2020-2021 School Year Plan
I hope this letter finds you and your children healthy and happy. We are very excited to be sending this information to you because we believe we are ready and prepared for the school year, and we are looking forward to starting school on August 6th. Whichever phase the Governor announces for Louisiana, we have a plan. These plans are a result of information gathered from our consultation with Our Lady of the Lake, medical professionals, CDC guidelines, the Department of Education, the Catholic Schools Office of Baton Rouge, and teacher/parent input.
St. George is dedicated to providing the very best Catholic education possible. Our goal is to ensure that each child receives an education that nurtures the spirit as well as the mind. This year we have an added focus to mitigate the spread of the virus by reducing exposure so that students and teachers stay healthy. The CDC defines exposure as a masked or unmasked individual within 6 feet of a COVID 19 positive person for greater than 15 minutes. The following have been implemented at SGS to reduce the risk of exposure:
- reduced class size, classroom cohorts or families, one-way hallways, elimination of large group assemblies
- staggered arrival and dismissal, reduced movement on campus
- no water fountains, closed cafeteria
- social distancing, masks when applicable, increased sanitation.
The following information details how St. George School will implement these protocols. We are fully prepared to provide your children with excellent instruction regardless of which phase we are in. We are also ready to transition smoothly from phase to phase as needed throughout the year.
If the Governor announces that the state of Louisiana is in Phase 2 or 3, St. George School’s protocol will still allow for in-class instruction. Prior to arrival at school, parents will be required to complete a personal health screening for each child. Sending a child to school confirms that each child is in good health. Students will arrive on campus via the carpool line of the youngest or only child in the carpool. We will have three carpool lines and parents will be asked to drop off and pick up at intervals. All students must have a mask on while walking to their homeroom. Students will go directly to their homeroom “Family”. An extra section of each grade level has been created for smaller class sizes and to allow student desks to be physically distanced. Students will keep all supplies at their desk and teachers will rotate from class to class. In grades 1 -8, each teacher will teach one subject to all students in that grade level including Religion and Special classes. Teachers must wear masks while giving direct instruction. Homeroom Teachers will return to their “Family” at the end of the day to dismiss students to the carpool line of the youngest or only child in their carpool.
If the Governor announces that the state of Louisiana is in Phase 1, St. George students will move to online academics. Students will receive the day's agenda via Google Classroom each morning. Lessons will include St. George teacher-led instruction either through a recorded lesson or a live-streamed lesson. Teachers will be available at scheduled times for student conferences so questions can be asked, and clarity can be given. Assignments will be due at the end of each day unless otherwise noted. Parents should familiarize themselves with Google Classroom prior to the start of the school year. To help facilitate this, a tutorial will be available on the school website and in RenWeb Parent Portal in the near future.
At this time, St. George school will not be offering a home school option. Teachers will only send recorded lessons home when a child is absent, due to illness, for over four days, and if online academics is implemented for the whole school.
Absences - All absences should be reported through email@example.com or Submit a Student Absence Report. The child’s name and reason for the absence should be included in this communication. Absence policies work will remain the same (see the handbook) except in the case of a COVID 19 absence. In a COVID 19 case, when a student is absent for more than 4 days, the teachers will record the direct instruction part of their lesson and send this to the absent student at the end of the day. Absence policies will remain the same (see the handbook) except in the case of a COVID 19 absence.
Academics - Students will receive instruction from certified teachers physically present in the room for all subjects in Phase 2 and 3. In Phase 1 teachers will provide SGS teacher led instruction and student conference time. In all phases, grades will be entered into one academic category per subject and the weight of the grade will be determined by the total point value of the assignment.
After-school activities and athletics - All after-school and athletic activities have been delayed until Labor Day. We will reassess the situation at the end of August to determine if it is safe to begin gathering for these activities after Labor Day.
Arrival and Dismissal - All students will arrive and dismiss through the carpool line. Students will be dropped off and picked up in the youngest carpool rider’s line. To alleviate congestion, we have added an additional carpool line. Please view the attached map to learn more about the three carpool lines and see detailed instructions. Additionally, students will arrive and will be dismissed at staggered times. It is imperative that all parents follow the route for their designated line and the assigned time. Students will remain in the classroom during dismissal. Once you enter the line, a teacher on duty will record your family’s name and your carpool will be notified in the classroom. For consistency and efficiency, all families will receive a carpool sign for their vehicle. This sign must be visible in your front window during dismissal. For the safety of all children, you must wait for the entire line of cars to be loaded and dismissed by the teacher before driving off. Your cooperation will help expedite this process.
Before Care and After Care - Before Care drop off will continue to be located in front of the PreK building. Students will report to their assigned area where they will practice social distancing within their grade level. PreK students will be in the PreK cafeteria. Kindergarten - 2nd grade will be in the main cafeteria. 3rd - 8th grade students will be in the gym. When the morning bell rings, students will report to their homeroom. After Care students will remain in their homeroom class for the afternoon. Students will be supervised by employees located in the classroom or in the hallway, depending on grade level. Computer lab or study hall will not be offered; however, 2nd-8th grade students will be allowed to do homework in their classroom. A snack will be served each day. After Care pickup will be in the back carpool line by the PreK.
