COVID-19

Phoenix Academy LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

6-25-2021

Introduction

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. This plan describes how Phoenix Academy will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and division staff during and following the return to full in-person instruction. Questions about this plan should be directed to:

Heather A. McNees
Lead Principal of Phoenix Academy
principals@pahp.com

Summary of response to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 academic year:

Phoenix Academy began the school year operating under Plan B which allowed for a hybrid in person/distancing learning or a 100% distance learning option for K-9. About 30% of our students returned to classrooms at least twice a week while 60% stayed distance.

In October, when allowed by the Governor, Phoenix opened K-5 to 4 days a week. Overall numbers remained relatively unchanged as around 55% of our students remained distance learners.

In December with the stress of having to cover quarantines and rising local COVID-19 cases putting the county into the red zone, Phoenix Academy went 100% virtual from December 6th until February 16th.

At the end of March, Phoenix Academy offered its 4-day option to 6-9th grade. About 45% of our kids came for in person instruction.

Phoenix Academy is preparing to begin the 2021-2022 academic school year with full time in person instruction, five days a week.

Maintaining Health and Safety
Phoenix Academy has taken and will continue to take actions to ensure the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and division staff during and following the return to full in-person instruction. A description of actions already taken and additional actions planned is below.

In the new school year, Phoenix Academy will transition into 100% in-person learning, continuing with their COVID-19 Mitigation Health Plan. The health plan was assembled with guidance from the CDC and the Governor’s Executive Orders. The health plan will continually be updated to mirror the COVID-19 response of each respective organization. The local community spread also impacts current and future mitigation strategies. The division’s COVID-19 Mitigation Health Plan – Phase III was updated June 20th, 2021.

In addition, Phoenix Academy has adopted policies on each of the following safety recommendations established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  1. Universal and correct wearing of masks

                 Phoenix Academy acknowledges recommendations from the CDC. Changes to our practice will be adopted following amendments to the Governor's Executive Order. Current practice is aligned with the most recent Governor’s Executive Order 220.

    1. Definitions. a. "Face Covering" means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears and fits snugly against the side of a person's face. A Face Covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. Face Coverings are most effective when they fit snugly against a person's face and have two (2) or more layers. This can be achieved by wearing a cloth Face Covering with two or more layers or by wearing one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. A cloth Face Covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. These Face Coverings are not intended for use by healthcare providers in the care of patients.

      Based on recommendations from the CDC, face shields do not meet the
      requirements for Face Coverings.

    2. "Guest" means any attendee, customer, guest, member, patron, spectator, or other person lawfully on the property of another that does not own the property or work at the property.

    3. "Surgical Mask" means American Society for Testing and Materials ("ASTM") Level 1, 2, or 3 approved procedural and surgical masks.
    4. Section 2. Face Coverings. In public school units, as defined by N.C. Gen. Stat. § l l 5C-5(7a), and non-public schools covered by Article 39 of Chapter l l 5C of the General Statutes, Face Coverings must be worn to the extent required by the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) (“Toolkit"), including any further amendments thereto, issued by the NCDHHS. As of the date of this Executive Order, the Toolkit currently requires Face Coverings indoors. Any future changes to the Face Covering requirement in schools would be issued through the Toolkit.

      In addition, Face Coverings are also required in the settings listed in Section 3 of this Executive Order below. In all settings where Face Coverings apply, the exceptions listed in Sections 2.3 to 2.5 of Executive Order No. 209 apply. Otherwise, the Face Covering requirements in Executive Order No. 209 are rescinded.

    Exceptions
    Where required to wear a mask, the requirement does not apply to the following:
    a. While eating or drinking.

    b. Individuals exercising or using exercise equipment

    c. Any person who is playing a musical instrument when wearing a mask would inhibit the playing of the instrument (e.g., wind or brass instrument) so long as at least ten feet of physical distance can be maintained from other persons, whether the rehearsal or performance is indoors or outdoors

    d. Any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

    e. Any person seeking to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing and for which the mouth needs to be visible

    f. Persons with health conditions or disabilities that prohibit wearing a mask.

  2. Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing
    1. Students are separated to the greatest extent possible, with seating facing the same direction.
  3. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
    1. Hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed in the hallways of each school building.
    2. All teachers have received a classroom bottle of hand sanitizer with available refills.
    3. The health plan provides the following handwashing guidance. \
      1. Wash hands often.
      2. Use warm water and soap, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
      3. Use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content greater than 60% when water and soap are not available.
      4. Hand washing should be done before every meal, after using the restroom, coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, and any time the hands are visibly dirty, or upon entry into a room or space and prior to exit.
      5. CDC Coronavirus Hand Hygiene Students and employees are expected to use respiratory etiquette, covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using tissues when available then throwing them into a trash receptacle, followed by washing or sanitizing hands

3. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation

            A cleaning/disinfecting regimen is established and incorporated into the Health Plan.

