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Back to School - COVID Protocols

Please click "read more" to see the full letter from Mr. Richards.
Dear Parents, 

First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying healthy and enjoying these summer months.  Like a lot of schools, we have used June to plan for next year, knowing that the plans we have today may need to be quickly changed depending on any upticks in this pandemic.  We have tried to break down our plan into five main topics: 1) Logistics and Planning 2) Creating and Maintaining Community 3) Curriculum and Instruction 4) Maintaining our Catholic Identity 5) Technology.  It is currently our plan to start school on Wednesday, August 12th with all students at Holy Trinity Parish School for their instruction, unless they or a member of their family is in a high-risk category.  

It is our intention to release another NTI/Distance Learning plan before the start of school in order to be ready for the realization that we may have periods of this upcoming year where we are not in a face-to-face learning environment.  The decision to go to Distance Learning would either be a state mandate or determined on a case by case basis by a contract tracer. We learned a lot about what worked and didn’t work this Spring in regards to Distance Learning, and it is our hope to make any alternative instruction plan as smooth as possible for students, parents, and teachers.   We know this will be a challenging year for everyone, but please know that we look forward to partnering with you to ensure your child/children remain safe and that they are in a learning environment that challenges and supports them.

Logistics and Planning

Entrance Protocols
Entrance protocols by campus will be as follows:
St. Matthews
  • Teachers enter through either the main office or Eagle Exit from 7:00am-7:30am.  They will sign-off/check-off that their daily temperature is below 100.4. 
  •  Student Drop-Offs will begin at 7:30am.  Our Administrative Team and selected teachers will take temperatures (non-contact thermometers) of all students inside of their cars. Any students/personnel above 100.4 will be sent home immediately.  If a student develops a temperature during the school day, he/she will be kept in the school conference room until parent/guardian pick-up to avoid coming in contact with anyone else in the building. 
  •  Anyone with a Pre-K Student in their carpool will enter through the Leland Road side of our campus. Please have any non-Pre-K student in these cars use our Main Office entrance.  Only Pre-K students should use our Pre-K entrance. Families and carpools with Kindergarten through 8th grade students can utilize two carpool spots: Portico Entrance and AFR Entrance.  Once entering the building, students will go directly to their classrooms.  
  • Bus Riders will utilize the Eagle Exit for entry into the building.
  • At our Clifton Campus, all teachers must enter through the side stairwell door by kitchen to complete the daily temperature log.  
  • Parents will be asked to remain in the carpool line until the child’s temperature is taken and determined to be below 100.4.  If a temperature is above 100.4, the child will return to their parent’s car, never entering the building. 
There will be no large gathering of students in the Gym/Cafeteria or Reception Hall at Clifton.  Until further notice, no outside/parent visitors will be allowed for lunch, classroom visits, or to sit with students at Mass.  Once restrictions are lessened, all visitors will receive a temperature check using a non-contact thermometer before entry into a classroom. 

Daily Health Checks
Besides daily temperature checks for students and faculty/staff, our school nurse, Amy Hubbs (Paula Watkins at Clifton with Amy as resource)  will be actively involved in checking any student who shows signs of COVID-19.  Professional Development will occur before the start of the school year to assist our faculty and staff with noticing signs of this illness and how to safely assist these individuals/students.

Social Distancing Inside the Classroom
As best we can, and utilizing our entire campus/facilities, we will place students as far apart as possible inside the classroom.  Additionally, we will utilize desk dividers to protect students inside of the classroom.  When possible, all student desks will face the same direction. 

Social Distance Outside of the Classroom
Students will not rotate classes. Teachers will rotate instead of students.  Special Area Teachers will go to classrooms. Teachers will monitor the restroom and only allow 6 students in at a time.  Box Lunches from the Cafeteria or Sack Lunches brought from home will be the two lunch options for students.  Students will eat in their classroom or outside. Students at Clifton will bring their lunch.  Depending on restrictions, we will either divide our students’ Mass attendance between the three morning liturgies (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) or have a virtual liturgy for the entire school.  Each grade level will have a section of the church to safely maintain social distancing.  For example, Monday: grades 6-8, Wednesday: grades 3-5 and Clifton, Friday: grades PK-2 (with possibility of no Masses for PK/K).

Cleaning of Facilities
We will maximize the amount of cleaning products readily available.  Bathrooms, handrails, and door knobs will be cleaned 4 times/day.  Should a positive case of COVID-19 occur, the entire facility will be deep cleaned.  A cleaning log will be kept on bathroom doors to assist with tracking of the cleaning of these facilities. Classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned each night to assist with maintaining a healthy environment for all students. 

