for virtual instruction. Student health conditions will be monitored throughout the day. If a student becomes ill, the student will be placed in isolation (Room 207) apart from other children and staff until they are transported home by a parent.
Students that display multiple COVID-19 symptoms are required to be tested and cannot return until negative test results are given to the school.
Staggered pick up times have been established in order to maintain social distancing and ensure safety protocols.
- Pick up will take place in the rear of the building in the same direction as drop off (note: this direction is different from previous pick-up procedures).
- Dismissal will take place between 3:00 and 3:45 daily. Individuals picking up students will remain in their vehicle and students will be escorted to them by a staff member.
- Pick up for students in grades K4 through 1st grade (and siblings) may arrive at 3:00
- Pick up for students in grades 2nd through 8th will begin at 3:20
Description of Exposure to COVID-19
I tested positive but I have no symptoms
You Can Return to School, If:
- You quarantine for 10 days and you produce a negative test result.
Display of Symptoms and Isolation Protocols
In the event that a student shows any known COVID-19 related symptom while in school, the student will wait in a designated area until parents are notified and arrive for pick-up.
If your child is sent home from school with COVID-19 symptoms, such as a headache, fever, cough, etc., or suspected exposure to someone who has displayed symptoms, we ask that you contact your pediatrician for advice and/or to have your child tested for COVID-19. After your child has spent at least 10 d2ays at home and has no further symptoms and/or has tested negative from COVID-19, they can be sent back to school with negative test results. Negative test results are not mandated if no further symptoms exist after a ten-day quarantine has been observed. However, if your child returns to school and symptoms persist after the quarantine period, a negative test result is required before he/she may return to school.
Please note that if you have two or more children enrolled at DLH Academy, and one sibling is sent home because he or she has been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID or to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, siblings from other classes will also have to stay home during the time of quarantine. Students may return to school with evidence of a negative testing result or at the end of their quarantine if no further symptoms have been identified.
For Anyone Who Has Been Around a Person with COVID-19
It is important to remember that anyone who has close contact (less than six feet for fifteen minutes or more) with someone with COVID-19, stay home for 14 days after exposure based on the time it takes to develop illness.
Self-Checking and Reporting of High-Risk conditions for contracting COVID-19
The CDC considers the following individuals to be at high risks for severe illness due to COVID-19:
- Older adults (>50 years old)
- People (children and adults) who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic,
Metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease
- Have underlying medical conditions, including: Pregnant or less than one year postpartum, Chronic lung disease, Serious heart conditions, Chronic kidney, Sickle Cell disease, Individuals with compromised immune systems (includes undergoing cancer treatment and autoimmune disorders); Diabetes, Asthma, Cystic fibrosis, Hypertension or high blood pressure, Neurologic conditions, such as dementia, Liver disease, Pregnancy, Pulmonary fibrosis, Smoking, Thalassemia (type of blood disorder), Obesity (BMI over 30 in adults, or at or above the 95th percentile in children).
- Families with high risk conditions are encouraged to report concerns to administrators and have options to continue distance learning until a safe return can be assured. Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to report the incident to school administrators. A sign posted at the front entrance will remind parents and staff of this expectation.
All building occupants are required to wear face coverings while in the building. Students and staff engaging in outdoor activities must also wear face coverings unless they are consistently more than six feet apart during the activity.
Students and Face Masks
- The CDC recommends that no child wear a mask if it impedes their ability to breathe normally or if they would be unable to remove it on their own if necessary. Students unable to wear a mask who have a written statement from a doctor, will be required to wear a face shield. Students who are unable to wear either, are encouraged to remain virtual at this time, for their safety and the safety of others. While we support the CDC recommendation that children be supervised when wearing masks, faculty and staff will not handle or adjust student masks.
- Students will be required to wear masks while in their classrooms and wear them when they are moving throughout the building, in common areas, at arrival and during dismissal.
- During lunch, students who are eating lunch will not be required to wear masks. Once a student is done eating, they will be required to wear a mask. Students will be required to use socially distanced seating.
Considerations in using facial coverings from the Department of Public Instruction
Considerations in using facial coverings when supporting students during in-person instruction following the public health emergency, preparation is required to ensure staff and students’ safe return to school. Safety must be a priority and decisions regarding facial coverings for students and staff must be in alignment with respective county health departments and state recommendations and orders. These considerations may be appropriate for any student, with or without an IEP, to support learning and improve their ability to access instruction and educational environments. The use of any facial covering may negatively impact the ability for a student to see their teachers’ and peers’ faces and easily hear their voices. Speakers use not only their voice but a wide variety of facial expressions to communicate with others. The wearing of a facial covering can muffle the speaker’s voice and reduce intelligibility, especially when there is background noise. Students may rely on auditory directions and descriptions to access their learning environment or may rely visually on speech reading to fill in gaps in understanding due to distance and background noise.
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has recommendations for educators to increase successful communication while wearing facial coverings (ASHA 2020b).
• Make sure you have the attention of your listener before you start talking.
• Face your listener directly, and make sure nothing is blocking your view.
• Speak slowly and slightly louder, but do not shout or exaggerate your speech.
• Use your eyes, hands, and body language to add information to your speech. To optimize hearing—confirm that those who use hearing aids or cochlear implants are wearing their devices or use a portable amplifier.
• Provide visual references (e.g., printouts, notes, images) to accompany communication.
• Ask if your listener understood you—if they didn’t, rephrase it or write it down.
• Ask them to repeat important information to see whether they understood what you said.
• Reduce competing noise in the environment, if possible.
