Parent Town Hall FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
August 2020

HANDLING COVID-19 CASES and MAXIMIZING SAFETY

Q.    What is the protocol for a COVID-19 infection? Or a suspected infection?
A.    The protocol is for parents to notify the school nurse, Angela Sweeny, in the event of an infection. The student would need to quarantine for 10 days and return to campus as long as they are symptom-free following the isolation period. If there is any suspicion of infection, the student should stay away from campus and seek testing. 

Q.    If a student or teacher or member of a student’s family contracts COVID-19, what measures will be taken? What plans are in place should a teacher fall ill and a substitute is necessary?
A. 

  • STA will coordinate the use of current instructors to cover each other’s classes. 
  • STA teachers within the departments will provide support/coverage as needed.
  • STA has a trained substitute teacher ready to deploy if needed.

Q.    What is the timeframe to send notifications of potential exposure (prompt contact tracing)?
A.    Parents will be notified as soon as we are aware of potential exposure (same-day notification).

Q.    What disclosures of positive COVID-19 cases will be provided to other families?
A.    We will disclose positive case numbers, but not the names of those infected. 

Q.    Will there be a Virtual Learning option for students who do not feel comfortable returning?
A.    Yes, parents have been encouraged to reach out to the administration to discuss their concerns and various learning opportunities for their daughter.

Q.    My daughter has a compromised immune system the school should be aware of. Will she be able to stay a safe distance from others with her schedule?
A.    Classrooms are staged with 6 feet of social distancing among desks when possible. Tables used in laboratory rooms have tabletop dividers. Entrances and exits to and from each building have been routed and mapped to help prevent congestion and allow for social distancing (see question regarding passing periods below).

Q.    Is STA requiring a waiver to be signed to attend school?
A.    No, a waiver is not required.

Q.    How do we accommodate for sniffles/coughs, i.e., cold season?
A.    We will advise students to socially distance themselves away from group settings to sniffle/cough, so that they temporarily “unmask” away from others to take care of these needs.

Q.    What about the behavior of students outside of school that then translates to risk while on campus?
A.    We are doing our best to communicate the importance of healthy habits when off-campus, but will need the assistance of parents to help reinforce health norms. 

Q.    Will students who have traveled be required to quarantine before attending school?
A.    Students are only asked to quarantine away from school if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, have a positive test, or have been identified as being exposed through contact tracing.

Q.    Unless someone is medically unable, will masks be required at all times?
A.    Yes, except when eating lunch, masks are required at all times and are part of the uniform dress code.

Q.    What are the repercussions for a girl who does not wear her mask in common areas or in the presence of others?
A.    Student Behavior Reports (SBR) will be filed for students without masks and discipline measures will be taken by the administration.

Q.    How will social distancing be possible during passing periods?
A.    

  • All hallways and stairwells are marked for one-way traffic.
  • Entrances to all buildings are from the Quad side.
  • Exits are from the rear or opposite side of the buildings.
  • In the Quad, students may pass one another, but they are more than 6 feet from each other, are outdoors, and are masked.

Q.    How is the classroom "face shield" protocol going to be implemented? Will everyone have their own assigned shield in each classroom?
A.    All students and employees will be issued a face shield. Face shields are optional. When the mask is removed to eat during advisory lunch periods, wearing face shields may be required.

Q. Should students fill out the school Health Check-In form daily - even though attending virtually?
A. Yes   

Q. How do I notify STA if my daughter is exposed and quarantining?
Contact school nurse Angela Sweeny at asweeny@stteresasacademy.org, or (816) 501-0148. Someone from the school will follow up with virtual learning information for the quarantining student.


CAMPUS, HYBRID, or VIRTUAL LEARNING

Q.    To begin the school year, what plan will be followed?
A.    In-person learning  taking place on campus. 

Q.    An important component of the CDC's recommendations for schools is the consideration of community transmission. The plan to offer in-person classes was announced several weeks ago. Community transmission has increased since that time. Have we reached the level of "substantial community transmission?"
A.    Based on our partnership and recommendation from infectious disease experts and epidemiologists at MRIGlobal, we can proceed as long as our campus protocols are in place and enforced to mitigate on-campus transmission. 

Q.    Mayor Lucas and the Health Department Director recommends all Kansas City schools wait until after Labor Day to start in-person classes. Why is STA not following that recommendation?
A.    The Mayor met with heads of private schools/institutions and authorized our schools to proceed if plans were comprehensive in nature and reviewed by medical experts. 

Q.    Please explain your decision threshold matrix. For example, at what point will you make decisions to pivot to different actions such as Hybrid vs. Virtual Learning, etc.
A.    The following chart outlines the data being used to determine the Learning Plan that will be followed.

Q.    Under the Campus or Hybrid Learning Plans, if there is an infection, what is the plan for quarantine (e.g., entire school shut down, limited to classes, etc.)?
A.    The plan is to investigate, contact trace, call the local public health department, and take action to mitigate the infection. Depending on the situation, the school will determine what areas of the campus to close and disinfect, as well as what students /employees need to quarantine.

Q.    How does a student participate with class if she has to quarantine but is not positive for COVID-19?
A.    Students will be moved to virtual learning using Microsoft Teams to continue their classes remotely. 