Face Masks
Face masks will be required for all students and adults in grades K-8. The school will issue one face mask to all Pre-K-8 students with the Holy Trinity logo. It is recommended that, while Holy Trinity Parish School will provide one mask per student, students have extra mask(s) on hand (purchased by parents) as needed.  These masks should be made of cloth and in a solid color with the student’s name clearly labeled on it.  It is recommended that masks are washed/cleaned before they are worn again.  The School will have disposable masks available for students, if needed.  The Director of Student Achievement will coordinate any accommodations to this rule for students with sensory issues. Paula Watkins and OT will coordinate these accommodations for Clifton students.  

When will face masks need to be worn: 1) A mask must be worn when a student is moving inside the school building.  A mask must be worn when a student is moving inside a classroom, going to the restroom, or entering/exiting the building. 2) A mask must be worn when a student is sitting and there is NOT a six foot distance to another individual and there is NOT a desk shield/protector present.

When will face masks NOT need to be worn: 1) A student does not need to wear a mask when seated and there is either a six foot distance to another individual or there is a desk shield/protector present. 2) A student does not need to wear a mask when he/she is outside.

Procedure for Fever, Cough, Illness
Any student, faculty, or staff member who has a temperature greater than 100.4 will be sent home. These students will be kept in the school’s conference room until parent/guardian pick-up to avoid coming in contact with anyone else in the building.  Students will wait on the ground floor for pick-up at Clifton. The individual must be fever-free without the assistance of medicine for 72 hours in order to return to school.  Anyone with a persistent cough will be sent home until the cough has subsided or they have received a negative COVID-19 test.  

Diagnosis of COVID-19 in Student/Employee
Any student or employee who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to be out of the building until he/she receives a medical release from a physician.   Should a positive case occur, Holy Trinity Parish School will follow the recommendation of the contact tracer as to who should get tested and whether a group of students, a class, a grade, or the entire school will be closed for a period of time.  In this case, Distance Learning would commence immediately following closure.  

Should a case of COVID-19 occur in one of our students/faculty/staff, we will communicate the grade/homeroom but not the student/teacher/staff member’s name.

Time Off and Absences
Holy Trinity Parish School will follow Archdiocesan guidelines in accordance with state and federal guidelines to determine leave/time off for employees should the need arise.  Additionally, the School will grant excused absences for any family who determines that their child/children need to remain home for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 concerns. If a student has to isolate due to a family member testing positive, the School will have this student complete NTI for the time they are out of the building. 

Hand Hygiene/Respiratory Etiquette
Teachers will instruct students to wash their hands after using the restroom and before eating.  Teachers will also remind students to cough in their elbow as opposed to their hands.  Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will be provided and used regularly throughout the school day. 

Reminder Signs
The building will display signs outlining the correct path/flow of movement.  Reminders about handwashing and other healthy behaviors will be prominently posted in various areas of the school/campus.

Shared Supplies/Objects
There will be NO sharing of classroom supplies by students.  Students will have their own supplies/objects, i.e. crayons, glue sticks, books, for their PERSONAL use. Teachers will provide guidance on what storage containers will be needed for keeping supplies separate for these above items. 

As much as the outside temperature allows, windows will be left open throughout the day to maximize air circulation.  Maintenance staff at Holy Trinity Parish School will complete weekly mitigation strategies to maintain the existing HVAC system.

Water Fountains/Bottles
Students will be encouraged to use their own water bottles rather than the water fountains as much as possible.  Holy Trinity Parish School will examine feasibility of installing water bottle filling stations at each water fountain area (St. Matthews campus).

Food/Lunch Services
Box Lunches from the Cafeteria or Sack Lunches from home will be the two lunch options for students.  Box lunches will be offered to students at the standard “bundled” price.  These lunches will be delivered to the classrooms by Cafeteria and Administrative staff.  Clifton students will bring their lunch each day.

Immunocompromised Students/Family Members
Administration and faculty will coordinate in-home work for any student who is or has an immediate family member who is immunocompromised.  Live Streaming, Zoom, FaceTime, Loom, or Taped lessons are all educational options for the instructional and social aspects of these students’ education.

After-School Care
Holy Trinity Parish School will assist the YMCA with access to additional space (i.e. Nursery, Cafeteria, Youth Center) to adhere to social distancing requirements during After School Care.  We recommend parents reach out to the YMCA to confirm they have a spot for After School Care.   

