COVID-19 Response

This page serves as a centralized resource with the most up-to-date information and resources available to families about our response to COVID-19 disease. We are mindful of our obligation and commitment to keep our community safe while continuing our daily regular educational activities the best and most appropriate way. This page serves as a centralized location for information and updates regarding the School’s response to this rapidly evolving situation.

Frequent and regular cleaning and disinfecting will be a vital part of our operation during Covid-19.

FSA has a contract with a third-party cleaning company to clean and disinfect our campus every night in detail using EPA-approved products that are effective for Covid-19. That service will continue with further attention to the cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces by students such as doorknobs, student desks, and chairs.

Recognizing that we will need more frequent and detailed cleaning and disinfecting during the school day, we are adding two more custodians to our facility team for next school year to ensure a clean and healthy school environment for our students including the detailed cleaning of restrooms and isolation room using EPA-approved products that are effective for COVID-19

Touchless hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol rate will be available in areas which are used by middle and high school students for its effectiveness with Covid-19. Elementary students are discouraged to use these hand sanitizers as it may not be healthy for their skin. Instead, elementary school students are encouraged to use soap and water. Accordingly, air dryers in restrooms are replaced with more powerful models to allow students to easily dry their hands after using soap and water.

We have worked with our building contractor to ensure best practices with our AC and ventilation systems.

In addition, we are reducing areas requiring frequent touch. All water fountains are being converted to touchless. Therefore, students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle that can be refilled throughout the day. Also, vending machines will not be in use. Instead, students are encouraged to bring their own snacks each day (please adhere to the school’s NO NUT policy).

Students will be instructed on our new safety policies and teachers and staff will assimilate them into daily routines. Signs providing reminders of safety procedures will be displayed throughout the building. Reminders will be added to morning announcements as well as Mustang News so that students can become familiar with the new guidelines and comfortable in their use.

Students in elementary classrooms will remain with the same group for the duration of the day to minimize unnecessary exposure. Students in MS/HS are unable to stay with the same groups due to scheduling; however, all safety procedures will be followed during the school day. Students will be encouraged to wear masks, but this is optional and will not be required.

To ensure safe travel in the building, traffic flow patterns will be visible and students will be instructed to adhere to these guidelines. Additionally, safe space guidelines will be expected at all times (water fountains, front desk, etc). Students will also be expected to maintain safe space in the restrooms; therefore, only a few students will be permitted at any given time. Frequent planned breaks will be scheduled into the day and students rotated.

For Elementary School students, lunches will be served in their respective classrooms. For Middle School students, lunches will continue to be served in the cafeteria utilizing safe spacing and routine disinfecting between rotations. High School students will have lunch in the HS Hangout area while also utilizing safe spacing and area disinfection.

For recess, ES and MS students will have opportunities to play outside in open air areas and safe space distancing will be taught and encouraged. Students will be in smaller groups during recess times (ex: classroom group instead of grade level group). Recess equipment will not be utilized.

Students will use backpacks throughout the day to carry their belongings in lieu of lockers. The use of online textbooks and resources is encouraged.

The School’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  and Georgia Department of Health (DPH) federal Occupational Safety

and Health Administration (OSHA) , including standards related to COVID-19; and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s executive orders, https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders, as they pertain to COVID-19.

This plan addresses the Clinical Health and Safety procedures that FSA has implemented and the responsibilities of FSA and its community members, including:

  • Health Screenings and Symptom Assessment
  • Procedures for Anyone Experiencing Symptoms
  • Procedures for Anyone Tested Positive for COVID-19
  • Procedures for Anyone in Contact with Someone who is Positive for COVID-19
  • Procedures for Anyone Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms at School
  • On-Campus Periodic Screening Process
  • Protecting Yourself and Others

Health Screenings and Symptom Assessment

We are asking parents/guardians, and all members of the community, to do a self-assessment of themselves and their children, including a temperature check, before leaving home each morning. Please use the self-assessment website below provided by CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Individuals with COVID-19 may have any of the following symptoms, which may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

According to the CDC, this list of symptoms does not include all possible symptoms. Please contact your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Procedures for Anyone Experiencing Symptoms

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate at home, contact their doctor for medical guidance, and inform the school nurse immediately. If a test is deemed necessary by the physician and a positive result is received, please follow the guidelines outlined by your physician and our Procedures for Anyone Tested Positive for COVID-19 outlined below. If a negative test result is received, please follow the guidelines outlined by your physician and provide proper documentation before being allowed to return to campus. If a test is deemed unnecessary by the physician, a written physician’s release will be required to return to campus along with meeting the following requirements:

  • Fever and fever-medication-free for at least 72 hours, AND
  • Other symptoms have improved

Procedures for Anyone Tested Positive for COVID-19

Anyone tested positive for COVID-19, should isolate and inform the school nurse immediately. A negative COVID-19 test AND a written physician’s release will be required before anyone can return to school.

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.

