COVID-19 safety policies and procedures

Details on our COVID-19 safety policies and procedures

Orion Montessori School (OMS) has always considered the health and safety of our children, staff and families as our first priority. We are committed to provide a high quality and safe environment for our children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are continuously monitoring the latest developments in and around our community as per the directives mandated by all governmental authorities. As more information becomes available, we are adapting and making changes to our safety measures and protocols. We are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Child Care Licensing Department (CCLD or DSS), County Health Department (SCC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other government organizations.

With safety, students and the OMS community foremost in mind, we aligned our planning goals to meet our mission of educating students to their highest potential and developed a set of guiding principles as per the Santa Clara County Public Health ‘COVID-19 Prepared’ reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 schools mandate, for the 2020-2021 school year issued on June 30, 2020 and REVISED ON AUGUST 7, 2020, to ensure compliance with state and county health department directives and guidelines.

Our guiding principles will ensure:

  • The health and safety of students, staff and the OMS community are our top priority.
  • We will engage and collaborate with our partners, SCC, CDPH, CDC, DSS, CA Dept. of Education, during all phases of reopening, planning, and implementation to be in compliance with the most updated state and county health protocols.
  • We will support teachers across all program levels and to concentrate their instruction and teaching so every student masters essential learning, quality of education and standards.
  • We will work with each student and their learning to ensure that students are progressing and engaged, and we will keep both the students and their parents/families informed of student progress.
  • We will support the physical and mental well-being of students, integrating social-emotional learning into our academic core.
  • We will support the social and emotional needs of our staff members, and we will provide them with time and support they will need for professional learning, reflection, and collaboration.
  • We will sustain effective services for our students with special and exceptional needs.
  • We will work to ensure students are meaningfully participating and take immediate action to support students to stay connected.
  • We will actively support parents/families as they engage in their students’ education and learning.
  • We will actively support effective governance systems that maximize engagement, public safety, and instructional innovation.
  • Lastly, we will rise to meet this moment and we will come back stronger together.

In line with safety measures, we are implementing the following protocols and policies in place at OMS to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

School Hours

  • 7:30AM to 5:30PM Monday to Friday
  • Drop-off must be by 8:30AM

Section 1: Prevention

A. PHYSICAL DISTANCING

GENERAL

  • All staff and families will be communicated on physical distancing requirements and recommendations.
  • Staff and students will be trained on protocols for physical distancing for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Signage will be posted around the campus to remind students and staff about physical distancing.
  • Only necessary visitors and volunteers on the campus will be allowed and the number of students and staff who come in contact with them will be limited.
  • Staff will maintain six feet or more of distance between one another while on the school campus.
  • Markings on the ground will be placed to facilitate physical distancing of six feet or more at all school entry and exit points, and elsewhere on campus where students, staff or parents are expected to form lines.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE

Close contact between students, staff, families, and the broader community will be minimized at arrival and departure through the following methods:

  • Parents and staff will meet at the entrance door by the health and wellness station located by the entryway.
  • Parents are required to maintain 6 feet distance from other parents/families and strictly follow the rules of social distancing while on OMS grounds.
  • Signage will be posted at the entrances on maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other.
  • Staff will digitally sign-in and sign-out the child(ren).
  • Parent visits during drop-off and pick-up should be as brief as possible, and parents will be allowed to enter the facility only if necessary.
  • All students, staff and adults will use one entrance and exit door one at a time and spaced between each arrival.
  • Routes will be designated for entry and exit.
  • Parents will be instructed to remain in their vehicles, to the extent possible, when dropping off or picking up their children. When in-person drop-off or pick-up is needed, only a single parent or caregiver will be allowed to arrive at the entrance to pick up or drop off the child.
  • Adults entering campus for in-person pick-up or drop-off are required to wear a face covering.
  • Provide supervision to disperse student gatherings during school arrival and departure.

