The Lakeside School in Eufaula plans on opening the school year on campus as scheduled on August 19.
In a letter that went out to all parents and guardians of Lakeside students last week, Headmaster John Mehaffey released Lakeside’s 2020-2021 Reopening Plan, saying that school administrators had consulted local and state medical professionals, business professionals, and other independent schools while figuring out how the school year would begin.
“Please help us in ensuring the safety of our students, faculty, and staff by adhering to all procedures. Our top priorities are the safety of our stakeholders and the education of our student body,” wrote Mehaffey. He also noted that the school’s Reopening Plan is guided by current Alabama Department of Public Health and Department of Human Resources (DHR) requirements and Alabama Independent School Association regulations.
“This is a working document and we appreciate your patience as we adapt and revise when necessary,” Mehaffey commented. “The Lakeside School has every intention of maintaining an on campus, face-to-face method of instruction unless otherwise mandated by the Alabama Department of Public Health. If we are required to adjust our method of instructional delivery, we will implement separate plans for the Preschool, Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.”
The plan included with the letter was divided into Preschool and K5-12 sections, subdivided by category.
Students are reminded to follow social distancing guidelines and to wash and sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day. Mehaffey also recommends that students, parents and staff follow CDC sanitizing regulations.
As students arrive on campus each day for school there are different guidelines and procedures for each section of the school for morning drop-off and afternoon pickup. For all students, parents are asked to make sure that your child is not running a fever and is symptom free before leaving home. If a student is exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, parents are asked to not bring them to school.
One the first day of school, parents will be allowed to walk their child to class, but each parent must wear a facemask/covering to be able to enter the building do so.
Drop —off procedures for other mornings are: for the Preschool, parents are being asked to bring a pen to sign in their student each day; before exiting the vehicle, each student will have their temperature checked while in the drop-off line; students will be escorted inside by faculty/staff after being cleared in the drop-off line.
For afternoon pick-up, only one person will be allowed in the preschool building to pick up a student and they must wear a mask while inside — no one will be allowed to go anywhere in the building but the lobby.
Additional sinks have been added in the Preschool building to allow preschool students opportunity to wash their hands throughout the day, as preschool student will not use hand sanitizers. The additional sinks will prevent more than one age group from sharing a sink. Other precautions that will be taken at the Preschool include using only disposable cups; increase social distancing between cots, in the lunchroom, and other areas; and only one age group will eat in the lunchroom at a time.
Other drop-off guidelines for grades K5-12 include: all students in grades K5-5 (Lower School) will have their temperatures checked by a staff member in the drop-off circle before exiting their vehicle, once cleared they are to go directly to their classroom; students in grades 6-8 (Middle School) will use the front parking lot as a drop off zone, they also will have their temperature checked by a staff member before exiting the vehicle and should report to their homerooms between the hours of 7:30-7:55 a.m. after being cleared in the drop-off zone; students in grades 9-12 (Upper School) will report to their homeroom prior to 7:55 a.m. and have their temperatures checked by the homeroom teacher.
For afternoon dismissal, Lower School students will be outside and socially distanced while waiting in the car line; Middle School students will dismiss to the front of the courtyard, where they will remain socially distanced while waiting to be picked up; Upper School students will dismiss to the parking lot.
One the first day of school, parents will be allowed to walk their child to class, but each parent must wear a facemask/covering to be able to do so.
The plan goes into what to do should a student or someone in their household gets sick or develops COVID-19 symptoms, who it should be reported to at the school, and what the requirements are to be able to return to school.
In order to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19, the Lakeside School will be cleaned and disinfected daily per CDC guidelines, according to the reopening plan that was released, as well as following social distancing guidelines to the greatest extent possible throughout the school day.
Students are being asked to bring a labeled hydration/water bottles with a screw off lid to use throughout the day.
The requirement for the use of face coverings for students and staff has not been determined by school officials as yet; that will be determined closer to the beginning of school and will be in follow any state orders in place at the time according to the reopening plan.
Guidelines for visitors, bathroom usage, desk placement, seating in the lunchroom, where students check out, athletics, and other outdoor activities have been set in place at the school.
To read the letter from the Lakeside Headmaster and view the complete reopening plan, visit the school’s website at www.lkesidedschool.net.
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