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COVID-19 FAQ

 

Thank you for continuing to submit thoughtful questions as we work to keep our entire Eagles community safe during the 2020-2021 School Year! We've organized your questions into multiple categories below and will continue to update/add questions as needed. Please click the category title to see the questions/answers in each section.

 

How can I learn more about the Eagles360 Program?
Watch this short video to learn more about our comprehensive approach to student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where can I view or easily share the Eagles360 Program Guide and/or Pledge?
Please visit the following link to view or share the guide and/or pledge: http://issuu.com/topekacollegiate

Where can I download the Eagles360 Program Guide and/or Pledge?
We've included these documents in the "2020-2021 Academic School Year" section of the Family Resources page for families to easily download and reference throughout the school year.

Where is the form to request to "Opt Out" or to request that my student return to campus?
Parents will use the same form to request to "Opt Out" for Distance Learning or to request that their student return to campus learning. Parents may change their decision at anytime throughout the school year. However, we request three days notice whenever possible. Complete the form here. 

Where is the form to submit feedback on my child's Distance Learning experience?
In an effort to reduce disruption during classroom instruction, we request that parents complete this form to provide feedback on their child's Distance Learning experience. The form will be reviewed on a weekly basis by the Leadership Team, including the Academic Dean, to identify common issues or trends in addition to addressing individual challenges. Complete the form here.

Where is the form to request Emergency Financial Aid due to COVID-19 (separate from the standard financial process)?
In an effort to prevent a family from temporarily leaving the school due to an emergency situation, generous donors helped Topeka Collegiate create an emergency fund for the 2020-2021 school year. These requests are reviewed on a monthly basis by the Financial Aid Committee. To request the form, email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

 

 

Topeka Collegiate is working closely with the Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) regarding the health and safety of our students. If you cannot find an answer below, we encourage you to reference the "School" section of the SCHD website to see the guidance we are following. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please email us to submit a question. Additionally, we apologize if we missed your question somewhere along the way! If we did, please resubmit it to sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

How will Topeka Collegiate review and make decisions based on the Shawnee County Scorecard?
The Shawnee County Scorecard is reviewed alongside our school’s specific data points when making decisions.

The Scorecard includes the following data points:

  • Weekly case incidents: number of new cases during a week,
  • Trend in incidents: decreasing, stable, or increasing,
  • Percent positive test: percent positive tests out of all tests performed,
  • Percent of new cases with no known source of infection,
  • Hospital capacity: percentage of available beds,
  • Public health system capacity.

The school-specific data points that we will review alongside the Scorecard are:

  • Student absenteeism,
  • Reported positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff
  • Staffing capacity/availability

When this information is combined (Scorecard and School Data), we’re able to make informed decisions specific to our school. We review this data during weekly meetings with the Shawnee County Health Department, at Eagles360 Taskforce meetings, and at Leadership Meetings, as needed.

Our most recent Eagles360 Taskforce meeting was on September 1, 2020. We reviewed the Scorecard, indicating Shawnee County was in the "red." The fact that the community transmission level in this week’s scorecard is in the red zone should not be interpreted as an automatic requirement for schools to move to Distance Learning. The intent of the Scorecard is to track data over 2-4 week periods of time. Additionally, we reviewed our school data indicating that we have low absenteeism and zero cases on campus.

Based on current data, Topeka Collegiate will continue our "Standard Campus" scenario. We will continue to track the data closely and follow the guidance of the Shawnee County Health Department to determine if/when we would need to make any adjustments to our Eagles360 Scenarios.

Do you have any cases on campus? How and when will I know as a parent?
In balancing access to information and the privacy of our staff and students, Topeka Collegiate is following the guidance from the Shawnee County Health Department. Resources may be found at their website https://www.snco.us/HD/coronavirus.asp

If a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed on our campus, we will send a schoolwide notification. The notification will not include the individual’s name or other identifying information. However, all staff and parents will be notified as quickly as possible.

