COVID-19 REENTRY: SCHOOL POLICIES/PROCEDURES GUIDEBOOK
Due to the declared health emergency in New Mexico related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice the following policies and procedures will be in place at School, in addition to the policies and procedures contained in the School’s Student/Family and/or Employee Handbooks, and other School policies/procedures. To the extent that a policy or procedure set forth in this Guidebook conflicts with a policy or procedure contained in the School’s Student/Family Handbook, Employee Handbook, or other School policy/procedure, the policy in this Guidebook shall control.
Violation of these policies/procedures may subject students/staff to disciplinary action. Parents/guardians, visitors and other persons who refuse to adhere to School policies and procedures shall be required to immediately leave School premises.
School will abide by all current federal and state public health orders applicable to schools and school-related activities. See https://cv.nmhealth.org/public-health-orders-and-executive-orders/. To the extent anything herein conflicts with a public health or executive order, the public health/executive order shall control.
Re: HEALTH SCREENING, MASKING AND SELF-ISOLATION PROCEDURES
Screening. In addition to the School’s regular security and other visitor screening procedures, the School shall screen any person (including students and employees) wishing to enter the School premises or School-related in-person event or activity, or any other building operated or occupied by the School, and shall deny on-campus access to anyone, including any School employee, volunteer, student, parent, visitor, contractor, or any other person, as appropriate, based on the person’s answers to the screening questions required by the School for entry to School property/events. These questions are available at https://www.ahcancal.org/facility_operations/disaster_planning/Documents/COVID19-Screening-Checklist-SNF-Visitors.pdf. [NOTE: PED says screening optional for students, but recommended]
Further, School shall conduct temperature checks for all persons seeking to enter the School premises or School-related in-person event or activity, or any other building operated or occupied by the School, and shall deny entry to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
The School shall maintain a daily log of all persons entering the School who is not a student at the School, or a School employee. The name, telephone number, and date of entry shall be logged for each School visitor, contractor, volunteer, parent, or any person other than a currently-enrolled student at the School, or a School employee. The daily log shall be retained for four (4) weeks and shall be maintained, monitored and secured by our receptionist.
Masking. Any person entering the School premises or who is participating in or attending a School-related activity must wear a mask or similar protective face covering, covering the nose and mouth, at all times, except while eating or drinking or during PE or other activities involving exercise (i.e. recess). This does not apply to any person who provides written proof from a health care provider that the person has been advised by a health care provider not to wear a face covering. The use of a mask/face covering is not required by a School employee when in that person’s private office with no one else present.
Las Montañas Charter High School will provide masks to staff and students who cannot bring their own face coverings for use at School. Staff or students should notify the receptionist or administration who will arrange for face coverings to be provided prior to entry into the building.
Self-Isolation Procedures. Any person who is denied access to School premises or in-person events because of the results of the screening or temperature check requirements herein or as required by the State of New Mexico, shall be required to do the following before further attempting to access School premises or in-person events:
(a) Engage in a fourteen (14)-day period of self-isolation;
(b) Obtain a test or tests for COVID-19 in accordance with New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) protocols and disclose the results of the test to the School’s Head Administrator, which results shall be kept in confidence by the School to the extent such does not conflict with orders and directives of the DOH and/or New Mexico Public Education Department (PED); and
(c) Attend School from home, or work from home to the extent that work can be performed remotely with the permission of the Head Administrator. Any School employee engaged in a period of self-isolation required under this Policy/Procedure who is not able or permitted to work from home shall use annual and sick leave or, if eligible, leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. See related policy
If a School student or employee has contact with any person, including a household member, while that person is required to engage in a period of self-isolation under any applicable executive order, the student or employee shall engage in a fourteen (14)-day period of self-isolation from the date of last contact with that person before returning to the School and/or participating in School-related in-person events.
Students/parents and staff must notify the Head Administrator if he/she knows that he/she has been exposed to others who have tested positive for COVID-19. The School will keep this information in confidence to the extent such does not conflict with orders and directives of the DOH and/or PED.
