General Guidelines and Principles
For the past weeks our school board and administration have been engaged in research, consultation and discussion on how to reopen our school. We believe that a reasonable and safe approach is contained in this plan that will allow us to begin school with students on campus full time. This plan has taken into account the best interest of our students while balancing the best interest of our community, families, faculty and staff.
With these principles in mind, the following plan represents the strategies that will be used by TCS as we return to school. This plan is not exhaustive and does not address every aspect of the school day. Additionally, this plan may change as we evaluate positive and/or negative changes with the virus outbreak. While the school does its best in creating the safest environment it can, we also need the cooperation of all students and families. Even so, we cannot guarantee the removal of all risks in attending school. The virus is not going away soon, so this is Temple Christian's plan to continue the important work of Christian education in an environment that recognizes the need for precautions.
All students, faculty, staff, and volunteers must self-screen, with the help of parents or a caregiver, when appropriate, before leaving home each school day. A person should not come to school under any circumstances if he/she displays any one of the following:
- A fever of 100 degrees or higher any time in the previous 24 hours
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
Or any two of the following:
- Congestion or Runny Nose
- Muscle or Body Aches
Students will also have their temperatures taken when they arrive at school.
Any person determined by the school nurse or school administration to meet these criteria during the school day will be immediately sent home or placed in a designated isolation area at school until they are taken home. It is required that parents make immediate arrangements for the pick-up of a child who is sick.
Whenever there is a positive case of COVID-19 in Allen County, the health department is notified. The health department will contact the school to set in motion their protocols. If a parent is notified by their health care provider that their child tested positive, they should call Allen County Public Health to report the positive case at 419-228-4457. The health department should already have the information but it will be helpful to check. Once Temple is notified that a child or staff member has a positive test by Allen County Public Health, Temple will assist in contact tracing the staff or student. Temple will be required to compile a list of anyone who was exposed to the person at school in the past 48 hours. Exposure is defined as being around the affected person for 15 minutes or more and being within 6 feet or less of the person. The list will be given to the health department and they will contact each person or parent of the child on the list. The Allen County Public Health will make the decision to quarantine the exposed person. Temple will provide learning opportunities through Google Classroom for students that are placed in a mandatory quarantine by the health department, much like when they are absent from school. Temple will not release the names of any staff or student testing positive or any staff or student being quarantined in order to protect their privacy rights.
Any diagnosis or dissemination of information related to COVID-19 will come from the health department. The school cannot and will not release any information without it first coming from the health department. While we want to be as transparent as possible, we must also be cognizant of student confidentiality. Information that is permissible to be shared will be upon approval of the release of that information from the health department. The communications from the health department will help to explain and define what is considered a close contact that requires quarantine. Any person who is within six (6) feet for 15 minutes or more is considered a close contact to someone confirmed to have COVID-19 that will require quarantine. Just because someone is in the same classroom or passes a student in a hallway does not make them a close contact. Again, this information and determination will be made by the health department, not the school district.
Any student or employee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 may not return to school/work until they have been released by Allen County Public Health. The length of isolation will be based on CDC guidelines and shared by the health department. As of June 2020, any student/employee must be fever free (under 100 degrees Fahrenheit) without the use of medication for 24 hours (one full day), AND show improvement of all other symptoms for 24 hours, AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms started. If a
student/employee has tested positive for COVID-19 but does not have any other symptoms, they will be required to stay home in isolation until 10 days have passed since their positive test. The health department will also require a 14-day quarantine for anyone determined to have "close contact" to someone who has COVID-19. Again, "close contact" is to be determined by Allen County Public Health.
If a staff member or student has someone else living in their household test positive for COVID-19, the staff member or student will be quarantined by the Allen County Public Health but it does not affect the school since it is considered a secondary exposure. Therefore, no contact tracing will be required. It is strongly encouraged that a parent/guardian take their child(ren) to school the first day following a quarantine in the event any information needs to be shared with staff, and to demonstrate release by Allen County Public Health.
Student and staff health issues that are not related to Covid-19
- School will follow usual policy and procedures for student and staff medical issues/illnesses.
- Students or employees with a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home. They may not return until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
Distance Learning If School Closure is Required:
TCS will close on-campus learning and move to online learning only when absolutely necessary. If on-campus learning is closed and we move online for all students, we will be using Google Classroom to continue to educate our students. Our teachers are receiving training in the use of this learning platform. We are committed to delivering the best online education we can if it becomes absolutely necessary.
Learning For Those Who Are Sick Or Being Quarantined:
Students who are out of school due to sickness or being quarantined will be able to keep up with their classes through the use of Google Classroom. Teachers can provide lesson plans, assignments, videos, etc. so that students can continue to learn.
All Classrooms will follow these guidelines:
- Desks/tables will face the same direction. Students will not face each other.
- Student seating will be placed up to 6' apart, but no less than 3' apart. Most classrooms will be able to have students 4' to 6' apart.
- When possible, the sharing of supplies will be avoided.
- Students will be given assigned seats so that they sit by the same people each day.
- Students will be encouraged to maintain social distancing at appropriate times. However, it is impractical and probably impossible to maintain social distancing at all times.
