With health and safety as our foundational priority, planning for the 2020-21 school year is guided by shared values of community, flexibility, and feasibility, as we seek to establish and maintain the best teaching and learning environment possible for our students and faculty during this challenging time.
In order for this to succeed, we all share a responsibility to follow health and safety measures to help protect our community. This includes consistent wearing of masks, following social distancing guidelines, washing hands, and being mindful of activities while not on campus that potentially put our community at elevated risk, such as travel or large group gatherings. Any student who is not willing to comply will be required to engage in off-campus, virtual learning.
The use of face coverings for students, faculty, and staff will be required as per the order of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health. Masks that cover both the mouth and nose will be required to be worn by everyone on the LCDS campus. Anyone not complying with this will be asked to leave the campus. Masks may be removed when outside as long as six feet of social distancing can be maintained. LCDS will have disposable paper masks available but students and faculty are encouraged to bring a mask of their choice.
Masks must be appropriate for a PS-12 school setting:
Masks cannot include text or any scary or otherwise inappropriate imagery.
Neck gaiters or exhalation masks cannot take the place of a traditional mask.
Face shields will be available in certain instances for students and faculty. Please note that face shields are not a substitute for masks but rather an additional safeguard, especially when the covering of eyes is recommended. Students will be provided opportunities to take outdoor breaks which would permit mask removal throughout the day.
LCDS will implement physical distancing in all classrooms and common areas. Classroom square footage informs the maximum number of students which can be present at one time while maintaining safe distancing. The use of outdoor spaces and large-group instructional areas may be considered to support physical distancing. For more information and a list of specific changes and accommodations, please see the Campus Enhancement section.
Hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizer is mandatory for all individuals. Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances and must be used by everyone entering the building. Hand-washing or the use of hand sanitizer is also required when entering every classroom. Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms.
Restroom use will be closely regulated, with bathrooms being assigned to certain groups of students. A restricted number of users will be enforced, and single-use of bathrooms will be strongly encouraged. Lower School cohort groups will be assigned to specific bathrooms.
Cleaning and Disinfecting of School LCDS will implement cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as follows:
A daily cleaning schedule across custodial shifts has been established with updated procedures and emphasis on the frequent cleaning of high-touch areas (restrooms, door knobs, handrails, light switches, etc.).
Hand sanitizer and disinfectant will be made available throughout common areas and in all instructional areas.
All ventilation systems have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and will be set to allow the maximum amount of fresh-air flow in buildings.
Increased cleaning and replacement of air filters will occur throughout the building.
To increase air circulation, windows may be opened in classrooms.
All maintenance staff will receive training on the enhanced protocols. *Where possible, bathroom doors will be propped open to reduce touching of door knobs and handles.
All faculty and staff will be informed on the processes related to cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and ventilation.
Cleaning of building Increased cleaning, especially of high-touch areas (doors, door knobs, handrails, light switches, and restrooms), will take place throughout the day. The maintenance staff has adjusted its scheduling and policies to effectively clean the building with new antiviral equipment throughout the day and after school hours.
Cleaning of shared classroom materials Teachers and, to the extent possible, students, are expected to maintain cleanliness of classroom materials. It is recommended that students do not share materials. If classroom items must be shared, they should be cleaned between each use. Disinfecting wipes will be available in every classroom.
Symptom screening and a temperature check for all students are to be completed at home under the supervision of a parent or guardian each morning prior to leaving for school. The results of these checks will be submitted via a smartphone app prior to leaving home. More details on the use of this program will be forthcoming. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4°F or having two or more symptoms will be required to stay home and have a parent or guardian contact the appropriate division office. If able, students should connect to virtual learning. Bus riders must wear masks at all times while riding buses. Upon arrival at school, bus riders will enter the building through the athletics entrance and check in at the Wellness Kiosk where they will undergo an additional temperature check.
For Middle and Upper School Students: Middle and Upper School students who do not take the bus should enter at the main entrance on Hamilton Road. Upon entry, there will be a Wellness Kiosk where students must check in and have their temperatures taken. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4°F will be sent to an outside tent for further medical evaluation. It is highly likely that these students will be sent home and advised to seek medical attention.