If we have a determination of a Covid-19 case at our school, all related rooms will be closed and related students will be asked to continue their education through online school. Our cleaning team will wait as long as practical (about 24 hours) before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Then those areas will be cleaned and disinfected for two days in a row. On the fourth school day, students who complete their Covid-19 test and receive negative results will be allowed to come back to school.

Procedures for Anyone in Contact with Someone who is Positive for COVID-19

All students and employees should isolate at home and contact their doctor for medical guidance, if they have had close contact with a person with COVID-19. CDC currently defines  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/principles-contact-tracing.html “close contact” as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.”

Employees and parents/guardians are asked to self-report to the school nurse. A written physician’s release will be required for return. Quarantined students will have access to their education through our hybrid instruction model. During this time, individuals should also stay away from anyone who is at higher risk for getting sick.

Procedures for Anyone Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms at School

If a student is sick or experiencing symptoms at school, the student will report to the initial screening area. If deemed necessary, the student will be moved to the isolation room. In the isolation room, every student will be provided a face covering and social distancing, and the parents will be informed right away. If not deemed necessary, then the student will be taken to the clinic for regular checks and regular clinic procedures will be followed.

Employees who become sick or experience symptoms while at the school should follow the same procedures as students.

On-Campus Periodic Screening Process

First of all, it is very important that each family conduct a self-assessment before leaving home each morning. Periodic health screenings of students and employees may be conducted including random temperature checks. Students and employees with COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature of 100.4 and above will be immediately isolated and sent home.

Protecting Yourself and Others

To maintain a safe environment for everyone on campus, the school is implementing basic infection prevention measures for everyone to follow. These include, but are not limited to, the promotion of handwashing and respiratory etiquette, use of social distancing and optional face coverings.

Handwashing. Frequent handwashing is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The school will provide and maintain touchless soap and/or sanitizer stations. Hand sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60 percent alcohol) will be at entrances and other locations throughout the school. All students and school employees are instructed to frequently wash their hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, but especially at the beginning and end of their work day, before and after mealtimes, and after using the restroom. The use of soap and water is the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Respiratory etiquette. Employees, parents, students, and visitors should cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose, and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and immediately hand sanitizer, and or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Respiratory etiquette signage will be displayed throughout the school.

Social distancing. Social distancing requirements will be communicated with school community members based on the current phase of the Federal School Opening Guidelines at the time of school opening in August.

Face coverings. A face covering is strongly encouraged while on campus and is encouraged to be worn by employees, students, parents, and visitors whenever feasible. According to public health officials, individuals can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not feel sick, and wearing face coverings mitigates this risk.

CDC guidelines also provide general considerations for wearing and maintaining a face covering, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/cloth-face-coverings-information.pdf

including the following:

  • The mouth and nose are fully covered
  • The covering fits snugly against the sides of the face so there are no gaps
  • The wearer does not have any difficulty breathing while wearing the covering
  • The face covering can be tied or otherwise secured to prevent slipping

We recognize that when we return to our physical campus, some families may prefer to have their students continue with cyber school. Our hybrid instructional model will allow us to accommodate students in-person or remotely. Classrooms are currently being updated with the necessary technology for students to join classroom instruction in real-time from home.

  • Technology - New technology is being installed into our classrooms allowing students to participate in live classes happening on campus via Zoom. These include cameras, audio, and monitors that allow the teacher to see all students in the classroom, as well as students joining from home while teaching.
  • Seating Arrangements - Based upon classroom configuration and to the extent possible, classrooms will be designed to accommodate safe space between classmates. Desks will face in the same direction.
  • Student Supplies - Individual student supplies will be utilized and classroom community supply use will be limited.
  • Field Trips & Activities - Nonessential visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups or organizations will be limited. In lieu of field trips, assemblies, special performances, and school wide meetings/events, virtual activities will be planned.
  • Schedules - In an effort to limit student exposure, in elementary grades, we will utilize student homeroom classes for the majority of the day, including lunch times. Students joining from home will follow the same schedule as students on the physical campus.
  • Break Times - Intentional break times will be built into the daily schedule for all elementary grades.

Students participating in the hybrid model from home will be required to follow the below attendance policy:

  • Attendance will be taken during Zoom/cyber education sessions.
  • Please be logged into the waiting room using your correct name by the time class starts each day, just like you would be on time at school. Schedules will mirror the regular daily schedule on campus.
  • Your students will be counted as present as they enter the Zoom session for each of their class periods and they are mandated to be active participants until the end of the period.
  • Lateness policy will be the same as our regular school day - Tardies apply as normal and being 15 minutes late or more will be considered an absence.
  • Students are expected to complete assigned activities even in the event that they are unable to attend class physically or online. Students may refer to FSA Connect for any work that needs to be completed to stay up to date with their classwork and assignments.
  • If the whole school moves to cyber school, then the recordings of the classes will be available for a week on FSA Connect. The lessons, live sessions, are the property of FSA; therefore, anyone distributing or forwarding it to anyone who is not the designated user/student will be violating the usage policy and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.FSA does not provide any permission to share with others without a written consent. This includes, but is not limited to, the recording of or taking images from the sessions by use of an external device.
  • In the event that a student is unable to attend a live session, communication to that respective teacher and attendance@fultonscienceacademy.org via email should be sent. Please refer to the student handbook for the full description of the attendance policy.

