Health and Safety
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures for Our Return to Campus
A Shared Responsibility
Families and staff play a vital role in helping the school maintain safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a child home if they are sick or for staff to stay home if they are sick. We want to work with families and staff to support our student and staff’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all do our part to adhere to state health recommendations and regulations to control disease transmission and potential future outbreaks.
Moreover, there may be times when we will ask families/staff to comply with broader safety measures and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard. Diener will incorporate enhanced COVID-19 safety measures for our return to campus that align with CDC as well as State and local guidelines, outlined below and subject to change.
Diener administrators are responsible for overseeing all staff and students and their adherence to all COVID-19 related procedures and policies. Matt Murphy and Kathy Chumas are responsible for overseeing parent adherence to all COVID-19 related procedures and policies.
Failure to comply with any COVID-19 related procedure and/or policy will be subject to appropriate consequences as outlined in the Staff and Parent Acknowledgment.
The best defense against the virus is vaccination. Vaccination provides the least interruption to school life and reduces the risk of transmission throughout our community. We will be requiring all students and staff to provide us their vaccination status and proof of vaccination, if applicable.
We will be asking parents and visitors to share their vaccination status if they choose, however, we cannot require this information.
We urge, as strongly as we can, that all eligible individuals get vaccinated.
We have carefully examined our physical spaces and how we organize and run the school. Best practices such as limiting transitions and ensuring good hygiene at all times are paramount for optimal safety and will be enforced here at Diener. When the weather permits, we plan to utilize outdoor space as much as possible throughout the day. When students are indoors, windows/doors may be kept open to provide additional ventilation.
The CDC’s guidance on mask wearing unveiled a community level tool which takes into account vaccination rates, hospitalizations, and case numbers per county. It provides a ranking of low, medium, or high. Universal masking is now only recommended when community levels are high, however, there may be times when Diener will require universal mask wearing on campus. You can check the status any time here.
The Diener School has implemented a mask optional policy. While we do not require masks to be worn, we encourage and support individuals who choose to wear a mask. We ask that all families keep a supply of masks in their child’s backpack in case one is needed due to illness, exposure, etc. ** If families continue to want their child to wear a mask at all times, please have them email their lead teacher and firstname.lastname@example.org to make this request **
Please note that in times of an outbreak or increased transmission, the use of masks may be required by the local health department regardless of the Covid-19 community level.
The CDC recommends for each person to clean their hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Diener will reinforce proper handwashing during the school day as well as proper techniques to cover coughs and sneezing. Diener staff and students will be required to wash their hands before/after eating, coughing, sneezing, recess, etc.
All Diener classrooms have a sink and soap dispenser for hand washing. In addition, there are 1-2 sinks in each bathroom that staff/students can use. When soap and water is not accessible, students and staff will be required to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Diener has a large supply of hand sanitizer (gel, spray, wipes) on hand for students’ use and will be replenished when necessary.
Diener has a large supply of disinfecting wipes and spray that can be used on all surfaces. In addition, we have purchased 2 UV Disinfectant Light wands to use on smaller surfaces. All high touch surface areas (bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches, hand railings) will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day by custodial staff. Teachers will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces in their classrooms throughout the day. Sprayers will be used to disinfect any outdoor surfaces that need it after each use.
In addition to the daily screening, Diener has updated the health policy to adhere to the CDC and state recommendations that include the following:
- Any student that needs medication/emergency medication/medical attention for anything other than COVID-19 symptoms/first aid will be brought to a private area in the classroom or front office to be given aid by a certified medication technician.
- Diener has Thermal Scanners, Temporal Lobe and Ear Thermometers for fever detection to be used (if needed) during the school day.
- The health rooms for students experiencing any symptoms will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use. This room is directly beside an exit door where parents will come to pick up.
Families and Staff are required to report:
- A positive case of COVID-19 in the household
- Exposure to COVID-19
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Upgrades to our HVAC system to include MERV-13 air filters have been installed for improved circulation.
- Air purifiers have been placed in all classrooms and isolated health rooms.
- Visitors will be required to complete a COVID-19 Screening before entering the building.
- Workroom/Break Area supplies and equipment will be cleaned and sanitized as necessary.
- All water fountains in the building will be taped off and not used. Students and staff will be using individual water bottles throughout the day.
- Hallway traffic will be limited and monitored.
- Bathroom(s) traffic and use will be limited to two people at a time (middle stall closed for students) and monitored and overseen by faculty and staff.
