Safety Protocol Updates, 1/18/22

— SECTIONS OF THIS POST ARE NOW OBSOLETE —

Originally posted 1/4/22

  • Consider getting vaccinated. Public health officials state that “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your community.”
  • Don’t send students to school sick, even if it is just a “slight cold.” 
  • If you or your child has symptoms of any kind, please get tested. 
  • We will implement a few changes in the school to reduce mixing of cohorts and increase safety protocols.
    • The protocols described in the text that is crossed out are now obsolete.
      • (UPDATE) Band/orchestra: The band and orchestra program is exploring strategies to help mitigate COVID transmission while still delivering quality music instruction to our students.  We are currently looking at rearranging rehearsal and lesson schedules in order to reduce mixing of grade level cohorts.  Since aerosol spread is a concern in band classes, we may also take a short break from playing in order to shift focus to activities that build better understanding of music theory fundamentals.  These include the basics of music reading, writing, listening, and compositional skills.  Regardless of what changes take place, there is still plenty of material to sink our teeth into!
      • (UPDATE) Concerts: Our vocal and band/orchestra concerts WILL be postponed. New dates TBD.
      • Buddy classes: Mixed classes for “Experience Fridays” are on hold for the time-being. Project- and place-based learning will continue, however.
      • (UPDATE) Lunch: River Grove has utilized COVID relief funds to purchase an Iso-Aire air filtration system, which filters 99 percent of viruses out of the air. While this costly unit is excellent for use in larger spaces, the associated noise makes it somewhat impractical for smaller classrooms.  However, the Iso-Aire will make it possible for kids within the same grade level to participate in congregate dining.  Classes will be spaced more than 15 feet away from each other to maintain cohorts while dining.  Additionally, lunch times will be expedited while still giving kids sufficient time to enjoy their lunch.  No more than two classes will be in the Commons at any time.  Some classes may continue to eat lunches in the classrooms.
      • (UPDATE) After-school clubs: We have postponed all after-school clubs, including outdoor clubs that mix classroom cohorts.
      • (UPDATE) Field trips and recess: Additional pause on all outdoor inter-cohort mingling, including field trips where students tend to group closely together.
        • Outdoor field trips that maintain classroom separation will still be permitted.
        • Recess will still be permitted with physical distancing strongly encouraged. 
      • Fresh air: Ventilation will be increased in classrooms as much as is sensible and possible.
      • Visitors and volunteers to campus: Will be limited.
    • Masks: Recent guidance suggests that the most effective masks in preventing the Omicron variant are N95, KN95, KF94, or to a lesser degree surgical masks. The school strongly encourages these more effective masks for all staff and students. (See https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20211229/cloth-masks-vs-surgical-n95-what-to-know. )
    • Bus transportation: If you are able to transport your students to and from school instead of using the bus, please consider making the switch. This will significantly reduce the possibility of quarantining large mixed cohorts of students. If you can make that switch, please email transportation@marineareaschool.org