WHY WAS THERE A CHANGE IN THE ORIGINAL SCHEDULING ONE WEEK BEFORE SCHOOL WAS TO START?
The decision to change to a hybrid model was made due to a late amendment in the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) Return-to-School guidelines. After reviewing multiple documents, we consulted the appropriate personnel within the GCHD and State of Michigan Health Department to be certain that our understanding was interpreted correctly. Once the information was confirmed, we realized that the likelihood of shutting down entire classrooms became almost certain, which would have caused a major disruption in student learning. The change to the hybrid model allows us to more safely distance and safely keep our students engaged academically by minimizing close contact instances that would warrant massive quarantine, classroom shutdown and disruption to learning. Working with the GCHD, we are going to look toward transitioning into full face-to-face instruction as soon as we can reasonably ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff.
IS IT TRUE THAT POWERS CATHOLIC IS THE ONLY DIOCESE OF LANSING HIGH SCHOOL THAT HAS NOT RETURNED TO SCHOOL FULLY FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY?
Yes, we all submitted our plans to the Diocese this summer with the intention of opening full-time with students. We adjusted our plans to a hybrid model, due to the most recent changes in GCHS guidelines. We are the largest Diocesan high school with one of the smallest buildings. These factors, accompanied by our local health department’s guidelines, put us in a unique situation.
IS IT TRUE THAT WE ARE USING A BLENDED LEARNING MODEL ONLY BECAUSE THERE WAS NOT A SOLUTION FOR LUNCHTIME WITH APPROPRIATE SPACING?
Although lunchtime spacing poses challenges due to the size of our building relative to our student population, it was not the only determining factor for the change to our hybrid model.
WHY ARE WE FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES OF THE GENESEE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT'S RETURN TO SCHOOL ROADMAP? CAN'T WE DO OUR OWN THING SINCE WE ARE A PRIVATE SCHOOL?
Although we enjoy some flexibility as a private Catholic school, we are governed by the Diocese of Lansing and ultimately the Governor’s Executive Orders. Both require that we work in partnership with our local County Health Department.
IS IT TRUE THAT STUDENTS ARE GETTING HALF OF THEIR LEARNING TIME WITH THIS BLENDED TEACHING MODEL, ONE DAY IN CLASS & ONE ONLINE?
No, teachers are providing full time instruction to reach the same curricular standards and objectives as if full time, face-to-face. Teachers are creating and delivering two sets of lessons for each of their classes every day. While in-person contact time has been adjusted, students are expected to be engaged daily in all classes whether online or face-to-face.
HOW ARE TEACHERS COMMUNICATING WITH THE STUDENTS THAT ARE HOME IN THE MORNING OR AFTERNOON WHEN THEY ARE TEACHING CLASS ALL DAY?
Communication is being done through Google classroom. Parents can reference the class syllabus for specifics on each subject and can also track progress through ParentPortal.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS DURING THE HALF DAY WHEN THEY ARE NOT ENGAGED IN FACE-TO-FACE LEARNING?
Students are expected to check their Google classroom and any other means of communication individual teachers are using for daily lessons, assignments and engagement.
will there be any changes to the current hybrid model?
Although we do not expect to make major changes to the current model, we will continue to monitor and evaluate the current model for optimal effectiveness and adjust as necessary.
WHAT IS THE STUDY CENTER AND WHO HAS ACCESS TO IT?
The Study Center is a designated area in the Student Commons that is open to students prior to or after their face-to-face courses. The Study Center is open from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm. Students will sign-in with designated personnel in the Commons/Cafeteria and will be assigned a seat during each use. This information must be collected for contact tracing purposes. The Study Center provides a perfect opportunity for students to work on their virtual lessons while waiting to be picked up or for their afternoon session. A student could be at Powers Catholic for a full day, if needed.
are students allowed to order lunch from the cafeteria?
Students may purchase breakfast from 7:30-7:55am and/or lunch from 11:20-12:00pm if they are remaining in the building for the entire day. Information on pre-ordering and payment can be found HERE.
what is the protocol for parents who have transportation problems bringing or picking students up?
Students and families are able to take full advantage of the on-campus Study Center and should call the Main Office for sign-up. Parents are also encouraged to explore the Family CarPool sign-up to connect with others who live close-by and are able to help with the commute to and from school.
what are the plans for student faith formation during the hybrid model?
The mission of our school is to produce disciples of Jesus Christ. While we continue to help students understand their faith through our Theology classes, Fr. Jim and Mr. Gonsler (Campus Minister) will provide students with other faith formation opportunities through multiple delivery options. These include school wide daily prayer, weekly Chapel video and reflection with Fr. Jim, weekly adoration, weekly mass before and/or after school, retreats and service opportunities when possible, confessions,etc. Opportunities will be communicated in our daily and weekly correspondence.
what sports and/or extracurriculars will be offered this year?
