Every member of the St. Luke community has a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of illness, in particular COVID-19. In addition, every community member has a responsibility to stay home if they are aware of or suspect that they have a communicable illness or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
It is important that all community members adhere to the guidance here, with the understanding that guidelines and protocols may change as there are updated public health guidelines, as well as variations in the public health of our local community.
These guidelines were adapted from protocols set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control, Massachusetts General Hospital COVID Resource Library, and in consultation with community physicians.
SYMPTOM SURVEILLANCE FOR COVID-19
Students with Symptoms
- Parents should monitor their children daily for symptoms of COVID-19:
- High-risk symptoms: fever of 100.4 or above, cough, shortness of breath/increased work of breathing, loss of sense of taste or smell
- Low-risk symptoms: sore throat, nasal congestion, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, muscle aches, headache, fatigue
- Any student with one high risk or two low risk symptoms should be considered to have a “COVID-like illness” and stay home.
- It is recommended that students who stay home for COVID-like illness be tested for COVID-19 and seen by their physician.
- A student with only one low-risk symptom is considered less-likely to have COVID and should be sent home. These students can return after 24 hours if they are feeling better and no further symptoms develop. This person does not need to see a physician or be tested to be cleared to return to school. (One exception to this rule: young children with nasal discharge may return to school after 24 hours, even if the discharge has not resolved). If symptoms do not resolve quickly, the individual should be assessed by a physician and considered for testing. If this person is in contact with a known COVID-19 case, he or she should be seen by a physician and tested to determine if he or she can return to school or requires isolation.
- Temperature checks will take place each morning before each student leaves his/her vehicle.
- If a student’s temperature is 100.4 or above, the driver will be asked to park and wait. If the student’s temperature remains elevated after a period of 2-10 minutes, the child should return home and follow instructions below.
If a Student Shows COVID-Like Symptoms AND . . .
- Tests positive for COVID-19: students must stay home for a minimum of 10 days from symptom onset. After this period, the students may return to school if they are without fever for at least 24 hours, and have improved symptoms. Students should consult with their physician regarding this illness, and seek guidance on management from him/her, as they would with any potentially-serious illness.
- Tests negative for COVID-19: students must stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours and have improved respiratory symptoms. If symptoms are not improving, consult with physician about repeating COVID-19 test or seeking alternate diagnosis.
- Is waiting for test results: child will need to stay home pending test results.
- Is determined to have an alternate cause for symptoms: students must be treated for their condition by their physician, and sent back to school when symptoms have resolved.
- Is not tested for COVID-19: students must stay home for a minimum of 10 days from symptom onset, without fever (if present) for at least 24 hours AND improved respiratory symptoms.
- Close contact is defined as greater than 15 minutes with a person, within 6 feet of that person.
- If a COVID-19 positive individual was in a classroom, per CDC guidelines, all “close contacts” should be sent home to quarantine for 14 days from the last interaction with that person. If that asymptomatic contact develops symptoms while at home, he/she is recommended to be tested for COVID-19. A negative test does not end the quarantine requirement.
- If a student has contact with a COVID-19 positive individual at home, that student needs to isolate at home for 14 days from his/her last exposure to the infectious person. That person is considered infectious for at least 10 days from the start of his/her symptoms.
COVID-19 Positive but Asymptomatic
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, must isolate at home for 10 days from the date of their positive tests. Close (school) contacts of these individuals should also quarantine at home for 14 days. Household contacts will stay home per exposure guidelines above.
St. Luke School reserves the right to review any/all cases on an individual basis and make adjustments to the protocol as needed.
Additionally, we will have a full-time health care professional on staff to help as we navigate these times. Allyson Ozier, RN, is coming to us with eleven years of experience and will lead and assist in all medical situations.
St. Luke School will provide a high-quality virtual learning option for families under quarantine and those at elevated risk from a COVID infection. Contact Richard Green for more information.
Personal Safety and Sanitation
- Teachers, students, and visitors are expected to sanitize their hands upon entering school buildings.
- Teachers will:
- reinforce hand washing and hand sanitizing guidelines.
- teach effective methods of covering coughs and sneezes.
- If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer will be provided. Each student will be given a personal bottle of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the school year. Additional hand sanitizing stations will be placed around campus.
- Signs will be posted on campus as reminders of how to slow the spread of COVID-19 and how to stop the spread of germs.
- Children and staff are required to bring a face covering to school.
- Face coverings are required for all students:
- when in transit outside the classroom in order to meet distancing requirements. Examples include: arrival, dismissal, going through the lunch line, changing classes, etc.
- when teachers and students are working together in close proximity within the classroom.
- Where appropriate social distancing cannot be assured (and outside of classroom cohorts) face coverings will be required. Teachers will instruct students on practical, age-appropriate face covering usage.
