2020-2021 School Year FAQ's

Briarcrest Christian School’s COVID-19 FAQ and the School Year 2020-2021
*INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE 

It is our intention to be on campus this school year. With this goal in mind, we are attempting to minimize risks to the extent feasible and reasonable. The following guidelines will assist you in doing your part during this unprecedented time. 
The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect people of all ages. With that said, research from the CDC and others, has found that while children can be infected with COVID-19 and some severe outcomes have been reported in children, relatively few children with this virus are hospitalized or have severe symptoms. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that the risks of this virus must be balanced with the need for children to attend school in person. At BCS, we are attempting to minimize risks, realizing that it is not possible to eliminate them completely. 
What are the Health and Hygiene practices that will be followed?
  • Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds frequently during the school day. We have multiple locations for handwashing and provide anti-bacterial soap. We will have a video of proper handwashing and other effective hygiene strategies on the BCS Health Services page on the website. 
  • When handwashing is not possible, we have hand-sanitizer stations located throughout the school that contain at least 60% alcohol sanitizing solution. 
  • Students, faculty, staff and visitors should be encouraged to cover coughs, sneezes, etc. with a tissue, and when finished, to dispose of it properly and wash their hands.    
  • We have disinfectant wipes in all classrooms.
  • We will be cleaning high-touch surfaces around the buildings and in the classrooms. 
  • We will also use an electrostatic sprayer with an approved disinfectant throughout the campus. 
Are faculty and students required to have a COVID-19 Health Screening daily?
  • All faculty and staff are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to work each morning. Taking your temperature and asking the questions are required for the self-assessment.
  • Parents will conduct the COVID-19 self-screening for his/her student(s) each morning. Taking your child’s temperature and asking the questions are required for the assessment. We all need to minimize risks for one another, and this has to become part of our morning routine.
    • Have you had a fever in the last 24 hours?
    • Have you taken medicine to reduce your fever in the last 24 hours? 
    • Have you been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? 
    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat? 
    • Have you had a new loss of taste or smell? 
    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours? 
    • Are you awaiting test results for COVID-19? 
  • If you answer “YES” to any of the questions, you must stay home. 
High-risk contacts will be determined, based on facts and circumstances, by our medical professionals using the guidance from the public health authorities. 
What will happen if a student gets sick during the school day?
  • BCS has three RNs on campus. Should a student become ill at school, he/she will be assessed immediately for COVID-19 symptoms. Should a student have symptoms, he/she will be taken to an isolation room. Our isolation rooms are equipped with negative pressure. It is imperative that the student be picked up within 30 minutes. Our BCS nurse will provide information of the assessment, and you will be advised to contact your pediatrician. You will need to contact the BCS nurse with the information you gained from the doctor for us to make a determination about your child’s re-admittance to school. Different situations may have different facts, and we will work through these on an individual basis.  
How will it be handled when a student has a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • The student should have already shifted to remote learning, as he/she would have most likely been awaiting test results. Please communicate the test result to the principal and continue remote learning until you meet the following criteria as defined by the CDC: 
    • 24 hours with no fever and 
    • Decreased respiratory symptoms and 
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared 
  • Our nurses will review the situation, including contact tracing, and contact the public health authorities for guidance. 
  • The classroom(s) will be cleaned thoroughly. 
How will it be communicated when a student has a confirmed case of COVID-19? 
  • Our nurses will review the situation, including contact tracing, and contact the public health authorities for guidance. 
  • The parents of the students in the room(s) in which the student who tested positive will be notified of the COVID-19 case. They will be advised to watch for symptoms and to contact their pediatrician if necessary. Your student will be able to remain in school, unless otherwise notified by our nurse or administration.
  • High-risk contacts will be determined, based on facts and circumstances, by our medical professionals using the guidance from the public health authorities. If there has been no determination of a high-risk contact, we will not have to quarantine other students.   
How will it be handled when a student with a member of his/her household has a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • If a member of your household has a confirmed case of COVID-19, please call your principal. The student will shift to remote learning. If the affected family member is completely isolating, the student may return to school after 14 days from the last contact/exposure. If the affected family member is not completely isolating, the student may not return until 14 days after the affected family member meets the following criteria as defined by the CDC and if the student shows no symptoms:
    • 24 hours with no fever and 
    • Decreased respiratory symptoms and 
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared 
How will it be handled when a student has a possible case of COVID-19?
  • If a student has a symptom(s) and/or has reason to believe he/she was exposed to COVID-19, please call your pediatrician for guidance. If there is no other diagnosed reason for the symptoms, the student will need to shift to remote learning for 14 days from the last contact/exposure or until a negative test result. Please call the principal to let him or her know of the situation.   
How will re-admission to school be handled when a student had the symptoms below?
  • Symptoms                                                                            Re-Admission
    • Fever                                                                             48 hours 
    • Shortness of breath (not asthma related)                 14 days or school nurse  
                                                                                        approval/pediatrician’s note
    • Cough and/or sore throat (not asthma related)         14 days or school nurse  
                                                                                         approval/pediatrician’s note
                                                                                                                                               
