September 8, 2020
Reopening Plan for grades K-5
CLEANING AND DISINFECTION
Classrooms that are being utilized will have windows and doors propped open before students arrive in the morning and after children leave in the afternoon to allow for fresh air ventilation.
High contact surfaces, such as desks and doorknobs, will be wiped down and disinfected at least every two hours or between class periods, whichever is more often.
Toys and instructional manipulatives will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day. (Any hard to clean toys and/or manipulatives will be removed from the classroom.)
Each grade level cohort will play in their own assigned area during recess breaks and will not interact with any other grade level cohort. (WCCA has four play areas: kindergarten play structure, blacktop, gym, and field)
Each grade level cohort will have their own set of playground equipment (balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, etc.) that is color coordinated and will not be shared with other classes.
Playground equipment will be sprayed with disinfectant daily.
In the event of a known positive case of COVID-19, students and teachers will be removed from the classroom and temporarily placed in one of the unused classrooms until such time that the contents of the affected classroom have been cleaned and sanitized for at least 24 hours and it is safe to return.
All elementary (K-5) students will be assigned to a grade level cohort. Each cohort will be assigned to one classroom and will not use any other classrooms while on campus. Each cohort will be assigned to one teacher and will not rotate into other classrooms or have other teachers rotate into their classroom for instruction.
WCCA will have two cohorts for kindergarten, which currently has 10-11 students enrolled per class and will not exceed 12 students per cohort. WCCA will have one cohort per grade level for grades one through five, which currently has a range of 8-22 students enrolled per class and will not exceed 20 students per on campus cohort. (WCCA will still offer distance learning concurrently with in-class instruction. There are known families within the WCCA community who have stated that they will continue to choose distance learning even when students are allowed to return to campus.)
Classroom aides will be assigned to a maximum of two cohorts and will not switch or integrate outside of their assigned areas. The main duty assigned to aides will be supervision of students at play. Class time for aides will be limited to performing office tasks for teachers and providing general classroom supervision when a teacher’s supervision is focused on the needs of a small group of students or one-on-one with a student with special needs.
Each cohort will have their own designated play area that will not interact with other cohorts in their assigned play areas.
Each cohort will be assigned to the same lunch tables each day in which these assigned tables will be separated from other cohorts and their assigned tables. At each table, one student will sit on their own bench and will sit at least 4 feet from other students while eating.
During morning and after school extended care, students will be kept with the same members of their cohorts and walk to their assigned zone in the school gym, maintaining at least 6-10 feet of distance from other cohorts.
ENTRANCE, EGRESS, AND MOVEMENT WITHIN THE SCHOOL
All faculty, staff, and students of the Academy will enter the campus through the designated gates between the A Building and Gym. A staff member will be posted in this area to temperature check and screen on coming students, faculty, and staff. No visitors will be allowed on campus and no office visits will be allowed without prior appointment. Any in-person parent teacher conferences will be held by appointment only and outside of school hours when students are not scheduled to be in the classroom. Zoom meetings will be made available as an option for parent teacher conferences.
At the end of the school day, students will exit campus at the same point they entered. Staff members will be on hand to call students out of the classroom and, if needed, a staff member will be available to escort students through the campus to their waiting parent or guardian.
All classrooms at WCCA have exterior doors, meaning their classroom doors lead directly outdoors to an exterior walkway or hallway. A flow pattern will be created to and from the school gym that has students entering this play area from the front doors and exiting through the back doors when applicable. Each kindergarten classroom has their own back door leading to a kindergarten-only designated play area with structure. The 1st through 4th grade classrooms have doors leading directly to the blacktop play area. Each area will be used by only one cohort at a time.
FACE COVERINGS AND OTHER PPE
Face coverings will be required for all staff and students when they arrive to school, leave school, and during transition times when they may come within 4-6 feet of other students and/or staff members. In other words, “If you’re moving, you’re masking.”
Faculty and staff members will use face coverings at all times when students are present. Face coverings will also be required during faculty and staff meetings unless maintaining at least 4-6 feet between members.
