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Health and Safety

Health and Safety Planning

**Below are key points from our Health and Safety Plan. The complete Health and Safety Plan is included at the bottom of the page under the ‘Return to School Updates’ tab.

As future guidance and recommendations are released, any new information provided will be utilized to make ongoing decisions to help keep our students, faculty, staff, and families safe and healthy.

Key Points:

#1

Communication

The health and safety of our school community continues to be one of our highest priorities.  We will regularly share updated health and safety information with our faculty, staff, and families.  Additionally, we are posting signage and reminders throughout our campus to ensure that everyone is aware of our health and safety expectations while on campus.

#2

Staff Training

All faculty and staff will be informed and trained on updated health and safety protocols. 

#3

Keep Separate

We will be practicing recommended physical distancing guidelines when possible.

#4

Face Coverings

Face coverings or masks will be required upon entry of the building and when physical distancing is not possible. One reuseable face covering will be provided for all students, faculty, and staff. Face coverings or masks worn at school should be a solid color (unless wearing the face covering provided by PCA).

#5

Hand Hygiene

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available at hand sanitizing stations throughout our campus and in classrooms.  Staff and students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands each time they enter our building and regularly throughout the school day.

#6

Enhanced Cleaning & Disinfection

All campus spaces and frequently touched surfaces will be rigorously cleaned daily with products that meet EPA disinfection and safety criteria.

#7

Health & Wellness

We have updated our illness policy and established a new Wellness Room for use in the unfortunate event that a student or staff member becomes sick or shows symptoms of an illness while at school.

#8

Arrival & Dismissal

All parents should remain in their cars and use drop-off and pick-up lines during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal.

#9

Check Temps & Symptoms

All faculty and staff will be required to perform daily temperature checks and monitor for symptoms at home before coming to school.  Parents should check their child’s temperature and monitor for symptoms daily before bringing them on campus. All students will have their temperature checked at school before the beginning of the school day. Additionally, parents and visitors will be screened before entering the building.  We will not allow anyone to enter campus who is identified as posing a health risk to our students and staff.

#10

Staff & Parent Partners

We ask all staff and families to partner with us to help keep our entire school community healthy.  Staff and parents are encouraged to contact the school if their student or someone in their household has symptoms of COVID-19 or has had a positive test for COVID-19.  In the event of a positive diagnosis, we will notify our staff and the families of those who may have been in contact with the individual while striving to maintain privacy and confidentiality.

Return to School Updates

7/10/2020 PCA Health & Safety Plan

In creating the plan below, PCA has utilized guidance and recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the State of Tennessee, local health professionals, and many others.  As future guidance and recommendations are released, any new information provided will be utilized to make ongoing decisions to help keep our students, faculty, staff, and families safe.

PCA Return to School Health and Safety Plan

Encouraging Healthy Behaviors

Illness Policy

  • PCA illness policy has been updated and includes a COVID-19 diagnosis policy.  The updated illness policy has been added to the PCA Parent Student Handbook.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • New hand sanitizer stations have been purchased and will be placed in key areas throughout the building.
  • Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will be used throughout the school.
  • Teachers and staff will teach and reinforce hand hygiene by encouraging regular use of hand sanitizer and/ or handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  All staff will increase monitoring of hand washing to ensure adherence among students.
  • Teachers will create a regular daily schedule to encourage students to wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • All staff and students should cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of their elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Cloth Face Covering/ Mask Guidelines

