The following was prepared with the assistance of the COVID-19 Task Force of Oakland Catholic High School, the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and input from members of the medical community and Oakland Catholic families. It includes any orders, directives, and/or clarifications from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Governor’s Office, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and the Allegheny Health Department. It is understood that this is a fluid site that will be edited as necessary as circumstances and/or government or diocesan directions change.
- Our Continued Mission
- Reopening Models
- Safety Protocols
- Health Monitoring
- Exclusion From & Return to School Form
- Travel Considerations
- Athletics Plan
Oakland Catholic High School Administration, Faculty, and Staff remain fully committed to the students and the mission of the school. Each model (Full Reopening, Hybrid, Fully Remote) has been built to maximize instructional time, engage students in active and interactive learning, and provide the full OC educational experience during this pandemic. Academics, faith and spiritual formation, extracurricular activities, and service to one another and the greater community will be integrated into each model of instruction.
The support of our extensive community (faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents, board of directors, alumnae, former parents, and friends) has been a constant and noteworthy element of the OC educational experience, and we thank you all in advance as we embark on another impactful year filled with excellence, tradition, and legacy. Your collaboration with the policies, measures, and protocols outlined in this document will ensure that we can maintain our responsibilities as committed educators, enthusiastic learners, and ethical global citizens.
As a faith-based community, grounded in the gospels and Catholic Social Teaching, we believe strongly that “We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be.” We take that obligation to care deeply for one another very seriously. The reopening plan underscores our Christian duty to protect others. As an educational community, we engage in good teaching for the benefit of each student’s academic development. The strength of the OC educational experience extends far beyond the physical spaces we inhabit. It is fueled by research, best practices, professional development, and collaboration. It is supported via multiple modes of communication, selflessness, and a commitment to excellence. In these times, Oakland Catholic High School remains fully committed to its mission of education, faith, leadership, and community, seeing opportunities within the challenges presented to our world.
Based on research compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, CDC and WHO guidelines, data from the Allegheny County and PA Health Departments, examination of successful school re-openings in other nations, multiple consultations with health professionals about how to mitigate exposure to COVID-19, and with the guidance and approval of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the OCHS Board of Directors, Oakland Catholic High School has devised the following reopening plan for the Academic Year 2020-2021 that will allow for both in-person classes and remote learning, as circumstances dictate or permit.
Policies, measures, and protocols have been created to facilitate a smooth and effective transition between any of the three scenarios: a Full Reopening, a Hybrid blend of on-site and remote learning, and a Fully Remote experience. The shift from one model of instruction to another will depend on the direction of the virus, new information as it becomes available, and a change in overall circumstances. Throughout the coming school year, or until a vaccine has been developed and broadly administered, parents will have the option of choosing a fully remote mode of instruction for their daughter if that best suits her personal situation.
We look forward with our usual excitement to what will most certainly prove to be a very memorable and impactful school year!
The plan is designed with the mission, philosophy, and identity of the school at the forefront so that the students receive the full OC educational experience regardless of the manner in which that experience is provided.
A primary goal of the plan is to ensure the safety and security of all faculty, staff, students, and families to the maximum extent possible.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Oakland Catholic has been committed to delivering an uninterrupted academic program that is grounded in consistency, familiarity, and pedagogical excellence.
The plan is built with the understanding that we remain in a rapidly evolving situation that demands quick and effective transitions on the part of administration, faculty, staff, and students if/when there is a surge, new information, or a change in circumstances that require adaptations to the existing educational plan.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. -1 John 4:11
Oakland Catholic High School’s reopening plan is designed with the flexibility to move seamlessly between one of three scenarios: ability to reopen fully with some safety measures in place but no social distancing; a hybrid plan that incorporates multiple safety measures and allows for social distancing; and provision of education within a fully remote environment. Currently, and in accordance with state and diocesan requirements, masks are required of all students, faculty, and staff whenever there is less than six feet of social distancing in place or indoors. Mask breaks of no more than ten minutes ARE permitted provided that six feet or more of social distancing is in place in a classroom setting. (This is an added benefit of a hybrid model; a full reopening can only guarantee three feet of social distancing within a classroom.) Mask breaks are also permitted outdoors where six feet of social distancing can be maintained. As stated in the most recent directives from the PA Department of Education,
“Pre-K to 12 schools must consider the safety and health of all adult staff, in addition to students, as well as balance the educational imperative to open schools to in-person instruction with the public health imperative to mitigate COVID-19 infection and transmission rates.” ... All Pre-K to12 schools should implement strategies that limit the number of individuals in classrooms and other learning spaces, and interactions between groups of students. All schools should have protocols for distancing student desks/seating and other social distancing practices that allow at least 6 feet of separation among students and staff throughout the day to the maximum extent feasible.”
At the time of this plan’s development, Oakland Catholic High School anticipates opening the academic year 2020-2021 in a hybrid scenario so that the school community can more easily adjust to the safety measures in place, acclimate to the new school year on a de-densified campus, and maximize the teacher/student interactions when students are on campus for the purpose of assessment, instruction, and evaluation. In addition, a hybrid plan allows for six-feet of social distancing in every classroom. A “mask break” is therefore possible when a student is indoors or outside, and at least six feet away from others.
