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  • by Joy Vrlec

Trinity School Transition Plan - English - Updated 8-17-2020

Trinity School Transition Plan for in-person instruction during SY 2020-2021

OVERVIEW

We have been living through unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic. During the end of the school year 2019-2020, schools were forced to close and switch to remote learning in order to help flatten the curve and lessen the damage from this pandemic. It has been a learning process for everyone involved on how to provide remote learning to students with disabilities. Although face-to-face instruction has the greatest benefit, we had to find ways to still provide services to our students. We are thankful to the parents who have also stepped up, and in partnership with the school, have kept up with the challenges of teaching at home.

During ESY, we expanded remote learning to include weekly home visits. This has been met with an overwhelming positive response. Based on the survey answered by 60% of the families that we serve, this has worked best for them, followed by file folders, worksheets, task boxes, detailed lesson plans and ease of access to teachers. Our aim in providing home visits is to primarily help our students in transitioning to in-person instruction by teaching them the new safety protocols and to model these expectations for them.  We are well aware of how difficult this transition can be and we aim to lessen that impact.

As we expected, in-person instruction may resume in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. However, this does not mean return to pre-covid operations. Schools must follow IDPH guidelines, which provide the following:

  • Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space.
  • Require social distancing be observed, as much as possible.
  • Require the schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings
  • Require an increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection

    It is important to note that these requirements are subject to change pursuant to updated public health guidelines and changing public health conditions. Schools may also return to remote learning in the event of a resurgence of the virus or a second wave of it in the fall.

    On June 18, 2020, Gov. Pritzker signed PA 101-0643 which addressed many education-related issues. This also created a new important tool schools can utilize when IDPH requirements cannot be met in a completely in-person learning environment. Schools can now utilize Remote and Blended Remote learning days when the Governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency.

    GOALS FOR RETURNING TO SCHOOL

    The opening of schools have provided different a lot of different conversations that centered on the urgency of opening to the safety of the staff and students. Based on the survey sent to families, the main concerns are the safety of the students and staff as well as the use of Personal Protective Equipment. We understand the struggle that the families have been facing for the past few months and we took that into consideration in coming up with our plan for in-person instruction. We aim to strike a balance between our student’s needs and the health and safety of everyone that will be in the school building.

    We have come up with the following critical goals:

  • Keep the students and school staff safe and healthy by teaching and reinforcing prevention behaviors such as hand-washing, wearing face masks and symptom checks.
  • Determine current levels of performance on IEP goals to establish if learning loss occurred and minimize the effect of school disruption on the student’s current skill level.
  • Meet the social-emotional needs or our students and staff.
  • Design flexibility in the school environment, including the scheduling and protocols through in-person, blended learning and remote learning models.
  • Reinforcing proper and effective cleaning procedure to minimize the chances of getting the virus.

    These goals have guided us in coming up with the plan for in-person instruction to make sure that we are working equitably. Below are detailed plans that we will be implementing given the current health situation of the community.

    LEARNING ENVIRONMENT CONSIDERATIONS

    Remote Learning  Blended Learning   In-person Learning
     Phase 3 of Restore Illinois  Phase 4 of Restore Illinois plan or as recommended by IDPH and ISBE guidelines.  

    Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois or as recommended by IDPH and ISBE guidelines.

     
     

    Weekly in-home visits will be done by the teachers and IEP team to help with IEP goals.

     
     

    Teacher instruction will take place twice a week in-person and every other day via online teaching.

     
     

    Teacher instruction will be fully in-person.

     
     

    All students attend virtually via online classrooms.

     
     

    The school will be working at a 50% capacity to accommodate physical distancing recommendations.

     
     

    Majority of the students attend in-person.

     
     

    Students are required to wear face masks during home visits.

     
     

    Students and staff are required to wear face masks.

     
     

    Students and staff will be required to wear face masks when they are sick. (cold, cough) or as recommended by IDPH or ISBE

     
     

    One-on-one instruction during home-visits and small group during remote learning.

     
     

    One-on-one instruction on IEP goals. Small group instruction with proper social distancing protocol.

     
     

    One-on-one instruction on IEP goals. Small and large group instruction.

     
       

    No community trips or visits to job sites.

     
     

    Community trips and visits to job sites are allowable under recommendation by IDPH.

     


    Remote Learning

    Students who are medically fragile, at a higher risk of severe illness or those who live with individuals at higher risk of severe illness will continue to do remote instruction. We will also consider remote learning for students whose parents are not comfortable with sending their child to school due to other concerns. This will be a case to case basis and will be decided upon with the IEP team. Materials will still be delivered every Monday and they can participate in the activity via online meetings. The teachers will also be available for consultation. In-home visits will be limited and should be scheduled with the teacher ahead of time.

