COVID-19 Plan and Procedures

St. James Catholic School, St. Joseph, MO, Fall Re-Opening Action Plan (Revised 7-28-2020)


St. James will start school on August 25, 2020. We will make it a priority to remain in school if at all possible. In anticipation of this, we have developed a plan that will hopefully satisfy spiritual, safety and educational requirements for our students and staff.

This action plan will remain tentative and flexible as needs arise related to COVID outcomes. As a result, this plan will be updated regularly as local and state requirements change. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we move forward during this challenging time.   This plan is provided on-line for your quick reference.  Please refer to the school office for the current plan with the latest up-to-date revisions.  

In some communities, measures taken to prevent Covid-19 infection have ignited conflicts between the liberty of individuals and perceptions of the common good.  We do not expect this tension to be reflected in our community.  While some see the risks as low, others may be concerned about coming to work or sending their children to school during uncertain times.  As a Catholic community, we must respect one another.

In order to ensure the highest levels of safety possible for all, we share these norms:

All members of our school/center communities and visitors to campus 

  1. Will wear masks, wash hands regularly and follow physical distancing norms.
  2. Will take responsibility for maintaining a healthy environment.
  3. Will treat others as people worthy of respect and deserving of a safe environment.
  4. Will follow self-screening guidelines for symptoms of illness and refrain from coming to the school/ center as indicated.
  5. Will comply with self-quarantine guidelines after potential exposure to Covid-19 or travel according to CDC guidelines.

We are excited to welcome our students and their families back! We look forward to a productive school year.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call me at 816-238-0281 or email me at [email protected]  

Jenny Saunders, Principal

St. James Catholic School


This document has been prepared utilizing the following recommendations:

  • KCSJ Diocesan Guidance
  • American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations
  • CDC
  • Local and State Health Guidance
  • Peer-Reviewed Medical Studies

Fall 2020 St. James Catholic School Re-Opening Plan

1. Masks 

●       Faculty/Staff 

All staff will wear masks/shields when in the proximity of 3 to 6 feet or closer to students or other staff.  Masks/shields may be removed when at the teacher desk or physically distant.


  • Pre-K thru K students will not be required to wear masks/shields.
  • 1st and 2nd grade students will be encouraged, but not be required to wear masks/shields when in movement (see 3-8 grade example below).  
  • when entering or exiting the building, in the hallway or moving through the building, or engaging in close group work. Students will NOT need to wear their masks/shields when seated at their desks or physically distant from others.

Parents will need to supply masks for their students.

No students will be required to wear masks during outdoor recess or PE.

Students with special medical needs, including but not limited to sensory disorders, asthma, etc., will not be required to wear masks at any time if a doctor’s note is provided.


All visitors will be required to wear a mask when present and will be strongly encouraged to remain in the office area.

Temperatures will be taken of all visitors. Those with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be admitted.

Visitors must check into the office and will be discouraged from being in contact with students who are not a family member.

St. James facilities will be cancelled for public use whenever possible.

Visitors will be restricted from contact with all students except their own children.

●       Vendors will be restricted in the building during times when students are not present.


2. Hygiene Practices

●       Increased frequency of hand washing will be encouraged by all staff.

Students should sanitize or wash hands with soap and water when moving from one class to another.

●       Signage on proper hand washing techniques will be present in all wash areas. Teachers will teach proper hand washing techniques.


3. Temperature Checks

●       Students

Parents are being asked to take their children’s temperature(s) daily before school. A chart of daily temperatures will be provided to parents and should be sent to the classroom teacher daily. (See Appendix G).  Teachers will initial temperatures each morning and will keep a file of all temperature logs weekly.

Parents will be expected to keep any child home who has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher.

Random temperature checks will be completed by staff as needed.

Students who are not feeling well will be sent by staff to the office and a temperature check will be completed. Any student with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home.

Staff must perform self-temperature checks before entering the building and will keep the same log as students. (See Appendix G). Any staff member with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher is prohibited from coming to school.


●       All visitors or volunteers will have their temperatures checked prior to entering the building. Any visitor with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be denied entrance.