  • Cloth face coverings or masks will be required for faculty, staff, students, parents, and visitors upon entry of the building and when physical distancing is not possible.
  • PCA will provide one cloth face covering for all students, faculty, and staff.  All other face coverings or masks worn at school should be a solid color (no neon or bright colors).
  • Face coverings provided by PCA will be a ‘buff’ style washable cloth with the PCA logo.  To view an image, follow this link: PCA face covering.
  • PreK students will enter the building directly through their classroom door and will not be required to wear a face covering or mask upon entry.  PreK students should bring a face covering or mask to school every day for use if needed (for example: when moving through the hallways).
  • Kindergarten and 1st grade students will be required to wear a face covering or mask upon entry of the building and when moving through the hallways.  When Kindergarten and 1st grade students are in their classroom, they will only be required to wear a face covering or mask in certain situations (for example: when a visitor or mixed group of students is present).
  • 2nd- 5th grade students will be required to wear a face covering or mask upon entry of the building and when physical distancing is not possible. (for example: during one on one instruction, when working in small groups, when moving through the hallways).
  • 6th- 12th grade students will be required to wear a face covering or mask upon entry of the building and when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Students, faculty, and staff may choose to wear a face covering or mask during times when it is not required. 
  • Students will not be required to wear a face covering or mask during PE and wellness classes.  Lower School PE will follow social distancing protocols and take place outside when possible.  Upper School wellness classes will follow social distancing protocols. 
  • Cloth face coverings and reusable masks should be washed daily.

Providing Adequate Supplies for Teachers & Staff

  • Healthy hygiene and appropriate cleaning behaviors will be supported by providing faculty and staff with adequate supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, EPA approved safe cleaning solution, and face coverings.

Signage and Communication

  • Signage and reminders will be posted throughout our campus to ensure that everyone is aware of our health and safety expectations.
  • Will regularly communicate updated health and safety information to our faculty, staff, and families. (in staff and parent emails, in school newsletter, on school website, through video updates, etc.).

Staff Training

  • Will inform and train staff of all updated health and safety protocols.

Regulatory Awareness

  • School administrators will maintain awareness of national, state, and/ or local policies and update plans as needed.

Maintaining a Healthy Environment

Daily Heath Checks to Recognize Signs and Symptoms

  • All faculty & staff will be required to perform daily health checks (temperature check and monitor for symptoms) at home before coming to school.
  • Parents should perform daily health checks for students at home before they arrive at school.  Health checks should include a temperature check and monitoring for symptoms of an illness. Symptoms to watch for include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. 
  • Infrared no- touch thermometers have been purchased for each classroom to use in performing temperature checks.
  • A temperature check will be performed on each student at the beginning of the school day. 
  • Students or faculty with a temperature of 100 degrees or more are not permitted to be at school.  Students or faculty who are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea should also not be at school.  See the PCA Illness Policy for additional details.

Student Arrival and Dismissal

  • All parents will be required to use drop off and pick up lines.  In order to limit traffic within the building, parents should not be in the building during morning drop off or afternoon pick up.
  • All students, faculty, and staff should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.  Hand sanitizer stations will be set up at the entrance of the facility and/or at the entrance of each classroom, so that students can clean their hands before they enter. Lower School teachers should supervise use of hand sanitizer.
  • During Lower School dismissal, students will remain in their classroom until their name is called over the intercom in order to avoid crowding in the hallways.

Parents & Visitors on Campus

  • Visitors are defined as those who are not parents/ guardians of students at PCA.  Visitors may include but are not limited to: chapel guests, classroom guests, vendors, etc.
  • Signage has been posted in office listing signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  Anyone experiencing symptoms should not enter the building.
  • Parents and visitors will have a temperature check and be asked to respond to health screening questions before they may enter the school. 
  • All parents and visitors entering the building will be required to wear a mask or face covering. 
  • Parents are asked to limit visiting classrooms for the first three weeks of school. 
  • Classroom visitors will be limited.  Will plan to use internal faculty as special guests or consider having visitors meet with students outside while maintaining appropriate social distance from students.
  • Plan to limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • A schedule for increased, routine, cleaning and disinfection has been developed.
  • Will use safe cleaning products that meet EPA disinfection criteria.
  • Plan to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, etc.) within the school at least daily or between use when possible.
  • If transport vehicles (e.g., buses) are used by the school, drivers will practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated for other staff (e.g., daily health checks, hand hygiene, cloth face coverings, etc.).  School buses or other transport vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected following each use.
  • Will ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing products securely away from children
  • All staff will ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using cleaning products.

