About SMPS

 

 
 
Mr. Ferguson and Mrs. Los have provided amazing leadership, support, and positivity during their time at SMPS, especially during the troubling times of Covid.  
 
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REOPENING PLAN FALL 2020

OPTIONS FOR SUCCESS

 
Welcome to fall 2020 at St. Michael Parish School! Preparations for reopening this fall began months ago, and continue to evolve as we receive updates and guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office, and the CDC. We are excited to primarily be live and in-person this fall. We are also excited to offer a "virtually live" option for concurrent learning with a live teacher and live cohort for students who register for the Virtual St. Michael option. Current families will receive updated communication from Mr. Ferguson and Fr. Dan Hoehn via email and Schoolspeak. If you previously viewed our reopening plan, you will notice any updates below, as of August 19th, have been highlighted like so. Families still interested in registering at St. Michael for either option should contact our office at 630-665-1454. Please read our reopening plan below or  click here to jump to the details for Virtual St. Michael option .


REOPENING FALL 2020

In-Person Instruction for Grades Preschool - 8th

If you are a new family...welcome! And, if you are a returning family...welcome back! We hope the details of this communication provide peace of mind for how thorough our planning is here at St. Michael Parish School. Though this is a singularly unusual school opening, you are being welcomed into an incredible school community! We hope the care and vibrance of our community comes through, even though our ability to gather as parents in person right now is compromised. As soon as it is safe, we will enjoy a proper in-person community welcome!

The details of reopening are important, and I believe transparency is critical to our working together to ensure school health. In some ways, you might think of it as a situational handbook for the present time. Three sections are outlined below:

Section 1: Meeting the Guidelines

Section 2: Updated Details

Section 3: Planning for Possible Scenarios

Before diving into the plan, I want to touch on both "flexibility" and "positivity."

Flexibility

After the initial opening communications in July, many parents responded positively. Thank you! I am grateful that those with personal concerns spoke up and did so with such respect and understanding. (Another reason I am always telling everyone how much I love my job as principal at St. Mike’s!) I realize many of us are frustrated with present circumstances, and I ask you to please continue to be patient. We are getting there. Please remember everything we do right now requires great detail and has never been done before. Each and every aspect of our school and the children’s experience requires review, planning, evaluating that plan, measuring and testing that plan, then making necessary modifications (and sometimes repeating the process). We hope to be as specific as possible and have as few changes as possible after articulating the plans to you and your children, so as to be clear and limit confusion. Please read all communications during this pre-opening time. If you have questions, please email or call our office (or, if you think answers are on the way, sit tight). I assure you our primary goal is safety, care, and wellness for the entire school community while providing our hallmark excellent Catholic education. As we continue to think through, then ultimately begin the year, we will stay limber so as to improve and create the best possible environment for your children and the staff during this time.

Positivity

Before I get into the details, I want to ask for your help…there is no doubt in my mind that as parents, teachers, and school administrators our attitudes will greatly determine our outcomes. Even if we find some of this frustrating or difficult, if we are enthusiastic, hopeful, and willing to try new things being asked of us, and if we encourage such positivity in our kids, I believe we have a chance to make this a GREAT fall (though unique) despite the letdowns, changes, and restrictions thrust upon us. I know I speak for myself and many others that the rallying spirit of St. Michael Parish School last spring lifted us when we felt the chaos swelling. It made a huge difference in how we powered through. You or your child may not particularly love certain elements of the plan for this fall, but I hope you will encourage the children and each other to give it our best effort. The teachers and I are listening, balancing requirements and needs, while also adapting to ever changing information from multiple sources. Our teachers are working hours on end to prepare in advance of any possible development. Your children mean the world to them, to me, and to our community. Please help reinforce at home how loved, cared for, and supported your children are here at school. Please help support the changes with positivity. Please present feedback or submit ideas and needs with understanding. Please encourage students to try their best and ask for help when they need it. We are working very hard to ensure students will return to as many familiar elements of school as possible. In more creative ways than ever, we will rise to the challenge to inject humor, joy, grace, goodness, faith, and positivity in our school day. We will make the most of this learning time together!

“Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.”

Harvey Mackay


 

SECTION 1: MEETING THE GUIDELINES

This section of our reopening plan directly relates to the ISBE & IDPH Guidelines Document and the “Additional Guidance” as of August 13th, which maintains that all public and non-public schools must follow the guidelines. The Guidelines Document specifies 5 bullet points that schools must follow to reopen during this phase, for which we have outlined specific SMPS protocols below.

  1. Face Coverings: Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;

  2. Spacing & Movement: Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;

  3. Physical Distancing: Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible;

  4. Symptom Screenings: Require that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings;
    and,

  5. Cleaning: Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.


1 - Face Coverings

  • All students and staff will be required to wear a face mask at all times when inside the school building.

