Coronavirus Updates & Information
Marshall Academy's COVID Response Team
Update for Families 8/06/20
Dear MA Families,
This week we cover screenings and quarantine possibilities.
Reminder today, Thursday, August 6th at 3 PM we go to YouTube live to overview the plan and allow for questions and answers. I've never done YouTube live, but here goes!
The School Board will vote on Wednesday, August 12th at their regularly scheduled board meeting on the plan as it has been highlighted and over viewed for you over the past few weeks. The meeting is at 6 PM in the gymnasium and is open to the public. Masks and social distancing required.
Please don't hesitate to be in touch with questions or concerns. Your questions have led us to research and plan in areas we thought we were done in. We added a virtual option for K-12 because of your questions and concerns!
Remember that this team will continue through the school year to keep you up-to-date on the latest news and guidelines and to help you as we navigate the school year.
Coordinator - Leslie Katz (Academic Officer); Teacher Representative - Lacey Ferro (3rd grade, coach); Support Staff Representative - Kathy Swett (bus, library, classroom); Front Office - Shannon Kever (Main point of contact); Board Representation - Kasey Williams (Board President; parent); Albion Community - Wanda Kemp (Kids of Hope Community Outreach); Marshall Community - Stephanie Kimball (Fountain Clinic); Parent - Niki VanLente (Marshall); Student - William Costine (sophomore)
This site is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Just click the button and it will take you to the website.
Bus Stops and Arrival
Students will use hand sanitizer before loading, and each bus will be equipped with extra masks to ensure all have masks. Temperatures will be taken at stops and on the bus. If a student has a fever, they will be placed in "buffer seats" if a parent is not at the bus stop to take them home, and once they get to school they will be placed in our quarantine office until a parent/guardian can pick them up.
Students dropped off at school will have their temps screened as well. If they have a temp, they will need to return home.
Quarantine and "what ifs"
A fever does not mean COVID 19. Generally, students must be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine to return to school. However, if a student answers yes to any screener question or has a fever, they must have one of the following before returning to school -- a negative COVID 19 test or a doctor note that explains the reason for the fever as something other than COVID 19 dated for that event of fever or screener question. If a parent refuses to go to the doctor or get a COVID 19 test, the student must stay home for 10 days.
Quarantine Room:The administrative assistant's office will be turned into a quarantine room for the year. If a student fails a screener at school, or becomes ill during the day, they will be placed in the quarantine room until they can be picked up.
Quarantine of a Class:
If a COVID 19 positive case exists in the school, the Calhoun County Health Department, with our assistance, will trace main contacts. This will likely be students in the class with a positive case. In that event, the class would all be home for 14 days of quarantine to monitor for symptoms and receive remote instruction from the classroom teacher during that time (like the Phase 1-3 delivery of instruction if a school closes). If there are too many positive cases across grade levels, the Calhoun County Health Department may suggest closing. It is with their guidance and assistance that decisions will be made. Should we have to close for 14 days for monitoring of symptoms, extra cleaning, and such, all students would be doing remote learning at that time with their classroom teachers through a Google platform. We will provide technology as needed.
It is imperative the office has your most up-to-date contact information. We will use the student information system (Skyward) to send email notifications if a positive case exists and to notify you if you may need to quarantine and monitor your student for symptoms. When we notify of a positive case, we will not be using a name. This would violate our rules on sharing information. It would simply say, for example, "A 2nd grade student had a positive COVID 19 test, please quarantine your 2nd grade student for 14 days and monitor for symptoms as they were a main contact. The school and/or Calhoun County Health Department will be in touch with further information."
Of course, we want these scenarios not to occur, but we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Then we won't be surprised and we can stay on top of things!
Band and Music
Elementary music will be a combination of singing outside, but when that can't be done, playing xylophones and making music with percussion instruments.
Grades 6-12 if visiting the band room will be walking outside the building and in through the elementary portico to keep MS/HS students out of the elementary hallway. Band while in Phase 4 will be percussion instruments, reading music, and other creative ways of performing. Mr. Knoch will ensure students follow safety protocols while still having fun with music.
Why can Marshall Academy do 5 days of instruction?
Cleaning a Small Building (abbreviated from last week)
- Common touch surfaces will be cleaned 2-3 times during the day with a diluted bleach solution (including bathroom surfaces).
- Classroom teachers will wipe down desks and students will complete hand-washing regularly.
- The building will be cleaned each night.
With all of these combined, and a commitment of each staff member, we can keep the building regularly cleaned and disinfected. It's a small space, and many hands make light work.
Cohorts, Spacing and Movement (abbreviated and with new details)
Students in grades K-8 will be with their grade level all day and spend little time outside of their group. Anytime not with their class they will be at least 6 feet away and wearing masks for additional safety.
6 feet of distance is recommended, but not required. We will maintain 6 feet of distance between grades, however, when in their cohort classroom there will not be 6 feet between the students.
Elementary will remain in the elementary wing of the building and each grade level will have its own entrance and exit, they each also have their own restroom in their classroom. MS will remain on one side of the high school wing, using the locker rooms as restrooms, the HS will remain on the other side and use the hallway restrooms. 6-8 will have their own entrance and exit, 9-12 will split between the portico and exit by the playground (weather permitting).
Masks - something new
Phase 4 (where we are now) vs. Phase 5 (even better and where we want to be ASAP)
Phase 4 has masks for all students in common areas.
Phase 4 will have students in 6-12 with masks on in classrooms.
As we move into Phase 5 some of these restrictions can lift. We will be asking parents if you are more comfortable with students continuing to wear masks in 9-12 or would prefer they be removed in Phase 5. Since grades 6-8 are in a cohort, they will be able to remove masks in the classroom at Phase 5.
Looking for ways to help?
NEW: Pop up tents for outside. Part of getting creative is teaching outside when possible. Each classroom has an outside exit door. If we had some pop up tents outside, when the weather is nice, a few classes could go outside when it's conducive to the lesson and have some shade. Though some may just teach in the sunshine.
The following are items we will be spending a lot of "extra" money on if you would like to make a donation to the school/classroom:
Small one-time use water bottles (we are closing the drinking fountains for safety)
Masks (disposable or washable)
*any cleaning materials and hand sanitizer must be at least 60% alcohol