Updated Covid-19 Reopening Plan
Updated: July 28, 2020
Dear TJA Families,
There have been major developments in our COVID-19 reopening plan. It has been our intention these past months to reopen school on August 17th as a complete school. While our class sizes remain small, it has been determined after extended guidance from both the local health department, CDC guidelines, and the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists that the safest way for TJA to reopen when our community is experiencing a high level of community transmission (A “Red” or “Orange” county designation) will include an “A/B” schedule (hybrid model) that further limits contact between students, teachers, and staff. “A” day students will attend class Monday/Wednesday and “B” day students will attend class Tuesday/Thursday with the whole school online on Fridays. Fridays will include a live Art class with Mrs. Johnson for each grade with prepared hands-on materials that they will take home with them to use, music instruction that may be delivered live or via prepared video, and live teaching experiences with your child’s classroom teacher.
Our top priorities for your children beyond showing them the love of Jesus are a safe, healthy environment and consistent learning opportunities. The guidelines for isolating/quarantining are vital to stop transmission of COVID-19; however the guidelines are very stringent and involve large shares of the school community isolating if we experience a positive case. Those numbers increase with proximity. By reducing class sizes, we hope to further limit exposure by spreading students out as far as possible so that we can maximize our in-person class time and minimize disruptions. Most importantly, we hope to further safeguard the health of our TJA students, staff, and teachers.
The A/B schedule has not been included online due to privacy.
We want to assure you that, although this unexpected path reduces our face-to-face class time, we believe your child’s learning experience will be enriched by the small class sizes (5-8 students per classroom) and the individual attention they will experience on their in-person school days. Students will be required to follow a set schedule on home days and will be completing assignments via Google Classroom. They may also be joining with the in-person students via Zoom/Google Hangouts for scheduled whole-class experiences (which will most likely include Bible lessons in the older grades). Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Nora will support students by starting the online school days for those at home with a worship thought and group prayer. They will take attendance at the start of the school day as well, so all students will be accountable to the online learning schedule. They will be available until 3:00pm each day in a virtual “break out” Zoom room to take questions and provide additional reading and instructional support while students are working at home. They will both be added to every Google Classroom class so that they will have access to each assignment students are working on in each grade. They are both adept at answering curriculum questions as they’ve worked in all classrooms grades K-8 throughout their time at TJA. Additional questions for your child’s teacher will be addressed on in-person school days and online on Fridays so that in-person learning is as focused as possible for both the teacher and students in attendance in-person.
Uniform Policy: In light of the reduced in-class days and extended outdoor time, the Toledo Junior Academy School Board has voted to suspend uniform requirements for the duration of the 2020-2021 school year. We hope this lessens financial burdens on your family as well. Friday dress-down standards of attire will be required, and further guidelines have been included with your child’s school supply list. You can access the new policy online here.
Lunches for Purchase: Due to many factors, we will not be able to serve Chick-fil-a, Pizza, or provide the snack cart for the foreseeable future. We will have emergency lunches prepared in the case of the occasional forgotten lunch.
How did we make the A/B Schedule? A/B assignments have been made based on sibling relationships and worked from there. We attempted to separate students by last name, but we have too many students in the A-M side of the alphabet to balance the numbers. After family relationships were accommodated, students were selected in a random fashion in the lower grades and by grade distribution in grades 6-8. It leaves our 6-8 class slightly lop-sided, but will still allow for greater distancing overall. It was a very emotional experience separating the students into two groups as they will not begin the year together as we had hoped, but we remain optimistic that we will be together, in person, as a complete school family during the 2020-2021 school year at some point. We are also prayerful that the situation in Lucas County will improve so that we can ensure that we will begin the school year using the A/B hybrid model and not online. We have not been given an indication that this could be the case, but it feels like the Wild West out there sometimes, so new directives could be around the corner and all plans are subject to change.
UPDATE TO THE LEVEL SYSTEM
The level system is being updated to reflect the A/B scheduling change and now correlates with the Ohio Health Advisory System county color codes. We have not received official word regarding the level system, but it just makes sense to us to include it. State-wide mandates may override the following level system.
Drop Off: The school day will begin at 8:00am. All students will be dropped off utilizing the car line. Drop off/daily wellness checks will begin at 7:45am and conclude no later than 8:15am. Due to our small staffing numbers, prompt arrival time is vital. Students that arrive after 8:15am may not be able to enter the school building that day. We understand that emergencies arise. The school must be notified if your child will arrive later than 8:15am. Those habitually tardy may be subject to withdrawal as staffing does not allow us to accommodate health checks past 8:15am.
Daily Wellness Checks: All staff and students will begin their day with a wellness assessment outside the school door prior to school entry which will include a temperature check with an infrared thermometer. Students and staff with a fever of 100 degrees fahrenheit or greater (the current recommended temperature) will not be permitted entry into the school. Parents will be unable to leave their child(ren) until the daily wellness assessment is complete each day. If a student becomes ill during the school day, they will be isolated and required to leave school. Students may return to school after 72 hours non-medicated, fever-free for non-COVID-19 related illnesses.
COVID-19 Exposure: All staff and students are expected to self-assess for known COVID-19 symptoms (and/or other illness) prior to arriving at school each day. Parents are required to communicate any potential COVID-19 exposure to the school. Students who have been in direct contact with family members or friends who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 may be subject to quarantine. Distance learning options will be provided for students who are quarantined.
From the CDC Website:
“People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.”
