Reopening Plan 2020-2021
St. John Paul II Academy is a small private school that has an enrollment between 12-20 students. Sometimes our children are together as a whole group and other times they are separated by developmental stage: Primary, Grammatical, & Dialectical. This arrangement allows for adequate spacing and safety of students and teachers at all times. We are grateful to have the means to implement a 5 day, full-time schedule for our children. We are committed to working with families in a loving and responsible way.
I want to thank all students, parents, and community members for your support and encouragement through these trying times. Returning to school is fundamental to the educational, physical, and emotional and well-being of our children. I am confident that our families will continue to maximize our efforts and design our school day without compromising our Christ-centered values. Our children deserve to be educated in a safe, loving, and caring environment. We find solace in Christ as we prepare for our upcoming school year!
“Be still and know that I am God!”
Communication and Family Engagement
Regular and frequent communication between schools, families, and the wider community has always been an essential element of effective family and community engagement. With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID’s spread and its impact on local communities, communication and family engagement will be more important than ever this year. When families, schools, and communities work together and keep each other informed, students are more successful, and everyone benefits.
- ● Reopening plan team: Board of Directors, Principal/teacher (Jennifer T. Furnia), parents (Denise Passarello and Maureen Angotti), and 1 community member (Sandra Tonzi)
- ● Safety administrator is Jennifer Furnia–responsible for compliance and communication of plan.
- ● Communication plan includes parent & student email group, Facebook parent group, Facebook page, website, text message group, and regular phone communication between Principal and parents.
- ● Principal will hold training sessions for parents and children regarding the safety protocols prior to the start of the school year. Health and Safety The health and safety of the children and adults in our schools is paramount. Health and safety considerations must always come first in every decision made and every action taken by our schools. Whether instruction is provided in person, remotely, or through some hybrid of the two, schools have an important role to play in educating and communicating with school communities about the everyday preventive actions they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Prevention is accomplished by following the recommendations of health authorities in the following areas:
• Health Checks;
• Healthy Hygiene Practices;
• Social Distancing;
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings;
• Management of Ill Persons; and
• Cleaning and Disinfection.
- ● Temperature check and wellness questionnaire will take place upon arrival to school. We will also dispense hand sanitizer upon entering the school building.
- ● Students will be instructed on how to properly execute hygiene throughout the school day.
- ● Arrival & dismissal times will be staggered. Student desks will be at least 6 feet apart. In the event 6 feet is not possible, plastic separators will be used.
- ● PPE (masks and/or shields) will be used when social distancing is not allowable.
- ● Cleaning of desks, door handles, and other surfaces will take place regularly throughout the school day.
- ● We will make provisions for vulnerable populations in accordance with the accommodations detailed, in writing, by their health care provider.
- ● If a child is ill or has a fever upon arrival to school, the parent/guardian will be contacted to pick their child up. The child will remain isolated in a separate room distanced from the rest of the class until they are picked up. Parents will follow up with their healthcare provider for assessment.
- ● Parents/Guardian will be expected to know signs of illness prior to their child attending school. Children must stay home if not feeling well or if they have a fever.
- ● In the event of a COVID-19 positive individual is/was present at school, the following protocol will take place.
- ○ We will temporarily move to a remote format until all contacts are identified, notified, tested, and cleared.
- ○ We will clean and disinfect all areas using appropriate PPE.
- ○ We will notify the state and local health department upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test by any individual in the school (student, parent, teacher, or visitor).
- ○ We will follow protocol that complies with the DOH and CDC guidance for the return to school of students and staff following a positive screening for COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosis of COVID-19, or following quarantine due to contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- ○ We will coordinate with the Cayuga County Department of Health in matters pertaining to COVID-19 cases.
When students and adults return to their school buildings for in-person instruction, it will be vitally important that the physical spaces they occupy are configured and maintained in a way that provides the maximum possible protection from spreading the coronavirus. Religious and independent schools will follow health guidance related to social distancing and other safety measures that must be put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. To meet the requirements of that guidance, religious and independent schools may need to rearrange or re-purpose physical space within their buildings, expand buildings’ footprints or alter existing spaces through construction or change in programming or operation.
- ● Our facility does not need to make any physical changes. Therefore, we don’t have any conflicts with fire code compliance.
- ● An air purifier and a dehumidifier will be placed in the main classroom.
- ● Windows will be open when weather permits.
- ● Each child will have their own individual hand sanitizer at his/her desk. We will provide hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the school building in each room.
- ● We will go outdoors for various lessons or activities when weather permits.
- ● Some of our classrooms do not have doors. For those that do, doors will be left open at all times.
- ● Each child has his/her own desk to store materials. They also have a mailbox and cubby for their personal and school materials.
- ● Emergency drills will be conducted following the specified safety and health requirements.
- ● The school will have proper signage relating to hand and respiratory hygiene, wearing PPE, and maintaining social distance (6ft).
- ● Adequate PPE and cleaning supplies will be available at school at all times. They will be kept in storage and labeled accordingly. Child Nutrition A successful nutrition program is a key component to every educational environment. School meals protect the most vulnerable children against hunger. A child cannot focus on
learning when they are feeling hungry. School meals boost learning, and studies show that students perform best academically when well nourished.
- ● Students bring their own lunch to school. In the event that a child forgets his/her lunch, we will contact the parent and we always have food available if the parent can’t bring a lunch.