Within the classroom and once all are seated and maintaining at least 4-6 feet between one another, students will not be required to wear face coverings. At recess and break times, activities will be provided that encourage 4-6 feet or more of distance between students whereas face coverings will not be required but may still be worn by the students.
Gloves are always available to staff members for use when cleaning student lunch tables, helping students in and out of their vehicles, dealing with student illness and injuries, and any other time deemed necessary.
HEALTH SCREENINGS FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF
Temperature checks with a touchless thermometer will be performed daily upon arrival for all on-campus students, faculty, and staff members.
7:00 – 8:00am Morning Extended Care will be available in the gym and a staff member will conduct the student and staff screening.
8:00 – 8:45am Staff members will be posted in the parking lot to screen students upon arrival. Students will go directly to their classroom once admitted.
8:45am – on Late arrivals to school will call the office from their vehicle and a staff member will come to the vehicle to screen the student(s) and process the late check-in.
Any student and/or staff member exhibiting one or more of the following symptom(s) will be sent home:
Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
New cough of any kind
Shortness of breath
Lethargy, overly tired, unusually calm or quiet
Mild respiratory illness/issues
If any illness develops during the school day, the individual will be quarantined immediately and asked to be picked up ASAP in accordance with WCCA’s sick policy. A quarantine room has been established and is set up away from classrooms and down the hall from the school office for any student who begins exhibiting any ill symptoms.
Any student or staff member exhibiting the known symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine themselves and seek immediate testing for COVID-19. In the event of a confirmed positive COVID case, the school will notify the students and teachers who had been in contact with the individual and will be quarantined for the required number of days (14 days from last contact) and provided a distance learning option.
HEALTHY HYGIENE PRACTICES
Students and staff will be required to hand wash with soap or use hand sanitizer multiple times each day, especially after each recess and before meals.
All classrooms and bathrooms are equipped with running water and soap dispensers. An additional outdoor hand washing station with foot pedal has been installed near the blacktop play area and school office entrance.
Hand sanitizer stations will be available in entrance locations around the campus and in every classroom.
Tissues and wipes will be readily available in every classroom.
Teachers will reinforce proper practices with their students such as coughing and/or sneezing into a tissue or their elbow and washing their hands immediately after.
There will be no sharing of food or drinks. Also, the school’s snack shack will be closed temporarily and students will be encouraged to bring their own snacks from home.
Drinking fountains will not be used. Students should have their own personal water bottles in class as well as out on the playground. Students and staff may use the refillable bottle station in the gym, sinks, and classroom water jugs to refill their personal water bottles.
IDENTIFICATION AND TRACING OF CONTACTS
Any student, staff, or faculty member who has been in close contact with either a confirmed positive or a probable COVID-19 case will be notified by the school via email. Patient confidentiality will be maintained and no personal identifying information will be revealed.
Mindy Roberson, WCCA school secretary, has been assigned the role of contact tracer for our school community. Mrs. Roberson has used CDC tools and reference materials to ensure her role as contact tracer is performed as needed in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in our school community.
As the school secretary, Mrs. Roberson has access to student attendance information as well as student and staff contact information, and will be available to connect with the local health department to provide information as well as answer questions regarding contacts and protocols within the school community. Mrs. Roberson has also created a digital file of necessary protocols and paperwork on a shared network drive.
Visual indicators, such as blue tape, Velcro dots, or cones, will be used to mark 4 – 6 feet of spacing inside and outside of the classroom.
Classroom desks, table space, and/or carpet seating will be designed to allow 4-6 feet between students.
Activities for students both inside and outside of the classroom will be planned so that they do not require close physical contact between multiple children. Students will be given frequent verbal reminders about physical distancing.
Classes and cohorts will utilize different recess areas to keep each class separated.
STAFF TRAINING AND FAMILY EDUCATION
In anticipation of receiving a waiver and having the school return to in-person instruction, the staff and faculty of WCCA received preliminary training on their new responsibilities in light of COVID-19. Training including physical distancing of students in the classroom, at the lunch tables, and on the playground, sanitation of frequently touched surfaces, as well as face covering requirements.
