2021-22 School Year COVID-19 Resources
Thank you for all you have done to make Country Day’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic a success so far. The community has proceeded with mutual respect, cooperation, and partnership, and this spirit was a critical factor in ensuring that CCDS remained open for in-person instruction last year.
We recognize that Covid-19 safety continues to be a topic of spirited debate. Because of that - and because we value our collaborative partnership with parents - it is important to articulate not simply our Covid safety protocols but also the guiding principles upon which those protocols are based.
For Country Day to enjoy the success it has to date, our entire community must unite behind these principles and the resulting protocols. Unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet, and the Delta variant has presented additional challenges in recent weeks. For now, masks will help us stay open for in-person learning as much as possible.
The protocols outlined below will be in effect until Labor Day, at which time they will be reviewed for continuing application. Thank you for your continued respect, cooperation, and partnership.
Recognizing the need for adaptability, while also delivering a reliable and consistent educational experience, our planning has been founded on the following guiding principles. While a complete consensus among our entire community is impossible, we trust that a good faith consideration of our guiding principles will demonstrate that the school and its medical advisors are working to balance the competing community interests in a responsible, thoughtful, and pragmatic manner.
- Our top priority is ensuring the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff.
- The first element of health and wellness is protecting community members from serious illness. Fortunately, nearly all our faculty and staff are vaccinated. We also recognize that, based on current data, the risk of serious illness to students aged 18 and younger remains low. However, unlike some schools, we serve students from 18 months to 18 years on a single campus where it is impossible to avoid intermixing of age groups. We also know from our experience last year and this summer – where we had virtually no on-campus transmission – that certain common-sense safety measures can reduce that risk even further.
- The second element of health and wellness is providing a robust “whole child” education that promotes each student’s academic, social, and emotional growth. After last year, we are more aware than ever of the value of in-person education and the importance of supporting our students’ mental health. Where possible, we will seek to deliver a full offering of academic, artistic, athletic, extracurricular, and community programming. We also seek to ensure a smooth opening of the school year without unnecessary quarantines or disruptions to school life.
- The final principle that guides our approach is flexibility. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we must remain nimble as we face an evolving challenge. When the facts change, our approach will change. As a result, while the below guidance represents our current best thinking, it is necessarily contingent and provisional as we constantly evaluate new information. We will continue to consider guidance from our medical advisors, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ohio Department of Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and other health authorities.
Maintaining the health and safety of all individuals on campus is our priority in order to deliver an in-person learning experience to our students. We are all eager to put Covid-19 in the past and regain some sense of normalcy – no one more than the students, faculty, and staff.
In light of the constantly evolving nature of this pandemic, the protocols below will be in effect until Labor Day, at which time they will be reviewed for continuing application.
- Morning Screening
- Report Positive Covid-19 Test
- Quarantine Guidelines
- communicable disease policy
Parents/students must certify that by being present on campus, each student is able to answer “no” to the health check questions:
- In the past 24 hours:
- Is anyone living in your household being tested for Covid or waiting for test results?
- Do you (the student) have a loss of taste or smell?
- Do you (the student) have a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea?
- Have you (the student) been given medication to reduce a fever or suppress a cough?
- In the past 48 hours:
- Have you (the student) been in close contact with any individual who has tested positive for Covid-19?
Health check questions will be periodically asked during morning drop-off.
No temperature checks will be taken during morning drop-off.
Exterior doors will be used when appropriate in the Lower School, but interior hallways are available in most circumstances.
Parents are permitted to enter the building for morning drop-off but must be masked and should not linger for an inordinately long period of time.
“Drop-in” care before or after school is available.
Among other benefits, the use of masks eliminates the need to quarantine in many circumstances. In addition, these protocols served the school very well this summer for our successful summer camp programs. We will not be wearing masks forever; in fact, we have already eliminated many restrictions that we implemented during the 2020-21 school year.
- Consistent with guidance from the CDC, AAP, and Children’s Hospital, faculty and staff are required to mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
- Vaccinated faculty and staff may choose to be unmasked when in private meeting spaces, conference rooms, and offices where all who are present are vaccinated.
