Reopening Plan - Fall 2020

Return to School Fall 2020 Plan

Below is the most recent version of Luther’s Fall Reopen Plan, as of August 7, 2020.

School plans will evolve as required by emerging health risk assessments.

STAYING HEALTHY AT LUTHER COLLEGE

When will the school reopen?

  • Luther students are expected to return to campus September 8, 2020 (as of August 18, 2020), barring changes in provincial reopening guidelines, and excluding international students unable to obtain study visas or flights, and domestic students who are at risk or whose parents or guardians are uncomfortable with a physical return to campus.
  • All students must participate in learning, whether physically on our campus or virtually (synchronously when possible but asynchronously/recorded when needed, such as international students in a different time zone).
  • All Luther employees will return to campus September 8, 2020, barring changes in provincial reopening guidelines.  Employees with compromised immune systems or other medically approved accommodations will be encouraged to work remotely from home, or, in the case of support staff, encouraged to work on campus when students and most employees will not be present.
  • The International Baccalaureate Program will follow the guidelines of both the IB organization and of the Chief Medical Health Officer.

How will students “catch up” with what they may have missed in the spring?

  • At least two days will be devoted to preparing employees to adapt to COVID realities, to be back on campus, to look for ways to be efficient and collaborate even more, to emphasize outcomes rather than time per subject, to monitor student wellness, and to identify and ameliorate learning gaps.
  • To further aid with transitioning, we will provide remediation (through group and individual tutoring) to those students who had limited internet and/or family support during last spring’s remote learning.
  • All teachers will be encouraged to do comprehensive reviews in September and to identify students who might need extra help due to the school closure last spring.

What will change for in-person teaching and learning?

  • The average class size will be held under 25. (The average class size at LCHS is 23, and is typically much less.)
  • Consideration will be given to a Day One/Day Two schedule for classes with higher enrolments (like Physical Education, Band and Choir) so that they can meet in smaller groups.
  • Classes that typically demand elevated physical exertion—like drama, music and physical education—will be conducted in areas of the school that allow proper distancing and/or will be appropriately adapted using something akin to the following example offered by the Ministry: Music – learn individual parts and record, listen and critique, participate in small group and individual instrumental and singing instruction using video conferencing and virtual breakout rooms, choose repertoire for small ensemble or sectional rehearsals, practice singing individually with audio accompaniment tracks, play or sing along with teacher-created or student-created videos. Participate in digital music making using composition and editing tools and online recording sessions. Record individual parts and edit for whole group performance.
  • Performing Arts Guidelines will be observed for all applicable classes and activities.  Students will be strongly encouraged to wear masks in classes that typically demand elevated physical exertion (like drama, music and physical education) or which require close group work (such as science labs).   
  • Most other group work will be discouraged, except were safe distances can be maintained. 
  • Field trips and classes which visit off-campus venues will be strongly discouraged, except where the facilities can demonstrate adherence to provincial COVID guidelines for sanitization.
  • External visitors to campus (such as post-secondary recruiters and guest speakers) will be discouraged, except when their presentations can be conducted virtually.
  • Students will be in separate desks or a maximum of two to a table.  Desks and tables will be situated as far from others as possible.
  • Faculty will teach classes from the front, and not by roaming amongst students.
  • All classroom doors will be left propped open to minimize touching of door handles.
  • Wipes and hand sanitizers will be made available in each classroom so teachers can clean as they need to.
  • Larger classrooms and spaces will be utilized whenever possible, so as to allow for better social distancing.
  • Floor markings and signs will be used to ensure the safe flow of students both when entering and exiting the class, and when in the hallways between classes.
  • Faculty will be asked to monitor the flow from their classroom doors.

 Will students be able to participate in virtual learning? 

  • Compromised students or students from families who are uncomfortable with physically returning to school will be offered an online equivalent. 
  • International students struggling to get flights and/or visas will be offered an online equivalent.
  • The online equivalent will include, at the very least, a hybrid of Zoom (both live and recorded) and Google Classroom.
  • Luther also plans to equip several classrooms with cameras and microphones so that both on-campus and online students can participate simultaneously and so that classes can be more interactive when required. 
  • Luther intends to increase the bandwidth capabilities so that online delivery will be effective and seamless no matter how provincial guidelines change.