We have two staff members who are trained in contact tracing.  Once a positive case is confirmed, these individuals will trace and notify any individual who meets the definition of a close contact (within 6ft for a minimum of ten minutes).  Any close contact will need to be home quarantined for a period of 14 days. Details of this can be found at https://www.snco.us/HD/Document/home_quarantine_guidelines.pdf

To learn more about contact tracing at Topeka Collegiate, watch this video.

How will you use temperature checks to determine if a child needs to go home as part of the Topeka Collegiate Exclusion Policy?
During the pandemic, we will not use oral thermometers, as we typically do, for temperature checks. This is due to the large number of students getting temperatures checked throughout the school day and the close proximity/no masks that oral temperature checks require. Instead, we will use the thermal (forehead) thermometers at key times throughout the day during the 2020-2021 school year.  

If any staff member takes an individual's temperature and it is 100.4 degrees or higher, they will notify the School Nurse and a second temperature will be taken. 

  • If both temperature checks are 100.4 degrees or higher, no other temperatures will be taken and the individual will be sent home. 
  • If the second temperature is lower than 100.4 degrees, the Nurse will wait ten minutes to take a third and final temperature.
  • If at least two of the three temperature checks are 100.4 degrees or higher, the individual will be sent home. 

If any staff member takes an individual's temperature and it is 99.6 degrees or higher, they will notify the School Nurse and a second temperature will be taken, in addition to checking for additional symptoms.

  • If both temperature checks are 99.6 degrees or higher, no other temperatures will be taken and the nurse will assess for other symptoms to determine if a child needs to be sent home.
  • If the second temperature is lower than 99.6 degrees, the Nurse will wait ten minutes to take a third and final temperature.
  • If at least two of the three temperature checks are 99.6 degrees or higher, the nurse will assess for additional symptoms to determine if the child should be sent home.

Additionally, in March 2020, we implemented the Extended Exclusion Policy, which requires students with a fever to stay home for 48 hours (not 24 hours, which is typical).

If a child needs to quarantine/isolate, can they transition to online learning immediately? How will materials be sent home safely?
We will work to transition a child to Distance Learning as quickly as possible. Depending on the timing of the notification, it could take up to three days to get materials prepped and ready for pick-up. In some cases, this can be done more quickly, but we do request a three-day grace period. If the family is unable to send someone to school to pick up supplies, or if it is unsafe to do so, a staff member will deliver the materials upon request. 

If my child is sick and/or temporarily at home for any reason, can they join class from home for a portion of the school day or for 1-2 days? 
We’re thankful our teachers are adapting to both livestreaming and classroom instruction. We're also proud to provide the option for parents to change their child's learning location (home or on campus) with only three days notice. However, we are unable to allow students to join for a portion of the school day or for 1-2 days while at home. While the technology is available, we are unable to consistently offer this option across all grade levels and in all classrooms. We apologize for the inconvenience.

If a teacher needs to go into quarantine/isolation, but there's been no class exposure, will the teacher instruct from home into the classroom or will a substitute be assigned to the classroom?
In this scenario, the teacher would instruct from home and be livestreamed into the classroom. A substitute teacher would be hired to be onsite in the classroom for support. The substitute teacher would be trained in our Eagles360 protocols prior to entering the classroom.

My family is planning to travel out of state, do we need to quarantine when we return?
We ask that every family check the KDHE Travel Guidelines prior to traveling, to determine whether quarantine is required upon return. Topeka Collegiate does not have any additional school rules, we just ask that you follow state travel guidelines and take precautions while traveling. If you choose to proactively quarantine when you return, we respect that decision and would ask that you complete the "Opt Out" form for Distance Learning to let us know of your plans. 

Given the close proximity of lockers, do middle school students have lockers this year?
Yes, we were able to assign every student a locker, with at least three empty lockers between each assigned locker. Students will continue to wear masks in the Commons while accessing their lockers. 

