Health and Safety
It is undeniable that the school looks and feels a little different this year, not unlike the rest of the world in many respects. That said, the feeling of joy in learning and being together is evident.
We are working to ensure the health and safety of our community with the following strategies:
Students age 2 and older are expected to come to school each day with two freshly laundered masks and to be wearing one of them when they exit the car on arrival at the campus or enter the bus to travel to campus. Staff are stationed drop-off areas to ensure compliance.
EMS has additional masks on hand if needed.
All staff wear masks throughout the day without exception, and may wear additional PPE, such as face shields, when appropriate. We have made clear masks available to our early childhood educators to allow children to see their faces.
We know that masks are one of the best ways to protect ourselves and to prevent COVID-19 transmission from person to person. Parental cooperation in helping children understand the role of masks on campus will be essential, as will some flexibility in allowing us to try to create spaces and times in the day when masks may not be required. generally masks will be taken off only for snack or lunch, while distance is maintained.
Tremendous work has been put into the facilities over the summer, both to upgrade our buildings and to ensure each classroom can offer the appropriate amount of social distancing from desk to desk.
Spaces outside the classroom, like the gym, are marked so students understand how to maintain their distance from each other. Moving between spaces, when necessary, will be done with appropriate distancing.
In our outdoor spaces, we’ve invested in lap desks and chairs so our students can enjoy the outdoors as additional space, while maintaining distance. The grounds will have marked vectors so that each Cohort may enjoy their own space.
As an added layer of protection, UltraHEPA IQAir filters have been placed in every campus classroom and most program spaces. These units, in conjunction with operable windows, window fans, high capacity negative air machines, and measurement and verification monitoring are in place to ensure proper ventilation rates.
Daily Wellness Checks
The Wellness Check is our first line of defense to ensure in person learning. The day begins for our families at home, using SchoolPass. You’ll receive a daily reminder to fill out the questionnaire each morning for each student prior to arrival on campus. This information reports the appearance of key symptoms, recent travel, activities, or other behavior that might present a risk. Everyone’s utmost honesty is expected and required for in-person learning to be successful.
Daily Temperature Scans
As a student exits their car in the carline, they have their temperature checked. Depending on which division they are in, this can be either via handheld temperature monitor or thermal scanner. A temperature that exceeds 100.0 degrees will trigger an alert.
EMS recommends that parents add a temperature check to their morning routine, in addition to filling out the health questionnaire, to avoid bringing a feverish child to school.
When a student registers a temperature at school, the division nurse will immediately be summoned. That student will be taken directly to the nurse's office to isolate while a parent is called. Parents will need to return to school to pick up their child. The student must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school and if the student has any additional symptoms, a negative COVID-19 PCR test will also be required. Students who need to self-isolate or quarantine would Flex and participate in remote learning for the amount of time they are required to remain home.
Thermal scanners are located at the main entry of each division, and will passively monitor students and staff throughout the day. They are monitored by staff in the division offices. When a temperature that exceeds 100.0 degrees is recorded, the staff member is alerted and will immediately have the nurse bring the individual to the nurse’s office for a follow up check to determine any required actions.
The EMS staff understands that exertion through recess or other activities may initially show an elevated temperature. Under these circumstances, individuals will be retested after 10 minutes before further action is taken.
We tested everyone before we opened and now have a system for testing all employees and students weekly.
COVID Test Kits
Your child’s COVID test will be sent home on Thursdays. Please return the test to EMS the next morning (Friday). Help your child take the test before dinner that night, following provided instructions, and put it directly into the refrigerator. Be sure that all documents included in the kit have been reviewed and signed if needed. MH test kits will be picked up at the carline in the morning. CH and LS test kits will be collected by your child’s classroom teachers, so please be sure to have it in their backpacks that morning. The lab will pick up all of the kits by 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning. If you forget your kit at home, we will only accept them until 9:30 a.m. After that time, you will need to bring it directly to the lab in Fair Lawn. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Nurse Desere or Nurse Betsy. Should you have specific questions regarding the test kits, the online portal, or results, please contact Sovereign directly at 201-855-8448 or 201-933-3028. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, as always, for your cooperation in keeping our community safe.
If you wish to obtain testing on your own, you may use this site to find a testing center or order an at-home test. Here is another option to order an at-home test. It is important to know that delivery times for mail-in tests as well as testing times between different labs vary significantly, so the easiest way to guarantee an on-time result is to get tested on campus by the Sovereign medical team.
If a student or faculty member misses two weeks of testing facilitated by EMS, they are required to get tested on their own and submit a negative PCR test before returning to school.
We understand that this is additional work for parents, and reiterate that a negative result will be required for campus re-entry. Compliance with testing is in line with the 4C's and reflects a commitment to the EMS community.
EMS is responsible for contact tracing staff exposure, which we do through the TRACE app and by conducting interviews with COVID+ individuals and their close contacts . If a member of our community tests positive, EMS will provide that information to the Department of Health as required by law, and the Department of Health will then pick up responsibility for contact tracing. This tracing is an essential piece of keeping EMS open, and we ask for full cooperation from all parties.
To ensure the anonymity and privacy of our families, we will only alert those members of the community who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We will never use names.
Our contact tracers only reach out to those who we have reason to believe had been in close contact with the individual who tested positive; if you have not been contacted at this time there is no reason to believe you have been exposed.
Privacy Protection Policies
Privacy protection rules as part of online access policy: During these challenging times, The Elisabeth Morrow School (“EMS”) has implemented measures to continue providing exemplary academic instruction to all students. To that end, EMS will be providing remote classroom instruction using Google Meet and other technology. Some of this instruction may be asynchronous, meaning that students would not be required to meet live but can instead access the instruction at a later time, consistent with their teacher’s instructions for that class. In that event, the classroom instruction will be recorded live and made available for student viewing at a later time in the event the student is unable to participate at a specific time, or feels that additional review of the classroom instruction will be beneficial. Currently this will be accomplished by the teacher’s sharing of the recorded instruction through Google Drive. This access serves to enhance the educational process and provide much needed flexibility during these times.
EMS expects and requires that all students and parents continue to adhere to the EMS privacy policies. For remote learning access, it is the school policy and it is the obligation of all students and parents to ensure that the classroom instruction information is used by the student only for the student's own educational requirements and is not downloaded, recorded, copied, or distributed to any third party. All students will be notified of their obligations to comply with this policy with each invitation to access any recorded classroom instruction. Please note that a violation of this policy is a disciplinary violation under the EMS policies. We thank you for your assistance in complying with this policy and remain available to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have.
The entire EMS community is engaged in the constant cleaning of spaces to ensure multiple levels of sanitization.
EMS has 10 janitorial staff who will scrub the entire school each evening, using flu season procedures. This is a deep clean over all surfaces using EPA approved list of disinfectants for COVID-19.
EMS facilities staff will then add a second layer of sanitization using an electrostatic mister. We have secured four for use throughout the school. The mister distributes a food-safe, chlorine-based disinfectant called PurTabs by Protexus and Aquaox. The misters are deployed throughout the school day and each night to rapidly sanitize classrooms, corridors, offices, and restrooms.
Additionally, the school has hired additional day porters, so now each division has their own. The day porters sanitize high-touch surfaces between classes, including the bathrooms, doorknobs, railings, etc.
Lastly, students and staff sanitize their own spaces throughout the day with supplies provided by EMS. Handwashing will be encouraged and, based on age, monitored, and all handwashing sinks are equipped with touchless devices - faucets, soap and paper towels. Hand sanitizer stations are plentiful throughout the school.