In preparation for this year, the staff started off connecting with each other and creating our intention for the year. The five words/phrases we came up with are inspiring and empowering. They are Courage, Inclusive, Inspiring Curiosity, Role Models and Self-Care. We used these intentions to shape our conversations and our plans for this year.
Among the first things we discussed was our Covid Protocols and Plans. They are laid out below. Prior to reading them, I invite you to first revisit the intentions the staff and I created and to utilize them as a foundation for understanding and appreciating that while this plan may not be exactly the one you would have wanted, it was created from a commitment to provide all members of this community a safe and healthy school and a desire to honor the diversity among us which is part of the beautiful fabric that makes this school so special.
This evolving situation is not black and white, and we are clear that there is not one perfect solution. It is likely that aspects of our plan will change as the landscape of managing this pandemic evolves.
Our plan as it currently exists is as follows:
- We will continue utilizing our outdoor spaces significantly, minimizing the number of students indoors at any given time. The indoor spaces will be well-ventilated with windows and doors kept open.
- I also have purchased a medical grade HEPA air purifier for each of the classrooms.
- The staff will be Covid tested weekly. If a staff member has any symptoms of Covid, they will be asked to take a Covid Test immediately to rule out Covid. If negative, they will be permitted back to work with a mask. If positive, they will follow the protocols listed below for students and families.
- We ask that parents continue to do their part and err on the side of caution, keeping sick children home. I firmly believe that our community’s full participation in working together last year is what made us so successful. Please continue to be extra cautious. Of course, no child will be admitted to school if they have a fever, cough, congestion, shortness of breath, headache, nausea or diarrhea.
- We will continue to take temperatures daily and no child will be admitted with a fever higher than 99.5. However, drop-off with have a difference this year. Middle School and Upper Elementary drop-off will be 8:10 – 8:25. You can drive up and drop off your student without waiting for the temp check. Temperature checks will be done near the handwashing station. Please just be on call should you need to come back. Newer Elementary and Kindergarten drop-off will be 8:20 – 8:40. If you have an older child as well, your arrival is 8:20-8:30 and you are welcome to drop all of your children off at the Upper Elementary carline. If you walk your child up to the Newer Elementary arrival table, temperatures will be taken there prior to your child going up to the handwashing stations.
- All children will wash their hands at one of the portable handwashing stations or in one of the bathrooms immediately upon arriving to school.
- When inside, masks will be worn by staff and students. Because every family who wishes to vaccinate their child, does not currently have that available to them, we will all work together to ensure support one another until such time that vaccinations are available to all who want them or the infection rate in our area allows for a change. As such, all students will be required to have a well-fitting, proper mask every day.
- Outdoors, masks are optional. Anyone who wants to wear a mask, should wear one knowing that all members of the community support each other in caring for themselves in the manner that they feel is best. If a student is wearing a mask outdoors and a staff member works closely with them, the staff member will wear a mask also.
- Lunch and snack will happen outdoors.
- If a parent goes onto the campus (past the stairs), we ask that you please wear a mask.
Positive Covid Cases:
The climate has definitely changed with regards to positive cases. While we were incredibly successful at not having positive cases last year, the likelihood currently is that there will be positive cases within our community. It is important that we find
First, if anyone living in the household tests positive or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please communicate with the school IMMEDIATELY. I ask that you please over-communicate with regards to this! The only way that I can make good decisions and allow the rest of the community to make good decisions is if I have all of the information necessary to do so.
If anyone in your household tests positive, your child will be required to stay home and quarantine for a minimum of 10 days once a positive case has been confirmed.
If your student tested positive, he or she may come back once it has been 10 days since their positive test AND they are symptom free for 24 hours.
If someone in your household tests positive, we request that your student be quarantined from the family member who tested positive. Your student can return to school once it has been 10 days since your family member received their positive result AND your child has tested negative within 24 hours of returning.
If your child needs to stay home, please know that from our pe4rspective, their first job is for them to get well. We are not worried about them getting work done if they are ill. However, if they are not ill and need work, we will provide work packets in Kindergarten and Elementary. The teachers will also do periodic in-person check-ins and will be able to answer questions during their down time. In Middle School, students can continue to access Google classroom for assignments and communication as well as meet with teachers via Google Meet as necessary during the work cycle.
Weather will continue to be an opportunity to work with the outdoors and get creative at how best to make this experience an adventure.
As with last year, there is no bad weather, only poor clothing choices. Please dress your child according the weather.
This year, if it rains, we will not have rain days. We will have school in-person, utilize the indoor spaces and enclose the tents. Because the spaces will be enclosed, masks will be worn. If you are not comfortable with your child being in an enclosed space or wearing a mask, it is completely acceptable for you to keep your child home.
Navigating this situation is complex and can feel complicated and stressful. I know that by working together, we can make great things happen and create an exceptional school year for all of our students! I ask that we give each other grace and respect, that we assume the best in one another and that we put our mutual love for our students to be at the forefront of our thoughts and interactions.
As always, if you have any questions, need additional information or would like to talk further, please do not hesitate to reach out for me.