Ventilation

  • Ionic UV air purifiers have been purchased for offices, high traffic areas, the new wellness room, and several other areas.
  • Air ozone generators have been purchased to use in high touch areas including the weight room and other key spaces.
  • UV filters will be installed to HVAC roof top units to purify air in all common areas.
  • HVAC professionals have checked units to ensure that ventilation systems operate properly. 
  • High grade air filters will continue to be used throughout the building.
  • At times, doors may be propped open to allow of circulation of outside air. A faculty or staff member must stand in the doorway during the time that the door is propped open. Doors will not be propped open if doing so poses a safety or health risk to anyone within the facility.

Shared Objects

  • Will discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect.
  • Use of shared objects will be limited, or cleaned between use. (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, toys, games)
  • Each student’s belongings will be kept separate from others and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
  • Will plan to provide adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their own art supplies) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect supplies between use.
  • Will avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids when possible.

Water Systems

  • All water fountains are closed.
  • Staff and students are encouraged to bring their own water.
  • Water bottle filling stations have been installed.  These may be used and will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.

Identify Small Groups and Keep Them Together (Cohorting)

  • Plan to ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible by having the same group of children stay with the same staff (all day for young children, and as much as possible for older children).
  • Will limit mixing between groups when possible.

Modified Layout in Classrooms

  • Will have students sit spaced as far apart as possible.  Plan to space seats or desks apart when feasible and turn desks to face in the same direction (rather than facing each other).

Physical Guides In Hallways/ Monitoring Hallway Traffic

  • Will monitor hallway traffic and develop plans to limit traffic in the hallways when possible.
  • Will post physical guides, including signs on walls and tape or adhesive signs on floors, to create one-way routes in hallways and other areas where appropriate in order to help encourage spacing of students and staff.
  • When the weather allows, teachers will be encouraged to utilize outside routes to all special area classrooms.

Playground

  • Will stagger use and clean and disinfect daily.

Hot Lunch & Food Service

  • Will stagger use of cafeteria for certain groups (Possibly rotating days for grades to eat in multi- purpose room. Some days some classes may eat in their classroom.)
  • Will clean and disinfect lunch areas between groups.
  • Students will be required to bring their own meals for the first few weeks of school and they may continue to bring their own meals if desired.
  • Hot lunch service will begin several weeks after school starts. Once hot lunch service begins, hot lunch will serve individually plated meals to students and staff who have ordered hot lunch. 
  • Hot lunch will use disposable food service items (utensils, dishes, trays).
  • All non-disposable food service items will be handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water.
  • Hot lunch workers will wear a mask or face covering while serving food.
  • Hot Lunch workers will wash their hands immediately after removing their gloves.
  • If food is offered at any event, food will be served or we will offer pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.  There will be no buffet or family-style meals. Will use disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.

Maintaining Healthy Operations

School Gatherings/ Events

  • Will pursue virtual group events, gatherings, or meetings, when possible, and promote physical distancing when events are held. Will limit group size to the extent possible.
  • Weekly Chapel- There will be no regularly scheduled school- wide chapel. Lower School and Upper School chapel separately.  Students will be spaced as much as possible.
  • Monday Morning Prayer will be held virtually.  Each week, one class will go to the gym to lead the prayer, pledge, and song.  All other students will stay in classrooms, watch the virtual presentation, and participate as a class.

Field Trips

  • Field trips will be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • Will pursue virtual activities and events in lieu of field trips when possible.

Sharing Facilities/ Facilities Rental Policies

  • Plan to limit the use of our facility by outside groups and organizations.  Outside organizations must be approved to use the school facilities and they must comply with the requested health and safety guidelines requested by the school. 