Can any individual on campus where a face shield instead of a mask?
The Eagles360 Taskforce consulted multiple sources before making the determination that face shields are not as effective at stopping the water droplets. The shield may be worn in addition to a mask but not in place of a mask.

Are masks being worn all day by the students? Will they ever take them off?
Masks will be worn throughout the school day, especially in common areas like hallways and bathrooms. They will also be worn in the classroom. If students are at least six feet apart, working independently, not talking, and facing the same direction, masks may be taken off for a short period of time. However, we expect masks to be worn in most circumstances. Exceptions include while eating behind the polycarbonate dividers in the lunchroom; when outside at recess and students are playing independently; and when class instruction occurs outside and students are at least six feet apart.

Due to the frequency of mask use, we ask that every student have at least two clean masks with them each day, one for the morning and one for the afternoon. If the student is staying for Aftercare or an Afterschool Adventure, please send a third clean mask. If anyone on our campus does not have a mask available for them, we will provide one (either disposable or cloth depending on availability) for $1.00. This will be charged to the family's FACTS/Ren-Web Account.

If you have questions or concerns about your child's mask use during the school day, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

What is the reasoning behind putting on a clean mask in the afternoon?
We are making every effort to keep every individual on our campus healthy and safe. According to research, our ability to do so directly correlates with effective mask usage throughout the school day. Students will wear their masks throughout the morning and sometimes during physical activity. It is likely the mask will become moist and/or dirty by lunchtime. Therefore, once the mask is removed for lunch we are asking that all students put on a clean mask for the afternoon.

While everyone believes in-person and on-campus learning provides the best learning environment, is Topeka Collegiate really serious about seeking a waiver in the event space limitations (ie 50% capacity) are implemented? Same with not following the Governor, KSDE, or other recommendations (politics aside) in the name of being an independent school? And, what other items related to COVID has Topeka Collegiate put on this list?

To be clear, the Governors's Executive Order 20-59 does apply to Topeka Collegiate and is being followed. We continue to meet weekly with the Shawnee County Health Department, and although we are an independent school, we do not consider ourselves "independent" of our community's challenge to mitigate spread. Specifically, the 50% capacity scenario is one that would be petitioned due to our small class sizes. Our legal building capacity is well under 50%, and therefore, we would already meet the intent of such an order. We do want to note that this is hypothetical, and we would make our decision upon review of any new government regulation. We included it in our planning in an effort to be as prepared as possible for any unknown situation during the 2020-2021 School Year. However, we believe it is unlikely this would be a contentious issue based on our conversations with the Shawnee County Health Department. 

If the Governor were to reduce crowd size restrictions to below any current classroom size, how would this impact the larger classrooms? How quickly would a classroom be divided into the "Small Group Campus" scenario? How would this impact recess and/or lunch?

The Small Group Campus scenario, as outlined in the Eagles360 Program Guide, allows any classroom size to be reduced down to meet government restrictions, if needed, using Satellite Classrooms.  Students would rotate between their homeroom and the Satellite room to ensure accessibility to the teacher. Each room would be fully disinfected and sanitized between uses. 

Students in the Satellite group would use their Chromebook and attend class via the Livestream, with additional staff support in the Satellite Room. Any aide in the classroom would be trained in our Eagles360 procedures.

At this time, our lunch and recess procedures meet the crowd size limitations outlined by the Governor. If at any point they do not, we will convene the Eagles360 Taskforce to revise the schedule or change our procedures. It is our goal to keep the campus open and comply with the regulations, whenever possible. If at some point it is not feasible to do so, we will communicate any changes with all parents via email. The length of the transition and details will be determined on a case-by-case basis by reviewing each new regulation as it becomes available.

