COVID-19 OPERATIONAL PLAN

Please note: Portions of the plan that have changed since the last published version will be marked as highlighted.  Updated Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

Purpose

To provide ongoing information as to how the school is operating while COVID-19 is present in our community for the 2020-2021 school year at the Munnerlyn, Beaches, and St. Mark’s Campuses and to do so in a way that ensures the health, safety, and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff.

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Our Operating Strategy

We will ensure our policies and practices are in compliance with COVID-19 related local, state, and federal guidelines. Our plans are based on extensive research by carefully considering recommendations made by the following organizations or plans: CDC guidelines; American Academy of Pediatrics, Governor DeSantis’ Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan for Florida's Recovery; Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) Reopening Florida’s Schools and the CARES Act; Mayo Clinic; Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS); Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS); National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Independent School Management (ISM).

Our plans are guided by the following:

 

  • Keeping our community safe remains our overarching priority to ensure we continue being able to provide our students with a full time, on-campus learning environment.
  • Providing a predictable learning environment that ensures growth takes place across the Four Pillars (academics, athletics, fine arts, and spiritual life), and supports our families, allowing them to plan and partner with us.
  • Providing a supportive learning environment/Online Access for students who are not able to fully participate in the on-campus experience.
  • Having the flexibility to modify plans should local, state, or federal guidelines change.
  • Ensuring hygiene practices are in place as the most effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Establishing daily health checks that ensure individuals with COVID-19 symptoms are not on campus.
  • Establishing clear COVID-19 related quarantine and testing protocols for the community. 
  • Ensuring we put in place campus specific COVID-19 protection practices and modifications to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19 for our students, faculty, staff, and families. These practices and modifications (listed at the end of this document) will impact all aspects of school life and will evolve as needed to ensure we protect our community. 

 

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Keeping Our Community Safe

 KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE

  • Our overarching objective during this school year has been to ensure we are able to have students physically present on our campuses, safely. Our experience after 11 weeks since we opened school is that our COVID-19 practices are working and we have not had any known transmissions of the virus at school.  
  • We are counting on students, families, faculty and staff to not let their guard down, especially as others around us become more relaxed or lenient on mask usage and social distancing. It is necessary to ensure that the basic practices of washing hands, wearing masks, and watching our distance (the 3 W’s) continue for our extended community.
  • To ensure we are able to continue to conduct classes on campus we must remain vigilant and continue to observe the 3 W’s, especially in any setting that involves a larger group of people or being around individuals that are not known personally to us.  
  • As we see other schools forced to close their campuses due to COVID-19 spread, we are conscious of our need to remain diligent. 

MAKING APPROPRIATE DECISIONS WHEN AWAY FROM HOME OR SCHOOL

Any travel outside of our home or school increases the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. As we make choices as to where we go in Jacksonville or another city/state it is important that the following take place to not only reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 but also prevent the need to quarantine when returning to school.

We ask you to do the following:

  • Ensure you personally adhere to the 3 W’s.
  • Avoid being around individuals that are not practicing the 3 W’s.
  • Minimize and ideally eliminate the number of circumstances in which you are increasing risk by any of the following:
    • Being with a large group of people (more than 10) that is new to you and does not practice the 3 W’s.
    • Minimizing or eliminating, where possible, the use of public/commercial transportation that increases risk (airplanes, buses, rental vehicles, etc.)
    • Frequenting any place in which the 3 W’s are not followed. 

In the event that you are not able to do what we have asked above, please take personal responsibility and report it to the school and quarantine as outlined below:

    • Quarantine 14 days after possible exposure/returning to Jacksonville or
    • Take a COVID-19 PCR nasal swab test after 5 days of quarantine.  Negative test results must be provided to the school nurse prior to return to school.
Predictable Learning Environment
  • We opened the 2020-2021 school year on August 13 per our plan with students and faculty on all our campuses.
  • We also provided an off-campus experience by providing an Online Access option.
  • Remote learning will go into effect when it is necessary in order to provide the best and safest possible learning environment for students and faculty.
Online Access
  • Online Access is being provided to students with an underlying medical condition or other special circumstance.  This is extended to medical conditions involving individuals in the household.
  • Parents need to contact the appropriate Division Head to request Online Access well in advance:
  • Students who are under quarantine will be automatically provided Online Access.
  • Online Access is not intended to be a convenient way to mitigate a physical absence at school and should only be used for a specific, longer term purpose.
Flexibility to Modify
  • All plans were designed with current local, state, and federal guidelines in mind.
  • Our plan is built to be flexible enough to allow modifications as local, state, and federal guidance changes.
Hygiene Practices
  • Personal hygiene will be constantly reinforced to all who are on campus. There will be signage, daily reinforcement, and general availability of locations to wash and or sanitize hands.
  • Regular cleaning and deep cleaning protocols will be established for all classrooms, bathrooms, offices and general spaces for each campus. These protocols will be campus specific and also take into account the age of the student population.
Daily Health Checks
  • Each school day prior to coming to school, parents are required to complete a COVID-19 student Health Check via the Magnus Mobile app.  Detailed information on procedures will be sent in separate communication.  We ask that students who do not get a “green light” are kept home.
  • In addition, the school day at all three campuses will begin with a Health Check which will include taking temperature and checking for COVID-19 symptoms. This includes all students, faculty, and staff.  
  • We will be checking for the following symptoms:
    • Fever (100.4 or higher) or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • We will also be asking if there has been any contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • The daily Health Check for Lower School students (Beaches and St. Mark’s Campuses) will take place during drop-off plus multiple times throughout the day.
  • The daily Health Check for Middle and Upper School students (Munnerlyn Campus) will take place at the beginning of the first class of the day. Students with a temperature of 99.9 or higher will need to have their temperature taken orally to determine if it is 100.4 or higher and if any other symptoms are present.
  • All students who arrive later in the day will have the same procedure done in the appropriate location for each campus (Beaches - McCormick Hall; Munnerlyn - Welcome Center; St. Mark’s - Administration Building).
  • Based on the symptoms present and specific circumstances, a student who is believed to be at risk of having COVID-19 will be asked to leave campus.
Quarantine and Testing Protocols

This section provides guidance when community members are either suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. In all cases parents must immediately inform the appropriate individual for the campus - Tonya Carter, School Nurse (Munnerlyn campus), Nicole Limbaugh, Delegated Nurse (Beaches campus) or Michelle Ray, Delegated Nurse (St. Mark's campus) of all suspected or verified COVID-19 cases.  Tonya Carter will be responsible for all case management and contact tracing.  This excludes daily Health Checks of which the school will already be aware. 

COVID-19 Protection Practices & Modifications
Lower School Divisions (Beaches and St. Mark's Campuses)

Visitor Policy

  • During the school day, visitors (including parents) may enter school offices; appointments are strongly recommended. Masks are required and Health Check Protocols will be followed. Visitors are permitted on other parts of campus with an employee escort. 

Daily Bell Schedule

  • The school day will remain the same as the 2019-2020 school year.
    • Beaches    8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
    • St. Mark’s  8:10 a.m. until 3:10 p.m.
  • Modifications will be made to the daily schedule as necessary.  Our objective is to minimize disruption and have a predictable schedule but recognize that adjustments may be needed as we put theory into practice with an overall objective of providing the safest environment possible for our community.  

Daily Drop-off and Pick-up

  • Students’ temperatures will be taken at the designated drop offs prior to entering campus.
  • Social distancing protocols will be implemented during these time frames to minimize congestion.

Face Covering Usage 

  • Based on the most current medical guidelines available, all students, Pre-K 3 through Grade 6, and faculty and staff members are required to wear a face covering.
  • Face coverings must fit properly, cover the nose and mouth, fit snuggly below the chin, have no valves, and must be two-plied if made of cloth.
  • Coverings can be in any color with no inappropriate insignia, wording, or offensive embellishments. Face coverings should never detract from the learning environment.
  • Faculty and staff may also wear face shields in addition to face coverings in order to prevent exposure to or transmission of the virus to both themselves and others.

Classroom Environment

  • Students will spend much of the day in their homeroom with teachers moving to them.
  • Classrooms will be arranged to accommodate social distancing.  Desks will not be placed facing one another.
  • Each student will have his or her own set of supplies for core academic classes, art class, and science class.
  • Classroom furniture will be wiped down periodically throughout the day.
  • Students will wash hands upon entering and leaving a classroom, after bathroom use, and before and after lunch.
  • Students should bring refillable water bottles to school to use at water filling stations; no one should use water fountains.
  • The library circulation desk will have a plexiglass divider. Each classroom will have a four-way plexiglass divider to enable work in a small group. 
  • All commonly-used classroom spaces will be disinfected between each class period.
  • All classrooms will be treated nightly with disinfecting spray and all surfaces treated with disinfectant, including desks, chairs, phones, doorknobs, light switches, and white board trays.
  • Markers will be used to indicate traffic flow so students will remain socially distanced in transit.
  • Air filters are being changed to ensure we have the highest filtering capability that will work with each unit.

Athletics Modifications

  • The Beaches and St. Mark’s Campuses compete in the North Florida Independent School Athletic Conference. The Conference will begin league play in January. Please refer to the ESJ website for the most accurate team schedules.

Lunch Modifications

  • At the Beaches Campus, students will eat lunch with their homeroom classmates.  Outdoor lunch space will be expanded and lunch times will be rotated so that each homeroom group of students will be able to eat lunch outside.   
  • At the St. Mark’s Campus, students will eat lunch with their homeroom classes. Lunch will occur in three locations, one inside, two outdoors, these will be rotated. Inclement weather will necessitate lunch in classrooms for those using outdoor locations.
  • Lunch areas will be cleaned in-between lunches and after the lunch period is over.

Chapel Modifications

  • At the Beaches Campus, students, faculty, and staff will participate in Chapel virtually on Wednesday mornings. Parents will also be able to participate virtually.
  • All the St. Mark’s Campus students will continue to participate in hybrid virtual Chapel each week. Our ELP 2 students will have Chapel on Wednesday, staggering start times. PreK - Kindergarten will have Chapel using a virtual hybrid model on Mondays and Wednesdays; again, times may be staggered. . First through sixth grade will have Chapel on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, rotating the classes who will be physically in Chapel, as the other classes participate virtually from their Homerooms. Parents who would like to participate will be able to do so virtually.

Open Houses & Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Open Houses and teacher meetings will take place virtually.
  • Parent-Teacher conferences will take place virtually. 

Gatherings of Adults on Campus

  • While students are on campus, we are limiting parent and alumni meetings/gatherings on campus. We will continue to monitor and modify our status with regard to adult gatherings as necessary.
COVID-19 Protection Practices & Modifications
Middle & Upper School Divisions (Munnerlyn Campus)

Visitor Policy

  • During the school day, visitors (including parents) may enter school offices; appointments are strongly recommended. Masks are required and Health Check Protocols will be followed. Visitors are permitted on other parts of campus with an employee escort. 

Daily Bell Schedule

  • The school day will remain the same as the 2019-2020 school year.
    • Munnerlyn 8:05 a.m. until 3:25 p.m.
  • Modifications are being made to the daily schedule as necessary especially as we ensure a positive lunch experience and begin to plan for the start of activities for all our students after Labor Day. Our objective is to minimize disruption and have a predictable schedule but recognize that adjustments may be needed as we put theory into practice with an overall objective of providing the safest environment possible for our community.

Daily Drop-off and Pick-up

  • At this time, there are no planned changes in the manner students are dropped-off or picked-up.

Face Covering Usage

  • Everyone will be required to wear a face covering while on campus.  Exceptions to this will be limited to designated locations while eating lunch and in some cases in which social distancing of six feet or more can be ensured in an outdoor setting. 
  • Students are required to wear face coverings inside and outside of the classroom. This includes walking through the hallways, walking to and from parking lots or drop-offs, in the restrooms, while at lockers, during free periods, etc.
  • Face coverings of any color must fit properly, cover the nose and mouth, fit snuggly below the chin, have no valves, and must be two-plied if made of cloth. Inappropriate insignias, wording, or offensive embellishments; political and social wording, phrasing, or pictures are not acceptable. Coverings should never detract from the learning environment.
  • Faculty and staff that are in regular contact with a large number of students will be required to wear face coverings at all times (i.e. food service personnel, security, library, some school offices).

Classroom Environment

  • Seating arrangements and class sizes will be determined by departments to allow for flexibility according to discipline-specific learning needs and to maximize social distancing.
  • All students, faculty, and staff will use hand sanitizer as they enter and exit all classroom and common spaces (“sanitize in, sanitize out”).
  • Plexiglass dividers will be installed in classrooms with fixed workspaces that do not allow for appropriate distancing (Yearbook, Computer labs, Media Production, Language Lab).
  • The library circulation desk and computers will have plexiglass dividers as well. 
  • All commonly-used classroom spaces will be disinfected between each class period, including Advisory and Tutorial.
  • All classrooms will be treated nightly with disinfecting spray and all surfaces treated with disinfectant, including desks, chairs, phones, doorknobs, light switches, and white board trays.
  • Air filters are being changed to ensure we have the highest filtering capability that will work with each unit. 

Fine Arts Modifications

  • Performing Arts classes and productions will take social distancing precautions.  
  • Choral students will be following national guidelines for safe singing practices. Students will be required to wear face coverings and social distance. Rehearsals will be conducted in small group sectionals. Students will participate in innovative, but safe, lessons and performances throughout the year.
  • Band students will follow national guidelines including social distancing, sitting facing one direction, and wearing face coverings whenever not necessary for playing their instrument (long rests, section work).
  • Under current guidelines we are planning a Christmas Concert at Jangro Stadium. The Fine Arts trip has been postponed but will be looking for opportunities during the Spring semester should guidelines allow it.