 

CLASSROOM SETTINGS

  • Children will remain in groups as small as possible. We will keep the same children and teacher or staff with each group and include children from the same family in the same group, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Extend the indoor environment to outdoors, if applicable and weather permitting.
  • Arrange developmentally appropriate activities for smaller group activities and rearrange furniture and play spaces to maintain 6-feet separation at all times.
  • Children will use individual tables or maximum 2 children per 6-feet long table with a plastic table barrier in-between to maintain separation during activities or meal/ snack times. During meal and snack times, children will be seated 6-feet apart from one another.
  • School age children will not mix with other cohorts and have separate or staggered playground times and all groups/cohorts will be kept separate for special activities such as art, music, and exercising. If more than one cohort is present in rare instances, a minimum of 25-feet distance between cohorts will be maintained at all times. However, systems will be in place/arranged to ensure cohorts do not mix and are separated at all times.
  • Educate children about social distancing and give verbal reminders.
  • Implement strategies to model and reinforce social and physical distancing and movement as best as possible.
  • Masking tape or other materials will be used for children to create separation and have their own space.
  • Children will have a staggered lunch and recess time to avoid any interaction between groups/cohorts.
  • Separated and designated entrance and exit, hallways, walkways and bathrooms will be allocated for school aged children to avoid interaction with other cohorts.

NON-CLASSROOM SETTINGS

Break Rooms: Staff will not be allowed to eat in break rooms. Only one staff will be allowed in the break room at a time.
Restrooms: Restroom usage will be staggered by groups of students to the extent practicable, and/or certain groups of students will be assigned to use certain restrooms.
Libraries: Only one child will be allowed usage of the library at a time.
Physical Education, Playgrounds, and Recess:

  • Each cohort will have their designated time of play and disinfection will be done between each cohorts arrival
  • Activities will be conducted outdoors whenever possible, with appropriate physical distancing within groups to the extent practicable.
  • Usage of shared playground equipment will be limited in favor of physical activities that require less contact with surfaces and allow for greater physical distancing.
  • Cloth face coverings must be worn during indoor physical conditioning and training or physical education classes. Activities that require heavy exertion will be conducted outside in a physically distanced manner without face coverings. Activities that are conducted inside will be those that do not require heavy exertion and can be done with a face covering.
  • Students will be required to take a break from exercise if any difficulty in breathing is noted and should change their face covering if it becomes wet and sticks to their face and obstructs breathing.
  • Staff that monitor playground time will carry first aid kits that include hand sanitizer, face coverings, and gloves.

 

B. DROP-OFF & PICK-UP POLICIES & PROCEDURES

  • Signage will be posted at all entrances instructing students, staff, and visitors not to enter campus if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Parents are required to wear a face mask during drop-off and pick-up.
  • Parents and staff will meet at the entrance door by the health and wellness station located by the entryway.
  • Parents are required to maintain 6 feet distance from other parents/families and strictly follow the rules of social distancing while on OMS grounds.
  • Staff will check-in the child(ren) at the health and wellness station one child at a time to allow for physical distancing.
  • Staff will go over a few brief questions regarding the health of the child as well as the child’s immediate family. A person who answers “YES” to any of these questions, will not be allowed to enter the school facility.
    • Within the last 14 days have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a test confirming you have the virus?
      • If Yes, the child will be asked to STAY HOME and seek medical care.
    • Do you  live  in  the  same  household  with,  or  have  you  had  close  contact  with, someone  who  in  the  past  14  days  has  been  in  isolation  for  COVID-19  or  had  a test confirming  they  have the virus?  Close contact  is  less  than  6  feet  for  15 minutes  or more.
      • If Yes, the child will be asked to STAY  HOME  and seek  medical  care  and testing.
    • Have  you  had  any  one  or  more  of these  symptoms  today  or  within  the 3 past days?
      • Fever or  chills
      • Cough
      • Loss of  taste or  smell
      • Shortness  of  breath or  difficulty breathing
    • Have you had any one or more of these symptoms today or within the past 3 days and that are new or not explained by another reason?
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • Sore throat
      • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    •  If Yes, the child will be asked to STAY HOME and seek medical care and testing.