Q.    If the school goes to Virtual Learning, will it look like a regular school day? Will the students sit in a virtual class for the duration of the class? Will each student be present on screen along with the teacher for the entire length of the class?
A.    In Virtual Learning schedules, teachers will hold virtual class three days a week through the Microsoft Teams video conferencing platform.

Q.    If Hybrid or Virtual Learning instruction is used, will a partial tuition refund be issued?
A.    No tuition will be refunded.

Q. How do I arrange for virtual learning for my daughter?
A. Please contact Barbara McCormick, Principal for Academic Affairs, (bmccormick@stteresasacademy.org) to discuss.
 

CLASSROOM PROTOCOL

Q.    What is the response from STA teachers about returning to in-person classes?
A.    Many teachers are looking forward to seeing their students in-person, but are concerned that others surrounding them take safety precautions, in and out of the classroom, to help ensure everyone's continued good health.

Q.    Will teachers adapt curriculum to individual students (if in-person and virtual learning are in place)?
A.    Differentiated instruction and curriculum adjustments are made during all modes of learning.

Q.    How are the students' classes accommodated for absences due to COVID-19?
A.    Classes are being made available remotely for students absent due to COVID-19. Absences due to students ill with COVID-19 are being waived.

SCHOOL CULTURE and EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Q.    Please clarify and explain Zero hour - what activities can be done during that time and how can students utilize it?
A.    ZERO HOUR: MONDAY- FRIDAY, 7:30 - 8:30 A.M.
Zero hour will remain for each of the three modes of learning (Campus, Hybrid, and Virtual) to further support STA’s mission to empower young women and solidify the STA sisterhood. Zero Hour may be used for a variety of student engagement opportunities, including:

  • Club/Class Officer Meetings
  • Student Leadership Meetings
  • Athletic/Sports Practices
  • Club/Class Meetings
  • Counselor Programs/Meetings
  • Service Opportunities
  • Advisory Breakfast Gatherings
  • Math Mentoring
  • Tutoring Services
  • Student Success Center Services
  • Retreats
  • Prayer and Spiritual Formation

Q.    How will extracurricular activities (sports, clubs) and social traditions be adapted?
A.    The Athletic Department is working under the guidelines of MSHSAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association). Clubs and traditions, as well as extracurricular activities, prayer experiences, and class meetings, will be modified for on campus or virtual experiences.

Q.    Will there be opportunities for theater performances this school year?
A.    Yes, the performing arts instructor has moved the musical to the spring and added a play and readers theater to the fall season. There may be a limited number of audience members so live streaming or recording of the event will be scheduled.

Q.    If school is virtual on August 19, could senior students still meet in the parking lot the morning of the first day for a socially distanced breakfast and then return home?
A.    We would meet with senior officers to formulate a plan of action if they request such an activity.  

Q.    Regarding athletics, if MSHSAA, the CDC, the Health Department, and KCMO do not definitively recommend halting athletics, even when Missouri is a hot spot, will STA continue their competitive season?
A.    The fall competitive season began on August 1 and is continuing as planned.

Q.    What is the plan if a sports team has a player that tests positive?
A.    The student would need to quarantine for 10 days and return to campus as long as they are symptom-free following the isolation period. If there is any suspicion of infection, the student should stay away from campus and seek testing. Contact tracing would occur. Parents will be notified as soon as we are aware of potential exposure (same-day notification).

Q.    If the Virtual Learning Plan is in place, how will service hours to the school be earned or counted (for National Honor Society applications)?
A.    Service hours have been modified for students. 

Q.    Will there be a revised amount of required community service hours for seniors and NHS membership?
A.    Yes, the coordinators of the service hour programs are communicating the changes to students. Service opportunities are being made available via email notifications. Service opportunities at STA are being added as options.

Q.    How will STA incorporate its beloved culture into whatever learning plan is happening at that time?
A.    

  • Spiritual development through campus ministry retreats, prayer services, daily video prayer, and advisory prayer reflection will continue to be incorporated.
  • Clubs are still being held both in person and virtually using technology to ensure all students can participate.
  • Advisory gatherings are scheduled daily for the lunch period to include prayer reflection and time to grow together.
  • Advisory meetings continue in Hybrid and Virtual models with some minor adjustments to frequency and who is on/off campus at the time.
  • Extracurricular activities will be hosted on and off campus, depending on the learning model.
  • Support services: counseling and the school nurse will be available during all learning models.
  • Academic support: the Math Hub, Fahey Learning Center, math mentors, peer tutors, and the student success center will continue to operate, providing students additional academic resources be that in person or virtually.
  • Orientation days have been lengthened to provide students more opportunities to be together in person and prepare for the unknown as well as the campus life changes.
  • Virtual Angels may be reinstituted to ensure all students have an adult checking in on them during the Virtual Learning experience.

Q.    How will lunch be addressed?
A.    

  • Students will eat with their advisory, which contains a group of 14-18 students.
  • Students may bring a brown bag lunch from home. 
  • Students may order a to-go lunch from Bistro Kitchen, using their online website.
  • A student from each advisory will pick up ordered lunches each day in the Commons/cafeteria.

Q.    Are there any plans to have students lunch outside?
A.    Tents and areas in the Quad are being allocated for advisory and grade level lunches outdoors.

Q.    Are there any plans to hold classes outside?
A.    Tents and areas in the Quad are being made available for classroom instruction.