A Message to our SENSE Family and Community

                We recognize that there is an increasing concern among our families and the community regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

                We have been closely following and monitoring the information and guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Marion County Public Health, with additional guidance and recommendations from the Indiana Department of Education.

                Prevention to keep students and staff healthy and safe remains our priority. Our intention is to provide factual information about COVID-19 and tips on reducing the spread of disease, as well as prevent the spread of misinformation.

                What you need to know:

                In response to direction from Governor Holcomb and Mayor Hogsett and due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases both in Marion County and our state, SENSE Charter School will be delaying student entry for the 2020-2021 school year. This is for ALL STUDENTS- Grades K-8.

                SENSE Charter School will open on August 17, 2020.

                The school will follow the re-entry plan that was presented to the community on July 15th.

                Re-Opening Guidelines :

                Opening DetailsSENSE Charter School is planning to open on Monday, August 17th. SENSE will be returning using a hybrid learning approach.

                Social DistancingSENSE Charter School will practice social distancing as much as possible. By ONLY bringing in grades K-4 the first two weeks- we will be able to spread students out across the school, reducing the student to teacher ratio to 13:1. This will also allow students to take off their masks once they are inside their classroom.

                In classrooms, student seating will be spaced at least 4ft apart. Students will also be placed in assigned seats. We will need your help in coaching your child(ren) at home to practice social distancing measures.
                MasksWhile I know there are strong opinions about the use of a mask, SENSE Charter School is following the guidance of the Indiana State Health Department which cited a reduction in COVID-19 transmission when masks are used appropriately (covering the nose and mouth). It is for this reason that that we will be requiring them during certain parts of the day.

                Masks will be required for students and staff when social distancing is not possible. For example, masks will be required on buses, while entering and exiting the building, hallway transitions, restroom time, etc... Masks will also be required for classrooms and or classroom activities when students might not be able to social distance. Students should plan on having at least 2 cloth masks to use at school. If you are unable to purchase two cloth masks, SENSE will provide two masks to your child. It will be the responsibility of the parents to ensure that masks are washed and cared for to be used the next day. Masks can be washed out in a sink of hot water and soap each evening when students come home from school. Hanging up the mask will allow the mask to dry for use the next day.

                If your student has a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask, please talk with your healthcare provider to discuss possible options. Please communicate with the school on consideration prior to the first day.
                ScreeningParents are expected to screen their children BEFORE sending them to school each day. If your child is presenting ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 or other illness, please contact your healthcare provider and DO NOT send him/her to school. You will need to call the school to report the absence and the reason for the absence. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

                • Fever (100 or higher)
                • Chills
                • Cough
                • Shortness of Breath
                • Fatigue
                • Muscle or Body Aches
                • Headache
                • Loss of Taste or Smell
                • Sore Throat
                • Congestion
                • Runny Nose
                • Nausea or Vomiting
                • Diarrhea.

                Additional screenings will be completed at school as students enter the building. This will include temperature checks and observations.

                Should any student present with COVID-19 Symptoms they will be sent to the school nurse and separated from class. Parents/Guardians will be required to pick up their child immediately. Children who are presenting COVID-19 symptoms WILL NOT be allowed to return to school until they are no longer showing symptoms and or contagious.
                VisitorsUnfortunately, SENSE Charter School must restrict ALL school visitors to our building to promote the health and safety of our students and staff. Virtual meetings using the ZOOM platform will be used. Only unique circumstances may call for allowing a parent/guardian/vistor to enter the school building during instructional hours.

                SENSE is working on a remote meet the teacher activity. More details are to come.
                Water FountainsAll water fountains have been turned off. Students will have access to water through the school's nutrition program. Students may also may bring a water bottle filled with WATER ONLY.
                TransportationTransportation will be provided with precautions. Students MUST wear a mask on the bus. In addition to wearing masks, students WILL BE ASSIGNED SEATS. All siblings and household members will be required to sit together on the bus. Students will be prohibited from riding a friend's bus home or changing their bus assignment. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each route.

                More details will be forth coming regarding specific entry plans for bus students, walker, and car rider entry to allow for staggered entry.
                Cleaning and DisinfectingEach classroom will be stocked with hand-sanitizer, disinfectant, gloves, wipes, and extra masks. Restrooms will be stocked with soap and paper towel. Sanitizer will also be placed at each entrance.