Per order of the New Mexico Environment Department, within four (4) hours of learning that an employee has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an employer must report the positive test to the NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau. The report can be made by email to [email protected], by phone to (505) 476-8700, or by fax to (505) 476-8734. School will comply with this directive for employees with a known COVID-19 positive result.
School shall adhere to DOH and/or PED guidelines and shall work with state and local health officials with respect to contact tracing.
Paperwork/records relating to employee/student COVID-19 screening, testing, diagnosis and related documentation shall be maintained by School Administration in confidential, segregated, locked files as medical records.
Re: IF YOU FEEL SICK AT SCHOOL
If you feel unwell before school or work, you must stay home and follow attendance notification requirements. Students/staff who become unwell while at School must do the following:
• Students must notify a staff member that they feel unwell. Staff must notify Administration.
• Persons who feel unwell on campus shall immediately be taken to an isolation room or area to separate them from others. School healthcare staff shall conduct COVID-19 screening procedures and use Standard and Transmission-based Precautions when caring for persons who feel unwell on campus. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/caring-for-patients-H.pdf
• Parents/guardians will be called to pick up their student immediately. Employee emergency contacts will be called to pick up the employee immediately. If circumstances appear to require immediate healthcare, the School shall call for ambulance transportation to a healthcare facility. Ill students/employees shall not be allowed to drive themselves home.
• Students/staff feeling unwell must contact the DOH Coronavirus hotline for next steps (1-855-600-8453), and will be required by School to seek and obtain testing for COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity and, for the safety of others, to inform the School of the results of any testing. School shall maintain confidentiality consistent with the ADA and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.
• Per order of the New Mexico Environment Department, within four (4) hours of learning that an employee has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an employer must report the positive test to the NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau. The report can be made by email to [email protected], by phone to
(505) 476-8700, or by fax to (505) 476-8734. School will comply with this directive for employees with a known COVID-19 positive result.
• The School shall inform the DOH, staff, and School families immediately of a possible case of COVID-19, while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the ADA and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. Students/employees shall not be identified to the School community by name, and shall avoid, to the extent reasonably feasible, making other references that would permit the community to guess the person’s identity. While the School cannot prevent speculation, it will take reasonable steps not to contribute to it.
• Parts of the School facility used by a possible COVID-19 positive sick person shall be closed and remain unused for 24 hours, and shall not be used thereafter until thorough cleaning and disinfection has occurred.
• DOH/health officials will work with the School to identify individuals exposed to the infected person and test them for COVID-19.
• School shall immediately contact DOH to activate contact tracing. Students/staff who are notified by DOH via contact tracing must follow all directives of DOH.
• Students/staff with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 may not return to campus/in-person activities until they demonstrate to the School that they have met DOH criteria to discontinue home isolation.
Travel. School employees shall not travel out of state for School-related business until further notice. All students, families, and School employees are strongly discouraged from traveling out of state on personal business. Any School employee who engages in personal out of state travel shall report the nature, extent, and details of the travel to the Head Administrator before traveling or, if advance notice of the out of state travel is not possible because of unforeseen, emergency circumstances, as soon as possible after the travel begins. For so long as executive/DOH order 2020-054 or similar order remains in place, any student or employee who engages in or returns from out of state or international travel shall engage in a fourteen (14)-day period of self-isolation upon return to New Mexico before returning to the campus or attending in-person School events, whether or not they are exhibiting any health symptoms.
Re: SCHOOL FACILITY CLEANING
Cleaning. All School facilities and buildings operated by the School must be maintained in accordance with the guidelines issued by the New Mexico Department of Health and CDC for the cleaning and disinfection of public facilities and schools during the current public health emergency. See, e.g., https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html;
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html. Staff shall be required to keep and provide daily checklists or similar verification that facilities have been cleaned in accordance with these DOH guidelines. Staff further shall comply with any/all cleaning/maintenance requirements that may be issued by the New Mexico Public School Insurance Authority (NMPSIA).
