Updated Shalhevet Guidelines and FAQ
Information Updated as of December 23, 2021
- Which medical terms do I need to know to understand the school’s COVID risk mitigation and containment plan?
- Exposure Event: Being within 6 feet of a confirmed infected person, with or without a mask, for at least 15 minutes. Starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the student was last on campus.
- Quarantine: Separating individuals who have been recently exposed to COVID-19 to determine whether they develop symptoms of the disease. Generally, a 10 day period or until they are determined to no longer be at risk for spreading the virus.
- Isolation: Separating people who are infectious with COVID-19 away from people who are not infected. Persons in isolation may have symptoms of COVID-19 (with or without COVID-19 positive test) or are without symptoms with a positive viral test for COVID-19. Persons under isolation orders are released when they are no longer considered infectious.
- Criteria for release from isolation: At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- Containment: Multi-tiered approach to mitigate spread of the virus in school and keep our children and their families safe. Will involve contact tracing, symptom screening, and personal protective equipment.
- Contact Tracing: A detailed process of documenting individuals/groups who have been in close contact with the individual diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and the circumstances surrounding said contact. This helps us swiftly and effectively identify individuals who have been exposed and to help the Department of Health to determine who requires quarantine or isolation.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- Face masks that protect individuals from spreading and/or contracting the virus.
- Handwashing and hand sanitizer stations
- Will you seriously enforce the mask-wearing for students?
- Yes. This is to ensure school will be able to remain open and we can continue our goal of maximizing on campus, face-to-face learning. Students and parents will be required to commit to a safety protocols agreement, and any student unable to adhere to the guidelines will be asked to leave school. This is not punitive, but to ensure everyone's health and safety.
- Will carpooling be discouraged?
- Choosing to carpool is up to each individual family. However, please keep in mind that the more people in a car, the more people each person will have close contact with should there be a positive test result. The Shalhevet Medical Task Force recommends that those that are carpooling with students from different families drive with windows open and everyone in the car wear face masks, and even face shields, as well.
- If there is a positive case in my child’s class, will I need to quarantine my child?
- Since Shalhevet is focusing on containment and tracing, the current recommendation and guideline is that only those considered a close contact or an exposure event will be required to quarantine. According to the CDC’s current guidelines, a close contact is considered contact within 6 feet, with or without a mask, for longer than 15 minutes. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, wearing masks may help mitigate the likelihood of being considered a close contact and may help to avoid having to quarantine.
- If my child needs to quarantine due to having a close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, what accommodations will be made for my child to continue their classes while in quarantine at home?
- Should your child need to quarantine, we will provide access to their classes virtually and help to replicate the in-person experience as closely as possible. Teachers, too, will accommodate to the best of their abilities. We have invested in our hybrid technology to ensure that no student or parent ever feels the need to make the decision between health and top-tier learning experiences.
- If there is a positive case in my child’s class, even if the determination is made that the other students in the class do not need to quarantine, I may not feel comfortable sending my child back to school. Is that ok?
- Absolutely. We understand that different families have different levels of risk tolerance. Should you decide to keep your child home, we will provide access to their classes virtually and help to replicate the in-person experience as closely as possible. Teachers, too, will accommodate to the best of their abilities.
- Will parents and/or visitors be allowed to go into the building?
- Generally, no. Visitors and parent visits to campus will be severely curtailed.
- All parents and visitors who do need to enter the building will have to comply with Shalhevet entrance guidelines including symptom check and wearing face masks at all times while on campus.
- If a parent is picking up their child, whether from the parking lot or from outside the school, please make those arrangements in advance with the receptionist and any relevant teacher/administrator.
- What measures will be taken during snack/lunch/breaks when masks are off?
- As mentioned above, students will have the choice to eat in a pre-assigned space with their cohort or in an available socially distanced spot outside. When eating, they can, of course, take off their masks, but it is imperative that they only remain off while eating and for no longer than 15 minutes. Students should be sure to remain socially distanced.
- Will any designs of masks be allowed?
