2022 - 2023 Plan

Frequently asked questions

ISOLATION & QUARANTINE

Isolation for POSITIVE INDIVIDUALS

How long does my child need to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19?

At ECFS, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days. The first date of symptoms, or the date of positive COVID-19 test administration if asymptomatic, is considered “day 0”.

  • If at the end of five days in isolation, the individual's symptoms are improving, they are not immunocompromised, and they have not had a fever in the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, they may end their isolation and return to school on day six, regardless of vaccination status. A negative COVID-19 test is not required to discontinue isolation.

  • If at the end of five days in isolation, the individual's symptoms have not improved, their isolation must continue until their symptoms improve including fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. A negative COVID-19 test is not required to discontinue isolation.

How long does my child need to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 and are immunocompromised?

The CDC continues to recommend a 10-day isolation for positive individuals with weakened immune systems.

What if my child began to develop symptoms mid-way through the 5-day isolation?

In accordance with NYS DOH policy, if an individual begins isolation asymptomatic and develops symptoms during the course of their isolation, the 5-day isolation period will start over from the date of symptom onset.

Who do I tell if my child's symptoms have not improved on day 5 and they require additional time in isolation?

If your child's symptoms have not improved, please be in touch with your divisional nurse and covid@ecfs.org on day 5 to inform us if they will require additional time in isolation. This will allow us to communicate accurate information to your child's teacher or dean. If your child is currently asymptomatic, symptoms are improving, or we do not hear from you on day 5, we will assume your child is returning to school on day 6.

Is a test required to end isolation?

No, a negative test is not required to end isolation.

Does my child need to wear a mask when they return on Day 6?

Yes, the NYS Department of Health requires masks to continue to be worn from day 6 through day 10 after returning from a 5-day isolation.

Why is a negative test not required to end isolation?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 tests are best used early in the course of illness to diagnose COVID-19 and are not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the duration of infectiousness. Some people may remain positive by Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) (e.g., RT-PCR) long beyond the period of expected infectiousness. The significance of a positive or negative antigen test late in the course of illness is less clear. If an individual has access to a test and wants to test, the best approach is to use an antigen test towards the end of the 5-day isolation period.

What does my child need to do if someone in their household has tested positive for COVID-19?

Students do not need to quarantine and may attend school, however, families should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and are recommended to complete COVID-19 testing on day 5 following the exposure. These optional test results do not need to be provided to the divisional nurse's office unless they are positive.

My child contracted COVID-19 between their first and second vaccine dose, what should we do?

Families with children who have recently recovered from COVID-19 may be required to further delay their second dose and should speak directly with their child's primary care provider.

Why shorten the isolation period from 10-days to 5-days?

The CDC and the New York State Department of Health revised their recommendations for the duration of isolation for positive individuals from 10 days to five days. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the one to two days prior to the onset of symptoms and the two to three days after.

Will there be remote learning for students placed in isolation?

Ethical Culture & Fieldston Lower

In the event that a student has to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure and their class remains in school, their teacher(s) will assign daily, asynchronous work. Their teacher(s) will also provide daily, virtual check-ins to support their asynchronous work and answer any questions they may have. The focus of their asynchronous work will be their academic subjects taught in the classroom (math, language arts, social studies), and specialists will provide asynchronous work when appropriate. For students absent for any other reason (regular sickness, travel, appointment, etc.), asynchronous work and teacher check-ins will not be provided.


Middle School

In the event that a Middle School student has to isolate/quarantine due to COVID-19 but is healthy enough to complete schoolwork, their teachers will assign daily, asynchronous work. By the second day of the isolation/quarantine, all homework and classwork will be posted on the teachers' respective Google classroom pages. The grade dean will have a virtual check-in with the student to support their asynchronous work and answer any questions they may have. Should a student be absent for more than five days of school, the grade dean will help arrange synchronous check-ins with each classroom teacher. When possible, students in isolation can participate in synchronous group work with classmates, though there will be no hyflex teaching (teachers instructing in front of a camera). For students absent for any other reason (regular sickness, travel, appointment, etc.) asynchronous work and teacher check-ins will not be provided. As in a typical, pre-COVID year, make-up work will be provided upon their return to school.