 

  • Staff will make a visual inspection of the child for signs of illness which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme lethargy.
  • When any on-campus temperature screening is conducted for students or staff a contactless thermometer with a physical barrier will be used to separate the screener from the individual screened. The screener will wear appropriate PPE such as face mask, face shield, eye protection and disposable gloves.
  • Forehead temperature of the child(ren) must be less than 100°F/37.7°C to be admitted into the school.
  • Staff will digitally sign-in and sign-out the child(ren).
  • Parents are permitted to leave the school premises only upon clearance of all health related questions and their child’s temperature check clearance.
  • Parent visits during drop-off and pick-up should be as brief as possible, and parents will be allowed to enter the facility only if necessary.
  • Parents should wash their own hands and assist in washing the hands of their children before drop-off, prior to coming for pick up, and when they get home.
  • Hand sanitizers will be kept out of the reach of children, but available to children upon entering the facility and after hand washing is complete. Additionally, hand sanitizers will be placed near all entry doors, classrooms, and other high traffic areas.
  • Ideally, the same parent should drop-off and pick-up the child every day. If possible, people with underlying medical conditions should not pick up children, due to being more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

 

C. HYGIENE MEASURES

 

 FACE COVERINGS

The current State guidelines require use of face coverings for all staff and students, unless exempt due to medical conditions, especially in areas where physical distancing alone is not sufficient to prevent disease transmission.

  • All students will use face coverings provided from home.
  • Students in grades TK-2 will be encouraged to wear face covering at all times. The teacher may allow students to remove their face coverings for a short period of time if the student requires a break from it by having them stay in an area distanced/away from their classroom community/peers. The County’s updated school reopening document (revised August 7, 2020), states it is recommended to provide structured breaks for K-2 students who may need a break from wearing their face covering.
  • Face coverings are required for every adult and child while at school.
  • Employees may use face coverings provided from home or a face covering and a clear face shield provided by OMS. The County’s updated school reopening document (revised August 7, 2020), states that face shields are not recommended as a replacement for face coverings, and that staff can consider using face shields in combination with face coverings. It also states staff can consider using a face covering with a clear window over the mouth when providing phonological instruction or communicating with a student with a disability or a student who is hearing impaired.
  • Students will be taught the reason for and proper use of a face covering, procedures for putting on, taking off, and storing the face covering (i.e. during meal times, snack times).
  • OMS will maintain a supply of non-medical masks in case a student or staff member forgets theirs and needs one for the day.
  • There may be individual exceptions for students with respiratory or other conditions where wearing a face covering is not feasible.
  • The County’s updated school reopening document (revised August 7, 2020), states that teachers and staff who are exempt from face coverings are those that require respiratory protection according to Cal/OSHA standards and staff who are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons shall not be assigned duties that require close contact with students.
  • All details will be aligned with the Public Health Department Guidance for K-12 Schools requirements for children and adults.

 

Teachers and staff

  • All adults must wear a face covering at all times while on campus, except while eating or drinking.
  • Staff excluded from this requirement are those that require respiratory protection according to Cal/OSHA standards.
  • Staff who are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons shall not be assigned duties that require close contact with students.

 

Students

  • All students (Kindergarten through 6th grade) are required to wear face coverings:
    • while arriving and departing from school campus;
    • in any area outside of the classroom (except when eating, drinking, or engaging in physical activity)(If elementary students are outside the classroom where they are only with members of their stable cohort, cloth face coverings are not required.)
  • Students in 2nd grade and below should be encouraged, but are not required, to wear a face covering within their stable classroom cohort.
  • Students in 3rd grade to 6th grade must use face coverings when in the classroom even if they are in a stable classroom cohort.
  • Students excluded from face covering requirements include:
    • anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance and
    • students with special needs who are unable to tolerate a face covering.
  • Signage in high visibility areas to remind students and staff of when and where face coverings are required will be and the appropriate use of face coverings will be posted.
  • All staff and families will be communicated regarding expectations for use of face coverings at school and how to wash face coverings.
  • We will educate students, particularly younger elementary school students, on the rationale and proper use of face coverings.