Under a full reopening, all students, faculty, and staff would travel to campus daily and follow a Monday to Friday class schedule that would be adjusted in order to accommodate longer waiting times in the mornings for temperature checks. Since lunch in a full reopening constitutes a large gathering, students would be assigned to classrooms for lunch in small groups and would rotate over the course of a week for opportunities to eat in the cafeteria in a slightly larger group. Wednesdays would continue to be used as Collaborative Community Wednesdays (CCWs) for targeted learning, remote lecture presentations, specific program delivery to grade levels, retreats, and other alternative educational experiences. The remaining four days of the week would be preserved schedule-wise, to the maximum extent possible, for instructional purposes. It is important to note that during a pandemic, a full reopening does not mean a typical school day such as school during pre-pandemic times. Safety measures such as temperature checks upon arrival, masks worn at all times except when eating, at least 3 feet of separation between student desks, directional hallways and stairwells, assigned seating for every class, lunch eaten in individual classrooms as opposed to the cafeteria, or in identified large areas such as the AUX Gym or Lecture Hall, and restrictions on large assemblies, gatherings, major events, and field trips would continue to be elements of this plan and all other plans. Recommended social distancing of six feet would not be in place at any point during the school day during a full reopening, but 3 feet of distance is required and restricts partner and group work in a classroom. In a full reopening, athletic, extracurricular, and small group activities after school or during CCWs would be expected to enact six feet of social distance to the maximum extent feasible since more physical space would be available after dismissal of most students.
Implementation of a full reopening plan will take effect quickly if circumstances in Allegheny and surrounding counties improve with regard to community transmission and spread of the virus, and new information/directives from the Diocese, Health Department, PA Department of Education, county and state governing bodies are received. Once a vaccine has been developed, tested, and broadly administered, regardless of when that moment occurs within the school year, Oakland Catholic will immediately switch to a full reopening plan. Safety measures stated above and below will be adjusted or adapted according to the circumstances, information, and directions at the time.
Under current circumstances, and with the safety of all students, faculty, and staff in mind, Oakland Catholic High School intends to bring all students back to campus beginning on August 24, 2020 under a hybrid plan. With only half of the student population and all faculty/staff on campus each day, a hybrid plan allows for the six feet of social distancing stated in the diocesan plan and in the guidelines of the state plan and CDC, in addition to all other safety measures. For the first week of school, incoming freshmen will attend every day of the week for a comprehensive orientation program. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be scheduled throughout the first week on specific days to allow for small group activities and to move through their course schedules. The hybrid plan will be adequately communicated to all students and their parents, with verbal and video training methods in place. Social distancing and all safety precautions will be followed as outlined herein. In addition to being aligned to both diocesan and state guidelines, starting the year with a hybrid plan will allow all students to adjust to the measures in place, meet teachers, acclimate to the new school year, and benefit from periodic mask breaks even when indoors.
After that first week of school, students will attend classes in a hybrid blend of on-site and remote learning with freshmen being on campus three days of most weeks, and all other students being on campus two to three days per week, depending on the programs being delivered and/or attended by grade levels and individual students. A hybrid schedule permits adequate social distancing both within classrooms and in public spaces, and is in compliance with CDC directives and medical consultations on how to minimize risk of exposure/transmission within a closed setting over an extended period of time. The exact days that a student will be on campus will depend on the student’s last name and/or grade level, course schedule, transportation, cleaning protocols, campus capacity, and family/individual risk circumstances. On-campus and remote learning will be synchronous, meaning that the same course schedule and class times will be followed regardless of which day a student is in a class physically or attending from home. This facilitates consistency across instruction, class interaction whether classmates are on campus or at home, and establishment of a routine so that students are not rising early two or three mornings a week but then breaking that school routine to sleep in late on remote days. It also permits an uninterrupted experience to those students who may be attending remotely for extended periods of time due to personal health situations that prevent them from attending in person, contraction of COVID-19, or exposure to someone in or out of school who has contracted COVID-19. *See tables outlined later in this document for quarantine protocols when sick, exposed to the virus, or confirmed with having the virus.
Instead of a 6-day cycle of classes, Oakland Catholic will follow a Monday to Friday schedule for the coming school year in all three plans. By doing so, we are able to increase instructional minutes, minimize the number of study halls, and ensure an easy transition between plans as circumstances with regard to the virus evolve. Homeroom period has been eliminated in order to minimize unnecessary exposure; first period has been extended to allow for attendance at the end of the period. Upon arrival to campus on their designated days, students will report to an assigned entrance for a temperature check and proceed directly to their first period class. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday will be “regular” instructional days during which classes will be taught simultaneously to those on campus and those learning remotely. Wednesdays will serve as Collaborative Community Wednesdays (CCWs) with targeted learning on campus for different classes by grade level, specific program instruction that needs to be conveyed to all students, retreat and spiritual programs, and club/service/retreat activities. Wednesdays will also provide teachers the ability to hold office hours and additional educational activities that will be conducted in smaller groups over the course of the school day. Under a hybrid plan, Wednesdays will also provide grades to come together as a complete class. Freshmen will be in attendance on campus almost every Wednesday. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors will attend school on campus on Wednesdays if they are scheduled for a specific learning or small group activity on that day, or if a program specifically designed for their entire class is scheduled to occur on that Wednesday. In addition, sophomores, juniors, and seniors will come to campus on Wednesdays according to individual learning and extracurricular activities that are offered. Further details and specific schedules for this hybrid model will be distributed in August when student and faculty class schedules have been finalized. Wednesday schedules will be much more fluid and will be released on a monthly basis.
As indicated above, when circumstances permit or require a change to this hybrid schedule (fully remote in the case of a surge or shift of the Commonwealth to the Red Phase; or full reopening if the virus abates), the schedule outlined above will allow for a seamless transition. If fully remote classes are required for an extended period of time (longer than 2-3 weeks), a different time schedule of classes will be followed to allow for more substantive learning and less screen time for the students.
If the school must be closed completely for longer than 2-3 weeks, and/or schools are directed to shut down due to diocesan or government directives, Oakland Catholic High School will continue the OC educational experience online for all students. Unlike the remote-learning that was instituted in March, 2020, in the sudden crisis of an emergency situation, Oakland Catholic faculty and administrators, who did exceptionally well last spring, have an even better understanding of how to teach, engage, interact, and collaborate within a fully remote environment. With our 1:1 laptop program, Schoology, Zoom, and other innovative programs, Oakland Catholic teachers are both equipped and trained to conduct effective remote learning.