- Most importantly, students should bring a clean face covering to school each day. Disposable surgical masks are permitted as long as they are replaced daily.
- Students in middle school (grades 6 – 8) are required to wear face coverings. Additionally, with the current situation in Columbus, students in grades 3-5 will now open the year wearing face coverings more often to reduce risk. This and other requirements will be reviewed as the school year progresses and may be relaxed as guidance and conditions warrant.
School Cleanliness and Sanitization
Intensified cleaning and disinfecting by our staff will occur throughout the day (classrooms, restrooms, stairwells, lunch tables, etc.).
- We will ensure safe and correct application of all disinfectants utilized.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day (door handles, sink handles, minimal shared objects, etc.).
- Students will be asked (age appropriately) to clean their personal desk and chair, using safe disinfectants before changing classes or desks.
- Regular water fountains will be closed. Children are encouraged to bring a filled water bottle to school each day. Hands-free bottle filling stations remain open.
- To avoid supply sharing, classroom supplies will be distributed to children as needed.
- Students in Jr-K through 5th grades should bring a simple, small drawstring bag to school each day.
- Middle School students will keep supplies in a personal pencil pouch. To start the school year, students will not use a locker to store books and notebooks and belongings. Instead they will carry their book bag to and from each class.
- In the event individual supplies cannot be used due to the specialized nature of the supply (art class or STEAM class), teachers will disinfect shareable supplies and tools during and between classes.
- Lunch will be provided daily for students. The weekly menu will continue to include a variety of hot and cold items. Children may also bring lunch from home if desired.
- On most days, each class will have a designated place outside their classroom to eat lunch daily. Stockwell Hall, the Ministry Center’s large dining room, and a variety of campus spaces (inside and outside), will be utilized to ensure appropriate distancing between classes.
- The lunch times have been appropriately spaced for food preparation and physical distancing between classes and for cleaning and sanitizing the tables and chairs between classes in both Stockwell Hall and the large dining room.
- All children and teachers will wear face coverings while going through the lunch line.
Class and School-wide Events
- Students in lower school will travel by homeroom to attend Specials classes and recess. Traffic flow will be monitored going in and out of the Innovation Station and the Ministry Center/Gym to help with congestion.
- Middle School students will follow designated traffic patterns during class changes to help with locker usage and hallway congestion.
- Middle school students will attend elective classes.
- Weekly Chapel services will continue. Students and teachers will experience the Chapel service message while in their classrooms by live streaming. Students will attend chapel in person when we deem that we can do so while maintaining a proper physical distance.
- Arrival: We will implement a daily temperature check before students exit their car at their home building. This process will begin each day at 8am. Faculty will be screened upon arrival as well.
- Dismissal: To start the school year, siblings will not reunify to other buildings for one pick up locations. Students will be dismissed from their home building. Initially students will not reunify to other buildings. We realize this may require more time for you to pick up your children. Therefore, dismissal will begin at 3:05 and continue until 3:30 to help expedite the process.
- Visitors will have limited access to classrooms, lunchroom, etc. Visitors are asked to call ahead for availability of staff they hope to interact with.
- Visitors are required to follow the protocol set forth by St. Luke Church and School. (hand sanitizer, temperature checks, face cover, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the face covering requirement mean my child will have to wear a mask all day?
No, students will take appropriate breaks throughout the day. Teachers will incorporate periodic face covering breaks in classroom instruction and activities to allow for maximum engagement during the school day.
Our family has a need for before/after school care. Will St. Luke still provide this as an option?
Yes, the St. Luke Early Learning Center will continue to serve the needs of families before and after school. Thankfully, they will be able to serve our students under similar guidelines and with minimal mixing of students. For more information please contact Sherry Carr, Director at 706-322-2703.
How will social distancing be addressed?
All teaching and support staff will actively reinforce the social distancing mindset you have instilled in your children. Social distancing is a simple procedural step that will begin August 12th and will easily become second nature for all Lions. The mindset of serving others with our actions will be critical in reducing risk.
Will there still be recess and opportunities for exercise?
Yes, a new schedule has been developed for students to continue to have breaks in the day to exercise and play. Within the middle school breaks have been enable students to recharge their minds and bodies. Please join us in praying for great weather this fall!
How often will the COVID-19 policies be evaluated?
St. Luke School is constantly monitoring changes taking place in our community. Our medical advisory committee is graciously providing the guidance necessary to reduce risk as much as possible. As soon as we are able to return to a more regular way of life we will do so. The reduction of risk is the highest priority.
Can you tell me more about your medical advisory committee?
A variety of service providers have graciously given their time and expertise this summer and are committed to serve our school during the 2020-2021 school year. Members of this committee include local physicians who specialize in pediatrics, family medicine, nephrology, allergy and immunology, registered nurses, counselors, hospital administrators and more. Many members of this committee are also SLS parents. We are grateful for their service.