Exceptions:

  • If students from the classroom occasionally fail to wear a face covering, or if a few students in the classroom are consistently unable to wear a face covering, when required. However, students without face coverings will be asked to maintain physical distance to the extent feasible.
  • If a student or staff experiences difficulty wearing his/her face covering, the individual will be allowed to remove his/her face covering for a short period of time. For younger children in 2nd grade and below, times throughout the day will be scheduled when face coverings are not required, as long as the students are outside and will only interact with members of their stable classroom cohort.
  • Face coverings will be provided for students and staff who lose their face coverings or forget to bring them to school.
  • Teachers and staff may use face shields in combination with face coverings when in the classroom to further reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Teachers may consider using face coverings with clear windows during phonological instruction to enable students to see the teacher’s mouth and in settings where a face covering poses a barrier to communicating with a student who is hearing impaired or a student with a disability.
  • Students and staff will use cloth face coverings whenever face coverings are required.

 

HAND WASHING & OTHER HYGIENE MEASURES

  • Hand hygiene is an effective strategy to prevent the spread of most respiratory viruses. Our staff will be teaching proper hand hygiene (soap and water or hand sanitizer) and scheduling routine, frequent hand-washing activities throughout the school day.
  • We will teach students how to clean their hands properly and to avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth. Lessons and reminders with students will be consistent so we teach the behavior, model it, affirm and respond as necessary to achieve expected behavior.
  • Students and staff will be taught about respiratory etiquette; students and staff who have symptoms of a respiratory tract infection will stay home. Everyone will be reminded to sneeze or cough into their elbow/sleeve or tissue, and to wash and sanitize hands after a cough or sneeze.
  • There will be age-appropriate signage placed throughout the school to remind students to wash or sanitize hands. Liquid soap and hand sanitizer will be replenished and paper towels available for drying. No-touch waste receptacles will be available for disposal of materials.
  • All students will have access to hand sanitizer and sinks with soap throughout the day, and will have frequent reminders to wash and sanitize their hands, specifically after using the restroom, before and after eating, and upon returning from outdoor play.
  • A regular schedule for routine hand hygiene will be in place for students. Sinks with soap dispensers and hand sanitizers will be available as necessary to augment hand washing. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry point of each classroom.
  • Signs are posted in restrooms and near sinks that convey proper hand washing techniques.
  • Children will line-up for hand washing with soap and water, while keeping a safe distance from one another.
  • Staff will practice/model frequent hand washing to children so it lasts 20 seconds and use paper towels to dry hands thoroughly.
  • OMS staff will undergo COVID testing every other month to ensure safety and well- being. We will provide time/release/instruct/require staff to get COVID testing every other month.
  • Parents must notify the school if a child has taken any fever reducing medications in the last 72 hours and must not bring the child to school.
  • School will monitor and record children and staff’s temperature each morning and afternoon by using a non-touch thermometer. If a child or staff has a temperature of 100°F/37.7°C or higher or if students/staff exhibit more than one signs of COVID and/ or illness, such as coughing, sneezing, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, body ache, redness, rashes, etc. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, OMS may find other concerning symptoms to deem a child/staff is ill and take the next step precautionary measures such as being sent home and asking for a COVID testing as necessary and required. We will follow the facility procedures and sick policy for isolation from the general room population and notify the parents immediately to pick up the child from school. Same sick policy protocols will apply to OMS staff members as well and they will be sent home immediately.
  • If a child or staff member become ill while at OMS, they will be guided to the sick room/isolation room for separation and will be lead to the exit and parking lot from the back of the school to avoid potential encounter with the remaining of the school community.
  • Suspected and positive COVID cases if any at OMS, the school will follow all the necessary and mandated table of scenarios as released by CDPH.

All Children and Staff will engage in hand hygiene at the following times:

    • Arrival to the facility and after breaks.
    • Before and after preparing food or drinks.
    • Before and after eating or handling food.
    • Before and after administering medication.
    • Before and after diapering.
    • After using the restroom or helping a child use the bathroom.
    • After coming in contact with bodily fluid.
    • After playing outdoors.
    • After handling garbage.

