August 23, 2021

Dear Friends,
 
As promised, I write today with our decisions regarding COVID mitigation policies and procedures for students, faculty, and staff. These decisions are a result of an examination of and discussion around the recent CDC, AAP, and NYSED guidance along with consultation with our own medical advisors. While we are returning to our normal class schedule and length of day, with all classes in-person, we recognize the need to layer in several health and safety measures to ensure our students and staff remain safe. 

Knowing that things can always change and the situation remains fluid, below you will find our current guidance to begin the school year. Please review each section carefully. Our nursing staff, led by Alicia Christian, will run point on the implementation of these steps. If you have questions, the nursing team can be reached at nurses@collegiateschool.org

Negative Test Result to Return

  • Students, Faculty, and Staff need a negative test result to return to school regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Students must obtain and submit a negative laboratory PCR test result to nurses via Magnus Health. The test date must be within 4 days before returning to school (dates as follows).
    • For all students attending Middle School orientation along with Grades 9, 10, and 12: Test dated no earlier than Saturday, September 4.
    • For Grades 6, 7, 8, and 11: Test dated no earlier than Sunday, September 5.
    • For Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4: Test dated no earlier than Monday, September 6.
    • For Kindergarten: Test dated no earlier than Thursday, September 9.

Masking

  • Collegiate will follow recommendations and require that all faculty, staff, and students, vaccinated and unvaccinated, remain fully masked while indoors or on school transportation. This will help limit the spread of COVID-19, and based on new exposure guidelines, it will minimize absences from school as isolation or quarantine is no longer required in the school setting if close contacts have been wearing a mask. 
  • As a reminder, masks should be well-fitted, covering both the nose and mouth and go under the chin. 

Weekly Testing

  • To begin the year, we will follow the same weekly pool testing protocol as last year for all faculty, staff, and students regardless of vaccination status. This will include a weekly at-home nose swab PCR test, with the sample turned in at School. Testing will begin the week of September 13 and testing kits will be distributed in the first days of School.  We will reevaluate our testing needs as the fall continues.

Daily Health Check and Sick Policy

  • All individuals on arrival will need to present a completed daily health assessment (“Green Go”) on the Magnus Health App. To see a tutorial on how to complete this daily health check, please click here. The “Green Go” will need to be shown on a mobile device (cell phone of a student or parent or an iPad) prior to entry into the building.
  • If preferred, the daily health check can be completed using a paper form at the entry to the building or at home. Updated forms will be available the week of August 30.  
  • Please monitor your child’s health regularly and keep them home if they have any symptoms that may be covid related. Your child will require a negative test to return to school. 

Distancing

  • The school will follow 3’ distancing as recommended. Classroom sizes allow for this distancing and in many instances, we have been able to distance at over 4’. In most cases, our students will be at single desks. 

Food Service

  • A full lunch will be served. At this time, the salad bar will be served by our staff. Lunch must be eaten in designated spaces. In order to allow a normal class schedule and accommodate 3’ distancing, grades K-3 will eat in the Library and grades 4-12 will eat in the cafeteria. All unvaccinated students will be in assigned seats for lunch.
  • Breakfast will be available for Upper School students, faculty, and staff only. Breakfast must be eaten in the cafeteria. 
  • Snacks for Lower and Middle School students will be provided in classrooms.

Contact Tracing/Quarantine

  • The School will follow all recommended CDC guidelines on contact tracing and quarantining.
  • Properly masked students in a school setting are not considered close contacts and do not need to quarantine. 
  • Should a student or faculty member be exposed to a positive individual, notification will be provided. While quarantine may not be required, individuals will need to monitor for symptoms and may need to submit a negative test. Further guidance will be provided by the Nursing team in the event of a positive case.

Remote Learning

  • We expect all students to attend school in-person; a remote learning option is not being offered.
  • The school will determine if a child can zoom-in temporarily due to COVID isolation requirements. 
  • If your child is sick with an illness unrelated to COVID-19, he should follow standard sick day protocols, alerting the divisional office and taking the day(s) to rest, returning to school upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 test, and when he is feeling better. 

Entry/Dismissal

  • Upper School and Lower School students will enter the building from the main entrance at 301 Freedom Place South. Middle School will use alternative side entrances. Please see this map for detailed information regarding entry. 
  • For dismissal, Upper School and Middle School students will exit through the main entrance. K-2 students will be dismissed from the main courtyard, while grade 3 and 4 will be dismissed from the courtyard on 61st Street. 

Athletics

  • All fall Middle School and Upper School sports will be offered. 
  • Masks will be required for all physical education activities and transportation. 

Music and Drama

  • Singing in music classes and choral offerings will resume.
  • Drama performances will also resume their normal offering.

Visitors and Access to the Building

  • At this point in time, we will not allow parents, guardians, or visitors into the building and all community events will be held via Zoom.

Travel Guidelines

  • The School will follow CDC guidance on travel restrictions and will encourage all unvaccinated individuals to quarantine and/or test following domestic or international travel. 

Ventilation

  • Collegiate’s HVAC system is state of the art and helped to ensure our safe return to the building last fall. At that time, the facilities staff worked with the original design engineers and made the following changes: from a MERV 12 to a MERV 14 - 2” pleated HEPA filter in all units as a pre-filter with a secondary 12” HEPA main filter. Regarding outdoor air (OA), the building has several DOA (Dedicated Outdoor Air) units that have been reprogrammed to run at 100% OA. 

Cleaning Measures

  • We will continue our focus on ensuring building cleanliness with high-touch areas and supplies being cleaned nightly.
  • Students will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entry to the building and everyone will be encouraged to wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. 
  • Only the water bottle filling station option at the water fountains will be in use and students should carry reusable water bottles. 

While I look forward to these final days of summer, I also cannot wait to welcome everyone back to 301 Freedom Place South in the coming weeks. Thank you for your continued support and work to ensure the health and safety of our community. 

Many thanks, 
 

David Lourie