Health and Safety Plan Summary:

Philly Agile Learning Community

Anticipated Launch Date: September 8, 2020

This plan describes the steps Philly ALC plans on taking this upcoming school year to help prevent the transmission of COVID 19, and why we are taking them.

Philly Agile Learning Community plans to make decisions about how we operate during this pandemic based on the best available science; within the bounds of state directives; subject to financial and logistical constraints; and with a focus on protecting the health and welfare of students and their families, Facilitators, and the broader public. 

 

In order to prepare for the widest range of possible scenarios, and to respond to unforeseen circumstances as they arise, we must lay out and continually update our assumptions. Our assumptions are informed by the most relevant research, scientific consensus, and current guidance from public health officials. 

 

Covid-19  (Hat Tip to Abrome school for this)

  • Covid-19 will still be present in Philadelphia during academic year 2020-2021, and we have direct members of our community that are in “increased-risk” categories for Covid-19 complications

  • Transmission assumptions:

    • Covid-19 is contagious 

    • Covid-19 spreads through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings

    • It is highly likely that asymptomatic individuals (infected people not exhibiting symptoms) are able to spread the disease

    • Airborne transmission (e.g., breathing) is more likely than fomite transmission (e.g., touching a doorknob, handshake) 

    • The greater the number of virus particles someone comes into contact with, the greater likelihood they will develop Covid-19.

    • Transmission is far more likely to happen in indoor environments than outdoors 

  • Groups of people tend to have a greater risk of serious complication or death include:

    • Older adults

    • People with certain underlying medical conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes, obesity, lung disease, cardiovascular disease)

    • People with weakened immune systems due to medical conditions or treatments (e.g., cancer treatment)

  • Non-pharmaceutical interventions that reduce risk of transmission include:

    • Increasing the distance between individuals; disperses the viral particles expelled into the environment, reducing the number of viral particles that any one person is exposed to 

    • School closures and stay-at-home orders; greatly reduces the average number of people an infected person interacts with

    • Quarantine or self-isolation; prevents someone who may have come into contact with an infected person from further spreading the disease 

    • Wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth; reduces the number of viral particles that others are exposed to

    • Regular hand-washing and disinfecting of surfaces; reduces the likelihood of fomite transmission

  • Treatment and immunity

    • Reliable forms of treatment may not be available this school year

    • Testing may be difficult or expensive to obtain

    • Anti-body tests have in many cases proven unreliable

    • An effective vaccine may not be available this school year, if at all

    • Herd immunity is extremely unlikely without the development and widespread use of a vaccine

  •  Needs of young people

    • Human connection is vital to mental health and well-being

    • Human connection is vital to a sense of psychological safety

    • Human connection is vital to learning

    • People of all ages need human connection

    • Online learning platforms limit the potential for human connection

    • Unreasonable and overly restrictive social distancing measure limit the potential for human connection

    • Access to and time spent in nature produces physical and mental health benefits 

  • Needs of families

    • Parents who are required to work or attend school outside the home need care for their children.

    • Parents who are juggling working from home and caring for their children need support providing opportunities for socialization, learning, and enrichment for their children.

 

Our goal is to make it possible for students to meet face to face while limiting the likelihood of transmission of COVID. Therefore, Philly Agile Learning Community will be both online and at our new home on South 11th St.

  • Online Schooling

    • All meetings will be held both live and online to allow for continued access whether a student is at school or at home.  We will be set up to easily transition to online learning as required.

    • All calendars and the Community Mastery Board will be kept online, and exist at the school space on a monitor dedicated to that purpose.

    • Students can enroll with the school, and come to the building as many days of the week as works for them and their family.  Students can also enroll with the school and never come to the school building, working exclusively remotely.

  • Use of the School Building

    • During the Green Phase, there will be room for 22 student spots at the school building on any day.  All students and staff will take efforts to maintain social distance, while balancing that with play and connection.  During Green Phase, the entire school is one pod. 

    • If Philadelphia shifts to Yellow Phase, the school will shift to having 2 or 3 separate pods, with extremely limited interaction between them.  We will make best efforts for at least one pod to be outside at all times.

    • If Philadelphia shifts back to Red, school will transition to remote programming until it’s deemed safe to resume use of the building.