 

D. CLEANING & MAINTENANCE

  • Windows and doors (where possible) will be kept open to allow for increased air circulation.
  • Aside from regular daily cleaning, the school will routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects throughout the day (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, shared toys).
  • Materials and furniture inside the classroom and play equipment, if any are used outdoors, will be disinfected at the end of each use and day.
  • Additional UV cleaning and sanitization of all materials and classrooms will be done daily.
  • Every classroom will be equipped with HEPA air filters and purifier systems, which effectively captures harmful airborne antibodies and allergens.
  • Packaged snacks will be provided to minimize food handling.
  • Children will bring brown bag lunches to school until at least December 2020.
  • Children will bring their own water bottles to optimize containment.
  • Children will have a staggered lunch and recess time to avoid any interaction between groups/cohorts.
  • Separated and designated entrance and exit, hallways, walkways and bathrooms will be allocated for school aged children to avoid interaction with other cohorts.
  • Parents are requested not to send any superfluous belongings such as backpacks, etc., with their child except a lunch bag to carry their lunch and water bottle clearly labeled with the child’s name.
  • Parents will be instructed to send a brown bag lunch or hot lunches in
  • Pyrex glass containers only if it requires warming. If the children’s lunch requires warming, teachers will wear gloves to touch the glass containers, and place them in the microwave without transferring the food into school plates/bowls. Once the food is warmed up in the glass container, children will be encouraged to eat from the glass Pyrex container itself.
  • All staff, adults and visitors at OMS will have their temperature checked and recorded upon entrance and required to wear face masks at all times. Gloves may be worn as well by staff and adults, if and as needed/required.

E. VENTILATION

Properly installed and maintained Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioner (HVAC) systems are the key to ensuring healthy indoor air quality in school learning environments. Additionally, air purifiers eliminate harmful allergens as well. We will support healthy environmental conditions and airflow as follows.

  • All air filters in all rooms have been changed in preparation for on-campus learning.
  • HVAC systems will be set to operate at a minimum of one hour before and after planned occupancy. Thermostat programs will be set to allow circulation fans to bring additional fresh air into classrooms after heating or cooling needs have been met.
  • HEPA air purifiers will be installed to kill harmful allergens.
  • High-efficiency air filters are installed and will be replaced frequently.
  • The use of outdoor space or environments with windows or other cross-ventilation will be used as much as possible.

F. FOOD SERVICES

  • Parents will be required to provide lunch from home to eliminate cross- contamination.
  • Some children may have severe allergic reactions to specific food ingredients that are readily available from home. We request that parents be mindful and careful when packing food from home.
  • The school will continue to provide a morning and afternoon snack for the children, which will be packaged to eliminate cross-contamination.
  • Parents should send labelled water bottles for their child(ren) from home. Water will be provided to children in a disposable cup, if needed.
  • DO NOT pack foods containing nuts, seeds, shellfish, eggs, sugary snacks or desserts.
  • DO NOT pack popcorn, grapes or any snack that could be a choking hazard.

 

G. EXTRACURRICULAR/ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES

  • Enrichment activities or classes in which physical distancing and face covering use cannot be maintained at all times will not be allowed.
  • Aerosol generating activities such as vocal classes will not be allowed.

OUTDOOR PLAYTIME

  • Outdoor play activity will be staggered to reduce the number of children in the same area.
  • Group size will be limited to a group of 10-12 children at a time.
  • More play time will be allocated, weather permitting.
  • The slides and play structures may be cordoned-off temporarily, and more free play will be encouraged.
  • Opportunities for individual and small group play and solo activities may be offered.
  • Frequently used surfaces will be cleaned as frequently as possible.

SCHOOL EVENTS

  • Field trips and other gatherings for school-age children will be permitted when students from different classroom cohorts do not mix and classroom cohorts remain at least 25 feet apart
  • School events will be limited to students and staff only or for certain events that require parent participation, those will be conducted virtually.

 

Section 2: Monitoring

A. OPERATIONS HEALTH & SAFETY

The following information describes details for school day Operations as of September, 2020.
Information will be revised as needed to reflect changes in public health and other official mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic released by SCC, CDPH, CDC and DSS.