  • Students will be permitted to take off their face covering during snack and lunch, and when outside if six feet apart from others.

  • Requirements for a face covering from the CDC are as follows:

  • fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face [without constant adjustment or slipping]

  • completely covers the nose and mouth

  • is secured with ties or ear loops

  • includes multiple layers of fabric [including gaiter-style face coverings, so single-layer, athletic face coverings/neck warmers may not be worn]

  • allows for breathing without restriction

  • can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

  • Masks with one-way valves or vents are not recommended by the CDC, as they can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to be released, potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus.

  • Students should be able to maneuver their face coverings independently.

  • As long as the coverings’ designs are school appropriate, there are no specific requirements for mask designs.

  • Either cloth face coverings or disposable masks are acceptable. Face coverings may have ear loops, wrap around the back of the head, or lift up from the neck over the nose and mouth (gaiter-type).

  • We will have a supply of disposable face masks available if a need arises.

  • Plastic “face shields” are not an approved face covering per the guidelines at this time.

  • Cloth face coverings should be taken home, laundered daily, dried in a dryer, and reused.

  • The IDPH recommends cloth face coverings be stored between uses in a clean bag or container.

  • Face coverings must be changed immediately if soiled, wet, or torn. We recommend each student have at least one extra, clean face covering with them in case they need to change theirs during the school day.

  • Teachers may temporarily use a face shield when needing to show facial expressions where it is important for students to see how a teacher pronounces words. However, teachers will be required to resume wearing face coverings as soon as possible.

  • Parent tip: if your child has not worn a face covering much, practice wearing it at home a little each day to make using it at school more comfortable.

  • Staff note: please know that we teachers and staff will model wearing the face coverings without complaint. We realize this may be a challenge at first for students, and we will be encouraging and positive.


2 - Spacing & Movement

  • We will prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space.

  • To limit movement through the school, students in ALL grades will remain in their assigned classroom.

  • To accommodate the “additional guidance” document from the IDPH, now students in 5th – 8th Grades will be assigned to a primary classroom based on their math assignment. ELA assignments will remain, though ELA classes may have students from multiple assignments, for which the ELA teachers will differentiate to ensure continued challenge and/or support for the student.

  • Some classrooms have been moved in the building to ensure less travel throughout the school.

  • Students in 5th - 8th grades will no longer have passing periods, but will remain in their assigned classroom.

  • Stairwells will be designated as “up only” or “down only” to lessen face to face passing.

  • Students will walk on the North side of the hallways when travelling East to West, and the South side of the hallways when traveling West to East.

  • Students will eat lunch in their classrooms (or outside when possible).

  • Recess will be scheduled for students to play alternately in the green space near the Faith Center (fence enclosure coming soon) or the parking lot with their grade level only. Kindergarten will alternate days on their playground with parameters for equipment use and sanitization.

  • Bathroom breaks will be scheduled and supervised (from the hallway) with exception of emergency use.

  • Parent tip: your child may or may not react much to these changes. Encouraging your child to be open-minded and take them seriously will help the student and staff community work together for our collective health. If your child experiences a strong emotional reaction to changes at school, please let us know. In addition to your child’s teachers, our excellent Social Worker Mrs. Kozica is here to help.

  • Staff note: we will have visual posters and give regular verbal reminders of safety expectations. It is a lot to remember, but on the whole, our students are respectful and responsive to school structures. With a little practice, we anticipate the new expectations to simply become part of the routine this fall.


3 - Physical Distancing

  • We will provide at least 6 feet of physical distancing in hallways and classrooms.

  • Signage will be posted throughout the hallways to help students maintain distance.

  • Markings on the floor will assist with keeping at least 6 feet apart.

  • Teachers will monitor hallways.

  • We will utilize 2 nurses stations: one for routine wellness needs and one for students presenting or complaining of illness symptoms.

  • Dismissal times will be staggered and students will observe social distance rules throughout dismissal.

  • For the time being, parents may not gather at door 4 for pick up, but rather, students dismissed to the walker door should walk to their home. If this is not safe and a student needs parental guidance to walk home, we encourage parents to pick up their child in the carline during this time to avoid gatherings or exposure at Door 4.

  • Parent tip: have your child stand and stretch out his or her arms (airplane-style), then slowly turn in a circle. Have your child observe how much space is around him or her. This gives a great mental and physical reference for your child of a good amount of safe distancing space.

  • Staff note: don’t be surprised if your child talks about how the classrooms look a little different. In order to maintain distance, perimeter furniture may be removed, desks will be spread out, and “extras” will be minimal. Where relevant, classrooms will still utilize standing desks or designated spaces with ample supports for student learning.


4 - Symptom Screenings

  • Daily no-contact temperature checks

    • Before entering St. Michael Parish School, every individual (staff, teachers, and students) will have his or her temperature checked with a no-contact thermometer. A staff member will be at door 1 (for walkers and car riders), door 4 (for students riding the bus), and at the Faith Center to check each person’s temperature.

    • Temperature checks will take place before exiting a vehicle and recorded as pass/fail.

    • Any person with a temperature over 100.4 [updated temperature requested by IDPH to be consistent with CDC and ISBE guidance] should remain in the car and be taken back home.

    • Any family member of a person with a temperature over 100.4 and any other students in the carpool should remain in the car and be taken back home.

    • Any student, and sibling, and student deemed in “close contact” (within 6 feet of the symptomatic student for more than 15 minutes with or without a mask) who is sent home due to a temperature over 100.4 “must remain home and quarantine until an alternative diagnosis is made or a negative result received. If the sick student becomes a confirmed case or a probable case, the local health department conducting contact tracing will place household contacts, including siblings, in quarantine for 14 calendar days.”

    • Students riding the bus will have their temperature checked when they arrive on site and in the event of a temperature reading of 100.4 or higher at their on-site reading, we will contact the parent to pick up the student.

  • A St. Michael staff member will do a verbal wellness check each morning. Any student who identifies as feeling sick with COVID-like symptoms will be sent home.

  • Any visitor entering SMPS will have his or her temperature checked upon arrival, and is required to pass with a temperature under 100.4 to enter, as well as answer questions of the verbal wellness check . The visitor’s log will have a record of pass/fail.

  • Parent tip: routinely checking your child’s temperature at home before leaving the house should make for an easy arrival at school. If your child’s temperature is elevated (100.4 or higher) please keep your child home, as well as siblings, then notify the nurse’s line as usual. (In no instance is it acceptable to administer fever-reducing medication to a child with a 100.4+ temperature and then send him or her to school.)

  • Staff note: each teacher is working on how they will handle missed classroom time due to illness or need to quarantine, and this plan will be clearly communicated through our Curriculum Night presentations. We will work together to make sure your child stays on track.


5 - Cleaning

  • Personal Hygiene

    • Once a student or staff member passes the temperature check, wearing a mask, s/he will enter the building and proceed directly to their homeroom and sanitize their hands.

    • Hand sanitizing stations are in place in every classroom near the doorway. Students and staff will utilize it when entering and exiting a classroom.

    • All students who eat a snack during the day will wash/sanitize their hands before removing their face covering and eating their snack. As soon as they finish eating, they will put on their face covering and again wash/sanitize their hands.

    • All students will wash/sanitize their hands before and after recess.

    • All students will wash/sanitize their hands before and after lunch.

  • Classroom Hygiene

    • All grade levels will use a sanitizing wipe to wipe their desks before and after eating.

    • Shared resources or equipment in a classroom will be limited as much as possible. When shared resources or equipment are used, each item will be sanitized after each student’s use.

  • School Cleaning & Protections

    • Common doors will have doorstops to limit students’ need to touch or hold doors.

    • In 5th - 8th grades, students will wipe down desks and chairs before they leave each classroom.

    • Bathrooms will be cleaned after each class’s scheduled bathroom use.

    • Any shared space used for a specials class will be cleaned after each use (primarily applies to the gym and music room).

    • The entire school (classrooms, communal spaces, bathrooms, hallways, etc.) will be disinfected daily using a fogging disinfecting machine, the Power Mister 130 Atomization Sprayer.

    • Ventilation and air flow throughout the buildings will be monitored.

  • Parent tip: the increased hand washing and use of hand sanitizer may lead to dry hands. It might be helpful for your child to use a moisturizer at home to prevent dry hands.

  • Staff note: we will review expectations and provide reminders and time for hand washing and cleaning surfaces at school. As well, we will have clearly marked areas for any shared items (which will be very limited) to be set aside or immediately cleaned after use, including classroom references or books.



 

SECTION 2: UPDATED DETAILS

Many details go into managing our school day. As you can imagine, to accommodate all of the safety requirements, other aspects of the school day are affected. Below are outlined updates for many of the areas critical to our daily operation.

Before- and After- School Care

  • School will open in the morning at 7:05 AM (no earlier).
  • Students will go directly to their classrooms upon arrival, so there is no need for “before-school” care.
  • Teachers will be in their classrooms upon student arrival, beginning at 7:05 AM.
  • After-School Care or Lancer Care will be provided and all outlined protocols for the school day will apply during Lancer Care.
  • Students will practice social distancing during Lancer Care, utilizing additional staff members and additional designated spaces as necessary.
  • Any toys, games, and equipment in Lancer Care will be made of material that can be disinfected with spray (no cloth or fabric). Sanitizing shared items will occur between uses and at the end of each day.
  • Students attending Lancer Care will be outside as often as possible as weather permits.