A different time schedule for classes in a fully remote environment will be implemented if the fully remote period extends beyond 2-3 weeks. This remote schedule will accommodate longer classes and longer breaks between classes, with only 4-5 periods per day as opposed to the nine periods conducted per day under the full reopening or hybrid plans. Reflective of a block schedule implemented in some high schools, the Oakland Catholic Fully Remote Plan schedule will maximize instructional time and allow all classes, students, and teachers to successfully maintain progress and content coverage across all courses so that the academic year remains on track.
Students who are immunocompromised, or living in a household with an immunocompromised family member, will have the option of taking all classes remotely. Parents who choose this option for their daughters will be asked to commit to the decision for a semester at a time. At the end of each semester, the decision can be reevaluated and changed, according to the student’s situation.
All members of the Oakland Catholic High School Community should be mindful that as long as there are cases of COVID-19 in the community, there are no strategies that can completely eliminate transmission risk within a school population. The goal is to keep transmission as low as possible to safely continue school activities. With the safety measures and policies outlined in this plan, Oakland Catholic strives to minimize both exposure and transmission to the maximum extent possible. It is incumbent on all students, faculty, staff, coaches, and parents to strictly follow all procedures, protocols, and policies in order to achieve this level of mitigation.
- Masks / Face Coverings
- Social Distancing
- Student Transportation, Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
- Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfection & Ventilation
- Other Protocols
Policy/procedure regarding face coverings for all Faculty, Staff, and Students:
The use of face coverings/masks will be taught and reinforced throughout the year. Face coverings must be worn by all faculty, staff, and students indoors, and outdoors whenever six feet of social distancing can not be maintained consistently. (PA state directive, PA Department of Education, Diocese of Pittsburgh, CDC)
Cloth face coverings/masks should not be placed on:
- Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face coveringwithout assistance
- Anyone age 2 or younger
Face covering/mask breaks are permitted during the school day under the following circumstances:
- Eating or drinking when social distancing is in place
- Outdoors when six feet or more of social distancing is in place and can be consistently maintained
- Indoors in a classroom situations for no longer than ten minutes at a time when six feet or more of social distancing is in place
Cloth face coverings/masks are designed to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms (asymptomatic). Recent research has indicated that wearing a mask also provides additional protection to the wearer.
Classrooms/learning spaces organized to mitigate spread
- Unlike an elementary school setting, it is not possible from an educational perspective to keep a group of high school students restricted to one homeroom. A college-preparatory high school experience requires movement of students from class to class, and options for students to participate in a large variety of classes at different levels of intensity. Like many colleges, Oakland Catholic believes that all students benefit immensely from a full academic experience that incorporates an understanding of abilities and preferences in academic pursuits. Oakland Catholic has committed to preserving the excellence of its academic program by ensuring six feet of social distancing to the maximum extent possible to avoid pods that limit students in their academic pursuits, preferences, and levels of ability.
- Student desks in a classroom will be spaced 6 feet apart in the hybrid model and at a minimum of three feet apart in a full reopening model. All desks will face in the same direction for both models. As noted in the PA Department of Education guidelines, “When multiple students are in one enclosed space, such as a classroom, seat students at least 6 feet apart and facing the same direction, to the maximum extent feasible.” As of July 24, 2020, at the time of finalizing this document, and as noted earlier in the document, a mandatory mask requirement is in effect across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for all individuals over the age of 2, when indoors and six feet of social distancing can not be maintained.
- Students and faculty have each been provided a school-owned laptop as part of our Mission Forward 1:1 laptop initiative. Teachers also have iPads for instruction. Classrooms will be equipped with cameras and microphones as needed for streaming in-person instruction to those students working remotely during the hybrid model, as a result of quarantine, or by choice to remain remote even when the hybrid model or a full reopening plan are in effect.
- Students will be provided their own books and supplies to the maximum extent possible. Any shared equipment or supplies will be subject to rigorous cleaning protocols between use. Online textbooks will be utilized as available to reduce the number of textbooks students are required to carry.
- Hand sanitation stations have been placed in strategic locations around campus and will be available in each classroom.
- Large gatherings/assemblies in public spaces on campus will be restricted to accommodate social distancing; no whole-school assemblies, field trips, travel, or outside visitors to campus beyond essential consultants, approved individuals, and emergency personnel will be permitted until circumstances and/or information about the virus changes and new directives are received. Masses will be conducted according to the guidelines for parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where CDC guidelines for social distancing and masks are followed.
- Students will have assigned seats in classes so that contact tracing can be more easily facilitated if a student/staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to the virus.
Communal spaces organized to mitigate spread
- Halls and stairways will have designated directions and will be clearly marked.
- Students and staff will be assigned entry and exit points to the buildings at arrival and dismissal, depending on the classroom to which they are heading and the classroom from which they are leaving. Faculty, Staff, and Students will all receive instruction on these directional modifications. Signage will be visible throughout the campus.
- Homeroom period has been eliminated to minimize unnecessary interactions and potential exposure. Attendance will be taken during the first period, which has been extended, and during each class period. Remote students will be considered in attendance by virtue of logging in and participating in one or more of the activities during the designated class.
- Students will keep their belongings with them all day to eliminate the use of lockers, limit hallway interactions, and ensure social distancing between classes.
Policies and procedures governing use of other communal spaces within the school building
- Both buildings on campus will be used fully to allow for social distancing to the maximum extent possible.
- The Auxiliary Gym and other large spaces (lecture hall, theater, Donahue Pavilion, ARC, etc.) will be used as needed to accommodate groups of students with adequate social distancing. Spaces with multiple doorways will have designated entrances and exits.