OMS has implemented screening procedures for our staff and children. This includes asking all individuals about any symptoms (primarily fever, cough, difficulty breathing or other signs of illness within the last 72 hours) – that they, or someone in their homes, might experience. All individuals will be asked if they had any exposure to another individual with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. We will document and inform everyone of all known incidents of possible exposure to COVID-19 as per CDC, CDPH, SCC and DSS mandates.

 

SCREENING FOR SYMPTOMS

As of July 1, 2020, the Public Health Department advises that, for children, it is unreliable to use temperature to screen for COVID-19.

  • We will provide parents with training on how to conduct the daily health screening prior to their child being brought to school such as looking for symptoms and signs of COVID-coughing, sneezing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, body ache, redness/rashes, fever using a contactless thermometer, loss of appetite, loss of smell, loss of taste, low-spirited, low energy, loss of sleep, etc.
  • To prevent the spread of infection, students, teachers and other employees who have signs/symptoms of COVID-19 will be told to stay home until they are symptom free. At this point, we will require a negative test for COVID-19 or a note from the doctor indicating the student or staff member is able to return.
  • The County Public Health Department guidelines, and as stated in the OMS 2020-2021 reopening school plan under the sections ‘COVID-19 Testing & Reporting’, and ‘Response to Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19Cases and Close Contacts’ will guide decisions about testing and returning to school, including those who have had an exposure to COVID-19.
    Teachers will be trained on signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including appropriate action to take if anyone develops symptoms during the day as required by SCC Public Health school reopening mandate.
  • Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will be safely isolated until they are picked up. Employees exhibiting symptoms will be sent home.
    Virtual learning will be available for children who need to stay home because they are sick or in isolation because of COVID-19 infection or exposure and for students whose families have elected this option for the school year.
  • OMS staff will undergo COVID testing every other month to ensure safety and well- being. We will provide time/release/instruct/require staff to get COVID testing every other month.
    Parents must notify the school if a child has taken any fever reducing medications in the last 72 hours and must not bring the child to school.
  • School will monitor and record children and staff’s temperature each morning and afternoon by using a touch-less thermometer. If a child or staff has a temperature of 100°F/37.7°C or higher or if students/staff exhibit more than one signs of COVID and/or illness, such as coughing, sneezing, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, body ache, redness, rashes, etc. the student or staff will be sent home to seek medical care and testing. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, OMS may find other concerning symptoms to deem a child/staff is ill and take the next step precautionary measures such as being sent home and asking for a COVID testing as necessary and required. We will follow the facility procedures and sick policy for isolation from the general room population and notify the parents immediately to pick up the child from school. Same sick policy protocols will apply to OMS staff members as well and they will be sent home immediately.
  • If a child or staff member become ill while at OMS, they will be guided to the sick room/isolation room for separation and will be lead to the exit and parking lot from the back of the school to avoid potential encounter with the remaining of the school community.

 

B. COVID-19 TESTING & REPORTING

  • The following steps of testing, reporting and response will be taken for suspected or confirmed cases and close contacts.
    We will require students and staff to get tested as soon as possible after they develop one or more COVID-19 symptoms or if one of their household members or non-household close contacts tested positive for COVID-19.For Positive test results:
  • We will require that parents/guardians and staff notify school administration(Shriee or Anita) immediately if the student or staff tested positive for COVID-19 or if one of their household members or non-household close contacts tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Upon receiving notification that a staff or a student has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with a COVID-19 case, we will take actions as required in response to Suspected or Confirmed Cases and Close Contacts(Refer below).

For Negative test results:

  • Symptomatic students or staff who test negative for COVID-19 will be asked to remain home until at least 72 hours after resolution of fever (if any) and improvement in other symptoms.
  • Asymptomatic non-household close contacts to a COVID-19 case will be asked to remain at home for a total of 14 days from date of last exposure even if they test negative.
  • Asymptomatic household contacts will be asked to remain at home until 14 days after the COVID-19 positive household member completes their isolation.
  • Documentation of negative test results must be provided to school administration(Shriee or Anita).

Exceptions

  • In lieu of a negative test result, we will allow symptomatic students and staff to return to work/school with a medical note by a physician that provides alternative explanation for symptoms and reason for not ordering COVID-19 testing.
  • We will encourage routine monthly testing of all staff. Testing is now widely available at testing sites and through healthcare providers throughout the community.
    We will provide parents and staff with information regarding nearby testing sites, which is available through www.sccfreetest.org.

