Procedures and Guidelines –
Campus Reopening: Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, 2020
Schools and school districts may reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction that has been off of the “Purple Tier” for 14 days. Orange County moved off of the Purple Tier to the Red Tier Tuesday September 8th, 2020.
NOTE: Subject to change as updated health guidelines are released
Procedures and Guidelines for Returning to On-Campus Learning. These guidelines will be revised and updated when new data and health guidance from our state and local health agencies emerge. The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a highly infectious, life-threatening disease declared by the World Health Organization to be a global pandemic. There is no current vaccine or medication for COVID-19 or its related illnesses. COVID-19 is associated with a serious and potentially deadly condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). COVID-19’s highly contagious nature means that exposure to others or contact with surfaces that have been exposed to the virus can lead to infection. Individuals who have COVID-19 may not show any symptoms, even if they are contagious. It is currently very difficult to control the spread of COVID-19 or determine whether, where, or how a specific individual may have been exposed to the disease. For more information on COVID-19, visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) or the California Department of Public Health (https://covid19.ca.gov/). New Vista School has implemented safety guidelines and precautions in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please review the following guidelines to help ensure we are doing all that we can do to keep our community safe and healthy.
New Vista School is following the state and county guidelines for opening in the fall. We are also in communication with our local Saddleback Valley Unified School District regarding their protocols and procedures. There will be many requirements for parents, teachers, staff, and students. We will do our best to minimize inconveniences during this challenging time. As this is a dynamic situation, there may be additional changes as we move forward. We will err on the side of caution for the best protection of all students. We very much appreciate your flexibility and support.
Federal, State, County, and City authorities have set forth guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices to be implemented in efforts to mitigate and slow the spread of the novel virus which causes COVID-19. This severe respiratory disease that can be fatal, especially in vulnerable populations. In response, New Vista School will adhere to the policies described below as we are committed to providing essential care for our students.
Social distancing, cleanliness, and sanitation, will be strongly adhered to while on campus. Social distancing markers will be placed throughout the school as will hand sanitizers, and instructional signs. There will be two additional handwashing stations located out back and an automated hand sanitizer in the front entry and café area. Because New Vista has a unique layout, we need to create additional protective boundaries for the students and staff. This will include some changes to classroom layouts and seating. Most importantly, students will be required to use a cloth face mask during their time on campus. Face masks need to be provided by parents. Classrooms will be wiped down after each class. We will be hiring full time cleaning personnel for the school. Their responsibility will be to constantly wipe down public areas such as bathrooms, counters, floors, hand railings, and all other public areas throughout the day.
- Parents and other visitors will not be allowed on campus without an appointment.
- Please email general questions to the front office: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have an emergency question, we can meet you at the front entry.
- Maintaining a protective environment is critical.
- Mail and other deliveries will be done outside the front door.
- Check your child! Please do not send a student to school who appears to have a fever or is ill. Your child will be sent home and may require a doctor’s note to return.
- Please ensure your student is healthy, showered, and ready for school.
- Please provide a cloth face mask for your student, as well as one back up for them to keep in their binders or lockers. A KN95 or N95 mask is recommended. A cloth facial covering or surgical mask may be used if preferred.
- Be sure your student understands social distancing, appropriate handwashing, and being “safe at school.”
- Parents/Guardians will be required to answer a daily health certification for the student.
- Take your student’s temperature before arriving at school. They should be 100.4 or lower.
Arriving at school:
- The preferred drop off location is at the curb by the street gate.
- Once there, please stay in your car until a staff member approaches your vehicle.
- Students will be required to perform a non-contact infrared thermometer check.
- Temperatures above 100.4 require a student to stay home for 24 hours. The student may return to campus as long as the fever has returned to normal without the use of fever reducing medication and no other symptoms are noted.
- If fever/symptoms persist, the student must be symptom-free for 3 days and will require a doctor’s note to return to campus.
- If additional symptoms are noted, you may be recommended to schedule a Covid-19 test.
- Students are required to wear a face mask during drop off.
- Staff is required to wear a face mask during morning drop off.
- If your student arrives by private transportation and needs to be sent home, they will be placed in a protected area until a parent or guardian can pick them up. Please ensure someone is available for pick-up within one hour.
- Students will sit/stand 6-feet apart while waiting for their car.
- Students and staff are required to wear a face mask during pick-up.
- If a student is sent home, they can log in to Google Classroom and follow their class virtually.
- If a staff member is sent home, they can teach their class remotely with an aide overseeing the classroom.
- The school will evaluate moving to all virtual learning depending on State and local guidelines and number the of students remaining home.
Physical Distancing and Face Coverings
- Students will remain at desks with face masks on.
- Students will not be permitted to walk around the classroom space unless directed to do so by the teacher and with a face mask on.
- Staff will give frequent verbal reminders for students to remain physically distanced from others.
- Face masks on students are encouraged but not required when physical distancing is possible.
- When moving throughout the classroom or campus, students are required to wear face masks. (Parents – please send two face masks minimum per day with your child). Students will be prompted to wear a face mask when necessary.
- Students will be provided “mask breaks” when able to sit more than 6 feet apart.
- Teachers and staff will wear a face mask in the classroom when physical distancing is not possible and when moving about campus.
- Teachers and instructional staff are permitted to remove their face covering when they are instructing if physical distancing (6 feet) is being practiced.
- Administrative staff will be directed to wear face coverings when on campus except when they are within the confines of their own office or physically distanced (6 feet) in a shared office space.
- Only two students per restroom will be allowed at one time.
- Students must receive permission from their teacher before leaving a class.
- Appropriate handwashing protocols will be enforced regularly.
- When moving throughout campus, students and staff will follow the appropriate directional signage and wear a face covering.
- While moving throughout campus, students and staff will do their best to practice recommended physical distancing guidelines.
- The front staircase will be used for traffic going “up” to the second-level, and the backstairs will be used for traffic going “down” to the first-level.
- Students will be prompted to use the sinks in the restroom for handwashing. Two outside handwashing stations will also be available. Hand sanitizer will also be available throughout the school and in classrooms.
- Students will have designated bathrooms to use depending on their grade level.
- All handwashing stations will have handwashing instructional signage.
- New Vista Staff will continue to ensure the development of healthy hygiene habits including, avoiding handshaking or other ‘touch’ greetings, such as fist-pumps & high-fives, avoiding face touching, and ensuring proper handwashing practices.
- Students will be taught healthy habits and cleaning protocols during social skills.
- Teachers will explain to students why it’s not healthy to share drinks or food, particularly when sick.
- Students will be instructed to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This will include before and after eating, after coughing/sneezing, after playing outside, and before & after using the restroom.
- Staff will bring students’ attention to posters placed above all sinks to promote proper handwashing.
- Implement additional handwashing/sanitizing upon entering a room and before leaving a room.
- Students will be reminded to use tissues to wipe their nose, and to cough into their arm or elbow as needed.
Daily Health Screening
- Each morning, staff will complete a daily health checklist, including daily temperature.
- Staff will be permitted access to campus if they have a temperature that is less than 100.4 degrees and if they confirm they are negative for COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours including shortness of breath and coughing.
- Each morning, prior to exiting their transportation, New Vista Staff will take the student’s temperature and request the daily health screening form.
- Students will be granted access to campus if they have a temperature that is less than 100.4 degrees and if they confirm they are negative for COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours including. shortness of breath and coughing.
Morning Nutrition Break and Lunch
- Students will be able to have a snack and/or lunch outside while remaining physically distant from others.
- Appropriate activities (independent or group) that allow for physical distancing will be available for students.
- At the end of break and lunch, students will be prompted to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds in a designated wash area.
- At this time, we highly encourage students to use disposable bags for snacks and lunch.
- Tables used for snacks and/or lunch will be cleaned after each use.
- We encourage students to bring personal, clearly marked water bottles that can be wiped clean during the day. We also have New Vista water bottles available for sale.
School Supplies and Personal Items
- Students will not be permitted to share school supplies or classroom manipulatives with other students.
- Students are permitted to bring a small bag or backpack for personal supplies.
Positive Cases/Employees or Students Showing COVID-19 Symptoms:
- If anyone has a temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher, they must be excluded from the facility.
- If an employee exhibits signs of COVID-19 illness, they will be directed to go home or to a medical facility by the administration.