Cafeteria - The cafeteria will remain closed for dining-in until further notice. Lunch service will be provided. Lunches will be delivered to the classrooms at lunch time and teachers can have students eat in the classroom or go outside to picnic with their homeroom family. We are still waiting for confirmation from the Child Nutrition Program regarding breakfast availability.
Communication of School-wide information and updates - Communications will be sent to parents via email through Renweb and on Thursdays through Dragon Tales. The SGS website will also have information and Sunday all-calls will provide information about the upcoming week.
Exposure - An exposure is defined as a masked or unmasked individual within 6 feet of a COVID 19 positive person for greater than 15 minutes. If students and teachers practice social distancing then the risk for exposure decreases significantly.
Face Coverings - Every day students must bring a mask to school for transitions and other times when social distancing is challenging. Masks can be any style, but must be solid black, white, tan, navy blue, hunter green, or uniform plaid. Gaiter masks are recommended for ease of use. If wearing a traditional mask with ear loops, a student must use either a lanyard or an ear band connector to allow for the mask to hang on their neck when not in use. SGS will provide one breakaway lanyard to each student to use for this purpose. Masks should be washed daily. The use of masks at St. George will be determined by the CDC’s guidelines. PreK - 2nd grade students will wear masks as needed and 3rd - 8th graders will wear masks throughout the day, specifically during transitions.
Health - Policies and procedures will be strictly enforced for the safety of all students and staff. Everyone will wear masks during all transitions inside a building. Teachers will wear masks during direct instruction and when working with students. Teachers will take the temperature of any student who feels ill and, if an elevated temperature is present, the nurse will be called to the classroom. The nurse will evaluate the situation and determine the course of action needed. We will have two nurses on staff until Labor Day when we will evaluate the situation. One nurse will monitor the regular nurse station and one nurse will be available for COVID 19 related situations. The gym changing rooms will be used for isolating any possible COVID situations. If a student presents any COVID 19 symptoms, as defined by the CDC, they will be sent home. Parents will be required to pick up students within 30 minutes from receiving a call from the nurse and then the room and space will be sanitized. Specific COVID health protocols will be sent home by the nurse.
Hydration - Each student should arrive at school with a filled transparent water bottle with a flip top spout. Water bottles should not be any larger than 32 ounces. To reduce contamination, Our Lady of the Lake advised against any water bottles that have a removable screw top. Children should arrive to school hydrated and hydrate at home in the afternoon.
Library Books - Students will not be allowed to check out books from the school library. Students are allowed to use books from a classroom library; however, they must keep the book for a week and then place it in the “sanitation bucket” for the weekend. The book will then be wiped down before being placed in circulation again.
Mitigation Procedures - Students will be required to wear masks during transitions. All students will sanitize hands before entering their homeroom Family. Water fountains will be taped off. When appropriate, doors will be propped open and windows will be opened. Students will be given multiple opportunities during the day to go outside for instruction, lunch, breaks, PE, recess. Hallways will be one directional and exterior classroom doors will be used when available. Bathrooms will be available for scheduled bathroom breaks and for emergencies. Teachers will limit the number of students in a bathroom equal to the number of stalls available.
Return to school due to COVID 19 - Students who have been out of school, due to COVID 19, must have a doctor’s note to return to school. The specific protocol and criteria for returning to school after a COVID 19 illness or exposure will be sent home by the school nurses.
Sanitization - All cleaning products have been reviewed and approved by OLOL. St. George has increased our daily janitorial staff to maintain a healthy environment, the evening janitorial crew has been given specific COVID 19 training, and we will continue to have our campus treated by the disinfecting company, DIS.IN.FX. Each classroom will be supplied with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and disinfecting spray. Students will sanitize hands before entering the classroom. Students will sanitize desks after eating and teachers can spray high contact areas as needed.
Schedules and special classes - Students in 5th - 8th grade will not dress out for PE. Students will remain in their homeroom families for special classes and teachers will rotate through the grade level. At any point, a teacher can hold class outside in a designated space while maintaining social distanced guidelines.
Tardies and Early release - Students who are tardy must report to the school office with a parent. Prior to entering the building, parents will be required to complete a COVID 19 screening. Early releases must be called in ahead of time. Students will be dismissed to their car in the carpool line.
Technology - Chromebooks will be assigned to 4th - 8th grade students. The same device will be used by the same student each day. Devices will be cleaned on a regular basis. Devices for K - 3rd graders will be used on a weekly basis. Each grade level will have the devices for a week and then they will be sanitized and stored for the weekend before moving to the next grade level. If we go to online academics, 4th - 8th grade will be given the option, with a signed agreement, to take their device home. At the start of the year, all students will be taught the proper way to use technology and sign an agreement to use SGS devices accordingly. Parents are encouraged to learn about Google classroom and Google suite to assist with online academics.
Volunteers and Visitors - Volunteers and visitors will not be allowed on campus until further notice. Any person needing to enter campus will be screened for COVID 19.
Please note that all procedures are subject to change based on necessity and new guidelines. We will adjust them accordingly as we go through each week and learn more. I highly encourage all families to practice social distancing and COVID 19 protocol (wash hands, wear a mask, and don’t touch your face) for two weeks prior to school so that we can start the year off right. I pray for each of you every day and look forward to working together with you to make this a great school year.
Mrs. Fontenot, M. Ed.
St. George Catholic School