Re: SOCIAL DISTANCING ENFORCEMENT
Social Distancing. All large group gatherings shall be avoided on School premises or during School-related events. Outside of class, students/staff/visitors shall not congregate in groups larger than 5, or the maximum number of people allowed to congregate as defined by then-current DOH or Executive Order applicable to the School’s area.
Students/staff/visitors must maintain proper social distancing measures at all times (minimum 6 feet between individuals, whether or not a mask is worn).
Las Montañas will have staggered transitions between classes and one-way traffic in the hallways. Las Montañas has three lunches and will practice social distancing that will be monitored by staff. Restroom breaks will be staggered and closely monitored so that number of students in the bathroom limited.
Where possible/practical, meetings/conferences shall be held virtually or in small groups with maximum social distancing.
Staff shall closely monitor and enforce social distancing requirements.
Transportation. All staff and students must wear protective face coverings covering nose and mouth on School-provided transportation. Students will be assigned to certain seating. All reasonable steps shall be taken to limit bus seats to one student per seat, with a maximum of two per seat. Hand sanitizer will be provided and required. School vehicles shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
Students and staff using School-provided transportation will be screened for symptoms of illness prior to entering the school vehicle.
Parents are strongly encouraged NOT to carpool, and to transport only their student(s) to and from school. If students must carpool with members not in their household, all persons in the car should wear masks and should distance themselves in the vehicle to the maximum extent possible.
Re: POPULATIONS WITH UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Students and employees with underlying medical conditions as defined by the CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-
ncov%2Fneed-extra-precautions%2Fgroups-at-higher-risk.html, and/or employees over the age of 50, and/or those who live with someone who is in a high-risk category, should contact the Director of Las Montañas Charter High School prior to the start of school, or as soon as reasonably possible, to discuss any concerns or issues about returning to on-campus instruction. School will maintain such discussions and documentation in confidence and in segregated, locked files as medical-related records and information. Student accommodations and modifications will be addressed pursuant to IDEA, Section 504, and/or ADA procedures. Personnel accommodations shall be addressed in compliance with ADA and OSHA requirements. See also Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Extended Family Medical Leave Policy. The School aims to be as flexible as possible in making alternative arrangements.
Re: FIELD TRIPS
Until further notice, School field trips necessitating vehicular transportation to indoor or outdoor locations will be curtailed. Walking field trips to outdoor locations where social distancing can be maintained may occur, subject to prior scheduling and approval by School administration and parents/guardians.
Re: MEALS/FOOD ON CAMPUS
During remote learning days, meals will continue to be provided to eligible students through the School’s designated food distribution site: Las Montañas Charter High School. Please contact school personnel (575-527-5916) for further information. Masks must be worn, and social distancing must be maintained, during meal distribution.
During mealtimes on campus, students and staff are required to maintain social distancing requirements and to wear masks when finished with their meal. Cleaning/disinfection of tables, high-touch surfaces and school meal sites will be conducted throughout the day. Las Montañas Charter High School will offer offer pre-packaged meals for students throughout three lunch periods, students will maintain social distancing while eating lunch.
Re: EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
School shall follow the current NMAA guidelines regarding extracurricular activities, including school sports, as updated periodically by NMAA: https://www.nmact.org/2020/07/nmaa-guidance-for-return-to-play-phase-1-updated-to-include-use-of-weight-rooms/ All members of the coaching staff will be tested for COVID-19 shortly before the start of the season for any sport or activity that they coach, and the coaching staff members will provide the results to a school official named by the School. Each student participating in an NMAA sport or activity will be tested for COVID-19 shortly before each competitive season in which the student participates and will provide the results to a school official named by the charter school. Coaching staff will self-monitor and screen students prior to all workouts, practices, and competitions.
Time for recess shall not be reduced or eliminated, and withholding of recess shall not be used as a student disciplinary measure. Students engaged in exercise during recess need not utilize face coverings, but must maintain social distancing requirements. Students not engaged in exercise during recess must use their face covering. Playground equipment shall be regularly cleaned and disinfected. While during lunch students will maintain social distancing protocols that will be monitored by staff.
