School Reopening FAQs
As a parent, what are my choices with sending my child back to school?
For the 2020-2021 school year, we are offering options for our families, based on the best public health guidance from the City of St. Louis and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, collaboration with our peer K-12 schools, and the needs expressed by our families over these last several months. Please be aware that these plans could change as a result of data and information shared by local health officials. We remain in constant communication with the local and state departments of health; it’s important that we remain flexible and agile during this time.
Confluence Academies will offer:
1. An option consisting of all in-person, traditional instruction, with the precautions listed below in order to enhance the safety of students, families, and staff
2. An option consisting of all virtual, online instruction
3. A family's choice to move from in-person to virtual, or vice versa, at the semester break
Will the students be screened for symptoms and exposure each day?
Yes. Students at the beginning of the day will have their temperatures taken before entering the school building. Additionally, parents are encouraged to ask their child(ren) about symptoms of illness and take their temperature before sending them to school.
How often will we do temperature checks for students?
Temperature of students may be checked by the school nurse upon recommendation of school personnel when exiting the bus and/or during the school day. Students with elevated temperatures or flu-like symptoms will be referred to the school nurse for assessment. Nursing staff will follow protocol for students that exhibit fevers and notify parent/guardian for pick up, if needed.
How should preK-12 schools screen staff members for COVID-19? What are the employee screening and protocols?
All staff will be tested for COVID-19 no more than 14 days before the beginning of the school year, and all Confluence employees must complete a standardized self-assessment screening before reporting to work each day.
Before they enter the workplace, there will be a standardized questionnaire that lists symptoms of COVID-19. If an employee answers “YES” to any of the questions, they will not be permitted to work. Employees who do not answer “Yes” to any of the questions asked will proceed to having their temperatures checked. Any employee having a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above will not be permitted to work.
Will schools close if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in one or more of our schools?
Not necessarily. Building closure is a decision made in conjunction and consultation with local health officials inclusive of data and information shared by local health officials. Response will depend on the number of cases, extent of exposure, and if the virus appears to be spreading within the school. We will remain in constant communication with the local and state departments of health; it’s important that we remain flexible and agile during this time.
Mask/Face Covering Questions
Are face coverings required when entering school buildings?
Face coverings are not required when providing outdoor instruction and students and staff are able to maintain the recommended physical distance (6ft) between others. Face coverings may be removed during lunch, so students can complete their meals. Reusable face coverings will be made available for all students and staff. Extra face coverings will be kept on site to replace face coverings that may become soiled during the school day.
The wearing of gloves is necessary for health care workers, such as school nurses, who will be working with sick or suspected sick students or staff. In addition, as a safety precaution, facility management and cleaning staff will use gloves when using cleaning products. A fresh pair of gloves should be worn when working with each new person. An individual should use hand sanitizer before putting on gloves and then once again after removing gloves.
Will face coverings be provided to all staff members?
Yes, face coverings will be provided to all staff daily. Reusable face coverings will be made available for all students and staff. If a staff member or student forgets or loses the mask, extra face coverings will be kept on-site to replace face coverings that may become soiled during the school day. If a staff member or student forgets or loses the mask, a disposable one will be provided for the day. Confluence Academies will maintain a supply of face coverings to be distributed accordingly. Confluence will provide training to all staff and students on the proper use of face coverings and the purpose for wearing them as required.
Health & Safety/Screening Protocols
What are the protocols for staff members who feel COVID-19 symptoms?
If or when a Confluence staff member is identified with symptoms:
- We will remove the individual from the general population immediately.
- If they are medically stable, we will send them home immediately.
- We will advise our staff to contact their healthcare provider if they exhibit symptoms or answered YES to any daily screening question. The healthcare provider will be able to determine whether the symptoms are a result of COVID-19 infection or if there are other health issues.
What are the protocols for students who feel COVID-19 symptoms?
- We will remove the student from the general population immediately.
- if the student is medically stable, the student will be monitored while in isolation until their parent/guardian is able to pick them up.
- if the student is not medically stable, a staff person or school health official will call 911. Only trained staff will provide lifesaving care (e.g., CPR).
- The school nurse or health official will contact the student's parents/guardians as soon as possible.
What is the procedure that schools should take if a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?
If a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, the school should be notified immediately. The local health authorities will help assist and advise the district on next steps and it is likely if any students or staff who were in close contact with the infected individual will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Custodial and Maintenance Protocols
Will there be additional hand washing and sanitizer stations in each building?
The custodial staff is responsible for making sure all sanitizing stations are frequently monitored with disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, soaps, and tissues; such will be available in all restrooms and classrooms. Teachers will supervise and instruct students on the use and disposal of tissues when sneezing or coughing and monitor students of thorough hand washing and hand drying.
How often will my school/ workspace be cleaned?
Schools will be cleaned daily on commonly touched areas of entry points such as elevators, stairwell railings, soap dispensers, doorknobs, handles, and light switches. In addition, as a safety precaution, facility management and cleaning staff will use gloves when using cleaning products. A fresh pair of gloves and face masks should be worn, and individuals should use hand sanitizer before putting on gloves and then once again after removing gloves. Throughout the workday, the custodial staff will implement a routine of surface cleaning depending upon hours of operation and to ensure consistent disinfection practices while building employees are present. All employees are also encouraged to disinfect their own personal workspace (teacher desk, phone, etc.) multiple times throughout the day to promote timely and effective cleanliness of classrooms in addition to custodial support that will be assigned to each school. Cleaning supplies will be available to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects, common supplies, keyboards, surfaces or commonly touched areas.
Will teachers and students be able to visit other work areas or classrooms?
Will classrooms be sanitized daily? Who is responsible for doing so?
Yes, custodial staff will do daily general cleanings for classrooms in addition to ensuring sanitation measures outlined in the City of St. Louis Public Schools Infectious Disease Control Administrative Guidelines and Procedures including:
1. Wiping down all hard surfaces with a disinfectant solution and disposable towels. This includes, but may not be limited to desktops, tabletops, and chairs.
2. Mist the room with a disinfectant spray as a final step before leaving the room.
3. Dispose of all towels used to disinfect a room. Disposable towels will be used to disinfect more than one room
What physical distancing measures should K-12 schools have in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19?
- Class size –class sizes will be modified to comply with social distancing requirements.
- A minimum 3ft radius around each student’s desk will be required in the classroom.
- Cafeteria – we will stagger lunch periods and use alternative locations for breakfast and lunch to ensure social distancing can occur.
- Checking in/out of the school buildings—parents or others will remain in a contained area (such as a vestibule) when checking students in/out during the school day. If others are waiting to check their student in/out, it is best if they are able to wait outside so there is a limited number of individuals in the contained area. School leaders will share and identify containment areas by campus.
Is physical distancing required as part of a school reopening plan?
What physical distancing measures will be taken in place during recess or physical education?
Our recess activities will be limited to those activities that permit social distancing. We are awaiting guidance on recommendations for organized sports for the coming school year and will communicate them to you as soon as we have them.
As school reopens in the fall, will visitors still be allowed on campus?
Human Resources Related Questions
Are employees qualified for paid leave if they feel COVID-19 Symptoms?
We will work to ensure a culture at Confluence Academies where people stay home when sick. This is applicable to staff and students. There will be no perfect attendance awards and incentives for students and staff, and we are abiding by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Generally, under the provisions of this act, Confluence employees are eligible for paid leave under any of the following conditions:
- The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
What is the district doing to ensure children and staff are mentally healthy?
Confluence Academies has provided a Mental Health Hotline through the Employee Assistance Program to help any staff who have encountered any additional stress and anxiety over these past few months due to COVID-19 situation. The hotline will remain in place indefinitely; the number is (800)-366-7055.
As a parent, when is the last day I can consider my options for sending my child back to school?