• If you’re talking with someone new, ask the person what you can do to make communication easier for both of you. The following are additional considerations when working with students with a variety of specific needs.
For students who need explicit instruction:
o Video modeling, social narratives, visual supports (e.g., pictures) paired with explicit instruction are recommended to help students know and understand how to use personal protective equipment, or PPE.
o Full face shields are available for staff members to wear.
Student Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Use and Expectations:
- Face masks, provided by families, are required for entry at all times.
- All students will wear masks and face shields while in the classrooms. Face shields are for school use only and will remain at school.
- Students will wash hands regularly, hand sanitizing stations will be placed in each classroom, as well as disinfectant wipes.
- Student desks in the classroom have been set up so that social distancing is observed by all students
- All touch surfaces (the entire building) at DLH Academy have been chemically treated by professional teams. The treatment is designed to protect surfaces (shielding surfaces from accumulating germs) for the remainder of the school year (even into the summer months).
- DLH Academy has installed a GPS Ionizer System. This is a state-of-the-art air filtering system that boosts mask efficacy by 20 to 30 percent. The system is designed to attack and destroy airborne agents.
Classroom Practices for Hybrid Instruction
During classroom instruction students must maintain social distancing and use only individually assigned materials. As such, students will be assigned specific spaces to use throughout the day (desk, lockers, etc.) and must only use those spaces and materials. Due to the combination of virtual and face-to face instruction, students in the building will continue to use their electronic devices to minimize the use of touch or shared materials. The presence of staff will support student engagement, effectiveness and efficiency while working through online assignments. Students engaged in face-to-face learning must continue to share their experiences with their peers who are still engaged in virtual learning.
During the hybrid model, face-to-face class sessions will be available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. All students will engage in virtual learning on Wednesdays.
Students engaged in face-to-face learning must transport computer devices safely to and from school daily in order to efficiently complete class work, homework, and virtual sessions as needed. Parents are advised to ensure that students transport devices in book bags or carrying cases and remind students daily, to handle the devices with care (keep off of the floor, carry in lap during vehicle transport, store in a safe non-cluttered space at home when not in use).
Student Movement and Transitions:
- Arrows and/or signs will be put in hallways to demonstrate which way the traffic will flow, so that social distancing is observed at all times.
- Staff will monitor transitions to ensure students are wearing masks and that only assigned individuals (or classes) occupy hallway or common area space.
- Signs will be posted limiting the number of people in restrooms.
Student Dining Plan:
- The cafeteria will be used for small group rotations to maintain social distancing during mealtimes.
- Students can bring individual lunches from home but must be careful not to share food.
Birthday Treats, Snacks & Gifts
The sharing or distribution of snacks and gifts from home is prohibited until further notice.
All nonessential visitation will be restricted. Visiting parents’ temperatures will be taken, and masks will be required. Visitors must follow directions on signage containing information on social distancing during visits. Visitation is prohibited during student arrival periods (between 7:00am-8:00am) and during student dismissal periods (3:15pm-4:00pm). All visitors will be limited to the front office until further notice. Open-door policies involving parents visiting the classrooms and face-to-face meetings with teachers and administrators, are suspended until further notice. Virtual meetings and phone conferences may be requested as the need arises.
All visitors, with the exception of mail carriers, food deliveries, emergency response personnel, etc., must respond to the following questions prior to entering the building:
- Have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48 hours: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea?
- Within the past 14 days, have you been in close physical contact (6 feet or closer for at least 15 minutes) with a person who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or with anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
- Are you isolating or quarantining because you may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or are worried that you may be sick with COVID-19?
- Are you currently waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test?
If you answer “yes” to any of the above questions, you will be denied entry. Please call the office so that we may provide alternative means of support.
Group Activities and Events
DLH Academy will not have large-group gatherings or events such as visitation days or sporting events. Sporting events will resume upon the recommendation of MPS recreations divisions and CDC.
Student Groupings and Group/Sports Activities:
- DLH Academy will not participate in field trips or other off campus activities until it is safe to do so again.
- No school assemblies or school sponsored events, or fundraisers will be held, but we will have special meetings with individual classes to celebrate academic and behavior achievements.
- Sports activities have been cancelled for the fall/winter seasons. COVID coordinators will re-evaluate hosting sporting events for the spring seasons based on recommendations from the CDC, the Milwaukee Health Department, and MPS recreation divisions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that school uniforms may not be purchased prior to the beginning of face to face instruction. Although we encourage families at this time, to purchase uniforms in preparation for in class learning, we realize that financial hardships due to the pandemic may make this difficult. Children who wear non-uniform clothing will not be held from class, but staff will reach out to the family and inquire as to the possible date a uniform may be purchased for your child.
Virtual behavior guidelines and etiquette
Please note that students’ responsibilities as outlined in the handbook must translate to virtual learning. Students must work to prepare and maintain a learning environment that can closely simulate school learning expectations. Class sessions should occur in settings in which students can sit at a table or desk whenever possible. Students should sit alert in a learning posture and avoid actions such as lying down or watching television during virtual learning sessions.
Behavior should be courteous, appropriate language (school language) must be used at all times, and all assignments are expected to be completed to the best of student ability and corrected upon request. Finally, it is important that only students who are enrolled at DLH Academy participate in the virtual learning sessions. Teachers will not be able to provide instructional support for students who are not enrolled.
Please be advised that due to Covid-19 hardships and safety adjustments, the information above supersedes related information in the Student Handbook and may be updated as necessity dictates during the 2020-2021 school year.