Re: ATTENDANCE FOR SUCCESS
Students are expected to attend in-person or remote instructional programs, as provided by the School, each day. Attendance will be officially recorded and reported to PED, whether school is conducted online or in-person. The school further will track online participation. The New Mexico Attendance for Success Act requires that districts and charter schools provide interventions to students based on the percentage of absences students have accrued.
Hybrid Model: For hybrid learning models in which students attend in-person classes on some days of the week and participate in remote learning on other days of the week, attendance shall be taken by teachers for both in-person and remote instructional classes and school programs. Accurate attendance data shall be documented and reported by the School, in accordance with the Attendance for Success Act. Teachers will track student engagement and whether or not students are logging on to online instructional activities or otherwise using other means to participate in a class/activity, and the School will maintain this data. The School will monitor those students who are not participating or engaging with online instructional activities and provide supports as appropriate.
Las Montañas will operate on an asynchronous schedule. Instructure Canvas Learning Management System and Google Classrooms will be the platforms used to deliver instruction and assessments. Attendance will be tracked by teachers based on daily progress on assigned work or through student communication with teachers via call-ins, email, or Zoom meetings. Google Chromebooks will be assigned to all students at no cost. Those students who do not have internet will be referred to community agencies, the school’s IT department, and/or internet service providers assistance. Please contact school personnel at 575-527-5916 if you/your student requires assistance with remote participation/engagement methods.
If campus is closed, and remote-only instructional model is implemented due to emergency, attendance shall continue to be taken and reported to the NMPED, pursuant to this policy and the Attendance for Success Act. Students will be expected to participate in remote learning during any campus closure period(s) as scheduled.
Failure to attend and/or participate in instructional classes and school programs shall result in processes being implemented pursuant to the School’s Attendance Policy and the Attendance for Success Act (see student/parent handbook). Meetings that need to be held with parents/guardians pursuant regarding attendance may be held via videoconference or teleconference in lieu of in-person.
Medical and other excused absences: Absences due to medical conditions may be excused absences if the status of the student is disclosed to appropriate school personnel and if relevant documentation is provided as per the existing School attendance policies. Students will be allowed to make up schoolwork missed due to excused medical absences. Excused medical absences, including medical absences for students on 504 plans and students who are expectant or parenting, are included when determining students’ attendance intervention tiers. However, for students who are excessively absent (students missing 20 percent or more of class periods or school days), additional excused medical absences need not be considered when determining whether a student must be referred to the probation services office.
Optional Online-Only program: For optional online instructional programs that the school may employ to better meet the needs of some families, and in which families may choose whether or not to participate, attendance will be regularly taken and reported for program participants, and students will be supported with appropriate interventions in accordance with the Attendance for Success Act.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
LMCHS maintains confidential student records for each student enrolled. The school complies with the U.S. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-B) to keep student records confidential and to provide procedures and establish responsibility for collecting, maintaining, and releasing information about students that is contained in student records. Parents may request that the school or school district restrict the release of student records. Parents have a right to review their child’s cumulative record folder or to correct inaccuracies.
Equal Opportunity Education
Every student has the right to have access to a public education. No student will be subject to discrimination, harassment or obstacles to his/her democratic right to benefit from a public education. LMCHS will not allow any discrimination based on religion, culture, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs or disability. This also includes marital status and pregnancy. LMCHS will observe all provisions of section 504 and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
TITLE IX/GENDER EQUITY
The LMCHS Governance Council is committed to gender equity in all programs, activities, services, and practices for students. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs or activities receiving federal funds. LMCHS employees are to fully and equally encourage female and male students, to participate in school activities, to achieve in all areas and to enroll in academic programs and prepare for careers without regard to gender barriers or stereotypes
Notice of Non-Discrimination
Las Montañas Charter High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to all students who enrolled at LMCHS. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:
Title IX Coordinator
Caz Martinez, Superintendent
1405 S. Solano Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001
Section 504 Coordinator
Kim Dunbar, Counselor
1405 S. Solano Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001