The school will consult the guidance of MHSAA for all athletic practices and competitions. Fall sports that have been cleared for competition in our region are cross country, girls golf and boys tennis. All other athletic teams are able to continue practicing under the guidelines of MHSAA. Some extracurriculars will continue to meet in small face-to-face settings of ten or less or virtually. Students should contact the specific extracurricular point of contact as noted on our website or the Main Office for further information.
WHEN WILL WE TRANSITION TO A NORMAL FULL DAY SCHEDULE WITH OUR ENTIRE STUDENT BODY?
We will return back to a normal full day, face-to-face schedule as soon as can be done reasonably, safely and in full compliance with Genesee County Health Department and Diocese of Lansing guidelines. We are hopeful the transition will take place sooner rather than later.
THE FOLLOWING COVID-19 RESPONSES ARE BASED UPON THE GENESEE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TOOL-KIT PROTOCOL, DATED 8/14/20
HOW LONG IS A STUDENT OR STAFF MEMBER OUT OF SCHOOL IF THEY TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
Any student or staff member testing positive will isolate at home. They may return to school with no fever after 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medication), provided that symptoms have improved and 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE?
Isolation separates those who are infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. The normal isolation period is 10 days. Quarantine refers to those who are well but have been exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19. Quarantine lasts 14 days and keeps someone who is possibly infected away from others.
WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL FOR WHEN A STUDENT'S FAMILY MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
If a student lives in the same house as someone who is COVID-19 positive, the student must remain out of school the entire time the infected individual is in isolation (typically 10 days), plus an additional 14 calendar days of quarantine. The total time away from school for the student would be at least 24 calendar days.
WILL WE CLOSE A CLASSROOM IF A PERSON WITH COVID-19 ATTENDED THAT CLASSROOM? IF SO, HOW LONG?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the Genesee County Health Department is notified and will make a determination based on the circumstances of each individual scenario. At minimum, the classroom will be closed for 24 hours for disinfecting. The Health Department will alert those who have been in close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes or otherwise interpreted by the Health Department on a case-by-case basis). Those in close contact (primary contacts) must quarantine for 14 days.
does the sibling of a child in quarantine have to be quarantined?
No, if the sibling was not in direct contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive, the student can continue attending school, but should monitor for symptoms.
does the school have to tell families which students tested positive for covid-19?
Families will be notified if there is a known positive case. The Health Department will also alert close contacts and provide those contacts with information related to their exposure. The identity of the infected individual will be protected as much as possible and will be shared on a need to know basis only.
does the school have to inform the families of students when a student is excluded from school because of covid-19, or does the health department communicate to families?
The school is responsible for doing contract tracing within the school setting while partnering with the GCHD. The GCHD will do contract tracing outside of school. The school will provide the GCHD with a list of all close contacts in school and the GCHD will notify all close contacts of their need to quarantine.
how many cases of covid-19 will it take before school is closed for all face-to-face learning?
The GCHD will work closely with the school administration recognizing there are many factors to be considered before closing school.
does a student or staff member have to retest for covid-19 after testing positive before they are allowed back to school?
No, the student or staff member testing positive may return to school after 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever reducing medication), after symptoms have improved, and 10 days have passed since the symptoms have appeared.
if a student or staff is told they are a close contact of a positive case and he or she tests negative for covid-19, are they released from quarantine?
An individual can become COVID-19 positive any time during quarantine or within 14 calendar days after exposure. No number of COVID-19 negative tests will exempt an individual from quarantine.
if a student changes classes 6-7 times and is with many different students during the day rather than just one class of students, and that student tests positive, do all of those students have to quarantine?
Each classroom the positive tested student participated in will need to be shut down for a minimum of 24 hours before disinfecting begins. The GCHD will determine the extent of quarantine necessary for each situation. We do not make that determination. However, we realize there will be several students required to quarantine from every one of the positive student’s classes based on the GCHDs Guidelines. Powers Catholic will make every effort to keep quarantined students up-to-date and engaged with their classes as much as possible.
what happens in the event of a suspected case of covid-19 at school?
In the event that a student or staff member is symptomatic for COVID-19 (with no known exposure) and test results are pending, the student or staff member will be expected to isolate while awaiting test results. We will work with the GCHD to determine if close contacts of that person need to quarantine while awaiting results. As with every decision, there are multiple factors to be considered, and ultimately we will follow the guidance of the GCHD.
DOES A SIBLING OF A SICK STUDENT NEED TO STAY HOME AS WELL?
If the sick student has at least ONE of the following symptoms: fever, uncontrolled cough, shortness or breath OR TWO or more of the following symptoms: loss of taste or smell, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, or vomiting, all students in that household must stay home until the sick student is cleared by the doctor. If the sick student is provided with an alternate diagnosis (i.e. not testing for COVID-19), the siblings may return to school.
the symptoms of covid-19 are very generic, what if my STUDENT has an underlying medical condition and they routinely experience one or more of these symptoms (I.E. ASTHMA, MIGRAINES)?
Know your student's baseline. You should look for new or worsening symptoms in your child.