Social Distancing/Face Covering Guidelines: Everyone in the school building (teachers, staff, students and visitors) will be required to wear a face covering. We will be utilizing our beautiful school grounds for lots of socially distanced outdoor learning/play time. Face coverings are not required outdoors if students/teachers are able to maintain at least 6ft of social distancing. Face covering breaks will be worked into the schedule each day. Indoors, students will be sitting at individual student desks/tables that face the same direction. We will also be utilizing the extended facility as need arises. We will strive for 6 feet of social distancing at all times throughout the school day. All students will have individual materials and technology. Students will eat sack lunches in their own classroom each day. Face coverings will not be required at this time. Sadly, microwavable warm up meals are no longer permitted. The snack cart, Chick-fil-a, and pizza Fridays are still TBD as we await health department regulations. The drinking fountain will remain closed, so all students will be expected to have a water-bottle.
Visitors/Parent-Teacher Meetings: Visitors will be permitted on an extremely limited basis, by appointment only. Masks, hand sanitizing, and a temperature check will be required for all visitors. Forgotten items/lunches will be gathered outside the school building by a staff member and delivered to your child. Parent-teacher meetings will be conducted virtually as much as possible.
Sanitation Procedures: Frequent hand washing/disinfecting will occur throughout the school day. Bathrooms and desks will be sanitized throughout the school day as well. A total school cleaning (and any extended building areas used) will be conducted after each school day.
Field trips/LEGO Robotics/Social Events: All special events are suspended at this time.
Dismissal: Students will remain seated in their classrooms until dismissed to the car line.
All guidelines will be followed as stated in Level 1. Students will be on an A/B Schedule with “A” students attending school in-person Monday/Wednesday and online Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and “B” students attending school in-person Tuesday/Thursday and online Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, that individual staff/student and any TJA attending family members will be required to quarantine for 14 days. In that event, the school building will close for sanitizing, and all students will transition to distance learning. Distance learning will also be utilized if local or state health officials mandate a 14-day or less closure due to a local outbreak. The timeframe of COVID-positive related temporary school closures will be forthcoming.
If local or state officials mandate a long-term school building closure, we will transition to distance-learning full-time. Distance-learning academic expectations will be rigorous, and students will be required to adhere to specific schedule and assignment guidelines that closely resemble the traditional school day. Schedules and protocols for distance learning will be distributed at the beginning of the school year to make possible transitions between in-person and distance-learning as smooth as possible. The curriculum will include more synchronous teaching (live teacher lessons with students attending “class”) than the spring, but will most likely include some video instruction/assignments as well. Attendance will be taken and grades will be given based on our traditional in-person rigor.
We have received many encouraging supportive messages throughout this experience, and we are incredibly grateful for your support and prayers. This is hard. We know. We feel it, too. There is no win-win solution, but we do know that together we have a greater chance to rise above circumstances that are out of our control. All of our determination that each TJA student will learn and be loved, come what may, is going to make us an unstoppable team.
With great care,
Mrs. Natalie Hood
Principal, Toledo Junior Academy
July 17, 2020
On behalf of the Toledo Junior Academy School Board, you are in our prayers as we continue to make plans for the 2020-2021 school year. We have been closely monitoring the Covid-19 developments in Ohio and our local and adjacent counties, have been in contact with the Lucas County Health Department, and have met with stakeholders to provide our families with a safety plan that encompasses the needs of the whole child. The following update is not comprehensive, but provides a general outline of the key components of our reopening plan. All components are subject to change as this is a tentative plan based on the information, guidance, and directives we have received as of today. It is absolutely possible that we may receive directives/mandates that cause us to completely redirect our course. We understand the difficulty that some of the guidelines may bring to your family and wish there was another path we could safely take to lessen the burden this situation has and will continue to bring to each one of us. We want you to know that we are in this together and will continue to surround your family in support to the best of our ability.
Our Plan: TJA has adopted a 3-level approach. Due to our small class sizes, each level will include all students. A blended school day approach (A/B scheduling) or a separate distance-learning option are not being utilized at this time. All students will either be in the building (barring illness) or distance-learning in the event of short-term and long-term closures. Our goal is to continue in-person learning throughout the school year as much as possible. Measures are subject to change as the situation develops, and we will be fully adhering to all state and local guidelines as they are presented. We are planning to open school as scheduled in the physical school building on Monday, August 17th for grades 1-8 and Wednesday, August 19th for Kindergarten. Further specific directives will follow as we near the school year and are subject to change.
The guidelines are as follows and will be expounded upon below:
Level 1: Full-Time In-Person Learning
Level 2: Short-Term School Closure (Temporary Distance-Learning)
Level 3: Full-Time Distance Learning
Flexibility, positivity, and communication are going to be critical as we embark on the coming school year. Although the guidelines will affect the way school looks, our goal is to surround your children with the fun, love, and care that helps them feel that they are an important member of the TJA family. As a fellow parent, I can empathize with the plethora of emotions that this situation has brought on. Everything feels uncertain. Your TJA family and I stand with you hand in hand as we face the unknown, together. The TJA School Board and Toledo First SDA Church will be lifting us up in prayer and support as we step one day at a time through the 2020-2021 school year. May we all hold fast to hope that God will provide us with the health, safety, and wisdom to continue on as a school family for a long time to come.
With great care,
Mrs. Natalie Hood
Principal, Toledo Junior Academy
Lucas County White or Yellow
Possible Full-Time In-Person Learning
Lucas County Red or Orange
In Person 2 Days, Online 3
Lucas County Purple
Full-Time Distance Learning