We ask that all of our families follow below arrival and dismissal procedures to ensure safe and smooth arrival and dismissal time for all of our students.

 

  • We have a barcoded school dismissal system. Please ensure that you have your barcode card ready and available when you arrive to pick up your student.In order for dismissal to run quickly and smoothly, it is important you have your barcode card every day.  The barcoded system makes our dismissal process more efficient and safer for the students.
  • Please be reminded that no parents are allowed to park in front of the school at any time during the day including the after school care time. Parents should always park in designated parking areas, but not in front of the school.
  • Please be reminded that the speed limit is 15 mph on campus. Please never go above 15 mph on campus.
  • Please do not park in the teacher lot to drop your students off.
  • Cell Phone use is not permitted during drop off
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten families should follow the dismissal instructions provided by their teachers. Further announcements will be made before the school year begins.
  • Student pick-up is not allowed from the front office between 2:15 and 3:40pm
  • Please be informed that student pick-up is not allowed from the front office between 2:15 and 3:40. You may only pick up your child from the designated dismissal area during this time.
  • Any families with doctor appointments or other pre-planned commitments should plan to come to the front lobby and pick up their child before 2:15.
  • No students will be called from clubs as it disrupts the learning environment.

Elementary Arrival and Dismissal

Students are able to arrive at FSA as early as 7:00am for before school care hours. Students will enter the building and report directly to their homeroom class. This before school time will be dedicated to quiet reading time and/or independent work time until the first period officially begins. First period begins at 7:40am, elementary students should arrive at school no later than 7:35am.

Students in grades PK-2nd grade should be dropped off in the upstairs carpool area. Students in 3rd-5th should be dropped off at the front entrance of the building.

Students will be sent individually, directly from their classroom, to the dismissal area when their carpool card has been scanned. A set number of cars will be scanned at once to disperse student numbers waiting in the dismissal area. Designated spots, spaced apart, will be identified in the dismissal area for students waiting to get into the car.

Middle & High School Arrival and Dismissal

School arrival begins as early as 7:20 a.m. Students need to report directly to their 1st period class as they arrive at school. Students who do not have a 1st period will report to the cafeteria or may choose to come to the school before College Prep or IMPACT time.

6th grade through 12th grade students will use the front entrance by the mustang statue / flag pole to enter the school building during morning arrival. Middle and High school classes begin at 8:00 a.m. Therefore, Middle and High school students should be at school no later than 7:55 am.

It is very important that middle and high school students do not arrive at school any earlier than 7:20am even if they have siblings in elementary school.

Please be informed that High school families should not use dismissal lanes unless you have siblings or carpool buddies in other school levels. When high school parents arrive at school, please park in a parking space and text your student(s) for pick up. High school students will be allowed to walk to their cars. Please do not text your students to come out before the end of their school day, which is 3:16pm.

For middle school students, dismissal will happen in the dismissal area near the playground. If parents arrive after 4:10, please park in one of the parking areas (not in the circular area in front of school), go to the cafeteria and pick up your child. When entering the lobby, please have your barcode visible to be allowed to proceed to the cafeteria to pick up your child. Thank you for your help with this process. If you lose it, you can always get a copy from the front office.

Further details about arrival and dismissal procedures will be shared before the school year begins.

Elementary Clubs and Academic Teams

Clubs will remain as an important part of the FSA daily schedule, in an adjusted format which is suitable for both campus and online learning.

A predetermined club schedule will be offered for each grade level (PK-5). If a student is not picked up during first dismissal, students will remain with their homeroom class to participate in the club activities each afternoon using a combination of in-person and virtual club activities led by FSA instructors. This club schedule will be shared once completed. Students participating in the hybrid model will be able to join their classroom’s club option each day from home.

Academic teams will continue at FSA, in an adjusted format, outside of regular club time hours. Elementary academic teams will meet after school hours and/or on weekends (depending on the team) via Zoom.

Paid Club options will remain available for our FSA students in a virtual format. More details regarding each club option will be shared at the beginning of the school year.

Middle & High School Clubs and Academic Teams

Clubs and academic teams will be offered on campus and be available online for students attending from home unless the whole school moves to cyber school. In the case that the whole school moves online, clubs and academic teams will continue virtually. Specific details of the academic teams will be shared by the team coaches during the academic team application process.

At this time, the athletics program is planned as in prior years with some safety procedures provided by the Georgia Independent School Association. If the whole school moves to cyber school due to COVID-19, we will reevaluate to determine what can be offered or not offered virtually.

We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for the children, faculty and staff, parents and other members of our community. We ask that everyone who visits follow our new school safety guidelines as well as any posted instructions.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and others with underlying health conditions are especially vulnerable.

By choosing to come to our school, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. Help keep each other safe and healthy.

 

RESOURCES

SAFETY TIPS

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
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