- If a child exhibits signs of COVID-19 illness while on campus, that child will be required to wear a face covering and isolated in a room separate from other individuals. The adult/s designated for pick up will be immediately contacted and directed to pick up the child.
- Students/employees should stay home per CDC guidelines if they are sick, if they were exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if they have been in close contact with anyone under investigation of having COVID-19 for 14 days after last exposure.
- Employees and families should self-report to the school if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
- Local health officials will be notified immediately if there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus. The school will follow their guidance in determining the next steps, including notification of employees and families.
- Exposed staff and families will be notified as relevant while maintaining confidentiality.
- If there is a positive case of COVID-19 on campus, the campus may be initially closed for 2-5 days to allow for local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the school.
- To reduce the risk of exposure, any area used by an individual who is positive for COVID-19 will be closed off immediately, cleaned, and disinfected after 24 hours. The areas may remain closed temporarily.
Contact Tracing Procedures:
- In the event a child or staff member is found to test positive for COVID-19, all individuals known to have been in proximity with that individual for the two days prior to the onset of fever will be informed that they have been exposed to COVID-19 and will be advised to quarantine themselves for 14 days and seek medical advice.
- Individuals who had contact with a known case should monitor their temperature and symptoms twice a day during quarantine as symptoms may present anywhere from 3 to 14 days post-contact.
- Parents of children who test positive for COVID-19 should also monitor young children for symptoms of a pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS) including abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, rash, blisters, pink eye or conjunctivitis, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, red or cracked lips, red or swollen hands or feet. In the event these symptoms are present for more than 4 days in a child with a known case of COVID-19, emergency medical services are indicated.
- All developments of illness will be regularly communicated with local authorities, employees, and all families regarding cases, exposures, and updates to policies and procedures. New Vista School will monitor daily county and city public health updates on cases and transmission of COVID-19 in Orange County and the City of Laguna Hills. New Vista School will seek consultation if there is an increase in cases in the City of Laguna Hills or the immediate surrounding cities.
- New Vista School is required to report positive COVID-19 test results to Cal/OSHA within 8 hours.
Returning to Campus
- Individuals found to be positive for COVID-19 may not return to the facility for a minimum of 14 days and until the individual has been without symptoms for 72 hours without the administration of fever-reducing medicines. Individuals who have had contact with an individual found to be positive for COVID-19, who remain asymptomatic for 14 days after their last known exposure to the virus, may return to the site on day 14 post-exposure. A doctor’s release will be required.
- Additional areas of the school visited by the COVID-19-positive individual may also need to be closed temporarily for cleaning and disinfection.
Environment and Cleaning Procedures
- Faculty and students will thoroughly wipe down, with soap and water or approved cleansers, all desks (teacher and student), and other surfaces multiple times during the school day and before leaving each day.
- Onsite cleaning personnel will wipe down public areas, floors, café, restrooms, and other areas on campus throughout the day.
- The cleaning company will clean the school at the end of each day, including wiping down desks, kitchen and café, floors, public areas, and restrooms.
- Administration staff will wipe down their work areas before leaving each day.
- Classroom doors will remain open for increased ventilation.
- Door handles throughout campus will be cleaned frequently during the day.
Handwashing / Hand Sanitizing Stations
- Multiple handwashing stations are available throughout the campus.
- Wall-mounted hand sanitizer units are available throughout campus.
- Hand Sanitizer bottles are available in each classroom, public area, and restroom.
- Students will be required to use their face mask while traveling in a school van.
- Social distancing will be adhered to as best as possible.
- Seating will be staggered as best as possible.
- Students who have been exposed or infected are required to self-quarantine at home and will have the option of continuing to attend their classes via Distance Learning.
- Students will be able to access their classes via Google Meet /Google Hangouts, or in special circumstances, Zoom.
- Students and staff will be required to wear face masks.
- Face masks should be provided by parents/guardians.
- Please provide a back-up mask for your student for them to keep in their binders and/or lockers.
- A KN95 or N95 mask is recommended. A cloth facial covering or surgical mask may be used if preferred.
Please see the attached California Department of Public Health information sheet: What measures should be taken when a student, teacher or staff member has symptoms, is a contact of someone infected, or is diagnosed with COVID-19?