Marian COVID-19 FAQs
The questions below are in relation to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year starting this fall.
Q: What supplies does my daughter need?
A: A clean, cloth mask for each day. We recommend six to 10 masks. An optional item is a small bottle of hand sanitizer for her backpack.
Q: Where will students gather before and after school?
A: The building will open at 6:30 a.m. There will be designated spaces in the cafeteria, quad, Haddix, Student Services and west gym before school. These spaces will be monitored so students will stay socially distanced. Once those spaces are at capacity, students will be instructed to go to their homeroom. After school any student waiting for a ride must go immediately to the cafeteria. Each athletic team will be instructed on where to meet their team. At 3:30 pm, the hallways will be closed, so our maintenance staff can begin to disinfect the classrooms and restrooms. All students should be picked up by 5:30 p.m. unless they are participating in an activity with a faculty moderator.
Q: What is the daily schedule for students?
A: We will use a modified block schedule. Students will attend four classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They will attend all eight classes on Friday. School will start at 7:50 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Late start will be moved to Wednesday and students will start their day at 8:40 a.m.. The new schedule format will be shared with students via email at the beginning of August. If we must go to an all-virtual environment, we will modify the schedule slightly.
Q: Where will students sit during class and lunch?
A: Students will have assigned seating in each class. Lunch spaces will be divided by grade level and will be socially distanced.
Q: If students are at home, will teachers be delivering remote-learning lessons to them?
A: Teachers will be teaching students in person, and a Zoom link will allow those students who are at home to participate live via remote access. All Zoom classes will be recorded and posted to the CANVAS account of each teacher.
Q: Will classes like art, music and PE still be taught?
A: Yes. Any equipment used will be disinfected before the next group uses it. Choir classes will meet in the PAC, so students can have more space to socially distance.
Q: Will student work be graded?
A: Yes. Student work will be graded.
Q: Are there rules about the color or type of masks?
A: The mask must cover the nose and mouth and fit firmly on your daughter’s face. No inappropriate pictures or logos are allowed on the mask. The Bluetique will be selling masks as well.
Q: How many masks will my daughter need?
A: Each student will need six to 10 cloth masks. She must wear a clean mask each day. All masks must be washed after each wear. I would encourage students to keep an extra mask, in a zip lock baggie, in their backpack as an extra. Students should not share masks or wear the same mask for several days in a row.
Q: What if I forget my mask?
A: There will be extra masks in the office for anyone who forgets her mask. If a student forgets or loses more than two masks, a fee of $2 will be charged.
Q: Does the school uniform need to be disinfected?
A: It is important to keep your uniform clean. Marian girls should get in the habit of washing their uniform on a regular basis.
Q: What about class supplies?
A: Anytime supplies are used, such as art class and science labs, students will not share. Students will have their own supplies. All materials used in these classes will be sanitized. In the case of PE, all sport equipment will be sanitized after each use.
Q: How will students move through the hallways safely?
A: Students will wear face shields in the hallways for an added layer of protection. There will be assigned staircases for classes to distribute students evenly through the building. Direction signage will guide students in the hallways.
Q: What if a student in a classroom gets COVID-19?
A: The Douglas County Health Director said the answer will depend on the circumstances. We will share more information in August. These instructions change quite frequently, so we will continue to update families on this information.
Q: What if a student exceeds 10 absences for a class?
A: It is expected that students will either be present in the classroom or watching over Zoom. Attendance will be taken for any students on Zoom. We will waive our current 10 absence policy and work with students and families individually to provide time to make-up work. The counselors will contact those students who go over the 10 absence limit to provide support.
Q: What extra cleaning will be implemented?
A: At the end of each class, every desk will be wiped down. Restrooms and “high-touch areas” like stair rails and door handles will be cleaned hourly. Each evening the entire building will be disinfected using electrostatic sprayers.
Q: What about the air quality in the classrooms?
A: HVAC systems are being checked and tested this summer. Ventilation fans will run throughout the day in increase fresh air pulled into the building.
Q: If students are in school for only part of the week, how will sports and after-school activities be handled?
A: Students will practice each day and will follow the guidelines of the NSAA. Coaches will communicate with players about practices and guidelines.
Q: What will lunch be like?
A: We are working on plans to have more lunch spaces available for students to eat. We will limit numbers, so that students are 6 feet apart, since masks will be off while they eat. We will use the quad, cafeteria, west gym and the outdoors for lunch.
Q: How will attendance be handled for students who are at home?
A: Attendance will be taken every day in every block for students in the classroom and on Zoom.
Q: What about students who have an accommodation plan?
A: Students who have an accommodation plan will continue to work with Mrs. Trecek on a regular basis. All parts of the plan will still be utilized for students.
Q: Where can students and families get a COVID-19 test?
A: Students can be tested through their pediatrician or at clinics throughout the Omaha community. For a complete list of testing sites go to testnebraska.com/en
Q: Can families opt for remote learning instead of sending students back to the classroom?
A: Yes, a survey was sent in mid-July asking for information from any family who would like this model due to health conditions. Students are expected to attend all virtual classes and complete homework just as those students who are in the building. This method will be evaluated on a regular basis.
Q: What about all-school Mass?
A: All-school Masses will be held once a month, but students will remain in their classroom to watch Mass via Zoom. The Eucharist will not be distributed. We will re-evaluate this format on a regular basis..
Q: What about retreats?
A: Retreats are an integral part of the Marian experience. Some may be rescheduled to the second semester and others will have a change of format. We will update each class when information becomes available.
Q: How will my daughter know all of this information?
A: Homeroom teachers will go over all of this information on the first day of school. We will continue to train students on new safety expectations with frequent reminders!
