SLA Protocols for COVID-19
SLA’s current protocols for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as our requirements for students and families, are detailed below. Please note that this page is constantly being updated with new guidance from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will also update our families directly whenever impactful changes are made to our protocols.
SLA’s full reopening plan, released prior to the opening of school, is available here: In-Person COVID-19 Reopening Plan Fall 2020
SLA’s current Community Agreements with enrolled families are available here: SLA Community Agreements for Covid-19
Please contact email@example.com with any questions about COVID-19 protocol.
Hygiene and Disinfection
Hygeine and Disinfection
SLA will provide an environment which has been risk assessed in response to COVID-19 infection, and will continue monitoring for medical updates, protocol changes and changes to government mandates that impact our school operations and community.
Children and staff are required to wash and disinfect hands upon arrival to or departure from the building, as well as before and after meals.
The school facility is cleaned and disinfected on a nightly basis. Additionally, teachers disinfect classroom surfaces during the day.
Social Distancing and Mask Use
Social Distancing and Mask Use
SLA will ensure that all individuals on-site adhere to the social distancing and mask rules as set out by the government while recognizing that especially our youngest students may need frequent reminders, breaks, and support with these new protocols.
All individuals, including children and staff, must wear masks while in the building. Teachers may schedule mask breaks for children while socially distanced. Children may eat lunch without masks while socially distanced.
SLA requests families to send children to school with clean, snug masks appropriate for child use, such as masks with nose bridges or adjustable straps. Masks should not have vents or valves. SLA has a substantial supply of face coverings on-site when needed by teachers or students.
Please refer to the Resources section for guidance on appropriate masks.
Health screenings must be completed every day by parents at home before children arrive on site via the Bloomz app. Screened criteria include all COVID-19 symptoms, recent international or out-of-state travel, and recent exposure to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Parents must report any COVID-19 symptoms to the Student Affairs Office immediately per our below protocols for symptom reporting.
Teachers and employees who are out sick must complete a health screening before returning to work, and must receive a PCR COVID-19 test under the same conditions as students.
SLA will support our children’s transition to onsite school in a thoughtful, connected way that helps us all adjust to new protocols and feel safe and nurtured.
SLA will provide a curriculum that meets your child’s emotional, mental health and academic needs, whether on-site or through remote learning. SLA’s curriculum is prepared to be administered remotely through online learning tools such as Google Classroom, Zoom, and VoiceThread.
SLA classes do not mix students during the school day, and if a class project requires any comingling, families will be notified in advance regarding the extent and purpose of the comingling as well as any social distancing arrangements made to accommodate the project.
Classroom teachers remain assigned to their specific classroom.
Children play in separate locations when at recess, separated from other cohorts.
We encourage families to only have play-dates with other children in their class in order to maintain cohorting.
Drop-off and Pickup
Drop-off and Pickup
Drop-off and pickup times are staggered to allow for social distancing between classes.
Families are required to depart from the drop-off area upon confirming their child has completed a health screening and is signed-out.
Each class has a designated drop-off and pickup zone outside of the school building. Families may not enter the building.
At this time, SLA only offers aftercare by individual class, pending demand in each class, for 2:30 PM through 5:30 PM.
Families who travel to states other than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, or internationally will be required to quarantine for 10-days before a child can return to in-person learning.
Families must report all restricted travel plans to the Student Affairs Office immediately.
SLA staff and teachers are subject to the same restrictions, and SLA has requested that all staff and teachers avoid unnecessary travel.
Even if a student does not participate in household travel, the child must still stay home from school for as long as the household member is under quarantine order per state regulations. However, in this case, the household member may “test-out” of quarantine by taking a COVID-19 PCR test upon the fourth day of their return to New York. If the result returns negative, the student(s) may return to school.
All SLA employees will treat testing results or other health information as private and confidential, only used to take proper precautions to prevent spread in accordance with government regulations and best practices for contact tracing.
SLA does encourage families to disclose health status to other families with whom they may have contact if they are a risk for spreading COVID-19.
Whenever testing is required by SLA due to flagged symptoms, restricted travel, or confirmed exposure, SLA required families, students, and employees to complete a standard molecular RT-PCR test in addition to rapid testing (whether molecular or antigen). This is because the CDC currently rates the RT-PCR test as the “gold standard” for virus detection (see our resources below for more information). This test is also known as the Molecular Nucleic Acid Amplification test, or genetic/RNA test.
The SLA Main Campus is equipped with two HVAC units per floor, which each have Merv-13 filters and have an air exchange rate of 80,000 CFM, and each floor is between 10,000 and 15,000 SFT. This means that airflow is exchanged in the floor approximately once every 15 minutes. Every classroom is ventilated with our HVAC system. Teachers leave doors and windows open when possible to facilitate airflow.
The SLA Early Childhood Annex has three classroom floors, each of which have several windows. We have also equipped our floors with reverse airflow fans to facilitate air exchange.
SLA will contact parents/carers if your child displays symptoms of COVID-19 for pickup.
SLA will continue to communicate with families between home and school through email, parent communication tools, text, and the school website with important updates and information.
If a child is absent for COVID-19 related reasons, such as flagged symptoms, confirmed exposure, or a quarantine order, SLA will communicate as much information to families as possible in a timely manner while preserving the family’s privacy and confidentiality.