- ● Lunch times will be staggered so that students are able to maintain social distancing. Seats will be assigned when we eat in the cafeteria. We will also eat outside weather permitting.
- ● If a child has a food allergy, we will properly educate all of the children on the safety factors and will maintain proper social distance.
- ● Children will be educated on proper hand washing prior to and after eating. They will be reminded not to share food or beverage items. A teacher will bring the students to use the restroom before and after lunch to ensure proper hand washing.
- ● Tables and desks will be cleaned after each lunch group. Transportation The school bus is an extension of the classroom, therefore, most of the recommendations that apply to school building (social distancing, frequent cleaning) should be applied to the school bus, as well. Pupil transportation also presents certain unique challenges.
- ● We have some students that ride the bus to school and others that get a ride from their parents. This allows for staggered arrival times.
- ● Our students receive transportation from their public school home districts. They will follow the plans outlined by those districts including spacing and PPE.
- ● Principal will educate the parents and children on those rules prior to the school year and will maintain regular communication with the bus drivers and transportation offices. Social-Emotional Well-Being Communities and schools are facing unprecedented challenges as they respond to the
compounded difficulties of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and civic unrest in response to ongoing structural racism. This has created organizational stress and educational challenges for our religious and independent schools. However, we must not forget that it has also caused some of our students, our staff and their families to feel fear and disconnection from the communities that gave them comfort and stability prior to the pandemic.
● It has always been our mission at St. John Paul II Academy to develop a partnership with each family in order to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of each student. We do this through regular communication and prayer. Our unique educational setting: a multi-age classroom, allows for a beautiful and supportive interaction between younger and older children. We support parents in their role as the primary educators of their children by working together to provide instruction in moral character and civic virtue. We are a school family that makes sure our children are loved and cared for at all times.
In March 2020, COVID-19 required schools to make critical adjustments to their instructional model with little or no time to plan. As schools devise their Reopening Plans for the 2020-21 school year, plans must at least consider the resumption of in-person instruction. Schools may choose to do so through a variety of scheduling options. These decisions must be informed by the health and safety standards and the most up to date guidance from New York State Department of Health (DOH).
- ● St. John Paul II Academy is prepared to return to school full-time, 5 days per week, in person, in our school building. Staggering arrival, dismissal and lunch will aid in maintaining proper social distance. Groups of students will be spaced in the various classrooms maintaining at least 6 feet between desks.
- ● In the event that schools are shut down at any point, we will implement a remote model. Students will receive individual weekly plans. We exchange work at the end of each week. Work will be graded and returned. The teacher will set up video meetings with each student or group of students depending on the course or lesson.
● Regular communication between teacher and parent will take place several times per week as needed.
Schools must develop a mechanism to collect and report daily teacher student engagement or attendance. While this requirement is straightforward in an in-person setting, a procedure should be developed to make daily contact with students in remote or hybrid settings. School policies and procedures must focus on the academic consequences of lost instructional time and address absences before students fall behind in school. It is critical for schools to use a variety of creative methods to reach out to students and their families who have not engaged in distance learning.
● Attendance will be kept by the Principal using our regular method for a full-time in person setting. In the event that a student is absent, the teacher always contacts the parent/guardian that day and arrangements are made to address missed schoolwork.
Teaching and Learning
All students should feel safe, engaged, and excited about learning, whether in person, remote, or through a hybrid model. Relationships are at the heart of teaching and learning. Students want to return to their routines and a sense of normalcy, so all efforts should acknowledge the importance of setting a positive routine and welcoming environment that supports students during this unpredictable time. During the upcoming school year, it is of the utmost importance that individual student needs and equity are put at the center of all learning experiences. Flexibility is essential when planning for the fall, and schools should be prepared to shift between in-person, remote learning, and a hybrid model in a way that is least disruptive to students. Nonpublic schools must provide 180 days, or the equivalent, of instruction each school year to their students. Instructional days shall be counted for programs that are delivered in person, remotely, or in a hybrid model.
● Instruction and individual learning plans will address each student’s academic level. Whether we are in class or remote, each student and parent will have clear instructional expectations and communication with the teacher. As always, parents have a variety of ways that they can contact the teacher—email, messenger, or phone. Teacher is
accessible at all times. A school calendar outlining schools days and vacation days will be provided for each family.
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Interscholastic sports and extracurricular activities are an important aspect of student life and the school community. During the COVID shutdown students were unable to engage in and enjoy these social activities that are part of the fabric of any school program. As schools plan for reopening in September, attention should be paid to bringing back activities that can be conducted in a safe environment with appropriate social distancing protocols.
● We will examine the feasibility of an extracurricular activity on a case by case basis. In the event that we are considering an activity, such as a Christmas/Spring concert, play, or other gathering, we will follow the NYS guidelines. We will clean and disinfect any areas and follow social distancing requirements at all times.
Bilingual Education and World Languages
The spring 2020 COVID-19 crisis was extremely challenging for all students, but created particular difficulties for our most vulnerable students, including English Language Learners (ELLs). These challenges may have exacerbated existing educational inequities, like a lack of access to technology and reliable wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) needed for remote learning. As schools design their Reopening Plans, ELLs must be afforded the opportunity for full and equal participation whether it be through an in person, remote, or hybrid model of instruction.
● We currently do not have a Bilingual program as we do not have any bilingual students. In the event that we do, services will be provided in accordance with all mandates.