Princeton Charter School
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Announcements

 

AY 2021-22: Covid-19 Procedures and Protocols

09/14/2021

Covid Policies and Procedures:  September 14, 2021

There have been several questions about quarantining and isolating as a result of positive Covid cases, exposure and travel.  We continue to follow the state guidelines which are largely synonymous with the CDC’s guidance. 

As a general overview of our process, when we hear of a case of concern,  the nurses, division heads, and I confer as to the appropriate response. We are conservative in double checking on all cases.  I also check with our school doctor and/or the Princeton Health Officer regularly  to be certain.  Often a case is fairly straightforward and may follow the same fact pattern as a case that we previously checked over with the school doctor and/or the Health officer. 

In addition, Doctor Helmrich has provided us with a simple chart that he developed for the Princeton Charter School and Princeton Public Schools. (He is the school doctor for both districts.) COVID-19 - Handling Suspected, Presumptive or Confirmed Cases of Covid-19 - Flow Chart and Protocols

- Larry Patton, Head of School

 

Start of School - Key points in response to Covid-19 (Previously shared with parents in August, 2021)

1. Students will have a full day of school.

2. Students will be in-person.  As per the Governor’s directive, there is no option for remote learning.

3. Students and staff will be required to wear a mask at school, on the school bus, and outside during breaks.

From NJDOH Guidance - The Road Forward:  “Wearing masks is an important prevention strategy to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially when  combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.”

Students will be given time to take a designated “mask break” while outside, socially distanced. However, if students are playing outside, they will be required to wear their masks.  Here is a link to a recent NYT article on a mask study that you may find helpful.

4. Parents will be required to fill out the daily screening for each child by 7:00 AM each day.  Staff will also fill out a form daily. It is essential that parents complete the screening and that no symptomatic child is sent to school.

5. Classroom set-up/ social distancing:  

  1. Students will be as spread out as possible, minimally three feet apart.
  2. Students in grades 6-8 will not have access to lockers.
  3. Water Bottles:  All water fountains have had the drinking spouts turned off.  They can only be used as bottle fillers.  Students are encouraged to bring  water bottles (non-glass)  labelled with their names.  Bottles taller than 11 inches may not fit.

6. Ventilation/Air Quality:  Classes have adequate ventilation and air conditioners have been retrofitted with Merv 13 filters. In addition, we will use CO2 monitors as proxies for air changes in the room.  (i.e. if we maintain a low level of CO2 PPM in the room, it is an indication of adequate air changes per hour in the room.)

7. Lunches: Will be served outside when possible, and when inside, students will be spread out in large, well ventilated, spaces with Merv14 filtered air.

 8. Hand Hygiene:   Students will be asked to wash hands regularly during the day, and/or use hand sanitizer to reduce the spread of germs as per CDC guidance:

“ Hand hygiene is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19. Practicing hand hygiene, which includes the use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) or handwashing, is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections in healthcare settings. CDC recommendations reflect this important role.”

Students will be reminded to follow hand washing etiquette and all rooms have hand sanitizer dispensers and bottles of hand sanitizers.

9. Quarantine: Students must quarantine if:

  • They have received a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.
  • They are found to be in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with Covid-19—this applies only to non-vaccinated students.
  • In addition, parents should not send students to school when sick. For school settings, NJDOH recommends that  students with the following symptoms be promptly isolated from others and excluded from school (From Road Forward): 
    • ?? At least two of the following symptoms: fever (measure or subjective), chills, rigors (shivers), myalgia  (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny  nose; OR
    • ?? At least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new olfactory  disorder, or new taste disorder.
  • Potentially in certain instances, after traveling (please see below)

10. Travel Guidelines:  The school follows the NJDOH and  CDC guidelines for travel.  Here is a short summary from the CDC website.  I want to be clear on these guidelines given that families may be traveling before the start of school.

Vaccinated individuals

After Domestic Travel

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all?state and local?recommendations or requirements.

After International  travel:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

            Unvaccinated individuals

After Domestic Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.

    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

After International Travel: 

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.

    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

11. Vaccines: Princeton Charter School is encouraging all staff and students who are eligible to be vaccinated.  For students, we will send out a poll to ascertain vaccination status. This is important in helping us with any needed contact tracing and may affect the need to close sections, grade levels,etc. We will be closely following the Governor’s guidance regarding any vaccination mandates.

 

Valid from 09/14/2021



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