Principal Dispatch—School Reopening Plan, Part 2

Health, Safety, & Wellness

Dear ICCP families,

We continue to prepare for the return of our students in less than three (3) weeks under a blended learning schedule (hybrid model). We are excited to see everyone’s smiling eyes on August 17th. To complete our preparations, it is extremely important that all parents complete the “Return to School and Technology Survey” sent out via email on Tuesday, July 28th.

Knights Athletics
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced that it has modified sports schedules for the 2020-21 school year in response to COVID-19.  We will continue to evaluate guidance set forth by IHSA and keep you informed of any updates. For more information regarding the new schedules for our 2020-21 athletic seasons released by the IHSA, visit: Mr. Fahey, Athletic Director, will be releasing more information in coming days.

Over the last week, I have received many kind words from our parents and several important questions regarding our reopening plans. In this week’s dispatch, I want to address some commonly asked questions regarding our plans to ensure the health, safety, and wellness of our students and teachers. Our entire plan will be posted to the school website on Monday, August 10th.

Symptom Screenings
IC Catholic Prep will conduct temperature screenings upon entry and require self-certification and verification for all staff, students, and visitors entering school buildings. Details regarding the process of self-certification will follow via an email to all parents. Individuals who have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or currently known symptoms of COVID-19 will not enter ICCP.

Face Coverings
According to ISBE/IDPH guidelines, face coverings must always be worn in school buildings even when social distancing is maintained. Face coverings do not need to be worn outside if social distancing is maintained or when seated for lunch. Outdoor activities and lessons will be utilized to the best of our ability to provide breaks for students and faculty.

Doctor notes are required for any student and staff member unable to wear a face-covering due to specific medical conditions. Students must wear an ICCP issued mask or a solid colored mask with no writing, graphics, or design. Acceptable masks include disposable surgical masks, N95, or cloth masks. Disposable replacement masks will be available in the Main Office for a $1 fee. Students will be sent home if they do not adhere to this policy.

Social Distancing
IC Catholic Prep expects all students and staff to maintain six feet (6ft) of physical distance from other persons in all areas and settings to the greatest extent possible. We will post visual reminders throughout buildings and lay down tape or other indicators of safe distances in areas where students congregate or line up (e.g., arrival and departure, lunchroom lines, hallways, libraries, etc.).

Schoolwide Cleaning and Disinfection to Prevent the Spread of Infection
IC Catholic Prep will follow sanitation procedures recommended by the CDC, IDPH, and local health departments. As part of daily cleaning procedures, frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door handles/knobs, desktops/tabletops, countertops, light switches, computer keyboards, water fountains, sinks and faucets, buses/vans) will be cleaned/disinfected periodically during the day and on a nightly basis.

Infection Control Procedures for Classrooms
Teachers will assign alphabetical seating for students and require students to remain in these seats to the greatest extent possible. Where possible, desks will be rearranged to maintain social distancing. Desks will be required to face the same direction.

Hand sanitizer will be provided in each classroom for students to use upon entry and when exiting. Additionally, the last 1-2 minutes of each class period will be used to spray all student desks and clean all commonly touched surfaces.

Hallways and Lockers
Face coverings must always be worn. The following hallway procedures will be followed:

  • Teachers and administrators will monitor hallways during passing periods. 
  • One-way walking paths will be delineated in hallways. 
  • The north staircase “Main Staircase” will be designated for students going upstairs.
  • The south staircase will be designated for students going downstairs.
  • At the beginning of the day, all students will enter the main high school building through the Main Entrance (Cottage Hill) for temperature screening. All faculty and staff will enter through the back entrance for temperature screening. The Costello Hall Entrance will be closed.
  • As students, faculty, and staff move between buildings throughout the day, the Main Entrance (Cottage Hill) will be used as an entrance only and the back doorway will be used as an exit only. The Costello Hall Entrance will be closed.  
  • At the conclusion of the day, students must exit the main entrance (Cottage Hill).
  • Floor markings will be delineated in the cafeteria and at the main entrance to provide social distancing guidance.
  • Elevator use will be limited to one user and one assistant, if necessary, at a time.  
  • Lockers will be assigned via alternating alphabetical order. Students will be asked to limit the use of their lockers before school, prior to lunch, and after school. 