Response to Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Cases and Close Contacts

Suspected COVID-19 Case(s)

  • The school has an isolation room which will be used in case anyone exhibits COVID-19 symptoms while on campus.
  • Any student or staff exhibiting symptoms will immediately be required to wear a face covering and wait in an isolation area until they can be transported home or to a healthcare facility, as soon as practicable. For serious illness, 9-1-1 will be called without delay.

Confirmed COVID-19 Case(s)

  • We will notify the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department immediately of any positive COVID-19 case by emailing coronavirus@phd.sccgov.org and calling (408) 885-4214. We will notify staff and families in the school community of any positive COVID-19 case while maintaining confidentiality as required by state and federal laws(FERPA and COVID-19 confidentiality information and policies will be maintained. (Refer to studentprivacy.ed.gov.)
  • Areas used by any sick person will be closed off and not be used before cleaning and disinfection. To reduce risk of exposure, we will wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection if possible. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, we will wait as long as practicable. A safe and correct application of disinfectants using personal protective equipment and ventilation as recommended in “Cleaning and Maintenance” section.
  • In classroom settings in which stable classroom cohorts have been maintained, all students and staff within the same classroom cohort as the confirmed COVID-19 case will be instructed to get COVID-19 testing around 7 days after the last exposure to the case and remain quarantined at home for 14 days.
  • For all settings, we will provide information regarding close contacts to the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department via secure fax or email.
    No actions will be instructed to be taken for persons who have not had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, and instead have had close contact with persons who were in direct contact.

 

Returning to School after Testing:

Positive test results

  • Symptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can return at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND at least 3 days with no fever AND improvement in other symptoms.
  • Asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can return 10 days after their positive test result.

Negative test results

  • Symptomatic individuals, who are not close-contacts and who test negative for COVID-19 can return 72 hours after resolution of fever (if any) and improvement in symptoms.
    • Documentation of a negative test result will be required to be provided to school administrators(Shriee or Anita).
    • In lieu of a negative test result, students and staff will be allowed to return to work with a medical note by a physician that provides alternative explanation for symptoms and reason for not ordering COVID-19 testing.
  • Individuals who are close contacts to confirmed COVID-19 cases, who test negative at least 7 days after exposure, and remain asymptomatic, can return 14 days after the date of last exposure to the case. If a close contact continues to be exposed to a case during their isolation (e.g. household member), quarantine ends 14 days after the case’s isolation period ends.

 

  • Testing is recommended for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
  • Those contacts who test positive (symptomatic or asymptomatic) should be regarded as a COVID-19 case.
  • Asymptomatic contacts testing negative should self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure (i.e., close encounter with confirmed or probable COVID-19 case)
  • If testing is not available, symptomatic close contacts should self-isolate and be regarded as a probable COVID-19 case.
  • If testing is not available, asymptomatic close contacts should self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their last exposure, with linkage to clinical care for those who develop symptoms.
  • If a parent or a member of the same household tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to provide a proof of clearance from a doctor prior to bringing the child to school. Same protocols apply to school staff as well. Additionally, school staff are expected to notify the school administration if they choose to get a COVID test. School staff will be instructed to get a COVID test if they exhibit close to or any of its related symptoms/signs.

County Public Health Department, Child Care Licensing Department and parents will be informed if there are any known cases of COVID-19.

  • OMS will follow guidelines given by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
  • All classroom materials such as library books, aprons and other stationary materials will be individualized for each student.
  • The larger classroom hands-on materials will be sanitized after each use under UV light and disinfected using an alcohol based disinfectant.
  • The outdoor play equipment will be disinfected after each use and most individualized sport activities will be allocated for each student to use, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Each student will have their own cubby storage to store their classroom materials and lunches to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Each student will have individualized tables and chairs and shared larger tables will have a glass shield protector dividing the table space into two separate work spaces and ensure safe work environments.
  • Classroom teachers will have separating glass shields at teacher tables, between them and the students during group lessons.

