COVID-19 Back-to-School Guidelines

What is COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19 and should stay home and contact their healthcare provider:

  • Fever 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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Transmission of COVID-19

Transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is believed to be spread mainly from person to person: Between people who are in close contact with someone with the virus.

  • The CDC defines a close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the identified positive person is isolated.
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and then those droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, possibly entering that person’s lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not considered the main reason for spread of the virus.

Practices to Prevent Transmission

Strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 will be practiced by all LASE employees:

  • social distancing (specifically, staying 6 feet away from others when you must go into a shared space)
  • frequently washing hands or use of alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • wearing cloth face coverings
  • avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • staying home when sick
  • cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces

Screening Procedures/LASE

  • Employees should self-monitor for symptoms at home prior to coming to work/school as outlined in strategies to prevent transmission.
  • Employees will adhere to screening procedures upon entry into their partner school.
  • Any temperature of 100°F or above will be considered a fever and LASE educator will be asked not to return until fever-free for 24 hours and in accordance with CDC Return Guidelines.
  • LASE Educators will notify the LASE office (and Principal of Partner School) of absences.

Screening Procedures/Students

See Partner School’s Response Plan

Face Masks or Face Shields/Staff

LASE educators will be provided face coverings including cloth face masks, reusable face shields and disposable face masks). In addition, LASE is providing extra ‘supply’ funds to each educator for cleaning products for their assigned area.

Protocol for face coverings (also refer to partner school guidelines):

  • Wear a cloth mask while on any Lutheran School Campus
  • May remove cloth mask and don face shield for forward facing instruction or communication; AND

3-6 feet from person; AND no one beside or behind you.

  • Cloth mask AND face shield must be worn for direct student educational activities.
  • Cloth masks must be worn during transitions (such as in halls or not able to physically distance).
  • Face coverings may be removed when using restroom or eating lunch as long as physical distancing is maintained.
  • If alone in classroom and door closed, may remove face covering(s).

Face Masks or Face Shields/Students

  • Students should wear family-provided cloth masks or face shields while receiving LASE instruction. If they don’t have one, LASE will provide a disposable mask.
  • Students will be encouraged to wear a face mask if there are circumstances that put them in close areas. Wearing face coverings during transition periods is highly encouraged.

When a case is Identified/LASE Educator and/or family member

  • LASE will verify there is a confirmed case of COVID19.
  • The health care provider who handles the positive test/diagnosis is required to contact the health department of a confirmed case.
  • LASE will notify Partner school there has been a confirmed case.
  • LASE will take direction from the St. Louis County/City Department of Health regarding the need for contact tracing and employee notifications.
  • LASE will work collaborative with partner school in identifying those in “close contact” with the confirmed case to determine next steps (mandatory quarantine, etc.). Close contact is currently defined as being less than 6 feet away for more than 15 minutes without a facial covering starting 48 hours before illness onset.
  • LASE faculty that are mandated to quarantine will be required to follow LASE leave policies and practices for reporting absences.
  • LASE faculty who would like to apply for FMLA or the temporary FMLA amendments covered by FFCRA should contact the LASE office for information and/or to be provided an application.
  • LASE faculty will be required to provide LASE a medical clearance to return to work following any absences resulting from a confirmed case or a quarantine mandated by a health care provider or the health department.
  • If a positive COVID19 case is identified of a family member of a LASE faculty member, LASE will contact the host school and determine next steps on a case-by-case basis regarding self-quarantine, return to work, etc.

When a case is Identified within a Partner School/Student, Partner School faculty or staff member

Alterations to LASE assigned classroom area to Promote Social Distancing

  • Desks/Tables will be rearranged in classrooms to maximize space between students, 3-6 feet apart, with elimination of seating where students face each other.
  • Lessons and practice sessions for students on when and how to wash hands will be reiterated and practiced.
  • Shared equipment, supplies and spaces will be minimalized and/or disinfected daily.

Virtual/Remote Learning

If deemed necessary by county/city ordinances and/or LASE Lutheran partner schools, students will be provided learning experiences through live and or recorded virtual sessions as well as learning activities and assignments.

The LASE Response Plan is defined by our:

Our Mission – to provide Christ-centered education to students with unique learning needs so they can grow academically, socially, and spiritually.

Our Core Beliefs: We believe:

  • educational services should reflect the uniqueness of every child.
  • we are called to reach and teach all children regardless of abilities.
  • helping children with special learning needs is a vital part of a Christian education.
  • in empowering educators to teach all children, regardless of ability.
  • in changing perceptions of special education and promoting communities of inclusion and acceptance.
  • in nurturing and cultivating lasting relationships with each other, our families, our schools and our community.