Bussing

  • At this time the bus company intends to offer bussing. We expect protocols to be shared soon which we will share ASAP.

  • Students riding the bus must sit with siblings only.

  • Students riding the bus should sit 4 or more seats away from one another to be outside the range considered “close contact” in order to avoid quarantining if any fellow bus rider develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. According to new guidance, a close contact on a bus would “include persons who sat 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind the confirmed or probable COVID case.”

Carpooling

  • New guidance from the IDPH requires “at least 6 feet” between students with a face covering making carpooling a “close contact” environment. Therefore all students in a carpool now fall into the category of “close contact persons,” requiring all to quarantine if any person in the carpool exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19.

  • If carpooling, all persons in the car (over age 2) should wear a face covering while in the car.

  • If a student in a carpool registers a temperature of 100.4 or higher, ALL students in that carpool will NOT be allowed to proceed into school.

  • If a child in a carpool does not pass the temperature check, the carpool driver will return ALL students home.

Cohort Structure

  • Under the most recent guidance, the priority of a consistent student “cohort” takes precedence. Therefore all grades will be grouped by homeroom and be as static as possible. This strategy minimizes interaction between cohorts, allowing a single class to be quarantined in the event of infection, rather than large portions of or the entire school building.

  • To accommodate learning goals for students in grades 5-8, the student’s math assignment (G, A, E) will take precedence in determining the cohort group.

Number of Cohorts per Grade

Preschool 3: 2

Preschool 4: 2

Preschool 4Plus: 1

Kindergarten: 2

1st Grade: 2

2nd Grade: 2

3rd Grade: 2

4th Grade: 2

5th Grade: 2

6th Grade: 3

7th Grade: 3

8th Grade: 3

Community Activities

  • School sponsored community activities and gatherings will be temporarily suspended.

  • If a safe format can be determined for a fall tradition or school activity, it may be led with approval from SMPS administration and will be communicated to the community.

  • SMPO and the School Board will continue meeting and communicating either virtually or with submitted and approved safety precautions. Both of these parent led groups are important to SMPS operationally and have been preparing to continue their missions with modifications for this fall. (Thank you!)

Curriculum Night

  • To protect our parents as well as our students and teachers, Curriculum Night will be presented through video.

  • Mr. Ferguson will provide a video with a welcome and updates that pertain to the full school.

  • Your child’s teacher will present:

    • A video tour of your child’s classroom

    • Learning targets for each subject for your child’s grade

    • Classroom procedures and expectations

    • ELearning protocols and tools that will be used for both in-person and virtual students

    • How missed material will be shared/taught/completed if a child has an extended absence due to illness

  • If your child is in 6th-8th grades, you will view a video presentation from each of your child’s teachers.

  • Specials teachers will prepare a video presentation, as well.

  • Your child’s teacher will provide you with digital references for Curriculum Night.

Dismissal

  • Any changes in your child’s dismissal plan must be called into the office by 1:00pm, as no changes will be made after that time.

  • Dismissal from the classrooms will be staggered to ensure student safety.

    • We will first dismiss any students going to Lancer Care. Students dismissed to Lancer Care will check in downstairs at the entrance to the cafeteria with our Lancer Care staff, and follow all safety procedures.

    • Next, we will dismiss bus riders. We will call one bus number at a time to ensure student safety. Bus riders must follow all of the physical distancing precautions established during the regular day as they exit the building and wait in line to board the bus.

    • Next, we will dismiss car riders by grade. Car riders will report to the gym, where they will wait with their family in alphabetical order in designated areas in the gym.

    • Last, we will call any walkers to be dismissed to the walker door. Please note that parents may not assemble at the walker door this year. If you believe your child needs to be escorted to safely walk home, we encourage you to utilize the car line this year for pick up.

Forgotten Items

  • We will continue to use the “I forgot table” in the vestibule if a parent brings an item from home that a student needs during the school day. A staff member will bring the item to the student.

  • Please only bring a forgotten item for the “I forgot table” if it is absolutely essential (such as food or medication). We will be flexible with students regarding all other forgotten items.

Lunch, Snacks, & Recess

  • Students will be encouraged to bring a reusable, washable placemat with their lunch.

  • Milk will be delivered to each homeroom by the lunch staff.

  • Feasibility and details for Hot Lunch, Fun Food, and Sunset Slush options are under careful review and will be made and communicated ASAP.

  • Water fountains will be closed. Due to water fountain closures, teachers will explain specific classroom procedures for students’ personal water bottles, which will be allowed and encouraged.

  • Any student who has forgotten a lunch and recognizes it prior to their lunchtime can alert their teacher. The teacher will alert the office, and an office staff member will contact the parent to see if a lunch can be brought.