- Consistent with guidance from the CDC, AAP, and Children’s Hospital, students in grades kindergarten through 12 are required to mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
- Similar to last year’s policy, masks are recommended for pre-primary students who are able to put them on and take them off independently.
- Masks are not required outdoors unless students are in a large group setting where distancing cannot be maintained.
- In accordance with Ohio Department of Health guidance, students who were masked when exposed to a masked Covid-positive individual do not have to quarantine.
- All visitors must mask when indoors on campus.
- Visitors must check in with the divisional receptionist upon arrival.
- Classrooms will seek to have a minimum of 3 feet of distance when feasible.
- Assigned seating is not required in classrooms but may be used as appropriate for a teacher’s management system.
- Teachers are encouraged to open windows when possible for increased ventilation (in addition to the school’s already upgraded MERV-13 air filters and adjusted HVAC system).
- Upper School students are permitted to move about the campus during free bells.
- Plexiglass dividers will not be used in classrooms and Dining Terrace.
- Lunch will have maximum seating enforced at each table with stickers indicating available seating; outdoor dining is available for Middle School and Upper School students; normal lunch options (e.g., salad bar, deli bar, soup station) are available from Sage Dining.
- Band and choir classes will take appropriate precautions regarding spacing, masking, and ventilation.
- No prescribed circulation patterns or directional signage will be used in hallways or stairs.
- Facilities staff will perform routine cleaning and disinfection at the end of the school day.
- Teachers are not required to perform regular cleaning during the day unless heavily used items come into contact with mouth/nose (e.g., ECC toys).
- Regular handwashing is required; hand sanitizer is widely available across campus.
Quarantine is required when:
- Students and employees have tested positive for Covid-19.
- Students and employees have been in close contact with a Covid-positive individual while unmasked. Exclusions include individuals who are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19 within the past three months.
- Close contact is defined as:
- Being within six (6) feet of someone who has Covid-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more while unmasked;
- Providing care to Covid-positive individual(s);
- Shared eating or drinking utensils with a Covid-positive individual; or
- Sneezed, coughed, or somehow exposed to respiratory droplets of a Covid-positive individual.
- Close contact is defined as:
After last contact with a Covid-positive individual, students and employees must stay home.
Quarantine options are:
- Stay home 10 days without testing; the student/employee may return to school/work on day 11.
- Stay home for seven (7) days with testing (PCR test must occur on day 5 or later); after receiving a negative PCR test result, the student/employee may return on day 8.
Please contact your division head, divisional assistant or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report if your child is being tested, has tested positive, or has been in close contact with a Covid-positive individual.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
Students, faculty, and staff will adhere to the school’s Communicable Disease Policy and remain off campus if they display symptoms of Covid-19 or any other communicable disease.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASE POLICY
The administration and teachers are routinely trained in recognizing communicable diseases. The Ohio Department of Health “Communicable Disease Chart” is posted in the Nurse’s Office, Lower School and at the Early Childhood House. Notes will be sent home to all families when any child or teacher has become ill with a contagious disease while in attendance. A child with signs of a communicable disease will be discharged to their parents within one hour. If both parents are unavailable, the persons designated on the emergency form will be called. Until the parents arrive, the child will be kept in isolation from the rest of the group, but within sight of the teacher, administrator or nurse. A form will be sent home with the child detailing his/her symptoms and information regarding his/her return to school.
A child with the following symptoms will be dismissed from school. The child will be readmitted when the symptoms have ceased for at least 24 hours without use of medications.
- An oral temperature of 100 degrees or above (99 degrees using the auxiliary method) when in combination with other signs of illness
- Diarrhea – (defined as: more watery, less formed, more frequent stools than typical for the child) more than one within a 24 hour period
- Lice or other parasitic infestation – the school nurse must clear the child before the child returns to the school
- Rashes of undetermined origin
- Lethargy affecting the child’s ability to learn
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing or rapid breathing, not associated with a pre- diagnosed medical condition
- Unexplained blood in stools, unusually dark urine and/or grey or white stool
- Discharge, itchiness or redness in the eyes
- Severe coughing, causing the child to become red or blue in the face or to make a whooping sound
- Sore throat or difficulty in swallowing
- Symptoms that are thought to be infectious as listed on the Ohio Department of Health “Communicable Disease Chart”