Reopening Community Prep
We believe in-person learning, students engaging with one another and our diverse teaching staff and student body, is the best environment for students to grow and learn. Our teachers are ready to return to the classroom and provide the quality instruction and learning opportunities that make Community Preparatory School a unique and special place.
We rely on information from the scientific community (the WHO, CDC, RIDOH, as well as the expertise of our school physician and several parents who are experts in infectious disease) to develop and modify our reopening plans. We will be flexible and adapt as new information becomes available on COVID-19. We understand our current actions will mitigate, not eliminate, the risk of transmission. We will maintain open lines of communication between students, families and staff to ensure all members of our community understand the new school policies and protocols designed to keep us safe.
Our in-person and distance learning classes include math, language arts, social studies, science, creative arts, music/dance, technology (in person only), Spanish, physical education, and social-emotional learning. We will continue to provide after school care, prioritizing families with the greatest need, as we will need to practice new health and safety measures during all aspects of our school day. We are exploring the possibility of holding intramural sports that align with physical distancing/mitigation guidelines.
We held four parent Zoom meetings on reopening throughout the month of August. If you missed those meetings, you can access a recording in TeacherEase under Announcements.
“School closures carry high social and economic costs for people across communities. Their impact however is particularly severe for the most vulnerable... The resulting disruptions exacerbate already existing disparities within the education system but also in other aspects of their lives.”
These are challenging times. We must balance the negative impacts of extended school closures with policies to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. A Community Prep education is about giving students opportunities to reach their full academic and leadership potential. We are ready to come together to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students and families for everything from meals to transportation, technology, quality educational opportunity and social/emotional support.
The most important thing you can do is to stay informed on the latest guidelines from the Rhode Island Department of Health. You can find a link at the end of this page under Resources.
- 1. Daily symptoms check:
Families and staff will be required to complete a self-attestation form via TeacherEase before school each day to let us know your child (and those in your immediate household) are symptom free. We encourage you to download the TeacherEase app for this purpose, but you can use any device with internet access to login.
- 2. Pick-up and drop off:
There will be new pick-up and drop-off policies when we return to school. We need to limit the number of students gathering in spaces, so students will proceed directly to their homeroom upon entering the building each morning. Students can be dropped off beginning at 7:30am. There will be different drop-off locations to allow for additional social distancing as students enter the building when we fully reopen. Students will be dismissed when their bus or parent arrives. Dismissal staff will communicate to the homeroom teacher when a parent has arrived via text message, and the student will be sent down. Parents who need to pick up their child early will contact Rina Consuegra or the front desk while they wait in the parking lot or bus bay.
- 3. Facemask policy:
We ask that everyone on campus wear a mask at all times. Students, teachers and staff will be required to wear face masks and have the option of using a face shield (in addition to the mask).
Everyone on campus should use a two-layer (minimum) cloth face mask with ear loops. We cannot use bandanas or neck gaiters as masks at school; they do not encourage proper face mask etiquette. We cannot allow the use of masks containing valves on campus as they protect the wearer but not the other members of our community. Our motto on masks is, "My mask protects you. Your mask protects me."
- 4. Meals:
Breakfast and lunch will be served in the classrooms to avoid large gatherings. Meals will be pre-packaged. Students will be required to wash their hands thoroughly before and after school meals. Because we are avoiding the use of shared materials as much as possible, students will not have access to refrigerators or microwaves at school; please pack lunches with that in mind.
- 5. Online learning:
If Rhode Island schools are ordered to close by the state at any point, Community Preparatory School will be ready to return to Distance Learning. We will utilize the same platforms we did in the spring, largely Google Classroom for work and assignments and Zoom for live instruction. We will follow the same schedule for distance learning as we do for full or partial in-person classes.
Ms. Lee, our creative arts teacher, is an excellent resource for parents and students who have technology/Wi-Fi issues during distance learning.
- 6. Travel
Please follow any state and federal travel restrictions as announced. Students who travel to states on RI's quarantine list will need to do distance learning for 14 days upon return.
Right now, we know that transmission of the virus is affected by three key factors:
Mitigation strategies the school is putting into effect:
- 1. Stable groups
A stable group is up to 30 individuals for elementary and middle school. In a full re-opening, our homeroom classes will serve as our stable groups. Our homeroom classes range from 16 to 22 students. Students will remain in their stable group throughout the school day. This is one of the most important steps we can take as a school; it will allow for small groups of students to quarantine in the event of infection without requiring the entire school to close. Stable groups will have designating recess times to limit interaction between students in different stable groups. In a partial re-opening scenario, the stable group/homeroom is cut in half with students attending in-person two days each week.
- 2. Physical distancing
Students will be distanced in classrooms 3-6 feet apart based on guidance from the World Health Organization, the CDC and the AAP.
From recent AAP guidance: “…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. Schools should weigh the benefits of strict adherence to a 6-feet spacing rule between students with the potential downside if remote learning is the only alternative…. Given what is known about transmission dynamics, adults and adult staff within schools should attempt to maintain a distance of 6 feet from other persons as much as possible, particularly around other adult staff”.
Teachers will maintain 6 feet of physical distance from students. Stairwells will be one-way to prevent congestion. Decals will be placed in the foyer and hallways to encourage proper distancing when outside of the classroom. We will utilize outdoor space as much as possible during the school day and during mealtimes. If students from different stable groups are outside, they will remain 14 feet apart. We will not be able to have large school gatherings until further notice.
- 3. Masks
We require that everyone on campus wear a mask at all times. Face shields can be worn in addition to a mask (they do not replace the need for a mask). Plexiglass partitions will also be employed in certain areas of the classroom. Teachers and students will spend time outdoors to allow for mask breaks during the school day.
- 4. Air flow
Community Preparatory School has self-contained air conditioning/heating units in each and every classroom. In other words, air is not circulated between classrooms. Fresh air is vented into the classroom from outside at all times. Air exchange in all classrooms occurs 5-7 time an hour. We follow best practices on the changing of filters on each unit. This makes Community Prep classrooms far safer than other schools from an air quality perspective.
- 5. Hand hygiene
New protocols around hand hygiene will be in place. Students will be required to clean their hands any time they enter their homeroom class: first thing in the morning, before and after meals, after recess or breaks outside of the classroom, etc. Each classroom will have a sink and sanitizing station. Posters will be displayed in bathrooms and classrooms to encourage proper handwashing and hand sanitizing. All bathrooms are being fitted with touchless faucets and soap dispensers.
- 6. Cleaning and disinfecting the school
We will have a custodian on site from 9:00am to 3:00pm each day to clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces and bathrooms throughout the school day. A cleaning crew will be in the building to provide thorough cleaning and disinfecting each night. Our cleaning company services Rhode Island Hospital and is trained in proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols as outlined by the CDC. We will also be utilizing electrostatic sprayers to disinfect classrooms each night. Students will be encouraged to use their own supplies to limit sharing of materials. Materials that are shared, like PE equipment, will be sanitized between classes.
- Athletics and performing arts- We will not have competitive fall sports. Students will not be singing or chanting in music classes.
- In-person Daybreak is suspended until further notice.
- All fall field trips, including overnight trips, have been suspended.
- Friday clubs have been suspended until further notice.
- Parent conferences and parent group meetings will happen via Zoom.
- No visitors to the school building, including parents, will be allowed until further notice.
- Students will be able to use the bottle-filling feature of the bubblers. The drinking fountains will not be used.