MITIGATION STRATEGIES

Mitigation strategies, as cited by the CDC and the Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap, help to manage the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our school community. We encourage everyone in the LCS community to practice preventive measures in their lives outside of school to support LCS’s safe reopening and help the school remain open.

There are explicit requirements listed in the Safe Schools Roadmap that are mandated by the state for both public and private schools and there are recommendations. The LCS Reopening Plan meets and exceeds the requirements and most of the recommendations as stated.

Similar to any other school year, we will spend intentional time at every grade level teaching and guiding students so that we are able to build a culture of trust, respect, and both individual and collective responsibility.

Physical Distancing

  • Desks will be separate in the classroom and facing the same direction to accommodate physical distancing. Some classrooms in the lower elementary will have new furniture installed to make this possible.
  • The numbers of students per classroom will be limited to maintain social distancing guidelines. Several classes have already been capped to maintain safe numbers within the classrooms and wait pools have been formed.
  • LCS staff will help ensure students maintain increased spacing while in the hallways. Block scheduling in the middle and high schools will limit passing times. As much as possible, schedules will be planned to prevent classes from crossing each other in the hallways.
  • Students will have staggered access to their lockers to maintain physical distancing.
  • The school will utilize multiple learning spaces to support student learning, including the commons, auxiliary gym, large gym, and the outdoors when possible.
  • Field Trips will be redesigned or suspended during Phase 4.
  • Large group assemblies have been suspended. Cohorts will take turns leading or attending chapel in person with the other students participating through a livestream in each classroom.
  • Large community events such as Grandparents’ Day and the Christmas concerts will be re-imagined or rescheduled for a later date.
  • Visitors to the LCS campus will be limited, including parents.

Cohorts

  • Keeping students in similar groupings and limiting contact across cohorts is an important strategy for preventing the spread of the virus.
  • Elementary students are organized into classrooms and this will be their cohort.
  • Elementary specials teachers (with the exception of PE) will come to individual classrooms to teach their classes.
  • Elementary students will eat lunch in their classrooms or outdoors (exceptions will be made if a severe allergy is present in a cohort).
  • The middle and high school block schedule will accommodate student cohorts while still supporting all of the offered courses and provide opportunity for physical movement throughout the day to promote whole student health.
  • After Care is suspended for 2020-2021 due to prioritizing the implementation of cohorts as a mitigation strategy.

Face Coverings: Masks and Shields

  • The Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap gives specific requirements regarding masks for all public, non-public, and private school in Michigan. These requirements are legally mandated while the state is in PHASE 4 of the Safe Start plan and LCS will comply fully with the requirements:
    • Facial covering must be worn by staff at all times except for meals.
    • Facial covering must be worn by PreK-5 students in hallways and common areas except for meals. Teachers may request students to wear masks if their activities make social distancing difficult.
    • Facial coverings must be worn by 6th -12th grade students at all times except for meals.
    • According to Michigan’s Safe Start School Roadmap face shields are not an acceptable substitute for masks.
    • Parents of students who are unable to wear a mask due to a documented reason should contact their principal. 
  • We will always operate from a posture of Care and from a posture of learning in Christian Community as we help students navigate this new normal. Parents will also play a large role in helping students feel comfortable wearing facial coverings and we encourage parents to help students practice wearing facial coverings before the start of school. 

Facility Safety

  • In the lower elementary, new desks have been purchased to replace tables and better facilitate physical distancing. Carpeting has been replaced with tile flooring for cleaning purposes.
  • Touchless paper towel dispensers will be installed throughout the building.
  • Dozens of hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the building.
  • Drinking fountains will be turned off, but water bottle filling stations are available throughout the building and students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle to school each day.
  • Protective desk shields will be installed in several areas of the school. 
  • Each classroom is already equipped with its own HVAC unit which circulates fresh air from the outdoors, different from many schools and office buildings that rely on one central unit.
  • Outdoor learning on our beautiful and expansive campus will be encouraged at every opportunity.

Hygiene and Cleaning Protocols

  • LCS staff will receive hygiene and disinfecting training prior to the start of school. Staggered hand washing breaks for staff and students will be built into the school day.
  • LCS is increasing the maintenance staff and they will be trained on new daily cleaning protocols.
  • The school uses EPA (Environments Protection Agency) registered disinfectants to clean desks, common tables, countertops, doorknobs, handles, bathroom fixtures and high touch point areas daily.
  • Routine disinfecting for the whole school and individual classrooms will be implemented in a regular, ongoing manner. This will involve our maintenance staff, teachers, and sometimes students.
  • Surfaces will be cleaned after any switching of classrooms.
  • Doors in the building will be propped open to increase air circulation—including external rest rooms doors.
  • An electrostatic wand will be utilized for quick, thorough disinfection when necessary, and foggers will be used approximately once a week or if someone in that classroom becomes ill. Both the electrostatic wand and fogger use the same EPA registered disinfectants used for regular daily classroom cleaning just in different concentrations based on the manner of application. Contact the school for specific cleaner information or to address potential allergen concerns.

Travel

As families and LCS employees plan for vacations this school year, the following information should be taken into consideration:

•         We encourage families to follow the CDC’s information for travel. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html  Travel increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home and deferring travel is the best way to protect yourself and those around you. Those traveling to a high-risk location will be asked to stay home for 14 days upon return.

•         Anyone traveling to a country with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice will be asked to stay home from school for 14 days upon return. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html  

•         As advised by the CDC, LCS strongly recommends that families and employees defer travel on cruise ships worldwide due to the extremely high risk of contracting COVID-19.  

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