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Creating a Healthy & Safe School Community.

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:


Masking

Everyone is required to wear face coverings at all times while indoors at AFS. During a period of Covid-19 surge we are no longer allowing cloth masks. Disposable four-ply, well-fitted surgical masks are the minimum standard going forward. KN95 masks and N95 masks provide even more protection and can be considered as options (please see more information in resources below).

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-19. 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.


Encouraging Vaccination

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.

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: nurse@abingtonfriends.net.


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 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.


Maintaining Distance

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. Learn more about who is a contact, HERE.

The pandemic team reviews all proposed events and gathering to assess, modify and/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 recommendations for this school year.


Following Travel Guidance 

We are following the CDC guidance on travel in terms of school exclusion. Also find guidance on international travel provided by Montgomery County: Global-International Travel – FULLY Vaccinated (infographic) & Global-International Travel – NOT Vaccinated (infographic).

 


School Protocols Regarding Positive Covid-19 Cases and Exposures

We are currently following the Montgomery County Guidelines around exposure, contact tracing, and exclusion from school. Those guidelines are informed by the CDC. They are monitoring and analyzing information in real time so it can evolve and adjust as necessary. CHOP and CHOP PolicyLab recently published a document that affirms the guidelines AFS has been and will continue to follow.

Here’s a summary of the guidance above:

  1. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 should quarantine for a minimum of five days, and may return after that window if fever free for 24 hours and their symptoms have subsided. As of 1/11/2022, we are taking the temporary measure of requiring that all immediate family members who are also students or staff follow a five day quarantine while monitoring for symptoms. All positive cases must be communicated to our school nurse: nurse@abingtonfriends.net.

  2. Students, faculty and staff who are deemed a close contact:

    a. Do NOT need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and remain asymptomatic;
    b. Are required to quarantine and test with the development of symptoms;
    c. Continued vigilance with Ruvna daily health screenings is essential to symptom monitoring. Stay at home if you are not feeling well.

Please note that the reasoning for quarantine time and conditions of return for positive cases and close contacts is well documented in the aforementioned CHOP document

Updated 1/11/2022


Resources for AFS Families

Covid-19 Resources & News

COVID-19 School Guidance – Montgomery County, PA Symptom Screening Guidance

CHOP – COVID-19 School Guidance –  Updated guidance (release Jan 2022) for families during high community transmission

Who is a Close Contact? – From The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH)

HHS.GOV – Information on Covid testing locations

CDC – Information on self-testing

NY Times – At-home test kits – What to know about at-home test kits

https://www.vaccines.gov/  – Find where vaccines and boosters are being administered locally; answers to frequently asked questions

CHOP: Vaccine Education for Children and Teens

CDC: Myths & Facts About Covid-19 Vaccines

CNN: Top Questions about Covid and Vaccines Answered 

PA Dept of Health: Get your vaccine card online

Montgomery County Coronavirus Resource Page – Local Information, Testing, Vaccines

Montgomery County Coronavirus Data Hub

CNN – CDC director explains new Covid-19 guidance

PARENTS.COM – Suggestions for kid-sized high-filtration masks

Projectn95 – A national non profit focused on providing the resources needed for you to live and work safely in your community through the Covid pandemic