Our goal is to keep our community safe and that requires the commitment of each individual. As such we are requiring all students and families to acknowledge and agree to abide by the health and safety expectations and measures being put into place during this time.
Physical distancing at school is the premise of the hybrid model.
DSHA will adapt our spaces and processes to provide an environment where students, faculty and staff are will maintain appropriate physical distance from one another throughout the course of the school day.
Every instructional space will maintain minimally a six-foot distance between each student and staff.
While every precaution will be taken for maintaining 6 feet of distance between people, we may not be able to guarantee that precise distance throughout the entire school day such as the passing time.
Current scientific evidence and ongoing COVID-19 research indicates that > 15 minutes is considered close proximity. Fortunately, our passing periods will only be 6 minutes. Additional COVID-19 research points to a combination of procedures, which DSHA will follow, to keep students, faculty and staff safe: consistently wearing a face covering; staying home when sick or exposed; regular handwashing; and enhanced personal hygiene (not touching face).
Even if students are sometimes in closer proximity than 6 feet, we will have several safety measures in place to prevent the spread of infection.
Self-monitoring and personal responsibility are vital to keeping everyone safe.
Attendance expectations and policy | DSHA has revised our sick and attendance policies to support girls staying home when they are sick.
It is imperative that a student who experiences symptoms of illness, especially symptoms associated with coronavirus, stay home.
Parents/guardians are essential partners in keeping all students, faculty and staff safe by enforcing our stricter sick and attendance policies.
Our faculty and staff will also be required to stay home if they are experiencing illness, especially any symptoms related to coronavirus.
COVID-19 symptoms | Described as follows, but not limited to:
Fever or chills particularly a fever over 100.4 degrees.
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Symptom monitoring | DSHA students will be asked to complete a daily app-based COVID-19 symptom survey each morning prior to entering the school building to reinforce staying home and to track data. We recognize enforcement will be difficult so we are asking for cooperation on this item. At this time, we will perform daily temperature checks for every student upon building entry, as this is part of the self-screening process. We will have temperature screening tools in the building for in-school screening. Parents are instructed to keep their daughters at home if they are ill. Any student or staff member with a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection should not be present in school. Any health information collected will be kept confidential consistent with applicable state and federal laws.
Web cameras will facilitate stay-at-home learning | DSHA has implemented web cameras in all classrooms to capture teacher instruction/lessons and revised our BYOD policy so that all girls have a laptop device for learning. This is to facilitate girls and faculty staying home on a day they have any COVID-19 symptoms or otherwise are not feeling well. By all means, if the illness requires a student or faculty member to be bedridden, the expectation will look more similar to how we used to know a sick day.
Mask policy | DSHA students, faculty, and staff will properly wear masks in public spaces throughout the day -- this includes classrooms. (except while actively eating or drinking water). Face shields may be worn with a mask for additional protection by teachers or other vulnerable persons. See CDC Face Covering Recommendations.
Additional exceptions include outside spaces provided there is proper social distancing among the occupants of these spaces.
Students and employees will be given two masks at the beginning of the school year. Students and employees will be given two masks at the beginning of the school year. Students should plan to bring their masks every day, to keep them clean, and to follow other proper use guidelines throughout the day. Extra masks will be available for students who arrive at school and have forgotten them. Students will be required to wear school-issued masks. Students unable to abide by any of these health or safety requirements should contact the school nurse to discuss possible accommodations. Face shield only may be considered if exempt from the medical mask, but decisions must meet CDC guidelines. Medical documentation may be required prior to approval of accommodation requests.
DSHA will have one-way stairwells to facilitate one-way traffic in hallways. The center staircase will be up only; north and south stairwells will be down only; the expectation will be no congregating in hallways. The staircase to campus ministry, behind the theatre, and near the drop off/pick-up doors will all be up staircases only. Signage supporting the one-way stairwells has been installed. Due to the width of the grand staircase in the Commons, up and down traffic will be permitted.
Plexiglass barriers have been installed in locations where maintaining 6 feet is not easily attained.
DSHA has established a COVID-19 health room (original health room) and a separate health room for non-COVID-19 symptoms (under the central stairwell in the Commons).
Large group assemblies will only happen if girls can be physically distanced, i.e., one full class in the theatre/gym for Mass rather than the entire school. Gathering size limits are set at the lesser of : (i) 50% of the total occupancy of the location established by the City of Milwaukee, if any; (ii) one person for every 30 square feet of floor space open to the public; or (iii) 250, which is based on the CDC recommendations to cancel large gatherings of over 250 people.
Student drop-off and pick-up. Drop-off will continue at our back door. Students who park in the front of the building may also enter through the main entrance. Upon drop-off, students will be seated in the gym (bleachers and floors) physically distanced until the first bell. Weather permitting, at pick up time, we are expecting students to wait outside and to physically distance.
Drinking from water fountains will not be permitted. Students and staff are encouraged to bring water bottles. Water bottles may be filled at the water bottle filling stations. DSHA is adding additional water bottle filling stations throughout the building.
Enforcing reduced capacity in common gathering areas such as the Quad, Commons, locker areas/hallways.