- Signage, floor decals, tape, etc. will be installed to ensure that staff and students remain at least six feet apart in lines and at other times, including but not limited to the School Office, Welcome Center, Counseling Offices, Dining area, etc.
- Shared spaces will be adapted to de-densify the areas with social distancing in place; spaces will be monitored, used in a staggered fashion, and regularly disinfected.
- A fourth lunch period has been added to the schedule to reduce the number of students in any one lunch period. Acrylic barriers will be added to all lunch tables to mitigate exposure even when social distancing might not be possible. Seating at lunch tables will be restricted and staggered in such a way to minimize direct exposure while eating. Masks do not have to be worn while eating, but must be worn up until seated at the table and eating, or when moving from the table to another location. The cafeteria area has been extended to the large hallway outside the Senior Lounge Area, as well as to the outdoor patio and courtyard area. *In a hybrid model, students will be able to eat in the cafeteria and extended area with some level of social distancing in place. However, In a full reopening plan, the cafeteria will not be available to all students. In a full reopening plan, some students will be assigned to the cafeteria and others to classrooms for their lunch periods in order to maintain at least three feet of social distancing..
- Restrooms will be limited to no more students than there are stalls, and will be monitored carefully. No lingering will be permitted.
- Whenever possible, classes can and will be held outdoors on our campus, if weather permits.
- Transportation is managed by each school district. As districts release individual reopening plans, they will be shared with the school and families will be informed.
- Private bus transportation is available to designated areas where transportation is not available by the home district. Families in these areas have the opportunity to pay a minimal fee for transportation from these areas. Private bus transportation is arranged and managed through Central Catholic High School. At the time of this writing, the intention is to assign one student per seat on the bus.
- The campus parking lot is available for faculty, staff, and students who have received and purchased a parking permit based on the criteria outlined in the Parent/Student Handbook.
- Students who are driven to school must be dropped-off on the school side of Craig Street. Cars without an Oakland Catholic parking permit will not be permitted into the parking lot in the morning for drop-offs and in the afternoon for pick-ups. Once dropped off in front of the school on Craig Street, students will proceed to their designated entrance for a temperature check before heading to their first period class.
- Only permitted cars and school buses will enter the parking lot in the morning and at dismissal. Buses will drop off students in the drive-around circle outside the Campus Entrance; from there, students will proceed to their designated entrance for a temperature check before heading to their first period class.
- Staff will be posted at eight different entrances for temperature checks no earlier than 7:20am. No student will be permitted in either building prior to 7am. If a student arrives between 7:00am and 7:20am, she must enter the cafeteria via the patio door entrance where a staff member will check her temperature. She will be directed to wait in the cafeteria until 7:30am, at which time, she will proceed to her first period class.
The school buildings are always cleaned in the summer in preparation for the return to school. All hard-surface floors have been stripped, cleaned, and waxed. All carpeting has been professionally cleaned. All hard surfaces, including furniture, countertops, window sills, windows, doors, stairwells, hallways, and restrooms have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. All fabric furniture has been professionally cleaned. Disinfecting misters were purchased and have been used in any high traffic or high touchpoint areas. Cleaning is always done with soap and water, followed by the application of an EPA-approved disinfectant (see www.epa.gov). Disinfectants differentiate themselves from other cleaning products by killing germs with chemicals rather than removing them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), disinfectants should be used on surfaces that have already been cleaned of dirt and grime—especially high-touch surfaces—to prevent the spread of diseases. Frequently touched surfaces, such as desks, light switches, keyboards, will be cleaned regularly throughout the school day and disinfected after school each day.
The school has purchased products recommended by the CDC and EPA for the coming year, in addition to specific equipment and cleaning gear that will facilitate regular deep cleaning and disinfecting of different areas of campus buildings. Additional hand sanitizer stations have been installed and/or placed throughout the building. Cleaning with disinfectant wipes, etc. will take place throughout the school day. At the end of each school day, a complete cleaning of both buildings will take place with a deeper cleaning and disinfection process being executed at least twice a week and more frequently in the case of possible exposure to the virus.
Frequency of cleaning, sanitation, disinfecting, and ventilation
The initial cleaning will have been done before the students and staff return to school. Once school is in session, staff can conduct the regular cleaning of areas, particularly highly touched surfaces, using a product that is both a cleaner and a disinfectant. During the day, while school is in session, the staff will regularly wipe door knobs, railings, and other frequently touched surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner. Restroomswillbemonitored,cleaned,anddisinfectedregularlythroughouttheschoolday.As mentioned above, hand sanitizing stations have been strategically located throughout both buildings for easy access at all times for everyone.Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings. The latest information available on how long COVID-19 remains on surfaces will be used to determine the schedule of cleaning.In a study conducted by a team from the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong (Alex W.H. Chin, Julie T.S. Chu, Mahen R.A. Perera, Kenrie P.Y. Hui, Hui-Ling Yen, Michael C.W. Chan, Malik Peiris, and Leo L.M. Poon), their experiments found the virus to be detectable on multiple surfaces. In particular, parents, students, faculty, and staff should be aware of the following:
- COVID-19 is detectable on the inner layer of a mask for up to four days
- COVID-19 is detectable on the outer layer of a mask for up to seven days
For maximum effectiveness, masks should be washed daily and never shared. As more information on the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus has become available, it has been widely accepted that although the virus lives on many hard surfaces, the main mode of transmission is human-to-human contact. With that said, the careful practices of hygiene, frequent hand washing, and minimizing touching your face significantly reduce the risk of transmission and will be regularly reinforced throughout the school day.