    It is important to note that schools may need to return to Remote leaning days due to the resurgence of the virus or a second wave. IDPH, ISBE and the Governor’s office will be releasing guidelines if and when this happens.

    Blended Remote Learning (Updated 8/17/2020)

    The overall goal of the blended remote learning plan is social distancing. In order to increase the physical space between individuals, we will be operating on a 50% capacity. There will be 5 days of teacher instruction, 2 of which are in-person. Teachers will also be scheduling one-on-one instruction time to work on IEP goals remotely. The schedule will be:

      Monday   Tuesday  Wednesday Thursday  Friday 
    Elementary   

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     

       

    Delivery of program materials.

     
     

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

       

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

     
       

    Teacher planning day.

     

           

     

       Monday  Tuesday Wednesday   Thursday Friday 

    Jr. High 

     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     

       

    Delivery of program materials.

     

       

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

       

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

       

    Teacher planning day.

     

           

      Monday   Tuesday Wednesday  Thursday   Friday
     High School  

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     

       

    Delivery of program materials.

     

       

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

       

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

       

    Teacher planning day.

     

           

     

       Monday Tuesday   Wednesday  Thursday  Friday
     Vocational  

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     
     

    Remote learning with morning and afternoon sessions.

     
     

    In-person instruction

     

       

    Delivery of program materials.

     
     

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

       

    Classroom deep cleaning and disinfecting

     

     
       

    Teacher planning day.

     

           


    In-person Instruction

    Daily in-person instruction will be implemented during the Phase 5 of Restore Illinois Plan or upon recommendation of IDPH and ISBE. We will be closely monitoring IDPH guidelines and will adjust the learning environment accordingly.

    IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION DAYS PROTOCOL

  • Lunches will be delivered to each classroom. Movement in the building will be limited.
  • Bathroom breaks will be scheduled in the routine or as requested by the student.
  • The indoor gym and outdoor playground will be available for use following a strict schedule. All equipment that is used will be disinfected after every use.
  • Facial masks will be required to be worn by all students and staff, especially when working in close proximity during instruction time. Face shields have not been deemed effective for source control and are only to be used when other methods of protection are not available or appropriate. (Source: IDPH, June 2020) Face mask breaks will be incorporated in the routine to give the students opportunity to take the mask off.
  • Book bags and other items from home, except lunch bags, will not be permitted. The use of cubbies will be limited to jackets or coats (if any) or hygiene materials.
  • Daily reports will be sent via email.
  • Students will be given assigned seating and will not share materials.
  • Windows will be opened as much as possible to increase ventilation.
  • Physical guides will be marked on floors and walls to help with hallway and classroom traffic to maximize social distancing.
  • Community trips and field trips are cancelled until further notice.
  • Arrival and dismissal time will be staggered to reduce the number of people in the hallway.
  • Posters and signs regarding social distancing, face covering and social distancing will be placed in each classroom and common areas.
  • High touch surfaces, such as door knobs, tablets, sinks, faucets and tables will be disinfected at least twice a day. Each room has its own cleaning supplies kit.

    ATTENDANCE (Updated 8/17/2020)

    The State Superintendent has determined that Remote and Blended Remote Learning plans must ensure at least 5 clock hours per day of a combination of instruction and school work for each student who would normally receive a full day of instruction any time remote or blended remote learning days occur.

    ISBE strongly recommends that on any Remote learning day that at least 2.5 hours per day of synchronous learning with real-time instruction and live interaction between students and their teachers take place. (Source: Fall 2020 Learning Recommendations, ISBE, July 2020) Each classroom provides learning activities to meet the required hours of Remote Learning which includes morning and afternoon group, one-on-one instruction, online work, and independent student work time. The weekly schedule provides the times when these occur.

    Attendance will be checked multiple times a day during the various online activities. Independent student work also counts for attendance.

    DAILY SCREENING PROCEDURE (Updated 8/17/2020)

  • Upon entering the building, all students and staff will wash their hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Temperatures and oxygen levels will be taken twice a day, upon entering the building and midday. Each class has their own thermometer and oximeter.
  • Handwashing will be incorporated into the routine, at least every 2 hours. In some cases that it is not feasible, hand sanitizers will be used.
  • Any individual showing COVID-19 symptoms (Source: CDC, May 2020) such as fever (temperature greater than 100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, headaches, sore throat, new loss of taste and smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea will not be allowed to enter the building.
  • In case of a symptomatic student, they will be placed in isolation and will need to be picked up immediately. See under Health and Safety when the student can return to school based on new IDPH guidelines. (Source: IDPH, August 2020)     


    HEALTH AND SAFETY (Updated 8/17/2020)

    We are committed to keeping Trinity School a healthy and safe environment for our students and staff. As previously mentioned, the main concern of our families is safety. We are currently operating on an over-abundance of caution to make sure that we will remain open so as not to disrupt our student’s learning experience.