 

DISTANCE LEARNING AT OMS

  • Distance/remote  learning  has  been made available for  the  following  students:
  • Students  who  are  medically  fragile  or  would  be  put  at  risk  by  in-person instruction,  or  who  are isolating  or  quarantining  because  of  exposure to  COVID19
  • Students  who  live in a  household  with anybody  who  is  medically  fragile
  • Families that want to take extra precautions and keep their child/ren home.

 

Teacher to Child Ratio & Small Group Size/Cohort

  • Same teachers will remain with the child(ren) throughout the day.
  • OMS will try to accommodate children of the same age and from the same family, in the same classroom, if possible.
  • Furniture and children’s play area will be arranged to provide ample space for indoor and outdoor workflow areas.
  • OMS will adhere to the following teacher child ratios and small group size outlined below for prevention, containment, and mitigation measures.

Note: the group sizes below do not include the teacher.

Age

Staff: Child Ratio

Group Size

School Age

1:12

12

 

Personal Items

All personal items for children from home should be labeled and kept in a separate bag to ensure personal items are separate from others.

 

Resting/Napping

Should a child nap/rest, napping pads/cots will be spaced 6 feet apart from each other. They will be arranged with the head of each bed alternately, in opposite directions, to lessen the possible spread of illness between children from coughing or sneezing. All pads will be wiped down and disinfected after each use. Parents are required to bring a crib-size sheet cover and blanket. Bedding will be sent home on Fridays for wash and must be brought back on Mondays.

 

IDENTIFICATION AND TRACING OF CONTACTS

All students, staff and adults will use one entrance and exit door one at a time and spaced between each arrival. All children, staff and adults will have their temperatures checked and need to answer wellness check questions before entering the building.
All adults must wear a face mask and/or shield and gloves. All children in 2nd grade and above will wear face masks. Hand washing areas and sanitizers will be made available in all indoor and outdoor areas of the school building, classrooms and hallways. If a potential positive case or a confirmed case of COVID arises, all staff, families and related entities will be notified according to the contact tracing and identification scenarios and communication tables released by the CDPH, CDC, and SCC.

STAFF TRAINING AND FAMILY EDUCATION

  • All OMS staff and parent community will periodically undergo/receive the most recent and updated COVID related orientation and training. OMS will ensure and facilitate the above orientation and training to its community.
  • The governmental authorities will be notified, parents and staff will also receive the necessary and required communication.
  • All OMS staff have undergone a COVID orientation and training.
  • Staff, students and their families will be encouraged/instructed to test depending on the exposure.
  • Should a confirmed case of COVID surface at OMS, the school will close its physical operations until it is safe to resume school activities and transition to online schooling.
    Parents will be constantly educated with updates, hygiene practices, health related do’s and don’ts at home and while at school premises to ensure the well-being and safety of the OMS community.
  • Parents will have an open door communication with the administration and staff at all times to address concerns, for reassurance and answer any questions they may have related to COVID and our practices at OMS.
  • OMS will always first direct and guide parents to the governmental websites such as CDC, CDPH, SCC and DSS to gather the most recent and updated information and directives while notifying the school community that OMS will take its directions from the governmental authorities in order to operate without any violation.
    School communication in matters related to COVID will always be consistent with CDPH, CDC, SCC, DSS, FERPA and HIPAA.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging and fluid situation. Federal, state, and local orders and guidance may change frequently, therefore our policies and procedures are subject to change accordingly. Although, OMS has placed all commercially reasonable preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19; we cannot guarantee the certainty of exposure or non-exposure either within the immediate children, staff and parent community or through any of the above entity’s extended family and friends. At all times, OMS will follow the state and local governmental authority protocols, mandates and directives without compromise and violation, alongside using its own prudence and judgement of decision for the successful, safe and healthy operation of the school, and childcare services and facilities provided at Orion Montessori School.

We thank our school community in its entirety for the trusted support and cooperation through the present circumstances as we try to navigate the new normal protocols while being in accordance with the state and governmental authorities so we are able to cater to and serve our school community continually ensuring the well-being, safety and hygiene of OMS and all its entities.