Social distance will be integrated into dismissal/carpool as follows:
  • Non-Rainy Days - Both sides of the parking lot will be used to hold students as they are waiting for their ride.  At Clifton, students will socially distance on the sidewalk to wait for their ride.
  • Rainy Days - The gym and cafeteria will  be used to hold students.
Internal school dismissal procedures will begin earlier in the school day in order to allow sufficient space for all students to exit the building safely.  Clifton students will socially distance in Reception Hall and leave once their ride arrives.

Bus transportation will follow protocol set forth by the CDC.  All students will be required to wear a mask in order to be able to ride the bus.

Field Trips
Holy Trinity Parish School will not approve any field trip for the foreseeable future.  CDC guidelines will dictate the resumption of field trips.  This includes the cancelation of the 8th grade Appalachia and 6th grade Piomingo overnight trips.

School Visitors
Until further notice, no parent or visitor will be allowed in the classroom, cafeteria, or to sit with students at Mass. Parents are allowed into the school building for meetings, to pick up students, etc.. Visitors, such as outside maintenance personnel and interested families, will be allowed in the building.  However, they will not have any access to students or classrooms.

After School (PEP) Classes
PEP classes, tutoring and other after school activities will still be offered.  All CDC guidelines will be followed during these classes.

When allowed by the CDC, the playground will be open for student use provided this use follows CDC guidelines.  A schedule will be created in order for students to remain socially distant.  Fields and parking lots will be utilized as additional recess areas.

Math Tiers at HT St. Matthews (grades 5-8) will be the group that students stay with throughout the day.  These tiers will also serve as their homerooms. We will not have an accelerated tier in Literature in grades 7 and 8 during this period of time.

Staff Training
There will be mandatory training for faculty and staff on how to keep students and themselves safe and healthy.  This training will also highlight best practices when dealing with social distancing in a school setting.

GIFT Classes
The Administrative Team will work with parish staff to hold GIFT classes in larger areas where tables and other objects could be cleaned on Sunday after their use.  This would minimize cross-contamination among students.

Face-covering shields and/or plexiglass tabletop shields will be explored as an option for all teachers who need to work with students one-on-one.  These shields will also assist teachers working with students closer than 6 feet apart for an extended period of time.

Designated Point-of Contact
Principal/Head of School will serve as point-of-contact for all COVID-19 plan questions.

Emergency Contacts
Parents should update Emergency contact information for their child/children prior to the start of school. Below are the instructions for completing this task in myHTPS:
  • Log on to your myHTPS account and select a child at the top.
  • Click on Contact Card, scroll down to Emergency Contacts, and click on Manage Phones.
  • If there is a contact on the right that you want to activate, simply slide it over to the left and click on Save.
  • If you want to add an emergency contact, click on Create a New Phone Number, add the information, and Save.
  • It is necessary to complete these steps for ALL children.
Should you have any problem with this process, please contact the School office staff (Ms. Varga and Ms. Abell, Mrs. Drury - Clifton).

Plan Evaluation and Adjustments/CDC Regulations
In the Fall,  the Planning Committee will reconvene to share feedback and modify approach if/where needed.  Additionally, this Plan will be modified with each new CDC regulation.  Any revision or update to the Plan will favor the side of caution.

Creating and Maintaining Community

“Meet the Teacher” Day
 In an attempt to keep the classrooms as germ-free as possible, we will hold “Meet Your Teacher” Day either virtually and/or similar to how we distributed and collected supplies at the end of last school year. Your child’s homeroom teacher will be in touch with you shortly before school starts to share with you the details of that day.  

Parent Orientation
This orientation will be held virtually in a Zoom meeting format scheduled and led by individual teachers.

New Student Orientation
Orientation for students new to Holy Trinity Parish School will be conducted in smaller groups by the Director of Student Activities and the Counselor. This orientation will include key information about the School’s COVID-19 protocol as well as information needed to transition into a new school.

Facilitation of Community among Faculty/Staff
Constant communication between faculty/staff and the Administrative Team about the ever-changing Plan for the 2020-21 school year will be maintained.  Alternate ways for faculty/staff to connect and socialize will be explored.

Onboarding Students
The first days of school will be used to guide and instruct students about new procedures, classrooms, and structure of the school day given our current environment.

Facilitation of Community among Parents
Teachers will virtually conduct Parent Orientation nights.  School liturgies will be streamed online and through social media.   PTS conferences may be held virtually, but preference will be given to holding these conferences face-to-face if possible at that time.