How will the above policies on how to handle COVID-19 apply to faculty and staff? 
  • The applicable COVID-19 protocols will be followed for faculty and staff. 
Will the school be using special air filtration systems in the classrooms? 
  • BCS will have HEPA filters in each classroom. These filters help clean the air and will be used as a mitigation strategy in our classrooms.    
What is physical distancing at school?
  • Physical distancing in early childhood will be achieved by limiting the mixing of students in classrooms, encouraging outdoor activities and allowing for some activities that promote individual play. “Airplane wings” will be used to encourage spacing between students in hallways and/or common areas. 
  • All classrooms will allow for approximately 36 square feet per student. Our 1st through 12th grade classrooms will have all the desks facing the front of the room. 
  • Hallway traffic will promote physical distancing and utilize one-way traffic or walking on a designated side. Staggering of classes, bathroom breaks and limiting transitions will help reduce the number of students in common areas.   
How will absences that exceed the maximum amount be handled?
  • Principals will work through absences that exceed the maximum amount on a case by case basis. 
Will faculty and students be required to wear masks?
  • All faculty will be required to wear solid color masks or neck gaiters with no writing, logos or designs. Little Saints will not be required to wear masks. Students in PK-12th grade will be required to wear solid color masks or neck gaiters with no writing, logos or designs. The wearing of face coverings is subject to change as information on COVID-19 becomes available. Students will be able to remove their masks during PE, recess, snack and lunch. We will also make use of being outdoors. Students will not be required to wear masks or neck gaiters outside.  
What are the different learning plans at BCS should the need arise for an alternative approach? 
  • While our goal is to be on campus full-time, we have the capability of moving to a remote learning option or hybrid learning option. We will be utilizing Microsoft Teams for “live” or synchronous learning for 5th-12th grade. Our SK-4th grade students will have some “live” or synchronous learning coupled with teacher webpages and asynchronous learning. 
  • We have increased the availability of technology for SK-4th grade classrooms. Our students will be well-versed in technology, but only as a resource and support of our curriculum. Should an alternative plan to education be necessary, our 5th-12th graders already have devices. SK-4th grade students will be assigned a device from BCS. 
  • While it is our goal for all students to remain on campus, in person, full-time, we have been told that our two, three and four-year old classrooms may remain open under the Tennessee Department of Education Emergency Childcare unless otherwise instructed by a governmental directive. It is our hope that the Tennessee Department of Education would extend this to include all elementary students, as we know that many of our elementary families depend on their students being in school to allow parents to work. 
How will students refill their water bottles?
  • Water bottle refill stations have been installed throughout the school. Students will also be able to use the sinks in the science labs. Principals will provide additional information on water bottles and what to do if your child forgets to bring one. 
Where will our students be eating lunch?
  • The students will eat lunch in the classrooms. They will use disinfectant wipes on their desks before and after lunch. The students will be physically distanced in all classrooms at lunch. 
Will Sodexo be serving lunch and how do I order for my student? 
  • Sodexo will be offering a limited menu. Hot lunches will not be a part of the limited menu, and students will not have access to microwaves. You will be able to order weekly or individual days, but all orders must be placed by Thursday of the prior week. No cash will be accepted. Please see the information on the webpage. Students may bring their own lunches and snacks, but no fast-food may be brought in until further notice. 
  Will students be allowed to have snacks?
  • Elementary students will be physically distanced in their classrooms during snack time. Middle School students will be physically distanced in their classrooms during snack time. It will be during second period and will last ten minutes. High School students will be physically distanced in their classrooms during snack time. It will be during the first ten minutes of third period. Principals will communicate specifics about snacks. 
Will visitors, other than essential ones, be allowed in the building?
  • We will need time to navigate the flow of the school day, as well as limit the number of non-essential people in the building. Currently, we will be utilizing technology to the extent possible for parent communication. We will not have lunch visitors. All visitors will have a temperature screening and be asked the COVID-19 questions. Our hope is that we will be able to open the school to visitors soon, as we are proud of our school and want you to join us!  
Will we have athletics?
  • High school athletics are subject to TSSAA and the availability of leagues, etc. It is our desire to participate in as many sports as possible and we will continue to monitor the situation. If leagues are available, we will play middle school and elementary sports to the extent possible.  
How will Band and Choir class be handled?
  • Our Fine Arts Director, Dr. JD Frizzell, has done a great deal of research and will be communicating with our Fine Arts parents. We will be physically distancing and using pop filters in choir, along with the HEPA filters in the room. We will utilize other barriers with instruments and allow for participation in Fine Arts to the extent possible.
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