All faculty, staff, and students will be trained on appropriate methods to keep surfaces, learning spaces, classrooms, desks, hands, materials, etc. clean. Maintenance staff will be trained on the process to keep restrooms, hallways, staircases, floors, banisters, ventilations systems, classrooms, etc clean and sanitized. Training will be provided during Professional Development sessions in August; reinforced verbally, in communications and with signage; and repeated as necessary throughout the school year. In addition, training videos will be used to assist faculty, staff, and students with proper hygiene, cleaning, and sanitizing procedures related to student and staff safety during the school day. Training verification forms will be signed by faculty and staff to verify preparedness to implement cleaning protocols during the school day.
Hygiene routines will be implemented throughout the school day
- All faculty, staff, administrators, and students will be asked to self-screen prior to leaving for school, and remain home if experiencing any symptoms or fever.
- Temperatures of students will be taken by staff as students enter a building upon initial arrival. If a student’s temperature registers at 100F or higher, the student will be asked to step aside and wait for a minute or two. Her temperature will be taken two more times over the next 2-3 minutes. If the average temperature of all three times is 100F or higher, the student will be directed to the appropriate isolation place and her parent(s) will be notified so that she can be picked up and brought home.
- Regular cleaning of restrooms will occur throughout the day.
- Hand sanitizer stations have been strategically placed throughout campus and students will be expected and directed to clean hands upon entering/exiting a building, a classroom, or any public space.
- Students will bring their own water bottles to school. Water fountains will not be in use, except for the water bottle refilling stations.
- Windows will be opened as much as possible to allow for outside air to circulate, and classroom doors will be left open where possible and as safety permits.
- Traffic flow between classes will be controlled with directional hallways and stairwells which will be clearly marked.
- High-touch surfaces, especially stair handrails, door handles, counters, desks, tables, chairs, bathrooms, computers, books, etc. will be cleaned frequently by staff, individuals, and maintenance.
Visitor and volunteer policies implemented to mitigate spread
- No outside visitors or volunteers, including parents, will be permitted on campus unless it is a specifically contracted individual, or cleared and approved by administration prior to the arrival of the visitor. Approved visitors will be asked to self-screen prior to coming to campus and will receive a temperature check in the Welcome Center upon arrival. If the visitor’s temperature check measures at 100F or higher, the visitor will not be allowed to remain on campus.
- Masks and social distancing will be required of all those who are approved to be on campus.
- Meetings or presentations with outside individuals and entities will be held virtually to the maximum extent possible.
Stakeholders will be trained on social distancing and other safety protocols
- All staff, faculty, administration, and students will be trained on all safety protocols.
- Training will be provided by the assigned School Nurse and the COVID/Pandemic Team. Training for all staff and faculty will occur two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year. Students will be instructed in all protocols via videos and in-person during orientation sessions, during the first few weeks of school while in the hybrid model, and throughout the school year as necessary.
- All faculty and staff will be required to pass a minimum competency test that will check for understanding on proper school procedures at the conclusion of the trainings.
- Monitoring students, staff, and others on campus to ensure that they are healthy and not exhibiting signs of illness
- Monitoring Logistics
- Policy for quarantine or isolation if a staff, student, or other community member becomes ill or notifies the school of exposure to an individual confirmed positive for COVID-19
- Staff responsible for making decisions regarding quarantine or isolation requirements of staff or students
- Determining which students are willing/able to return and accommodating students who are unable or uncomfortable to return
- Notification of confirmed staff or student illness, or exposure, and resulting changes to the local Health and Safety Plan
- Stakeholders will be trained on protocols for monitoring student and staff health
- Preparedness to implement as a result of the training be measured
- All faculty, staff, students, and outside consultants will be asked to self-screen prior to leaving home and checking for possible symptoms. If any symptom is present, or the individual has even a slight fever, the teacher, staff member, or student is asked to remain home until symptom-free and fever-free for at least 72 hours.
- Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or 2 or more of the following: lack of smell or taste (without congestion), sore throat, chills, muscle pain, headache, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea.
- Temperatures of students will be taken by staff as students enter either building upon initial arrival. If a student’s temperature registers at 100F or higher, the student will be asked to step aside and wait for a minute or two. Her temperature will be taken two more times over the next 2-3 minutes. If the average temperature of all three times is 100F or higher, the student will be directed to the appropriate isolation place and her parent(s) will be notified so that she can be picked up and brought home.
- Pre-approved visitors will have their temperature checked in the Welcome Center upon arrival and asked to confirm that they have had no symptoms according to the monitoring form reference above. If a visitor has a temperature of 100F or higher, exhibits any visible symptoms, or indicates that s/he has experienced symptoms in the last 24 hours, they will not be permitted to remain on campus.
- Temperatures of students will be taken by staff as students enter either building upon initial arrival. If a student’s temperature registers at 100F or higher, the student will be asked to step aside and wait for a minute or two. Her temperature will be taken two more times over the next 2-3 minutes. If the average temperature of all three times is 100F or higher, the student will be directed to the appropriate isolation place and her parent(s) will be notified so that she can be picked up and brought home. A member of the staff will be stationed at the Campus Entrance for temperature check until 8:30am for any students who arrive tardy. If students arrive after 8:30am, they are to report directly to the School Office via the Campus Entrance and their temperatures will be checked in the School Office.
- Staff will be assigned to the door to take the temperatures of the students as they enter the building.
- Any student who is exhibiting signs of illness will be sent to the School Office where the parent/guardian will be contacted by the office staff.
- Monitoring of staff will take place daily.
- Staff will self-monitor at home.
- In the event that a staff member is deemed ill, he or she will be directed to return home and a substitute will be provided as soon as possible.
- Monitoring of outside consultants or approved visitors will take place as needed/as they enter the main building. All approved outside visitors will enter via the Main Entrance on Craig Street through the Welcome Center, where their temperatures will be checked.
