Reopening Plan for Fall 2020

Plan for Reopening School, Fall 2020

We believe, as do many pediatric experts, that being around friends, having social contact, and engaging in person (in short, being a part of a community) is critical for the social and emotional health of children of all ages. We are very appreciative that in this time of uncertainty, you have chosen to send your children to Media-Providence Friends School. This document demonstrates our commitment to the safety of our students, your children, while also being fully committed to engaging them in a fun and healthy learning environment. 

Our Scenario Building Team has been meeting since April to consider the various ways that the 2020-2021 school year could look. We have considered everything from screening for symptoms, to the structure of arrivals and departures, to the way in which the curriculum will be delivered, and much, much more. All of our decisions have been guided by the latest information from the CDC, Chester County Department of Health (Delaware County has no Department of Health) the CHOP PolicyLab, and the PA Dept. of Education’s Preliminary Guidance for Phased Re-opening of PreK - 12 Schools. 

The following two things should be noted:

  1.  This plan is intended to mitigate, not eliminate, the risk of COVID-19 infection. It is simply not possible for a school, or any place where people come together, to eliminate the risk of transmission completely. 

  2. This plan is subject to change at any time at the discretion of the school as the conditions and expectations for mitigation of COVID-19 change.


Decision Making Process for On-campus v. Distance Learning

We have learned that it isn’t possible to make a “line in the sand” decision around remaining open or changing to virtual instruction. Having said that, we are committed to remaining on campus for at least grades preschool - 3 if at all possible, barring the state of PA mandating that all campuses must close. 

If the state of PA has not closed school campuses, but there is a serious spike in transmission in the Delaware county area, we will, with guidance from the local department of health, make a determination as to whether or not to switch to distance learning for grades 4-8.

For those families who are not comfortable sending their children back to campus but still wish to be a part of the MPFS community and receive the excellent instruction and guidance of our faculty, we have invested in the technology this summer to provide these students with the ability to remain home but still be a part of every class with their classmates (aside from PE). 


Expectations of our Community

As you can imagine, it is going to take the diligence and determination of the entire MPFS community to keep the risk of Covid-19 infection as low as possible. As such, it is imperative for all of us, faculty and staff, families and students, to fully commit to the following expectations (which are in line with the the recommendations from our various resources):

  • All employees and students must stay home if sick. 

  • On a daily basis, all families will complete a “symptom check” (to be provided by the school), which will need to be signed and dated by a parent/caregiver and brought to school by the student. Students who come to school without the Symptom Check Form will be sent back home with the parent/caregiver, or if they have come by bus, the parent/caregiver will be called to pick up the student. We are looking into a few possible apps that might replace the symptom check.

  • All employees and students must notify the Head of School if they have had exposure to COVID-19 (student notification should come from the parent/caregiver). 

  • All employees and families must notify the Head of School if they or a member of their household has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • All families will pick up their children as quickly as possible if he or she shows signs of being sick. 

  • All families and employees will agree to take CDC recommendations pertaining to travel into account when making a decision on travel. If traveling to an area deemed “high risk” by the CDC, the family member/s or employees will notify the head of school and upon return will quarantine away from any MPFS student for the amount of time deemed appropriate at the time of the travel. Failure to notify the head of school regarding such travel will result in a minimum two week quarantine for any MPFS student in the household.

  • All employees and students will wear a face covering when on campus. Reusable masks will be cared for appropriately and disposable masks will be disposed of properly.

  • Students will not bring any personal items, other than those required by the school, to campus.

  • Students will bring their own snacks and lunch daily, and will not share food, snacks or beverages. Water bottles should be brought from home, as our refilling stations will be accessible but our drinking fountains will not.

  • No food will be provided by the school 

 

Drop off and Pick up

Parents are now asked to drop off their students by car at designated drop off locations for their children, and not to walk students on campus. Parents are asked to not leave their cars during drop off (except to secure a child into a child seat) and to not to pull away until their child’s temperature has been taken. The locations for drop off are as follows:

  • Preschool: By way of N. Broomall street, by turning right off of Fourth Street and pulling the driver side of the vehicle up to the preschool gate. For expediency, please have the children seated on the driver’s side of the car. Parents will remain in the car and students will be assisted by a preschool staff member and screened by an administrator. Once your child/children have exited the car, please proceed up N. Broomall St and turn right onto Third Street (trying to turn left onto Third will seriously delay the carline because of courthouse traffic).

  • Grades K-2: By way of the gate that enters from the Rose Tree Media Lot, adjacent to the playground equipment, by turning left off of Fourth Street. Students must exit from the passenger side of the car. Once your child/children have exited the car, please turn left and make your way around the perimeter of the parking lot and exit back onto Fourth Street. 

