COVID-19 Policies 2021-2022
- COVID-19 Vaccination
- Face Coverings
- Physical Distancing
- Hand Hygiene
- Surveillance COVID-19 Testing
- Entry Gatekeeping
- Response to COVID-19 Scenarios
- Lunch and Snacks
- Visitors and Outside Vendors
- School Nursing/Health Services
- Cleaning and Disinfection
- Campus Boundaries
- Changes to Policies
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Pike School is implementing the following policies for the 2021-2022 school year. Given the unusual circumstances, there may be inconsistencies between these COVID-19 Policies and the policies in the school’s existing handbook. To the extent that there are inconsistencies (e.g., the procedures for Illness, Pick-Up and Drop-Off), community members should adhere to these COVID-19 Policies throughout the duration of the 2021-2022 school year.
Due to the frequently changing nature of this pandemic and relevant public health guidance, these policies are not expected to remain static throughout the year, and any or all of these policies are subject to change or amendment at any time during the school year. The Head of School also may close or re-open the campus, quarantine or reopen portions of the campus, or take any other action in the interest of community health or safety notwithstanding any contrary policies herein. The school will communicate any material changes to these policies with the community. It is important for community members to appreciate that there are no strategies that can eliminate the transmission risk of COVID entirely. These policies are designed to help keep the risk of transmission as low as possible, while keeping students as engaged in the learning process while physically together in school as much as possible.
All Pike community members who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. In order to determine surveillance testing requirements and quarantine and testing protocols in case of exposure, those who have been vaccinated are required to submit documentation via Magnus. Acceptable COVID-19 vaccination documentation includes a copy of an immunization record or a copy of the CDC COVID-19 vaccination card.
All persons are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth while indoors on campus and whenever on school provided transportation (to and from school, athletic competitions, field trips, etc.). Face coverings are not required outdoors. Face coverings must be secured with ear loops or ties. No gaiters or masks with exhalation valves are permitted. Persons for whom it is not possible to wear a mask or face covering due to medical conditions, disability impact, or other health or safety factors must request an exception. Any person who wishes to utilize the foregoing exception from wearing a face covering must provide medical evidence of the same and should contact Stacey Aufiero at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents or guardians are responsible for providing students with face coverings or masks that meet the CDC recommendations. Faculty, staff, and all other persons are responsible for providing their own face coverings or masks. Pike will provide backup disposable masks for students and other persons occupying the building who forget their covering or mask, or whose covering or mask fails or is unusable during the day.
The aim is for persons to maintain a physical distance of three feet indoors when feasible. Seating will be assigned in each classroom and indoor eating spaces. The school expects to implement a sensible circulation pattern within the school to assist with the goal of physical distancing during times of travel throughout the building. Bathroom breaks may be spaced out, at the discretion of school faculty, to avoid an overwhelming density of student usage. Classes may be held outside where feasible on weather-appropriate days, at the discretion of the school.
When handwashing, individuals should use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly, and dry with an individual disposable towel.
If handwashing is not feasible for a given activity as determined by the school, hand sanitizer with at least 60 alcohol content will be provided. Hand sanitizer must be applied to all surfaces of the hands and in sufficient quantity that it takes 20 seconds of rubbing hands together for the sanitizer to dry. Faculty and staff expect to teach students under the age of six how to use, and supervise students while using, hand sanitizer to ensure appropriate usage.
The school expects to provide reasonable hygiene infrastructure to support the following hand hygiene.
Pike is participating in the Massachusetts statewide COVID-19 testing program for the 2021-2022 school year. Consent to participate in testing at Pike must be signed in Magnus.
Pike will require COVID-19 testing for screening purposes for all students, faculty and staff regardless of vaccination status prior to the first day of school on September 8, 2021. Pike will organize pooled testing on September 2, 2021 for all community members. Individuals can also obtain their own PCR test from September 2, 2021-September 7, 2021 and must submit proof of a negative test result prior to entry to school on September 8, 2021.
Pike will again require surveillance testing for all students, faculty and staff regardless of vaccination status during the first week of school (September 8, 2021) that will occur on campus via pooled testing.
Following the initial first two weeks of testing, unvaccinated students, staff and faculty will be required to test weekly via pooled testing. If an unvaccinated student, staff or faculty member is not present for the weekly pooled test, they must obtain an individual PCR test and provide the negative result prior to entrance into school the following Monday. Fully vaccinated students, staff and faculty may participate in weekly surveillance pooled testing if they choose.
Protocol for routine COVID pooled testing:
- If the group pooled testing is negative: all individuals within that group are presumed negative
- If the group pooled testing is positive:
- All individuals within that group will be retested individually by rapid antigen (e.g. BinaxNOW) or PCR test.
