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Document: Helias Catholic High School Re-entry Plan


The News Tribune is offering this article free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.

Helias Catholic High School released its fall re-entry plan Monday, which requires masks, increased hand-washing, social distancing and temperature checks.

Administration met with faculty, staff, parents and students to create this plan, Principal Kenya Fuemmeler wrote in a letter distributed with the plan.

"We have also evaluated recommendations from numerous organizations; other schools; and local, state and federal officials," she wrote.

If the number of COVID-19 cases rises, this plan is likely to change, Fuemmeler wrote.

"We may have days where we dismiss early for contact investigations, days where we go to online learning in block schedules, and days where only certain grade levels attend school in person," she wrote. "We may also have complete closure with a return to online learning."

Social distancing is encouraged, and there will be additional cleaning procedures and Plexiglass barriers in high-traffic areas, according to the letter. There will also be an extra five minutes between classes and three lunch periods to allow for more space.

Anybody entering the school building must wear a mask, have their temperature checked and keep a distance of 6 feet between others when possible, according to the plan. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be directed to the school nurse.

Students will be provided with a mask, and it is the student's responsibility to bring a mask and wear it in designated areas. If a student forgets it, they can receive one more free mask, but additional masks will cost $5, the plan states.

Students will not be allowed to gather in groups, and they will be required to walk single file down hallways.

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During lunch, students will have one week to select where they are sitting, then their tables will be assigned. Table space will be available in the Commons and the Auxiliary Gym, the plan states.

Helias will have an eight-period day this school year to allow for more social distancing. The doors to school will open at 7 a.m., and school begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 3:10 p.m., according to the letter.

"If we need to go online or move to a situation where we need to limit the number of students in the school building on a given day, this new schedule will help facilitate those transitions," Fuemmeler wrote.

All students will be required to be out of the building by 3:30 p.m. each day unless they are working with a teacher or staff member.

Students participating in athletics or clubs should report to their designated area by 3:30 p.m. If a student has practice at a later time in the evening, they will be required to leave the building or go to a designated, supervised area for the specific sport or activity, the plan states.

Athletics and activities will follow the Cole County Health Department and Missouri State High School Activities Association guidelines, and more details will be released by Sunday, according to the plan.

Students who are sick at school will be asked to put on their mask and report to the school nurse. If a student or staff member has a fever of 100.4 or higher, they will be sent home and will not be allowed to return until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

If a student or staff member leaves school during the day for illness, they will not be allowed to return that day. If a student sees a doctor and is diagnosed with a treatable illness such as strep throat or a sinus infection, the student may return to school with a doctor's note after being on an antibiotic for 24 hours, according to the plan.

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Students who have COVID-19 symptoms will wait in a "quarantine room" until parents pick them up or give the school nurse permission for their child to leave, the plan states. If a staff member shows COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked to leave immediately.

If the school receives notification of a student or staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 during the school day, students will be kept in their current class with the doors shut. Families will receive a text notifying them of a positive case and dismissal of school, according to the plan. All evening activities will also be canceled.

Families will be notified by 5:30 p.m. following an early dismissal if students will return to school the next day, but school will most likely be canceled the next day to allow for contact tracing, the plan states.

A student or staff member who tests positive or is suspected to have COVID-19 will stay home for at least 10 days and will follow the Cole County Health Department's guidelines to know when it is safe to return to school, according to the plan.

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