                In addition to routine cleaning, we will be disinfecting the school throughout the day with several disinfecting misters. This will ensure that frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, hand rails, tables, and bathrooms are being disinfected with an EPA approved disinfectant for COVID-19.
                Contact Tracing It will be important for parents to communicate with the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19-EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT SHOWING SYMPTOMS. They will need to remain home as determined by the health department. We will also need parents to contact the school to let us know if your child has been asked by a medical professional to self-quarantine. This will allow us to follow potential cases as well as provide educational opportunities to your child while they are out. A COVID positive test will require your child to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
                Co-hortsStudents will be placed in co-horts. Students will stay with that group of students for the entire day.
                Transitions will be limited.
                Content specific teachers will be rotating classrooms. Students will remain in one room to reduce cross contamination that could occur from hard-service contact.
                Co-hort placement along with contact tracing will also allow us to make important decisions around classroom/school closings should a student be identified with COVID at SENSE.
                TechnologySENSE Charter School has worked to secure both laptops and wireless hubs for students. Students in grades K-8 will use a consistent platform for communication and learning. Students will receive training on use at the beginning of the year.

                Tuesday, August 4th, we should be able to post the Technology Issue Schedule. Most likely it will start on August 10th with Students who have signed up for 100% Virtual (Remote) Learning. Parents must sign up for a time. Only one adult and one student may come in to check out the computer and receive training. At this time, we will only send home one computer per family due to our inventory being on back-order from our vendor. This may change if the remainder of our computers have arrived.

                Students in Grades K, 1, 2, & 3 will be trained on how to access specific apps and Google Classroom during their first two weeks at school.
                Breakfast and LunchAt this time, students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classroom with their assigned cohort. Meals will be brought to students to reduce high traffic areas and cross-contamination.
                COVID at SENSEIf there is a student or staff member identified with COVID, the State Health Department is to be notified. Social tracing will be used to determine the next course of action which could consist of:
                • Quarantining the students and staff in the classroom for up to 14 days or til testing negative.
                • Closing the school
                Any student or adult who is deemed to have been in contact with the individual screening positive for COVID using the guidelines established by the CDC will have to Quarantine and or be tested. Parents of those individuals coming in contact with the infected person will be contacted.
                NURSESENSE does employ a full-time school nurse. A separate room in the nurses office has been established to hold any student who is showing signs of COVID.
                Student EntryStudents will not enter the building before 8:00 a.m. All students who arrive in cars should stay in their car until a staff member requests the student to step out. At this time their temperature will be taken. Any student above 100 degrees will be sent back home. Students will be asked to stagger in to the building leaving 6 feet of space between them and the next person.

                It is possible that car riders are asked to wait in their car when busses are being let out to reduce the number of kids in the hallway.

                All car riders and walkers will enter through the cafeteria door.
                All bus riders will enter through the side door on Palmer.
                SENSE Charter School will continue most weeks to provide meals for students. They will generally be distributed on Fridays, but you should check ParentSquare, Facebook and your email for specific dates and times. . We ask that parents stay in their cars to help with social distancing. If you are walking up- we ask that you line up behind the table and wait for your meals to be placed on the table to ensure social distancing. Please make sure to sign up using the POLL found on Parent Square. 

                Some Fridays we will also be offering Pre-Bagged Pantry options  THIS IS ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS and is for SENSE Families only!  Again, check ParentSquare, Facebook and your email for specific dates and times.

                We will continue to keep you informed about these issues and our response to COVID-19. Should there be any cases of COVID-19 in our community or schools, we will communicate directly with families, students, staff, and the general public through all our communication platforms - website, Twitter, Facebook, Parent Square, and phone notifications.

                Other things we can all do:

                • Wash your hands, using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
                • Cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue and place it immediately in the trash, or cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hand).
                • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
                • Stay home if you don't feel well. Don't go to school or work when you are sick and do not return to school until fever-free for at least 24 hours.
                • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
                • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
                • Get a flu shot if you haven't already had one this season.

                More information on the coronavirus is available through:

                SENSE is committed to the safety, health, and well-being of the students entrusted to our care. We pledge to continue working with health professionals and our families toward that shared goal.


                Kristie Sweeney
                Head of School