- No. Most masks will be allowed, barring those that are political in nature or contain offensive imagery or words. Our dress code policy regarding what is appropriate to have on shirts will apply to facemasks as well.
- Will Shalhevet be providing masks to the students?
- No. Each family needs to provide masks for their own children. It is imperative that cloth masks are washed after use (at least a clean mask daily) and that disposable masks are discarded at least daily or after becoming soiled or wet. There will be masks available for purchase if a student forgets his/her mask at home.
- What happens if a teacher tests positive?
- If a teacher tests positive, that teacher will self-isolate in consultation with their own personal doctor, the Health Department and Shalhevet.
- Shalhevet will undertake contact tracing efforts -- The teacher must inform Shalhevet and cooperate with all contact tracing questions to determine who else may have had an exposure event with the confirmed COVID19 patient. If all protocols are followed throughout with PPE and social distancing, it is very likely that the number of people who would need to quarantine would be limited.
Shalhevet will continually monitor the situation and work in concert with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Shalhevet Medical Task Force to determine if further quarantines are required by other students/teachers/staff.
- What happens if a student is COVID-19 positive
- If a student tests positive, that student will self-isolate in consultation with their own personal doctor, the Health Department and Shalhevet.
- Shalhevet will undertake contact tracing efforts -- the student/parent must inform Shalhevet and cooperate with all contact tracing questions to determine who else may have had an exposure event with the confirmed COVID19 patient.
If all protocols are followed throughout with PPE and social distancing, it is very likely that the number of people who would need to quarantine would be limited.
Shalhevet will continually monitor the situation and work in concert with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Shalhevet Medical Task Force to determine if further quarantines are required by other students/teachers/staff. [If there is a second positive test in that class, within the two week period of the positive test, then Shalhevet may take precaution and elect to quarantine that class.]
Please note, that if a student is in quarantine but has not tested positive, those in close contact with that student will NOT have to quarantine.
- What happens if a parent tests positive?
- The parent must inform Shalhevet and cooperate with any contact tracing questions.
- Will students be required to stay home if they have mild symptoms such as a runny nose or cough?
- Shalhevet’s focus is on lowering the risk of the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. To that end, anyone experiencing any of the listed symptoms on the COVID posters posted throughout the building should not be in school.
- Can Shalhevet ask that every member of each household get tested for COVID-19? Will students be asked to get tested prior to school?
- Testing everyone at a given point in time only guarantees that the person was positive or negative at the given moment. After leaving the testing site, one may then contract the virus, making the test no longer relevant. Therefore, forcing everyone to take a test will not create a situation where we can definitively say we are beginning the school year with no positive cases on campus. Unlike sleep away camps, schools are not creating a “ bubble” where we can ensure everyone is negative once they get on campus and will remain that way for a period of time.
- Shalhevet will make testing available on campus for various reasons throughout the year.
- What is Shalhevet doing to enhance the cleaning & disinfecting of the facility?
Our facility will have increased daily cleaning/disinfecting. In addition, classroom desks will be wiped down with disinfecting wipes by students before and after each class.
- What is Shalhevet’s plans for sports teams and co-curriculars?
We continue to follow the CIF guidelines as well as state and local health department guidelines. As with our classes and athletics, we will coordinate our co-curricular offerings with the Shalhevet Medical Task Force.
- What plans are being made for lunch? The Shalhevet lunch program will continue as in years past, where we will be offering selections from local restaurants that arrive at the school individually packaged. Lunch distribution will take place outside, and students will have the choice to eat in a pre-assigned space or in an available socially distanced spot outside.
- If Shalhevet deems it necessary to temporarily switch to an online distance learning model, will I get any sort of refund?
We know that this has been a difficult time financially for many in our community, and we will continue to do everything to help those families that need Covid relief. As we saw from the past few months, for a school that anticipates returning to in-person learning and must plan accordingly (including making new investments to facilitate social distancing and hybrid learning), moving to distance learning for a brief period does not significantly cut costs. Right now, we are not offering or anticipating any set refunds, but should we return entirely online, Shalhevet will continue to look for ways to run a lean program and pass along any savings from distance learning to our parent body.