Upper School

Once the Form Dean and AP for Academic Life receive notification of a student in isolation or in quarantine due to exposure, the Dean will reach out to the family, the student, and his/her/their teacher to discuss options for students to complete work. Once the Form Dean has contacted everyone, the Form Dean will compile a spreadsheet with information on the preferred methods that students will complete academic work for each course. Faculty will provide one of three options for students to complete academic work based on course structure and student health:

  • Asynchronous assignments: Students will check Google Classroom and complete assignments asynchronously. The student will receive any resources, notes, or readings directly from the teacher. The Form Dean will coordinate a document of assignments for the student.

  • Limited live stream: The teacher will set up a live stream for the student to listen to the class. The students will passively listen and will not be able to participate or be on camera. The teacher will set up a live stream link and will share it with the student. This option must be approved by the teacher, the Form Dean, and the AP for Academic Life and will only be available for students in active quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19 exposure.

  • Structured schedule of one-on-meetings with teacher: The teacher will coordinate with the student to schedule structured one-on-one times during the week. The student and teacher will coordinate with the Form Dean to schedule.

Regardless of the selected option, students must check in with the teacher at least one time over the course of the isolation or quarantine period via Google Meet. The student must contact the teacher directly to set up that meeting.

How do these policies apply to employees?

Employees must adhere to the same policies as described above.

quarantine FOR EXPOSED INDIVIDUALS

Does my fully vaccinated child need to quarantine if exposed to a positive case?

No, all fully vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 may continue to attend or work at school regardless of booster status as long as they remain asymptomatic.

Does my unvaccinated child need to quarantine if exposed to a positive case?

Students do not need to quarantine and may attend school, however, families should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and are recommended to complete COVID-19 testing on day 5 following the exposure. These optional test results do not need to be provided to the divisional nurse's office unless they are positive.

Can we quarantine our unvaccinated child following exposure?

No, unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19 should continue to attend school.

What if my child begins to develop symptoms following a known close contact?

If symptoms appear following a known exposure, the individual should isolate and seek COVID-19 PCR or laboratory-based antigen testing. In this situation, the individual may return to school once the negative COVID-19 test result is received and symptoms have resolved.

My child is fully vaccinated but was exposed. What should they do?

The CDC continues to recommend testing five to seven days after close contact with a positive individual and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.

What does my child need to do if someone in their household has tested positive for COVID-19?

Students do not need to quarantine and may attend school, however, families should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and are recommended to complete COVID-19 testing on day 5 following the exposure. These optional test results do not need to be provided to the divisional nurse's office unless they are positive.

When is someone considered "fully vaccinated"?

A person is considered fully vaccinated with vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection ≥2 weeks after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or ≥2 weeks after receipt of a single dose of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

How do these policies apply to employees?

Employees must adhere to the same policies as described above.

Symptomatic FOR SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS

What happens if a student or employee is sick?

Any student or employee who is sick must stay home. The School must follow guidance from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for allowing an individual to return to school after exhibiting signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Symptomatic individuals may return to school when at least one of the Options below is met.

OPTION A

  • Individual isolates until they receive a COVID-19 test; and,

  • Documented negative COVID-19 test result**; and,

  • Symptoms improving, including no fever, without the use of fever or pain-reducing medication for 24 hours.

** Symptomatic individuals may receive any type of COVID-19 viral test, molecular test (e.g. PCR), provider-based antigen test, or at-home test. If using at-home tests, two negative at-home tests taken at least 24 hours apart are required to return to school.

OPTION B

  • Individual isolates until they receive a COVID-19 test; and,

  • Documented positive COVID-19 test results; and,

  • It has been at least five days since symptom onset, or five days since the date of the test if asymptomatic; and,

  • Symptoms improving, including no fever, without the use of fever or pain-reducing medication for 24 hours.

Per NYS DOH regulation, if the individual begins isolation while asymptomatic and develops symptoms before the end of day five, the five-day isolation period starts over at the onset of symptoms.

OPTION C

  • Individual isolates until they are evaluated by a healthcare provider or produce documentation; and,

  • Documented diagnosis by a healthcare provider of a known chronic condition with unchanged symptoms (e.g. chronic headaches, seasonal allergies) or a confirmed acute illness (e.g. laboratory-confirmed influenza, strep-throat); and,

  • Symptoms have improved or resolved according to the usual guidelines for that diagnosis.

