Signature School Opening Plan 2021-2022

Updated Version Posted July 21, 2021 (this updated version replaces that posted on June 23, 2021)

The Signature School community came together during the COVID global pandemic to ensure that Signature students continued to receive an outstanding education during the 2020-2021 school year while addressing COVID health concerns.  All stakeholders, including students, teachers, staff, parents, board members, and community supporters, took part in helping to ensure that the school addressed COVID health concerns while continuing to uphold Signature School standards of excellence.  We plan to move into the 2021-2022 academic year in the same manner, and we anticipate returning to pre-COVID in-person instruction for all.

Signature School’s preliminary opening plan was posted on the school’s website on June 23, 2021, in compliance with the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (“ESSER III”) Fund requirement that school districts post a preliminary opening plan document (the “Plan”) no later than June 24, 2021.  The Plan has been revised based on updated guidance. Signature stakeholders should regularly check the Signature School website for revisions.  The guidance outlined below is subject to change if and when COVID information is updated. Please contact the school at this link or at 812-421-1820 with any questions or concerns.

 

1. Masks:

  • Signature School will follow federal, state, and local requirements regarding wearing masks. For vaccinated students and staff, masks will not be required in the Signature School buildings, including classrooms. Signature recommends masking for all individuals who are not vaccinated (except when eating), for vulnerable individuals who may be at increased risk of illness, and for anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask.
  • Masks will not be required outdoors.
  • Signature School students and staff always have the option to wear CDC-recommended masks, if they feel more comfortable doing so.
  • Masks will be required for any school-related activity on a bus, as required by federal regulation.
     

2. Hand and Respiratory Hygiene:

  • Students, faculty, and staff should wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly before and after meals and snacks, before and after sharing supplies or equipment, and after using the restroom.
  • Time will be built into daily routines to incorporate hand washing.
  • Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will be available for everyone near frequently touched surfaces, doors, shared equipment, and in appropriate places where soap and water are not readily available.
  • Hand hygiene will be promoted throughout the school with visual cues.
  • Eyes, noses, and mouths should not be touched without first washing hands.
  • Mouths and noses should be covered with a tissue during a cough or sneeze.  Used tissues should go into the trash.  If a tissue is not available, coughs or sneezes should be expelled into an elbow. 
  • Hands should be properly washed with soap and water after sneezing or coughing.
     

3. Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities:

  • Signature School will clean all areas of the school facility on a routine basis.
  • High touch surfaces and objects will be cleaned more frequently according to best practice.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available daily.
  • Flooring surfaces will be cleaned and maintained.
  • HVAC systems will be maintained to ensure proper air flow.
     

4. Contact Tracing and Social Distancing:

  • Signature School worked with local and state authorities during the 2020-2021 school year to ensure proper compliance with contact tracing guidelines and this will continue in 2021-2022.
  • Signature School will work with the state to meet all applicable reporting requirements.
  • Classes will be arranged to allow for three feet of distance from the middle of one seat to the middle of another, where possible. 
     

5. Diagnostic Screening and Testing:

  • Parents and guardians should screen their students at home prior to sending them to school.
  • Children with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever of 100 degrees or higher, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, or new loss of taste or smell) or other illnesses should not be sent to school.
     

6. Vaccinations:

  • A growing body of evidence suggests that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 than people who are not fully vaccinated.  In most settings, people who are fully vaccinated can safely resume activities they engaged in before the pandemic. Signature School strongly encourages but does not require the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Signature School will continue to collaborate with the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD) to ensure stakeholders have information on how to access the COVID-19 vaccine.
     

7. School Day Health Care:

  • Staff assisting ill students will wear PPE to protect themselves and others.
  • Signature School will provide a designated area for suspected COVID-19 cases where students can wait for a parent or guardian to pick them up.
  • High touch areas and furniture in designated waiting areas in the building will be disinfected after each use.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and fill at water bottle dispensers.
     

8. Coordination with State and Local Health Officials:

  • Signature School will continue to review and consider all guidance from the Indiana Department of Health (“IDOH”), the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), and the Vanderburgh County Health Department (“VCHD”). We will continue to monitor the Indiana Department of Education’s (“IDOE”) guidance for purposes of implementation.
  • Signature School will continue to work with the IDOH on any state reporting requirements for schools, as we did during the 2020-2021 school year.
     

9. Addressing the Needs of All Children:

  • Signature School’s freshman resource team will dedicate time to helping new students learn school routines, connect with teachers and classmates, and close pandemic-related gaps regarding best practice studying skills.  Teachers from resource teams of all grade levels will monitor and address possible learning gaps from the pandemic year.
  • Signature’s Youth First social worker will be available to continue to provide support to students and families.
  • Signature’s English as a Second Language (“ESL”) program will continue to support and provide English Learners (“ELS”) opportunities to develop English language proficiency.  Signature will continue to meet the academic and language develop needs of our students in alignment with WIDA English Language Development (“ELD”) standards.
  • Signature School will continue to provide support indicated by a student’s Individual Education Plan (“IEP”).  Annual Case Reviews and Case Conference meetings will take place to support students meeting their IEP goals and IEPs will be adjusted when needed.
  • Students with 504 plans will continue to receive appropriate accommodations.
     

10. Technology:

  • Signature School ensured equal access for all Signature students during the 2020-2021 school year.  When appropriate, Signature will provide equipment including laptops and other devices, and the school will help ensure that students have access to effective Internet service by distributing hotspots, iPads, etc.  Signature will help ensure equal technology access for all Signature students in the 2021-2022 academic year.
     

