This year we made the difficult decision in our first two quarters of the school year to learn remotely. We came to this decision after considering a growing body of science, local and national guidance, and feedback from our school community, through the lens of our organizational mission, the capacity of our buildings and personnel, and the design principles we identified to guide our pandemic response. Ultimately, we determined that investing in a powerful virtual option for all of our students is both the safest option for our entire school community and the option that will give our students the greatest stability during this uncertain time.
While our primary mode of learning through January 15, 2021 will be remote, we are committed to using our buildings to safely provide opportunities for services, structure, and socialization that can be difficult to provide remotely. These areas were all identified by staff and family feedback as critical and uniquely in need of in-person support. Currently, Two Rivers has identified three primary ways that we will use our buildings for optional in-person activities:
These activities will always be optional for both staff and students, and are contingent upon stable local health and safety conditions. However, in the event that a student or staff member decides to join us onsite, it’s critical that everyone in our community is prepared to be onsite. That means being aware of what you can expect from Two Rivers and what everyone--staff, families, and students--will be asked to do to promote safety.
In this document you will find some important information about how we all must do our part to be safe when onsite at Two Rivers during this pandemic. Specifically, you can find more information about how Two Rivers has set up our spaces to support health, the actions that we will all need to take as a community, and what we are asking our families to commit to when onsite. Below we cover topics ranging from the procedures that you will need to follow when entering or learning in the building, and how we will respond in the event of illness.
Additional information about our COVID-19 response, including our remote learning plan, can be found at tworiverspcs.org/remotelearning. If you have any questions or need to notify Two Rivers about a positive test or exposure, please contact our COVID-19 Point of Contact (POC), Aurora Steinle, TR Chief of Staff, at email@example.com
Two Rivers is very concerned about the safety of our students, staff, and families and will continue to closely monitor and follow local and national information about how we can keep our community safe. Based on current guidance from DC Health and the Office of the State Superintendent for Education, we are commit to:
Our commitment starts with ensuring that our buildings and spaces are set up to minimize the exchange of droplets in the air and maximize consistent spacing between individuals.
Improved ventilation: Two Rivers has taken several steps to ensure adequate ventilation in our buildings such as running the HVAC system two hours earlier and two hours later than the pre-COVID schedule. Second, we and upgrading the filters to MERV 13. and cleaned the air handler units.
Socially-distant space arrangements: Two Rivers has made several physical changes to promote social distancing. We rearranged classroom spaces to create distancing of 6 feet between student desks - replacing shared tables with individual desks.
Signage: We marked floors in each classroom in order to demarcate the student desk footprint to help ensure distancing. Hallways and stairwells have floor markings and signage to denote directional pathways and appropriate distancing when students wait in line.
Bathrooms: In addition to preparing single stall bathrooms with additional sanitation materials, multi-stall student bathrooms will have alternating stalls closed in order to reduce any exchange of air droplets. Bathrooms shared by multiple groups of students will additionally be sanitized between uses.
Staff spaces: In shared spaces, such as break rooms, resource rooms, supply rooms, and copy rooms, Two Rivers will stagger use, post occupancy limits, maintain strict physical distance between individuals, ensure face coverings are worn at all times except while eating, and clean and disinfect between uses.
Isolation space: Two Rivers has identified spaces and bathrooms in all three schools for students or staff developing symptoms to isolate from others while on site. Each isolation room will be equipped with a personal protective equipment (PPE) bin and student cot so that those in the room wear PPE and prevent any potential spread of the virus.
Water access: We equipped our water fountains with touchless bottle fillers, disabling the spout function.
Two Rivers will make available all necessary PPE and supplies for students and staff. Specifically:
We have general PPE supplies, such as masks and face shields, for staff and students should they forget them at home. All TR staff onsite will be provided with reusable, washable staff masks.
Enhanced PPE, such as gloves, gowns, and shoe covers, are available for those staff in closer, more frequent contact with students.
All classrooms are equipped with cleaning and sanitizing supplies so that surfaces can be cleaned by teachers before and after meals and after transitioning of shared student equipment. Supplies include paper towels, cleaning solutions, and Purell Foodservice surface sanitizer. All cleaning supplies are secured and kept out of the reach of children.
At our main entrances and reception desks, we installed wall-mounted, contactless thermometers and sneeze guards.
Throughout our buildings, we have installed hand sanitizer stations.
Two Rivers has secured additional daytime cleaning staff per site. The cleaning staff are trained to follow CDC guidelines to ensure high touch surfaces and high occupancy spaces are cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day. These spaces include all door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, and restrooms.
All spaces in use are cleaned and disinfected nightly by the evening custodial crew. All common spaces in use are disinfected nightly using the Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic System. All classrooms and offices in use are disinfected twice weekly using the Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic System.
If anyone present onsite at Two Rivers tests positive for COVID-19, Two Rivers will follow the health and safety guidance released by DC Health and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, namely:
Notify staff and families: All members of the community will receive an email indicating that a positive case was identified. Those in close contact will receive more detailed instructions. Two Rivers will also notify DC Health.
Provide self-quarantine instructions to close contacts: Those in close contact (within the same cohort or those who spent 15 minutes or more at a distance of 6 feet or less) will be required to quarantine for 14 days. DC Contact Trace Force will interview the infected individual to identify other close contacts outside of the school, connect with all quarantined contacts to provide information on the precautions to follow while in quarantine, and assist individuals in obtaining resources they may need during their quarantine period.
Clean, sanitize, and disinfect affected area: If a positive COVID-19 case is reported, the entire building will be disinfected by our facilities management team using the Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic System, and the work area for the identified individual will be closed off until the custodial services team cleans, disinfects, and sanitizes all of the surfaces in the room. This process will occur within 24-48 hours of the reported case. The area will also be disinfected with the Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic System for 3 consecutive days after the reporting of the case.
Information about when it is safe for a student or staff member to return to school after exposure to a known case or illness can be found here.
While Two Rivers always embraces a commitment to being “crew” in our school community, the COVID-19 virus has shown us new ways in which we are all connected and must work together to ensure our community remains safe. Below is a list of ways that everyone in the Two Rivers community --- students, families, and staff members --- will all be asked to practice safety and preventive practices during this pandemic.
Mask-wearing continues to be one of the best methods to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, everyone is required to wear masks at all times (except when eating or drinking). Staff will remind students if their masks are not properly worn or supply them with a mask if it is soiled, forgotten at home, or lost.
Before entering a Two Rivers building, we all must fill out an online health screening questionnaire. An on-site screening station will be set-up for any student, family member, or staff person who has not completed the screening prior to arrival (we anticipate having a screening app available later this year).
The questions serve as a symptom checklist and inquire about close contact (less than 6 feet and more than 15 minutes) with individuals with COVID-19. It is very important that the questionnaire be completed truthfully in order to avoid the possibility of infection.
Sample Health Screening:
ASKwhether the student, staff member, or essential visitor has experienced the following symptoms.
ASK whether the student, staff member, or essential visitor has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
LOOK Visually inspect each student, staff member, and essential visitor for signs of illness.
[insert photo of screening]
Any student, staff member, or essential visitor meeting “Yes” for any of the above “ASK, ASK, LOOK” criteria shall not be admitted and shall be instructed to call their healthcare provider to determine next steps. A TR staff member will be present outside of the building entrance to monitor.
The screening results will be documented and the student will be cleared to enter.
Students or staff with pre-existing health conditions that present with specific COVID-19 – like symptoms may not be excluded on the basis of those specific symptoms if a health care provider has provided written or verbal documentation and those specific symptoms are not due to COVID-19.
Individuals who have traveled to a high-risk state or country for non-essential activities are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Travel to and from Maryland and Virginia is exempt from the Order.
We will use contactless thermometers (either wall mounted or administered by a staff member) in the lobby to take our temperature. Temperatures must be under 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and must be documented before entering the rest of the building. For students, the accompanying adult will be asked to use a contactless thermometer or read a wall mounted thermometer to take the child’s temperature and provide that temperature verbally to the front desk receptionist.
Throughout the day, we will be vigilant in noticing any manifestations of symptoms. If such symptoms appear in staff or students, we will connect with the school nurse to determine whether any underlying chronic health condition may be the cause. Where needed, the student will be escorted to an isolation room until they can be safely taken home.
We have protocols to help maintain social distance of six feet at arrival, during the day, and at dismissal.
Group Size: For indoor classes or activities, no more than 12 individuals (staff and students) will be clustered in a single group, and no more than one group will be in a Two Rivers room.
For outdoor activities, each group of 12 individuals will only interact with their own group (not mix with other groups). Each outdoor group must have extra social distance between them and the next group. There will not be any large group activities (e.g., community meeting).
Arrival: Student arrival will be staggered in time and by entryway. This will allow staff the time and space to ensure students entering complete health screening, hand sanitizing, and temperature check before being escorted to classrooms. These steps, guidance for traffic flow, and reminders to remain distant will be reinforced by signage and social distancing markings.
Parents and bus attendants will verify the completion of the online health screening for each student. Parents and bus attendants will not be permitted to escort students into classrooms. Students requiring assistance to class will be escorted by staff.
Students will be assigned an entryway and arrival time based on their classroom location. We anticipate Learning Hub @ Young students will enter through the main elementary school entrance starting at 8:30 am. In the event additional classes return onsite, preschool through 1st grade will enter school from 8:10 am - 8:30 am and grades 2 - 5 will enter school from 8:30 am - 8:50 am. Students escorting younger siblings will be allowed to enter school during the younger siblings time slot and entry. Upon dropping their sibling to class, the older student will report immediately to his/her class.
During the day: Signage on the walls and floor markings will help students distance from one another during hallway transitions, in classrooms, at recess, and on the Green.
Dismissal for classes: Similar to arrival, dismissal will be guided by staff who will ensure students follow social distancing protocols, will ensure students and parents connect without having parents come into the building, and will ensure dismissal in staggered groups using multiple entryways.
In the lead up to onsite learning (Learning Hubs, Jam Sessions, in-person classes), we encourage parents to help their students get used to wearing masks throughout the school day. This is not a natural skill, but it does become easier with practice. When students have mask-wearing stamina, everyone is safer. Below are some are some ways you can help build your child’s stamina:
Wearing cloth face masks should be a priority especially when it's hard to maintain social distance, such as on the bus, at carpool drop-off or pickup, and when entering the building.
Have multiple cloth face masks available for your child. Provide your child with a clean mask and two back-up masks each day and a clean, resealable bag for them to store the mask when they can't wear it, such as at lunch. Two Rivers will also have extra masks on hand.
Label your child's mask clearly so it's not confused with another child's and instruct your child to never share or trade masks with others.
Practice properly putting on and taking off cloth face masks with your child while avoiding touching the cloth portions.
Remind your child that they should clean their hands before and after touching their mask.
Talk to your child about the importance of wearing a face mask and model wearing them as a family.
Discuss with your child why some people may not be able to wear face masks for medical reasons.
Hand washing is a critical practice for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and another habit that can be practiced to help students prepare to be onsite with peers. Here are some ways to help your child have strong hand hygiene:
Practice hand-washing at home with your child and explain why it's important to wash his or her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before and after eating, coughing/sneezing, or adjusting a face mask. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the "Somos El Barco" song twice.
When hand-washing isn't available, suggest that your child use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Explain that he or she should avoid touching his or her eyes, nose, and mouth. Instruct your children to cover their mouths and noses with their elbows or tissues when they cough or sneeze and then wash their hands.
If your child attends in-person schooling, develop daily routines before and after school that foster healthy habits, such as packing a back-up face mask and hand sanitizer in the morning and washing their hands as soon as they come home.
Practicing social distancing with those outside your household is not only good public health behavior, but it provides a consistent message to our young learners. If they are used to this shift in behavior, school will seem less jarring, especially when we are not able to hug them!
We ask parents to pack three fresh masks every day for each of your students. Masks get dirty, rip, and get lost. They are one of the best ways to protect our community so having an adequate supply for your child is important. We will keep spares onsite just in case.
At this time, we are strictly limiting the number of individuals entering the school. Therefore, parents will not be entering the building to escort their children to their classrooms; staff will take on this role after temperature checks and hand sanitizing in the lobby. We have a dismissal protocol with staff escorting students or calling them to the exits when parents arrive.
Without proof of immunization, students will not be permitted to start in-person classes. We need families to follow requirements related to vaccines and health forms in order to prevent other disease outbreaks during this COVID-19 pandemic. The public health risks of vaccine-preventable infections, such as measles, may be as great or even greater than those of COVID-19.
Students must wash their hands as frequently as possible. Critical hand washing times are the first opportunity after transitioning from outside, before and after meals, before they need to remove their masks. If soap and water are not immediately available, hand sanitizer is a sufficient substitute.
What about going to the bathroom?
We are not going to dictate when students go to the bathroom, but we will try to group student bathroom usage to avoid cross contamination (i.e. having a group of students consistently use the same bathroom). Organized bathroom breaks will occur during transitions to and from outside and before and after meals.
What about materials sharing?
Materials sharing will be minimized. If learning materials must be shared, then teachers will be provided hand sanitizing wipes to clean materials between use, and students will either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after use.
Are student lunch times impacted?
Two Rivers students already eat snacks and lunch in their classrooms, which is the recommended meal procedure per public health guidance.