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  • by Joy Vrlec

Trinity School Transition Plan — In-Person Instruction During ESY 2021

Overview

As of May 14, 2021, Illinois moved to the bridge phase of the Restore Illinois mitigation Plan. This is due to the increasing number of people being fully vaccinated, continuing decline of Covid positivity rate and being below the 8% threshold. As of May 15, 2021, 37.58% of Illinois has been fully vaccinated, Cook County has 3.5% covid positivity rate, and Will County is at 3.6%. (Source: IDPH)

Trinity School has been operating at a 50% capacity of students in the building since opening for in-person instruction last August 2020. Students in the elementary and Jr. High classrooms are doing in-person instruction for 3 days, and 2 days virtual. On the other hand, the High school and vocational classes are doing 2 days of in-person instruction and 3 days virtual. All community-based instruction has been put on hold.

Due to Trinity’s cleaning and safety procedures, we are proud to say that we did not have any community transmission cases of Covid-19. Mask-wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing and disinfecting of high touch areas have been implemented as part of the school re-opening plan.

Starting the Extended-School-Year, June 7, 2021, Trinity school will be opening for 5 days of in-person instruction, in line with the state’s Restore Illinois plan. Our students will benefit from getting a more consistent hands-on learning on a daily basis.

IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION DAYS PROTOCOL (updated 5/18/2021)

  • -Lunches will be served in 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 continue to be required. Although the mask mandate has been dropped in certain settings for vaccinated individuals, it is still required in schools and daycare settings.
  • -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.
  • -Arrival and dismissal time will be staggered to reduce the number of people in the hallway.
  • -Posters and signs regarding social distancing and face covering 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.
  • -A limited number of students will be able to participate in STRIDES.
  • -Students in the high school and vocational classes can visit the job sites.

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 will be taken twice a day, upon entering the building and midday. Each class has their own thermometer.
  • -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.

IDPH guidelines states that students and staff exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptoms should be immediately isolated and 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.

In the event of a confirmed case the following emergency protocol will be implemented: (Updated 5/18/2021)

  • -Remote learning will immediately be put in place for unvaccinated students for 10 days in the classroom with the confirmed case. Vaccinated individuals do not need to be quarantined, but should monitor for symptoms.
  • -Those who had close contact with the individual should isolate at home for 10 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 thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Windows will be opened (if any) to increase air circulation.
  • -Individuals who did not have close contact with the person who is sick or is fully vaccinated 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 100.4°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 travelled out of state in the last 14 days?