On Friday July 17, Governor Newsom announced new mandates and guidance for schools (public and private) in California. In the announcement he stated:
California schools may open to in-person learning if located in a county that has not been on the California Covid-19 monitoring list for the past 14 days. Schools and school districts may reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days. If the LHJ has been on the monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school must conduct distance learning only, until their LHJ has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days.

Currently, Riverside County is on the state monitoring list. Mesa Grande Academy is diligently planning for high-value distance learning beginning August 24. As soon as the county allows us to resume on-campus instruction, Mesa Grande Academy will be ready to welcome students back on campus.

Reopening Information

Current as of July 3, 2020

OVERVIEW

The following plan to reopen school has been developed based on guidelines and requirements provided by the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) Office of Education. The Office of Education guidelines are based on the best and most current health information known as of the latest revision date of this document. These guidelines follow the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California state education and public health departments, and local county recommendations.

As new guidance and practices become available, updates will be communicated to parents. Any future decision in regard to discontinuing on-site instruction at Mesa Grande Academy will be made based on the Riverside County Department of Public Health directives and guidance from the Southeastern California Conference Office of Education.

Attendance

Absenses

Absences due to illness, including COVID-19 symptoms, will be recorded. Parents must report the absence and reason to the school office each morning. Teachers and administrators will work with parents and students to ensure learning continues during a student’s extended absence.

Guidelines

Your child should come to school if they can fulfill the following requirements:

  • Can energetically participate in classroom activities and recess without use of fever/symptom-reducing medicine (tylenol, Ibuprofen, cough syrup, etc.)
  • Has a temperature below 100.4
  • Has no new symptoms of COVID-19 such as respiratory symptoms, muscle ache, loss of taste and smell, with or without fever
  • Has no symptoms of vomiting/diarrhea

Your child should stay at home and will be sent home if they have any of the following:

  • They appear or complain of feeling unwell or they have a suspected communicable disease
  • A temperature of 100.4 or higher, or other COVID-19 symptoms
  • Students with fever will be isolated and be required to wear a face covering until they can be picked up by their parents/guardian
  • Your child should stay at home if they have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 as defined by the CDC: Individual who has had close contact (less than six feet) for more than 15 minutes

Return to school after illness/fever related to COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19

Campus Access

Pre-screening at Home

Parents must screen their child(ren) before leaving for school to ensure temperature is below 100.4. They are to check for other COVID-19 symptoms outlined by public health officials. If they fail this screening or if they have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, they should remain at home and follow the guidelines for how to return to school.

Pre-screening at School

All visitors and students will be screened upon entering campus. As they walk in, students’ temperature will be taken and they will sanitize their hands. Screening locations are as follows:

Elementary: Elementary side gate (North)

Junior High & High School: High School side gate (South)

Please Note: If a student is symptomatic when entering campus or during the school day, they will be separated from others immediately and isolated with a face covering until they are picked up by an authorized adult.

Guardians & Visitors

Access to campus beyond the front office for guardians and visitors will be limited. There will be a temperature check and screening in order to access the rest of the campus. Face coverings will be required.

Physical Distancing

Arrival and Departure

In order to maintain high standards of safety and hygiene, everyone in the school community must take responsibility for themselves and for each other. As such, expectations for social distancing and hygiene will be communicated and reinforced throughout the school.

Arrival and Departure

  • There will be markers showing where students should stand as a line forms at screening stations
  • There will be designated routes for entry and exit of the campus
  • During drop off and pick up times, visitors—including guardians—will be limited to maintain a minimum of six feet of distance between individuals

In the Classroom

  • To the greatest extent possible, seating and desks will be rearranged in the classrooms to allow students to be 3-6 feet apart and facing the same direction
  • Where six foot distance is not possible, the following measures will be taken:
    • If less than six feet (between 3-6 feet only), students must wear face coverings
    • If less than three feet, face coverings must be worn and dividers will be provided
  • When working together in labs, students will be required to wear face coverings and face shields
  • Some larger group activities such as choir and band will be held in other locations on campus if the class size requires a larger space
  • Physical education activities will follow the guidelines set up for athletics programs. Currently only non-contact activities are allowed

