By Ann Kelly, Executive Director
La Vida is an Independent Study, Home Schooling Program for grades TK-12 and is serving approximately 100 students. One hundred percent of student attendance is through nonclassroom based independent study. However the school offers optional onsite classes that function as enhancement to the core academics studied at home.
Elementary students TK- 8, will return to onsite classes on April 13 in small cohorts of six to nine per mixed grade class two days per week, on Mondays and Tuesdays. The days will be shorter than usual, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Each cohort will have a limit of two teachers who work with them solely. There was not enough interest for even a small cohort in High School, so there will not be onsite classes on Wednesday or Thursday. Virtual classes will continue. All in person classes and meetings will follow the safety protocols listed below. Fridays are for tutoring and Educational Coordination meetings. The office closes at noon.
Required Educational Coordination Meetings can be in person or virtual depending on the choice of the parties involved.
Special Education meetings and tutorials can also be in person or virtual depending on the choice of the parties involved.
Designated Entrances & Exits and Outdoor Work Spaces: For those who come to campus, designated entrance doors for each class are posted and are expected to be used as designed, in order to minimize hallway passing and exposure.
Parents, guardians and family members are encouraged to only to enter the school when absolutely necessary. There is a doorbell on the office entrance that should be rung when service is required and a staff member will come to lend assistance. Walkie talkies may be utilized to help the traffic flow. Only one non office staff person is allowed in the office at a time.
Outdoor Classrooms & Ventilation: Each class has an outdoor area with tables and benches under an overhang. These areas will be used for at least 50% of the school day and for regular Educational Coordination meetings. All classrooms have windows that open which will be utilized to keep fresh air flowing in the room.
Social Distancing Protocols: Whether inside or outside, faculty, staff, and families observe the minimum three to four foot protocols, facial coverings, and hand washing. Teachers are remain six feet from students as much as possible. Classrooms are set up with four foot distances between students. Students will occupy their designated desk (not move or share) and students will also have individually assigned pencil supply cases (not to be shared) Outdoor eating will also maintain the four foot distance between students.
Facial Coverings: Utilizing the CalOsha Guidelines for Schools, students in grades TK – 2 are encouraged but not required to wear facial coverings. Students in grades 3 to adult are required to wear facial coverings. The school has a supply of facial coverings that are available to anyone who needs them.
If a student has a condition that makes wearing a mask impossible, the school asks for a note stating the situation and recommends that a doctor’s note be on record.
If a student needs to have a mask break, a designated area outside the classroom door will be provided.
Sanitizing: Classroom sanitizing will happen at the end of the day, since the days are short and at least half of the day will be out or doors. Outdoor tables will be sanitized once per day. Door knobs, light switches, bathrooms, copy machines and adjacent work areas, and telephones are cleaned on the same schedule. If an in person meeting occurs, then the area is sprayed with a sanitizer by the teacher or staff member and let to set for 10 minutes before the next occupancy.
Health Screening: For onsite class days students and staff will be required to fill out a short health survey once per week on Monday for the two day program. The submission will be through Parent Square. It will be reviewed by office staff and a student will be held from class until the survey is completed. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees will be sent home. Unless there is a doctor’s note indicating that the individual has a chronically high temperature. Students and staff who are sick should stay home. Return to school is acceptable after 24 hours fever free and no other symptoms are present. Thermometers were in the beginning of the year packets for each family.
Drop Off and Pick Up will have designated areas per class. Parents should pull up to the posted area and release their student to the teacher. The reverse is to happen at pick up, where the parents drive to the posted area and the teacher releases the student to the parent. The fewer adults on campus, the safer , with regards to the spread of the coronavirus. Parents should only come onto campus or to The office when necessary, such as when picking up curriculum or materials.
The Covid Tent: If someone is suspected to have Covid 19, a walled canopy resides in the back yard with chaise lounge, rug, table etc. as a holding area. It can be accessed from the outside. The Director would be the designated care taker and similar PPE & sanitizing procedures described above would occur. It should be noted that there is outdoor air blowing through at all times. The student or staff member would be referred to a testing site. If testing positive, the Health Department will be notified and affected families alerted . Quarantine protocols as stated in the Mendocino County Health order would be followed. If three cases of Covid 19 occur in the school within fourteen days, then the school would completely close for 72 hours, with key agencies notified, and with exposed parties quarantined until the health department investigation recommends next steps. New CALOSHA guidance allows fully vaccinated teachers and staff to not quarantine if exposed.
Testing: Anyone experiencing symptoms or have been potentially exposed to a Covid case will be directed to the testing options in the area and can return to school after a negative result. If one opts to not take a test, then self quarantining would be required and the student would not return to School for fourteen days. The school will maintain a current list of testing sites to be made available to community members.
End of Year events such as graduations will be held outside with distancing and facial covering protocols as recommended by the Mendocino County Health Officer.