2021-2022 Parent/Student Handbook
COVID-19 transmission continues to sharply increase throughout Louisiana. St. John School will begin the 2021-2022 school year with risk mitigation strategies implemented to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and maintain safe operations. It is our goal to provide a safe environment for all students, teachers, and staff. We appreciate the cooperation, patience, and understanding of all of our families throughout the 2020-2021 school year and hope that we can continue the same teamwork that made last year’s “Smart Start 2020” a success.
The policies and procedures contained herein may be updated as circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic change and/or in response to updated recommendations from the CDC, Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana Department of Education’s Ready to Achieve! Guidelines, Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic School Policy for Returning to School 2021-2022, health professionals with whom the Diocese of Baton Rouge/St. John has consulting partnerships, or state or local authorities. Parents are deemed by enrolling their children in school to agree that they and their children will abide by all health/safety guidelines issued by applicable civil authorities, as well as those issued by the school. The school will comply with all health information reporting mandated by civil authorities.
It is our intent to provide on-campus learning for all students during the 2021-2022 school year. Many of these policies are based on our ability to have students and teachers on campus for in-person learning, and may change if classes are no longer able to be held on campus. The principal has the discretion to permit classroom instruction to be streamed live online, recorded, or both, in order to provide remote learning for the benefit of students. Families will still be responsible for tuition if school is closed due to weather or a public health concern. The education of each student will continue through teacher-supported online learning. Teachers will continue to plan standards-based instruction and lessons and evaluate student work. Report cards will be distributed at the end of each grading period. If a parent/guardian is unable to make regular tuition payments, the principal should be notified as soon as possible to discuss payment options.
Risk Mitigation Strategies
These guidelines are subject to change based on circumstances in our state and local community related to Covid-19, new guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the Louisiana Department of Health, the Louisiana State Department of Education, the Diocese of Baton Rouge, and our experiences on campus.
Physical Distancing: Current CDC guidelines recommend schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing, to reduce transmission risk. Classroom arrangements have been adjusted to provide physical distancing to the maximum extent possible and at a minimum of 3 feet. In addition, students will be reminded to maintain physical distance from each other during lunch, recess breaks, and arrival and dismissal on campus.
Face Coverings: The correct use of facemasks is required for students in Grades K - 12 and all adults while indoors and strongly encouraged for students in all grade levels below kindergarten. All students being transported by bus must wear face masks, regardless of their grade level.
We acknowledge that mask wearing may be new for some of our students. We are mindful of the need for a transition period. Be assured that mask breaks will be given throughout the day, particularly when students are able to physically distance and be outdoors. We are hopeful that a reduction in infection rate will allow adjustments to this requirement as we progress through the year. Again, our main goal is on campus learning in a safe environment for everyone.
Medical Disclosures: Families must fully disclose any communicable illnesses that may affect our campus community, including exposure to Covid-19, if a student is experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19, if a student is tested for Covid-19 (even before test results are received), and if a student receives a Covid-19 diagnosis. We ask that Covid test results (whether positive or negative), and treatment plans are communicated to the school as well. Families are also encouraged to disclose any medical information that affects a student’s susceptibility to COVID-19 or other communicable illnesses, including immune system conditions or other underlying conditions that may put a student in a high risk category for infection. This information will be kept confidential and only used to plan necessary safety recautions for our students, faculty, and staff.
Confidentiality and Contact Tracing: Even in the extraordinary circumstances created by COVID-19, students and their families have a right to confidentiality where health and personal circumstances are concerned. In the event of possible exposure or positive cases, the school will, to the best of our ability, notify possible close contacts with the infected students, faculty member or staff person. We may also send a courtesy notification to other members of the class if determined appropriate. We will follow any recommendations provided to us by the Diocese, Our Lady of the Lake, and/or our LADOE Regional Health Officer, when sharing information with families. If a courtesy notice is sent indicating that there is a positive case in a classroom or school, it should be clear that it is NOT to indicate quarantine but for awareness so people can be alert for symptoms and can make modifications due to any personal risk factors.