For Lower School Students: All Lower School students who do not arrive by bus should arrive at school via the Lower School car line. Before exiting their cars, students will check in with a school employee and have their temperatures checked. Anyone who registers a temperature greater than 100.4°F will be asked to leave with the accompanying parent or guardian.
Recognizing the increased stress caused by both the pandemic itself and the disruption to the regular school routine, LCDS will continue to monitor the well-being of students and staff. Our school counselors will be available to meet with students both on campus and virtually. Additionally, our advisory groups (grades 6-12) will continue to meet on a regular basis both for students at home and on campus. We will survey our faculty and families regarding any input they have on our hybrid learning approach, including any social and emotional needs that require support beyond what we presently provide.
LCDS will follow CDC guidelines with regard to COVID-19 exposure and testing. If an individual who has been on campus tests positive for COVID-19, he/she must stay home for at least 10 days after symptom onset AND at least 24 hours without a fever. If someone has had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 OR has been around a household member confirmed to have COVID-19, he/she must self-isolate for 14 days after the contact occurred.
The school has established a COVID-19 Response Team which will work closely with Department of Health and local public health officials to efficiently respond to a COVID-19 case on our campus. Department of Health officials will help the Response Team create a safe plan for everyone on our campus. We will utilize contact tracing methods to safely identify any individuals who may be at risk, and we have two certified contact tracers on staff to assist with these efforts.
Protocols, quarantine, and conditions for a return to school will be established through consultation with public health officials, the Department of Health, and administration, based on CDC guidelines. All protocols will be evaluated for effectiveness and may be revised as needed to ensure adherence to federal and state guidelines.
LCDS is committed to maintaining a flexible attendance policy and requires that anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms remain at home. Information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be provided to students, staff, and parents/guardians on a frequent basis. It is also recommended that anyone experiencing symptoms consult with their medical provider and, if a test is ordered, remain quarantined while awaiting results. When unable to attend school in person, students are encouraged to connect via remote learning during the school day if they are able. Parents or guardians of students who are not able to attend school should contact the appropriate division office to report the absence.
If students or staff become symptomatic during the school day or become aware that they have been exposed to an individual with whom they have had close contact that is confirmed positive for COVID-19, they are to immediately report to the nurse and will be sent home. Anyone exhibiting symptoms during the school day will be held in isolation per the CDC guidelines.
A school employee may reach out to absent students to touch base and check on symptom status and recovery.
Building doors will unlock at 7:30 a.m. Classrooms will open at 7:40 a.m. When students arrive, they will check in at Wellness Kiosks and have their temperatures taken. After students complete the screening, they must proceed directly to their classrooms (first period for MS/US students) to avoid congregation. First period will begin at 8:10 am.
Upper School students with a first period study hall are encouraged to arrive after the start of school between 9:15-9:25 a.m. if possible. Seniors may take advantage of late arrival without parent permission, but students in grades 9-11 must have a parent notify the Upper School office if they plan to arrive after 8:10 a.m. Any student entering the building after 8:10 a.m. must enter the building through the Hamilton Road main entrance to scan at the kiosk and then proceed to sign in at the Upper School office.
For students in Grades 1-12, the school day will end promptly at 3 p.m. and all students will be required to leave the campus at that time. Students participating in PIAA-approved athletics events should report to the Athletics Wing and follow necessary guidelines for practices and games.
Students with a last period study hall are encouraged to sign out after their previous class. Normal sign-out procedures and parent permission are still required for all 9-11 graders. Seniors who have privileges do not need parent permission.
Students in preschool, junior kindergarten, and kindergarten (with the exception of bus riders) will be dismissed at 2:30 p.m. Please note: This is a change to our usual dismissal time for kindergarten students.
LCDS will implement physical distancing in all classrooms and common areas. Classroom square footage informs the maximum number of students which can be present at one time while maintaining safe distancing. The use of outdoor spaces and large-group instructional areas may be considered to support physical distancing. Building routines and the use of communal spaces will be reviewed and revised to limit the interaction between large groups of students as much as possible.
Lower School To the extent possible, Lower School students will remain together with their classroom cohorts and teachers. All Lower School students are invited to be on campus every day. Each classroom has been measured to determine the maximum number of students that can safely occupy the room at one time while following social distancing guidelines. Furniture will be arranged to enable social distancing and plastic dividers will be used to further encourage separation. Every Lower School classroom has been equipped with a camera which enables virtual learning. Students who are at home will sign in and be able to experience and participate in classroom activities.