Q: How will you respond if a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
A: If your student or a family member tests positive for COVID-19, we ask you to contact the attendance office immediately. The student will be excluded from school based upon guidelines from the Douglas County Health Department. We must provide information to the Douglas County Health Department as soon as we are notified. We will then communicate any information from the DCHD to our community. Contact tracing is then done by the Douglas County Health department to help stop further community spread. We will ask the following questions:
- What is the level of community spread outside the school building?
- Was the individual with COVID-19 wearing a mask most of the time?
- Were other students and staff masked who were within 6 feet of the individual with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes?
- Was the individual with COVID-19 part of a cohort within the building or did they interact with a large number of students and staff throughout their day?
- To what extent is the school community implementing other non-pharmaceutical interventions (hand washing, hand sanitizers, etc.)?
The response to these questions will help determine the number of close contacts, if those close contacts may stay in the building and the number of students and staff who must be quarantined.
The guidelines for what actions to take change on a regular basis. We will contact DCHD and follow guidelines given on that day. Administration will consult with health officials about sharing information related to positive cases. The school will not identify those who test positive to students or parents. The school will communicate instructions to those who need to stay home for COVID-related reasons and will give guidelines of how they may return to school. It may include time at home in quarantine or a COVID test. We will follow the guidance of the Douglas County Health department.
Q: What are the requirements for attending sporting and arts events?
A: The NSAA will be making decisions about athletics and activities. We will communicate with you as this information becomes available.
Q: May my daughter participate in virtual learning if we are out of town?
A: Yes. As long as your daughter can Zoom in real-time. If your daughter is unable to watch Zoom classes in real-time, she should communicate with the teacher about a plan to watch the Zoom class and when she will turn in assignments and homework.
Q: Will my daughter still have a locker?
A: Yes, all students will still have a locker, but will only be allowed to go to their locker before lunch.
Q: What number of positive tests will force the school to be closed?
A: The Douglas County Health department will guide us in this decision. As long as our teachers stay healthy, we will remain open. We have a limited number of teachers and few substitutes, so if we have teachers getting sick, it will be difficult to stay open.
Q: What criteria will be used to decide if school should be closed?
A: We will work with the Douglas County Health department to make that decision. It will be based on the number of cases in Douglas County and at our school.
Q: What about the emotional health of our students?
A: We are aware that the pandemic has been especially difficult for adolescents. We will provide intentional activities to keep students engaged and feel supported while navigating these unprecedented times. Our counselors will provide ongoing programming to keep all of us moving forward and taking advantage of the times we are together.
Q: Will freshmen have opportunities to interact with each other?
A: Yes, we are especially cognizant of the challenges of our freshman students. We will build community through individual classrooms and small cohort gatherings.
Q: What counseling services are available to students?
A: Our school counselors are available to all students for in-person meetings or Zoom meetings. If necessary we can refer students to our Licensed Mental Health therapist as needed. If a parent is concerned about a student, please call your daughter’s counselor, who can assist in problem solving.
Q: Why face shields?
A: Each student will be given a face shield on her first day of school. She will label it with her name. She will wear the shield in-between classes as extra protection as we move through the building. At the end of the last class of the day, students will be given an alcohol towelette to wipe down her face shield and will take it directly to her locker. She will hang it in her locker overnight. Each day, when she arrives, she will pick up her face shield when she goes to her locker. Some people feel this is extreme, and they are right! I want our students to stay in the building, so we are going above and beyond! I was told a mask is similar to a seat belt and a face shield is like an airbag! I think air bags add to the safety to the building! After one month, we will evaluate if these are really necessary.
Q: Can my daughter switch to online learning if something changes at our home or due to a new health condition?
A: Yes, your daughter may switch to online learning at any time. Please communicate this change with Mrs. Kris Hennings, our Dean of Students.
Q: Can classes or lunch times be spent outdoors?
A: Yes, as long as the weather cooperates. We will take specific classes outside if the weather permits.
Q: Is there a possibility that the social distancing, masks and face shields will be relaxed as the school year progresses?
A: Yes! We are hopeful that with time, some of these measures can be relaxed. It is easier to take them away than trying to implement them after the fact.
Q: What if only one person tests positive, will the entire school shut down?
A: The entire school will not shut down if there is one positive COVID case. We will notify those who must quarantine and they can move to online instruction during that time. We would move to all online only if mandated by the county or state authorities or if we have too many teachers who are ill and unable to teach.
Q: What PPE will teachers be wearing?
A: Teachers will be wearing masks and maintaining six feet social distancing. Some teachers may choose to wear a face shield in addition to a mask.
Q: How will teachers be teaching in real-time face-to-face and online with students at the same time?
A: It will be tricky, but our teachers are masters of their craft! They will have a set meeting code for each class and will wear a headset with a microphone so that all those on Zoom can hear the teacher. If we move to this model, it will take a few days to get everything fine-tuned throughout class, but after that I am confident it will be a great learning experience both in and out of the classroom.
Q: Who is monitoring the COVID cases in the building?
A: Mrs. Kris Hennings will be monitoring the COVID cases in the building.
Q: Will recorded classes be available to sick students?
A: Yes, all classes will be recorded and available on the student’s CANVAS account.
Q: How will gym classes be handled?
A: Your student’s PE teacher will discuss the necessary protocols for their class. They will have staggered changing times in the locker room and will carry their PE uniform with them.
Q: How flexible will you be with student absences?
A: We will be flexible with students being in our building, but if they are at home, the expectation is that they will be learning online. If they are ill and unable to attend, that should be communicated to the teacher and the school.
Q: What is the criteria for moving from plan to plan?
A: The decision will be based on guidelines from the Douglas County Department of Health. However, we will also monitor the rate for students, faculty and staff in our building. There is not a specific number of cases where we will close, but if we have a large number of faculty and staff ill, we will have to shut down.