One of our parents asked some very good questions about new protocols at Sequitur, and we wanted to share the info with everyone:
The front desk will be staffed fulltime by a Sequitur mother, Michelle Crowe. (You can email her here: email@example.com or the desk directly once school starts at firstname.lastname@example.org) Medical screenings and records will be a step up from last year but not on the level of official hospital screenings or records.
Health screening: One of our doctor-dads gave us on-hand information from the CDC to help us assess general ailments, including pre-symptoms of the virus. Our general procedure is to send a child to the front desk if they are feeling ill or if a teacher sees they are clearly not well. We have general medical remedies for headaches, coughs, stings, scrapes, cuts; a hands-free temperature check, EpiPen, etc.; but we will keep close watch for the specific symptoms of the virus itself. In all cases we document the student's headache, cough, etc., and the medicine we give them. If we are unsure about medicine for a child, we call the parents. If two or more coronavirus pre-conditions are present, we will record these, isolate the student in a designated area, and contact the parents.
Health records: We created a simple entry form and file in our G-Suite secure drive system to record student health instances, from the smallest to the largest issues, and actions taken. This allows us to correlate and communicate health information to parents or parent-designated healthcare providers. Parents have full rights to their child's health info; so you can simply email myself or Michelle to get a report. Usually the reports are full of bandaids or cough drops, but it's important to have this as the occasional serious fall or health condition has occurred. We also ask parents to inform our staff ahead of time if a child has any pre-conditions or health diagnoses. During this special time of the coronavirus, we ask parents to keep us informed of any pertinent health checks at the hospital.
Time in classroom: I anticipate the new procedures having little effect on time in-classroom.
Family Travel: We have no way of tracking family travel, so we cannot require families self-quarantine after traveling. We would ask families to be wise in their entry into our community and communicate with us if they have questions about the best practice. We will take it on a case-by-case basis.
Teachers and masks: Sequitur is not mandating our faculty to wear masks. I want everyone to feel free to wear masks if they choose to do so.
Student ID's: The ID's are for students, faculty, and staff. Also, guests will get a sequitur visitor label to stick on their clothing. The purpose of the ID's is to provide more security at Sequitur. Students will be required to check-in and out of the building upon entering and exiting, except for breaks between classes. The check-in/out is a hands-free QR-code reader that records the name, grade, and time/date in a form (also in our G-Suite drive). The ID's will also be used when recording a health instance and for detention. Further, the ID's allow us to identify students by face, name, grade, etc. As a small perk, students can use the ID's wherever student discounts are offered in town.
Parents and Faculty,
I will try to be thorough but brief in this outline. If you have more questions feel free to email me (TAchord@sequiturbr.com).
Sequitur is meeting in person at Istrouma beginning August 10th. Sequitur is following and adapting the guidelines of the CDC, the Louisiana DOE and DOH, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to our context (building, schedule, student body, instructional model, finances, human resources, etc.). The AAP recommends meeting in person as students need in situ instructional education and social interaction, and we agree. Further, the posture of the CDC, DOE, and other state schools assumes a physical opening this August.
Below are the specific procedures Sequitur has in place to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading the virus:
Social Distancing -- minimize mass gatherings while avoiding isolation
Cleanliness and Prevention -- foster hygiene awareness
Health Practices Guidance
A Note on Masks
The summary: Sequitur will not mandate that students and teachers wear masks, but parents may choose to have their child do so on their own.
The details: While there is no law requiring the wearing of masks in schools, the cited information does recommend it. However, these sources also note that masks may complicate or impede the educational process and basic social functioning among youth. They conclude that each school institution must approach mask and health protocols according to its own community's situation and means.
While Sequitur aims to maximize its student body health, it does not have the logistical ability to ensure and guarantee to parents an effective oversight and implementation of mask-wearing protocol (proper positioning, excessive face-touching, eating, speaking, medical complications, hygienic disposal, etc.). As such, Sequitur will not mandate that its staff or students wear masks. However, as already noted, parents may choose to have their child wear a mask at school. Please note that parents so choosing will be solely responsible for mask supply, proper wearing, disposal, and any other related responsibilities.
July 2nd – EBR parish Mayor Broome issued a "non-punitive mandate" to wear masks. The mandate specifically says schools are to follow schools are to follow LA Dept. of Education and LA Dept. of Health guidance, which do not mandate masks for schools. Governor Edwards said that, although he encourages mask-wearing, he is not increasing restrictions beyond those of the Phase 2 plan.
July 15 – The LA governor's recent proclamation 89 JBE 2020 specifically exempts churches (our school meets at a church) from the requirement. Furthermore, the order expires July 24th.