OPTION D

  • If a COVID-19 diagnostic test is recommended but not done, and there is no alternate diagnosis, the individual must remain home for at least five days since symptom onset; and,

  • Symptoms have improved, including no fever, without the use of fever or pain-reducing medication for 24 hours.

What type of test is required to return to school following symptoms?

Symptomatic individuals may receive any type of COVID-19 viral test, molecular test (such as a PCR), provider-based antigen test, or at-home test. If using at-home tests, two negative at-home tests taken at least 24 hours apart are required to return to school.

Can I send my child to school if they are experiencing seasonal allergies?

Yes, as long as your child's medical record on Magnus Health notes that they experience seasonal allergies, this will be considered an exacerbation of a previously diagnosed medical condition and will not result in your child being sent home.

Which symptoms will result in my child being sent home from school?

Your child will be sent home, regardless of vaccination status or medical history if they are exhibiting:

  1. Fever or chills;

  2. A new or worsening cough with unknown etiology;

  3. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;

  4. New loss of taste or smell;

  5. Vomiting.

  6. OR any two of the following symptoms:

    1. Fatigue

    2. Muscle or body aches;

    3. Headache;

    4. Sore throat;

    5. Congestion or runny nose;

    6. Nausea;

    7. Diarrhea;

    8. As indicated following the Nurse's assessment.

Will my child be sent home if they have a headache?

No, your child will not typically be sent home if their only symptom is a headache. If they are experiencing a headache coupled with a second symptom of COVID-19, then they will be sent home.

Does my child need to wear a mask in the Nurse's Office?

Yes, masks remain required by the NYS Department of Health while in any school-based health center including the Nurse's Offices and Isolation Rooms.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

vaccinations

Does ECFS require vaccination?

Yes, all students, employees, and independent contractors working at ECFS are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Are students under five, in Pre-K, required to be vaccinated?

Yes, all age-eligible students must be fully vaccinated within 60 days of becoming eligible.

What are Bivalent Boosters?

The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters. The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants. Learn more about variants of the COVID-19 virus. Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters.

CDC recommends that people ages 5 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:

  • Their final primary series dose, or

  • An original (monovalent) booster

People who have gotten more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.

Why require COVID-19 vaccination in schools?

Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are at low risk of symptomatic or severe infection, and a growing body of evidence suggests that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others than people who are not fully vaccinated.

What if my child reaches the age of eligibility for vaccination mid-year or over the summer?

Should your child become age-eligible during the academic year, we require that the primary vaccination series be completed within 60 days of becoming eligible.

Will ECFS consider religious or medical exemptions?

ECFS will consider requests for religious and medical exemptions on an individualized, case-by-case basis:

  • ECFS is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive experience and recognizes observance of faith as it pertains to the practice of immunization. Families wishing to seek a religious exemption should complete this form and return it to covid@ecfs.org no later than Friday 8/5.

  • Medical exemptions may also be granted upon receipt of this form, completed and signed by a licensed healthcare provider, outlining the medical condition(s) contraindicating COVID-19 vaccination. Families wishing to seek a medical exemption should complete the form and return it to covid@ecfs.org no later than Friday 8/5.

Do new families need to submit vaccination records of age-eligible children?


Yes, newly enrolled families of age-eligible students should submit a photo of their child’s CDC Vaccination Record Card along with their immunization form no later than Friday 8/5.

Are booster doses required?


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose for children aged 5 and older. While booster doses are not currently required for students or employees, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend booster doses for all individuals aged 5 and older. Parents or guardians should upload an updated copy of their student’s COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to the Magnus Health portal once a booster dose is received.

Does my child need a third dose to complete a primary series?

Children and teens ages 5 through 17 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised will need a third dose to complete their primary series, as well as boosters if eligible. Children and teens with a weakened immune system should get:

  • 1 booster if they are ages 5 through 11 years

  • 2 boosters if they are ages 12 years and older


However, children six months to four years old will require 3-doses if completing a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination.

My child contracted COVID-19 between their first and second dose, what should we do?

Families with children who have recently recovered from COVID-19 may be required to further delay their second dose and should speak directly with their child's primary care provider.

Are all employees fully vaccinated?

Yes, with few exemptions, all faculty, staff, and contractors are now fully vaccinated.

Are all students fully vaccinated?

Yes, with few exemptions, all students in Kindergarten to 12th Grade are now fully vaccinated.

