The mission of the Luther School is to support and challenge all students to reach their maximum potential through a rigorous curriculum in a safe, nurturing, and orderly environment. Every student deserves to feel secure, valued and surrounded by adults they trust at school. We are committed to building positive relationships between students, staff, administration, and community in order to provide effective student achievement through high expectations and frequent assessment.
Overview of Re-opening during Pandemic:
Luther is committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students, staff, and community. Luther administration is consulting with the Carbon County Health Department, following recommendations/guidelines from the Office of Public Instruction (OPI), aligning with the Directives given by the State Governor, and implementing strategies to mitigate the potential risk of COVID 19 in our school. These measures are being taken to address the possibility of COVID-19 in our school system and preventing further spread when a positive case has been identified. We appreciate your patience and flexibility, as we navigate the new environment/conditions we face together.
Listed below are the three levels of Montana’s phased reopening plan and four scenarios recommended by the Montana Office of Public Instruction for reopening Luther Schools We have aligned our plan for educational delivery, mental health/wellness, and safety based on these recommendations.
State of Montana School Closure Declaration – OPI Scenario 1 ( BUILDINGS CLOSED) Distance Learning Model Implemented State of Montana Phase 1 or Based on Local Infection Rates – OPI Scenario 2 All staff and students (Grades K-8) will be required to wear a face mask or face covering to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Face masks/shields/coverings will be provided to those who do not have them. Necessary accommodations will be made to assist individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons. State of Montana Phase 2 or Based on Local Infection Rates – OPI Scenario 3 Classroom sizes will range < 10 Limited to Groups of 50 This pertains to assemblies, lunch/breakfast, meetings, and recess, among others. All staff and students (Grades K-12) will be required to wear a face mask or face covering to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Face masks/shields/coverings will be provided to those who do not have them. Necessary accommodations will be made to assist individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons. State of Montana Phase 3 or Based on Local Infection Rates – OPI Scenario 4 Full On-Campus instruction No limit on group size Face masks/shields/coverings are recommended but not required
**PHASE 2 & 3 VARY IN STUDENT NUMBERS. LUTHER SCHOOL HAS A STUDENT POPULATION OF 13 STUDENTS, THEREFORE, PHASE 2 & 3 BOTH REQUIRE THE WEARING OF FACE MASKS/FACE SHIELDS .
Luther presently has less than 20 students enrolled and will comprise of two classrooms/PODS.
Luther has a Plan to Social Distance, Washing of Hands and use of Face protection that will be implemented throughout the school day and with respect to all elements of transition of students:
Bus transportation: Assigned seats and masks worn on bus. Separate entry/exit for the two classrooms. Washing of hands/sanitizing upon entry and before each outside activity. Mask/face shields during instructional day. All students will have individual supplies, ie. Computer, books, markers, pencils. Direct instruction of student(s) will be done so with social distance and limited to under 10 minutes with small group instruction. Each student desk has a 3-sided plexi glass cubicle. Social distance for recess time. Lunch will be served to each student/ social distancing in place and meal time will be Separate for each POD. Students will be encouraged to change masks in middle of day. Bus, classrooms and cafeteria will be de-sanitized on daily basis. Staff will meet to review, revise and address issues concerning Student & Staff safety.
GUIDELINES FROM CARBON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
Carbon County Health Department Plan
Close Contact Definition
Any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 min. starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic positive persons, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the contact is isolated. Wearing a mask by the infected person or contact does NOT change the status of close contact.
Staff and Student w/Symptoms
What if a student or school staff member exhibits symptoms of COVID-19? They should avoid school and get tested for an active COVID-19 infection. See below for further guidance. What are symptoms of COVID-19? The symptoms include: Fever (100.4° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking, chills Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough) Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath New loss of taste or smell Sore throat Headache when in combination with other symptoms Muscle aches or body aches Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms Where can a child/staff get tested? Call your local health clinic or Carbon County Public Health for testing options When can they return to school? A student/staff is tested, and the results come back negative for COVID-19. The student/staff can return to school if they are without fever for 24 hrs (without the aid of fever reducing medicines) and symptoms are mild and improving. What if a student/staff tests positive? Remain home. Notify the school of the results. The school will assure that public health is informed and the contact tracing process will begin. Per the CDC, "Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days since symptoms began and until at least 24 hours have passed with no fever and improvement of symptoms.” What if the child/staff is symptomatic but cannot acquire or refuse testing? If short of breath or other severe symptoms contact your health provider. To return to school, 10 days need to elapse from when symptoms started and 24 hours have passed without fever (and no fever reducing meds) and symptoms need to improve. The sick individual should self-isolate. What action will occur if a student exhibits symptoms on the school bus? Education officials emphasize that families are “the most important first line of defense for monitoring symptoms.” Students are expected to stay home if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Bus drivers and monitors will be trained to watch for possible symptomatic students. If a student shows symptoms of being sick while getting on the bus, they should not be allowed to board and their caregiver should take them home. That protocol assumes a parent or guardian is waiting at the bus stop with the student. If a student exhibits symptoms on the bus, they must keep their mask on and distance from other students. The bus driver will contact the school regarding the possibly symptomatic child. Upon arrival, a school designee will evaluate the student. If they exhibit symptoms, they will be placed in the designated medical waiting room until he/she can be picked up by his/her parent or guardian. What if a student is symptomatic at school? A School COVID designee will be notified and they will be placed in the designated medical waiting room to be picked up by their parent or guardian. Evaluation and testing protocol should be followed. What if a staffer is symptomatic at school? They must notify the school’s COVID designee, leave school then follow evaluation and testing protocol What if a family member or another person my child was in close contact with tested positive? Public Health should be contacted. If the child was at home when their parent or guardian learned of the possible exposure, they should be kept at home and be tested as soon as possible after their most recent exposure to the person if advised. If they are at school when the possible exposure is learned of, notify school designee who will alert public health. The student should adhere to strict physical distancing, and wear a mask at all times. At the end of the day, they should go home by private car avoiding the bus. Public Health will direct further testing and advice on quarantine. Presently, all confirmed close contacts need 14 days quarantine after exposure regardless of test results.
How will a school respond to a student or staff member testing positive for COVID-19?
Kindergarten-6th Grade With guidance from public health, the school will close off areas visited by the positive student or staff so they can be cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. If the student or staffer traveled on the school bus, it must be disinfected as well. For younger students in pods or not leaving one classroom, communication will be sent to other families in the student’s class to notify them of a positive test without naming the person. Those who may have gotten within six feet of the student are staffer will be urged to self-quarantine and get tested as soon as possible after their last exposure to the person. If they choose not to get tested, they must remain home for 14 days.
Multiple students and/or staff members test positive. Will the school close? If there is more than one confirmed COVID-19 case (students or staff) in the school at one time, or if there is a series of single cases in a short time span, school leaders and the superintendent should work with the local county health officials to determine if it is likely that there is transmission happening in school. When there is in-school transmission beyond a single classroom or cohort, school officials may close part of the school or the entire school for several days for an extensive cleaning - likely one to three days - or close the school fully or partially for two weeks to allow for a school-wide quarantine period. If multiple cases are present in multiple schools, district officials must consult with the local county health officials in determining if there will be a district-wide closure for several days or weeks. If a school decides to close, it will immediately transition to remote learning. My community is seeing a growing number of COVID-19 cases. Will the schools close? In the case of a significant municipal outbreak, as determined by the local county health officials or DPHHS, the superintendent and school leaders must consult with the local county health officials to determine whether it is appropriate to close a specific school, schools, or an entire district. **Please note that details in this policy may change per further guidance from CDC and Montana DPHHS.