COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus. Chesapeake Montessori School promotes health practices of handwashing, sanitizing, social distancing, and mask wearing, but none of these completely eliminate risk of infection. The younger the children, the more challenging it is to keep them separated. We cannot guarantee that your child will not be exposed to or become ill with COVID-19, despite our best efforts. We need to work as a school community to help people stay healthy. The following protocol are in place and will continue to be for the foreseeable future:
- Sick children may not come to school or before/aftercare.
- If anyone in the household is experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, please keep your child home until the sickness is resolved.
- If your child has seasonal allergies, please be sure to inform your child’s teacher of the allergies and symptoms before your child starts school.
Close Contact (AKA Exposure) and Quarantining
- Your child may not attend school if anyone in the household has had close contact with (exposure to) someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- If a household member had close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the child must quarantine at home for:
- 10 days without a test from the household member
- 7 days if a negative test result is received from the household member (test must occur on day 5 or later)
- If your child has had close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the child may return on:
- Day 14 if they are in the infant or toddler classroom (these children do NOT wear masks at school)
- Day 10 without a test if they are in Children’s House or elementary classrooms (these children DO wear masks at school)
- 7 days if a negative test result is received (test must occur on day 5 or later)
- Per guidance from the CDC, after stopping quarantine:
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after close contact (exposure).
- If symptoms present, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
- Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Positive Case in the Household
- Parents must report a positive COVID-19 diagnosis of an enrolled student or family member to CMS.
- Children in families with a positive case in the household may return to school:
- 14 days after the last day of close contact (exposure) to the sick family member (in other words, 14 days from when the sick family member began their isolation)
- If the child does not develop symptoms at first but some do develop during the 14-day quarantine, the child can return to school:
- after 10 days of home isolation from the day the symptoms began, AND
- be symptom free 48 hours before returning.
- Parents, Faculty and Staff will be notified, through email and possibly phone calls, in the event we have a positive case of COVID-19 in school. CMS will follow recommendations from the Virginia Health Department. This might mean closing certain classrooms or the entire school for a two-week period (or longer).
- Please refer to the following link for CDC guidelines for travel: Travel During COVID-19 | CDC
- Those families considering travel will:
- read and are encouraged to adhere to the CDC guidelines for travel.
- acknowledge that teachers will not prepare work ahead of time for their child(ren), and that their
- children will need to make up missed work upon their return to school. Work prepared ahead of time is reserved for those students who are quarantining due to positive case or exposure to COVID-19, per CMS COVID-19 protocol.
Each morning upon arrival, families will be asked:
- “Have you or anyone in your family been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours?”
- “Have you given your child any medication to reduce or suppress fever this morning?”
- “Are you or your child experiencing any signs/symptoms of COVID-19?”
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” the child will not be allowed to attend school that day.
Children ages 3 and older must exit their car, wearing a mask and will keep the mask in place until they are settled at their workspace in their classroom.
- Children ages 3 and older must come to school with a clean/new mask every day.
- Please send your child with a clean/new back-up mask if their primary mask becomes dirty/soiled/etc.
- In the event your child’s mask becomes soiled or unusable, CMS has disposable child masks on hand.
- If your child comes to school without a mask or needs a new mask, we will provide a disposable mask (with name and date).
- Adults may not enter the building unless they are escorting an infant or toddler.
- All persons entering must wear a mask, including children, faculty and staff.
Good Hygiene Practices and Sanitizing Protocol
- ALL children must arrive to school with clean bodies and clean clothes daily.
- Children are expected to wash their hands upon entering the classroom, before and after eating and using the bathroom.
- Children will be asked to wash their hands at other times during the day or if they touch their mouth or nose.
- Depending on the age to the child, the teacher might supervise the children’s use of hand sanitizer.
- Please do not send hand sanitizer in your child’s school bag. The Department of Social Services does not allow it unless under the guidance of an adult.
- All classrooms are sanitized a minimum of twice daily. This includes all furniture, shelving and materials.
- Plexiglass dividers are in place for larger classroom tables. Children will still be able to talk, see each other and enjoy each other’s company, while we meet the mandatory criteria for school operation.
- CMS acknowledges that social distancing is difficult and unnatural for young children.
- CMS approaches COVID-19 mitigation from a holistic view, to include social/emotional as well as physical wellbeing of the children.
For more detail on our health plan to mitigate COVID-19, please refer to the CMS Health Plan.