- Lunch and snack will be eaten in the student’s homeroom at student’s desk or outdoors (when feasible). Students will have access to microwave but only homeroom teachers(s) may operate the microwave.
Proper signage will be placed in all areas of the Diener School facility, including but not limited to hallways, classrooms, offices, bathrooms, etc. Signage will include:
- Proper handwashing technique
- Practicing good hygiene (wash your hands, wear a face cover, cover coughs/sneezes, social distancing)
- COVID-19 related tips for the protection of spreading germs
Please be sure to keep your phone with you at all times and check your email regularly.
- Matt Murphy and/or Kathy Chumas will communicate with the community about current local conditions and school protocols and policies as needed.
- Phone calls will be made regarding the health of individual students. Email will be used for all other communications, including emergency alerts.
- Anyone (student or staff) who has had direct contact with a known confirmed case of COVID-19 will be alerted immediately.
- School-wide community Covid-19 updates will be included in The Diener School’s weekly Diener Digest email.
**See Response to a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 or COVID-19 Like Illness at School for more detailed info.
All students will participate in field trips throughout the year with their cohort. All health and safety measures will be taken on field trips, including the bus.
Student will be dropped off and picked up outside of the building, in a carpool line around the main entrance circle. Each classroom on the first floor has a direct door to the outside and students in these classrooms will only use their designated classroom door. All students whose classroom is on the second floor will be entering/exiting through two designated doors.
If a student is going to be dropped off late or picked up early, the parent/guardian/caregiver must escort their child to the main/front entrance and sign them in/out.
Refer to CDC Travel Guidelines for both International and Domestic travel.
Surveillance testing will not take place to start the school year, however, may be put into effect at any time if necessary. If surveillance testing is implemented, participation from all students and staff will be required, no matter the individual’s vaccination status.
The Diener School has recently received a CLIA license which allows trained staff members to administer antigen tests to students as needed. More information to come as it becomes available.
Quarantine will be required when an individual who is not up to date with their vaccinations have exposure to Covid-19. The Diener School has implemented two options for Quarantine:
Option 1 - Test to Stay allow individuals who are not up to date on COVID 19 vaccines and who are close contacts of individuals with COVID 19 to remain in school and not have to quarantine at home. This program can be used for in school exposure in addition to out of school exposure.
Test to Stay Guidelines to remain in school, individual must:
- Complete an at home / rapid antigen test Day 1 and Day 5 after exposure. This test should be administered at home prior to arrival at school. These results should be emailed to Matt Murphy (email@example.com) each morning, prior to arriving on campus.
- If Day 5 of testing falls on a weekend or school holiday, there should be a rapid test completed on the morning of the next school day.
- Wear a mask at all times for 10 days from the last day of exposure (exception is eating & drinking at least 6ft from the group).
- Monitor for symptoms for 10 days from date of exposure.
To be released from “test to stay”, a negative rapid test on Day 1 and Day 5 must be presented.
If at any time during the “test to stay”, the close contact individual tests positive for COVID 19, that individual will need to isolate at home for 5 days after onset of symptoms (if no symptoms, from the date of positive test). In addition, if the close contact individual develops symptoms during the “test to stay” program, the individual will be required to quarantine at home and may return to school when the individual presents a negative Covid-19 test AND symptoms have resolved AND has been fever free for 24 hrs. without the use of medication
Option 2 - Quarantine at Home for 5 days and return on day 6 IF
- Individual does not develop symptoms
- Individual must present a negative Covid-19 test on day 5 to Matthew Murphy at Matthew@thedienerschool.org
- Individual must wear a mask at all times, except while eating/drinking Days 6-10
Isolation will be required when an individual tests positive for Covid-19. Isolation protocol:
- Isolate at home for at least 5 days from the start of symptoms or from the date of the positive test if no symptoms (Day 1 begins the day AFTER start of symptoms or date of positive test)
- Return on Day 6 IF symptoms have improved and fever free for 4 hours without the use of medication
- Wear a mask Day(s) 6-10 at all times other than eating/drinking
The Diener School will only be offering on-campus instruction. A virtual mode of instruction will not be offered at any time during the school year.
Diener's Dedicated COVID-19 Contact
In the event a student, staff member, or student/staff household member has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or related symptoms or has been told to quarantine/isolate by a medical professional OR to report upcoming travel, please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 299-4602