Back To School – 2020

BTS 2020



  • Provide a safe and healthy school environment
  • Safely return students and staff to school
  • Maintain policies and procedures that enable a continual traditional education
  • Provide social and emotional support for students
  • Sustain CCA’s academic standards

The Mississippi Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control have defined direct exposure to COVID-19 as being in contact with a positive COVID-19 case closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. In addition to daily temperature screenings that will be done at school, it is imperative for parents to screen their child’s health on a daily basis before bringing them to school. Please inform the school by 9:00 am each morning if you choose to keep your child at home.


Daily temperature screening: School staff will take the temperature of every student and every employee upon arrival and observe for signs of illness. Students should remain in the vehicles until their temperature is checked. Non-contact temperature scanners with a one second reading capacity will be used. If there is no fever and there are no signs of illness, students will enter the building wearing a mask and go directly to their classroom.

Symptomatic: A student or employee will be considered symptomatic if he/she has any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100.0 or higher
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Persistent cough
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Headache

Identified Symptoms: If a student or employee has symptoms of an illness, he/she will be immediately sent home for 3 days.

  • If, after 3 days at home, the student/employee is completely symptom free, he/she may return to school.
  • The student or employee may choose to visit a health care provider during the 3-day period. If the student or employee receives a diagnosis of a common illness, the student or employee may return to school with a signed release from the health care provider as long as the 3-day absence has been fulfilled.
  • If the student or employee continues to have one or more of the symptoms after 3 days without a specific diagnosis by a health care provider, the student or employee must stay home for 7 more days.
  • Exception: If the parent or employee presents to the school a negative test result for COVID-19 andthe student or employee is symptom free before the 7-day period ends, the student or employee may return to school.
  • In the event that a student or employee tests positive, persons within that class setting will be notified to the greatest extent possible without revealing any confidential student information. Only the student or the employee who is diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days. The student’s parent or the employee is expected to contact the school office with this information on the day a positive result is received. In the event of a positive test of a student or employee, the classroom or areas exposed will be closed until they are cleaned and disinfected.
  • If, after 14 days, the student or employeediagnosed with COVID-19 is still symptomatic, their original symptoms have not improved, or they have developed new symptoms, 3 days will be added to the quarantine. If the student or employee is completely symptom free at the end of the additional 3 days of quarantine, he/she may return to school at that point.
  • In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, school administrators will notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Positive Test of Family Member: If a family member or sibling of a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the family must go home and quarantine for 14 days.

Close Contact with Someone Who Has COVID-19: Contact tracing will be used to identify students who have been in close contact with any confirmed positive cases. If a student or employee has recently had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, the school may exclude the student or employee from the school building and recommend that they self-quarantine.

Someone Gets Sick During School Hours: If a student or employee gets sick during the school day, they will immediately be separated from others. The employee will immediately go home. Parents will be immediately notified. The student will isolate in a separate area until the parent arrives. A student driver will be allowed to leave with parental permission. It is vital that parents’ current accessible work and cell numbers are on file in the office.

Student Absences and Make-up Work: All students (K3-12) who are absent or who are mandated to quarantine at home will receive all make-up work and any instruction through Google Classroom. At some grade levels, and in certain circumstances, it will be better for the student to have hard copies of learning materials. In these circumstances we will make arrangements for a parent to get the materials from the school. Teachers will work in cooperation with parents and students in order to make that student’s learning experience as meaningful as possible under the circumstances.

Returning to School: When re-entering school after an illness or quarantine, a re-entry form must be completed by a parent or guardian and presented to the school office. The re-entry form will be provided through the school office.

Face Coverings/Masks: Students must have a mask at school each day. We will allow two face covering options:

  • A traditional mask must be attached to a lanyard or necklace of some type. The lanyard or necklace must have a tag of identification with the student’s first and last name.
  • An alternative to a traditional mask is a neck gaiter. This type of face covering must be labeled on the inside with the student’s first and last name. Neck gaiters are available online. Students may wear solid colors and prints withoutfaces, characters or words.
  • Either type of face covering will allow easy access for transitions such as entering the school building upon morning arrival, moving from the classrooms to the restrooms, moving from the classrooms to the cafeteria, or changing classes. We will notexpect masks to be worn during class time, break or lunch, special classes, or athletic practices. In some smaller classroom spaces students may be required to wear masks for their own health and the welfare of others. (Note: state and local mandates will supersede our written policy.)
  • A student may choose to wear a mask or face covering at all times.
  • Faculty and staff members will wear a mask or face shield any time they are closer than six feet to students.
  • Staff that serve food or drinks will be required to wear masks and gloves.