- The individual who is ill or who informs a member of administration or a member of the school office that they have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be sent to/retained in the office and sent home immediately. If the individual is exhibiting shortness of breath, a high fever, or other distressing symptoms, 911 will be alerted so that the individual can be transported to a healthcare facility.
- The area occupied by a sick individual will be closed off so that respiratory droplets can settle, and then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected over the next 24-48 hours. (Ideally, an area will be closed off for at least 24 hours prior to cleaning staff cleaning and disinfecting the area.)
- If the individual is staff personnel, the workspace of the sick individual will be closed off and then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after 24 hours of disuse.
- All areas that the sick person may have used, such as offices, bathrooms, and common areas, will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Outside doors and windows will be opened to maximum capacity and as safety permits to increase air circulation in the areas where the infected individual was.
- The isolation area where the sick student/staff member was kept until departure will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after use.
- Individuals that have had close contact with the staff/student that has become ill may be asked to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms.
- Other students and staff who have not had close contact will be monitored for signs of illness.
- In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, school administrators will notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19, while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- The Principal and/or other Administrator will be responsible for making decisions regarding quarantine or isolation requirements of faculty, school staff, or students. The President or Vice President will be responsible for making decisions regarding quarantine or isolation requirements of Advancement and Business Office personnel.
- Conditions to be met prior to the return to school for a staff or student with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 are outlined on the Exclusion From and Return To School table in the full document.
The school will follow state & local guidance in determining when a student or staff member may return to school after a potential exposure to an active COVID-19 infection. Students and staff members will be permitted to return to school/work after the prescribed self-quarantine time period, and in accordance with the “Exclusion From and Return to School Requirements Form” (see tab above). Any individual who was out of school with symptoms must be symptom-free for a 72-hour period prior to returning to school. If a student does not wish to return because she is unable or uncomfortable to return, she may continue to participate in the classroom instruction remotely.
School families will be notified through the parent alert system (School Messenger) on the same day that the school is alerted of a positive COVID-19 case. In the communication, they will be notified if there are needed changes to current school operational protocol. Notifications will be sent via email and text. *Parents should opt into the School Messenger text alerts as instructed by Administration in order to receive the most recent communications. School Messenger works in conjunction with PowerSchool and will send text alerts to the cell phone number recorded in PowerSchool. Please contact the Principal/Assistant Principal with questions.
- All Faculty and staff members will be trained on how to check for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what the proper procedure is once someone has been identified.
- All Family members will be provided with information on how to check for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC, PDE). Training for the Faculty and staff will be conducted online andin-person in August of 2020.
- School families will receive educational materials (flyers, videos, letters, and memos) on the following safety actions: Enhanced sanitation practices, Physical distancing guidelines and their importance, Use of face coverings, Screening practices, COVID-19 specific symptom identification (CA guidance, CDC, PDE).
Symptoms to Watch for According to the CDC
Staff and students should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
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 these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
|Return to School After...|
|1: No symptoms||No||Not applicable|
|2: COVID-19 symptoms||Yes||Individual should be tested for COVID-19. Individual may return|
|3: Positive COVID-19 PCR test with symptoms||Yes|
|4: Positive COVID-19 PCR test without symptoms||Yes||10 days after the PCR test was collected, or two negative test results at least 24 hours apart; the individual's doctor should work with an infectious disease expert at the local health department to determine if individual is likely to spread COVID-19 to others and needs to stay home longer.|
|5: Close contact with symptoms. |
**According to CDC & medical guidelines, "close contact"
means any individual within
6 ft of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.
|Yes||Individual should be tested for COVID-19.|
|6: Close contact of COVID-19 without symptoms||Yes||14 days after the date of last exposure the person with COVID-19|
|7: Secondary contact of COVID-19 with symptoms |
(A "secondary contact" is exposure to a close contact)
|Yes||Individual should be tested for COVID-19.|
|8: Secondary contact of COVID-19 without symptoms||No|
Recognizing that some families travel during the school year, it is important to note ways that families can help to mitigate the risk to others upon their return. Where you go, how you get there, and what you do there will determine your need to quarantine or ability to attend school immediately upon your return. The Oakland Catholic community will rely on the good judgment of each of its members to keep other students and teachers healthy should your family have the need to travel. The following questions are important to determine whether self-quarantine is required after travel.
If your family is planning to travel or has traveled at all, and especially if you have traveled via airplane or via other forms of public transportation (i.e., you’re not traveling in your personal vehicle) to a location designated as a “hot spot” by the PA Department of Health(https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx), please ask yourself the following four questions upon your return home.
Did you practice essential health and safety protocols while traveling? Specifically, did you wear a mask in public places, practice social distancing, and frequently hand wash/sanitize while avoiding touching your face?
While travelling, did you avoid large groups (>25 individuals) and/or if you were around larger groups, did you practice essential health and safety protocols including wearing a mask, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, and social distancing?
Are you free of COVID-19-like symptoms including a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, and body aches?
While traveling, did you avoid exposure/contact with any individual that was exhibiting COVID-19- like symptoms or that is positive or suspected for COVID-19? Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more.
If your answer to each question is “Yes,” then students can attend school upon their return. Be sure to monitor your family members for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the date of your return and be diligent about wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance consistently during those 14 days.
If your answer to any of the above questions is “No,” then please call the school office to speak with the Principal. Your student may be required to self-quarantine according to the Exclusion From/Return to School Form in the Reopening Plan.
If you have any questions or are unsure about your family's exposure during travel, we encourage you to contact the Principal to review your situation.
Participating in interscholastic athletics is a privilege at Oakland Catholic High School and it is of the utmost importance that everyone involved - athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators-worktogethertoadheretotheguidelinesoutlinedinthisdocument. Itisthe responsibility of the participating interscholastic student athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators to follow these guidelines while in season and out of season and conditioning. Failure to follow these safety measures will jeopardize everyone’s ability to participate.