Due to social distancing concerns, teachers will monitor students’ use during classes and use their best judgment to limit bathroom usage to one student at a time. Restrooms will be sanitized, and high touch surfaces will be disinfected periodically throughout the day. Additionally, water fountains will be sanitized periodically throughout the day.

Cafeteria (Food Service)
Costello Hall and the Cafeteria will be utilized for all lunches allowing for 50 individuals in each space. An additional lunch period was added to the school day in anticipation of COVID-19 guidelines to adhere to capacity limits. Furthermore, weather permitting, tables may be added to the north lawn to allow for further distancing measures.  

Meals will be individually plated and disposable food service items (e.g., utensils, dishes) will be used. No cash will be taken in the cafeteria. Only prepaid card payments will be accepted.

Areas, where students consume meals, will be thoroughly cleaned, and disinfected between groups and after meals. Food service personnel will use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves and face coverings while preparing and distributing food. Hand sanitizer will be provided to students prior to picking up their lunches.

Tables and chairs will be removed and placed strategically to ensure a 6-foot distance between individuals as much as possible. Clear norms and guidelines will be communicated with students and staff regarding wait lines, student seating charts, student movement, bathroom use, and cleaning procedures.

The Dyer Family Resource Center
The Dyer Family Resource Center is used as a library and to host study halls throughout the school day. All tables will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible, and the reading area (couches and tables) will be temporarily removed to avoid close contact between students. Students will be assigned seats, facing in the same direction, and provided cleaning supplies to clean their area at the end of the period. All study halls will be designated for individual work only. Students in study halls will not be allowed to work in collaborative groups due to social distancing requirements. As with all classrooms, students will use hand sanitizer prior to entering study halls and attendance will be taken via a seating chart. To provide social distancing measures and track student interactions, Senior Lounge has been suspended for the first semester. All seniors will attend study hall in the Dyer Center for the first semester and a determination for second semester Senior Lounge will be reviewed accordingly.

The Dyer Center will be closed prior to the school day. Students will be required to go directly to their Period A class upon arrival and after visiting their school locker. The Dyer center will be open for individual student use after school from 2:50-3:15pm. Capacity will be set by the school media specialist to allow for proper social distancing.

Returned or used library materials will be quarantined for 3-7 days following the recommendations of the American Library Association and the CDC to eliminate the spread of viruses/illnesses.

Gymnasium, Weight room, Plunkett Field, and Athletic Locker Rooms
IC Catholic Prep believes that physical activity supports overall health and well-being while also reducing stress and anxiety. During Physical Education (PE) classes, face coverings must always be worn indoors with no more than 50 individuals in the gym at any given time. All activities will allow for a six-foot distance between students as much as possible. Games and sports activities that require close guarding and any potential physical contact with another player will not be permitted to comply with IDPH requirements. Whenever feasible and weather permitting, educators may select outdoor physical education activities that allow natural social distancing. If outdoors, masks may be removed if social distancing of six feet is possible.

PE Lockers will be spaced out to allow for social distancing and will be sanitized between classes. Showers will not be required.

According to ISBE/IDPH guidelines, any shared equipment will be cleaned between each use and disinfected at the end of each class. Fitness center equipment, such as treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bicycles, weights, etc., will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each class with a focus on frequently touched surfaces.

As with all classrooms, students will use hand sanitizer prior to entering locker rooms, and after the use of each piece of equipment. Specific guidelines and recommendations have been created for these spaces and will be posted and made available to all teachers, coaches, and students.

Main Office and Visitors
Only essential visitors and volunteers will be allowed in the building during the school day. A table will be placed between the doors of the main entrance for parents to leave forgotten materials for students to pick up.


Stephen Davidson

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