  • Our office will have a ready supply of pre-packaged items for students who forget a snack, lunch, or water bottle. In an instance where a student needs these items, a staff member will bring them to the student in his or her classroom.

  • Restaurant delivery of lunches will not be accepted by the office.

  • Lunches and snacks must be peanut and tree nut free during this time. Any additional necessary precautions regarding allergies will be per classroom.

Mass

  • As a Catholic school, it is important that students still participate in Mass.

  • Grade levels will be assigned a weekly Mass to attend, limiting the total attendance to comply with current church regulations.

  • We are looking into the ability to Live-Stream the weekly school masses through YouTube for those classes that will not physically be in attendance in the Church, as well as for the parents and families at home.

  • During weeks when a grade level is not attending Mass in the Church, if Live-Stream is not available, teachers will arrange a prayer service in their classroom that incorporates that week’s readings and Gospel.

  • At this time, weekly school Mass will move to 9:15AM and will be closed to parents, visitors, and parishioners, as only that week’s attending students and staff will be considered “registered” for that Mass.

Office, Volunteer, & Guest Procedures

  • We will work with parents to do as much as possible without contact. Please call us before coming to the office to see if we can address your needs without necessitating an on-site visit.

  • When visiting school, please call upon your arrival from your car for instructions. Depending on any persons already in the office area, you may be asked to wait or may be met by a staff member at the front doors to help you.

  • Volunteers and guests will be very limited during this time.

Outside Activities & Travel

  • State guidelines regarding activity and travel continue to evolve and change. We urge families to regard these guidelines and exercise appropriate caution in an effort to protect all in our school community.

  • If state parameters require a student to quarantine due to travel, activity, or exposure, please follow the procedures for reporting an absence for illness, alerting the nurse through a message on the nurse’s line, and alerting your child’s teacher of the need for quarantine. Then follow your teacher’s instructions from Curriculum Night for how she has outlined learning during quarantine or extended absence due to illness.

Service

  • Service to the greater community is critically important to us as a Catholic school. SMPS will continue to serve through projects carried out in our classrooms that directly impact and benefit our local community.

  • The Faith Families and Buddies programs will continue, whereby students are in service to one another through faith leadership, though in-person gatherings for these programs will not occur during this time.

Sports & Extracurriculars

  • All fall sports in the Diocese through both the Suburban Parochial League and DuPage Parochial League have been suspended. As well, the ISBE has cancelled all fall elementary school sports.

  • Information about sports beyond the fall season will be communicated as soon as available.

  • At this time, all after school activities and extracurriculars will be cancelled until further notice.

Staff Support

  • We have extended the hours of the school nurse during this time to cover the entire school day.

  • We will continue to employ lunch supervisors. In addition, faculty and staff will help with lunch and recess to increase monitoring and support.

  • Additional monitoring and support of new protocols will be taken on by administration, staff, and teachers.

Uniform Adjustments

  • Students in all grades will not need to change into the gym uniform for gym during this time.

  • Students in 5th-8th grades will not need to wear Mass attire on Wednesdays during this time.

Use of the School Building

  • At this time there will be no outside recreational use of the gymnasium.

 

SECTION 3: PLANNING FOR POSSIBLE SCENARIOS

In the Event of Illness

When to Stay Home

If a student, faculty, or staff member feels ill, they should stay home from school until symptom-free without use of medication for 48-hours, or until they meet the criteria to return to school based on their symptoms.

  • What if my child has a fever? A temperature of 100.4 or higher is considered a symptom of COVID-19. According to the IDPH this requires the student “must remain home and quarantine until an alternative diagnosis is made or a negative result received. If the sick student becomes a confirmed case or a probable case, the local health department conducting contact tracing will place household contacts, including siblings, in quarantine for 14 calendar days.”

  • What if my child does not have a fever, but has another symptom? A symptom outside of a student’s normal baseline should be taken seriously. Medical evaluation and diagnostic testing are strongly encouraged if experiencing a symptom associated with COVID-19 (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).

  • When can a child return to school after a non-COVID illness? Students and staff returning to school after experiencing COVID-like symptoms but being diagnosed with a non-COVID illness must meet the criteria for returning to school for the illness with which they have been diagnosed. At a minimum, the individual must be fever-free for 48-hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND have had no diarrhea or vomiting in the previous 48-hours.

  • Does my child need a doctor’s note? A doctor’s note documenting the alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test result should accompany a student or staff member returning to school with an alternative diagnosis after experiencing COVID-like symptoms.

  • What if my child [and family] quarantined? Students and staff with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested for COVID-19 and who do not provide a healthcare provider’s note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete 14 calendar days (10 school days) of quarantine from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 48-hours without use of fever reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.

