Reopening

Reopening Guidelines

 

A printable copy of these guidelines is available here.

COVID FAQs are available here.

 

 

As we return to school in Phase Four of the Restore Illinois Plan, Immanuel families, students, and staff will be required to follow certain protocols mandated by the state of Illinois. As a Christian community, we are called to care for others, and thus we need to be flexible and mindful of everyone’s health and well-being. Given the ever-changing nature of the situation, we may require changes in our procedures, sometimes with minimal notice.

 

Our Immanuel community is different than it was before March 13, 2020. To best protect the health of and safety of everyone, Immanuel will abide by recommendations from the Department of Health and other knowledgeable governmental agencies. Whatever the circumstances, we remain committed to providing a loving Christian environment which supports the whole person in body, mind, and spirit.

 

While it is our goal to prepare and plan as best as we possibly can, all plans are subject to change based on government, CDC, Illinois state Board of Education, and Illinois Department of Public Health, and LCMS recommendations. Please note that situations may arise where adjustments must be made quickly, and as such communication is key and families are asked to regularly monitor their email for communication.

 

 

School Protocols for In-Person Learning

  • Immanuel is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment. Our plan is to reopen for full-time, in-person learning.  Our scheduled first day of school for grades K–8 is Aug. 17, 2020. Preschool classes begin August 21st and 22nd. We currently plan to maintain the school calendar as published. All students are able to participate in on-site learning as long as they follow the guidelines outlined in this document. Students who refuse to follow these guidelines will not be allowed to attend in person.
  • Any individual with a fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher must be fever-free without medication for 72 hours in order to return to school.  Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or who shows any signs or symptoms of illness should stay home.  Currently known symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, rash on extremities, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Any individual who has a fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher or shows other COVID-19 symptoms while at school will be taken to a designated isolation room.  The person will have a staff member wearing PPE with them until they are picked up and may not return until they are released by their doctor to return to school.
  • Areas used by a sick person will not be used until proper cleaning and disinfection has taken place.
  • If someone has symptoms of illness and is not tested for COVID-19, they should stay home in isolation for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, have no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and cough and breathing symptoms are resolved.
  • If someone has symptoms of illness and tests negative for COVID-19, they may return to school once symptoms are resolved and 72 hours after having no fever without the use of fever reducing medications or written medical clearance to return to school. They should remain home until testing results are known.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days or longer according to their doctor orders. Siblings of a student who has tested positive will need to self-isolate, as well.  Likewise, anyone in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID19 must self-isolate for at least 14 days according to their doctor’s orders. Close contact is defined by IDPH as anyone being within 6 feet of someone for more than 15 minutes. Immanuel is required to report positive COVID-19 cases to the Kane County Health Department as required by the Illinois Infectious Disease Reporting requirements issued by IDPH. The school community will be notified according to state and county health department guidelines while maintaining student and staff confidentiality rights.

 

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings will be required to be worn by everyone at all times while in the school building, except while eating, even while social distancing. When outdoors, the face coverings will not be required as long as social distancing is maintained. We encourage families to practice at home with their children how to properly wear and care for a face mask. ISBE and IDPH have changed their guidance, stating that face shields should only be used in limited situations with the understanding that they have not been deemed effective for source control. Immanuel will provide a gaiter for every child to use while at school. The gaiter will be labeled with the student’s name, left at school, and washed by school staff. Students are welcome to bring their own face masks to wear at school, as well. There are limited face covering exemptions allowed by ISBE and IDPH, and such exemptions will require a doctor’s note. Students with a face covering exemption will need to have a desk shield with a non-permeable surface that can be disinfected daily.

 

Temperature and Symptom Checks

  • IDPH requires that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks for everyone entering the school building. At Immanuel, symptom screenings will be done by self-certification. Temperature checks will be done by Immanuel staff using contactless thermometers prior to entry into the building.
  • From 7:45-8:30 AM, temperature checks will be done at the vehicle in the drop-off line. Those who need to park and enter the building with their child will be temperature checked at the doors by the school office. At all other times temperature checks will be done at the doors by the school office, as well.
  • Staff will take temperatures using a non-contact, temporal thermometer. Only temperatures that are 100.4 Fahrenheit or above will be recorded.
  • Anyone entering the building will also be required to daily certify the following questions:
  •  Have you received a confirmed diagnosis for coronavirus [COVID-19] by a coronavirus [COVID-19] test or from a diagnosis by a healthcare professional in the past 14 days?
  •  Have you had close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
  •  Have you experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days (to include: fever or temperature of higher than  100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, pressure in the chest, extreme fatigue, earache, persistent headache, diarrhea, and persistent loss of smell or taste)?
  • Certification will be done either by an app on a smart phone or on a paper form. If the answer to all of the questions is NO, then the individual will be allowed to enter the building. If the answer to one or more of the above questions is YES, then the individual will not be allowed to enter the building.
  • Anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. answers yes to any of the screening questions or has a fever of 100.4 or higher) will need to leave the premises as soon as possible to seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing, per CDC guidelines.
  • Staff doing screening will wear personal protective equipment [PPE] including a mask and a pair of disposable gloves, and they will thoroughly wash their hands before and afterwards.  Those entering the building will also be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Parents should be alert for signs of illness in their children and must keep them home when they are sick. Even if the child does not have a temperature but appears sick [cough, runny nose, etc...], Immanuel may contact the child’s parents to determine the best course of action [i.e., in-person or remote learning].

 

Social Distancing Strategies

  • Parents and visitors are asked to limit entry into the building to essential visits such as dropping off young children, scheduled appointments with teachers, and dropping off or picking up items at the school office.
  • Hallway traffic patterns will be marked with on the floors and with signs on the walls. These markings will denote the direction of traffic on either side of the hallway and 6-foot distancing.
  • Schedules will be staggered to minimize overlap of classes in common areas such as the hallways, gym, and playground.
  • Most classrooms have two doors, both of which will be left open as much as possible for natural air flow.  One door will be used for entering the room and one for exiting.
  • Desks and seating will be spaced 6 feet apart as much as possible. Unnecessary furniture will be removed from classrooms, and floor plans will be rearranged to maximize space available for spacing students as close to 6 feet apart as possible. Spray guards will be used when a distance of 6 feet is not possible.
  • Student use of hallway lockers will be spaced out as much as possible and will be used to store coats and other outdoor gear. Students will keep their other items in the classroom in chair pockets or bins. Some teachers may ask their students to keep their backpacks in the classroom under their desk.
  • Students will stay in cohorts, and whenever possible teachers will move from room to room while students stay in the same room.
  • Only one person will be permitted in each bathroom at a time. Teachers have established a system to communicate with each other to ensure real-time information regarding bathroom availability. Appropriate exceptions will be made for emergency situations.
  • Locker rooms will not be used, and thus PE uniforms will not be required, until further notice.
  • There will be no shared equipment in the classroom or during recess and PE classes. Students will use individual school supplies that will be kept in their own storage container. Teachers will prepare individual kits for learning manipulatives and art supplies, which will be disinfected after the student is through using them.
  • Whenever possible, recess and gym classes will be held outdoors. Face coverings will not be required unless students are not able to maintain 6 feet of distance between each other.
  • Students will not be able to use the school library.  Teachers will establish their own procedure for classroom libraries. Books will be kept in individual students’ desks or storage bins. Library books will be disinfected before another student is able to check them out.
  • Music will be taught by the music teacher in individual classrooms. The focus will be on studying music theory, history, and genres. Choir will not be held at the beginning of the school year. 
  • Chapel services for grades K–8 will be livestreamed into classrooms.  Each week one class will take their turn being in the          sanctuary with the person leading chapel. Pastors and ministry directors will visit preschool classrooms for their chapel time.

 

Hand Cleaning

  • Teachers will direct students to wash their hands frequently. Students will be instructed in proper hand washing methods (i.e., to wash for 20 seconds with soap and warm water). Every room will have a supply of hand sanitizer, along with other disinfecting supplies. In every case, hand cleaning must be done after using the bathroom, touching one’s face, and eating.

 

Eating and Drinking

  • Hot lunch items (including meals, milk, and juice) will not be available until further notice. Students will eat lunch at their desks in their classrooms. We ask that juice and milk not be sent in students’ lunches due to the carpeting in the classrooms.  We also ask that only items that student can open independently be sent in lunches.  At the end of their lunch period, students will clear their area of lunch items, which will then be removed from the classroom. Surfaces used during lunch will be disinfected before normal classroom begins.
  • Water fountains will not be used until further notice. Students are encouraged to bring no-spill water bottles. Teachers will have water pitchers in their classrooms and will establish classroom procedures for students to refill their water bottles as needed.
  • Birthday treats should be prepackaged and store-bought. They will be distributed at the end of the school day to be eaten at home. Non-edible treats are encouraged as an alternative.

