21-22 | Health and Safety
Measures and Procedures
Classroom & On-Campus Organization
- Desks spaced at least 3 feet apart
- Use of outdoor spaces for outdoor classrooms when possible
- Air purifiers in all classrooms
- Increased air circulation by keeping classroom doors open always and windows open when weather permits
- Hygiene stations (i.e. soap and/or hand sanitizer) available in all classrooms and in hallways
- Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting procedures daily
- Health Isolation rooms in all three campuses
- COVID-19 vaccination required for all teachers and staff members as well as students age 12+ (pending full authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine by the FDA). Consistent with our policy related to other vaccinations, students with unique medical conditions or religious convictions should speak with our nurse directly for exemption documentation. Students who become eligible (e.g., as they reach their 12th birthday) or who are new to the school should obtain their vaccination as soon as possible and will be contacted by our school nurse within 6 weeks (of birth date or arrival) to obtain vaccination verification.
- Face coverings (masks) are mandatory on campus for all persons, regardless of vaccination status, consistent with current CDC guidelines and in line with the policies adopted by Montgomery County Public Schools and other area schools. This applies to students, faculty and staff while indoors and is a recommended practice while outdoors.
- Physical Distancing Measures: Students and staff must maintain social distancing practices to the greatest extent possible, including a minimum of 3 feet distancing in classroom.
- Hand-washing and Hygiene: Soap and/or hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and in hallways.
- Health Monitoring: Families will be required to monitor the health of their child(ren) including temperature and other symptoms. No student may attend activities on campus who display symptoms of illness.
- Ill persons must remain at home, including any student, teacher or staff member.
- Flu vaccination encouraged for students and employees.
WHAT IS A CLOSE CONTACT? WHAT IS COVID-19-like ILLNESS?
A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
COVID-19-like illness is defined as: New onset cough or shortness of breath OR At least 2 of the following: fever of 100.4◦F or higher, chills, shivering, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, loss of sense of taste or smell, and gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting or diarrhea). NOTE: This definition was adapted from the clinical criteria in the CDC case definition of a probable case of COVID-19.
The following examples will illustrate our protocol.
- If a child wakes up with COVID-19-like illness (see above definition) all household members stay home.
- If a family member is awaiting COVID test results, is positive, or in isolation, all household members (staff/students) must stay home.
- If a staff/student has COVID-19-like illness during the school day and is sent home, we will send all household members home.
In the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19
We will cooperate with county health officials who will undertake contact tracing steps. Depending on the contacts within the school, some number of individuals may need to isolate from on-campus instruction for a period of time. This could be limited to a specific class group, to a specific grade, whole building, or whole school community, depending on the contacts in the unique situation. In this, as in all determinations, we will be following the advice of our local health authorities with whom we are already working closely. Students who are not able to attend on campus instruction due to required home isolation will have access to distance learning materials and support. Any school closure or isolation of student(s) or staff member(s) will not be undertaken lightly.
type of COVID-19 test needed
The Montgomery County Health Department currently requires a RT-PCR molecular test for Covid-19. A rapid antigen test result would need to be confirmed with a PCR test. The FDA has a good explanation of this: