COVID-19 Safety Response

As we continue working diligently to keep Bethany a safe place for students, faculty, and staff during COVID-19, we appreciate the options our facility offers us for adapting to these new needs. We are analyzing our building to determine typical patterns of interaction and taking steps to make our school safer for students and staff. Here you will find documents and resources outlining our safety approach and more detailed information about specific topics. 

Dear Parents and Students,

 

Greetings, I hope everyone enjoyed a nice labor day weekend break. The purpose of this communication is to give you a brief update on recent incidences of COVID among students and to clarify our procedures on isolation and quarantine.

 

Since classes began August 10 through September 6, we have three known positive cases of COVID-19 among students and one positive case on staff. All of the positive cases occurred last week. Two of the student cases were identified through our current testing protocols.

 

We believe it is important for students to be physically present at school. Thus, with the exception of a small modification to our quarantine protocols, we will continue with the COVID-19 mitigation measures outlined in our return to school plan.

 

On Friday September 3, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) issued new recommendations for schools in regards to face coverings and quarantine. Beginning today, BCS will follow the ISDH’s school quarantine guidance when all are masked. You can see more information at this ISDH website: Coronavirus.in.gov. Note the recommendations are based on the assumption that close contacts are masked and not engaged in vigorous indoor activity.

 

The updated BCS policy.

  • Masks are required indoors (including buses) for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to school, regardless of vaccination status.
  • A person testing positive for COVID-19 will isolate for 10 days and until symptoms have improved and fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines
  • Quarantine guidelines for close contacts at school (masked) in the classroom, or in an outdoor setting:
  • If asymptomatic, no quarantine is necessary. If symptoms develop, quarantine and obtain testing. 
  • Quarantine guidelines for close contacts during band, lunch, indoor sports, and on buses, and for close contacts outside of school, e.g., home or social activities where masks are not worn:
  • Unvaccinated students, and staff will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days. Students may return to school on day 8 after exposure with a negative PCR or BinaxNow antigen test on day 5,6, or 7.
  • Vaccinated students and staff will not be required to quarantine unless symptoms of COVID-19 are present. 

 

With the Delta variant spreading now in Northern Indiana, it is important for all of us to remain vigilant. If your child is feeling ill for any reason, please keep them at home. If experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the isolation procedures and obtain testing.  

 

Sincerely,

 

Tim Lehman, Ed.D.

Head of School

 

Hank Willems

Principal

 

 

COVID-19 School Quarantine Guidance 
 
COVID-19 School Mitigation Strategies
  • Transportation is once again possible for many school activities. Masking will now be required at all times in vehicles per federal guidelines (adjusted based on changes to federal law and local circumstances).
  • Social distancing is continuing where possible. Classrooms, hallways and common spaces are set up to provide the greatest amount of space between students, faculty and staff.
  • Sick students should stay home and adhere to expectations that will be shared in a future communication.
  • Sanitation stations are set up outside of all classrooms and common areas. Students should utilize these stations throughout the school day.
  • Restrooms and drinking fountains are set up to mitigate cohort interaction and provide maximum hygiene. Drinking fountains remain closed with water bottle filling stations available throughout the school.  
  • Hallways, lockers and passing periods continue to be monitored by school personnel to help ensure social distancing. Passing periods are lengthened to five minutes to help with traffic flow and congestion.
  • Daily breaks for students and staff are built into the schedule to give all individuals the opportunity to spend time outside.
  • Outside classrooms and instructional spaces are again available to teachers for use throughout the day.
  • The School Cafeteria is continuing to limit the number of individuals per table and will run five lunch shifts, allowing us to cohort groups, provide social distancing space and ease congestion during transition times.
  • Guests to our school will continue to be limited and those entering must be screened and tracked.
  • The Drop-Off / Pick-Up system utilized last year for items and students is once again in place to decrease office traffic and traffic.
  • Symptom screening at home is essential to maintain a safe school.  While we will no longer be taking temperatures of all students this year, we will need families to screen all students before coming to school (a COVID-19 Parent Screening guideline will be provided).
  • Student pick-up at the end of the day will continue to be staggered to help alleviate congestion and cohort interactions.
  • School cleaning continues in a thorough manner to ensure safe classrooms and common spaces for all individuals.
Face covering policy
  • Bethany Christian Schools will comply with the ECHD recommendations and beginning on Tuesday August 10, will require masks for all people in the school building. We are hopeful that the incidence of the COVID-19 Delta variant will decline soon, and we can relax some of our masking requirements.
COVID-19 Student and Staff Testing
  • A voluntary COVID-19 screening program for students provided by Health and Human Services (HHS) will help Bethany identify students who have COVID-19, but don’t have symptoms and who may be contagious. This will allow us to take quick action to prevent further spread to other students and their families, faculty and staff.
  • BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing provided by the state of Indiana can be utilized to determine positive COVID-19 cases on an individual basis when students display symptoms at school or immediate results are required.
BCS COVID-19 Reporting Form
  • If your student has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive, please fill out this form to communicate with administrators.