Here we are navigating another year with COVID-19 in our midst. A huge debt of gratitude to you, our families, who are working to keep our community safe by not sending children to school if they have any symptoms of illness. We realise and appreciate the great inconvenience that keeping children home can be, and the sacrifices that you are making to do this.
As we continue to stay in compliance with the COVID-19 In Pediatric Patients flow chart, we wanted to remind families that in order to return to school, students must:
- Have had symptoms for less than 24 hours, and, after they are resolved, be symptom free for greater than 24 hours
OR, if they have had symptoms for greater than 24 hours, they need to:
- receive a negative COVID test OR have an alternative diagnosis, AND
- be without a fever for more than 24 hours (without medication), AND
- have “symptoms resolved or markedly improved” for 24 hours. For our younger children, especially our unmasked and un-distanced toddlers, it is imperative that the symptoms be resolved, as they are so prone to sharing germs with friends.
Because it is critical that these requirements be met in order to return to school, and we acknowledge the gray areas of “improved” or “resolved” symptoms, we are asking all parents to do a verbal/email health check with Desi, Zoe, or Tamara the day before your child returns to the classroom after an absence due to illness. Making this determination has been a burdensome distraction to the teachers. We want to free them up to do teaching! Please share the course of the illness by email or a phone call to the Front Desk during school hours the day before planning to return to help with this determination and confirm the return.
We have purchased a book recommended to us by one of the healthcare professionals on our COVID Advisory Board called Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide.This will be a great resource for us when evaluating alternative diagnoses, and the timeline when non-COVID illnesses are no longer contagious.
Many families have been conscientious about getting a COVID test and ruling that out. While that is part of the equation, being non-contagious for any illness is an additional requirement to keep our community safe and germ free. A negative COVID test is a reassurance that someone was not contagious with COVID on that day, but it says nothing about other days and/or other illnesses. With any present symptoms resulting in a student or teacher needing to stay home for a day or more, having any illness go through a classroom has a huge impact on attendance, or even on our ability to staff and keep a program open.
Thank you for continued cooperation and understanding,
Head of School
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has turned in their Shared Responsibility Agreement. We still have a few outstanding, please return to Desi at the Front Desk by Monday, October 18th, 2021. This school and family partnership is important as we do our best to keep our community safe.