Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding how we’ve changed our operations to adapt to COVID-19 safety precautions.
What procedures have been added to the preschool and school to keep children safe during the pandemic?
Saint Brigid of Kildare School has added many additional safety protocols to protect our students and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. These protocols include additional cleaning, separate school supplies for students, social distancing throughout, and the wearing of facial coverings for all students and staff. Learning spaces in our K-8 rooms are equipped with clear sneeze guards and each room has an air purifier circulating clean air during school hours.
In an effort to reduce class sizes and to ensure that each student learning space is 6 feet apart, we have utilized nearly every available space on our campus for the purpose of creating more classrooms (“PODS”). Children remain in their pod for the duration of the school day, thus limiting exposure to the rest of the school. PODS do not mix together for activities, specials, lunch, Specials, arrival or dismissal.
School arrival and dismissal times have been staggered to allow for easier social distancing among students. In addition to staggered arrival and dismissal times, parents are expected to remain inside their vehicles and are prohibited from entering the school building. All of these procedures have been put in place as an extra layer of caution for our students and our staff.
What are the current class sizes?
Currently we have multiple PODS per grade level, with class sizes ranging from 14 – 22 students (with the exception of our 8th graders in Hendricks Hall which allows room for a standard classroom size of 30). The number of students in a POD varies based on the square footage of the room and how many students can be accommodated while following the 6 feet social distancing guidelines. Preschool classes have no more than nine students in one class.
All things considered, we have an approximate K-8 student to teacher ratio of 18:1 and preschool student to teacher ratio of 9:1.
How do you determine your model of learning (in-person, remote, hybrid) during this pandemic?
The Diocese of Columbus allows their schools to make decisions for learning based on the facilities and resources they have available at their independent school. At Saint Brigid of Kildare School, we are fortunate to have enough real estate to allow our students to spread out among the school in smaller class sizes. This has allowed us to offer all K-8 students in-person learning five days a week. We also have virtual learners who are able to join the classroom remotely every day. We do provide our virtual learners “re-entry” points throughout the year if they decide they would like to come back for in-person learning, however virtual learning commitments are made on a quarterly basis.
What is lunch like under COVID protocols?
COVID lunch looks both similar and differently than a “normal” school year. Students may still buy hot lunch from the cafeteria (salad bar available for grades 4-8), however instead of congregating in the cafeteria for lunch as we would normally do in past years, students remain seated at their desk in their POD. The cafeteria staff will deliver their pre-packaged orders when it is time for them to eat! Our kitchen remains nut-free meaning all lunches ordered from the cafeteria will be completely nut free as well.
Students may also choose to pack a lunch. Since they are eating at their desks and remain 6 feet apart from one another, they are permitted to pack items from home that contain nuts.
Do children still have recess?
Yes! Children are still able to enjoy recess time with other students in their POD. They are free to go outside for recess every day (unless there is severe or extremely cold weather). Teachers are also permitted to take children outside for fresh air, walks around the campus and for stationary mask breaks as much as the weather allows.
What is your mask policy?
All children Preschool through eighth grade are required to wear a mask at all times. Students are provided mask breaks as directed by their POD teachers only when they remain stationary at their desks and can be appropriately distanced from other students. These masks breaks are done as a class and are monitored by the teachers to ensure safety.
Do children have Specials classes?
Yes! Children in grades K-8 still get to experience Specials even with our COVID protocols in place. Students move from their POD to the gymnasium for physical education class — a large space which has a brand new air purifying system that is constantly re-circulating 100% fresh air into the building. For our other Specials (Art, Music, and Spanish), the Special teachers come into the children’s classes to teach. Library books are still available via request.
Do children still attend weekly Mass?
Yes, the school (K-8) virtually attends weekly Mass through our livestream YouTube channel. Children remain inside their POD but participate in the Mass as closely as possible as if they were still inside the walls of the church.