Athletics and Athletic Events

  • Will follow the guidance of TSSAA and pursue options to convene athletic events and participation in sports activities in ways that minimizes the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other illnesses to players, families, coaches, and our community.

Communication System for Families Reporting an Illness

  • All families are encouraged to partner with us to help keep our entire school community healthy.  Families are asked to self-report to the school if their student or someone in their household has a positive test for COVID-19.
  • Families should email attendance@providencechristian.com to report an illness or absence.

Preparing for If Someone Feels Sick at School

Students Who Feel Sick at School

  • A new wellness room has been created to care for students who do not feel well during the school day.  The new wellness room is located in the Lower School hallway near the Given- Carter Library. 
  • Upper School and Lower School students who are not feeling well will go to the wellness room for a health screening.
  • If a student does not feel well, the teacher will call the Lower School Office to make them aware that a student needs to go to the wellness room.  A staff member will come to the classroom to walk the student to the wellness room for a temperature check and health screening.
  • If a student has a fever, they will be asked to wear a face covering or mask while waiting to be picked up.
  • Students who are sick and waiting to go home will be cared for in the wellness room and will remain separated from other students. 
  • Students who are sick at school should be picked up within one hour of the parent being notified.

If a student/ staff member goes home sick

  • Students or staff who go home sick from school will be given a note from the office listing the date that they may return to school based on the PCA Illness Policy. 

Student Attendance Policy

  • The student attendance policy has been reviewed in order to ensure that it allows for absence without penalty in the event of an extended absence due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Staff Sick Leave and Back-Up Staffing Plan

  • Staff sick leave policy has been updated to allow for absence without penalty in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Planning to ensure there is a roster of trained substitute teachers and back-up staff.

If a PCA student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19

  • School administrators will notify staff and the families of those who may have been in contact with the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 while striving to maintain privacy and confidentiality of the individual who has been diagnosed.
  • All areas in which the diagnosed individual has been in contact with will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 
  • School will remain open.
  • Administrators will monitor absentee rates and consider taking appropriate action if the percentage of staff and or students absent due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis becomes concerning.

7/1/2020 Return to School Update- Message from Dr. Mott

Dear Families,

Over the past several weeks, members of the head’s council and our five return to school sub-committees (Health and Safety; Academics; Facilities; Personnel; and Communications) have been working diligently to develop plans for safely returning to campus in July.  We have developed an extensive return to school health and safety plan that is based on recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the State of Tennessee, local health professionals, independent school organizations, and many others.  Our Return to School Health and Safety plan has now been posted on the PCA website.  

As we plan for the return to school, the health and well-being of our students, families, faculty, and staff continues to be our highest priority.  The Health and Safety Plan will continue to be updated as future guidance and recommendations are released.  Any new information that is provided will be utilized to make ongoing decisions in our plans to keep our students, faculty, staff, and families safe and healthy.

While we are looking forward to having teachers and students back on campus, we recognize that we need additional time for preparation and training.  For this reason, we have decided to postpone the first day of school until Monday, July 27.  We believe that a slight delay in the start of school will provide us with the additional time we need to prepare our faculty and staff and our campus for the return to school.  

Updated dates regarding our return to school are listed below.

  • Faculty & Staff In service will be July 15- July 24.
  • Instead of an on campus Meet Your Teacher Day, Lower School teachers will contact the students who will be in their classes by phone.  Upper School students and families will receive class schedules via email.  Upper School advisory teachers will contact the students who will be in their advisories by phone.  All students will bring their supplies on the first day of school.
  • New Parent Orientation will be shared virtually. 
  • The first half day of school will be July 27.  The first full day of school will be July 28.
  • Our plan is for all classes to meet on campus five days a week.

Thank you for the trust and support you have exhibited during this time of change and uncertainty. Our PCA community is resilient and even though the year will include many modifications from what we used to think of as normal, it is a constant source of reassurance knowing that God has a plan that gives each of us hope and a future.

