Reopening School in the midst of COVID-19

* Key point: our precious students are our flock, and our committed teachers will safely and lovingly shepherd them daily.
We currently have over 110 students and a full complement of 12 teachers. Our students range from 3-year-olds up to eighth-graders. Because of that wide range, specific procedures will vary.

The bottom line is that we’re going to have school at Alpine and teach, love, and care for our precious students. That is why we exist and are here. Part of that care is providing the safest environment possible.

*We are using two documents to formulate our guidelines: the CDC’s School Safe Return Guide and the La. Dep’t of Education’s Strong Start 2020 Guide.

* Here is a broad overview of the day:
  • Students will begin unloading after 7:30 am as directed by our school resource officer and staff. There will be three drop-off points: 3-year-olds, Back Annex (Grades 1-2/5-6/7-8), and all other classes at the front of the Family Life Center (Gym). Students will report directly to their classrooms.
  • Students in grades 3 and up should have their masks on as they leave their vehicles.
  • With our present mandates, parents will not walk their children to class.
  • Teachers will check temperature and wellness as students enter the classroom.
  • Once inside the classroom, students may remove their masks.

* We are calling our classroom management plan “The Flock Plan.” Each group of students under one teacher is a flock. The teacher is the shepherd, and she will do what shepherds do best: take care of the flock and keep them safe.

The key parts of the current CDC plan involve:
1.     Keeping small groups of students separate from each other. These small groups, that we’re calling flocks, are also called “Cohorts” or “Pods.” Flocks will be separated from other classes throughout the day.
2.     Social distancing. We will seek to maintain social distancing of six feet in the commons areas (gym, playground, restrooms). In the classroom, we’ll operate on a benchmark of “airplane arms”: each student when extending his arms cannot touch another student’s outstretched arm.
3.     Cleanliness and Hygiene. Teachers will clean and disinfect their classrooms throughout the day. Restrooms will be cleaned throughout the day. Hand washing and sanitizing will be emphasized for all students and staff.
4.     Masking: Students in grades 3 and up will wear masks. All teachers, when interacting with students, will wear a mask or shield.
  • P.E. and recess will take place in the gym area. Once again, flocks will be segregated on the court as they play and exercise.
  • Students will wear face masks while in these common areas (gym, restrooms, playground, foyer).
  • Each student will bring their own lunch and all eating/snacks will take place in the classroom.
  • After a full day of learning, we’ll begin pickup at 2:00 (for 3-year-olds) and 2:30 (for all other students) at their respective locations.
  • Students will be called individually from their classroom to vehicles.

One of the keys for all of us is to be flexible. These procedures and guidelines will change and adapt as needs arise.
Please remember, our priority is the health and safety of your child.

Also, the present guidelines are not forever. We look forward to the coming day when we can return to a more normal operational mode. In the meantime, let’s have school!

Your child’s teacher should be contacting you to schedule an Open House appointment and answer your questions.
As we have more specific concerns or concerns, please contact us at the school at 318.640.3804.

Curt Iles