When is my child considered "fully vaccinated"?

A person is considered fully vaccinated with vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection ≥2 weeks after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or ≥2 weeks after receipt of a single dose of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

What happens if my child experiences side effects following vaccination?

Vaccinated individuals may experience side effects following their COVID-19 vaccination including pain and swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. The CDC offers additional resources about what to expect after getting the vaccine here.

The New York City Department of Health has issued additional guidance regarding the return to school for individuals who are experiencing post-vaccine side effects. Individuals with symptom onset occurring more than three days following vaccination must follow our standard return-to-school procedures outlined above.

For individuals with symptom onset less than three days after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • If symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, students must follow our standard return-to-school procedure which may include testing or a physician’s note.

  • If the only symptoms are fatigue, headache, chills, or muscle or joint pain, students may return to school without a negative COVID-19 test if symptoms resolve within two days. If symptoms persist beyond this timeframe, students must follow our normal return-to-school procedure.

How do I submit my child's vaccination record?

On the computer:

  1. Log into your Magnus Health account.

  2. Go to the Student Health Tracker.

  3. Next to the Immunization Form, click “Edit”.

  4. It will ask you if you would like to add an additional page or form. Click “Yes, continue”.

  5. It will ask you if you have already obtained and completed the form. Click “Yes, submit”.

  6. Click “Upload” to add a copy of your student’s COVID Vaccination Record Card.


On the mobile application:

  1. Log into the Magnus Mobile V2 app and click "Student Health Tracker".

  2. Click "Immunization Form".

  3. Select “Add Files” then hit "continue".

  4. Click “Add File” to add a copy of your student’s COVID Vaccination Record Card. Select the file you just uploaded and then hit “Submit.”

Excelsior Pass indicates that my vaccination has expired.

Please delete the pass then re-load your information. The expiration date should then be extended to the proper timeframe.

Who do I talk to about a bill I received from the on-campus vaccination clinic?

Please contact Assistant Director of Campus Services, Soraya Falipou Karkari at sfalipou-karkari@ecfs.org.

contact tracing

What does the School do when they learn that an unvaccinated individual may have been exposed to COVID-19?

The School takes the necessary steps to identify those unvaccinated individuals in the affected class, activity, or bus route. When an unvaccinated child has potential exposure, the School notifies parents/guardians individually to participate in our "Test to Stay" program.

What does the School do when they learn that a vaccinated individual may have been exposed to COVID-19?

While the COVID-19 Response Team will continue our tracing exercises to compile data and monitor trends, identify potential sources of transmission, and quarantine individuals who are not fully vaccinated, we do not notify families of fully vaccinated students of potential exposure. The CDC now recommends case investigation and contact tracing only in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings. Students and employees should continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 each day and participate in our on-campus screening testing.

How does the School determine if my unvaccinated child was exposed?

Once the School is notified of a positive in-school or external COVID-19 test, we immediately begin our contact tracing process. Our process takes information from PowerSchool (student/faculty schedules), bus routes, before-school and after-school programming (including athletics), interviews, visitor access logs, and other on-campus activities. Once we have gathered this information, we apply the criteria used by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOH) to direct quarantine or commence "test to stay" for the affected unvaccinated members of our community who may have been exposed.

Close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual five-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). In the K–12 indoor classroom setting or a structured outdoor setting where mask use can be observed (i.e., holding class outdoors with educator supervision), the close contact definition excludes students who were within three to six feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting. Other people may be considered close contacts in certain situations, such as when physical distancing cannot be consistently monitored or maintained (such as on the school bus, younger children who are unable to remain apart, and during sports or recreational activities).

MASKING & distancing

What is the mask policy at ECFS?

ECFS has moved to a mask-optional policy effective 3/9/22.

What is the plan for physical distancing this year?

Physical distancing has been eliminated for the 2022 - 2023 school year.

At what times do individuals still need to wear a mask?

Students and employees who return to school following a 5-day COVID-19 isolation are still required to wear masks indoors through day 10. Masks also remain required while entering one of our divisional Nurse’s Offices or Isolation Rooms. Masks will remain near the entrances to these spaces to provide easy access.

How does the caseload impact masking decisions?

Shifts in mask mitigation strategy will be based on student and employee absentee rates, trending number of students or employees sent home due to potential illness, the number of students or employees exhibiting symptoms, student and employee positivity rates, and the rate and types of transmission.