  • Grades 3-5: The front door of the school. Parents/guardians should approach the school from Olive Street and drop off on the school side of the street at the small paved area on Third Street just before the front gate. Please pull up and form a line that starts at the orange cone holding a STOP sign. Please wait until it is your turn at the gate before allowing your child to exit the vehicle. If you have an additional child/children to drop off, please consider using one of the other drop off locations instead of the 3-5 location!

  • Middle School: The fourth street back gate. Please pull up and form a line that starts at the orange cone holding a STOP sign. so that the passenger side of your car is facing the gate. Please do not exit your car, but please wait until your child is screened for temperature before pulling away. Please wait until it is your turn at the gate before allowing your child to exit the vehicle.

  • All employees and students will be screened for a temperature upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home. Please do not pull away until your child’s temperature has been approved. 

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided and required upon entry.

  • Students or employees who are sick and are not able to leave campus immediately will be isolated in the Head of School’s former office in the back of the main office until they are able to leave. 


End of Day Pickup: (unless you child requires assistance with a child seat or seat belt, please do not leave your vehicle):

  • Dismissal begins at 3:00 pm for preschool through grade 5, 3:10 - 3:20 for grades 6-8.

  • Preschool, K-2, and middle school families are asked to follow the same procedure as morning drop off. 
    Grades 3-5 will be picked up at the back gate and should follow the following procedure: form a line on the school side of Fourth Street with the passenger side of the car facing the gate. Parents should not park their vehicle and walk to the gate to retrieve their child. Please do not block Broomall Street, as preschool families need to come up Broomall for pickup. 

  • Students will be in groups consisting of their cohort when waiting for the bus or car. 
    Students getting picked up by a parent/guardian will wait with their cohort until their name is called by the staff member at the back gate or side gate. 

  • To keep the line from becoming too long, parents of grades preschool - 5 are asked to pick up between 3:00 and 3:10, grades 6-8 between 3:10 and 3:20. Please do not block Broomall Street when forming the pickup line, as preschool families will be turning up Broomall from fourth street. 

 

Extended Day

Our after care is available from 3:00 PM to 5:45 PM to all children attending Media-Providence Friends School on regular school days. The program provides a safe environment with appropriate activities in which a child can spend her/his after-school hours. Elements of study, recreation, play, the arts and more are included.

Parents can pre-arrange for children to attend on a regular basis, or may take advantage of the "drop in" option periodically just to give their children a chance to join in the fun. For the 2020-21 school year, the drop in fee is $25.00 per day. 

Extended Day Covid Protocols

  • Our Extended Day program will follow the same protocols of social distancing, mask wearing and frequent handwashing that are set out in the policies of MPFS. 
  • Where possible, Extended Day will take place outdoors. Children will be split into two pods - Pre K and Kindergarten in one pod, and then the rest of the school will be in another pod.
  • A pre- packed nut free snack will be provided each day, although children are also welcome to bring their own snack. All children should be encouraged to use a water bottle brought from home as the water fountains will not be available.


Pick Up from Extended Day

  • All children should be collected from Extended Day prior to 5.45pm. From 3pm-4.30pm children will be playing outdoors, weather permitting. During this time parents should park in the Rose Tree District parking lot and come to the side gate of the school and alert the Extended Day teacher that they have arrived. The child, along with their belongings will be brought to the side gate by the Extended Day staff. 
  • After this time parents should drive to the front of the school and should call the Extended Day phone number which is 610-529-8997. Parents should remain in their car and the child will be brought to your car along with their belongings by the Extended Day staff.
  • Should parents be running late, or need to speak to Extended Day staff, please call 610-529-8997. Children that are collected late will be charged a late fee. 

Structure of the School Day

  • All students and employees will wear a face covering while on campus.

  • Students will be asked to report to their homerooms when they arrive on campus. 

  • Throughout the school day, students will remain in their homeroom classroom (or outside) for class and their teachers will come to them. Outside recess time will be scheduled.

  • We have four tents, the maximum number for which we have space, to be used for outdoor classroom space and lunch. 

  • Lunches and snacks will be eaten outside, weather permitting. Face coverings may be removed when eating or drinking. Students will not be allowed to share food or beverages.

  • Students will not be allowed to bring any items to school that are not required by the school. All students in grades K-8 will have individual chromebooks so as not to share technology.

  • Because physical activity is extremely important, recess and PE will continue to happen, but with the proper precautions to keep students apart physically and with the proper equipment sanitation in between classes.