Families of enrolled students received an email from the school, including an attachment, regarding the new procedures for both on campus instruction as well as for distance learning. These documents can be found in the appendix.
TESTING OF STUDENTS AND STAFF
Any faculty, staff, or student exhibiting known symptoms of COVID-19 will be removed from the school population immediately and placed into quarantine. A quarantine room for students has been established down the hall from the school office and away from all other students within the school community. Staff and faculty members will be sent home immediately. Any school member exhibiting the known symptoms of COVID-19 will be referred for immediate testing. A negative test result or a period of 14 days of quarantine will be required before the member may return to school.
In accordance with state and local guidelines, WCCA will recommend testing every two weeks and require 100% faculty and staff to be tested for COVID-19 every two months.
WCCA has contacted Brad Mediema at Arch Staffing and Consulting for a mobile COVID-19 testing service. This mobile lab will perform the COVID-19 tests on site for any member of the WCCA community, including staff and faculty members as well as any students or parents that may also need testing. WCCA has also been in contact with other local private schools and has received their scheduled testing dates as an additional resource for providing the required testing for staff.
TRIGGERS FOR SWITCHING TO DISTANCE LEARNING
In the event of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, distance learning may be required for any class of students who had been in contact with the individual(s.) WCCA will notify the local county health office if and when there is a confirmed positive case and follow their recommendations for transitioning the class(es) and/or school into distance learning.
General communication with the school population will continue through Weekly Wednesday emails from the school office, special Announcement emails from the school principal, and posts on our school website under the COVID Updates tab.
Specific information with regards to cases and exposures at school will also be communicated via email. Our contact tracer will contact the county health office first, any exposed school community members second, and finally the school community as a whole. Patient confidentiality will be maintained and no personal identifying information will be revealed.
September 1, 2020
Is WCCA still applying for a Reopening Waiver?
There was a news article that came out last week about schools that had applied for waivers and WCCA's name wasn't on it, why?
The article posted last week included the names of schools who had previously submitted waivers. Unfortunately, some of these schools submitted their applications before the new guidelines came out and are now finding out this week that their applications have been denied.
WCCA has continued to be in contact with the County Office of Education about the new guidelines and requirements. The Office of Ed had also notified us about the news article and WCCA chose not to submit a waiver application we knew would be denied.
What's the hold up? Why hasn't WCCA submitted their waiver application yet?
There have been many hurdles along the way and the most recent hurdle is the new requirement for class sizes. Previously, schools were required to show that they could safely fit desks into classrooms and maintain 4 to 6 feet of distance between students. The new class size requirement now includes a maximum class size of 14 students, no matter how many desks can fit into the classroom with 4 to 6 feet of spacing. WCCA currently has three elementary classes that would exceed this capacity, so we are working on a way to solve this new hurdle.
Will junior high be included in the waiver?
No. Our junior highers are taught by four to five different teachers every day and currently, the county will not approve students to receive live instruction from more than one teacher while on campus.
What are the waiver requirements and which ones have WCCA completed?
Cleaning and disinfection - check
Cohorting - unchecked due to 14 to 1 class sizes
Entrance, egress, and movement within school - check
Face coverings - check
Health screenings for students and staff - check
Healthy hygiene practices - check
Contact tracing - check
Phsyical distancing - check
Staff training and family education - check
(COVID) Testing of students and staff - check
Triggers for switching to distance learning - check
Communication plans - check
When will the waiver be approved?
Once submitted, if all requirements meet the approval of our local Office of Education, our local Health Office, and our state Health Office, our waiver could be approved within 10 business days.
August 10, 2020
We will be starting the school year with distance learning. (Due to Contra Costa County's announcement that they will not be processing waivers at this time.)
What does this mean? First, we recognize that this creates a hardship for our working families, especially those with primary and/or elementary school age children. Therefore, we will continue to provide childcare for WCCA students under the established COVID-19 Childcare Guidelines. This means, we will place our students in stable, grade level groups with a qualified staff member. This staff member will ensure that your child follows along with classroom instruction throughout the school portion of the day. This child care (available from 8 am - 3:15 pm on regularly scheduled school days) will be included with the cost of your tuition. Extended care will continue to be available from 7 am - 6 pm at the rate of $6/hr.