  • When should I test my child for COVID-19? Any person with COVID-like symptoms is strongly encouraged to be medically evaluated and diagnostically tested, and remain home from school until they receive the test results and meet the criteria to return. Parents or guardians should inform the school nurse if a student is tested for COVID-19 and notify the school nurse as quickly as possible with results.


If Symptoms Appear While at School

If any student, faculty, or staff member exhibits one or more COVID-like symptoms while at school, the following will occur:

  • The student, faculty, or staff member will be ushered to and stay contained in the nurse’s office to be evaluated.

  • Any student, faculty, or staff member who states they do not feel well will have their temperature checked.

  • Any student, faculty, or staff member exhibiting a symptom of illness may be sent to the nurse to have their temperature checked.

  • Throughout evaluation of a person where COVID-19 is suspected, the evaluating nurse will wear an N95 respirator, eye protection, a gown, and gloves.

  • If one or more COVID-like illness symptoms are identified, including a temperature of 100.4 or higher, parents will be called to pick up their child and any siblings. * If illness symptoms are COVID-like, the person is strongly encouraged to be medically evaluated and diagnostically tested, and remain home from school until they receive the test results and meet the criteria to return.

  • The classmates and staff members of the classroom from where the ill person came will be relocated to a clean area until the previous space is cleaned.

  • Cleaning of the contaminated areas will occur with disinfectant spray (or using the Power Mister 130 Atomization Sprayer) which will be used in common areas such as hallways and bathrooms, along with other classrooms.

  • The SMPS administration will determine the need or extent to which the school needs to take further precautions.

  • If the person has a known condition causing the symptoms, e.g., allergies, migraine, etc., the student’s normal baseline can be taken into consideration. The IDPH states, “every symptomatic person should be evaluated by their healthcare provider on a case-by-case basis and decisions to test for COVID-19 should be based on their personal history. Diagnostic testing is strongly encouraged whenever an individual experiences COVID-like symptoms as it is possible to have COVID-19 and other health conditions at the same time...Individuals who have undergone testing should remain home away from others while waiting for COVID-19 results.”

When Quarantine Is Necessary

If a student is home due to quarantine, all regular procedures will be followed for an absence, whether the student attends in-person or virtually.

  • The parent will call the nurse’s line to report the reason for quarantine.

  • The parent will email the child’s homeroom teacher to open communication about the quarantine and expected duration.

  • If absent for illness and quarantine, whether virtual or in-person, the student will be marked absent for the days s/he is sick and resume participation in school when well. Students will participate in the Virtual St. Michael option until meeting the criteria to end quarantine (and return for in-person students).

  • If well, but home for quarantine, the student will learn through the Virtual St. Michael option with their class. (If usually in-person, the parent should contact the office to arrange a switch to VSM and arrange to pick up any needed materials.)

  • Each teacher will outline any additional process for working with students who experience an absence for illness or quarantine during curriculum night, and parents should follow it.

  • If a person completes 14 days of quarantine and is asymptomatic throughout, a physician’s note is not needed to return to school in-person.

If a teacher is home due to illness or quarantine, a substitute teacher will teach the class. Teachers will be prepared with a minimum 2 weeks worth of teaching/learning material, in the event of a necessary absence.


In the Event of a Confirmed Positive Case of COVID-19 at SMPS

If any student or teacher tests positive for COVID, the following will occur

  • Administrators will contact Fr. Dan Hoehn (Pastor of St. Michael Parish), the Dupage County Health Department, and the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office Superintendent, Dr. Boyle.

  • Disinfection of the area will occur using the Power Mister 130 Atomization Sprayer.

  • A “wait time” may be instituted before disinfected spaces may be used again (including temporary classroom closure or building closure if deemed necessary).

  • A student, faculty, or staff member who has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 must self-quarantine for 14 days and not return to school until a negative test and doctor's note is provided.

    • The person’s household must quarantine for 14 calendar days. The local health department conducting contact tracing will place household contacts, including siblings, in quarantine for 14 calendar days.

  • Persons deemed a “close contact” of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days. A “close contact” is any person who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 with or without a face covering for at least 15 minutes throught the course of the day.

    • The period of close contact begins 2 calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for a symptomatic person) or 2 calendar days before the positive sample was obtained (for an asymptomatic person).

  • The SMPS administration, in consultation with the aforementioned entities, will determine if there is a need for any additional persons to quarantine.

  • Decisions for temporary closure of a school will be made by school leaders in consultation with the local health department during an investigation of a case or cluster of cases of COVID-19. If it is determined there is a risk to the school community, the school may be closed temporarily for cleaning and disinfection.