What’s being done to keep staff and students safe and healthy?

  • Gloves and masks will be made available to employees and students who want them. PPE is not mandated, except when caring for ill students.
  • Extra cleaning and sanitization measures will be enforced in high traffic areas where students frequently touch items, including the resource center, shared computers, washrooms, the fitness center, table tops, and handrails.  Extra hand wipes, hand sanitizers and/or disinfectants (as approved by Health Canada) will be readily available in all these areas. 
  • Approximately 15 extra hand sanitization stations will be added around the campus, including prominent ones at both main entrances.
  • The school employs a registered nurse four hours a day.  Her expertise will be utilized to help us effectively enforce any Chief Medical Health Officer guidelines regarding health and sanitization.  She will work with the local medical health officer to create “illness in care” procedures. 
  • The Head of Maintenance, the Cafeteria, the Dorm staff and OH&S will work together to develop cleaning, disinfectant and sanitization schedules that meet suggested provincial guidelines.
  • Students and employees will be advised to stay home when sick, especially when exhibiting COVID-like symptoms. 
  • Students or employees who begin to exhibit symptoms after arriving for the day will be sent home immediately. 
  • Students or employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate off campus until a doctor provides written notice that it is safe to return.
  • In the event of a positive test, parents, students and employees will be notified. The school will consult with the Health Authority and Ministry to determine whether or not on-campus learning can safely continue. If the Health Authority determines that on-campus learning must be suspended, Luther would return to full virtual teaching.  Any compromised dorm or international students would be quarantined at our university campus dorms.
  • If teachers must stay home, they can continue teaching through Zoom if well enough or request a substitute if not well enough.
  • Substitutes will be briefed on school guidelines by an administrator.
  • Student health and wellness will be supported by: two counsellors, a registred nurse, study of pandemics in health classes, chapel topics, wellness classes, and information posted on monitors in the Student Commons.

How will the school be cleaned and maintained?

  • Cleaning and sanitization shifts will be increased. A new schedule will be devised for increased routine cleaning, and disinfecting.
  • High traffic areas, such as washrooms and change rooms will be given special emphasis.
  • The Head of Maintenance will store and distribute masks and gloves as needed.
  • 15 additional sanitization stations will be installed.
  • Sink and toilet handles, and drinking fountains will be sanitized twice as often.
  • Staff and students will be encouraged to bring their own water to minimize use and touching of water fountains.
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example by opening windows and doors.
  • Basic cleaning procedures will involve at least the following: Cleaning the surface or object with soap and water, disinfecting using an EPA-approved disinfectant, or 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water.  Bleach solutions will be sufficient for disinfection up to 24 hours.

What’s the safest way for students to enter the campus?

  • Students will be required to enter through the West doors only, which will be frequently sanitized by staff wearing gloves and masks.
  • Exit crash bars will be routinely sanitized.
  • Students are to keep all backpacks and textbooks in their possession throughout the day or to store them in individual lockers.
  • Parents, employees and deliveries will be encouraged to use either the loading dock doors and/or the Royal Street doors which are closer to their destinations and which are not being used by students.
  • Both West and Royal Street doors are controlled by a buzzer, video and lock release system that will allow our staff to ask guests pertinent questions before permitting their entrance.
  • Signs are in place on major entrances reminding parents and guardians not to enter the facility if they are sick at all. 
  • Signs will be placed on dorm entrances reminding students, parents and guardians not to enter if they are sick at all.        
  • After-hours guest access to the facilities will not be allowed until there is a return to co-curricular activities and other campus events.  

Will there be Chapel or other large assemblies?

  • Chapel (part of our instructional time every day from 10:15 until 10:40; mandatory for all students and faculty) will either be held in one of our two gymnasiums (depending on public health orders regarding capacity and distancing) or will be offered online to students in whatever classroom they are in preceding chapel.
  • If we do hold chapel in one of our gymnasiums, the seating and doors will be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected both before and after the event. 
  • LIT/LIVT pep rallies, musicals, grad, co-curricular awards, multi-cultural evenings, and other similar events will be cancelled/postponed, or conducted online, or held in-person if/when all public health orders can be observed.  In the case of the latter, the seating and doors will be thoroughly sanitized both before and after the events.
  • The student gathering area (the Student Commons) will have an extra hand-sanitization station.  The furniture will be arranged to discourage close contact and closely huddled groups.
  • Open areas (like the Student Commons and the cafeteria) will be routinely supervised to ensure physical distancing.

