FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATED TO HOW NCA IS PLANNING FOR BACK TO SCHOOL DURING THE PANDEMIC

       Updated 8-7-2020

Updates & Information

The 2020-2021 school year is now underway.  We all recognize this school year is like no other we have ever experienced.  It will take all of us working together to minimize the impact COVID-19 will have on our school.  It is our goal to keep you updated as we make adjustments to our Back to School Plan or when COVID impacts our school.  Please know there will be some information that we cannot share as it relates to the confidentiality of our students and employees but we will keep you updated to the best of our ability. We encourage you to regularly check the NCA Dashboard as we will provide updates and information there. 

 

Our plan was updated on August 7.  We encourage our families to submit questions that may not be listed below and we will do our best to either add it to our FAQs or respond directly to you. You can submit your question directly to msearson@newcovenant.net or by clicking here.

 

 Q.  In what capacity is NCA working with the Greene County Health Department?

  1. NCA has been assigned a GCHD liaison to work specifically with us.  They provide guidance as well as specific training that enables us to respond quickly and appropriately to a positive case in the school setting. Two NCA employees are working under the direction of the health department to conduct contact tracing when we have a positive case at school.


Q.  What happens when NCA is notified of a positive case?

  1. We immediately contact the positive individual to first determine the window of exposure (that window of exposure usually begins 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms).  We interview the positive case to identify any individuals who would be considered a close contact of the positive individual.  Criteria for being considered a close contact:  Within 6 ft. for longer than 15 minutes of the positive individual (the 15 minutes can be cumulative). Direct physical contact with the positive individual is also criteria for being a close contact.

Those who meet the close contact criteria are notified as soon as possible and asked to quarantine for 14 days. The school also stays in contact with those individuals through the quarantine process.


Q.  Can someone be released from the 14 day quarantine with a negative COVID test result?

  1. No, since symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear.  The full 14 days need to be implemented to ensure the individual does not become positive.


Q.  Is the rest of the family of a close contact required to quarantine?

  1. No.  


Q.  Is the immediate family of a positive case required to quarantine?

  1. Yes.  Family members would likely be considered close contacts of the positive case.  The positive individual should be in isolation which means they should be separated as much as possible from the rest of the family until they meet the criteria to be released.

  

Q.  What will happen if my student is out for an extended period of time?

  1. We are expecting higher than normal absenteeism.  Teachers will utilize virtual tools to allow students to access live or recorded instruction when necessary while they are absent. We are also working to provide each student a device that they will have for the entire school year. 

 

Q.  If a student or teacher tests positive will that entire class be required to quarantine?

  1. For classes where the students are together as a group (especially elementary) throughout the day that would be a strong possibility.

Determining close contacts in upper grades will be based on the close contact criteria (closer than 6 ft. for longer than 15 minutes/direct contact).

 

Q.  When can my student return to school if they were positive?

  1. CDC guidelines returning to school and/or refer to the Health Decision flow chart located on this page.

 

Q.  Will students be required to wear masks during the school day?

  1. Students in grades 5-12 will be required to wear face coverings. In accordance with CDC guidelines, face coverings for students grades PK - 4th are strongly recommended.

 

Q.  Will the school be taking student temperatures before they enter the building?

  1. At this time temperature checks will not be taken.  Parents are strongly encouraged to daily monitor their child’s health and symptoms. Daily temperature checks are being done for students participating in extracurricular activities.

 

Q.  What steps is NCA taking in the area of prevention?

  1. This will be a major area of focus. Through the summer plans and protocols will be developed. Below is a broad overview of some of these areas:

    • Student/faculty/staff COVID prevention education 

    • Regular cleaning/disinfecting of our facilities (by custodial staff and in some cases faculty/students/staff)

    • Classroom environment 

      1. Maximizing physical space in rooms (removing unnecessary furniture)

      2. Desks spaced as much as possible and pointed the same direction

      3. Disinfecting of student spaces 

    • Non-classroom spaces (hallways, bathrooms, cafeteria, gym, locker rooms, playground).

      1. Implementation of procedures addressing movement throughout buildings

      2. Implementation of procedures addressing social distancing to the extent we are able 

      3. Addressing large group settings...lunch, chapel, choir/band, recess, busses 

 

Q.  What would constitute the need for NCA to pivot to virtual learning?

  1. Our chief concern is that the individuals who are vital to the day to day operations of our school remain healthy.  If this group were to be significantly impacted we would have to consider a short term move to virtual learning.

A high number of positive cases throughout the school might result in pivoting to virtual learning. We have been given recommendations to consider as it relates to the percentages of positive cases. 5% in one day, 4% in two days, 3% in three days. A two week closure would be recommended. 

 

Q.  How will NCA respond to someone exhibiting symptoms during the school day or if we are made aware of a confirmed case of COVID?

  1. We will follow specific protocols and procedures for both scenarios that have been provided by national, state and local health officials. 

  • Examples include: 

    • Designated space for isolating symptomatic individual until they can leave our building

    • Protocol for cleaning areas impacted by those individuals

    • Protocols for return to school after displaying symptoms

    • Protocols for those who may have been exposed (health department will be involved in any confirmed cases)

 




FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL AUGUST 24, 2020


AT A GLANCE--NEED HELP DECIDING HOW TO ASSESS YOUR CHILD AND WHETHER HE/SHE CAN COME TO SCHOOL?  (CLICK ON THE PHOTO FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW)