COVID-19 During In-person Learning: Logan Gogarty

COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Plan

DAILY OPERATIONS USING A COHORT MODEL WITH RISK MITIGATION: LOGAN GOGARTY

Within our plan, students have been kept in a classroom cohort of 25 students and one teacher to minimize contact with other students not in their cohort group. Grade level expeditions, full school assemblies, and other large group gatherings have been held in an online environment.

  1. Daily arrival 
    1. All staff members are required to wear masks and must first check-in with the nurse aid on staff for a temperature check. If a staff member presents COVID-19 symptoms, D70 Exclusion and Exposure Guidance will be followed (see attached document). They have been relocated to an established health room until they can be re-screened and/or safely leave the building.  In these instances, and with a confirmed case of COVID-19, Executive Director Logan Gogarty coordinates with the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment and District Leadership to determine the correct course of action. 
    2. Student arrival begins at 7:15 AM. Per VBE policy, students are not allowed to exit their vehicles prior to the opening of school doors. Between 7:15 and 7:30 AM, students exit cars via our car loop procedures. Staff are outside enforcing social distancing and directing students to enter the building through one of three doorways: kindergarten and 1st-grade students through the south door by the playground, 2nd and 3rd-grade students through the main entrance, and 4th-grade students through the northwest entrance. Each building entry point is located in close proximity to the respective classrooms for those grade levels.
    3. Masks are required to be worn by all students and staff during arrival.
    4. Ground and floor markings are located throughout the school grounds and building to visually guide students and staff in social distancing.
    5. Teachers are located at classroom entrances where they will take each student’s temperature before allowing them access to the classroom. 
      1. Students with a temperature below 100.4 will be allowed into the classroom.
      2. If a student presents a temperature of 100.4 or over and/or COVID-19 symptoms, D70 Exclusion and Exposure Guidance will be followed (see attached document). They are relocated to an established health room until they can be re-screened and/or safely leave the building. In this case, and with a confirmed case of COVID-19, Executive Director Logan Gogarty coordinates with the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment and District Leadership to determine the correct course of action.     
  1. Mask requirements
    1. Following the guidelines presented in Executive Order D 2020 138, all VBE staff members are required to wear a mask at all times during the school day.
    2. Per Executive Order D 2020 138, Students who are 11 years of age and older will be required to wear a mask at all times during the school day.
    3. Students who are 10 years of age and younger are allowed to remove their masks once inside the classroom cohort; however, they are encouraged to wear masks throughout the day.
      1. Considerations will be given to staff and students who are unable to wear masks due to health concerns. 
    4. All students, regardless of age, are required to wear a mask when leaving the classroom cohort to go to the office, bathroom, nurse’s room or other common spaces within the school building.
  1. Social Distancing Expectations within Classrooms
    1. Classrooms will have as much distance between students as possible. 
    2. We know that we cannot accommodate 25 students in one classroom while keeping students six feet apart. Per CDE guidelines, three-foot distancing still provides substantial benefits and is acceptable in the context of a comprehensive disease control strategy. VBE follows this guideline and attempts to maintain as much distance between students as possible.
    3. Desk and tabletop partitions and face shields available for small group interactions. Flex seating is already a common practice in our school, to extend student workspace beyond desks and tables when possible, allowing for more space between students in the classroom. 
    4. Staff wear a clear face shield in addition to a mask when giving individual or small group direct instruction.
    5. VBE has created an outdoor classroom space whereby two cohorts can receive instruction outside at the same time (separate ends of an 8,000 square foot space) without intermingling throughout the school day.
  1. Bathroom Procedures
    1. Each cohort has a scheduled bathroom break each morning to reduce cohort intermingling in the bathrooms. Kindergarten cohorts have a second scheduled bathroom break each afternoon. Students and staff must wear masks during times outside of the classroom.
    2. Bathrooms are sanitized regularly but especially in between cohorts.
    3. Students that need to use the bathroom outside of a scheduled cohort break are required to come to the office to check out a cone. Four cones per gender will be available at one time, one for each stall in each bathroom. If no cones are available, students must wait outside the office in a designated space, six feet apart from any other students waiting, until a cone is available.
  1. Lunch Procedures
    1. As long as weather permits, VBE students eat lunch outside. VBE is creating an outdoor lunch space whereby two cohorts could be eating lunch outside at the same time (separate ends of an 8,000 square foot space) without intermingling. 
    2. Students are required to wash their hands before and after lunch.
    3. When the weather is not conducive to eating outdoors, students remain in their cohorts and eat in their respective classrooms.
    4. VBE lunch service is provided by Pueblo School District 70. The meal service program provides in-school serving to our students. 
      1. Students are required to wear masks and distance to and from the lunch serving line and outdoor eating space.
      2. Students go through the line to verbally select their entrees and sides. Options are pre-packaged and placed on a tray by lunch workers to speed up the service time as well as protect the food as students move through the line. 
      3. As students receive their lunch, they proceed to the outdoor lunch area or back to their classrooms to eat.
      4. Only one cohort is allowed in the Innovation Zone (cafeteria) at one time. 
      5. All Food and Nutrition Services employees follow cleaning and disinfecting protocols aligned with CDC cleaning/disinfecting School Guidance and will wear face coverings during food preparation and service.
    5. All staff will wear masks and gloves while assisting students at lunch. Staff change gloves after each cohort transition, or more frequently as needed.
  1. Outdoor Recreation 
    1. VBE has a recess and an Explorer break scheduled into each grade’s daily schedule. Each grade level has their own assigned recess and Explorer break time although, within grade levels, those times are the same.
    2. Each cohort will be assigned an outdoor recreation location for recess and Explorer Breaks. For same grade cohorts, Cohort A will be assigned to the playground space while Cohort B will be given the choice to walk students around school grounds or to take them beyond the playground fence to play. The cohorts will switch assigned locations every other day.
    3. Explorer breaks are done either within the classroom or outside, depending on teacher choice and space availability. No two cohorts will be allowed in the same area at the same time.
  1. Specials
    1. VBE offers all students one “specials” class each day. That class is either physical education or creative arts (art or music).
    2. VBE has constructed an outdoor turf field that is used by our students for outdoor physical education classes. This new field will allow us to stay on the VBE campus this year.
    3. In our first year of operation, our students each received a semester of music and a semester of art. This year all students started with art class during the first semester so that we do not invite singing or other musical operations into the school day.
    4. Our physical education teacher goes into each classroom to pick up each cohort for physical education classes and will return students to their classroom at the conclusion of PE.
    5. Our creative arts teacher will conduct Art on a Cart with each cohort in their classroom setting.
  1. Dismissal
    1. End of day dismissal begins at 3:00 PM. Teachers and students remain in their classrooms for dismissal. 
    2. Teachers will see student ID numbers on the monitors in their classrooms indicating that a parent or guardian is present in the car loop to pick up that student. Teachers direct students to exit the building through one of three doorways: kindergarten and 1st-grade students through the south door by the playground, 2nd and 3rd-grade students through the main entrance, and 4th-grade students through the northwest entrance. Each building exit point is located in close proximity to the respective classrooms for those grade levels.
    3. Staff will be located outside at the car loop to encourage social distancing and to direct students to the correct car. 
    4. Masks are required to be worn by all students and staff during dismissal.

 CLEANING PRECAUTIONS

Hand washing is encouraged throughout the day. When not possible, hand sanitizer is readily available for students and staff to use throughout the day. This includes but is not limited to: entering/exiting classrooms, before/after eating, before/after recess and Explorer breaks, before/after mask removal and touching the face, after handling shared objects, and after coughing/sneezing/blowing the nose.  

VBE is dedicated to providing a clean, safe, and well-maintained environment. Our cleaning practices focus on cleaning health sensitive areas, where bacteria or viruses are most likely to be transmitted. The greatest health sensitive areas are disinfected as often as possible throughout the day.   

These areas include, but not limited to: 

  • Restrooms
  • Desktops
  • Tabletops
  • Countertops
  • Doors and Door Knobs
  • Light Switches
  • Outdoor Classroom and Lunch Space Tables
  • Other high touch areas throughout buildings 

Similar to D70, VBE utilizes spray bottles filled with Envirox H2Orange to clean these areas throughout the day. We are also in the process of purchasing electrostatic sprayers to assist in disinfection procedures.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

 VBE provides the following PPE on hand to protect our students and staff:

  • Sanitizer and sanitizer dispensers in each classroom to use as needed throughout the day
  • Sanitizer and sanitizer dispensers at other room entrances such as the office, nurse’s room, and staff Collaboration Room
  • One spray bottle with Envirox solution per classroom to clean common spaces as needed
  • Gloves for cleaning/disinfecting/sanitizing
  • Disposable masks (adult and child sizes) available for staff, students, and guests who forgot or misplaced their mask
  • Face shields available for each staff member as well as a limited supply on hand in each classroom when needed for small group instruction
  • Flex seating to extend student workspace beyond desks and tables when possible
  • Clear desk partitions for small group instruction 
  • Individual clipboards and dry erase boards, labeled with student ID numbers, for use with flex seating and at the outdoor classroom space
  • School supplies provided by each student’s family and labeled with each student’s first and last name for personal use only
  • One to one computer to student ratio with computers being labeled by student ID numbers
  • One to one student math manipulative kits so students do not have to share math curriculum supplies 

COVID-19 EXPOSURE GUIDANCE

VBE follows the Decision Tree and Exposure Guidance plans outlined on pages 13 and 14 of the D70 Restart Plan (attached) and has worked directly with the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment as well as Pueblo County School District 70 administrators for specific, timely direction on how to handle COVID-19 exposure by students or staff within our school community. 

For more information regarding state guidance for schools, please visit:

Colorado Department of Education School Guidance

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