Compass COVID-19 Plan
Along with every other educational program, business entity, and community group, Compass has been carefully monitoring developments related to COVID-19 so we could put forth an appropriate, responsive plan for fall 2020. Unless community mandates or state restrictions are issued to the contrary, Compass plans to return to in-person classes this fall with precautionary measures. Please read below for information on the Compass 5Ps: Perspective, Protocols, Precautions, Policies, and how you should Proceed.
The 2020 Coronavirus situation is unprecedented with no perfect model or protocol to follow. Families and community organizations are all in this together and must make the best possible choices for children’s education for the coming fall. Because there is immeasurable value in homeschooled students being able to learn and collaborate together, in small, face-to-face classes with caring, qualified teachers, we believe that working together, we can forge a way to safely return to Compass.
To do so, Compass has made decisions about its fall program 4 months before classes are slated to begin. Decisions are being made using ever-changing information and a dynamic, fluid situation. Compass believes that conditions are improving and that community confidence will return as new research is completed, treatments are tested, and as other countries, states, and cities begin to open their doors once more.
The Compass COVID-19 Plan is a Draft based on mid-May 2020 information. It will be updated and refined as additional information becomes available.
1. Compass will return in September 2020 with in-person classes and proactive modifications to how we do things (See Protocols below).
2. Compass will continually monitor recommendations and best-practice advisories from the health organizations. Compass protocols will be updated as new recommendations for school settings are released.
3. Compass will consider, but may not follow or mimic, what local school districts or institutions of higher learning are doing. Each entity must consider factors unique to its student population and its facilities.
4. In the event that a future government mandate prohibits in-person classes, Compass will comply with the law and will either delay the start of classes, convert some classes to an online platform, cancel classes, or a combination thereof.
5. Compass classes have always been hands-on, interactive, engaging, and experiential classes. Those qualities, along with our sense of community, networking, and opportunities for students and parents to socialize are some of the things that have made Compass successful for the prior 8 years. In the spring of 2020, Compass was able to continue 35 of our academic high school-level classes in an online format with just five day’s notice. Using our experience with these online classes, we will be working with each instructor over the summer to determine if his/her class(es) could successfully transition to an online format if a closure were suddenly ordered in the late summer or mid-year. The expectation is that most academic subjects at the middle and high school level would continue online with the goal of returning to in-person classes meetings when permitted. For this type of closure or stay-at-home mandate, Elementary level classes and hands-on, project-based classes would have a postponed start date. By the first of August, Compass will have a comprehensive list of how each class would be adapted for different scenarios.
6. If a class is held in-person, Compass will not offer an concurrent, online option for that class. (i.e., Compass will not offer an option for streaming, video taping, or recording a class that is being held in person.)
- Class SizeClassrooms: The maximum size of most classes will be reduced to 9 instead of 10-12. This allows a small group gatherings of 10 (9 students + 1 teacher) and distancing among students in the classroom. The average Compass class enrollment has been 9 since the program’s inception in 2012, and classes are often held with just 6-7 students.
Activity Rooms: Classes held in the four largest activity rooms will have their maximums adjusted to allow for ample student distancing. MultiPurpose Room (max. 12 in XXXX SF), Atrium A (max 12 in XXXX SF), Music Room (max 10 in XXXXX SF), and Sanctuary (max 12 in XXXX SF).
Kitchen: Cooking and baking classes which ordinarily have a maximum of 7-8 students will be reduced to 6 to permit spacing out students.
Room Assignments– Final classroom assignments will be adjusted before the start of classes based on final enrollment to allow the most space per student.
- Cleaning/SanitizingDisinfecting: Each teacher will be provided disinfectant wipes and will be asked to disinfect classroom door handles and tables between each class, before the next group of students has entered.
Hand Washing: Students will be expected to wash their hands immediately upon entering a classroom. Before taking a seat or touching supplies, students will be expected to wash their hands with soap and water (in rooms with sinks) or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (in rooms without sinks).
Sanitary Supplies: Stand-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers will be located near each entrance door. Tissues will be provided in each classroom to cover coughs and sneezes.
Laptops: Teachers who provide laptops for students’ use will be expected to wipe keyboards down between each class.
School/Art Supplies: As it is not feasible for Compass instructors to sanitize every shared marker, pair of scissors, and glue stick in the transition time between classes, families will have the option of sending their own supplies. For each class that ordinarily uses shared supplies and tools, a list will be provided to families who wish to send in an equivalent set of supplies just for their child’s use. Families will have the option of leaving the set of supplies at Compass in a labeled bag so items are not forgotten in later weeks.
Common Area Surfaces: Compass staff will wipe restroom vanities, tabletops in lounges, study areas, the social hall, and common area door handles throughout the day with disinfectant wipes.
Janitorial Services: The church facility will have regularly scheduled janitorial and disinfecting services.
- Common AreasSocial Hall: will be set up with a reduced number of tables and only 4 chairs per table to allow people to spread out.
Parent Lounges/Quiet Study Rooms: will have posted occupancy limits to allow people to spread out in these rooms.
- Bottle Neck AreasCheck-In: Students will not check-in to Compass at the central sign-in tablets. This will eliminate a large crowd in the lobby and prevent the tablet screens from being touched by many fingers. Instead, students will go to their first class where teachers will check them in for the day.
Main Lobby: The lobby will not be used as a parent waiting space, but instead will be used for students to spread out and wait for classrooms 1-5 to become available (instead of crowding at the classroom doors.)
