SAFE RETURN TO SCHOOL

ELEMENTARY CAMPUS

Given the fluidity of the situation, our plans to safely return to school this fall will be constantly evaluated for necessary modifications. These plans embrace current recommendations for returning to school from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), and Arizona Department of Education (ADE) along with recommendations from our COVID-19 Task Force. Please note recommendations from each of these organizations will evolve between now and August and will be taken into appropriate consideration. Conditions can fluctuate, including federal, state, and city regulations, and we may need to alter our plans. We will continue to keep you updated.

ACADEMIC MODEL

  • Valley Christian Schools Elementary (K-6) will utilize a full-time face-to-face model with various on-campus modifications for purposes of safety and sanitation whenever feasible.
  • Students who are unable to attend school will follow the guidelines for absenteeism and makeup work, as published in the Parent and Student Handbook.
  • If a return to Virtual Learning is mandated due to school closure, specific guidelines will be provided similar to the previous remote model (March-May 2020) along with modifications or changes as deemed necessary.

ABSENCE AND MAKEUP WORK

Please reference the Parent and Student Handbook regarding absenteeism and makeup work.

  • The number of allowed absences per semester is 12, with a maximum of 18 school days.
  • Work packets will be issued at the end of each instructional week for students who have missed school in conjunction with classroom teachers to include firm due dates.
  • Students who miss school and subject to make up work will not receive the level of support represented by a remote learning model.
  • All work missed during absences must be made up. This work includes summative assessments (tests) of which would be taken at school once the student returns.
  • The elementary campus will follow the Makeup of Work Missed During Absences section of the Parent and Student Handbook.
  • Long term documented medical absences for K-6 students or family members require a conference (in-person or Zoom) with the Elementary Principal. These situations will allow for makeup work up to a certain point. This option would be the case for any student or family member with health concerns requiring the student to miss school days.

ARRIVAL

  • The first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year is August 4th.
  • Parents absolute cooperation is necessary to monitor their child’s health before coming to school.
  • Arrival begins at 7:55 am and ends at 8:20 am.
    • Parents arriving after 8:20 am will park in the front parking lot and use the walk-in gate doorbell to alert the office. Staff will meet the children at the walk-in gate and escort them to class.
  • Traffic flow: (change from 2019-2020 school year)
    • Enter via River Drive and Sun Valley parking lot (as with dismissal)
    • All students are dropped off at the back gate (supervised by staff) and directed to their classrooms (drivers and other passengers must remain in their vehicles)
    • New families to VCS (with face masks) will be able to walk his/her child(ren) to the classroom for the first two days of school.
      • Park in the front parking lot and use the walk-in gate doorbell to alert the office for entry.
      • There will be an orientation (via scheduled times) for all students and families before the first day of school to meet teachers and locate their classrooms.
    • Face masks are optional for students and staff. The use of face masks will be utilized for visitors who enter the campus until further notice.
    • Separate entry points to classrooms will be utilized to reduce hallway traffic. Entry points for homerooms are as follows:
      • Golden (K) – Enter back gate use marked interior doorway
      • Ferrara (K) – Enter marked exterior door from Valley Alley
      • Ellis (1) – Enter back gate use interior doorway
      • Wakefield (2) – Enter exterior door from Valley Alley
      • Quick (2) – Enter back gate use interior doorway
      • Sawyers (3) – Enter exterior door from Valley Alley
      • Freibott (4) – Enter exterior door from Valley Alley
      • Thorneycroft’s (Middle School 5/6) – Enter back gate use interior pop-out door
      • Brecht’s (Middle School 5/6) – Enter back gate use interior pop-out door
      • Rhoades’s (Middle School 5/6) – Enter back gate use interior hallway to the classroom
    • As a precaution, contactless temperature checks will be completed by homeroom teachers for their students (upon entering the classroom) from August 4 until August 14.
    • Parents are ultimately responsible for monitoring their children’s temperature and well-being.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be provided for each student (monitored by teachers) as he/she enters the classroom. Additional handwashing stations will be installed and utilized throughout the school day.

DISMISSAL

  • Dismissal begins at 3:25 pm and ends at 4:00 pm.
  • Traffic flow:
    • Enter via River Drive and Sun Valley parking lot forming two lines and following the established dismissal pattern.
    • Students will be dismissed from individual homerooms and not grouped into zone dismissal rooms this year. This process may cause a small delay in students arriving at their vehicles.
    • Students are assisted by staff and enter cars at the back gate (same place as drop-off).
  • All students must be picked up by 4:00 pm unless registered with Child Care, departing via VCS school bus/van, or attending after-school clubs (see Child Care section of this document).
  • On Family Fridays, dismissal begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 2:30 pm. The Trojan Tunnel outside door will not open until 2:00 pm (no gathering in the Tunnel).  Parents should stay in their parked vehicles (Sun Valley parking lot) until doors are opened by staff.  As a precaution, parents/visitors entering the campus must wear face masks.  The school encourages fellowship among parents and teachers, but please make it a point to depart campus reasonably after picking up your child from the classroom.
  • Contact Troy Hanzal for information regarding transportation services. Parents should provide a mask for their children. A temporary mask will be provided for them if necessary. Students are expected to wear a mask given physical distancing is not feasible. All masks may be removed once the student arrives in the classroom.

SICK POLICY

Valley Christian Schools Elementary will follow the Sick Policy per the Parent and Student Handbook.

  • All parents or designated person(s) must promptly report to campus and retrieve their child if contacted by the school or School Nurse (no exceptions).
  • Parents may be required to utilize an exterior entrance/exit to the Nurse Station to retrieve their child.
  • Established health and safety protocols are in place to handle various situations involving both students and staff members.
  • The elementary campus has a full-time nurse on-site to serve our students.
  • A student should not be brought to school if found to have a fever (having a temperature of 100.4°F or higher) without medication in the last 48 hours. Please reference the Sick Policy for other symptoms that warrant a child remaining at home.
  • In the event a child complains about not feeling well during the school day, parents or emergency contact will be required to pick up the child. This notification may include students who show significant levels of irritability, continual crying, or requires more attention than can be provided without negatively impacting the health, safety, or well-being of other students or staff members.
  • Please be advised the School Nurse will use extra precautions with students sent to the nurse’s station with various concerns.
  • All parents will continue to receive an email notification via RenWeb for any student who visits the nurse’s station.

CLASSROOM INFORMATION

  • Regular school hours are from 8:20 am – 3:25 pm. Friday school hours are from 8:20 am – 2:00 pm.
  • Valley Christian Schools Elementary will be utilizing the traditional face-to-face classroom model for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • If a return to Virtual Learning is required, specific guidelines will be provided similar to the previous remote model (March-May 2020) with any necessary modifications.
  • Classroom student desks will be spaced apart and facing the same direction.
  • Face masks are optional for students and staff.
  • As a precaution, contactless temperature checks will be completed by homeroom teachers from August 4 until August 14. Staff will self-check and log temperatures daily.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be provided for students (supervised as needed) and staff.
  • Outside water fountains are being replaced with handwashing stations and utilized throughout the day.
  • An increased level of disinfecting and cleaning will take place for classrooms and common areas.
  • As a precaution, backpacks will be kept in the classrooms to decrease hallway traffic.
  • Middle School lockers, given an outside location, will be used with limited access as facilitated by teachers throughout the day.
  • Bottled water dispensers are being installed in each classroom, eliminating shared water fountains.
  • Specials (PE, Fine Arts, Computer, and Spanish) are an integral part of whole-child learning. Students will transition in classroom groups with teachers to these classes. Sanitation will occur between classroom groups. K-6 students are not required to wear (or change into) VC apparel for PE this year. Additional information will be forthcoming as part of the K-6 revised dress code of which will accommodate manageable attire.
  • VINE accommodations and services will continue for students.
  • Field trips will be evaluated based on teacher requests to determine if adequate safety measures are in place at given destinations. Field trips are entirely optional for students to attend.
  • Weekly chapels will continue with specific student groups on different days, given the current facility allows for sufficient spacing. All-School Chapels (K-6th) have been postponed until further notice.  The school will provide one Chapel polo shirt for all students.

