School COVID-19 Protocols
What to expect for COVID mitigation and response in the 2021–22 school year:
Please see below for a high-level overview of the updated guidance for the upcoming school year per the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) July 16, 2021 update to schools.
Continued quality ventilation systems
The critical components of mitigating viral transmission in schools was confirmed to be air quality, air circulation and masking. As a reminder, Convent & Stuart Hall was a leader in reengineering our HVAC systems to provide the highest quality air treatment as well as the addition of over 200 filtration units. These mitigations continue into the 2021–22 school year and are detailed in our Health and Safety Plan below.
Masking continues to be a requirement for all schools while indoors. The SFDPH has removed the requirement for masking outdoors.
Important changes to the SFDPH health directives governing this school year:
- No cohorting required — therefore we can resume typical class sizes, classroom configurations, classroom locations and after school programming.
- No physical distancing required, so common spaces like bathrooms no longer have occupancy limits and one-way traffic patterns are no longer required.
- No masking required while students and faculty/staff are outdoors — such activities include but are not limited to recess, PE, etc.
- No restrictions on field trips and student travel on buses, etc.
- No required testing unless symptomatic — however, Convent & Stuart Hall screened its student and staff population prior to the start of school in August.
- Quarantine requirements if you are exposed to a positive case and are asymptomatic are less restrictive. See pages 10-12 in the updated website quarantine protocols from the SFDPH.
- Continued masking required for students, faculty and staff while indoors except while actively eating.
- Parent and adult visitor presence on campus is restricted to vaccinated adults and verification of completed vaccination is necessary. Verification is established by sharing vaccination cards or a photo image of the card. Parents and guardians will be able to register their vaccination verification prior to the start of the school year. Note: Children between the ages of 2 and 12 who are not students at Convent & Stuart Hall, at this time, are not allowed to be on campus without verification of a negative COVID test administered within a 72-hour window.
“It is always here and now, there is always the present moment to do the very best we can with, and the future depends on the way these moments are spent.”
In the weeks immediately following the shelter in place order in March, Dr. Krejcarek engaged an infections disease management consulting company, Capsid Consulting, and since then has communicated with our advisers weekly and, at times, daily, to design our way back to in-person school. The work done to equip our campus and procedures is detailed below.
So that there is a clear and deep understanding of what is expected of each adult and child as well as an understanding of what is being implemented to mitigate the spread of infection on campus, Dr. Krejcarek has designed this document by People, Place and Response Protocols.
- Families are required to screen students for COVID symptoms before sending to school and to keep symptomatic children home.
- Masks will be required for all students and adults while indoors. The requirements are as follows: a face covering without an exhalation valve that is purposefully designed to cover the mouth and nose with straps around the head or around the ears. Bandanas and neck gaiters that are double layered are allowed.
- It is expected that families will provide masks/face coverings for their child(ren) and that these will be used for one day only and then laundered or switched out with a new mask for the following day. We also ask that families send a back-up mask/face covering to school with their child(ren)
- HH and RH: Training for hand hygiene (HH) and respiratory hygiene (RH) will be given to all members of the community and regular HH and RH will be practiced throughout the day.
- All HVAC and duct systems have been deeply cleaned and sanitized including rotor, duct, grill and heat pump cleaning. All filters have been replaced with MERV filters. In addition we’ve installed a bi-polar ionization generator in each system which creates a plasma that actively purifies the supply air, killing mold, bacteria, viruses and reducing allergens.
- In addition, for physical areas that are not supplied by the HVAC system (for example, classrooms in the Flood building), we have distributed Dyson TPO 4 and other similar filtration systems that utilize an activated carbon filter, along with a glass HEPA filter, that captures 99.97% of microscopic allergens and pollutants filtering particles even smaller than the reported COVID-19 virus size.
- Two hospital grade Clean Slate ultraviolet sanitizers will be in place to sanitize electronics and portable personal devices that are difficult to sanitize.
- EPA/FDA protocols will be followed for cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day and as warranted at the end of each day.
- Touchless hand sanitization systems installed throughout the school.
- We have installed digital sound quality voice enhancement devices as needed to counter the potential muting effects of a teacher wearing a mask or shield.
- Ubiquitous Owl Labs smart web cameras in addition to added ipads will facilitate any scheduled remote engagements.
We will follow the response protocols as communicated on July 16, 2021 by the California Department of Public Health regarding measures to be taken when a community member has symptoms, is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed. Per the protocols, “contact” is defined by a person who is less than six feet from a case for greater than 15 minutes. Our response to these scenarios is further informed by the work done by our infectious disease consulting firm which has given us additional guidelines for exposure scenarios. Specifically:
- If a student or staff member has symptoms typical of COVID-19 they will be sent to the school nurse to be evaluated (e.g., fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing), and he or she may be sent home if it’s determined that these symptoms are not explained by other health factors such as allergies or non-COVID causes. The school may ask that the student be tested for COVID-19.
- If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the individual and all of their confirmed contacts at school will be notified and must follow updated quarantine protocols per the guidance (pages 10–12). Note: There is no longer a requirement for the student to stop attending school and be quarantined off campus if they are asymptomatic after exposure, but a biweekly screening test for COVID-19 is required over a 10-day period.