Entrances/Exits: Fortunately, many classrooms have their own entrances from the outdoors. Atrium Rooms A, B, C, D, the Kitchen, Sanctuary, and Music Room have direct, individual entrances. Rooms 9A and 10A will use Entrance 5 as their main door. Only Rooms 1-5 and the MultiPurpose Room will use Entrance 6 as their main in/out.
Hallways/ Doors/ Stairwells:Due to the fixed width of hallways, doors, and the stairwell, person-to person distancing may be closer when people pass as compared to the spacing that will be available in classrooms. However, the closer proximity of others will be mitigated to the best of our ability by eliminating common “bottle-neck” areas, points of congregation (such as groups at classroom doors), using additional entrance doors, and extended transition times.
- RestroomsMulti-User Restrooms in the Program and Sanctuary Building may only have 4 users a time to allow for distancing. Users of the restroom will be asked to flip an occupancy sign/marker as they enter and exit so others can tell how many are in the room.
Single Restrooms: People will also be invited to use the newly renovated single stall restrooms in the adjacent Administration Building basement to spread out restroom demand.
Restroom Doors: The UUCF church has installed foot pedals on restroom doors so people can enter and exit restrooms without using the door handles.
Dryers: Touch-less electric hand dryers are provided in restrooms.
- PlaygroundPlayground: The Compass playground policy will remain unchanged. All children under the age of 12 are expected to have a parent or adult within sight, supervising them and ensuring appropriate playground conduct. These adults will be expected to enforce not only basic Compass policies (behavior, safety, and property rules) for their own children, but also ensure that their families’ standards for distancing are maintained for their children. Recognizing that families may have different standards and expectations, by the nature of children, touch-free play and distances may be difficult for supervising parents to ensure.
- NurseryNursery: The occupancy of the nursery will be reduced to be no more than two families at a time, totaling no more than two (2) parents/adults and (4) infants/toddlers. A parent must remain with his/her children at all times. Parents will be expected to enforce not only basic Compass policies (behavior, safety, and property rules) for their own children, but also ensure that their families’ standards for distancing are maintained for their children. Recognizing that families may have different standards and expectations, by the nature of children, touch-free play and distances may be difficult for supervising parents to ensure. Parents who use the nursery will be asked to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes provided, in particular the changing table.
- Sick PolicyThe Compass sick policy has been updated to say, “Students, siblings, or parents/guardians should not come to Compass classes, activities, or events if they have had any signs of contagious or communicable illness such as a vomiting, diarrhea, fever, persistent cough, sore throat or runny nose within the last 48 hours. Students, siblings, or parents/guardians who have been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are asked to self-isolate and not return to Compass for two weeks. A student who becomes ill in class, has a persistent cough, or frequent sneezing will be asked to leave class, put on a disposable face mask (supplied by Compass), and be picked up. Any student, family member, instructor, staff member, or guest who tests positive for COVID-19, with or without symptoms, will be asked to advise Compass so others in classes can be notified of a potential exposure.”
- Parental RemindersParents will be our partners in ensuring that children are reminded about refraining from touching, hugging, sharing snacks/drinks, respecting personal space/boundaries with other students while at Compass. In addition, parents are expected to remind students about thorough hand-washing, the correct way to cover coughs/sneezes, and not to touch their mouths and faces.
- SignageCompass will post community signs and health posters reminding students to wash hands thoroughly, cover coughs/sneezes, etc.
- Temperature ScansCompass students, siblings, parents/guardians, teachers, or visitors can request to have their temperature taken with a no-touch temporal thermometer at the front desk as an added precaution.
- Face MasksStudents, siblings, parents/guardians, or teachers will be welcome to wear face masks or coverings if desired. Parents will be responsible for making sure that children’s masks are properly fitted, clean, dry, have appropriate air flow, and that children can put their masks on and take off on their own, know to wash their hands before touching/adjusting their masks, and can participate in class without playing with or adjusting their masks. The exception to the optional use of face masks will be in all Compass cooking and confections classes, where single-use face masks and disposable aprons will be required.”
- GlovesThe use of disposable gloves will be strongly discouraged among students, siblings, parents/guardians, or teachers except when required for a particular science experiment or art project. Frequent and thorough hand-washing or use of hand sanitizer will be encouraged over disposable gloves which can provide a false sense of security to wearers.
- Drop-Off PolicyDrop-Off: Compass families are encouraged to drop students off for classes under our existing policies in order to reduce the number of extra people remaining on campus. Students who are age 8 and above can be dropped off for classes if they have back-to-back classes. Students who are age 13 and above can be dropped off if they have a Teen Form on file. See the Compass Handbook for a complete discussion about drop-offs and supervision.
- RefundsIn an exception to the usual Compass refund policy, if a family has a change of mind or change of schedule and must withdraw from a class, a credit will be issued for a later quarter with no administrative fee deducted. The offer for credits shall be in effect until 12/31/2020, and credits must be used by 5/21/2021. For those who prefer a refund, the normal Compass policy for refunds will apply. If a class(es) are cancelled in their entirety, families will be entitled to a full refund.
As with all other homeschooling decisions, each family is empowered to decide if the protocols and precautions outlined above are sufficient to meet their own needs, expectations, and address their own COVID concerns.
1. Families who are comfortable with the Compass plan may want to register early, as many fewer spaces will be available in classes.
2. Families who are not yet comfortable with the Compass plan should “wait and see” and register later in the summer when they feel more comfortable.
3. Families who have extenuating circumstances, such as underlying health concerns, should not register for Compass classes until they feel that their own risks are managed and will not be exacerbated in the Compass environment described above.