What are you doing to improve the air quality in the school building?
A third-party consultant advised Topeka Collegiate on August 24, 2020 of the following conditions of “good airflow:”

  • continuous fresh air inflow; exchange is ongoing
  • natural circulation through opening/closing of doors and windows
  • meeting state and federal air flow standards
  • regular replacement of air filters
  • classrooms have independent registers/vent system

Topeka Collegiate meets all of these conditions. All registers have been checked and are functioning. Summer checks of the entire system were completed; filters were updated accordingly. Topeka Collegiate’s air flow system was determined to be ”appropriate and conducive to a healthy environment."



 

 

How have the daily cleaning procedures changed for the 2020-2021 School Year?
We are following CDC guidance on routine cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting each day. Additionally, cleaning is a collective effort for all individuals on campus - students will have some responsibility (as noted in the Eagles360 Pledge), in addition to teachers, staff, and the maintenance team. Additionally, we have two new building aides to clean high-frequency touch points. Clorox Wipe donations are welcome. If you can help, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

Since students are assisting with cleaning surfaces, should parents send gloves to reduce their exposure to chemicals?
If parents have concerns, we encourage them to send gloves. However, we have provided vinegar and water as an alternative cleaner in the younger classrooms. Any questions about this should first be directed to their classroom teacher to clarify specific procedures. If clarification is still needed, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

How will the school ensure that bathrooms are clean and safe to be used throughout the school day?
First, every student has taken the Eagles360 Pledge promoting handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer throughout the school day, at least once/hour. We've also instructed students on proper handwashing techniques, including the use of paper towels while turning faucets off and on. Second, we've increased our cleaning procedures throughout the school day, ensuring that student bathrooms are cleaned at least once every two hours. Additionally, every evening while no students are in the building, all common surfaces are cleaned and disinfected, including classrooms and bathrooms.

 

Will Resource Classes (Art, Music, Science, P.E. and Technology) continue to be held during the 2020-2021 School Year?
Yes, all students will continue to participate in Resource Classes whether classes are online or in-person. We have worked with each teacher, individually, to design safe solutions so students may continue to benefit from a liberal arts education. Some teachers will visit certain grade levels in their homerooms/classrooms. Other classes will have new classroom dividers or individual supplies to mitigate risk. If you have questions about a specific class, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org.

Can I modify the "Opt Out" for Distance Learning to include my child attending individual classes on campus? Or if my child is on campus, can I request that they "Opt Out" of certain classes or certain days of the week?
Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to allow either of these options. On July 1 at the Parent Forum, we communicated that Hybrid Learning is not ideal for the maximum number of students, and these kinds of modifications fit within the idea of a hybrid model. 

We’re thankful our teachers are adapting to both livestreaming and classroom instruction, and we all understand the importance of giving parents flexibility to change their choice with three days notice. However, we are unable to add another variable of students who are doing both campus learning and distance learning at the same time. To ensure the high-quality education that all families have come to expect, even in this unique year, we are asking families to either choose "Opt Out" or "On Campus." 

 

How will families with multiple children manage Distance Learning if they only have one computer/device for livestreaming?
Students in grades 3-8 will have an electronic device issued to them for livestreaming. If a student in Prekindergarten, First, or Second grade does not have their own electronic device, we do have a limited number of devices available to be loaned to them. Please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org if you have concerns about your child's access to an electronic device. 

What technology will we use for livestreaming during Distance Learning?
Our entire school is trained in Google Suite. Our teachers will continue to utilize Google Classroom as their primary education platform during Distance Learning, with the option of adding multiple additional online tools at their discretion. 

Was there an evaluation of Google Meet versus Zoom?
While Zoom may be used at teachers' discretion, we also heard that a consistent learning platform was appreciated by parents during the Spring 2020 Distance Learning. As a Google school, we have chosen Google Meet as our consistently preferred platform. 

When class is held outside, will livestreaming continue?
When class is held outside, the camera being utilized for livestreaming will also be taken outside, and we will continue to livestream to the best of our ability. However, Physical Education will not be livestreamed,z and alternate activities will be developed and posted in Google Classroom. 