  • There will be no sports program during the 2020-2021 school year.

  • We will continue to have extended day childcare, where students will continue to wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

  • Visitors will not be allowed on campus. If there comes a circumstance where a parent or a technician must come onto campus, they will be screened for a temperature, must wear a face covering and use hand sanitizer upon entry. 

  • All students will be seated six feet apart in every classroom (while effort will be made to keep preschool students 6 feet apart, due to the nature of preschool children, it is highly unlikely that this can be consistently accomplished in preschool). 

  • Our hallways and stairways, exits and entrances will be one way, with the exception of the main front door area and stairway leading to the preschool. 

  • We will not have any off campus field trips until further notice.

  • We will not hold any large gatherings, including Meeting for Worship. MFW will take place in the individual classrooms.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • We have invested in the machines and materials necessary to not only clean but disinfect the classrooms, bathrooms and surfaces throughout the school day. 

  • We have created a schedule that the custodian will follow throughout the day to disinfect bathrooms and classrooms, and checklists will be kept in every room to be dated and initialled when done. This entails disinfecting each classroom before students arrive and again when a class goes outside for lunch/recess.

  • In addition, faculty will assist by disinfecting high contact surfaces in their classrooms once mid-morning and once mid afternoon using disinfecting wipes and sprays. 

  • Hand-washing and hand sanitizing will be emphasized throughout the day and hand sanitizer will be provided in every classroom. Visual reminders will be placed throughout the school. 

  • Classroom doors and windows will be open whenever possible


School District Transportation

MPFS is served by many different school districts. These individual districts and bus providers will provide their plans for safely transporting students to and from MPFS. As with all students arriving by car or foot, students arriving by bus will be required to have a Symptom Check Form (completed by a parent or guardian), screened for a temperature, and required to use hand sanitizer upon entry. 


Showing Signs or Symptoms on Campus:

Community members must stay home if they are sick. If a student or staff member becomes sick while on campus, they will be taken to the campus isolation room where they will be assessed for any symptoms of COVID-19 using the CDC defined symptoms of COVID-19. Parents and/or caregivers of students will be contacted immediately, and asked to arrange for the prompt retrieval of their child. If COVID-19 symptoms are present, the child must be picked up in 60 minutes or less. Failure to adhere to the requirements for picking up children with COVID-19 symptoms will result in consequences up to and including exclusion from campus. 


If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19

  1. The employee or the parent/caregiver of the student must notify the Head of School immediately.  

  2. The school will follow the CDC guidelines, along with guidance from the Chester County Department of Health, for cleaning and disinfecting, and whether or not to close some or part of the campus and if so, for how long.

  3. The school will follow the CDC and CCDoH guidelines for contact tracing to make a determination as to who has been exposed to the student or employee who has tested positive. All employees and students who have been in contact with the infected student or employee (as defined by 10 minutes of interaction less than 6 feet away) will quarantine at home for 14 days. Students quarantining from home may participate virtually in their classes. Anyone who develops symptoms during that time should contact their healthcare provider to request testing and notify MPFS.

  4. The individual who tests positive should remain home until all of the following are true:

  • At least ten days have passed since the onset of symptoms

  • Individual is fever free for three full days without the use of fever reducing medication

  • The individual is symptom free

  • The individual (employee) or individual’s parent/caregiver (student) can provide a doctor's note stating that it is safe for that person to return to campus

 

If a student, employee or immediate student family member has been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19

  • Any employee or student who has been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 (as defined by 10 minutes of interaction less than 6 feet away) will notify the head of school and quarantine at home for 14 days. Anyone who develops symptoms during that time should contact their healthcare provider to request testing and notify MPFS.
  • If an immediate family member of an MPFS student has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (as defined by 10 minutes of interaction less than 6 feet away), said family member will quarantine away from the MPFS student until said family member provides a negative COVID-19 test result to the school OR the student must also quarantine at home for 14 days.
  • If an immediate family member of an MPFS employee has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (as defined by 10 minutes of interaction less than 6 feet away), said family member will quarantine away from the MPFS employee until said family member provides a negative COVID-19 test result to the school.
  • If a family member of a student or an employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 but has not had exposure, the individual will get tested as soon as possible, the school will be notified and come to an appropriate decision as to how to proceed.


Policy for Returning to Campus:

MPFS monitors the most recent guidelines on when students and adults can return to campus after having symptoms for COVID-19 and/or testing positive for COVID-19. The school will follow, at a minimum, the CDC's most up-to-date guidelines for the safe return to the school campus setting.