Prepare Your Family for the New School Year.
Students will need additional help preparing for the start of school given the ongoing pandemic and increasing restrictions due to the rise in the Delta variant. Please consider practicing and discussing the following behaviors and routines at home:
- Practice putting on and taking off a mask or other acceptable face covering and wearing it for longer periods of time. Review AFS protocols on face coverings here.
- Encourage your child to wash their hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds at a time and remind them to cough and sneeze into their elbows. Have them practice not touching their face and eyes.
- Make sure you have a functioning thermometer and practice the morning routine of symptom checking.
- Maintain 3 feet of separation, especially in public.
- Share with your children that socialization with their peers and teachers may feel different at first.
The purpose of community mitigation strategies are to:
- promote behaviors that prevent spread,
- maintain healthy environments,
- maintain healthy operations and
- prepare for when someone gets sick;
And are designed to produce outcomes that:
- reduce exposure among individuals,
- reduce transmission,
- reduce burden on the health care system and enhance access to testing and contact tracing,
- with the long-term goals of minimizing COVID-19 morbidity and associated mortality. (source: cdc.gov)
At Abington Friends School, we will follow these Community Mitigation Strategies:
To start the school year, we are requiring everyone to wear face coverings at all times while indoors at AFS. Review AFS protocols on face coverings here.
As recommended by the CDC and Montgomery County Health Department, all individual on our campus will be masked indoors to safeguard against transmission of Covid. Current guidance indicates that it is safe in most conditions for people to be unmasked outdoors; masks are always an option for anyone who so chooses.
Because vaccination is so effective at keeping individuals and communities safe, we believe it is essential that all medically eligible members of our community – faculty and staff, children and family members – be vaccinated to protect themselves and others, particularly given that younger children in our community cannot yet be vaccinated.
We are strongly encouraging Covid-19 vaccination and collecting the data needed to make further decisions on vaccination requirements in our community. This, along with other health and safety protocols, detailed below, will make it possible for us to create a substantially safe environment for learning on the AFS campus. We are collecting proof of Covid-19 vaccinations for eligible students, along with other health information at the Magnus Health section in the resource section of the AFS Family Portal: https://abingtonfriends.myschoolapp.com/app#login. Please direct any questions about vaccinations to the school nurse: Susan Harris, email@example.com.
Daily Community Screenings
Parents and guardians are asked to monitor and record their child’s health before going to school each day through a daily screening received via text. The Montgomery County Department of Health guidance on COVID-19 school isolation and quarantine (see resources) guidance also provides information on symptoms and isolation requirements.
External visitors will be extremely limited. Those visitors allowed on campus will be screened and monitored.
Pledge to stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people when possible and follow Montgomery County Health Department guidance (see resources) on your return to campus.
Hygiene & Cleaning Practices
Community members are required to wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Community members are encouraged to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Community members should cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow and then wash your hands.
The school will follow procedures for regular cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and ventilation of learning spaces.
Being together on campus will require physical distancing and learning spaces and congregate settings have been configured for safe distancing and staggered use, when necessary. In addition, the ventilation systems at AFS were installed and/or improved last year, ensuring proper air circulation and filtration.
Put at least three feet of distance between yourself and other non-immediate family members.
Follow protocol in relation to isolation or quarantine (see resources) when a staff member, student or visitor becomes sick or demonstrates a history of exposure. (Exposure = Within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes regardless of mask-wearing; intimate contact such as close physical contact or shared food and personal items; direct receipt of respiratory droplets; near or adjacent for an extended period of time during an activity with increased respiratory droplets such as shouting, contact sports, singing, locker or bathroom sharing)
The pandemic team has reviewed back-to-school and fall events. We plan to assess any large gatherings and modify or limit them as needed based upon guidance from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health and the level of community transmission at the time as outlined in recent recommendations.
Resources for AFS Families
COVID-19 School Guidance – Montgomery County, PA Symptom Screening Guidance
Who is a Close Contact? – From The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH)
Montgomery County Coronavirus Resource Page – Local Information, Testing, Vaccines
Centers for Disease Control – Facts, FAQs, Vaccines
World Health Organization – Information on the pandemic
News and Interviews: