Health Management - Safety Protocols
Students returning from a scheduled appointment must complete another Daily Health Check.
To maintain the integrity of our parliaments, it is vital that we limit the number of people in our school building to those whose presence is essential.
- There will be no volunteers (parent or otherwise) in the building for the 20/21 school year.
All visitors must have pre-approved appointments and follow PPE guidelines in order to be allowed in the building.
There will be a designated location for parents to drop off forgotten items that allows students to have what they need, while not allowing visitors inside.
Until further notice, outside groups will not be allowed to use the school building.
Pre-K only: Parents will be allowed to drop off/pick up at the exterior Pre-K classroom door only.
If parents feel their child is especially anxious and needs a parent’s presence at drop-off in the classroom, please coordinate with the school counselor, Katie Cormier, ahead of time.
Virtual field trips are strongly encouraged.
In-person field trips to non-school buildings and/or requiring transportation will not occur.
At this time, we will continue to enjoy walking field trips to the wealth of outdoor spaces in the Norwich community.
Each morning parents and/or guardians of Marion Cross School students are required to ask the following health check questions at home:
1. Have you been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
2. Do you show any symptoms consistent with COVID-19? (cough, fever of 100.4℉ or higher, shortness of breath, chills, fatigue, muscle pain or body aches, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea)
If the answer is yes to either question, the student should not come to school. Please contact the classroom teacher, the office, and the nurse.
- Students with a confirmed diagnosis and a medical treatment plan for well-controlled asthma or environmental allergies, who do not have a temperature, may attend school with some expected mild coughing and clear nasal discharge.
- It is helpful to get in the habit of having children wash their hands before putting on their masks. Parents should also ensure that the mask fits properly (snug on sides, covering nose and mouth, and secure under chin).
The following procedures will be in place for morning arrival:
- All students, staff, and bus drivers are required to wear an approved facial mask. There will be opportunities for mask breaks when physical distancing measures are in place.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be located at every entrance point to ensure staff and students can properly sanitize hands upon entry.
- Staggered arrival and drop off times/locations will be assigned to families based on the first letter of their last name.
- Students should go directly to their assigned classroom once they have completed all required screening.
- All staff are needed during morning arrival and may not be available to speak with individual parents/caregivers. If needed, arrangements should be made in advance with the staff member.
- All students and staff must have their temperature taken at the first point of contact. A bus monitor (for those students riding the bus) or a school monitor (for those with private transport, walking, or biking) will check the temperature of each child prior to entering the bus or school grounds. Any student with a temperature of 100.4℉ or higher will be excluded from entering the school/bus. A parent or caregiver should follow up with a health care provider for any student that is excluded from school.
- Outdoor spaces where students can keep physical distance will be open.
- Activities with the potential to significantly spread respiratory droplets and aerosols will be avoided. This includes the use of woodwind and brass instruments. Singing may be done outdoors, six feet apart, wearing masks.
- Staff will continue to reinforce social distancing guidelines during free and outdoor play.
- Hand hygiene will be performed before and after going out to play.
- The grounds of Marion Cross School will be available for public or group use. The building, including the bathrooms, will not be available to groups using the outdoor spaces. Signs will be posted on the grounds to remind the public about the use of masks and the importance of social distancing.
- Water fountains will be closed, with the exception of the water bottle filling stations. Students will be encouraged to bring water bottles from home and to return them home for cleaning nightly. Cups will be available for those who forget or do not have access to a water bottle.
- We will work hard to minimize students traveling in the hallways more than absolutely necessary. If students are in the hallways, they will maintain travel in a line, socially distanced, on the right side of the hallway.
- We will be limiting school-sponsored gatherings and events to those that can support social distancing guidelines and gathering limits. Emphasis will be placed on ensuring social distancing and hand hygiene.
- There will be an increase in outdoor activities, including an increased use of outdoor facilities. Students and staff will be expected to have appropriate gear for all weather.
- Meetings with staff and families will be held virtually whenever possible.
- Every effort will be made to continue the traditions of Marion Cross School, but those traditions may look very different this year, as there will not be any large group assemblies or gatherings.
Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, should self-isolate according to the guidelines of the Vermont Department of Health and their health care provider. If COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member, MCS will:
- Open outside doors and windows, and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the areas.
- Close off all areas used by the sick person and not use these areas until cleaning and disinfecting is completed.
- Wait twenty-four hours, or as long as practical, before cleaning and disinfecting to allow droplets to settle.
- Clean and disinfect all areas
- Participate in contact tracing as requested by the VT Department of Health.
- Communicate with staff and parents/caregivers with general information about the situation, with care to maintain confidentiality.
Decisions about school closure will be made based on guidance from the Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health.
Students, staff, and contracted service providers entering the Marion Cross School building will practice hand hygiene (hand washing with soap and water, and/or use of hand sanitizer). MCS is fortunate to have sinks for hand washing in our classrooms. Hand sanitizer dispensers are installed at every exterior door, at each indoor space that does not have a sink, and in each classroom. Hand washing will happen at the following times:
Upon entering the building
After changing settings: Staff will perform hand hygiene upon entering and before leaving each classroom. Students will perform hand hygiene any time they leave or enter their classroom.
Before and after preparing food or drinks, eating, handling food, or feeding students
Before and after handling any medication
After using or helping a student to use the bathroom
After any contact with bodily fluid.
Before and after handling face coverings, masks, or shields
After handling any animals or handling any animal waste
After being outdoors having recess
Before and after engaging in sensory play with sand, putty, etc.
After handling garbage
Before and after cleaning
After assisting others with hand washing and/or providing hand over assistance to others
At each of the above transitions, students and staff will wash their hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water, following the Center for Disease Control and Vermont Department of Health hand washing recommended technique. If soap and water are not available, and hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used.
Contact tracing is a public health strategy used to determine the source of an infection and how it is spreading. Finding people who are close contacts to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, and therefore are at higher risk of becoming infected themselves, can help prevent further spread of the virus. A contact tracing team from the Vermont Department of Health calls anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. They ask the patient questions about their activities within a certain timeframe – to help identify anyone they have had close contact with. (Close contact means being closer than 6 feet apart for more than about fifteen minutes while the person was infectious.) Those contacts might include family members, classmates or coworkers.
When there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school, a member of the contact tracing team will reach out to the positive person to identify close contacts. The contacting tracing team will also reach out to school administration to determine next steps regarding exposure to students and staff. If there is a cluster of cases in the school, the Health Department will work with school administrators to address and mitigate the situation.
Marion Cross School will be taking measures to assist the Vermont Department of Health in their Contact Tracing efforts. These measures include:
- Using assigned seating on busses and in classrooms.
- Taking attendance for every class, including any adults that may enter the classrooms.
- Adhering to sign-in practices for the building and any meetings that need to happen in person.
- Keeping accurate records of anyone other than students and staff (i.e. contractors, clinicians contracted to provide special education services, etc.) that entered the building, as well as their reason for being in the building, the names of people they came within six feet of, and the locations they went in the building.
- Encouraging staff to keep a daily log of people they come into close contact with. The Vermont Department of Health is encouraging all Vermonters to keep a similar “contact journal” as this will help with more accurate and easier contact tracing.
If a Marion Cross School student tests positive or has a family member test positive for COVID-19, please notify Pam Hausler, School Nurse at email@example.com at 802-649-1703 between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. Email and voicemail are available 24/7. This will help us to be more prepared in our response, as well as to expedite the Contact Tracing process.