  • Less drastic alternative strategies to school closure suggested by the IDPH that may be considered might include:

    • Quarantining the affected classroom [cohort]

    • Suspending affected classes or closing playgrounds

    • Canceling after school or non-essential activities and meetings

    • Keeping students in constant class groups or classrooms and moving teachers routinely between classes

    • Increasing spacing between students in classes

    • Shortening the school week

    • Further staggering start/dismissal or other times across year groups or classes

  • Families will be emailed a COVID-19 Exposure Letter if a positive case is identified, with necessary details and directions if any apply.

  • Confidentiality of students and families will be protected, as per usual for health matters. In the event of a positive case, reporting must occur as outlined, but the positive person’s name will remain private beyond the student’s teacher or other necessary need-to-know persons, as confidentiality requires. As well, we ask for respect and discretion from community members.


In the Event of a Mandated Building Closure

If a school building closure is necessary or mandated, as happened last March, we will immediately move to the Virtual St. Michael model. During Curriculum Night, your child’s teacher will explain what tools will be used for eLearning in her class. Different grade levels will utilize different platforms, such as Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom, or Seesaw. If we must move to eLearning as an entire school community, students will experience a mix of live instruction (synchronous), recorded instruction (asynchronous), and learning activities, with any adjustments to the Virtual St. Michael structure for your child’s class to be successful as fully-virtual. With preparation and practice, we expect a swift shift to eLearning should it be necessary. In the event of a mandated building closure, the following will happen:

  • If a temporary school closure is mandated, SMPS administrators will email a notification of the intended closure with as much information as possible, disclosing A) why, B) when, and C) how the closure will occur.

  • SMPS administrators will take into consideration the complications of such a closing, and will work to make it as trouble-free as possible if it were to be announced during a school day.

  • SMPS administrators will work with teachers and staff to ensure safety above all in such an instance.

  • From the start of the school year, students will work on 1:1 devices for Kindergarten - 8th grade. If a closure is mandated, parents will have the option to sign out a school device for their student’s home use.

  • SMPS will move all students to the Virtual St. Michael model until completion of the temporary closure.

  • All of us at SMPS will be encouraging, calm, and positive with our students, preparing them to have what they need for the anticipated duration of the closure.


 
 

VIRTUAL ST. MICHAEL PARISH SCHOOL

A virtually-live option for fall 2020  

At St. Michael are able to offer students a virtual learning experience as near to the in-person learning experience as possible with the addition of a daily live component for concurrent learning in each core subject for students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.

  • To add concurrent learning, we’ve added equipment to the classroom that will support live streaming with students at home, which includes a high quality camera, microphone, and speakers to ensure a clear picture and audio of the teacher.
  • Students learning at home will be able to clearly see, hear, and interact with the teacher.
  • Students will be able to “raise their hands” and ask questions during live instruction segments and receive feedback in real-time.
  • Concurrent (live-source) instruction, asynchronous (recorded-source) instruction, independent work, and learning support will combine to offer a complete remote learning day.

We believe this option provides the highest quality instruction and interaction for those learning remotely. Details of the “Virtual St. Michael” option are outlined below. Further detail will be provided by your child’s primary teacher. If you are interested in enrolling in this virtual option, please sign up using  the internal Google Form  by Friday, August 14th at Noon . Current final class assignments will then be available by Wednesday, August, 19th. Please note, after the first trimester, should a student wish to return in person, he/she would be able to do so only if the class size and availability of seating allows given safety requirements at that time.


VIRTUAL ST. MICHAEL OPTION

OVERVIEW

Students enrolled in the Virtual St. Michael option (VSM) will receive a combination of concurrent (live) learning, independent work, and learning support. All VSM students would be assigned to a class that is also meeting in person. Students would receive a schedule of core courses for which they would sign in to connect to their classroom for concurrent learning. Each core live instructional segment would last up to 20 minutes. After the live instruction, the student would continue work in the subject off-screen. The 20 minute determination is based on recommendations for optimal use and minimization of overuse of screens for children. This system will not be a tool or resource for parents to participate in class, submit feedback, or critique a teacher during instruction.

COURSES

  • Students would live stream up to 20 minute segments for the following subjects for concurrent learning: Religion, ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • Students would use remaining class time to continue learning through asynchronous learning, independent work, and assignments shared through the class’s digital platform, taking appropriate breaks while not in live class.
  • Students would forgo instruction in specials (Music, Art, PE, Spanish) classes. Digital resource pages for these subjects will be available for home use, but there will be no grade or teacher support for these classes.
  • Lunch and recess periods would not be live streamed.