4. Morning Drop Off/Afternoon Dismissal

●       In order to better accommodate social distancing, this year students will enter into the main building instead of the gym. 

Drop off times will remain the same as last year. 

Only parents of pre-school children will be allowed to enter the building with their child. 

Students in grades Pk-2 will enter the South West doors.  Students in grades 3-5 will enter the main doors outside the office. Students in grades 6-8 will enter the South East door. (Students in families of various ages may enter the assigned door of the oldest sibling). 

Masks are required upon entering the building, and social distancing of between 3 to 6 feet must be maintained. Students will go directly to their individual classrooms.

●       Grade level/cohort groups will be dismissed at staggered intervals beginning with preschool. Parents are encouraged to remain in their cars. When not in cars masks must be worn and social distancing maintained.

5.  Class structure

●       All students will be taught procedures that reinforce the following:  entering the classroom, storing belongings, wearing and removing a mask, physical distancing, handwashing/sanitizing, touching one’s face, classroom movement, hallway travel, restroom limits, water bottle use, using classroom materials, end of day dismissal.

All classes (PK-Grade 8) will stay within their own cohort and will not intermingle with other grade levels.

●       Middle School teachers will rotate classrooms.  Students will remain in their grade cohort at all times and increased sanitization will occur (disinfecting wipes/spray for desks and other surfaces accessed by students)

6. Lunch

●       Lunch will take place in the cafeteria, physically distanced. Students will remain in their grade level/cohort groups.

One additional lunch shift will be added. Lunch shift #1 (11:00 a.m.):  Grades Pk-2, shift #2 (11:40 a.m.):  Grades 3-5; shift #3 (12:20 p.m.):  Grades 6-8.

Classroom teachers will hand out utensils and condiments to students.

Students will wear masks until seated and after utensils/condiments have been distributed.

●       Tables will be cleaned after each lunch shift with disinfectant.

7. Recess

●       Students will remain in their cohort groups during recess.

Students will not be required to wear a mask/shield during outdoor recess.  If recess is held indoors due to inclement weather masks will be worn for grades 3-8 if social distancing cannot be maintained.

●       Outdoor recess equipment will be disinfected daily. (Should be noted that the AAP does not consider recess equipment to be an area of concern as sunlight effectively kills the virus).

8. Classroom/ Hallway/ Office Environment

●       Classroom

Student desks for grades 3-8 will be placed 3’-6’ apart as per the AAP guidelines.

PK-2 may keep their regular student desk/learning structures; however, the teacher’s desk must be 6’ from the nearest student seating. Non-cleanable surfaces will be removed if at all possible.

Cubbies will be used minimally in grades 1-8.

If at all possible, students should work independently in the classroom using their own materials.

Group work may be done if physically distant or if masks are used.

All shared materials/spaces will be sanitized between users.


Students and staff should follow a “one way traffic” flow.

Students should walk through the building single file, physically distanced at all times.

Cohort groups will stagger/schedule restroom breaks and release times in order to eliminate crowding and mingling of cohorts in the hallway.

Students should maintain social distancing at all times when in restrooms.

●       Middle school students will be encouraged to keep books and supplies at their desks in their homerooms to reduce locker traffic.

9. Cleaning/ Disinfecting

●       New, increased custodial cleaning schedule throughout the school day that includes the bathrooms mid AM and mid PM, handrails mid-morning and afternoon, and other high traffic areas as needed.

●       Student desks will be cleaned mid-day prior to lunch and again at the end of the day.


10. Distance Learning - Emergency Preparedness

●       In the event that local, state, or federal authorities require mandated school closure, St. James will resume distance learning virtually in a similar manner to what was experienced this past spring.

Students will need to have access to an internet-capable device.

●       Families who do not have access to a device should contact the principal.


11. Health Procedure

●       Individuals presenting with one or more of the following symptoms (below) or who test positive for COVID-19 could be excluded from the school.