Will the school offer co-curricular activities?

  • Luther will follow the Re-Open Saskatchewan guidelines, which include taking its direction from the Chief Medical Heath Officer, the Ministry of Education, the SHSAA and the RHSAA.  

Will students be allowed to take the bus?

  • Bussing procedures will follow the Primary and Secondary Educational Institution Guidelines including assigned permanent seating, extra cleaning and detailed record keeping of who sits where, and encouragement to wear a mask.
  • Luther will work with its provider First Canada to ensure that all guidelines are being observed.
  • Busses already arrive at staggered times allowing for safer entrance to the school. 

How will students use the cafeteria?

  • Proper hand hygiene stations will be provided.  Students will be supervised to ensure that hand washing is practised before and after eating.
  • There will not be any self-serve options.  All food and drinks will be pre-packaged by staff wearing gloves.
  • Reusable utensils will be cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Food from home will not be shared with other students and will be stored with the student's belongings.
  • The above guidelines (and others) will be posted in the cafeteria.
  • One of the gyms will be made available during lunch time so that students can properly distance themselves.
  • Tables and seats will be numbered so that we can encourage students to sit at the same place each day.
  • Staggered serving times will be utilized, if necessary, to meet capacity guidelines.
  • All plans will follow the nutrition program guidelines regarding hot meals referenced in the Primary and Secondary Educational Institution Guidelines, but also will be flexible enough to adjust to any new directives from public health officials.

 How will the dorms operate?

  • There will be a maximum of two students per dorm room. 
  • Cleaning of high touch points such as washrooms, shower rooms, door handles, will be increased.
  • Cleaning staff will wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of a splash.
  • The dorms will be off limits during class time, unless students are excused by the school nurse and resting in their room to recover.
  • A section of the Luther College University campus dormitories (which have a high vacancy for the fall) will be used for students who need to be quarantined or who should self-isolate.
  • The Saskatchewan Historical High Schools Association have submitted for approval to the Ministry of Education a general proposal outlining dorm operations, in addition to the measures listed here. Those plans will be distributed to our dorm families.

 What is the plan to communicate and engage students, families and staff? 

  • Faculty, employees, parents and students will be frequently updated and reminded of protocols and guidelines through e-mail, student announcements, social media, our website and signs/postings around campus. 
  • All staff meetings/gatherings will observe current guidelines or be offered online.
  • From March to June, student engagement was high, both academically and extra-curricularly because faculty used a variety of instructional methods and student leadership offered many virtual events, including student entertainment and student elections.  To keep students engaged in Fall 2020, such events will be offered again, either online or in areas big enough to observe provincial capacity guidelines, areas that will be thoroughly sanitized both before and after the events.
  • From March to June, there were five parent meetings held on Zoom (“attendance” ranging from 70 to 130, depending on the evening).   Administration used these opportunities to update parents, answer questions and keep connected.  To ensure this continues in Fall 2020, such meetings will be offered again, either online or in areas big enough to observe provincial capacity guidelines, areas that will be thoroughly sanitized both before and after the events.
  • From March to June, there were four faculty meetings and three support staff meetings held on Zoom.  Administration used these opportunities to update employees, answer questions and keep connected as a community.
  • Administration, staff and faculty meetings will be required in 2020-2021, either online or in areas big enough to observe provincial capacity guidelines, areas that will be thoroughly sanitized both before and after the events.
  • If necessary, Parent/Teacher interviews can be conducted through Zoom.

What happens if the Chief Medical Health Officer recommends full remote learning?

  • Faculty and students will use a hybrid of Zoom (both live and recorded) and Google Classroom as was done from March to June 2020.
  • Student participation will be mandatory.
  • Students without an electronic device will continue to be provided one by the school.  All students have access to adequate Wi-Fi. 
  • Teachers learned much from their first experiences with remote learning and therefore are well-positioned to make effective improvements.  While there will be challenges of delivering some curricula outcomes such as conducting a lab, Luther faculty will use innovative strategies to ensure that essential content and skills are properly taught.  

The Government of Saskatchewan has released this return to school information package following their August 4 news release.