In the event of a positive on-site or off-site COVID-19 test case for an SLA student or employee, SLA will notify the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and cooperate with the NYC Test & Trace Corps to identify, contact, and as necessary, exclude persons with symptoms of COVID-19, persons who test positive for COVID-19, and persons who have been exposed to COVID-19.
Although families and visitors are generally not permitted entry to school grounds during school hours, all essential contractors (such as substitutes, maintenance personnel, etc.) must complete a visitor log for contact tracing purposes.
Protocols for COVID-19 Symptoms in Children
|Severity of Symptoms||Protocol|
|Mild Individual Symptoms – runny nose or congestion, fatigue, sore throat, muscle or body aches||If the child has only one of these symptoms, the child may return to school. If the child has more than one symptom, the child must stay home from school and see a doctor immediately in accordance with SLA’s instructions and best practice recommended by the CDC.|
|Significant Symptoms – fever of 100 F or higher, difficulty or trouble breathing, new or worsening cough, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea||In addition to the above, the child must stay home from school and receive a COVID-19 PCR Test immediately. Results must be reported to the Student Affairs office. The child’s date of return to school will be determined by written recommendation from the child’s doctor.|
|Positive household case other than child||Children are required to quarantine from home if a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19. SLA assumes that household members cannot quarantine from their children due to providing care for children, and the quarantine period is 14 days beginning either 10 days from when the household member first showed symptoms, or from the date of their positive test result if asymptomatic.|
|Confirmed household close contact other than child||Children are required to quarantine at home whenever another member of their household is under quarantine order due to being a close contact. The quarantine period for the child shall be the same as the quarantine period for the household member.|
*If a family is unable to take their child to a doctor or for a COVID-19 PCR test in accordance with SLA’s instructions, the child will be required to isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. During this time, my child may enroll in remote learning.
Any symptoms in the context of COVID-19 exposure or increased risk:
If a child has any of the above symptoms, and also has either been exposed to someone who is a positive test case for COVID-19 or has recently completed international travel, the child must stay home and receive a negative PCR test result or isolate for 10 days.
Standard protocol for resolution of child fever:
Regardless of whether or not a fever is COVID-19-related, a child may not be sent to school until 24 hours following the resolution of any fever
Protocols for on-site positive COVID-19 test results
Please read this page for a full explanation of SLA’s response to on-site positive test results.
If a student tests positive:
SLA will notify all families, as well as the DOHMH, and close the child’s classroom. The classroom families (including any siblings in other classrooms), as well as the classroom teachers, will move to remote instruction for 14 days. During this time, all impacted families will be instructed to receive a COVID-19 test and report the result to SLA’s Student Affairs Office. SLA will initiate contact tracing and will begin remote learning for the quarantined classroom. For 24 hours, the classroom will not be used for any purpose, and will be cleaned and disinfected. The student who tests positive must isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms and return a negative PCR test result before returning on-site.
If an employee tests positive:
SLA will notify all families, as well as the DOHMH, and if the employee is assigned to any classroom, that classroom will be closed. The classroom families (including any siblings in other classrooms), as well as the classroom teachers, will move to remote instruction for 14 days. During this time, all impacted families will be instructed to receive a COVID-19 test and report the result to SLA’s Student Affairs Office. SLA will initiate contact tracing and will begin remote learning for the quarantined classroom. For 24 hours, the classroom will not be used for any purpose, and will be cleaned and disinfected. Administrative members generally work remotely and are socially distanced from the rest of the on-site school community. The employee who tests positive must isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms and return a negative PCR test result before returning on-site.
If one of my family members is quarantining, do my children need to quarantine?
SLA follows the best practice that when one member of the household is quarantining due to confirmed exposure, the rest of the household should also quarantine. Siblings of children who are quarantining due to exposure shall be taught remotely for 14 days from the sibling’s exposure.
In the event that a family member is quarantining due to restricted travel, the child will only be required to remain home for as long as the family member’s state-mandated quarantine period (unless the child also traveled).
The CDC states that COVID-19 patients may continue to test positive for up to three months following infection. How does this impact my family?
Communications and Resources
Please view nearby testing locations here.
- COVID-19 Restricted Travel Updates – Marc 23, 2021
- SLA COVID-19 School Closure FAQ – February 2, 2021
- COVID19 Annex Post-Recess Protocols from January 8, 2021
- COVID19 Main Campus Post-Recess Protocols from January 8, 2021
- Head of School letter from March 13th
- Parent Coordinator letter from March 12th
- Parent Coordinator letter from March 10th
- Parent Coordinator letter from March 6th
- Parent Coordinator letter from March 3rd
- Parent Coordinator letter from February 26th
- Parent Coordinator letter from January 29th
- New York City Department of Health
- New York State Department of Health
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- A parent resource from the National Association of School Psychologists
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus (NPR)
- How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
- Helping children cope with stress (WHO)
- Child Mind Institute: Talking to kids about the coronavirus
- New ad raises awareness of corona-based racism
- When xenophobia spreads like a virus (NPR)
- Rapid Testing (CDC & IDSA)
- Considerations for face coverings (CDC)