- Social distancing will be encouraged between teachers and students. The nature of a teacher to student relationship makes absolute adherence to social distancing impractical and perhaps undesirable. However, teachers will use common sense when applying distancing practices between themselves and their students
Regular hand washing and sanitizing are among the most effective ways to control viral spread. Students will have regular access to soap and water and hand sanitizers.
- All classrooms and entrances will have hand sanitizer stations available to students and staff.
- Instruction and reminders on hand-washing will be provided by staff. Signs, announcements, and other methods will be used to reinforce hand hygiene.
- Per the state of Ohio mandate for schools, all faculty and staff will be required to wear a mask while inside and on campus.
- Per the state of Ohio mandate for schools, all K-12 students will be required to wear a mask while on campus. This requirement may be modified or relaxed if mask mandates are removed or amended.
- The requirement does not apply when students are able to maintain social distance of 6 feet or more and a mask break is deemed necessary by the educator supervising the educational setting.
- The requirement does not apply when students and staff are able to maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more and removal of the facial covering is necessary for instructional purposes.
- The requirement does not apply where wearing a facial covering would prohibit participation in normal classroom activities.
- The requirement does not apply when students are participating in outdoor recess and/or physical activity where students are able to maintain a distance of 6 ft. or more.
- As points of emphasis, students should wear masks entering and leaving the building, in hallways and other common areas, in offices, and any other time they are not able to maintain 6 ft. social distancing.
- Masks must follow TCS dress code standards and not contain any inappropriate/offensive images or writing, political statements or symbols, or any other content that would not be God-honoring.
- Students shall provide their own clean mask each day.
- The Governor allowed for a few medical exemptions from wearing a mask. If you believe your child meets one of the exemptions, you may request an exemption form from the main elementary office. Written confirmation from a doctor would need to accompany the exemption form.
- Play is an essential component of a child's development. We also know that the risk of viral spread is lower outside. Therefore, recess will be permitted with as little intervention as possible.
- Students may be placed in smaller groups to limit exposure to other students.
- Recess will be outside whenever the weather allows for it.
- Social distancing will not be enforced, but recess supervisors will apply common sense.
- Elementary computer class and art class will be held in the regular classroom.
- Elementary PE will be conducted outside or in the gymnasium.
- Elementary music class will be conducted either in the choir room or the individual classroom depending on class size and other factors.
Chapels and Assemblies
- We are still working on what chapels and other assemblies will look like. They may be done virtually or in a way where we can create more social distancing than we have in Pre-Covid days. Most likely, we will not be able to start chapels at the beginning of the year.
- Local school districts will dictate policies for transporting students to and from school. Most likely, masks will be required.
- When TCS provides transportation to MS/HS athletic events, we will do our best to have students sit one student per seat.
- Field trips will not take place this year. There are simply too many unknowns and uncontrollable parts to a field trip under these environmental conditions. Classes may participate in virtual field trips.
- Classrooms may still have celebrations for children; however, food will not be permitted to be brought in from the outside.
Choir, Band, Drama
- We will make every effort to provide performing arts instruction and, eventually, we are hoping to be able to hold performances. We are currently waiting on more guidance regarding the best way to conduct these classes.
- We will continue to provide food service. The food service staff will follow all recommended safety precautions regarding food preparation and service offered by the local health department.
- Many students will eat in their rooms to begin the year, in order to avoid large group gatherings.
- If students use the lunch room, they will have assigned seats and be social distanced as much as possible.
- Students will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles to school. Drinking fountains will not be accessible to students; we are working on having at least one water bottle refill station in each building. Students are reminded to mark their water bottles so they do not get mixed up with others.
Pick up/Drop Off
- While the school doors open for supervision 30 minutes before school, we are requesting that parents limit the amount of time their child arrives before the start of school as much as possible. Likewise, we are asking that all students depart campus within 15 minutes of the end of the day, unless they are staying for after school activities.
- Elementary Drop-Off & Pick up - Will continue as normal with some small modifications:
- We will be taking temperatures at the door.
- Parents will be asked not to enter the building. You may walk your child to the school door but we ask you not to enter the building. This would apply at the end of the day as well. You may walk up to the door, but we ask you not to enter the building.
- MS/HS Pickup will stagger bells beginning at 2:55 to allow for some time to access lockers and leave the building.
- 2:55 Middle School Students
- 3:00 High School Students
- Students will be reporting to their classrooms when they arrive, rather than hanging out in the halls.
Cleaning and Sanitation
- Daily cleaning and sanitizing by the school's cleaning service will take place with safe disinfectants, paying particular attention to high touch surfaces.
- All classrooms and common spaces will have access to cleaning supplies. Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected during the school day as needed.
- Parents/Guardians are asked to refrain from visiting the building unless it is absolutely necessary or an emergency. Those who do enter the buildings will need to report directly to the building's office. Visitors should wear a mask.
- Examples: If a student forgets their lunch, we will meet you at the door and receive their lunch; if a student needs to leave for an appointment, we will bring the student to the door, etc.
- At drop-off and pick up times, parents will not be permitted to enter the building.
- Open House/Orientation for each building will not take place as usual. Please refer to schedule sent out with summer packet information.
- As a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, TCS is required to abide by the direction of the OHSM. Our Athletic Director, coaches, and trainer are prepared to implement appropriate protocols for the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and fans.