- Asymptomatic members of the group will remain in school until and unless an individual is identified as positive.
All persons entering the building are required to:
- Complete and pass a symptom and contact screening and
- Be properly wearing a face covering
Each person seeking entry into the building must pass the foregoing screening requirements. If any person does not pass the above screening requirement, then the individual shall stay home and/or Pike may refuse that person entrance to the school. Parents or guardians should complete all screening requirements on behalf of their children via the MEDBOT app each morning prior to coming to school.
If your child answers yes to any of the following questions, please do not send your child to school and contact the School Nurse, Sara Stevens (email@example.com or 978-475-1197 ext 6607) for further guidance:
- Within the past 24 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms: a fever 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, chills or shaking chills, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, cough (unrelated to chronic cough), new loss of taste or smell, muscle or body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
- Within the past 24 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms in combination with another symptom: headache, fatigue, sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to allergies)?
- Does anyone in your household have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, a pending COVID test for symptoms or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis?
- Do you have a positive COVID-19 test result (or a positive clinical diagnosis of COVID-19)?
- Have you had close contact with any other person known to be positive for, or clinically diagnosed with COVID-19, in the last 14 days?
In collaboration with the Andover Board of Health, Pike will follow the guidance outlined in the DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22 for any student, staff or faculty member who exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19 or is deemed a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
In order to participate in symptomatic testing or the test and stay program, consent must be signed in Magnus.
Exposure Protocol for Unvaccinated Individuals
“Test and Stay” is only applicable for an asymptomatic, unvaccinated individual who is deemed to be a close contact while in school as determined by Pike’s internal contact tracing.
Test and Stay (Protocol B-1): Close contacts can remain in school and do not have to quarantine, as long as they:
- Are asymptomatic
- Wear masks in school at all times, other than when eating or drinking. When these individuals cannot be masked (i.e., when eating or drinking) they should maintain 6 feet of distance from other individuals to the extent feasible.
- Take a rapid antigen test (e.g., BinaxNOW) at the beginning of each school day and receive a negative result.
- When the 7 days from date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, individuals should quarantine on weekends, and if they remain asymptomatic, upon return to school be tested immediately. If the individual remains negative, they can stay in school.
- Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop.
Individuals who are participating in “test-and-stay” will be required to continue weekly surveillance testing via pooled testing as above.
Individuals who are participating in “test-and-stay” will sit 6’ apart from others while indoors at lunch or snack time.
Individuals who are part of the “test-and-stay” protocol may be eligible to participate in school sports and after school extracurricular activities, provided that they are in compliance with the “test-and-stay” protocol. For events and sports that take place on non-school days, testing will still be required on those days to participate.
Any unvaccinated individual who is determined to be a close contact outside of Pike is required to quarantine per the following guidelines:
Option 1 (Protocol B-2): Quarantine is at least 7 days from the date of exposure
Return to School: After 7 days, returning on day 8, provided that they:
- Remain asymptomatic
- Receive a COVID test (PCR) on day 5 or later and receive a negative result
- Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate if symptoms develop.
Option 2 (Protocol B-3): Quarantine is at least 10 days from the date of exposure
Return to School: After 10 days, returning on day 11, provided that they:
- Have not experienced symptoms up to this point
- Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and self-isolate if symptoms develop.
Exposure Protocol for Fully Vaccinated Individuals
Following CDC guidance, if a fully vaccinated individual is deemed a “close contact” to someone who tests positive with COVID-19 while not at Pike, the exposed individual is required to get a PCR test between days 3-5. The individual may remain in school provided they monitor symptoms, mask and remain asymptomatic.
The school nurse’s office will operate and supervise separate medical areas or waiting rooms for students with and without suspected cases of COVID-19. With respect to the separate area or waiting room for students with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, if there is more than one student at a time, each student will be at least 6 feet apart (and is expected to be spaced as far apart as possible) and will be required to wear a surgical mask while in the separate area or waiting room. The school will provide such surgical mask if the student does not already have one, and the student is required to adhere to strict mask wearing covering the nose and mouth at all times. Faculty members should call the office to report students’ needs and determine which area to visit. The school nurse may also support the school in implementing best practices and useful strategies to combat the spread of the virus.
With respect to students who are ill and need to leave school, parents or guardians shall pick up their student as soon as possible. With respect to faculty and staff, the person shall promptly leave the campus. The school expects to maintain and report (when appropriate) information concerning such departure, including reasons why, the date/time of departure, and any other information deemed relevant to the Andover Board of Health, the Department of Public Health, and/ or the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Students, families, faculty and staff shall communicate with the school about their progress at home, including allowing and facilitating communication between the school’s nursing staff and their physicians as may be appropriate.
