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Health and Safety Updates

Student Health, Safety, and Security

COVID-19 Updates

Please visit our Covid-19 response page to view the latest information regarding our efforts to provide an exceptional education to our students during the pandemic.

Weekly COVID-19 Communications

Operation Joyful Learning (Friday, August 28, 2020)

Dear Covenant Classical School families,

The year is off to a great start, and we are so happy to see the return to joyful learning in our classrooms. Our collective goal as a private school community is to remain in school where our students are experiencing Covenant at its very best. In order to do this, the entire Covenant Classical School community must work together to implement our health and safety plan.

With this goal in mind, I am naming our collective resolve to work together to implement our plan “OPERATION JOYFUL LEARNING.”  In an effort to keep our focus upon our collective commitment to help prevent the transmission of the virus in the Covenant Classical School community, I will provide weekly COVID-19 updates.

The stream of information from our local authorities regarding the pandemic is updated frequently.  In mid-August, the Illinois Department of Public Health revised its recommendations in an effort to help school administrators and parents navigate the complex regulations and recommendations regarding COVID-19.  They provided the color chart titled “COVID-19 EXCLUSION GUIDANCE” with a “Decision Tree” to help schools and parents respond to children presenting with symptoms that could be COVID-related.

Below is a simple summary of these recommendations and our own chart to use when determining what you must do when your child is ill.

If your child presents with ANY one of the following symptoms–fever (100.4 degrees or higher), headache, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrea, or abdominal pain–then you MUST keep your child home from school in order to rule out the possibility that your child has COVID-19 and therefore could transmit the virus to others.

(Please note that some individuals–especially adults–may present with additional symptoms such as congestion or runny nose, new loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea, fatigue, muscle or body aches.)

When can my child return to school?

  1. When it has been determined that the symptoms are not caused by COVID-19
  2. AND when the symptoms have improved

How do we determine that the child’s symptoms are NOT caused by COVID-19?

According to the recommendations from the IDPH there are three ways to determine that a child’s symptom is NOT COVID-19.

  1. Contact your child’s primary care doctor.  He/she is able to sign a note indicating an alternative diagnosis.
  2. OR Get a COVID-19 test and present the negative result.
  3. OR Quarantine for 10 days and observe if symptoms disappear.

A Recent Example
This week, one of our students vomited at home after school.  The parents kept the child home the next morning and phoned the school to inquire about what was needed in order for the child to return to school.  Given the start of the new school year, the hot weather, and the parents’ knowledge of the child’s health, they were confident that it was an isolated incident and not an indication of COVID-19.  They phoned their child’s primary care physician and described the situation.  The physician asked questions and consulted the child’s health history before sending the school a note indicating an alternative diagnosis.  This note from the doctor cleared the child to return to school 24 hours after the incident so long as no further symptoms were present.

Physicians will likely treat each situation on an individual basis.  Some physicians may authorize a note based upon a phone inquiry.  Others may require an office visit.   In some cases, a physician may require a COVID test.

Does this mean that we must keep our symptomatic child home from school even if we don’t think that they have COVID?

YES. There will be times when the parents will be very certain that a presenting symptom is NOT COVID, but rather a simple symptom that a child may be prone to experience. However, the recommendations of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are clear that a child may return to school only after having fulfilled the requirements listed above.  As part of our community wide effort to remain in school and to manage this extraordinary time, it is essential for us to err on the side of caution, health, and safety.  Synchronous classes are available to help a child  keep pace with the class if he/she must be home due to illness.

What documentation is required to return to school from an illness-related absence? 

  • Your student may return to school when we have received your physician’s note, negative COVID-19 test, or documentation of quarantine or isolation.
    Please see the linked chart for more details.

When should we contact the school?  

Contact the office through email or call (630) 983-7500.

  • When you determine that your child is ill.

  • When your child or a member of your family has a confirmed or probable case of COVID.

  • When your child has been in close contact to a person who has been confirmed to have COVID-19.  The updated definition of a close contact is anyone, with or without a face covering, who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (with or without a face covering), for at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day.

If you are interested in setting up synchronous classes for your child during your absence from school.  We can arrange to have him/her join the synchronous core classes from home.

When will the school contact the parents of the school?

We will notify the Covenant parent community if/when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among the students, faculty, or staff at the school.

Finally, what type of masks are best for our children?

Please order multiple, well-fitting masks for your child.  Some masks are more comfortable than others, and some masks are better fitting than others.  Please find the ones that work best for your child and stock up.  Please also remember to put your child’s name or initials somewhere on the mask.

The neck warmer style masks are not as effective as masks designed to fit over the mouth and nose only.  Please avoid using them.  Thanks!

We are in this together as a school community so we value your input and suggestions for adding clarity to our communication.  Please contact Mrs. Thornburg, Mrs. Cotto, Miss Eekhoff, or me with any questions and thank you for your very evident cooperation.

Love to you all in Christ,

Tom Stoner

Resources for Talking with Students about COVID-19

CDC: Talking with Children about Coronavirus
CDC: Helping Children Cope with Emergencies
National Association of School Psychologists:  Talking to Children about COVID-19
Handwashing videos
Coronavirus: A kid-friendly explainer video from Brainpop: It can be scary to hear about a disease outbreak, but learning the facts can help ease your mind.
Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Mental Health Training

Health and Safety Focused Teacher Inservice

The faculty inservice on February 14 focused on the health and safety of our students and everyone in our beloved school community.

Our day began with a 90-minute training by members of the Naperville police department on the best practices for responding to crisis situations, including active shooters.  We found these particular officers to be effective and thorough in their training. Our recently formed school safety committee is meeting now to determine how Covenant might better prepare and train for these worst-case scenario situations. 

The second half of our morning focused on increasing our awareness, our understanding, and our ability to support and intervene with students who may be struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression.  Mrs. Weldy presented a powerpoint based on her research and training at a professional conference, and I have attached some of what she shared to this email. A few of the helpful points made were:

  1. Mental health challenges in our society are prevalent, and 50% of the people that receive mental health diagnoses do so before the age of 14.
  2. God created us with bodies, souls (mind, heart, and emotions), and spirits.  There are times when people in Christian communities overlook the physical component of mental illness.  
  3. Challenges to mental health are part of normal life, and our responses to them are best viewed on a spectrum.  Sometimes we may be able to respond to life events or challenges in ways that maintain our health, while other times we can become debilitated and need help.  
  4. Anxiety and depression symptoms must be recognized and identified both at home and in the context of school. 

Please look carefully through the attached information.  If you have any further insights or recommendations, please contact us.  We are committed to leveraging Covenant’s distinctive school community for the growth, health, and safety of our students, families, and faculty.

Mental Health and Training Packet 2020

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