Frequently Asked Questions
Providence Academy COVID Safety Plans for Fall 2020
How are you defining COVID-19 symptoms and how long must kids stay out?
- Providence will follow Minnesota Department of Health guidance on specific symptoms and exclusion periods.
- Please reference the Decision Tree from the Minnesota Department of Health.
What’s the process if a student tests positive to COVID-19?
- When there is a laboratory confirmed case, families are contacted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). If the student attended school during their infectious period (starting 2 days prior to developing symptoms), we ask families to disclose this to MDH. This allows them to contact Providence.
- Providence requests that families notify the health office if their student has a positive test result.
- Providence partners with MDH to identify “close contacts” at school. Anyone identified as a close contact will be notified and asked to quarantine for 14 days.
- What to do when notified of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school or child care setting
How do we know other students are coming to school healthy?
- Per CDC guidance, PA families will screen their child at home. Screening questions are forthcoming.
- Students who are sick or showing symptoms are asked to stay home.
- All who attend have the same goal: keeping our children in school. All must do their part.
What if I am contacted and told that my child was a close contact to a friend who tested positive (whether a PA student or not?)
- Your child will need to quarantine for 14 days. This starts from the last day your child had contact with their friend.
- When to Quarantine
Do you have resources available on the best way to care for my child while they are sick?
Will my child be required to stay home for 10 days if their symptoms are the result of seasonal allergies?
- If you suspect your child’s symptoms are due to an ongoing condition such as allergies or asthma, please follow the direction of your child’s health care provider.
- If symptoms related to a pre-existing condition change or worsen, talk to your child’s health care provider to determine next steps.
What if a parent or sibling is diagnosed with COVID-19?
- The student will be considered a close contact and will need to stay home for 14 days from the date of their last exposure with the parent or sibling.
- Classmates will not be asked to stay home if the student did not have symptoms while at school.
- What to do if you have had close contact with a person with COVID-19
My spouse is being tested because of a possible work exposure. Can my child still come to school?
- If your spouse has no symptoms, your child will be able to attend school while waiting for test results.
- If your spouse develops symptoms, then your child will be considered a close contact and must quarantine for 14 days.
- What to do if you’re waiting for COVID-19 test results
How will Mass be conducted?
- Providence will hold school division Masses in the Performing Arts Center to meet spacing requirements.
- Masses before school are suspended until further notice.
Will the Providence community be asked to avoid situations in which they may become infected and what will be their self-reporting obligation?
- PA cannot oversee the activities of families, but can advise that CDC and MDH recommendations be observed. In this, Providence will be similar to other public-facing essential industries.
How will parents be assured that students, staff, and visitors are abiding by the policies you’ll promulgate?
- Providence will require members of our community to abide by our policies on site, and be diligent in pursuing compliance. There will obviously need to be an element of trust among parents. Visitors will be limited and by appointment only.
What would require Providence to implement Plan C: Distance Learning?
- A clear governmental mandate
- Localized or general outbreak within our own community triggering limited or widespread temporary quarantining
Will students be allowed to use water fountains during the day?
For safety reasons, the water fountains are not operational. Please send an extra water bottle to school with your child. Water is also available to purchase at lunch and lower school students will be able to refill their water from the classroom faucet.
What is Providence’s policy on face coverings?
Providence’s Face Covering Requirements are as follows:
- All K-12 students and staff are required to wear face coverings in most situations in the school building, and on PA transportation.
- Pre-K students are exempt from the face covering requirement.
- Types of allowable face coverings include: paper or disposable mask, cloth face mask, scarf, gaiter, or bandanna.
- A mask should cover the nose and mouth completely and should feel comfortable to wear.
- Face coverings are not meant to substitute for social distancing.
- A face shield (a clear plastic barrier that covers the face) may be used as an alternative to a face covering in the following situations: (1) Where a parent of a student in grades K through 8 indicates that a mask is “problematic” for a child. (2) Where a parent of a student in grades 9 through 12 indicates a “developmental, medical, or behavioral health condition” such that a student “cannot tolerate” a mask. (Source: MN Dept. of Health Guidelines for Schools pursuant to Walz Executive Order 20-81)
- Parents grades K-12 will indicate in writing to the health office the need for a child to wear a face shield.
- A face shield must extend below the chin anteriorly, to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.
- Face coverings may temporarily be removed in at least the following situations:
- Other outside breaks
Providence has received questions about the permissibility of a shield that fits over the chin, covering the mouth. The criteria for a shield is: it must extend below the chin anteriorly, to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece. The small mouth shields do not meet this criteria and are not allowed.
Masks with the small circular vents in them are also not allowed.
What are Providence's Uniform Code expectations for face coverings?
- Masks should be a solid color: navy, gold, gray, white, black, or “surgical” masks (blue/white).
- Also permitted are PA black-watch plaid masks or PA spirit masks available in the school store.
- No messaging, images, or patterns (other than black-watch plaid or spirit masks) of any kind will be allowed on masks.
- Providence suggests sending an extra mask to school in case it would need to be changed during the day.