If it is determined that there are numerous positive cases within a class, grade or building, or there are numerous exposures to one or more positive cases within a class, grade or building, St. John will report to the Diocese of Baton Rouge and healthcare partners to assess and determine risks and make decisions regarding quarantine or online learning that will ensure the health, safety, and continued education for our students.
If a student/student’s family member does contract COVID-19 or must self-isolate due to possible exposure, families will be expected to cooperate with contact tracing efforts. Families may be asked to provide information about interactions the affected person had with any students/faculty members outside of school hours, or where they believe they may have been exposed (in cases of “hotspots”). Confidentiality will be maintained through contact tracing and only information that is necessary to evaluate the possibility of community spread on campus will be collected. In accordance with the School Reporting and Data Sharing Order #2020- COVID19-001, all COVID-19 cases should be reported to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) via LDH’s electronic reporting system.
When a Student Seems Sick at School: If a student is showing symptoms that are not associated with COVID-19, or symptoms that can be clearly attributed to something other than COVID-19 (e.g. fatigue from getting overheated at recess), normal procedures regarding illness at school will be followed.
Students who become sick or begin showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 during the school day will be brought to an isolated area until a parent can pick them up from school. The student MUST be picked up from school as soon as possible; students can not stay in the isolation area until regular dismissal, return to class, or be allowed on a school bus if displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
Hygiene and Sanitizing Recommendations: Good hand washing practices and hygiene are important to keeping everyone healthy. Students will be asked to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, before and after eating, before and after using playground equipment, and when arriving on campus. Students will also be encouraged to use hand sanitizer throughout the day, especially when changing classrooms or if hand washing is not possible. Students are allowed to carry and use their own hand sanitizer, and hand sanitizer will be provided in classrooms and at high-traffic areas on campus.
Absences: Absences and next steps related to COVID-19 illnesses will be considered on a case-by-case basis, guided by current Department of Health and CDC policies. Anyone who is sick should stay home. Students must isolate / quarantine while awaiting test results for themselves or members or their household. Anyone who tests positive will be encouraged to cooperate fully with contact tracing for the protection of students and faculty/staff who they may have exposed before receiving a positive result. At ANY time, St. John School reserves the right to ask a student to quarantine and/or for a student to obtain a doctor’s release prior to returning. The following are possible Covid-19 illness scenarios and current recommended guidelines which may be appropriate responses; this list is not exhaustive and other/additional steps may be deemed appropriate when addressing specific cases:
STUDENT WITH SYMPTOMS OF COVID
10 days – fever free 24 hours – symptom free
If a student develops symptoms of COVID, parents must immediately notify the school office and the student must isolate for 10 days after the start of the symptoms. In addition, the student must be fever free (without meds) for at least 24 hours, and all symptoms must resolve before the student is able to return to school. Parents must complete a Return to School self-certification form and fax/email on the day BEFORE the student returns,
*If student visits a doctor and it is determined the student does NOT have COVID, but has another illness detected through testing (influenza, strep, etc.) the student may return before the 10 days, however, the student must be fever free (without medication AND free of ANY symptoms, especially those associated with COVID-19. Parents must fax/email the doctor’s release with a valid date of return, on the day BEFORE the student’s return.
STUDENT WITH SYMPTOMS AND A POSITIVE COVID TEST
10 days – fever free 24 hours – symptom free – Doctor’s release
If a student develops symptoms and is COVID positive, parents must immediately notify the school office and the student must isolate for 10 days after the start of the symptoms. In addition, the student must be fever free (without meds) for at least 24 hours, and all symptoms must resolve before the student is able to return to school. Parents must also fax/email a doctor’s release with a valid date of return on the day BEFORE the student’s return.
STUDENT WITHOUT SYMPTOMS AND A POSITIVE COVID TEST
10 days – Doctor’s release
If a student is COVID POSITIVE, and DOES NOT have symptoms, parents must immediately notify the school office and the student must isolate for 10 days from his/her positive test. The student must also have a doctor’s release with a valid date of return PRIOR TO their return.
*If a student develops symptoms within this timeframe, the 10 days from the positive test still applies, but the student must ALSO be fever free for 24 hours and free of ANY symptoms before returning.
