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Social Distancing

Per the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“Physical distancing, sometimes referred to as social distancing, is simply the act of keeping people separated with the goal of limiting spread of contagion between individuals. It is fundamental to lowering the risk of SARS-CoV-2, as the primary mode of transmission is through respiratory droplets by persons in close proximity.”

“In many school settings, 6 feet between students is not feasible without limiting the number of students.Evidence suggests that spacing as close as 3 feet may approach the benefits of 6 feet of space, particularly if students are wearing masks and are asymptomatic.”

“Strict adherence to a specific size of student groups (e.g., 10 per classroom, 15 per classroom, etc.) should be discouraged in favor of other risk mitigation strategies.”

Several key policies, procedures and expectations regarding social distancing are as follows:

  • All students will be seated in a classroom a minimum of 3 feet apart. Classrooms have been sized and maximum occupancy determined using this seating standard.
  • All desks will be arranged so that students are facing in the same direction and not each other.Group work that requires student interaction at less than 3 feet will be minimized.
  • Teachers will remain 6 feet from students when possible and if not disruptive to the educational process.
  • In cases where a room assigned to a teacher cannot safely hold the number of students in the class, the class will be moved to a classroom of sufficient size to maintain social distancing expectations.
  • Traffic in hallways will be routed to reduce contact, to include the use of one-way hallways using physical guides, such as tape and signs, to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic between classes.
  • The Thomas J. Fogarty Center will be utilized during lunch periods to provide additional seating space for social distancing. Available seating in the cafeteria and the Fogarty Center will be clearly marked to permit social distancing during lunch. When feasible, outdoor spaces (i.e., St. Francis Plaza) will be used as well.
  • Multiple daily use of lockers in hallways will be discouraged.Students will be encouraged to utilize lockers before and after school hours and minimize use of lockers between classes.
  • Congregating in shared spaces where the environment does not accommodate social distancing will be discouraged.Social distancing will be enforced when students are arriving in the morning, after school during structured study halls and at the Fitness Center.
  • Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations coming into the school will be limited.
  • The use of phone conferences or a virtual format (i.e., Zoom) will be encouraged for parent-teacher conferences, individualized education program (IEP) meetings and other meetings.
  • Virtual activities will be pursued in lieu of field trips, assemblies and other special performances when practical.

As always, thank you for your assistance and cooperation as we navigate challenges associated with the starting of school.

Most recently updated July 14, 2020