Maranatha Baptist Academy and Maranatha Baptist University are committed to student safety, health, and wellness. Our high school is blessed to be located on a college campus that maintains a full-time custodial department, campus health clinic, and facilities management office. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maranatha Baptist University has established a Coronovirus Campus Safety Committee to ensure our organization is both protecting students and preparing to act with wisdom in any health-related event.
Because MBA is located on the campus of Maranatha Baptist University, the return to school policy for MBA follows the Stronger Together Return to School policies and Stronger Together Pledge published by MBU which are updated routinely.
MBA students will be asked to sign and return the Stronger Together Pledge STRONGER TOGETHER PLEDGE at the beginning of the school year. This pledge simply ensures that all members of the MBU and MBA family are committed to uniform practices to protect the health and wellness of our campus and students.
Guidelines for Returning to Classrooms, Fall 2020
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has stated, “The virus causing COVID-19 will remain in circulation for the foreseeable future” (https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sspw/pdf/Education_Forward_web.pdf). However, the DPI has acknowledged the need and desire for education to return to typical settings for fall, 2020 and has published recommendations for schools to follow in the return to classrooms.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and shut-down, MBA is taking precautions to ensure our students, faculty, and visitors are able to learn in an environment that is safe, clean, and healthy. As MBA resumes classroom learning in fall 2020, the following protocols, as recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, will be followed:
- Reasonable social distancing relative to class size, course type, and curriculum offerings
- Requiring the wearing of face coverings in keeping with government regulations. Those claiming an exemption should complete the Face Covering Exemption Certificate.
- Making available school-issued, medical-grade facemasks free of charge
- Requiring anyone with COVID-like symptoms to stay home
- Teaching and reinforcing prevention behaviors (i.e. hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette)
- Availability of hand sanitizer and encouraging students and staff to wash hands regularly
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces
- Screening of students and staff for symptoms, including the use of digital thermal, no-contact thermometers as determined by school staff
- Asking standard questions of students and staff exhibiting possible COVID-19 symptoms. Questions such as:
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat?
- Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
- Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
- Have you had muscle pain or chills?
- Have you had new headache?
- Have you had nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
- Isolation and timely removal of students and staff who display COVID-19 symptoms.
- Timely communications with families, students, and staff in regard to school health issues
- Preparing staff, families, and students to potentially move to virtual learning in the event of additional Coronavirus outbreaks
- Working to ensure all students have access to virtual learning resources
- Establishing reliable technology systems for both on-campus and away-from-campus education
- Ongoing training and instruction for staff, families, and students on the use of educational technology
Cleaning and Sanitation Protocols
The following custodial cleaning and sanitation protocols reflected upgrades and enhancements to the usual service routines performed by custodial department staff.
- Overnight fogging or electrostatic disinfecting of every classroom and laboratory.
- Classrooms, laboratories, and common areas in main buildings are cleaned every evening.
- Restrooms are sanitized/disinfected mid-morning and mid-afternoon and deep cleaned every night.
- “Normal” water fountains have been turned off and replaced by bottle filler fountains.
- Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom, office, and common space.
- Disinfectant has been added to HVAC systems.
- Sneeze guards have been added to public service units where applicable and practical.
- Self-service spray or wipes have been distributed for use in all offices.
- Custodial staff are wiping all high-touch surfaces in main buildings twice per day.
- Self-service sanitizing wipes or spray have been added in each classroom and meeting room for students or employees to use to sanitize surfaces between uses by individuals.
- Self-service sanitizing wipes provided in all restrooms.
- Athletic facilities have enhanced protocols for protecting athletes and spectators.
While many options and scenarios for preventing the spread of COVID-19 are possible, it is the goal of MBA to establish an atmosphere that is conducive to learning yet free of unnecessary distraction. These reasonable precautions for safeguarding teachers and students are subject to change as the need arises.
In the event that a student must take an extended leave of absence from school due to personal sickness or quarantine restrictions, the following policy will apply for school attendance. A student will be counted as “present” for hours of instruction as long as the following guidelines are met:
- The student is present synchronously through the use of a video connection to the classroom while instruction is taking place (i.e. Google Meet, Zoom). This connection is established by the instructor through the GSuite platform utilized by the school.
- If a student is substantially hindered from attending class sessions synchronously, he or she may also receive permission from the school administrator to be counted “present” by viewing recorded class sessions asynchronously through a coordinated effort with the instructor. Evidence that recordings have been viewed will be collected through the LMS.
- In all cases, there must be evidence of daily work being completed and submitted–either physically or electronically–to the teacher for grading.
- There is evidence of a student logging in to the Learning Management System (Google Classroom and/or Sycamore) to complete assignments as well as regular, daily “check-ins” with the instructor and school office.
In all cases, decisions regarding attendance for students attending school “virtually” will be made by the school administration and reviewed by the school board.