Second, our Kindergarten Welcome and Junior High Orientation have been rescheduled. WCCA will now be setting aside Monday, August 17th, and Tuesday, August 18th, for a Welcome Back Orientation. This will be a time that our students and accompanying parent can arrange to be on campus, meet your child(ren)'s teacher(s), pick up any necessary materials for distance learning, and hear an overview from the teachers on how distance learning will be facilitated.
Our first official day of instruction for the 2020-2021 school year will now begin on Wednesday, August 19th.
I understand that most of us wanted the school year to begin "normally" on campus. We all certainly did, too. And as soon as our county announces that schools can reopen, you should expect WCCA to open their doors the very next day.
July 17, 2020
WCCA Parents and Guardians,
After California's governor announced during a press conference his intention to mandate school closures, WCCA began to research how this would affect our school community. Our research found the available option for an individual school to apply for a waiver through the local health office. WCCA and the administrative team (which is composed of department leaders, the office manager, and myself) is very proud of the protocols we had established to safely open in the fall. With those protocols in place, our class sizes, campus size, and reorganization of recess and student play space, we feel confident in contacting our local health department to seek an approval to reopen.
The faculty and staff of WCCA understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and the necessity for enacting protocols within the school which will enhance the safety and security of our students. Their love for their students continues beyond each child's academic needs and their dedication has flourished as they redesigned classroom models and instructional strategies to follow the new guidelines for schools.
We are still moving forward with beginning the school year with in-person classes starting on August 17.
During today's press update, our governor mentioned that there were four key actions that we can do to help eradicate the spread of COVID-19.
1 - Wear a mask
2 - Physically distance
3 - Wash your hands
4 - Minimize mixing
Here at WCCA, we have not only planned to incorporate these actions into our fall reopening, we are already practicing these guidelines in our summer program. And with great success. We will continue to be in contact with our local public health officials to determine what must be done to ensure the safety of our students, our staff, and the extended families.
Ultimately, WCCA recognizes that we all fall under the authority of a sovereign God who loves us and cares for us more than we can possibly imagine. Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare to embark on an unprecedented school year.
June 19, 2020
Dear WCCA Parents,
Since our last time of meeting together on campus, numerous guidelines, recommendations, and orders have been issued from our local and state governance in regards to public health and COVID-19. Here at WCCA, our team of faculty, staff, and the school board have been keeping up with these announcements and planning how we can best provide a quality Christian education for our students in the 2020-21 school year.
We consider ourselves fortunate that our class sizes are small and that we also have multiple areas for play and recreation. Because of this, we are confident in the plans we have made to reopen our doors on August 17.
Our school days and hours will not change. The instructional portion of our school day will still occur from 8:30am-2:50pm for all students, five days each week as scheduled on our school calendar. Extended care will be available from 7am-6pm.
The health and safety of our students, their families, as well as our faculty and staff is of the utmost importance, therefore procedures will be put into place to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
- Handwashing and hand sanitizer stations will be added to our entryways.
- Touch Free thermometers will be used to take temperatures for both staff and students as they come on campus.
- Students will be required to wash their hands each time they enter their classroom.
- Grade levels will be separated within their assigned classrooms and on the playground and recreational areas.
- Masks will be required as students transition to and from their classrooms (and not required in the classrooms.)
- Teachers and staff will be wearing masks at all times they are with the students.
- Student desks in the classroom will maintain six feet of distance for social distancing requirements.
As the school year begins and progresses, different accommodations for health and safety may be made. Most importantly, we are asking for your help in making sure that children who are exhibiting any sign of illness (fever, cough, etc.) are kept at home until they are symptom-free.
More detailed information will be coming in future weeks from each department leader as it specifically relates to our primary, intermediate, and junior high classes and students.
We are looking forward to seeing you all again!
Kristi McComas, Principal