STUDENT WITH SYMPTOMS AND COVID NEGATIVE
10 days – fever free 24 hours – symptom free – Doctor’s release
If a student develops symptoms and is COVID negative, parents must immediately notify the school office and the student must still quarantine for 10 days after the start of the symptoms. In addition, the student must be fever free (without meds) for at least 24 hours, and all symptoms must resolve before the student is able to return to school. Parents must also fax or email a scanned copy of the doctor’s release with a valid date of return on the day BEFORE his/her return.
STUDENT EXPOSED TO COVID WITH NO SYMPTOMS:
Modified 10 days – Return-to-school Self-Certification for COVID-19 form
If any student has close contact with someone positive for COVID, parents must immediately notify the school office. Individuals must quarantine if they have been in close contact with a case (within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period), unless they are asymptomatic and choose to show documentation of vaccination or of a positive COVID-19 test taken through a medical facility within the last 90 days.
o Schools will have a modified 10-day quarantine for all students. For the 10-day modified quarantine, asymptomatic students may return after 10-days and only participate in classroom instruction. Participation in activities with a higher risk of spreading the virus (i.e., extracurricular or co-curricular activities, including sports teams, PE class, music instruction, field trips, etc.) are not allowed until after the 14-day period. If preferred, parents may choose to have their student quarantine for 14 days instead of the modified 10 days.
CLOSE CONTACT: Close contact refers to within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period, OR if the student:
A) Lives in the same household as the infected
B) Has shared eating and or drinking utensils
C) Has hugged, kissed or touched the infected
D) Has stayed or slept at the infected persons home while the COVID+ person was symptomatic and within the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms.
STUDENT WITH EXPOSURE DEVELOPS SYMPTOMS WHILE IN QUARANTINE: If a student who has been exposed to COVID develops symptoms while in quarantine, the guidelines for a student with Covid-19 symptoms will apply (see above).
Arrival: Students should be dropped off at the location designated for the youngest student in the car. Drop-off locations will be at the following entrances:
- Students in PreK-3 and PreK-4 can be dropped off in the circle drive or walked up to the gate at the circle driveway facing St. Clement Avenue. Older siblings who are coming into campus may be dropped off or walk up with them.
- Circle driveway facing St. Clement Ave. (buses, early arrivals)
- Carpool area by St. Clement Chapel (students in grades K-8)
- High school gym - (students in grades 9-12)
Early arrival will begin at 7:00 am. Families MUST pre-register for early arrival so that we can ensure social distancing practices and proper supervision are possible. Students will have to wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
Regular arrival begins at 7:20 am, Social distancing practices will begin as soon as students report to campus, and students should use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving indoor spaces.
Regular arrival ends at 7:45 am, and all entrances to campus will be closed and locked at that time. Students in grades PreK-8 who arrive after 7:45 am should drive up to the circle driveway facing St. Clement Avenue and wait for a staff member to open the gate. Please make every effort to be on time.
Dismissal: We will use two dismissal carpool lines until further notice. Families who have ONLY students in grades 5-12 will use the cafeteria carpool line. All other students will be picked up in the elementary carpool line. Like arrival, families should choose which carpool to use according to the youngest child.
Families with students in ONLY PreK-3 will be dismissed from 2:30-2:40 pm. Students will be escorted to the gate at the circle drive facing St. Clement Ave. to meet parents. Any student who is in PreK-3 who has an older sibling will be escorted to the carpool to meet that older sibling during regular dismissal. Older siblings will not be allowed to enter the PreK classrooms.
High school students who are in the high school building at the end of the school day will be dismissed over the intercom. High school students who leave by carpool will be dismissed first. Student drivers will be dismissed to their cars by grade level. High school students who are not in the high school building at the end of the day will be dismissed from their locations by their supervising teachers.
Checkouts: St. John is a closed campus, and students are expected to be on campus during school hours. Leaving campus for non-emergency reasons is strongly discouraged.
Parents will not be allowed on campus or into school buildings to pick up students who are checking out. All parents coming to campus to pick up a student or drop off a student should report to the gate in the circle drive facing St. Clement Ave and wait for assistance from a staff member.