Approved by the Signature School Board July 21, 2021.
 


Posted June 23, 2021 (the following, June 23 , 2021, version has been replaced by the July 21, 2021, version)

The Signature School community came together during the COVID global pandemic to ensure that Signature students continued to receive an outstanding education during the 2020-2021 school year.  All stakeholders, including students, teachers, staff, parents, board members, and community supporters, took part in making sure that school moved forward safely and meaningfully while continuing to uphold Signature School standards of excellence.  We anticipate moving into the 2021-2022 academic year in the same manner, and we anticipate returning to pre-COVID in-person instruction for all.

Signature School’s preliminary opening plan is posted below in compliance with the ESSER III requirement that school districts post a preliminary opening plan document no later than June 24, 2021.  This plan may be revised based on updated guidance, and Signature stakeholders should continue to check the Signature School website for revisions.  All guidance outlined below is subject to change at any time as CDC and other expert recommendations change. Stakeholders may provide input at any time by using this link.

 

1. Masks:

  • Signature School will follow federal, state, and local requirements regarding wearing masks.  We await further information on specific mandates for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Masks will not be required outdoors.
  • Signature School students and staff always have the option to wear CDC-recommended masks, even in situations in which masks are not mandated, if they feel more comfortable doing so.
  • Masks will be required for any activity on a bus, as per federal requirements.

 

2. Hand and Respiratory Hygiene:

  • Students, faculty, and staff should wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly before and after meals and snacks, before and after sharing supplies or equipment, and after using the restroom.
  • Time will be built into daily routines to incorporate hand washing.
  • Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will be available for everyone near frequently touched surfaces, doors, shared equipment, and where soap and water are not readily available.
  • Hand hygiene will be promoted throughout the school with visual cues.
  • Eyes, noses, and mouths should not be touched without first washing hands.
  • Mouths and noses should be covered with a tissue during a cough or sneeze.  If a tissue is not available, coughs or sneezes should be expelled into an elbow.  Used tissues should go into the trash.
  • Hands should be properly washed with soap and water after sneezing or coughing.

 

3. Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities:

  • Signature School will clean all areas of the school facility on a routine basis.
  • High touch surfaces and objects will be cleaned more frequently according to best practice.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available daily.
  • Flooring surfaces will be cleaned and maintained.
  • HVAC systems will be kept up to date and monitored to ensure proper air flow.

 

4. Contact Tracing and Social Distancing:

  • Signature School worked with local and state authorities during the 2020-2021 school year to ensure proper following of contact tracing guidelines and will do the same in 2021-2022.
  • Signature School will work with the state to meet all reporting requirements for schools.
  • Classes will be arranged to allow for three feet of distance from the middle of one seat to the middle of another, where possible. 

 

5. Diagnostic Screening and Testing:

  • Parents and guardians should screen their children at home prior to coming to school.
  • Children with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever of 100 degrees or higher, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, or new loss of taste or smell) or other illnesses should stay home.

 

6. Vaccinations:

  • Signature School highly encourages the COVID-19 vaccine but does not require it.
  • Signature School has collaborated with the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD) to ensure stakeholders have information on how to access the COVID-19 vaccine and will continue to do so.

 

7. School Day Health Care:

  • Staff assisting ill students will wear PPE to protect themselves and others.
  • Signature School will provide a designated area for suspected COVID-19 cases where students can wait for a parent or guardian to pick them up.
  • High touch areas and furniture in designated waiting areas in the building will be disinfected after each use.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and fill at water bottle dispensers.

 

8. Coordination with State and Local Health Officials:

  • As Signature School continues to work on its 2021-2022 Opening Plan, we will continue to review and consider all guidance from the Indiana Department of Health (IDH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD).  We will continue to follow the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE’s) guidance for implementation.
  • Signature School will continue to work with the IDH on any state reporting requirements for schools, as we did during the 2020-2021 school year.

 

9. Addressing the Needs of All Children:

  • Signature School’s freshman resource team will dedicate time to helping students learn school routines, connect with teachers and classmates, and close pandemic-related gaps regarding best practice studying skills.  Teachers from resource teams of all grade levels will monitor and address possible learning gaps from the pandemic year.
  • Signature’s Youth First social worker will be available to continue to provide support to students and families.
  • Signature’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program will continue to support and provide English Learners (Els) opportunities to develop English language proficiency.  Signature will continue to meet the academic and language develop needs of our students in alignment with WIDA English Language Development (ELD) standards.
  • Signature School will continue to provide support indicated by a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Annual Case Reviews and Case Conference meetings will take place to support students meeting their IEP goals and adjust when needed.
  • Students with 504 plans will continue to receive appropriate accommodations.

 

10. Technology:

  • Signature School ensured equal access for all Signature students during the 2020-2021 school year.  Signature provided equipment including laptops and other devices, and the school ensured that students had access to high-quality Internet service by distributing hotspots, IPads, etc.  Signature will ensure equal access for all Signature students in the 2021-2022 academic year.

 

11. Signature School Preliminary Opening Plan Feedback:

  • Signature School continues to monitor guidance from experts and will update the preliminary Opening Plan accordingly.  Stakeholder feedback is an important component of plan configuration, and our community members are invited to provide this feedback by clicking on this link.