HCA SAFETY AND PREVENTION
HCA is committed to opening safely for our students, parents, and teachers. Below we have important information regarding what is involved with opening for in class learning:
Things to know when coming to HCA
Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing throughout the school
Visitors and Volunteers must be checked in through our Identakid system and answer screening questions.
Daily temperature checks for students and any visitors at arrival. Staff and Teachers self check each day.
Hand washing will be encouraged and hand sanitizing stations will be used when necessary.
Mask wearing is required when within 6 feet of others for longer than 15 minutes and/or whenever asked by a teacher or adult supervisor.
Protocols for quarantining if someone has an exposure to COVID and staying home when ill will be strictly followed.
School Related FAQs
Where did Holy Cross Academy receive its guidelines that it used to create our reopening plan?
Holy Cross Academy has used the most recent guidelines published by the Center for Disease Control as well as the Rappahannock Area Health District. We are blessed because our local health department, RAHD, has been very supportive and has offered feedback that was incorporated into our reopening plan. We also are following best practices from Recover, Redesign, Restart as well as other resources designed to help schools finalize their plans.
Holy Cross Academy’s plan was approved by the Diocese of Arlington. Our reopening plan was also submitted to the Virginia Council of Private Education for review.
How is HCA preventing our students from sharing spaces?
Rather than students moving to shared spaces like specials classes or middle school classrooms, teachers will change classrooms to meet with their students.
If there are times when students must share classroom spaces, desks and commonly touched items will be sanitized between uses.
Are masks required for students?
Wearing masks to the greatest extent possible during the school day increases safety for everyone on campus. Holy Cross Academy is requiring students to have a clean face mask with them each day at school. Students will not be admitted into the building without their face mask secured.
Students will be required to wear masks at the following times/situations: when entering and exiting the building and walking through the hallways of the school, when in the restroom, main office, or other areas used by various groups of students during the day, when they are out of their seat in the classroom, and when asked by a teacher, aide, or volunteer to put on their mask.
Students will have the option of taking down their mask when they are alone at their desk and isolated from others by at least six feet. Students will take down their mask when they eat lunch or a snack in the classroom while socially distanced from their peers.
Is there a dress code for face masks?
Students will be given the option to wear a face mask with a design or logo as long it is school appropriate and not a distraction to others. Pittsburg Steelers masks are preferred (by Dr. Fry) but definitely not required ☺.
Where will students eat lunch?
Because we want to avoid students sharing spaces, students will eat lunch in their classroom each day. Students will of course remove their masks to eat, but will remain socially distanced throughout the lunch period.
When are the students’ lunch times?
Lunch times this year will be as follows: 11:40 – 12:00 kindergarten and grade 1, 12:00 – 12:20 grades 2 and 3, 12:20 – 12:40 grades 4 and 5, and 12:40 – 1:00 middle school.
When will students have recess?
Recess times will be as follows: 11:20 – 11:40 for kindergarten and grade 1, 11:40 – 12:00 for grades 1 and 2, 12:00 – 12:20 for grades 4 & 5, and 1:00 – 1:17 for middle school.
Weather permitting, teachers may plan additional recess times with their students before or after their scheduled times.
Can classes be held outside?
Teachers may hold classes outside as long as it doesn’t interfere with their instruction and students can maintain strict social distancing. We welcome opportunities for our students to be in the fresh air and enjoying our beautiful campus.
Can I bring in treats for my child's birthday?
Outside food for classroom wide distribution is prohibited. If you would like your child to celebrate his/her birthday with the class we suggest ordering ice cream or cookies (both nut free) from the kitchen. The cost is $20 per class. Please let Mrs. Beall know at least one day in advance. You could also come in and read to your child’s class or give goodie bags for them to take home.
What are the most common symptoms of COVID-19 that I need to watch for in my family and loved ones?
Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
What if a child exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or a fever during the school day?
When a student/faculty member becomes symptomatic, the person will be isolated. Students are required to be picked up within one hour of parent contact and will leave school pending the results of COVID-19 testing. A risk assessment will be conducted in collaboration with RAHD staff to determine risk to students and faculty per CDC guidelines.
I’m not sure if my child is well enough to attend school. What do I do?
The best way to prevent the spread of germs on campus this year will be to have faculty, staff, and students who are not feeling well stay home. It will be important to monitor specifically the symptoms of COVID-19 and contact your health care provider for an appointment.
Janet Richardson and Jill Wolf, HCA’s school nurses, can be a great resource for advice and feedback. They are carefully monitoring COVID-19 trends in our area and are working closely with the Rappahock Area Health Department. Please reach out to Mrs. Richardson or Mrs. Wolf at the school 540-286-1600 if you have questions or concerns about your family’s health.
Will parents still be invited to be involved as volunteers?
We will still depend on the help of parents to help support our efforts on campus. Prior to volunteers making their way back to help in the classroom, they will need to complete a questionnaire about potential COVID-19 symptoms as well as pass a temperature screening.
Volunteers will need to wear a mask while they are supervising students and must maintain social distancing.
When will HCA return to all students in the classroom five days a week?
Our goal is to have all our students back on campus for live instruction. Given the current social distancing guidelines, our physical plant, and enrollment, we are using the best plan for our school community.
We continue to work closely with the Rappahanock Area Health District and monitor the latest data from the Center for Disease Control to update best practices for keeping everyone on campus safe. We have already made updates to our morning screening procedures and recess options for students based on updates from these groups. We will further adapt our approach as it is appropriate.