PROCESS

  • Each VSM student will be given a schedule with each class period’s link and codes (example below).
  • The student will follow the schedule, logging in at the start time for each class, and joining concurrently with their in-person class.
  • For up to 20 minutes, the student will receive instruction from the teacher, engaging with the class in the day’s lesson for that class. In addition to the instructional lesson, this portion of live class may include prayer, class conversation, small group “breakout” work, or the teacher addressing class needs, all of which are pertinent to our students learning at home and promote continued engagement and spiritual, social and emotional growth with their classmates.
  • After the live segment of each class is complete, the teacher will dismiss the participating VSM students, who will then continue engaging in the subject matter independently through assigned resources for further learning, in-class work, project work, or practice work. Asynchronous learning sources and independent work will be found through the student’s class’s established virtual platform, Google Classroom or Seesaw.
  • VSM students will take bathroom or snack breaks during the time between live, concurrent learning segments.
  • At the next scheduled live class time, the VSM student will log in to their next live class segment of the day.
  • At some point in the VSM schedule there may be a class labeled “Teacher Meeting.” At that time, the student will log in to a live discussion with their teacher who will help answer questions, find supportive learning resources, and offer overall support to the students. Each student must virtually attend the Teacher Meeting. Middle school students’ schedules will reflect meetings rotating by subject.
  • When a VSM student is not in live class, but has questions, they will use a designated area to post student questions on their virtual platform which the teacher will address throughout the week or during their designated “Teacher Meeting.”
  • At-home materials will be provided for VSM students, including text books. Most additional materials will be provided digitally. Teachers will supply any additional physical materials (papers, books, work materials, etc.) on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, which a parent will pick up from school at an arranged day and time.

SCHEDULE

  • VSM students will participate in the schedule of the traditional St. Michael Parish School day, which begins at 7:40am with the morning offering.
  • The VSM student schedule will outline the student’s week, and may have some variations by day, as occurs in the in-person schedule (based on specials, Mass attendance, etc.).
  • VSM students will sign in for morning announcements daily, which will mark them in attendance for each school day.
  • Following announcements, the individual schedule for each VSM student will be class dependent, following the grade’s core subject schedule, as designated by the student’s primary teacher or by the middle school student’s assigned courses. Below is a sample schedule.

Sample VSM Student Schedule (Jr. High)

Time         

Course                        

Link                                       

Meeting ID            

Passcode      

Additional Notes      

7:40am

Morning Offering

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

8:04 am

Math

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

9:00am

ELA Block (may have additional time)

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

10:40am

Religion

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

11:42am

Science

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

12:40pm

Teacher Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

1:00pm

Social Studies

https://zoom.us/j/55555555

555 555 5555

55555555

Google Classroom

CLASSROOM INTEGRITY

  • During any live streamed segment of class, the focus of the camera will be the teacher or the teacher’s materials (the streaming option allows a teacher to screen share digital materials from her or his computer and the SmartBoard).
  • The only access to the virtual option will be through the classroom log-in code, and will be for the student only.
  • Families who register for the Virtual St. Michael option will sign an additional Integrity Agreement, outlining clear expectations for use in the digital environment to protect classroom integrity and student safety.
  • Live streamed classes will not be recorded in any manner by the teacher nor any participant.
  • Expectations for VSM students will be the same as for all St. Michael students and all handbook expectations will apply, including those for:
    • Daily attendance (absence/tardy records)
    • Behavior, focus, and classroom participation
    • Completion of school work and assignments on time (digitally)
  • It is preferred for all VSM students to dress in their school uniforms during their instructional time.
  • In the VSM option, the parent or at-home adult will primarily monitor student behavior and assist with the student’s progression through the school day, if needed. The student is responsible for logging in at each class time. Though the live teacher will record attendance, teachers will not contact students’ parents when a student does not sign in.
  • The student (or parent if help is needed) will follow up to obtain missed instruction or materials if absent.
  • In an instance where a VSM student is disruptive to the classroom, the teacher may excuse the student from the live stream for the remainder of that class period for behavioral reasons. Such an instance will receive follow up with the parent.

GRADING & ASSESSMENT

  • All material collected from VSM students may be graded and contribute to the ultimate assessment of the student’s knowledge or performance in a core subject area.
  • The aforementioned Integrity Agreement will include an honesty clause pursuant to completing graded work and assessments at home without parent, sibling, or other assistance.

While our primary plan for education this fall continues to be through in-person instruction, we believe this eLearning option offers the nearest experience to in-person instruction possible in a virtual setting.


 
If you've read this far, you are well informed about the options and planning for returning to St. Michael for fall 2020. I believe it is critical that as a parent you know all the details. Our cooperative care for wellness and illness will play a major role in successful in-person learning this fall.Please remember we are not creating a “new normal,” but building a temporary structure that will protect all those in our community throughout the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, we are excited to be able to return to school in-person. On a lighter note, in addition to everything else, I’ve had some help with a new playlist for carline, and I think the kids are going to like it!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to roll out all the details and communicate adjustments. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Make it a GREAT day, Lancers!

Adam Ferguson

Principal 
 

 

 
St. Michael Parish School   -  314 W. Willow Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187   -   630-665-1454 
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