  1. HVAC systems will be updated to ensure the highest level of air quality and cleaning of the air. Phoenix Academy plans to use ESSR money for new HVAC systems.
  2. Day Porters will continue to clean throughout the day and sanitize all high touch areas. Cleaning services will continue to deep clean with COVID-19 approved cleaners to ensure the highest level of disinfecting and sterilization each evening. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State and local health departments.

4. Phoenix Academy employs the protocols below for COVID-19 positive employee or student:

  1. Employee: If an employee has COVID-19
    1. Administration will interview the employee for a list of close contacts, defined as those identified to have been within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes.
    2. Close contacts will be verbally notified that they have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19.
    3. They will be instructed to enter quarantine, isolating themselves for 10 days away from others.
    4. If the close contact has received a COVID-19 vaccination and they are 14 days after completing the vaccine series, they will not need to quarantine.
    5. The supervisor will determine if the employee can work remotely.
    6. The payroll specialist will initiate COVID-19 FMLA if necessary.
    7. The Guilford County (GCS) Health Department will receive names and contact information of those identified as close contacts. The health department will contact these individuals and monitor them throughout their quarantine period.
    8. The GCS Health Department will also follow the employee who is COVID positive and provide a return-to-work letter after their isolation period.
    9. Once all close contacts have been notified, employees, students, and their families of the respective school will receive notification that there was an exposure within the building.
    10. Itinerant employees will also be notified.

       

  2. Student: If a student is reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  1. Administration will be notified and contact the parent/guardian to confirm
  2. Administration will work with Teachers to identify close contacts.
  3. The student may also be interviewed, if appropriate.
  4. Additional interviews with Resource Teachers, Support Staff, or Coaches may also be necessary to identify close contacts.
  5. Verbal contact will be made to parents/guardians of those identified as close contacts. They will be instructed to quarantine their student for 10 days.
  6. If the close contact has received a COVID-19 vaccination and they are 14 days after completing the vaccine series, they will not need to quarantine.
  7. The GCS Health Department will receive names and contact information of those identified as close contacts.
  8. The health department will contact these individuals and monitor them throughout their quarantine period.
  9. The GCS Health Department will also follow the student who is COVID positive and provide a return to school letter after their isolation period.
  10. Once all close contacts have been notified, employees, students, and their families of the respective school will receive notification that there was an exposure within the building.
  11. Itinerant employees will also be notified.
  12. Additional Information for COVID-19 Exposure or Diagnosis
  1. All notifications of a student seeking testing, presumed or confirmed positive, should be immediately relayed to school administration.
  2. All reports of an employee seeking testing, presumed or confirmed positive, should be immediately relayed to Administration.
  3. Employees and/or students are encouraged to contact their Medical Provider during the quarantine/isolation period if they develop symptoms or have concerns.
  4. During a quarantine/isolation period, a negative COVID test does not change the required length of time to be physically absent from work or school.
  5. A negative COVID test is not required to return to work/school.
  6. HIPAA information is protected for all.

Continuity of Services
            Phoenix Academy has taken and will continue to take actions to ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs.

  1. Academic
    1. Phoenix Academy staff are working to revise curriculum to identify and emphasize key skills and competencies in a “vertical” approach to help ensure that students in subsequent grades (in Fall 2021) are able to learn required content and skills.
    2. Phoenix Academy are using benchmark data to build remediation classrooms which will work on addressing learning gaps and loss
    3. Phoenix Academy are having planning meetings over the summer with teachers to ensure learning is ready to go the first day of school for all students
    4. Phoenix Academy has added an additional Reading Interventionist to the K-2 campus to ensure more support to reading instruction
    5. Phoenix Academy is also adding Interventionist Assistants who will work with teachers to give more individualized instruction to students at the most risk

      Social/Emotional/Mental Health
  1. Phoenix Academy will continue to use their 7 Mindsets SEL curriculum to help students have the healthiest and strongest mindset.
  2. Phoenix Academy will continue to identify and refer students and staff who are in need of counselling services.

Opportunity for Public Comment
In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Phoenix Academy will seek public and constituent/stakeholder input through email sent from our One Call Now communication portal. Administration will include this information in regular news broadcasts to division families, and the division also will announce the feedback opportunity through its social media platforms.

Periodic Review and Revision of Plan
During the period of the ARP ESSER award (until September 2023), Phoenix Academy will periodically review and as needed, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The plan will be reviewed at least every six months, and Phoenix Academy will seek and consider public input during the review process. Plan revisions will address updated CDC and Governor’s Executive Order guidance on safely reopening schools, if any are issued.

Making the Plan Available to the Public

Phoenix Academy has taken the following steps to make this plan available to the public:

  1. The plan is posted at www.pahp.com
  2. For assistance with printed or oral translation, please contact principals@pahp.com
  3. Or call the school at 336-869-0079