    In the case when any staff or students experience symptoms of COVID-19, they are to remain home and contact their family healthcare provider for guidance. They should not return to school until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation. They are required to notify the school via email or phone call in order for us to be able to track who has been in contact with the student and limit contagion. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported to the local health department and required by IDPH.

    New IDPH guidance states that students and staff exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptoms should be immediately isolated evaluated to determine if this symptom is new or if it is part of an existing condition for this student/staff. (Source: IDPH, August 2020)

    All students and staff sent home or are experiencing COVID-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested and should remain home from school until they receive the test results. 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. 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. (Source: IDPH, August 2020)

    Students and staff with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested and who do not provide a healthcare provider’s note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school. (Source: IDPH, August 2020)

    Medical evaluation and COVID-19 diagnostic testing is strongly recommended for all persons with COVID-like symptoms. Students can choose to participate in Remote Learning while waiting for the test result or if they have mild symptoms and they wish to still participate.

    If you suspect that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the following testing sites provide free and easy testing:

  1. Walgreens- Bolingbrook Location
    695 W. Boughton Road
    Bolingbrook, IL

    -This site requires an online survey.  After completing the survey at https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing and qualifying to get the free testing, they will send an email with your confirmation code.  You must bring this email and an ID with you to the test.  This test is a swab test and the results typically come back within 24 hours

  2. Walmart Joliet
    2424 W. Jefferson St.
    Joliet, IL 60435

    -This site requires an online survey.  After completing the survey at  DoINeedaCOVID19test.com and qualifying to get the free testing, they will send you a voucher via email and an appointment day and time frame.  You must have the email and an ID with you when you arrive for the test.  This test uses a swab that seems to be less pleasant than the swab tests at the other sites.  The results typically come back in 4-7 days.

  3. CVS Pharmacy

    16760 West 167
    Lockport, IL 60441
    -This site requires an online survey.  After completing the survey at https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing and qualifying to get the free testing, they will send you an email verification.  The results can be expected in 2-4 days. 

    In the event of a confirmed case the following emergency protocol will be implemented: (Updated 8/17/2020)

  • Remote learning will immediately be put in place for 14 days in the classroom with the confirmed case.
  • Those who had close contact with the individual should isolate at home for 14 days. Close contact means the individual was within 6 feet of the individual with symptoms for more than 15 minutes.
  • All areas where the individual has been will be closed off for 24 hours following CDC guidelines. Windows will be opened (if any) to increase air circulation in the area.
  • All areas will be thoroughly cleaned before disinfecting.
  • Individuals who did not have close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
  • Families will be notified via email or phone call regarding the positive case and if their child has been in close contact with the individual.
  • Report to your health provider regarding the close contact and follow recommendations, which may include testing, self-quarantine and isolation.


    PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (Updated 8/17/2020)

    All persons on school grounds must wear a face covering at all times when in school, or in transit to and from school. The primary purpose of a face covering is to prevent the wearer from potentially exposing or infecting others. To be effective, face coverings must be worn properly and must completely cover both the nose and mouth. Personal cloth face covering should be laundered daily and dried in a dryer before being reused. Face coverings must be changed immediately if soiled, wet or torn.

    Face coverings can be temporarily removed when eating, during requested mask break or when outdoors and physical distancing of at least 6 feet can be maintained.

    VISITORS

    Visitors will be limited to essential individuals only. IEP meetings will be via phone or virtual conferences as much as possible. Potential visitors, including families and caregivers are screened prior to entering the building. Families or caregivers who are picking up their child are not required to be screened, but should avoid entering the building by waiting outside in their car and calling the school phone that they have arrived. A staff member will be escorting the student out of the building. Visitors that are permitted inside must wear facial coverings while in the building, wash their hands with soap and water, maintain physical distancing and restrict their visit to the location designated by the school.

    Visitors will be subjected to the wellness monitoring procedure and will be checked for the following symptoms: temperature greater than 99.5°F, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat. They also would need to answer screening questions:

  • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
  • Have you had muscle pain or chills?
  • Have you had new headache?
  • Have you had nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Have you traveled out of state in the last 14 days?

MENTAL HEALTH

The current situation may take a toll on the mental health of staff, students and their families. We will be providing a free virtual webinar regarding Decreasing Coronavirus Anxiety & Improving Emotional Well Being and Self-care Strategies for families in partnership with the Family Counselling Center. Information will be sent out in the near future.