On Friday, August 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that schools throughout New York would be able to re-open for in-person instruction if they meet certain criteria. We were thrilled to hear of this announcement because our plan is to open this September with five full days of in-person instruction. We have always viewed RCA as a “brick and mortar” school where face-to-face instruction is paramount and so we are grateful that we are able to move forward with what we believe is best for our students. Our goal is to create an environment that mitigates risk as much as practically possible, but remains personal, interactive, and joyful!
Although we continue to refine some of the details of our day-to-day operation, below is our plan in plain language.
Distancing and Masking
- Students, staff, and volunteers will either be distanced six (6) feet, or separated by clear plastic barriers. When distanced or separated by barriers, individuals can remove their face coverings.
- If distancing is not possible or barriers are not present, they will be required to wear an acceptable face covering.
- If they so choose, they may use other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face shields and single-use gloves.
- Signs will be posted throughout the school reminding faculty, students, and volunteers to maintain a six (6) foot distance from other individuals.
- RCA will provide acceptable face coverings and/or other necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, students, and volunteers but everyone is encouraged to use their own acceptable face coverings and equipment if preferred.
- Students will social distance when consuming meals in school, or a physical barrier will be provided.
Cleaning and Hygiene
- All students, staff, and volunteers will be trained on proper handwashing and respiratory hygiene.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available in all common areas, including entryways into the buildings and classrooms.
- Doorknobs, restroom fixtures, and all other “high touch” surfaces will receive more frequent cleaning throughout each day of instruction.
- Whenever possible, doors and windows will be kept open to increase air circulation.
- Students will be required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after all meals.
- Students will not be allowed to share food or beverages, unless they are members of the same family.
RCA will implement daily health screenings in the following way:
- Parents will complete a daily questionnaire for all children attending RCA that day
- The questionnaire will contain questions about their students regarding the presence of Covid-19-consistent symptoms, exposure to someone who has a confirmed case of Covid-19, or travel to/from any of the states on the New York Travel Advisory list, will be asked to keep the student home until an investigation can be undertaken. The student in question will move to fully-remote instruction during the time at home.
- On the questionnaire, parents will affirm that any students attending RCA that day do not have a temperature greater than 100.0ºF. Parents who are unable to answer yes to this question will be asked to keep the student home until an investigation can be undertaken.
- For parents who do not complete the daily survey, the student will have his or her temperature checked at the point of entry with a thermal forehead scanner. Should a student need to be checked with a thermal forehead scanner, the person administering these checks will be wearing proper facial covering and other necessary PPE.
- Any student found at the entrance to RCA to have a temperature of 100.0ºF or greater will be sent directly to a designated area separated from the other students, staff, and volunteers in order to isolate until a caregiver is able to retrieve him or her. An adult will supervise the student who has been isolated until a caregiver is able to retrieve him or her.
- Staff and volunteers will undergo the same process and stay at home if they answer yes to any of the survey questions or have a temperature higher than 100.0ºF.
- Where practicable, visitors, guests, contractors, and vendors seeking to enter the school space will complete the health screening questionnaire and temperature check.
Triggers and Closings
- Upon learning of any infected individual within a cohort, an attempt will be made immediately to trace the origin of the infection/exposure. One case will not trigger a change in the school’s instructional approach.
- Upon learning of more than one infected individual in which the origin of infection cannot be effectively traced to an outside source, consideration of moving learning back to the home environment via remote instruction will begin and possibly conclude with remote instruction for all students.
- In case RCA decides to move to remote instruction due to Covid-19, RCA will do so for two weeks.
- In the event of remote instruction, each teacher will have “office hours” available, communicated to families via email, telephone, or text.
- In case of remote instruction, RCA will offer both synchronous and asynchronous instruction daily to allow students to continue interacting with their teachers and classmates.
In case of a mandate to close from state or local governments, school will be moved to a hybrid model: in-person instruction two days each week, and remote instruction for the remaining weekdays.
- Our hybrid model will involve meeting in-person on Mondays and Fridays
- On M/F, there will be up to two hours of instruction in the morning, and up to two hours instruction in the afternoon, with lunch in between. This instruction will take place in locations other than our full-time facility.
- Each meeting will include math, phonics, and spelling (Grades 1/2 only) and our history and science instruction will include presentations and fairs
- We will also have instruction in art, music, picture study, poetry, Bible, Great Circles/geography, and literature discussion (literature will be read at home and then discussed on In-Person Days)
- Supply and lesson pick ups would occur on Friday
- Our hybrid model will involve meeting remotely on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- On remote days, 1st and 2nd grade will have two hours of online instruction. Most of this instruction will be synchronous and a portion will be asynchronous, allowing for greater flexibility on the part of our parents.
- On remote days, kindergarten will have between ninety minutes and two hours of online instruction. Most of this instruction will be synchronous and a portion will be asynchronous, allowing for greater flexibility on the part of our parents.
- Math, phonics, and spelling (Grade 1/2 only) will be done each day. Instruction will also include science, geography, and history.
Parent Involvement and Office Hours
- Writing (Grades 1/2 only): Our writing program is a four day a week program that consists of copy work, narration, and dictation (2nd grade only). These can be easily done by a parent and are not conducive to a virtual classroom.
- Literature: The reading can be done at home with a parent or individually. Parents will be responsible for making sure the daily reading is complete according to the schedule the teacher creates. Discussion and instruction will occur on Meeting Days.
- Additional practice: Parents may choose to practice math facts, phonics/spelling rules, and catechisms/recitations at home as they are able.
- Each teacher will have a minimum of one hour daily where they will be on call and available to aid parents or answer questions via phone call, text message, or scheduled virtual meetings. Communications made to teachers after 7:00 PM, M-F will be returned the following business day.
Official Plan Document
- Please click here to view the most recent update to our plan as we have submitted it to the New York State Department of Education (Updated August 6, 2020)
Join our community!
With our new social distancing practices put into place, our classes are quickly filling up. We are still accepting students so if you are interested in our school, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a phone appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!