When class is livestreamed, can the child interact with the teacher?
Yes, we have encouraged and trained our teachers to provide all online students with the opportunity to weigh-in and ask questions, just as they do with students in the classroom. Students attending class remotely may have to wait their turn to ask a question or a specific timeframe may be designated for remote students to engage, but there will be opportunities to do so. Online students are also encouraged to utilize the chatbox feature to submit questions. If students are having challenges with livestreaming, we encourage parents to complete this form. Feedback will be reviewed on a weekly basis to identify common issues and trends. Individual challenges will be addressed as quickly as possible. 

Will livestreamed classes be recorded?
No, we do not have sufficient data storage to record all livestreams, multiple hours per day. However, when possible, teachers will record presentations at their discretion. If your child is having difficulty attending classroom instruction online during their designated schedule, please let us know by completing this form

 

 

What is being done to make sure children are socializing and connecting throughout the Eagles360 Program?
As a small, independent school, we were committed to opening our campus if it was safe and feasible to do so, recognizing that socialization and routine are critical for our students. Opening our campus was one way that we could meet the "Whole Child" priority identified in the Eagles360 Program. Additionally, we've asked the "Collegiate Cares Committee" that was formed in Spring 2020 to continue their efforts to identify innovative ways to bring students together, virtually or otherwise, throughout this school year. If you have ideas or suggestions, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

Will you have school assemblies this year?
We will not be holding assemblies during the Fall 2020 Semester. We hope to resume assemblies in Spring 2020 if it is safe to do so.

Will students have recess this year?
Yes, students will have recess, but we've added extra recess times to reduce how many students are at recess at any one time. To see a short video reviewing our new recess procedures, watch this video.

Will you be serving lunch in the Commons?
Yes, all grade levels except prekindergarten will eat lunch in the Commons. We've installed polycarbonate dividers on the tables, reducing seating to four per table, with splash guards between each student. This allows students to remove their masks and still socialize during lunch - although the lunchroom is noticeably quieter this year. We've added extra lunch times to reduce how many students are at lunch at any one time. The salad bar is not available this year. To learn more about our new lunch procedures, watch this video.

Will Resource Classes (Art, Music, Science, P.E. and Technology) continue to be held during the 2020-2021 School Year?
Yes, all students will continue to participate in Resource Classes whether classes are online or in-person. We have worked with each teacher, individually, to design safe solutions so students may continue to benefit from a liberal arts education. Some teachers will visit certain grade levels in their homerooms/classrooms. Other classes will have new classroom dividers or individual supplies to mitigate risk. If you have questions about a specific class, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org.

I'm worried about my child's social and emotional learning during this time. Any suggestions?

This website has lots of information for promoting social and emotional learning (SEL) at home. There is a series of developmentally appropriate resources for parents, families, and caregivers to use at home. These lesson ideas facilitate the development of SEL skills in children, from infancy through high school. Learn more here.

 

 

Are masks required at Afterschool Adventures, beforecare, and/or aftercare?
Yes, the same precautions will be in place during Extended Day activities as is required during the school day. Please note that students attending after school activities should bring three masks to school: one for the morning, one for the afternoon, and one for aftercare or Afterschool Adventures.

For families with multiple kids who are managing the new staggered start/end times, will they be expected to pay for Beforecare and/or Aftercare?
We recognize that the staggered start/end times create some new challenges for families with multiple children. Thank you for your patience as we work to reduce the number of individuals in the hallways during these peak traffic times. Beforecare is a paid program from 7:35-8:10 AM and Aftercare is a paid program after 3:40 PM. However, the DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) Class from 3:15-3:40 PM is available free-of-charge.

Are parents able to enter the building to drop-off students at Beforecare or pick them up at Aftercare?
We are unable to allow parents to enter the building during Beforecare and Aftercare. To read a detailed description of how the drop-off and pick-up process works during Beforecare and Aftercare, please review this document.

 

 

 

 

Please describe the new staggered times and how they impact the pick-up/drop-off procedures for parents.