Intensified Cleaning and Disinfecting: Throughout each day there will be periodic sanitizing of high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, desktops, cafeteria tables, toys, etc.) with an EPA-approved solution for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, there will be more frequent monitoring and cleaning of restrooms throughout the day and contracted cleaning services will be available as needed. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed in every elementary and secondary classroom.

Water Fountains: All students will be required to bring a water bottle to school each day. Secondary students’ water bottles must be clear. Bottle filling stations will be in place when school starts for students to refill their bottles. Regular water fountain use will not be available.

Student and Staff Movement: We will ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible.


  • Student desks or seating areas will be arranged to maximize the space between students.
  • Desks will be turned to face in the same direction.
  • Teachers will assign seating arrangements.
  • Kindergarten and pre-school students will eat lunch in their classrooms.

Office visits: Student office visits will be reduced to a minimum. Non contact thermometers will be located in the elementary and secondary buildings for easy teacher access.


  • Pre-school and kindergarten students will eat in their classrooms.
  • 1st-12th grade students will eat in the cafeteria.
  • The number of grades eating together in any one lunch or break period will be reduced to no more than 3 classes. Only 3 or 4 students will sit at one table spaced apart on one side of the table. No students will sit on the opposite side of the table. All students will face the same direction during lunch or break.
  • Microwave use will notbe allowed.
  • Tables and other areas will be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Parents will not be allowed to eat with their children.


  • In elementary grades only one class will go to the restroom at a time. Following each classroom use, the restrooms will be sanitized and disinfected.
  • In secondary grades restroom breaks will be scheduled in such a way that sanitation and disinfecting will occur periodically throughout the day between restroom breaks.

Playground Use:

  • Elementary classes will be allowed to go to the playgrounds one class at a time. After each class usage of playground equipment, any equipment or toys will be sanitized and disinfected.

Special Classes:

  • Students will have special classes. In some cases the teacher will move to the classroom rather than the students. If this is not feasible, the students will wear masks as they transition from their classroom to the special classroom. The special classroom will be sanitized and disinfected prior to the special class time. Students will be spaced as far apart as possible. Students will be expected to wear masks when appropriate during a particular activity.


  • Currently, we plan to have elementary and secondary chapel in the gym. Groups will be separated and seated by classes with adequate spacing of students provided by using both sides of the gym. Students will be expected to wear masks when appropriate during a particular activity. We will provide an alternate plan for chapel if necessary.

No Communal Supplies: Students will not share school supplies. Elementary school supplies will be stored in separate labeled boxes.

Visitors: Visitors will be expected to wear a mask upon entry to the buildings.

Mandated School Closure:

In the event of a localized COVID-19 outbreak or a state-mandated school closure, Columbus Christian Academy will shift to distance learning. The school administrative team will work in close collaboration with local health officials and our school board to make a decision for school closure. School officials and event cancellations may be extended if advised by local health officials. The nature of these actions (e.g., geographic scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.

When a decision is made to shift to distance learning, the following steps will be taken:

  1. Parents will receive notification from the school of the mandated closure. This notification will include information regarding procedures for picking up necessary learning materials (e.g, textbooks, devices, etc.)
  2. Elementary teacherswill contact parents to communicate their distance learning plan.
  3. Secondary teachers will make contact with parents in order to communicate video conferencing schedules and student assignment access.
  4. Distance learning will continue until conditions are determined acceptable for our students and staff to safely return to our building.

Appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of the school buildings will be completed before traditional learning resumes.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this school re-entry plan is not intended to constitute legal or medical advice. Due to the fluid nature of the situation presented by COVID-19, as regulations and recommendations change, our health plan for re-entering school will be adjusted to reflect those changes to protect the welfare of our students, families, and personnel. If the medical and scientific communities make significant advances against this virus, Columbus Christian Academy may relax the restrictions accordingly.


We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for those who come to our campus – students, employees, and visitors. While on campus, you must follow all posted instructions. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are present. COVID-19 is a contagious disease. If infected, you may exhibit no symptoms or mild symptoms, or become severely ill or die. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and persons with underlying health conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting our campus, you voluntarily assume all risks related to the possible exposure to COVID-19.

Your child’s attendance at Columbus Christian Academy demonstrates agreement to these terms and conditions.