These guidelines will be reviewed and updated as needed, prior to the official start of the Fall Sports Season (August 24th for Fall sports), and throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
- General Considerations
- Safety Protocols & Procedures
- Acclimatization Phases
- Actions & Responsibilities
- Events & Travel
- Locker rooms are closed until further notice.
- Social distancing should be practiced to the maximum extent possible (6 feet at aminimum). Practice social distancing in all public areas such as classrooms, meetingrooms, weight room, gym, and Athletic Training rooms.
- Coaching staffs are limited to essential personnel only. A list of essential personal will begiven to the Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer.
- Room capacity and the quality of ventilation in rooms/spaces will be taken intoconsideration. Smaller group meetings should be held in larger areas or outside in orderto ensure a minimum of six feet of social distancing.
- Large indoor gatherings are not permitted during Yellow Phase and strongly discouragedduring Green Phase. Virtual meetings are to be held in lieu of in-person meetings,whenever possible.
- A maximum of ten student-athletes may use the weight room at one time.
- Team meals should be pre-packaged and be served “grab-and-go” style. Food providedfor athletes must adhere to the Guidance for Businesses in Restaurant Industry.
- When at practice or competition, student-athletes, coaches, and other essential personnel are not to engage in handshakes, high-fives, fist pumps and all other forms ofcontact with one another.
- No outside groups or speakers are permitted in the facilities. *Administration has theright to approve consultants or essential workers to campus.
- Student-athletes are to be six (6) feet apart when not actively participating in a drill orphysical activity.
- Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva droplets are not allowed, includingbut not limited to, chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers, and eating sunflower seeds.
- If multiple games are held in the same facility, adequate time will be scheduled between contests to allow for facilities to be cleaned and disinfected, and to minimize interactionsbetween athletes.
- Booster run concession stands and other food provided for athletes must adhere to theGuidance for Businesses in Restaurant Industry and pre-packaged items.
- ALL personal athletic equipment should be cleaned daily. All student-athletes are required to take their equipment home daily for cleaning.
- Athletes CANNOT share gear and MUST use their issued equipment.
- If equipment must be shared, all equipment should be properly disinfected between users.
- Athletes must wear shirts and shoes at all times in the weight room to minimize sweat transmitting to equipment.
- Only one student-athlete at a time is permitted to report to the Athletic Training room for evaluation or treatments.
- Each athlete MUST have their OWN personally identified hydration container (i.e. water bottle) that is never shared.
- Hand sanitizers and wipes will be provided throughout the facilities and areas.
- Maintenance will set a daily cleaning and disinfecting schedule of all high traffic areas inthe weight rooms.
- Student-athletes will shower at home and limit after-school restroom use to the gym lobby restrooms until further notice.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:
- Student-athletes, coaches and staff are required to wear masks when in all indoor spaces. This includes athletic training room, gymnasium, and school building. Masks are to be worn outside when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained consistently.
- Student-athletes engaged in a lift do not need to wear masks. All others, including spotters are required to wear masks when in the weight room.
- During any “down time” situations, coaches and athletes should be wearing masks.
- Cloth face coverings are considered to be adequate (surgical or N95 masks are notnecessary).
- The garment should cover the nose and mouth and allow for continued unlaboredbreathing.
- A full list with references for mask specifications and maintenance is on the CDCwebsite.
- Frequent handwashing and avoiding touching one’s face are recommended to decreasethe virus spread.
- Students-athletes, coaches, and other essential staff will be screened daily with no-touch temperature checks and a questionnaire.
- Attendance should be recorded for contact tracing reasons.
- Screening questions will include:
- Have you had any new onset of a cough, shortness of breath, or other symptom of COVID-19 as stated on the CDC website (and under 'Health Monitoring' above)?
- Have you had any known exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Have you been tested or tested positive for COVID-19?
- Have you experienced any recent febrile illness (aka temperature above 100F)?
- ANY student-athlete, coach, or other essential staff, who shows a temperature of >100F or responds positively to one or more of the above questions, the individual will not be granted access to the facility (or practice) and that individual will be sent home. In the case of a minor, their parent/guardian will be notified of the documented concernof illness and/or fever, and the parent/guardian will have to pick up their daughter.
- If a parent/guardian is dropping a student-athlete off for practice, the parent/guardian must remain on campus in their vehicle until the student-athlete has passed their daily screening.
- If you, a coach, or someone from your family is ill, please reference the 'Health Monitoring' tab above and accompanying 'Exclusion From/Return to School' form for more details and protocols. -In conjunction with OCHS’s reopening plan on returning to school, you must follow these steps to return to sport practices.
Originally enforced summer 2020; will be used in the event of potential future closures:
- PHASE ONE: The team will be broken into groups or pods of no more than 10 student- athletes. These groups will remain constant for the next two weeks. During this period, the students would be permitted to participate in non-contact workouts within their small group/pod. Conditioning practices would be broken into groups of 10, with a coach in charge of each group. All social distancing practices would be in place and enforced.
- PHASE TWO: After 14 days of small groups (10 or less) and a community transmission rate of lower than 5% and indication that it is not rising, the teams of 10 can be merged into groups of no more than 50 student-athletes who can now practice together as a group. Social distancing would be maintained at all other times as noted above.
- PHASE THREE: After the four-week period is complete and the transmission rate in the wider community continues to decline, teams may then combine to the total group for full practices and competition. Social distancing protocols should remain in place at all other times as noted above.
Oakland Catholic High School requires that its student-athletes assist in following these guidelines to help maintain a safe and healthy environment for all. Failure to adhere to these guidelines provided by the Athletic Department could result in the inability to participate in interscholastic athletics.
- Student-Athletes are responsible for their own supplies and equipment for each practice/competition.