 

Facility Cleaning

  • Immanuel’s contracted cleaning service will disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in all rooms and hallways daily. The day porter will also disinfect the bathrooms and door handles midday daily.
  • Teachers and teaching assistants will disinfect classroom surfaces regularly throughout the school day in response to frequency of contact.  Shared surfaces will be cleaned before being used by another person.

 

Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures

  • Morning care will be available beginning at 7:00 a.m.  Students will have their temperature checked prior to entering the building.  They will be seated at tables and socially distanced.
  • Beginning 7:45 AM, temperatures will be taken while students are still in their vehicle, and students should be dropped off according to the following plan:
  • Middle school enters at the doors by the gym elevator (doors 12S)
  • Preschool 3’s enter at doors by the fellowship hall (doors 2W)
  • Preschool 4’s, kindergarten, and grades 1 and 5 enter at the main school doors (doors 3N)
  • Grades 2, 3, and 4 enter at the doors by the garage (doors 4N)
  • Students will be dismissed at the end of the school day from their classrooms and will exit the building through the doors by the school office (doors 3N). Staff members will be stationed outdoors and use walkie-talkies to notify the school office of which cars are in line. Cars may be directed to park in designated spaces in the center of the school lot while waiting for their children.  The school office will use the PA system to call students by family name to go to the car line. Teachers will monitor hallways from their classroom doors to ensure that social distancing is occurring.
  • Students going to after-school extended care will be escorted to the fellowship hall at 3:30.  They will be seated at tables and socially distanced.  Weather permitting, they may have opportunities to play outdoors, either socially distanced or wearing a mask.  Parents should enter the building through the doors by the school office (doors 3N) to pick up their child from aftercare.  Aftercare is available until 5:30 PM.

 

Fall Sports

  • Immanuel will follow IHSA guidelines. The status of fall sports is still being determined.  Intermural no-contact alternatives are being planned in case our normal fall sports are not able take place.

 

Outdoor Education

  • We are still determining when outdoor education will occur and what the parameters will be.

 

School Protocols for Remote Learning

  • Immanuel’s teachers did an exceptional job with distance learning last spring. At the same time, they have reflected on the instruction and learning that took place, and they have been involved in professional development over the summer.  They will be incorporating new tools and technology so that students will be able to transition as seamlessly as possible from in-person to remote learning when necessary and therefore maintain students’ educational progress.
  • Parents may decide for their child to learn remotely.  This option is intended for those with health concerns and for those required to self-isolate.  The partnership between school and home is extremely important during remote learning, and as such it must be done in coordination with Immanuel’s administration and their child’s teacher.  If our school is mandated to fully transition to remote learning, our teachers and staff members are prepared to do so.
  • Remote learning will be a combination of recorded in-person instruction, other instructional videos and technology, reading, and written work. Just as with in-person learning, teachers will provide whole group instruction as well as small group and individual help.  They will assign work and provide feedback in a timely manner, and they will be in close communication with parents.
  • Whether learning in person or remotely, the partnership between home and school is critical.  Teachers, students, and parents alike need to reach out when there is a concern.  When learning is remote, teachers will need parents’ support in making sure that students are attending all of their online sessions and completing all of their work. 
  • Remote learning requires students to show effort, focus, and self-discipline.  The following guidelines should be followed when online:
  • Test run the technology and become familiar with it.
  • Be on time for online classes.
  • Establish a schedule and turn in work on time.
  • Be respectful.
  • Engage in all activities and discussions.
  • Minimize distractions such as cell phones, pets, or toys.
  • Stay muted during live sessions unless otherwise directed by the teacher.
  • Work in a quiet place.
  • Daily attendance will be determined based on daily participation in the assigned learning activities.
  • Grading for remote learning will be the same as for in-person learning, and the grading policies outlined in our Student and Family Handbook will be followed.
  • Normal tuition and fees apply to all remote learning. If parents choose to withdraw their child from enrollment at Immanuel due to concerns about COVID19, all of Immanuel’s policies related to tuition and fees apply.