Safely Returning to School

Returning to School Amid COVID

This year has been tough on so many families and the decision on returning to school has been pressing for both families and staff. The small-by-design model that St. Thomas offers allows a more controlled environment where safety precautions and procedures can be implemented and upheld. Your family’s well being is a priority, so guidelines will be put into place this year to create a safer and cleaner environment.

Drop-off & Pick-up

For the safety of students, parents and staff, this year there will be multiple designated drop-off & pick-up locations for different grade levels.
*PreK student designation is the door leading directly into the PreK classroom just to the right of the         main entrance.
*Kinder student designation is the main entrance.
*1st & 2nd grade student designation is under the breezeway in the circle drive off San Sebastian Ln.
*3rd-5th grade student designation is the gate between the main and annex buildings.

To help traffic flow, please use the parking lot entrances off of Vinland, and exit onto San Sebastian. 1st and 2nd grade families using the circle drive can U-turn into the drive from San Sebastian, and must be mindful of those exiting the parking lot.

Pick-up locations are the same as drop-off. Parents are asked to drive up to the designated grade level location and wait in the vehicle for their student. Students will be issued a health screen before they are allowed to enter the building. These efforts have been put into place to minimize contact and practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Drop-off Procedures

  • Drive up to the designated grade level area.
  • A staff member will greet each vehicle, take the students temperature and administer a health questionnaire while the student and parent remain in their vehicle at the drop-off point.  
  • The student may exit the vehicle and proceed to their classroom via the designated entrances once cleared by the staff member. 
  • Shelter will be provided pending weather conditions.

Early Care Drop-off

  • The earliest drop-off begins at 7am.
  • Parents will use the entrance to Krist Hall in the circle drive off San Sebastian Ln. 
  • A staff member will greet each vehicle, take the students temperature and administer a health questionnaire while the student and parent remain in their vehicle at the drop-off point.  
  • The student may exit the vehicle and proceed to Krist Hall once cleared by the staff member. 
  • Shelter will be provided pending weather conditions.

Pick-up Procedures

  • The pick-up designations are the same as those for drop-off.
  • Parents will drive up to the waiting area at the designated grade level location, wait for their student to come out and proceed to exit once the student is safely in the vehicle.
  • Shelter will be provided pending weather conditions.

After Care Pick-up

  • The latest pick-up is 6pm.
  • Parents will use the entrance to Krist Hall in the circle drive off San Sebastian Ln. 
  • Parents will drive up to the waiting area in the circle drive, wait for their student to come out and proceed to exit once the student is safely in the vehicle.
  • Shelter will be provided pending weather conditions.

The main entrance will remain locked during the day to visitors, but monitored continuously.

Risk Tolerance

School policy has always been that students cannot return to campus until they have been fever free for 24 hours, and the same for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. 

KIDS: 

  • At the beginning of each week, parents/guardians will be asked a general health questionnaire about the students and the family.
  • Temperature checks will occur upon student arrival and just before lunch every day.
  • Checking signs of student illness:
    • All staff will look for signs of illness and send students who seem unwell to the front office. We will have a designated area for students to wait if they need to be picked up early from school because of illness. School policy has always been that students cannot return to campus until they have been fever-free for 24 hours, and the same for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. 
  • If a student presents with a fever at school, they will be isolated in the youth room. A parent/guardian will be notified immediately and must pick up the student within 1 hour. The student must be fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to school. All parents/guardians of the ill student’s classmates will be notified.

TEACHERS/STAFF: 

  • At the beginning of each week, teachers and staff will be asked a general health questionnaire about them and their family.
  • Temperature checks will occur upon arrival and just before lunch every day.
  • If a teacher or staff member presents with a fever at school, they will be sent home until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to school. Families will be notified that a teacher or staff member is ill, but virtual learning will not commence due to low exposure risk.

Exposure/Positive Test Results

If a student has been exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19, all classmates of ill student must be tested and virtual learning for just that class will commence for 2 weeks and/or until all tests come back negative. The same will be implemented for teachers/staff.

  • Siblings that attend STAES:
    • If one sibling has a fever, has been exposed to, or tests positive for COVID-19, all siblings must stay home until all test negative. Parents of classmates for all siblings will be notified.
  • Siblings outside of STAES:
    • STAES student must do virtual learning until other sibling is symptom free for 24 hours.

The Harris County Public Health Department will be notified of any exposure to or positive test results from students or teachers/staff.

Closure

Should multiple students across the school present with symptoms, the school will close and commence virtual learning. Contact tracing will begin and all parents of exposed students will be notified.

Click here to see a full copy of the STAES Campus Safety Guidelines.