- Social distancing is in effect at all times except during competitions. During competitions, athletes must always have their masks/face coverings readily available.
- Mandatory PIAA pre-participation physical examinations must be submitted prior to the start of the fall sports season (August 17th for all Fall sports).
- Access the weight room and athletic training room is restricted to athletes whose sport is in season, according to the PIAA schedule. *Exceptions will be made for injuries or other emergencies.
- Lockers are not available for any student-athlete.
- Athletes are to avoid touching their faces as much as possible.
- Clothes should be washed daily. (No clothing is to be left in any athletic facility overnight. Items left will be discarded.)
- Athletes are not permitted to share towels, razors, clothes or personal hygiene items.
- Hands should be washed frequently and hand sanitizer used often, when available.
- Athletes are responsible for bringing a personal water bottle with name on it to allpractices and events. There will be no shareable water bottles available. Student-athletes who report without a water bottle will not be permitted to practice on that day.
- Student-athletes should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to any practice.
- Athletes are to assist coaches, custodial, and medical staff in disinfecting all athleticequipment used during a workout.
- Athletes must comply with the daily health screenings outlined in this document.
- Coaches will clearly communicate all guidelines to the student-athletes and parents.
- Coaches will model the behavior they expect of student-athletes and practice socialdistancing at all times.
- Coaches will screen and monitor student-athletes for symptoms prior to the start of allgames and practices.
- Coaches will wear a protective mask as directed, per CDC guidelines. If a member of acoaching staff has a pre-existing medical condition and cannot wear a mask, they will need to submit a recent doctor’s note to the Athletic Director.
- It is recommended that coaching staffs create pods or groups for student-athletes toattend off-season workouts. These groups must be submitted to the Athletic Director inadvance in the event that contact tracing needs to be enacted.
- Coaches will submit a weekly schedule of coaches performing daily screening to theAthletic Director.
- Large team gatherings are to be done remotely via an electronic platform, for example,watching film.
- Coaches will be responsible for monitoring the number of student-athletes in thegymnasium during the season in order to promote social distancing guidelines. This may include limiting access to the building before or after events.
- Coaches will be asked to assist in the cleaning of all athletic equipment before, during, and after athletic practices, events, and workouts.
- Coaches are to wash and/or sanitize hands regularly while working.
- Maintain safety guidelines for yourself and others within your family unit.
- Monitor your daughter’s health prior to any sporting activities. If your daughter is sick,she should stay home. Even if there is doubt, she is to stay home.
- Communicate with the coaching staff if your daughter is at higher risk for severe illness,has a preexisting health condition, or is immunocompromised.
- Check your daughter’s temperature before every practice, competition and prior to herdeparture for school each day.
- Provide the necessary supplies for your daughter and label them with her name.
- Disinfect your daughter’s equipment after practice/competition. Be sure that she washesher clothes and mask daily.
- Bring appropriate masks/face coverings to practices/competitions for yourself, daughter,and family members if circumstances permit attendance. If/when attendance is possible, and you attend either practice or a competition without the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), you will not be permitted into our facilities and will run the risk of being turned away from other school or competition facilities.
ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ACTIONS:
- Follow guidance from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association as it pertains to COVID- 19. This includes, but is not limited, to the following:
- Limit athlete and coach occupancy to the athletic training room to promote social distancing.
- Wear a mask at all times. If an athletic trainer has a pre-existing medical condition and cannot wear a mask, they will need a recent doctor’s note. When feasible, trainers must maintain recommended social distancing guidelines.
- Clean and disinfect all hard surfaces including, but not limited to, training tables, taping stations, doorknobs, and other equipment that is utilized in the daily operations of the athletic training facility.
- Do not permit unsupervised admittance to the athletic training room.
- Provide guidance to assist student-athletes on proper hand-washing techniques and other preventive behaviors.
COMPETITION AND TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS:
- Competition and travel need to be considered and planned prior to the onset of the season.
- The Athletic Director will be in contact with each opponent’s administration prior to traveling to their facilities.
- There must be global agreement that all ill student-athletes will be held from participation, no matter the circumstances.
- Member schools must be willing to share information regarding potential cases of and exposures to COVID-19.
- Guidelines and policies of the host school must be strictly followed.
- Travel should be limited.
- Travel teams should be in place. It is recommended that coaches submit travel rosters tothe Athletic Director in advance of any competition.
- Social distancing should be maintained, including masking, at all times to the maximumextent possible.
- Preparations should be made for limited stops when en-route (pre-packaged meals) andemergency medical supplies should be carried to each competition/practice.
ATHLETIC EVENT ATTENDANCE:
- The Oakland Catholic High School administration will continue to monitor and evaluate circumstances as they relate to spectators attending high school athletic events. As stated below, the following people are grouped into tiers from essential to non-essential. This will determine who may attend an event until further guidance is received from state and local governments.
- Tier 1 (Essential) – Student-athletes, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, and administrators
- Tier 2 (Preferred) – Media and Collegiate coaches/scouts
- Tier 3 (Non-Essential) – Security and spectators
- Only Tier 1 & Tier 2 personnel will be allowed to attend events until state or local governments lift current restrictions of mass gatherings.
- If/When spectators are permitted, seating areas, including bleachers, will adhere to social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet of spacing between spectators who are not in the same household. To assist with this, areas will be clearly marked. Face coverings will be required in addition to social distancing, or until further directives are issued.
- Parents/guardians are not permitted to attend athletic team practices.
- Parents/guardians should arrive no more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled end of the athletic event or practice for picking up their daughters. They should remain in theirvehicles to minimize contact and exposure. Student-Athletes will be dismissed to them.
- Special considerations will be made in the event that a student-athlete suffers an injury or medical emergency during the athletic practice or event. These considerations will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of theathletic trainer, athletic director, and/or school nurse.