Contact Reduction and Training
The school has designated employees who have completed the Johns Hopkins contact tracing training. The school expects to provide contact tracing services for students and employees when they are on the Pike Campus. These contact tracing capabilities are supplemental to public contact tracing efforts, and are intended to provide additional assistance and information to students, families, faculty and staff within the Pike community (only).
Families, faculty and staff acknowledge and agree to provide relevant information to, and to cooperate with, any contact tracing efforts pertaining to the Pike community whether through the school’s supplemental contact tracing services or otherwise. Information provided may be shared with the Andover Board of Health, the Department of Public Health, or the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Student and faculty health information relating to COVID-19 will otherwise be kept confidential to the extent practicable, in accordance with state and federal privacy laws.
Where a case of COVID-19 is confirmed, contact tracing will commence and members of the school community with close contact to the COVID-19 positive individual must follow the procedures outlined in the DESE/DPH response to COVID-19 Scenarios.
The school is providing lunch services this year. Students and staff must bring their own snacks. All snacks must be nut-free. Sharing of food between students is prohibited. Families are not permitted to bring in shared treats for special occasions until further notice. Students, faculty, and staff will maintain at least three (3) feet of physical distance from each other while enjoying their meals and snacks indoors.
All visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a mask indoors at Pike. Visitors will also be required to complete a symptom screening. Masks are not required outdoors.
Vendors with routine drop-offs or deliveries (e.g., postal, Fed Ex, etc.) are required to drop-off or deliver at a single point of delivery on the campus. Vendors who perform work inside the building are allowed on campus with prior appointments to the extent possible and are subject to and should abide by all policies and procedures relating to screening determined to be appropriate by the school, physical distancing requirements, and face coverings (see above). The school expects to keep a record of such vendors performing work.
General Health Records
All students, faculty and staff must complete and submit their regular health forms, including providing immunization records and other requested information, on a timely basis prior, and as a condition, to beginning the school year. Parents, guardians, faculty and staff must use the school’s health portal, Magnus Health, for completing and submitting such forms.
Administration of Medication
Nebulizer use is prohibited in all public areas as it may contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Use of inhalers should be limited to private areas except in cases of emergency. Students permitted to self-administer medication should only do so in the nurse’s office location used for students without suspected cases of COVID-19, during meal time, or if necessary due to a health emergency. school personnel administering medications to students will ensure that all medication is taken in a safe and sanitary manner. If the school nurse’s office is used to administer medications to otherwise healthy students, then the location used for students without suspected cases of COVID-19 will be utilized for such purposes.
All Pike community members are strongly encouraged to get a seasonal flu vaccine in the fall of 2021. Pike will be hosting a flu vaccine clinic in October 2021.
Under the school’s arrangements with Compass Facilities Services, it will provide enhanced cleaning services for the school year consistent with the recommendations from the CDC. I Compass employees are trained to follow CDC and OSHA cleaning guidelines and are equipped with the latest cleaning technology for disinfecting, such as the Clorox360 System. Pike will also require all Compass staff to record their daily cleaning activities, room by room, into the school’s CrowdComfort system for tracking and reporting purposes. Compass staff will be required to comply with the school’s Entry Gatekeeping and Face Coverings policies.
In addition, the school expects to retain Compass services for deep cleanings, which will occur prior to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year and periodically as needed thereafter. If there are any positive cases of COVID-19 on campus, the spaces that the individual inhabited while on campus will be deep cleaned prior to use by the remainder of the school community.
The school intends to utilize its existing, sophisticated software control system connected to all mechanical HVAC equipment in connection with ventilation of the building. This system allows the operations team to set optimal humidity, temperature, and fresh air intake levels throughout the building. HVAC filters will have been changed, and ducts and registers cleaned, before the initial reopening of the campus.
Pike’s facility personnel have prioritized fresh air using the HVAC software described in congruence with open fenestrations throughout the campus.
Portable fans can disturb the normal airflow within rooms altering airflow patterns, not allowing stagnant air to be exhausted into the air returns properly. For this reason, the use of portable fans is prohibited until further notice.
Students are not permitted to leave the boundaries of the campus at any point in the school day without specific permission from the school. Before and after school hours, students may only leave campus in accordance with the above-described Drop-Off & Pick-Up Procedures of arrival and departure from campus.
The Head of School, in consultation with the COVID-19 team, may, at their discretion either individually or collectively, make any and all changes to these policies at any time. If the Head of School makes any material changes or amendments to these policies, then families, faculty, and staff will be notified of such changes as soon as practicable. These policies will continue to be in effect from time to time as changed, loosened, tightened or otherwise amended. These changes may be made for any reason, understanding that the facts and circumstances surrounding COVID-19, and the public health guidance around the same, change rapidly.