We have intentionally developed flexible strategies that will enable us to adapt as things change. You can count on this plan adjusting over time and we will clearly communicate changes proactively so that you have time to adjust with us. Our ultimate goal is to return to normal as the threat of the virus diminishes over time, without compromising safety.
Guidelines for Reopening - Updated: 8/21/2020
Increased Health and Safety Practices
The goal of the SNU Lab School is to open with safety precautions in place so that we may resume in-person schooling and remain open. We will be vigilant to maintain a safe and clean building. We will closely monitor student health and fully expect all families to join us in exercising extreme care in following these guidelines. The precautions below are based on CDC, ODHS, and AAP recommendations to minimize infections and limit exposure.
Our operational strategy for entering/exiting the building during school hours is to:
Provide clearly marked “masks required” signage at all entry points
Reduce entry into the building, limited to essential visits
Require masks for all people entering the building
Require temperature check and hand sanitizing in lobby prior to gaining building access
Utilize Car Rider app for dropoff and pickup during carpool
Utilize FACTS Child Care kiosk for dropoff and pickup during extended day Child Care
Our operational strategy for movement within the building during school hours is to:
Create four distinctive groups within the school; one for each division.
Limit travel outside of the division.
Create small seating cohorts (4-6 students) with each division
Limit travel outside of classroom cohorts
Have dedicated restroom areas for each division
Have staggered schedules to eliminate large group interaction
Our operational strategy for sanitizing within the building is to:
Provide clearly marked ”Teacher-Only Zones” in each classroom
Provide clearly marked “Sanitizing Zones” within each division
Provide real time cleaning of personal and small cohort spaces
Provide daily cleaning to coincide with usage in restrooms and communal spaces
Provide weekly deep cleaning of surfaces, furniture, walls, and equipment
These increased safety measures apply to any student, family member, and visitor to the Lab School campus and are effective immediately and will be in place until further notice. The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is our highest priority. Thank you in advance for your full cooperation and support.
We ask that you not visit the school if you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms or if you’ve had known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or if you have traveled to an area with substantial community spread.
Watch for symptoms (from the CDC website)
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 (above 100.4 F.) or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Social Distancing Measures
There is a conflict between optimal academic and social/emotional learning in schools and strict adherence to current physical distancing guidelines. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools "space seating/desks at least 6 feet apart when feasible." In many school settings, 6 feet between students is not feasible without limiting the number of students. Evidence suggests that spacing as close as 3 feet may approach the benefits of 6 feet of space, particularly if students are wearing face coverings and are asymptomatic. Our classrooms have been arranged to achieve 4 to 6 feet of distance between seats.
Given what is known about transmission dynamics, adults and adult staff within schools will maintain a distance of 6 feet from other persons as much as possible, particularly around other adult staff. Our strategy is to create zones and limit movement between zones.
Each division will have dedicated hallway areas and restrooms to reduce frequent crossover contact.
We will have physical guides on floors and sidewalks to create pathways for each group.
When feasible, we will keep students in classroom cohorts and rotate teachers.
We will orchestrate movement between classrooms to limit the total number of students in the hallway when attending PE, Music, Recess, and Lunch.
To avoid close grouping and reduce high touch areas, we will eliminate lockers and increase spacing between backpack hooks in hallways.
Enforcing physical distancing in an outside playground is difficult and may not be the most effective method of risk mitigation. Emphasis will be placed on cohorting students and avoiding highly concentrated grouping during playground time. Outdoor transmission of the virus is known to be much lower than indoor transmission.
School meals play an important part in social interaction for children and adolescents. We have created staggered lunch periods so students will be able to remain in their division groupings during lunch, thus minimizing the total number of students in the cafeteria at one time. We will be utilizing every-other-seat seating while offsetting the opposite side of the table to avoid direct face-to-face seating arrangements during lunch. Hand sanitizing will be required before and after eating.
General Guidelines for Early Childhood (Pre-K & Kindergarten)
In Pre-K and Kindergarten, the relative impact of physical distancing among children is likely small based on current evidence and certainly difficult to implement. Therefore, the Early Childhood division will focus on more effective risk mitigation strategies for this population including limiting mask requirements for children in small cohorts. Emphasis will be placed on hand hygiene, adult physical distancing, adults wearing face coverings, effective cohorting, spending time outdoors when possible, and limiting visitors to the building.
General Guidelines for Elementary and Middle School (Grades 1-7)
First through seventh grades will wear face coverings to reduce potential COVID-19 risk. Desks will be placed 4 to 6 feet apart. Classrooms will be cohorted to minimize crossover among children and adults within the school. We will encourage using outdoor spaces when possible. We are preparing to greatly reduce our typical high level of classroom interactions to reduce COVID-19 risk. Our teachers are prepared to maintain our project based learning emphasis within these constraints.
Frequently Asked Questions
We very much appreciate the many specific questions that have been asked. We believe it may be helpful to share a list of questions that have been answered this summer. As always, if you have questions, we want to hear from you.
What is the protocol when someone at school tests positive for COVID-19? We will follow the CDC’s updated guidelines requiring a 10-day quarantine from the time of infection, after which that person be symptom-free for 72 hours (without medication) and exhibiting signs of continuous improvement before returning to school. (THIS SECTION UPDATED ON 8/21)
Will all students be required to wear masks all day? No, while masks are required for all students, we will not require masks outside or while eating during lunch.
How much detail will be shared when someone tests positive for the virus? We will be as transparent as possible.
What is the preferred way to contact a teacher directly given limited building access? Our teachers are easily reached by email. If a face-to-face discussion is desired, then please email and request an online video conference.
How many feet will the desks be spread apart? 4 to 6 feet
Will there be fewer group activities because they will now wear masks while they work in groups? There will be fewer large group activities. We will continue to require collaboration and social interaction within a project-based learning environment.
What is the teacher to student ratio? We will maintain a 15:1 maximum student teacher ratio.
Will there be recess and PE? Yes
Will this reduce the number of hands-on activities that are normally done by the children? No, but group dynamics will be limited to cohorts.
Will college students work with the children like usual and what guidelines will they be following in their interactions with kids? Yes, our plan is to allow college student interaction through a supervised virtual capacity.
Will these precautions last all year? Our plan enables us to adjust as situations change. We will communicate any adjustments to the plan prior to implementation.
Will students be given masks at the door if they show up without one? Students will be provided with two cloth masks and simple cleaning instructions. Students are required to wear masks to gain entry into the building.
Will visitors be given masks at the door if they show up without one? We will have a limited amount of masks available for visitors. However, we ask that parents and visitors come prepared with masks if they are needing to gain entry. Guests without masks will not be allowed access beyond the lobby.