Are masks still required on the school bus?

No, masks are no longer required on the school bus.

Are masks still required at indoor evening events, concerts, or competitions?

No, masks are no longer required at indoor evening events, concerts, or athletic competitions.

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

closures

What will trigger a full or partial closure of the School?

The following would trigger a full or partial closure of ECFS:

  • As ordered by federal, state, or local regulations;

  • As recommended, following a consultation with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene;

  • Isolation of a number of dining services employees whose absence would preclude the School from providing dining services;

  • Isolation of a number of bus drivers whose absence would preclude the School from providing transportation services;

  • Isolation of a number of employees whose absence would preclude the School from providing adequate supervision or instruction;

  • Isolation of a number of nurses whose absence would preclude the School from providing medical supervision;

  • 20% of students/employees under isolation at the Upper School would constitute an automatic closure of that division. The closure of the Upper School may trigger the closure of the Middle School should conditions necessitate;

  • 20% of students/employees under isolation at the Middle School would constitute an automatic closure of that division. The closure of the Middle School may trigger the closure of the Upper School should conditions necessitate;

  • 20% of students/employees under isolation at Ethical Culture or Fieldston Lower would constitute an automatic closure of that division.

The School reserves the right to close campuses or divisions for in-person learning should it be deemed prudent based on a number of variables within our school community, city, and state.

Will ECFS close its campuses if New York City public schools close due to increasing COVID-19 positivity rates?

The School will not make decisions in lockstep with the New York City Department of Education.

What will cause the School to transition to the fully remote learning option?

Unless a full closure is warranted to protect the health and safety of our community, the School will endeavor to decrease the scale or scope of in-person education prior to initiating a full transition to remote learning. These reductions will help to eliminate the number of students on campus and time students may spend on campus and include the temporary suspension of in-person athletics, after-school or before-school programs, and courses.

dining services

How will lunch be provided this year?

Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated which allows for the reopening of the Ethical Culture and Fieldston Lower cafeteria and the discontinuation of the myMealOrder program. The Middle/Upper School Dining Hall will also return to full seating capacity.

All utensils and flatware will return to reusable products.

If families are concerned, can students bring outside food for lunch?

In order to maintain an environment where allergens are controlled, students at Ethical Culture and Fieldston Lower are not permitted to bring outside food to campus without a note from their child's primary care physician. Middle School and Upper School students are permitted to bring nut-free snacks with them to campus. Please see our divisional Student & Family Handbooks for more information about snacks.

high-risk communiTY MEMBERS

How will you protect those who are at high risk in our community?

According to the CDC, some members of our community need to take extra precautions in order to protect themselves. Additional information about populations at higher risk for severe illness can be found here. Reasonable accommodations are made for those members of our community who cannot engage in school activities, whether those are academic, co-curricular, or related to other programming. Families should speak to their child’s divisional principal; employees should speak with Human Resources.

screening testing

What is the plan for screening testing this year?

We have discontinued the on-campus COVID-19 screening testing program, though we may reinstate this mitigation strategy if needed in the future.

Do unvaccinated individuals still need to be tested weekly as previously required by the NYC DOH?

No, this order has been suspended and is no longer in effect.

transportation

Are face masks required on the school bus?

Face coverings are no longer required on the school bus in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Will vaccinated students be able to take different Selby routes home for after-school activities?

There are no longer any COVID-19 restrictions related to this activity. Please refer to your divisional Transportation Coordinator for additional information.

Are students permitted to eat/drink on the school bus?

No eating or drinking is permitted on the school bus.

What additional safety measures are in place on the school bus?

Windows and roof hatches will be opened to increase ventilation when temperatures are above 45oF. School buses will also be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning of the day, end of the day, and between each route that utilizes the bus.

Are employees permitted to ride the school bus?

Employees are permitted to ride morning or afternoon buses when the bus company has confirmed that there is the capacity for them to do so.

Can students purchase "one-way" bus tickets at FM/FS if they do not have a Selby contract?

Middle and Upper School students without a Selby bus contract may purchase “one-way” tickets from the Middle School or Upper School office for afternoon service. For additional information on “one way” tickets, please contact your divisional transportation coordinators.

Where can I find health and safety information for NYC Department of Education Buses?