    • If anyone who spends time in the school building is diagnosed with COVID, our regular school community will suspend use of the school building for two weeks and community members will be encouraged to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.

    • If anybody who has used the school building discovers they have been in significant contact with someone who has since been diagnosed with COVID, they should immediately alert the school. We ask that that family self-quarantine for two weeks.

Below are procedures we will implement to minimize risk of spreading COVID in our school building

  • Facilities Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting and Ventilation

    • Daily cleaning and sanitizing of all commonly used surfaces with EPA approved cleaning products.  Extra staff time budgeted to this.

    • Cleaning every 4 hours of touch point surfaces - light switches, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, computer keyboard covers (easy to clean keyboard covers to be procured.)

    • Windows open, fans directing air out of the building.  Fans, space heaters and air conditioners to be procured as needed. 

 

  • Masks

    • Masks covering nose and mouth must be worn at all times indoors by students, staff, parents and visitors, except during eating and drinking while spaced apart by 6 feet. They are currently required by Pennsylvania law. This is our primary way of preventing the spread of Covid-19 in our space.

    • Community members with a condition that prevents mask-wearing may wear a face shield instead.

    • All students and staff should have a spare mask with them at school at all times in case their primary mask becomes wet or dirty. 

    • We will have spare disposable masks on hand in the event that both personal masks become unusable, or if someone requires access to the building and does not have a mask. 

 

  • Social Distancing

    • Students should stay home as they are able, balancing a) the community need for maintaining distance to prevent transmission and the need of people to be in physical community with each other, and b) family need for students to have a place to go. We trust our community members to balance these needs.

    • Families should notify school by the night before by filling out an attendance form if they are not intending on attending school the following day so school can be properly staffed.  (If less than 17 students are expected at school, we will only schedule 2 staff and further prevent transmission, and allow those facilitators to focus on our community online).

    • Parents will pick up and drop off at the downstairs front door and will not enter the building. Families should observe 6ft social distance from other families, students and staff during drop off and pick up.

    • Each space at the school building will have a maximum occupancy, and dedicated work stations that describe or display 6 foot separation.

    • Frequent outside time will be built into the day.

    • Frequent hand-washing required, emphasizing returning from outside, before eating, and before using any school supplies or tools.

    • Establish signage around the space that emphasizes hand-washing

    • Establish signage that states room occupancy.

    • No shared dishes, cups or flatware.  Students will bring all their own water bottles, food and utensils.

    • Students will use their own individual supplies as available.  Shared materials will be disinfected after use.

    • The entrance stairway is either “going up” or “going down” at any given moment.  If other people are using the stairs, people should wait at a designated distance away.

    • Field trips will be limited to walking until the school determines using SEPTA will be acceptable.

    • If Philadelphia returns to Yellow, students will be broken into smaller groups and have a designated room and ALF to limit contact until Philadelphia shifts back to Green.

    • We will coordinate with Moonstone to determine best times for pickup and drop off and trips outside to minimize sidewalk contact.

 

  • Monitoring Student and Staff Health and Communication

    • All individuals will be screened before coming into the school for fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, headache, loss of taste or smell or shortness of breath.

    • Any individual experiencing any of these symptoms will not be allowed to come into the school building.

    • Any individual who develops these symptoms during the school day will be quarantined in the reception room until they are able to leave.

    • If a student is sent home with symptoms, receives a COVID diagnosis, or discovers they have come in contact with someone who has since been diagnosed with COVID, an announcement will be sent out over email. 

    • Any resulting building closures will be announced over email.

  • Pandemic Response Team

    • The Pandemic Response team will continue to evaluate these safety measures and adjust them given the latest information from City, State and Federal health advisors.  The Pandemic Response Team will make final determinations about when we might need to adjust capacity or close school to mitigate transmission.

    • The Pandemic Response Team is currently made up of

      • David O’Connor (Response Coordinator)

      • Justin Becker

      • Jessie Dern-Sisco

      • Susan Eachus

      • Jean Finlay

Health and Safety Plan Governing Body Affirmation Statement

The School Assembly for Philly Agile Learning Community reviewed and approved the Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan on July 31, 2020

 

The plan was approved by consensus.