Using signage around the school, and written and verbal reminders about distancing guidelines.
Lengthening passing periods to allow for better distancing through hallways; accommodating changes in student traffic patterns; decreasing the number of students using a restroom at one time; and encouraging less congregating around potential shared areas like water fountains.
Signage reminding all members of the DSHA community to wash hands has been placed near all mirrors in every bathroom.
Classroom spacing: removal of desks to allow for 6 ft. of space between student desks in all instructional spaces in the hybrid model.
All desks facing one way, to the front of the classroom.
Designated teacher-only spaces in the classroom (a “zone of teaching”).
Assigned seating in the classroom with seating charts (this is needed for contact tracing, see below).
Adapting group work to use Microsoft Teams for collaboration.
Adapting activities, locations, and delivery methods for courses such as visual arts, and performing arts, to maximize distance and avoid activities which have shown greater risk of virus transmission (e.g. contact sports, choral activities in close proximity.)
Reducing and eliminating shared classroom materials whenever possible.
Increased use of outdoor campus space for various classes and activities as weather allows (and if all students are present. If a student needs to be learning from home, we will be using the webcam and Teams for streaming, which would always be accommodated.) This may include the option of setting up tents outside to accommodate outdoor classes or study halls as feasible.
All classroom doors and windows (as weather allows) to remain open for airflow and to minimize touched surfaces.
Given that our entire building is not air conditioned, we are working to maximize air-conditioned spaces such as the Quad, Commons, Chapel and other spaces for traditional instruction. Fans will not blow across students.
Classroom desks will be sprayed by the teacher between each period. The spray will cure on the desks for 3 minutes before the surface is wiped down.
Additional substitute teachers and aids are being hired to cover classroom needs.
AladdinFoodservice, DSHA’s food service vendor, is following all COVID-19 guidelines for food service safety.
All students and staff using the lunch service will maintain a distance of at least 6 ft. to decrease the risk of transmission.
All food options will be packaged and served by Aladdin staff.
Students are encouraged to bring her own lunch and to not share food items.
Microwaves will be provided on each floor but again, we are encouraging students to bring their own lunch from home that does not require microwaves.
All DSHA students will be assigned to a homeroom in a classroom space or outside as a homeroom as weather permits. This will be an hour-long period of time that will facilitate lunch and student connectedness across DSHA sisters.
No large spaces will be used for lunch.
There will be no operational vending machines at DSHA this year. Students should bring their own snacks.
DSHA will be restricting non-essential visitors to the building. This includes parents, alumnae, speakers etc. Remember, many meetings can take place virtually.
If parents or other visitors do need to enter the building for any reason, they will be subject to the same screening and health questionnaire as students and staff. They will also have their temperatures taken prior toentering the building. Prior approval should be sought whenever possible.
DSHA will be modifying all large group parent programming and delivering these sessions electronically.
DSHA will be cleaned regularly with specific attention to most public areas/spaces like bathrooms, hand railings, door handles, etc. DSHA will be hiring two additional custodians to help with the additional cleaning:
DSHA has purchased five electrostatic sprayers used to sanitize hard surfaces. This will be used on a daily basis to clean classroom desks and other hard surfaces. This is in addition to alcohol based wipes for classrooms.
DSHA uses 3M chemicals all of which meet the CDC requirements for killing viruses on hard surfaces. Click here to view the Cleaning Chemical Addendum.
Bathrooms will be cleaned once per day and in the evening.
Door handles and railings once per day and in the evening.
The same cleaning schedule will be maintained in the hybrid scenario on Wednesdays with extra emphasis on the hard surfaces.
Academic & Athletic building, the theatre, Quad, administrative offices, student services, chapel and campus ministry, fine arts all have air conditioning.
In these spaces we will upgrade our HVAC filters to meet or to exceed Merv 13 and replace filters as prescribed by the CDC on a quarterly basis.
In the original 1949 building:
Does not have air conditioning but in a couple of exceptional areas like Student Services, the library and the administrative suite. The air-conditioned spaces in the 1949 building all have HVAC filters that meet or exceed the recommended Merv 13 standard.
Classroom windows will be opened until it becomes too cold outside.
We are maximizing the usage of the 2016 Academic & Athletic building, theatre, Quad, and chapel as classroom spaces.
Individual air filtration units for targeted classrooms are being researched.
Note: A new heating and cooling system for the 1949 building is scheduled to begin implementation in the summer of 2021.
DSHA will be hiring a full-time school nurse for the 2020-2021 school year. We have also hired a substitute nurse to cover any days the full-time nurse is not available. The administration, i.e. principal and dean of student affairs will also lend support in the absence of any nurse. The school nurse will:
Facilitate the daily temperature checks.
Manage the health screening app information.
Assist students and staff who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms at school.
Provide guidance and education for students or staff exposed to COVID-19 or who test positive.
Provide ongoing education and training for our community on safety measures to mitigate a COVID-19 outbreak at DSHA.
Be the primary point of contact for the City of Milwaukee Health Department (COVID-19 Coordinator).
Manage cases within our building and help make any building closure decisions related to the health and safety of our community.
