Daycroft's Return to School Plan
At Daycroft School, our mission is to empower each student with confidence, compassion, and a lifelong love of learning. We feel that we can best achieve these goals when we are in-person and as a community. Our desire is to have in-person classes with our full student body starting on August 31st. To open school safely, we will implement the following guidelines, policies, and procedures. We will continue to update and enhance these plans and respond to changing conditions as needed. As a community, it is vital that we work together to maintain a safe in-person environment for our students, faculty, staff, and families.
Head of School
Fall 2020/21 Return to School Plan
Daycroft School has put together a multi-layered safety approach as we look to reopen our school this fall. The safety protocols and procedures that we have developed over the past month are research-based and follow the guidelines from the following organizations, experts, and documents:
● Center for Disease Control (CDC)
● Governor Whitmer’s Return to School Roadmap
● Washtenaw Health Department
● National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
● Local Ann Arbor Independent Schools
● Daycroft’s Health Advisory Team, comprised of Daycroft medical parents
● Daycroft Board and Staff Members
Our goal with this plan is to create a multi-layered safety approach to keeping everyone in our school healthy during the school year. While we will be implementing this layered safety approach, your involvement in helping to keep our community healthy and safe is crucial. We will be sending home a Family Pandemic Contract this summer outlining each family’s responsibility in helping to make Daycroft School safe this school year. This document will be updated as we learn more over the summer.
Daycroft School’s Health Mitigation Plan
Please know that even as we do our best to mitigate risks of transmission on school grounds, there is no such thing as eliminating the risk entirely. COVID-19 remains in our community, and we do not expect a vaccine until possibly next year. To lower the risk of possible transmission to students, parents, staff, and the wider community, you and your children can expect some changes as your children return to school. Daycroft School will comply with all state and local health department guidelines regarding school closures, cleaning and sanitization practices, safe practices, reopening, and re-entry of students after infection with the disease. Our layered approach to safety follows the CDC guidelines around personal spacing, wearing face masks, cleaning, ventilation, and limiting outside visitors.
Drop-Off & Pick-up
The goal for drop-off & pick-up will be to minimize large gatherings of any group of students and parents entering and leaving the school. Parents will not be allowed in the classrooms unless for necessary reasons and teachers will work with parents at the start of the year to help with separation anxiety. Classroom entries outside will be utilized for our younger students. Drop-off & Pick-up times will be staggered to minimize congestion at any one time. Please arrive on time for your child’s designated drop-off & pick-up time.
● Students will be picked up and dropped off outside the school building. Teachers and staff will be available to help students enter and exit.
● All students and staff will have their temperature taken before entering the school and health screening questions for the child will be asked of the parents before releasing their children.
● Drop-off & pick-up times will be staggered to help minimize traffic.
● Parents or caregivers must wear face masks when accompanying their child to the entrance of the school and keep 6-foot spacing with other families.
● Families with multiple children will adhere to the earlier drop-off time and later pick-up times.
Our daily schedule will minimize external classroom contact, and allow our students to learn and create in a clean and safe environment.
● Students from preschool through elementary are required to wear a cloth face mask in school. All teachers and staff will wear face masks. Masks can be removed during snack, lunch, and while playing outside when 6-feet apart from friends. It is recommended that toddlers older than 2 years of age wear a mask when possible. Students with medical exemptions need to contact the school.
● Every student is required to wash their hands: upon entrance into their classroom; before eating snack and lunch; after returning from outside; after using the restroom.
● Classes will be small and remain together in cohorts from the start of the school day to the end of the day. Co-Curricular teachers will push into the classrooms.
● Classes will be encouraged to utilize the outdoor space for both lessons and activities as much as possible.
● Students need to bring their own snacks and lunch (we are evaluating single meal options from outside vendors). The sharing of food is not allowed. Each student should have their own labeled water bottle they can refill.
In addition to our classroom teachers cleaning during the normal routine of the day, we will hire an additional cleaning person during the day to help with cleaning classroom materials, bathrooms, and other high touch points. Every evening we will have our professional cleaning service come through and thoroughly clean our school.
● Students will have their dedicated everyday personal supplies to use in the classroom. Shared materials will be placed in a bin to be cleaned during the day. Teachers will regularly clean tables and chairs during the day with a bleach/water solution.
● Bathrooms will be monitored and cleaned every hour.
● Recess and playtime outside will be spaced for individual cohorts. Equipment will be cleaned before another class uses the same equipment.
● Daycroft is working with our HVAC provider on potential disinfectants and ensuring proper air circulation in each classroom.
Before & After School Care
We understand the importance to families who need assistance with childcare before and after school. Our programs will be limited to those families who need this assistance and families will need to pre-register their children before the start of the school year. Staffing will be based on the number of pre-registered children at the start of the school year.
● Enrichment programming will be provided where possible for individual class cohorts to minimize the mixing of students.
● Preschool students may be grouped in a class cohort depending on childcare needs.
● For elementary students, when possible, after school programs will be run outside or in the gym.
Consistent with CDC guidelines, students, faculty and/or staff should stay home if they are positive for COVID-19, exhibit an elevated temperature (100.4 degrees or greater) or exhibit any symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or GI issues.
● Any student exhibiting sick symptoms at school will be isolated to the sick room and monitored until a parent can come to get them (request within 45-minutes)
● If anyone has a fever or COVID symptoms, they will be sent home and should be tested for COVID. Students or staff must be fever and symptom-free without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to school and a negative COVID test.
● If any student or staff tests positive for COVID-19 that individual must stay home for at least 10 days after symptoms first started and 24-hours after their fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medicines and symptoms have vastly improved, whichever is longer per the CDC.
● If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID, that cohort will be quarantined for 14-days and remote teaching will be provided during this time.
● If a parent tests positive for COVID-19 they need to notify the school and their children need to quarantine for 14-days. The school will provide lessons and will work with the family to make sure the student does not fall behind.
● If there is a case of COVID within our school community, the names of individuals will never be shared. As with other communicable diseases, we will share this information with our community when it occurs.
Our intention is to have in-person classes unless we are required by local authorities to close our school or our Head of Schools deems it to be unsafe to operate in-person given the spread of COVID in our community. Our teachers will be working over the summer to enhance their remote teaching plans given what they learned during their 11-weeks of remote teaching this past spring and further professional development work.
● Daycroft School will confirm with every family that they have an electronic device their child can use to help facilitate learning when necessary from home.
● Remote classes will take place over Zoom, Seesaw and Google Classroom.
● Materials will be sent home to help facilitate lessons from home.
● Students are required to submit their own completed work in order to stay current in their classes.
● Parent education will be a component of remote learning to help support our students at home.
Family Pandemic Contract
We need everyone’s help and commitment to keep our community safe. Your actions can help to ensure that Daycroft School remains open and our students, staff, and families remain safe. Below are actions you can do to help ensure this.
● Monitoring family health and reporting any illnesses to the school.
● If a child has a fever or symptoms of a cold, do not send them to school until fever-free or symptom-free without medication for 24-hours.
● If a parent travels out of state or internationally they must report this to the school.
● All students attending Daycroft during the 2020-2021 school year are strongly encouraged to receive a flu shot, as seasonal influenza shares many symptoms with COVID-19, and flu vaccination will help to keep us healthy while also assisting our COVID-19 monitoring efforts.
● All students must receive all required vaccinations under state law unless they have a current medical exemption form on file.
● All families are expected to adhere to the directives of applicable federal, state, and local government health departments, including the CDC regarding social distancing in public, wearing masks in enclosed public spaces, and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
● Families are asked to review and follow CDC information and guidance.