Return to Learn Plan (last updated 09-02-20)

Reopening our Catholic Schools During a Pandemic

The information provided on this webpage and its subpages comes from Kuemper's reopening plan. The purpose of Kuemper's reopening plan is to consolidate guidance with the Diocese of Sioux City Catholic Schools and public health on protocols for reopening our Kuemper learning centers after the governor’s proclamation to close schools due to COVID-19. Elements of thie reopening plan were all formulated with emphasis on the priorities of both Kuemper Catholic School and the Diocese of Sioux City in placing the spiritual and academic growth of students as the priority. This plan has been formed and informed by consultation with health and education professionals, and school leaders. It will not, and cannot anticipate or address every situation that may arise as we reopen our schools in August. However, our hope is that it will provide basic information on procedures and protocols that Kuemper Catholic School will follow to ensure the health and safety of students and staff members in our buildings. We also acknowledge these procedures are intended to mitigate risk, but cannot eliminate it completely.

Email to Parents from President John Steffes on 07-30-20.
Executive Summary of Return to Learn Plan

Onsite vs. Continuous Online vs. Hybrid Learning

In order to best serve our families and students, we plan to be onsite in August. Our goal is to be onsite as much as possible throughout the school year as we feel it is the best way to educate our students. In the event we need to dismiss groups of students or the entire school for positive COVID cases in our buildings, we will be prepared to move to continuous online learning for periods of time to provide for deep cleaning and quarantining as needed. Hybrid learning may be used in cases of students who are unable to attend onsite. When continuous online learning is necessary, staff may use a combination of printed and online resources to support student learning remotely. Professional development for continuous online instruction is planned and will be required for all faculty starting in July 2020. Specific student needs related to academics for special needs, English learners, etc. will be addressed in Kuemper’s plan.

Overview of Kuemper's Current Health and Safety Guidelines

Based on federal and state guidance and recommendations available at this time, Kuemper Catholic School will follow these guidelines to help us safely reopen in August:

Stay home if sick: As schools commit to reopening, it is vitally important that everyone does their part and stays home if they are feeling sick or have any symptoms associated with COVID-19.  Read this important document outlining when your child should stay home and when it is safe to return to school.  If your child will be staying home from school either because of symptoms or quarantine, please read this document.

Face coverings: Students (grades Optional K-12) and all staff are expected to wear masks upon entering the building, in common areas, at Mass, and at most points during the school day. Masks are not required while students are able to socially-distance in classrooms. However, at full capacity, many classrooms may not be able to maintain a 6 foot social distance, and therefore students and staff are expected to wear face coverings. Exceptions will be granted for those students or staff for whom it is not safe to wear masks due to age, medical conditions, or other considerations. Appropriate face shields may be used instead of masks in these situations. Parents will be responsible for providing students with masks. Schools will have backup disposable masks available for students who need them. We highly recommend that students have extra masks in their bag in case their mask needs to be changed for some reason.
Click here for face covering FAQs.

Stagger arrival and dismissal to minimize crowding: Student pick-up and drop-off will occur outside the school building. Group congregating is to be avoided and will be closely monitored. PLEASE READ: Details of morning drop-off/arrival and afternoon pick-up/dismissal.

Physical distancing: Students and staff will maintain a social distance to the greatest extent possible. Desks/tables will be spaced a minimum of 3 feet apart facing the same direction.

Water Bottles: Water fountains will be limited to the bottle filler function and so students are recommended to bring their own, personal water bottle. Clear water bottles are preferred and should be clearly marked with their name.

Visitors/Volunteers: All visitors must wear a mask upon entry. Outside visitors and volunteers not involved in mission critical work will not be permitted to enter school buildings to ensure the health and safety of the school and the larger community. Deliveries will be dropped either outside the building or left inside the door of the school. Parents are encouraged to enter the building only in an emergency situation and are expected to wear a mask. (student forgotten items do not qualify as an emergency and will have to be left outside the doors).

Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing: All students and staff must engage in frequent handwashing, including upon arrival, before and after meals and recess, after bathroom use, after coughing or sneezing, and before dismissal.

Isolation and discharge protocols for students who may become ill during the day: Students showing symptoms that indicate a concern of possible COVID will be situated in the nurse’s office. Daily medications will be secured with front office staff so no one will need to enter the nurse’s office in the case of an isolated student/staff. Students exhibiting other illnesses/complaints will be situated in the office area/conference rooms.

Entry screening: It is not currently recommended to temperature check students at building entry due to the significant number of both false-positive and false-negative results. However, a routine temperature check of students will be administered daily at a different time. Student and staff temperatures should be checked at home before leaving for school if symptoms are present.

Large group gatherings: Kuemper prides themselves on family connections and often holds large gatherings for prayer services, family nights, etc. All large gatherings are currently cancelled and we hope to resume soon.

Cohorting: Staff and students will cohort whenever possible. This is most feasible for grades PK-6.

Assigned Seating: Assigned seating will be common in many settings including classrooms and the lunchroom. This is primarily to support potential contact tracing so we can minimize the impact of any potential positive cases on the school system as a whole. 

Transportation: Kuemper will collaborate with Carroll Community on general transportation.
For Kuemper managed bus routes the following guidelines will be followed:
-All students will sit by family
-All students will have assigned seats daily.
-All students will wear a mask during transit
-All bus drivers will be required to wear masks only during loading and unloading of the bus.

K - 3rd Grade: Masks will be expected except when eating. Students will sit in with their cohort group (homeroom) and in assigned seats daily while at lunch. Students will enter the cafeteria at staggered times, sit at their tables with their cohort, and then line up by cohorts when directed to do so. The Holy Spirit Gym and stage will be set up with tables for additional social distancing seating.

4th- 6th Grade: Masks will be expected except when eating. Students will sit in with their cohort group (homeroom) and in assigned seats daily while at lunch. Students will enter the cafeteria at staggered times, sit at their tables with their cohort, and then line up by cohorts when directed to do so. The St. Lawrence Gym will be set up with tables for additional social distancing seating.

7th-12th Grade: Masks will be expected except when eating. Students will sit in alternating seats and sides of the cafeteria tables, or on staggered chair placement at folding tables. Students will be expected to sit in their assigned seat every day. Students will get in line as directed within the lunchroom, lines will be single file with social distancing between students. Students going for A La Carte must social distance in order to continue getting A La Carte. The courtyard will be used as often as possible for students. Classrooms 170, 100, and 103 may be used for overflow as well

Treats From Outside the Building: Due to maintaining safety, no treats will be allowed into the school from outside the building until further notice.

Recess: Preschool-6th Grade: To start the school year, students will stay in cohort groups during their allotted recess times.

Mass: All Diocesan Mass guidelines will be followed such as
-Masks at Mass
-Social Distancing
-Limited singing
-Limited roles for students at Masses (lector, etc.)

Exposure: All positive cases of COVID-19 will be reported to Carroll County Public Health. We will follow their guidance for notification, contact tracing, cleaning, and closure.

Training: All school staff will complete the AEA Learning Health and Safety Modules on best health and safety practices for schools.