Reconcile attendance against student-reported symptoms and any students within the established COVID-19 Return to School protocol.
Carpooling: Any students carpooling must wear a face covering while inside a vehicle sitting less than six feet away from a non-family member. Busing:
Students riding the buses must sit one per seat, face forward, and wear a mask at all times. Students from the same household may sit together.
Bus occupancy has been reduced, but additional buses will be assigned as necessary.
The bus company has provided physical guides to ensure physical distancing while boarding and unboarding, installed plexi glass behind the bus driver compartment, will ensure the first row and emergency exit rear seats are empty to provide a buffer zone between the driver and students, and are committed to cleaniing an disinfecting buses daily.
DSHA staff will monitor all bus riding activities ensuring physical distancing while awaiting the bus and that all students sit in assigned seats.
Keep your daughter home and call the attendance line to report her absence.
Report her symptoms by contacting the school nurse.
If she feels well enough to attend her classes online, she should do so.
Seek medical care and try your best to get your daughter tested.
If your daughter has not been not tested and was in close contact with someone with COVID-19, keep her home and monitor her for symptoms. If she does not develop symptoms, she needs to isolate herself for 14 days since her direct contact with COVID-19. If she does develop symptoms, contact the school nurse, isolate for ten days, and try to get your daughter tested.
Our first line of defense is a good offense: in all plans, because of the EI schedule (four 80-minute classes each day) we are limiting movement around the building. Additionally, teachers will have assigned seating in each class, so we can keep a record of student location in each classroom space and in lunch (homeroom). With our internal information at the ready, we would be able to assist local health officials carry out their own contact tracing procedures. It will also be helpful for the school to carry out its own procedures as well.
If a student, employee, or other person who has been in the building tests positive for COVID-19, DSHA may take steps to:
conduct a brief interview to help determine close contacts among the school community.
the student or community member’s close groupings will be considered, such as teams, classroom seating arrangements, etc.
families of students who have been in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual, will be contacted by the school, and asked to self-monitor and follow CDC guidelines. This may include a requirement to stay home from school for a period of time.
At this point in time, there have been no known proven cases of reinfection, but more information may be available over time. If your daughter already had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and at a later time develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a close contact with a person with COVID-19, further evaluation and testing may be warranted in consultation with a medical professional.
According to guidance provided by the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) K-12 Reopening Guidance, DSHA will need to work with the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) to assess continued operations when a positive case is identified—this includes staff and students.
If there is one positive case, DSHA is required to report information to the MHD for guidance. School may continue its approved operations
If there are two positive cases, DSHA and the MHD will agree to an on-site assesment completed by MHD staff. Based on this assesment, DSHA will either be required to transition to virtual learning for a recommended time frame or have the entire school community tested.
If at least 3% of the school tests postitive, DSHA must transition to virtual learning for a minimum of two weeks with guidance from MHD staff.
Someone who is sick with COVID-19 can spread it to others from two days before they show any symptoms until a few days after they recover. Not everyone with COVID-19 will get sick. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but never had symptoms, may still be able to spread it to others.
Quarantine: is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others by staying home, keeping themselves away from others as much as possible and monitoring for symptoms.
Isolation: is used to keep people that have or may have COVID-19 away from others by staying home, keeping away from others in the home by isolating in a “sick room and using a sick bathroom” if possible and using masks in times when isolating from others in the home is not possible.
Separation: is used in school settings by health aides to separate any student or staff member from others on the onset of COVID symptoms or knowledge of a direct exposure until they can leave the building.
If a student tests positive, whether she was masked or unmasked, and was within 6 feet of other students, teachers, and other staff for >15 minutes, they would have to be considered close contacts and be quarantined for 14 days.
If a student was tested for COVID-19 and the results came back negative, she must:
Inform the school nurse of the results
Was an alternative diagnosis made (example Strep Throat, Influenza, Norovirus, Chronic Migraine, Asthma etc)? If yes, get clearance from the student's daughter's medical provider and return to school per the guidelines of that particular diagnosis. If not, isolate at home until it has been 10 days since the onset of symptoms, 24 hours without fever without the use of fever reducing medication, and respiratory symptoms have improved.
If the student was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and tested negative, quarantine for 14 days since the close contact.
If a teacher or staff member's spouse or child (or other household member) tests positive, they would be off of work for at least 24 days (10 days minimum for the isolation period of the sick individual, plus an additional 14 days of quarantine). If the positive family member is able to completely isolate, which means having no contact or shared spaces with other household members for their entire isolation period, then the other household members would only need to quarantine for 14 days.
Communication & Training
Faculty and staff will be trained on all safety protocols as part of our in-service the week of August 17.
Additional staff training will take place as part of monthly in-service meetings as needed to keep up with changing guidance and to adapt to any challenges we face in the school.
Electronic communications will be sent to faculty and staff as necessary in between any formal meetings.
All students will participate in health and safety training as part of her re-entry to school.
Daily school announcements will continually reinforce and retrain on all aspects of our health and safety plan specifically targeting any changes or specific items requiring reinforcement.
Regular communications to parents will include health and safety reminders and changes.