 RECESS AND LUNCH

  • Recess will continue for all grades.
  • Recess times will be staggered to limit the number of students.
  • A spraying mist will sanitize all playground equipment in between groups.
  • Outside water fountains are replaced with additional handwashing stations to utilize after each recess period and before students return to the classroom.
  • Lunch periods will be staggered to limit the number of students. Both Valley Grill and Valley Central will be used to ensure maximum spacing as deemed necessary.
  • The online lunch orders (outside vendors) are suspended until further notice. Students will bring their lunch from home.  Microwaves may not be used. There is to be no sharing among students.  There will be no utensils, napkins, or condiments provided by cafeteria staff for students.
  • The peanut table(s) will be available for students who bring foods containing peanuts.
  • Sanitation will occur between groups.
  • Students will wash their hands before and after the lunch period.
  • Classroom teachers will give instructions regarding any in-classroom snacks.

CLEANING AND SANITATION

  • The school cleaning protocol includes increased disinfecting and sanitizing measures as scheduled by designated staff.
  • All classrooms, common areas, restrooms, and offices are cleaned/sanitized at the end of every school day.
  • In common areas, sanitation will occur between groups.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol will be provided for students and monitored by teachers as applies.
  • Outside water fountains are being replaced with handwashing stations and utilized throughout the day.
  • A spraying mist will sanitize all playground equipment in between student groups.
  • Bottled water dispensers are being installed in each classroom, eliminating shared water fountains.
  • There will be a fully equipped designated classroom (sanitized) not in use on campus. This classroom would be utilized should an immediate need arise to re-sanitize any active classroom while temporarily relocating students. If so, students will return within 24 hours to their class.

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS, SPECIALS, AND SCHOOL EVENTS

  • After School Clubs and major school wide events are temporarily postponed until further notice, additional information and related updates will be released in the future.
  • As a precaution, Fine Arts classes (i.e., music/choir) that involve singing in a group setting will most likely not begin until the second quarter. This particular change from the elementary curriculum given vocal instruction does not typically start until this time to prepare for the Christmas Program.
  • Instrumental classes (band, orchestra) will continue with feasible spacing taking place in the classroom.

VISITORS

  • All visitors will park in the front parking lot and use the walk-in gate doorbell to alert the office. Visitors will check in at the office.
  • Face masks are required for all visitors until further notice. Face masks are optional for students and staff.
  • Volunteers on campus will be limited and will require a face mask until further notice.
  • Volunteers must check-in at the office for self-temperature check and wellness questions.

CHILDCARE

  • Morning Childcare: 7:00 am – 7:55 am / After School Childcare: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
  • All parents must now pre-register for childcare services. Families may no longer utilize childcare with at-will drop-offs or pick-ups.
  • The firm registration of students will ensure staff maintains safe distancing and overall manageable number of participants.
  • The Childcare Coordinator will reach out to all families via email before the start of school to navigate the registration process.
  • The maximum capacity for before or after school care is 20 students. This ratio reflects a maximum of 20 students for either morning or afternoon sessions.
  • Disinfecting and cleaning protocol will continue to include increased handwashing and sanitation of equipment.
  • The school will no longer serve snacks during childcare. Families are encouraged to pack an extra snack in their child’s backpack if they plan to utilize childcare.
  • The school will no longer charge for childcare. As a courtesy, families are encouraged to only register for childcare services if utilized consistently and cannot utilize the car-rider process. All families will have until 4:00 pm to pick up students through the regular dismissal process.
  • Those who register for after school clubs may utilize childcare from 5:00 pm– 5:30 pm without registering for childcare. Families are encouraged to be on time to pick up their child from clubs as designated by the Club Coordinator. Typically, school clubs are from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Last updated June 19, 2020