Visitors to Campus: Once again, only essential visitors will be allowed on campus. This will help us to reduce the extra traffic within our buildings and minimize risk for our students and teachers. This includes guest speakers to classes, lunch visitors for Start of the Week, visitors for classroom parties, and volunteers. Visitors who are coming to campus for school business (e.g. dropping off/picking up children during the day), or visitors coming to campus for personal business with a faculty/staff member, will be asked to wait at the main gate for assistance. E-mail communications, phone calls, and Google Meet/Zoom conferences are encouraged in order to help limit the number of visitors on campus.
Breakfast and Lunch: Physicians have identified breakfast and lunch as times of increased risk during the school day, so physical distancing measures will be implemented during these times. Classes will utilize cafeteria, classrooms, libraries and outdoor spaces for meal times. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to all students during the 2021–2022 school year. Grab-n-go packaged meals such as cereal bars, pop tarts, muffins, fruit, juice, and milk will be available for breakfast. Students will be afforded a main dish and/or menu choices for lunch, which will be provided through the cafeteria serving line. Extra items may also be purchased through the student’s cafeteria account, which can be funded through www.myschoolbucks.com.
Water Bottles: Water fountains on campus will be closed for sanitation reasons. Students in all grades are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles, filled, from home; clear bottles are preferred. Bottled water will also be available as needed by students. All donations of bottled water are greatly appreciated.
Activities: Field trips can be part of the school’s activities within current guidelines of masking, cohort grouping, and transportation requirements. Band and Vocal Music activities may be held indoors or outdoors within physical-distancing, masking, and instrument-covering provisions in accordance with guidance approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Catholic School Athletic Association and Louisiana High School Athletic Association sports programs may resume within the guidance of Ready to Achieve. Concerts, athletic events, and other gatherings can be held with guidance found at https://opensafely.la.gov/.
Remote and Teacher-Supported Online Learning: Remote learning will be implemented for students who are required to quarantine or test positive for Covid-19 (provided their condition allows them to participate). Instructions for remote learning will be sent via email by an administrator when a student is quarantined/isolated. For remote learning, students may be required to log in to live streamed classes (using platforms such as Google Meet), complete and submit assignments online through Google Classroom or another online platform, view recorded or other types of asynchronous lessons, or hold virtual meetings with teachers. Students will be required to complete the same assignments and observe the same due dates as the on-campus students, unless health considerations prevent them from doing so. Routine illnesses that result in a student’s short-term absence from school (from one day to less than three days) do not meet the criteria for attending school virtually.
The school may make the decision at some point to temporarily suspend or discontinue on-campus classes. If this becomes necessary, teacher-supported online learning will be implemented so that students can continue to learn through any campus closures.
It should be expected that any class at any time can be required to support students through online learning. During this time there is the possibility that a student’s personal information may be transmitted online to include their image, name, likeness, speech, written and verbal work, presentations, etc. At no time should any student, parent, sibling, or any other person who gains access to the online classroom publicize through social media, third-party website, personal website, or any other means the content associated with the class. Violation may result in school related consequences to include suspension or expulsion.
Additional information regarding adjustments to classroom arrangements, traffic flow in buildings, enrichment classes, and other procedures that are traditionally communicated through teacher/parent communications, Back to School presentations, or methods other than the Parent/Student Handbook may still be communicated via those other methods, or new methods such as informational videos or Google Meet meetings. This addendum is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of all adjustments related to Covid-19 pandemic measures. The Parent/Student Handbook remains the primary contract between families and St. John School, and policies contained therein are still enforceable to the extent possible under Covid-19 pandemic guidelines.
Voluntary Medical Disclosure
If you would like to voluntarily, confidentially disclose medical conditions that affect your student because they may present the same symptoms that are associated with Covid-19 and/or may put your student in an increased-risk category for Covid-19:
Return to School Self-Certification
PLEASE NOTE: This form must be completed and sent to school via fax or email BEFORE the student returns to campus. Students may NOT bring this form with them on the day they return.