Non-Classroom Spaces & Activities

Playground

  • Students will have recess by grade level
  • Some play equipment may not be available for use
  • We will encourage physical activities that require less contact with surfaces
  • After use of playground equipment, handwashing will be required

Lunch

  • The number of students at the lunch tables will be limited
  • Tables will be disinfected before each use
  • Students will eat outside (alternate plans will be announced for inclement weather)
  • Hot lunch will continue to be available as individually plated meals
  • Lunchtime activities will be limited to no contact activities

Chapel Programs & Assemblies

A variety of options will be implemented for social distancing:

  • Some chapel programs may be held outside
  • Some chapel programs will be live-streamed to every classroom simultaneously in an interactive manner
  • Where group size allows, chapel will be held in the Pit or gym

Trips, Field Trips & Concerts

At this time, all trips, field trips, and intergroup activities will be virtual through December 31, 2020. Second semester plans for field-trips and activities will be evaluated in the fall.

Health & Safety

Hygiene Procedures

Personal hygiene procedures will be taught and reinforced

  • Emphasis will be placed on handwashing between activities
  • In the elementary, classroom routines will include teaching and reinforcing personal hygiene on a regular basis
  • In junior high and high school, students will be reminded both verbally and by signage to use sanitizer upon entering each classroom and to wash hands frequently
  • Classrooms that do not have sinks will be outfitted with hand sanitizer dispensers
  • When appropriate, we will teach students to properly clean surfaces that they use

Classroom Celebrations and Food Fundraisers

All food—including condiments, must be commercially prepared and packaged. Buffet or family-style meals will not be allowed. Bake sales are cancelled until further notice.

Drinking Fountains

The drinking fountains will be closed. However, there will be water bottle refill stations available. Students should bring a full water bottle, clearly marked with their name. Students are not to share water bottles.

Face Coverings

Faculty and staff will be wearing face coverings on campus.

Students in grades TK-3

  • Must wear face coverings upon arrival and when visiting the office
  • Face coverings are optional for grades TK-3 during the school day

Students in grades 4-12

Students must wear face coverings:

  • Upon entering and exiting school
  • Moving on campus and in all areas of the school (includes hallways, bathrooms, drop-off and pick-up points)
  • In classrooms where physical distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained
  • While working on campus

Students may remove face coverings:

  • During the lunch period
  • In classrooms when physical distancing can be maintained (each teacher will inform their students if their classroom set up and class size allows for removal of face coverings)
  • While outside and distanced from others

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily. All touch points will be disinfected with a CDC approved product.

Frequently touched surfaces throughout the campus will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.

Classroom procedures will be developed to disinfect touch points throughout the day. These surfaces include desks, tables, chairs, dividers, keyboards, phones, headsets, door knobs, faucet handles and light switches.

Ventilation

MGA’s HVAC system is maintained regularly and equipped with appropriate filters to maintain clean air in the buildings.

As much as possible and where it is safe to do so, teachers will introduce outdoor air by having outside doors and windows open. All lunch activities and recess will be outside as much as possible.

Athletics

Athletic Phases

Sports will be allowed to restart based on guidance by CIF, local health agencies, and SECC Office of Education. There are three phases for starting sports:

  • Phase 1 – Non-contact practice, conditioning, no games, no spectators
  • Phase 2 – Interactive practice, no games, no spectators
  • Phase 3 – Games allowed with limited spectators to accommodate for social distancing

The health and safety requirements for each phase will be communicated to student athletes and parents as each phase opens. We are currently in phase 1 of restarting the athletics program.

Distance Learning

Plans in the event of another stay-at-home order

Mesa Grande Academy teachers and administration will set up and communicate procedures at the beginning of the year to ensure that any mandated transition to distance learning happens smoothly and effectively.

These transition plans include the consistent use of one main online platform to communicate and house tools for learning, as well as a daily schedule for direct online instruction. In order to support a seamless transition, the same online platform will be used to communicate throughout the regular school year. Parents and students will be trained to use the online platform at the beginning of the year.

To ensure uninterrupted instruction, in the event that MGA needs to transition to distance learning, the new daily schedule for grades TK-12, will include a full day of synchronous and asynchronous instruction with students being connected and interacting with their teacher(s). This will be a combination of screen time, breaks, and off-screen activities.