Daily Rituals
WHTS will continue to be utilized for daily prayer, announcements, and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Managing Stress
The Counselor will support students, faculty and staff in areas of social and emotional growth while also monitoring stress levels.

Recruitment and Marketing to Interested Families
We will continue to offer tours of Holy Trinity Parish School to interested families.  Masks will be required of these visitors while touring the facility.  These visitors will not have any contact with students during the course of the tour.  Night tours and virtual tours will be considered as an alternate means of marketing to new families.

Curriculm and Instruction

The following criteria will be used in planning curriculum during this pandemic:
  1. Creating year-long plans to facilitate more meaningful units that can be delivered face-to-face or remotely.
  2. Varying the way content is delivered to students (reading, lecture/mini-lesson, videos, visual tools, modeling) and the way students can demonstrate their understanding (writing, speaking, visual products, modeling/building).
  3. Ensuring all learning is respectful.  Students are not given “fluff” or busywork to fill time or provide an item to grade.  
  4. Coordinating assignments deadlines, projects, and assessments among teachers to ensure a manageable workload. 
  5. Reviewing and implementing best practices in differentiated instruction to meet students’ needs and engagement. 
  6. Avoiding new initiatives and protecting professional learning time for teachers to develop flexible learning plans for the next school year.
  7. Planning for both face-to-face and distance learning. 

Classroom Placements

CliftonStudents in homeroom with masks/desk shields when less than 6 feet apart. 

Pre-K Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields and classroom 6-foot divider

KStudents in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

1Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

2Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

3Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

4Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

5Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

6Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

7-8Students in homeroom with masks/desk shields.

Special Area Teachers will initially go to students’ homerooms for instruction.  As restrictions are eased, students will travel to special area classrooms for instruction. 

Maintaining Our Catholic Identity

School Liturgies
Depending on restrictions, Holy Trinity Parish School will have either one virtual Mass per week or divide students’ attendance between the three weekday liturgies.  For example, Monday:  Grades 6-8, Wednesday:  Grades 3-5 and Clifton, Friday:  Grades PK/K-2 (with the possibility of no Mass attendance for PK/K).  School liturgies will be streamed online and through social media for parent/grandparent viewing and participation.

Grandparents’ Days
These special Mass days will be moved to the Spring to improve the opportunity to have them.

Service Activities
Our service learning program partnerships will continue with our community partners for each grade level and campus. Our Director of Student Activities is working with our teachers and parent coordinators to implement all in-class activities, virtual guest speakers, and collection drives.  The 7th grade Louisville service day as well as the 8th grade Appalachia service trips are canceled.

Religious Curriculum
All school days, whether Distance Learning or in-person, will include religion instruction and prayer.  Holy Trinity Parish School will continue to offer sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.  We will work within the guidelines of the CDC at the time to determine how best for our students to receive these sacraments. 


Incorporating Best Practices
The Technology Coach will assist teachers with all technologies that allow optimal time for students to view lessons and/or interact with teachers.  Consistency across all grade levels will be maintained when it comes to these interactions.

All students will become familiar with the apps/platforms that may be utilized should Distance Learning resume. The school device management system will be utilized to “push” apps and student profiles to devices.

Access to Technology
A procedure (“pick-up line”) will be developed to provide devices to as many grades as possible should Distance Learning occur.  An all-school schedule will also be made so that families can provide Distance learning time for all children in their family.  For example, some grades may have Virtual classes in the morning while others in the afternoon.

We know there will be plenty of changes to this Plan as requirements for this pandemic change.  We will keep you posted on these changes through our school newsletter.  Please know of our commitment to keeping your children safe during their time with us, as we work to give them a sense of security and comfort with getting back into a normal routine. In the meantime, please reference the list below on how you can help prepare your child/children for the upcoming school year.

What Can Parents Do Now to Ensure a Smooth Start to School?
We encourage parents to discuss, reassure and support their children about these changes, and the importance of social distancing and wearing masks. 
  • Allow your child to ask questions and answer them to the best of your ability. 
  • Explain the why behind wearing a mask and have your child practice wearing their mask. 
  • Read a story about returning to school such as Going Back to School 
  • Follow recommended guidelines regarding masks and social distancing this summer to help prevent a future surge in cases that might impact the start of school. 
  • Help students get back into a normal schedule at least a week before school begins, such as reinstituting bedtime and wake up routines. 
  • Be sure that your child’s immunizations are up to date. 
  • Stay in close communication with your school should your health situation or return plans change. 

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Jack Richards
Holy Trinity Parish School
423 Cherrywood Road Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 897-2785
Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest until your Good is Better and your Better is Best!