NYC Department of Education (DOE) Bus Protocols may be found here.

tRAVEL & rETURN FROM rECESS

Will the school require gateway/reentry testing in 2022 - 2023?

No, there will be no return-from-recess testing requirements in 2022 - 2023.

Can we travel over weekends or holidays?

The School expects families to comply with any New York State or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel directives.

What are the requirements for returning to New York following domestic travel?

There are generally no quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for domestic travelers.

What are the requirements for returning to New York following international travel?

New York State and CDC recommend delaying international travel until the traveler is fully vaccinated. Currently, the NYS DOH does not require quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for international travelers. If traveling internationally, check with your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers. Follow all entry requirements for your destination and provide any required or requested health information.

ventilation

How is the School approaching ventilation?

For buildings with central air conditioning systems, the School’s certified HVAC contractor has installed the highest-rated MERV filters that meet the current New York State requirements. For rooms with window air conditioners and split unit (ductless) air conditioners, the School’s certified HVAC contractor has installed the highest appropriate filters based on unit specifications. To date, the CDC guidance has recommended increasing outdoor air to rooms like this by opening doors and windows. Ventilation will be increased with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible.

The School will schedule HVAC filter changes based on manufacturer guidelines and in consultation with our certified HVAC contractor. The School will make replacements with the highest rated MERV filter that can be accepted by the unit. Staff will be equipped with proper PPE when working with HVAC filters.


In classrooms that don't have access to HVAC ventilation, the School will provide air purifiers which have HEPA 13 air filters. These filters are commonly used in a biomedical capacity and are tested to remove 99.9% of particles down to 0.1 microns.


Where possible during peak use times, doors will be latched in an open position to minimize necessary contact.


Additionally, the School will ensure that:

  • all systems are working properly and are code compliant;

  • diffusers, exhausts, and unit vents are not blocked or obstructed by cabinets, books or other materials;

  • routine maintenance and inspection schedules are strictly adhered to;

  • bathroom exhaust systems are running 24/7;

  • systems are running longer on days in which school is in session;

  • building air is flushed at least two hours prior to and one hour after occupancy;

  • window and/or box fans are used to cross ventilate rooms to exhaust stale room air in the absence of mechanical ventilation;

  • window based air conditioning units are set to the outdoor air setting rather than the recirculate setting;

  • devices are sized appropriately with the correct clean air delivery rate (CADR);

  • units that feature ionizers, precipitators, or ozone generators are not utilized;

  • units can deliver at least two air turnovers per hour for typical school classroom sizes; and,

  • units are CARB and Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) certified;

visitor access

Are parents, guardians, caregivers, and visitors allowed on campus?

In general, our visitor access restrictions due to COVID-19 have been lifted. Please contact your divisional main office for division-specific access information.

To facilitate the safest environment for our students and employees, all visitors must be fully vaccinated or have received a recent negative COVID-19 test result in the past 72 hours prior to entering any building. In general and whenever possible, meetings should be held using video or teleconferencing to reduce the density of congregations.

What should guests expect when attending an event on campus?

To facilitate the safest environment for our students and employees, all visitors must be fully vaccinated or have received a recent negative COVID-19 test result in the past 72 hours prior to entering any building. While all guests should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received a recent negative test for COVID-19, we will no longer be checking these requirements upon entry unless otherwise specified in the event invite.

Guests are not required to wear masks while indoors or outdoors unless 1) it is specifically required on the event invite, 2) the guest is entering a health office, or 3) the guest has recently exited a 5-day isolation but has not yet reached day 10. Guests are strongly encouraged to wear a face-covering if they have been recently exposed to COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

Guests should continue to practice healthy hygiene/respiratory practices during the course of their attendance. Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 should remain home and not attend the event.

General approach

What is the school's general approach to COVID-19 this year?

Our approach to COVID-19 mitigation and response during the 2022 - 2023 school year is designed to align our operations with the most recent recommendations and guidance on how to prioritize safe, in-person learning while ensuring minimal disruption to our academic and cocurricular programming.

These strategies reflect an increased focus on individuals making their own decisions about their level of risk and how they want to mitigate that risk while continuing to adhere to the school's core strategies of requiring vaccination, staying home when sick, strong ventilation and cleaning controls, and promoting hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

Which guidelines are current this year?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH)

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)