We will continue to provide updated information regarding our return to school plan through parent emails, the Lion’s Roar newsletter, videos, and the PCA website.  To view the latest back to school information including summer reading assignments, health and safety updates, and more, visit the PCA website: PCA Back to School 2020-2021.

If you have any questions regarding the return to school health and safety plan, please email health@providencechristian.com.

With gratitude,

William R. Mott, Ph.D.
Head of School

6/18/2020 Return to School Update – PCA Message from Dr. Mott

Dear Families,

Summer marches on and we continue to work diligently to make plans for the beginning of school which is not far off – July 22! We are looking forward to meeting in classes on campus and we are grateful for your trust and partnership with us during this unique season.  I would like to update you on our progress towards returning to school and keep you posted on the latest developments.

The head’s council and our five sub-committees continue to meet weekly and review a range of topics and contingencies for consideration. We are aware of the complexity of planning for school to resume on campus and we are committed to reopening in the most safe and effective way possible.

All of us involved in the planning process remain committed to seeking the latest information and participating in webinars and other professional development opportunities in an effort to determine and implement best practices for schools similar to PCA.

We have reached out to several medical professionals in the PCA community and received extremely helpful input allowing us to focus on the most important health and safety priorities. I am enormously grateful for the time they have devoted to assisting us!

While our primary objective is returning to a face to face academic program on campus, we recognize that it is in our collective best interest to plan and explore all options and possibilities. This would include a partial distance learning model as well as the unlikely scenario of having to return to a full program of distance learning.

Our goal is to share our final return to school plan with you in the beginning of July. We hope this will give you sufficient time to prepare and also allow you to ask any questions you may have.

Whether through email, video, social media, the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter, or the PCA website, we will continue to provide you with information that will help make the transition of returning to school as smooth as possible.

Another favorite verse of mine comes from Isaiah 12:2; Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. In the midst of so much that is troubling, my hope and my prayer is that PCA will be the community where your family feels surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who care deeply and want the best for you.  

With gratitude,

William R. Mott, Ph.D.
Head of School

6/4/2020 Return to School Update – PCA Message from Dr. Mott

Dear Families,

Summer marches on and we continue to work diligently to make plans for the beginning of school which is not far off – July 22! We are looking forward to meeting in classes on campus and we are grateful for your trust and partnership with us during this unique season.  I would like to update you on our progress towards returning to school and keep you posted on the latest developments.

The head’s council and our five sub-committees continue to meet weekly and review a range of topics and contingencies for consideration. We are aware of the complexity of planning for school to resume on campus and we are committed to reopening in the most safe and effective way possible.

All of us involved in the planning process remain committed to seeking the latest information and participating in webinars and other professional development opportunities in an effort to determine and implement best practices for schools similar to PCA.

We have reached out to several medical professionals in the PCA community and received extremely helpful input allowing us to focus on the most important health and safety priorities. I am enormously grateful for the time they have devoted to assisting us!

While our primary objective is returning to a face to face academic program on campus, we recognize that it is in our collective best interest to plan and explore all options and possibilities. This would include a partial distance learning model as well as the unlikely scenario of having to return to a full program of distance learning.

Our goal is to share our final return to school plan with you in the beginning of July. We hope this will give you sufficient time to prepare and also allow you to ask any questions you may have.

Whether through email, video, social media, the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter, or the PCA website, we will continue to provide you with information that will help make the transition of returning to school as smooth as possible.

Another favorite verse of mine comes from Isaiah 12:2; Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. In the midst of so much that is troubling, my hope and my prayer is that PCA will be the community where your family feels surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who care deeply and want the best for you.  

With gratitude,

William R. Mott, Ph.D.
Head of School

Questions:

If you have more specific questions regarding the return to school or the health and safety plan, please e-mail health@providencechristian.com and we will get back with you as soon as possible.

Thank you!