Athletics Modifications

  • Per the FHSAA, practices for Fall Upper School teams began on August 24 and contests began on September 4. Practices for Middle School teams began on August 31 and contests began September 4. Please refer to the ESJ website for the most accurate team schedules.
  • Locker room access is permitted for ESJ teams. Number of athletes in the locker room as well as the length of time in the locker room will be monitored by individual team coaching staffs.
  • The weight room is accessible to our teams but must be scheduled in advance. There will be no walk-ins.
  • Athletes will be asked to bring their own water bottles to practices.
  • Contests have been scheduled to ensure competing with predominantly local teams (Duval, Nassau, Clay, St. Johns and Baker counties). Travel outside of these counties must be approved by the athletic department in advance. This will reduce travel for both home and away contests.
  • In order to ensure the safety of our Episcopal community, our policy for all spectators and visiting teams on campus will be restrictive. Face coverings and social distancing are required by all spectators when attending contests on our campus. We allow 2 parents per participating visiting team athlete to attend our home contests in person. We also allow a limited number of ESJ students to attend our home contests, the number of students allowed per contest will depend on the facility hosting the contest. Students have an opportunity to sign up to attend home contests through the Dean’s office. Our objective is to minimize exposure as much as possible. Temperature checks will be required of all spectators and visiting athletes and visiting teams will not use Episcopal locker rooms.

Lunch Modifications

  • SAGE will continue to provide the highest quality foods that are healthy with appropriate choices given COVID required restrictions to reduce the probability of the spread of the virus. This includes food only being handled by SAGE personnel who will wear gloves, face coverings, and maintain social distancing while preparing food.
  • Lunch will be provided directly to students and staff by SAGE personnel.
  • Students are being served out of three locations: the Buck, the Beak, and the Buck lobby. The food served will be the same at all locations. Students will also have designated eating spaces that will include indoor and outdoor spaces. All three serving areas and the Buck will be sanitized between lunches.
  • Students have designated indoor or outdoor spaces to eat lunch with friends within their same grade. Students will remain with this group all week for contact tracing purposes.  

Clubs and Activities

  • Students have the opportunity to participate in club meetings.
  • All students have the opportunity to socialize and have down time by grade during the activities period.
  • Student Government hosts “Fun Friday” each week to help students maintain school spirit on campus.
  • All safety guidelines are followed during all activities.

Chapel Modifications

  • All students will participate in Chapel each week by viewing it via livestream with their Advisory.

Assembly Modifications

  • We will adopt a similar model for Assemblies as with Chapel where students will watch it via livestream with their Advisory group.

Bus/Transportation Modifications

  • Passengers will not share a bus bench, providing greater social distancing on buses. 
  • This separation will be maintained for Episcopal buses as well as those from companies that provide us bus services.

Open Houses & Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Campus wide Parent-Teacher conferences will not take place during the Fall semester because of COVID-19 restrictions. Teachers will share permanently accessible links to digital Progress Reports in mid-September, which will allow students and parents to keep up with student progress. Teachers will also reach out if they feel that individual conferences are needed. 

9GOA Modifications 

  • The trip is being rescheduled to the Spring expecting that guidelines will support small groups in close sleeping quarters as being safe for our students.
  • Other needed modifications have been identified to ensure a safe environment (i.e. transportation and food service).

College Admissions Visits at ESJ

  • Many colleges have significantly cut back their planned visits to high schools, and we expect that many of them will offer virtual sessions for our students.
  • We will be prepared to accommodate both virtual and in person meetings for our students.

College Visits for Seniors

Seniors wishing to visit a prospective college or university follow these procedures:

  • The student must have documentation that they went on an official, scheduled tour or meeting with admissions officers or other college representatives. Also, that college must follow CDC guidelines for distancing, small groups, hand washing, and mask wearing.
  • The student has to have at least one of their parents/guardians present at all times.
  • The student may drive or fly to the college for the visit.
  • The student may not attend large gatherings like social, artistic, or athletic events.  

If a student cannot follow these procedures exactly, then they will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving back in Jacksonville. Or, the student must quarantine and take a COVID-19 PCR nasal swab test after 5 days and may return if it is negative. The student will be set up with online access during the quarantine. While attending school remotely, the student will not be permitted to attend athletic or fine arts practices, games, or performances. 

At this time, only seniors are allowed to take college visits, and even then the College Counseling office is encouraging seniors to wait to visit schools until the Spring.

Gatherings of Adults on Campus

  • While students are on campus we are limiting parent and alumni meetings/gatherings on campus. We will continue to monitor and modify our status with regard to adult gatherings as necessary.