Symptoms of illness and possible COVID-19 include but are not limited to the following list (CDC, MOSBA):

Fever 100.0 or greater



Muscle or body aches

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


New loss of taste or smell

Congestion or runny nose

Nausea or vomiting

Parents of students and staff are expected to disclose the following to the principal:

Diagnosis of a confirmed Covid case

Close contact with someone with a confirmed Covid case

Close contact with someone exhibiting symptoms of Covid

Travel to a high risk area as defined by the CDC in the past 14 days

Future travel in the next few months  to a high risk area as defined by the CDC

Students/staff who are determined to have Covid or Covid symptoms will be reported by a St. James official to the Buchanan Health Department. The cohort and other students in direct contact (ie family members) impacted will need to quarantine for a period of two weeks.

St. James will follow all directives as dictated by the Buchanan Health Department regarding quarantine and school cleaning/closure procedures.

Students who present with symptoms of illness during the school day will be removed from the classroom and sent to the office for a temperature check and potentially sent home. A doctor’s note may be required for a student to be able to return to school.

Any student or staff who is determined to have Covid will need to have a doctor’s note allowing his or her return to school.

Dismissal when ill

Parents will be called to pick up students within a reasonable time frame (preferably at least 30-40 minutes) for the health and comfort of the student and to reduce the exposure of illness to others.

Individuals should not come to school if exhibiting symptoms of illness or COVID-19 symptoms, without other obvious medical reasons or explanations. They will be immediately sent home. A doctor’s note will be required stating the student/staff member is safe to return to school.

Return to schoolIndividuals will be free from the following symptoms for 72 hours (3 days)(CDC) without the use of fever/pain reducers (i.e.Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aspirin), anti-nausea or diarrheal medication (i.e. Imodium, Pepto Bismol), cough/cold medication. A doctor’s note may be required.

Fever at or greater than 100.0

Runny nose or nasal congestion (not allergy-related)

Cough (continuous and consistent) 


Sore Throat (unless diagnosed by a health care provider for other explanation)

Reporting a sick child to the school

●       Parents/guardians have the responsibility to report a child who is sick to the school.


12. Miscellaneous

●       During mass, students will be seated in cohort/grade level groups and individually spaced 3’ or more apart so that students in grades 1-8 may remove masks while in mass if desired.

Music appreciation class will be completed in the classroom by the classroom teacher in order to reduce singing and to satisfy Diocesan requirements regarding music classroom social distancing.

Physical education classes will be held outside if at all possible. No masks will be worn during outside PE. Masks will be worn during inside PE only if physical distancing cannot be maintained (10 ft with increased breathing rate). Students will not be asked to dress out to minimize time in bathrooms. Equipment will be disinfected between cohort groups. No contact activities will be encouraged. Students will wash hands/sanitize when entering and exiting physical education class.

Art class will be held in the individual classrooms. The art teacher will make every effort to utilize students own supplies or will sanitize supplies between each student.

Library will be held in individual classrooms. Procedures will be taught to students. Supplies will be sanitized between users if at all possible.

Prayer services will be held by teachers in individual classrooms.

Each classroom will have its own set of recess equipment that will be maintained by that designated room.

Chromebooks will be cleaned prior to being placed in the storage cabinet. Teachers will be responsible for properly returning chromebooks to the storage cabinet. Teachers will work together to schedule shared use of chromebooks.

Any items that will be shared will be cleaned between students/staff.

Faculty and staff will have adequate access to disinfecting products to clean shared equipment and tables after use.

All classrooms will have hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, and wipes available.

The school has purchased an infrared sensor thermometer.

Students will be asked to bring a personal, labeled, water bottle to school.  Drinking fountains will be turned off; however, our school is equipped with a water bottle filling station which will be available for student use. The push bar on the filling station will be regularly sanitized.

Large group, in person assemblies will be discontinued.

The Perfect Attendance award will be discontinued.

●       This document will be made available to families to review.  Families will be asked to sign the document provided in Appendix A that acknowledges certain inherent risks of participating in the school environment, as well as Appendix G that serves as the individual student temperature log.  Appendix A is standard across all KC-SJ Diocesan schools.


13. Signage

●       Signs at entrances will include:

Not to enter experiencing cough or fever

Maintain a minimum of six-foot distance at all times

No hand shaking or other unnecessary physical contact

Wear a mask

Handwashing signs will be posted in all restroom and sink areas.

●       CDC and Missouri Health and Senior Services signs will be posted in highly visible areas.