Thank you for your flexibility as we work to mitigate risk during arrival and dismissal. Each grade level has been given a designated entrance/exit during pick-up and drop-off. Parents of Prekindergarten through First Grade students will still be allowed to walk their child to the classroom in the morning for drop-off. All other students will be dropped off at the designated entrance and walk to their classroom on their own or with a staff member. Students who are utilizing Beforecare should be dropped off at the main entry door any time after 7:35 AM. 

To safely and efficiently dismiss students, all teachers Prekindergarten through Eighth Grade will walk their students to their designated doors at the end of the day to meet parents. Students who do not have parents waiting for them outside their designated door will be escorted to DEAR (Drop Everything And Read). After DEAR ends at 3:40 PM, all students will be checked into after-care and need to be picked up between 3:50 PM and 5:25 PM in the courtyard circle drive Aftercare pick-up lane (access via back gate on Hope Street). No students will be picked up at 3:40 PM. They are either picked up at their dismissal time at their designated doors or between 3:50 PM and 5:25 PM in the courtyard circle drive.

If you have questions about your child's designated drop-off or pick-up time, please email their homeroom teacher. If you have additional questions about this process, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org for assistance. 

Is there visual confirmation of a child getting into the right car?
Yes, we will have multiple adults helping with the car lines this year. No child will be released at the door without visual confirmation of a recognized adult. 

When parents of Prekindergarten through First Grade students drop-off and pick-up their students, can they enter the classroom? The front office? What are the expectations?
We ask that parents limit their time in the building. Please drop students at the classroom door and do not enter the classroom or spend time visiting with the teacher. Our teachers miss these conversations and do not want to turn you away, so we ask that you not put them in the position to do so! Please schedule a phone call, if needed. Please also avoid visiting in any other spaces in the building, including the front office, during drop-off or pick-up. We ask that you only stop into the front office if you cannot address the topic/task by phone and being onsite is essential.

 

 

How will the school communicate a change between any of the Eagles360 scenarios?
The Eagles360 Taskforce will meet regularly throughout the school year to determine if and when we need to transition to a different scenario. Parents will receive a schoolwide email notification should a change need to occur and/or direct communication from their classroom teacher. A three-day transition (no school) would be required to give staff and teachers adequate time to prepare for the new scenario.  To review each of the scenarios, please view the Eagles360 Program Guide.

Do you have any cases on campus? How and when will I know as a parent?
In balancing access to information, and the privacy of our staff and students, Topeka Collegiate is following the guidance from the Shawnee County Health Department. Resources may be found at their website https://www.snco.us/HD/coronavirus.asp

If a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed on our campus, we will send a schoolwide notification. The notification will not include the individual’s name or other identifying information. However, all staff and parents will be notified as quickly as possible.

We have two staff members who are trained in contact tracing.  Once a positive case is confirmed, these individuals will trace and notify any individual who meets the definition of a close contact (within 6ft for a minimum of ten minutes).  Any close contact will need to be home quarantined for a period of 14 days. Details of this can be found at https://www.snco.us/HD/Document/home_quarantine_guidelines.pdf.

 

 

Are you still enrolling new students?
To ensure a safe re-opening of our school campus, the admissions process was suspended from August 19 until September 1, 2020. Inquiries and assessments resumed September 1, 2020, and new students may be enrolled as early as September 8, 2020. If you are interested in learning more about Topeka Collegiate, please submit an Inquiry Form, and we will get back to you shortly. If you've already submitted this form and would like to follow-up, please email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

My child is currently enrolled at Topeka Collegiate, and I've recently encountered a financial hardship due to COVID-19. How do I ensure they continue to be enrolled during this difficult time?
In an effort to prevent a family from temporarily leaving the school due to an emergency situation, generous donors helped Topeka Collegiate create an emergency fund for the 2020-2021 school year. These requests are reviewed on a monthly basis by the Financial Aid Committee. To request the form, email sayhello@topekacollegiate.org

COVID-19 FAQ!