Creating a Healthy & Safe School Community.
At Abington Friends School, we are committed to maintaining a safe and secure campus environment in which our students can learn and grow. The practices of safety and security are a balance of minimizing risk and allowing for the community to function as well as possible and use our campus fully. Abington Friends School’s health and safety policies have been crafted by AFS’s multi-disciplinary Health and Safety Teams, in close collaboration with the outside professionals and community partners.
The AFS Health Office maintains a secure Electronic Health Record called Magnus Health, which is accessible to all families via the AFS Portal. All requirements for new and returning students can be found and should be submitted via the Magnus section of the AFS family portal. In addition to the state mandated requirements, all students, in all grades, must have updated health questionnaires, medication permission forms, and action plans.
Please make sure all contact and medical information is complete and up to date in Magnus Health. If your child becomes sick or injured at school, we will call you to pick up your child as soon as possible. If you cannot be reached, we will call your emergency contact numbers.
Illness/Injury at School
If a student becomes ill or injured at school, they must report to the division Administrative Assistant for a pass and go to the nurse for evaluation.
Families/guardians will be called to pick up their child if the School Nurse determines that a child’s illness interferes with the child’s participation in routine classroom activities. Students should not call home on their own when they feel ill. No student is permitted to leave school during school hours for illness or injury, without the school’s permission.
A student experiencing the following illnesses will be asked to return or remain home:
- Fever: Students must be picked up for a fever at or above 100.4 degrees. They may return to school only when they are fever-free (without the aid of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol/acetaminophen or ibuprofen) for 24 hours.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea: Students who have vomited or had more than two episodes of diarrhea must be picked up from school. They may return to school 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea and can tolerate a normal diet.
- Colds/Coughs: Students should stay home if they have a persistent cough or cold symptoms that keep them up at night, worsen with activity, or make them unable to participate fully in a 7 hour school day.
- Communicable/Infectious diseases: AFS requests that a student with symptoms of a contagious disease do not attend school. Please report any infectious diseases (COVID-19, strep throat, influenza, chickenpox, mononucleosis, scarlet fever, whooping cough etc.) to the Nurse’s office, 215 576-3978. A note from your healthcare provider may be required to return to school, stating they are no longer contagious.
Abington Friends School’s Covid-19 policy is created by AFS’s multi-disciplinary Pandemic Team, in close collaboration with the public health experts at the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH), and aligned with the guidance from the CDC. For the 2023-2024 school year, we will follow a layered Covid mitigation approach outlined below, which is subject to change upon case numbers in our region.
Because vaccination is an important tool, effective at keeping Covid-19 infection less severe and taking additional burden off our healthcare system 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.
Vaccination, along with other health and safety protocols, detailed below, will make it possible for us to create a substantially safer environment for learning on the AFS campus.
Most importantly, please don’t send your student to school when they are sick. The best way to keep our community well is to keep germs outside of the school, as much as possible.
Per CDC guidance, Those with a known Covid exposureshould mask for 10 days, and test on the fifth day post exposure. In the event of a positive test, students are to engage in isolation protocol.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 will be required to isolate for a minimum of 5 days after the day of symptom onset or positive test, per CDC requirement. These individuals should remain at home until their symptoms have resolved and 5 days have passed. Those returning to school after Covid-19 infection will be required to mask until the completion of the 10th day after their positive test.
Parents and guardians may require their students to be masked during school hours if they choose.
Hygiene & Cleaning Practices
Community members are encouraged to wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use at least 70% 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.
AFS is outfitted with state-of-the-art ventilation systems that ensure proper air circulation and filtration.The ventilation systems at AFS have been inspected and many have been improved within the last two years to ensure proper air circulation and filtration. All areas of the school have been verified to have ventilation that meets or exceeds the recommendations set forth to decrease the risk of viral transmission.
Campus Visitor Policy
During the school day, we often have multiple visitors to campus for myriad reasons, from service workers to prospective families. We want to be a community that welcomes others while remaining mindful of safety needs. In that spirit, we ask that you follow these new guidelines when visiting campus.
Visiting Campus. We ask that campus visitors make an appointment with their division or department before coming to campus.
- Visitors to Upper School and Middle School will see a newly installed callbox on the side of the building near the doors. After pressing the call button, visitors should identify themselves and the purpose of their visit, after which they will be buzzed into the building.
- Visitors to Lower School will be greeted in the vestibule by the Lower School Administrative Assistant; visitors should identify themselves and state the purpose of their visit.
- The front door to Tyson House will be open every day between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for admission purposes. Visitors will be required to identify themselves and state the purpose of their visit at the Tyson House front desk.
Visitor Kiosks. Upon entering the school, visitors will be asked to sign in at a visitor kiosk and display a visitor badge while they are on campus. Visitor kiosks are located at entrances to Lower School, Middle School, Upper School and Tyson House as well as in the Business Office.
Leaving Campus. When an individual’s visit has concluded, they should sign out at the visitor kiosk and turn in their visitor badge.Special Campus Events. This protocol is to be used for all visitors, except in circumstances such as conference days, performances or other special events when a high volume of families and caregivers will be entering and exiting buildings throughout the course of the event.
Please send any questions to email@example.com.
Resources for AFS Families
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)
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
Montgomery County Coronavirus Resource Page – Local Information, Testing, Vaccines
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