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St. Catherine of Siena School will return to in-person instruction beginning August 17, 2020. 

Promoting COVID-19-Free School

Temperature Checks

  • Home – Each student, with parent assistance, must complete a daily personal health assessment before leaving for school. Parents must take student’s temperature before school. If a student has a temperature over 100.4, the student should remain home. Students should be fever free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school.

  • School Arrival – Students’ temperature will be checked at drop off. If a student has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, they will be provided a 7-11 minute cool down period before being rechecked. If temperature is still above 100.4 the student will wait in an isolation room until a parent can return to pick them up.

  • School Day – If a student develops a fever of 100.4, they will be sent home and not be re-admitted until they are fever free without medication for 24 hours.


Health Checks

  • Home – If your student has fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, a new, uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing, or other symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain home and/or seek medical care to rule out COVID-19 before returning to school. A doctor’s note is not required for return to school.

COVID-19 Exposure

  • If your student tests positive for COVID-19, you should immediately contact your doctor for additional instructions, and also immediately contact the school’s main office.

  • A student must isolate and not return to school until they have met the CDC’s criteria for discontinuing home isolation, which includes:

    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;

    • At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;

    • Other symptoms have improved.

    • A decision to return to school must be cleared by a physician who has evaluated the student.

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, we will consult with the NKY Health Department and follow their guidance. All parents in the child’s class will be made aware that a student has tested positive. All students in the class will be monitored closely for COVID-19 symptoms. If more than one student tests positive for COVID-19, it is likely the whole class will be sent home for at least 14 days. Teachers will use Non-Traditional Instruction to continue student learning while the class is away from school.


Family Trips

  • According the CDC, travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Families are discouraged from traveling to another country or state (outside of the tristate area) for family trips.

  • Families must notify the school of trips that may increase student exposure. As a result of traveling, students may be subject to a 14-day quarantine and/or COVID-19 test.


Staying Healthy
The intent of these provisions is to maintain a healthy environment. This will aid not only in the reduction of COVID-19, but hopefully also other infectious disease.

  • Hand Washing / Sanitizing

    • Hand sanitizing stations are located at the entrance to each classroom. As students enter their classroom in the morning, each student should sanitize their hands before going to their desks.

    • Students will have additional opportunities to wash hands, and hand washing or sanitizing stops will be added when students are transitioning to new spaces.

    • Students will use hand sanitizer or wash their hands well before eating lunch or snacks and after recess.

    • Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been added throughout the common areas of the school building.

  • Physical Distancing / Limiting Exposure

    • Classrooms: As required by the Department of Catholic Schools, we have “increased space between student seating to be six feet or greater.” (After collaboration with the Department of Catholic Schools, student seating has an occasional 6 inch variation.)

    • Each child’s belongings will be kept separate from others’ belongings. Students will avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, games, and learning aids.

    • Common Areas: Most doors will be left open to minimize touching (exceptions will exist where fire code and other life/safety issues exist).

    • Hallways: Schedules will be coordinated to minimize traffic in hallways. A staggered schedule will be used to avoid crowding at junior high lockers.

    • Water Fountains: Students should bring their own water bottles to school each day to be refilled throughout the day. Water fountains can only be used to fill water bottles.

    • School Masses: To allow for six feet distancing, classes will attend mass once a week on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday with 2-3 classes attending on a given day. Diocese of Covington Protocols for Celebrating the Liturgy amid COVID-19 will be followed.

  • Cafeteria:

    • Tables and chairs will be set up to ensure 6 feet between students. The lunch schedule will be adjusted to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at once.

    • As required by the Department of Catholic Schools, students will have assigned seats to support contact tracing if St. Catherine experiences a positive COVID-19 case.

  • Playgrounds:

    • The recess schedule has been adjusted to limit the number of students on the playground at one time. You should also expect an increased focus on outdoor play, even when weather is non-ideal (ensure your child has the appropriate clothing to support outdoor play in the cold, rain, etc).

  • Gym

    • Students will wear gym clothes on gym day to eliminate use of locker room facilities for changing. Gym clothes will be navy blue shorts or sweatpants with a white or St. Catherine shirt. 

    • Focus on activities that allow for physical distancing, but does not eliminate the physical movement benefits afforded by gym class.

    • Sanitize common/shared equipment between classes.

  • Adult Transmission

    • Parents and other visitors will be discouraged from entering the school building without specific need and approval.

    • Parents should remain in their cars at pick up and dismissal. Dismissal details will be provided and will be staggered to avoid crowding.

  • Sports

    • Elementary school teams and on-campus athletic activities are suspended until further notice. The potential restarting of sports will be evaluated on an on-going basis.

  • Sanitization

    • Classroom – All horizontal surfaces will be wiped down at the end of the day. In addition, teachers will spray and wipe surfaces when students are out of the classroom.

    • Common Areas/Surfaces – Will be sanitized daily by janitorial staff using a CDC approved sanitizer.

  • Masking

    • Students in first grade and above are required to wear a cloth face covering during designated times of the day, unless medically waived.

    • Recognizing the challenges of students safely and effectively wearing masks at all times while in school, the focus will be to wear masks when risk is higher, including:

      • Students are interacting and engaging with a teacher, staff member or another student, or moving around the classroom.

      • Students are transitioning to new space (gym, restroom, lunch, playground, etc).

      • Arrival and Dismissal.


Alternative Learning Options
The intent of these provisions is to create effective learning opportunities for students when in-person instruction is unsafe.

  • At-Home Learning

    • The school’s main focus and efforts are to provide in-person instruction. However, an at-home learning option is available for students.

    • Teachers and students will primarily use Google Classroom to assign and turn in assignments.

    • Teachers will assign work to students 2-3 days a week for students to complete at home.

  • Students who choose at-home learning will:

    • Be held to the same grading and performance standards as (in-person) learners.

    • Not be able to participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.

    • Need to remain an at-home learner through the entire quarter. If they would like to return to the traditional program at the start of a new quarter, parents must submit a written (email is acceptable) request to return to the traditional program at least one week prior to the first day of the new quarter.

  • Detailed guidelines, as well as a form to request At-Home Learning, will be sent to parents prior to the start of the school year. 

Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI)

  • If numerous cases of COVID-19 appear at St. Catherine, resulting in the isolation of multiple classes, we may need to close the school building and transition all students to NTI for a time, as determined in consultation with the NKY Health Department. Additionally, at any point in the year, if health concerns warrant it, the Diocese of Covington’s Department of Catholic Schools may determine we need to close the school building and transition all students to NTI.

  • As a result of the parent surveys completed in May 2020 and teacher feedback, the following guidelines will be used to assist in creating a smooth and effective NTI experience:

    • Teachers and students will primarily utilize Google Classroom to assign and turn in assignments. Flexible schedule options most appropriate for the different grade levels will be utilized to ensure students have adequate time to complete assignments.

    • Teachers will use live teaching sessions and pre-recorded videos regularly to provide instruction to students. This method will allow students clear opportunities to ask questions and hear content explained in a familiar way.

    • Students with limited technology access at home may check out a chrome book and charger from school to use at home.

    •  If needed, particularly for grades K-5, packet pick-up days will be arranged for students to receive printed materials, handouts, and assignments.

  • If NTI is necessary during the year, specific details and expectations will be communicated to parents and students.

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