Middle and Upper School Middle and Upper School students will attend school in a hybrid fashion: Half of the students will be on campus and the other half will be at home, learning virtually. The rotation of this schedule is based on the eight-day block schedule. Each classroom has been measured to determine the maximum number of students that can safely occupy the room at one time while following social distancing guidelines. Every MS and US classroom has been equipped with a camera enabling virtual learning. Students who are at home will sign in and be able to experience and participate in classroom activities.
Students whose last names start with A-K will attend school in person on days 1, 2, 5, and 6. Students whose last names start with L-Z will attend school in person on days 3, 4, 7, and 8.
Virtual Option for all Students All students, regardless of division, have the option to learn virtually 100 percent of the time. For students requesting this, we ask that they commit to this option for six weeks at a time. Reevaluation of this option will occur at the T1 midtrimester, the end of the first trimester, the T2 midtrimester, the end of the second trimester, and the T3 midtrimester. Families may choose to move to the 100 percent virtual option at any point, but must commit to that decision according to the dates listed above.
To ensure we have adequate spacing, a family cannot switch from virtual instruction to on-campus instruction until the dates listed above and with the approval of the appropriate Division Head.
Movement throughout Building To the extent possible, movement throughout the building will be staggered. Middle and Upper School students will be dismissed from classes in a way that discourages overcrowding in hallways.
Hallway Lockers Lower School: Locker breaks will occur in groups which allow for social distancing. To the extent possible, students who have lockers next to each other will not access their lockers at the same time.
Middle and Upper School: Lockers will be assigned with social distancing in mind, based on who will be on-site during specific days.
All students are encouraged to only bring to school items that are pertinent to their day’s work and not visit their locker unless absolutely necessary.
Athletics Locker Rooms Athletics locker rooms will be closed for the foreseeable future. Please see the Athletics Health and Safety Plan for a timeline for a planned reopening of the locker rooms.
Water Fountains All water fountains will be turned off. Students, faculty, and staff are asked to bring water bottles to school which can be filled at portable water coolers. Hand sanitizer will be available at each water cooler.
Lunch In order to maintain social distancing and to maximize use of school space, lunch will take place in classrooms and, whenever possible, outside. We will begin the school year offering pre-ordered boxed lunches which will be delivered to classrooms. There will be three choices each day which can be pre-ordered weekly via a Google Form. Please note, anyone who orders a boxed lunch will be charged for that lunch.
Snacks Any student who wishes to have a snack should bring them from home. Middle and Upper School students will not have a mid-morning break in the Dining Commons; instead, this break will occur in classrooms or outside as a class group.
At this point, all field trips off campus are cancelled.
Seniors will not be allowed to go off campus during a free period during the middle of the day.
Everyone who enters campus is expected to stay until he/she departs for home.
Upper School students who drive to school (or who are driven to school by a parent or guardian) and have a first period study hall may arrive at school at any point before the end of the first period study hall with no late penalty. Those students will need to check in at the Wellness Kiosk and have their temperatures taken. They will then check in at the Upper School office and report for the remainder of their first period study hall.
Upper School students who drive (or who have a parent or guardian who pick them up) who have a study hall during the last period of the day may sign-out from the Upper School office unless they have an after-school responsibility on campus.
No student may leave campus and return to campus later during that day.
Because of the need to maintain social distancing of students and staff, we will not be offering before or after school care at this time. This includes both ASP for Lower School and MASH for Middle School. We will continue to evaluate our ability to offer these programs and hope to be able to reinstate them as soon as possible
It is recommended that, for the foreseeable future, all school meetings be conducted virtually. This includes but is not limited to parent/teacher conferences, Parents’ Association Meetings, grade-level parent meetings, and all meetings conducted by the Board of Trustees.
Only essential visitors will be permitted to enter the building. If a parent/guardian needs to drop off something to a student, there will be tables located outside of the LS and MS/US entrances so that items can be dropped off without anyone entering the building. Those dropping off supplies should contact the receptionist, who will ensure that the material is delivered to the appropriate student. In the event that a visitor must enter the building, he/she will go through temperature check and symptom screening protocols.