COVID Protocol

ADJUSTED ISOLATION/QUARANTINE POLICIES

 

Effective Monday, January 17, we are adjusting our isolation and quarantine policies to align with CDC guidance for schools, based on scientific findings that individuals are most contagious 1-2 days before symptoms start and 2-3 days afterward. Please carefully review the policies below and contact our school nurse Mrs. Froysland (jfroysland@msdacademy.org) if you have any questions. 

 

For those who test positive for COVID-19:

  • At least 5 full days of isolation for all.

  • If asymptomatic or symptoms have significantly improved, the individual may return to school on day 6. Masks must be worn at all times except when eating lunch.

  • If returning to school on day 6, students must eat lunch in the Athletic Center through day 10.

  • Students may participate in sports and extracurricular activities as long as they wear a mask at all times.

  • If masks cannot be worn around others at all times, or if the individual remains symptomatic, they must continue to isolate for the full 10 days.

  • A doctor’s note is required for all students who are returning to sports. The note must state that the student is cleared for sports, not just school.

  • Communication with Mrs. Froysland regarding return to school is imperative.

Close Contact Protocol for unvaccinated individuals:

  • Quarantine for a full 5 days. 

  • Individuals must take a rapid test on day 5 and send the results to Mrs. Froysland. 

  • If the test result is negative and no symptoms have developed, the individual may return to school on day 6. At-home tests are not acceptable.

 

Close Contact Protocol for fully-vaccinated individuals:

  • Monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the exposure. 

  • If any symptoms of illness develop, stay home and get tested. 

  • It is also strongly recommended that anyone who was exposed get tested on day 5 after exposure, even if you do not have any symptoms. 

 

Verified testing sites with relatively short lines and results in 24-48 hours:

  • Adams Diagnostic Lab in Pine Brook

  • Kmart in West Orange

  • Sears in the Livingston Mall

 

Use this link to find a testing site near you. You can also order a test kit to be delivered to your home through Vault.


 

We begin 2022 with a continued focus on the safety and well-being of our community members. Know that despite the increase in COVID-19 positivity rates, MSDA is able to safely and responsibly resume in person instruction. 

Below are several temporary adjustments to our day-to-day systems. Our hope is that soon we will be on the other side of the Omicron surge and will be able to resume our “normal” operations that have been in place since September 2021. Reported cases will continue to be monitored and The Mount is prepared to pivot if we experience a COVID-19 outbreak within the school or a staffing shortage that interferes with our ability to provide proper instruction and supervision.

School COVID Protocol Updates

In addition to our COVID protocols that have been in place all year, several adjustments have been made to further protect our students and staff, particularly during the less structured parts of the day.

  • LUNCH

    • Students will now sit a minimum of six feet apart in the cafeteria and will face in one direction. 

    • Once all seats are taken in the cafeteria, students will report to the Athletic Center and sit in seats that are also six feet apart. 

    • Weather permitting, students may use the picnic tables available outside.

  • CAP 

    • For the immediate future, our Common Academic Period will become Homeroom. Any portions of classes which take place during CAP will be temporarily suspended.

    • Students will be seated in desks and attendance will be taken. 

    • Extra help with teachers will be available before or after school or during study periods.

Health Office Update

Review these important reminders from the office of our school nurse:

  • Wearing properly fitting masks is a key component of protecting yourself from COVID-19 infection, especially Omicron. Faculty and staff will be strict in upholding our mask policy. Students are required to wear masks properly, over the nose and mouth, at all times except for lunch, when outdoors, or during some activities during physical education class. Any student who is not wearing a mask properly will be sent home. It is also recommended that all of our faculty, staff, and students consider wearing N95 or KN95 masks, as it has been shown that Omicron particles can pass through cloth masks.

  • The CDC recently updated their isolation recommendations specific to schools. Faculty, staff, and students must still isolate for 10 days if they test positive for COVID. The start of isolation is 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the day of the positive test if the individual is asymptomatic. A doctor’s note is required for students to return to school AND sports.

  • It is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted if eligible. Not only will this enhance your immunity to fight infection, but being fully vaccinated enables a student who is identified as a close contact to remain in school and extracurricular activities.

  • Students experiencing ANY symptoms of illness must have a doctor’s clearance in order to attend school. If a student is exhibiting any symptoms in school, our school nurse must send her home and require a doctor’s note in order for her to return.

    • The NJDOH states that “Individuals with COVID-19 compatible symptoms and no known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, may follow the NJDOH School Exclusion List to determine when they may return to school only if they have an alternative diagnosis (i.e., strep throat, influenza, worsening of chronic illness) supported by clinical evaluation.”

  • In the event that a student must isolate or quarantine, all relevant assignments and resources will be posted on PlusPortals. Additionally, students  will be provided the option to observe classroom lectures and discussions through Zoom. The required technology is being set up; currently quarantined/isolated students will be notified once Zoom links and cameras are ready.

Your partnership is appreciated in keeping our community safe and ask for continued vigilance and patience in the upcoming days and weeks. Updates will be provided as necessary.

 


 

Travel Guidelines

In accordance with NJDOH and CDC recommendations, we have instituted the following guidelines for students who travel during the school year.

Unvaccinated students:

  • If traveling domestically, the student must get tested on day 5 after returning home. PCR test only, not rapid or at-home.
  • If traveling internationally, the student must quarantine for a full 7 days after returning home and get tested on day 5. The student can return to school on day 8 as long as the results are negative. PCR test only, not rapid or at-home.

Fully-vaccinated students (two weeks after complete series of vaccination):

  • If traveling domestically, the student does not have to quarantine or get tested, but must monitor for symptoms.
  • If traveling internationally, the student does not have to quarantine, but must get tested on day 5 after returning home. PCR test only, not rapid or at-home.

All test results must be sent to Jennifer Froysland and jfroysland@msdacademy.org. Proof of vaccination is required to be exempt from quarantine.

 


 

COVID Guidelines - September 2021

As we return to full in-person school, it is essential that we all take precaution to mitigate the likelihood of virus transmission.

We will continue many of the protocols that were in place last year, which allowed us to complete the school year with zero cases of transmission on campus. We continue to follow the CDC and NJDOH guidelines. Our staff has taken every precaution to protect ourselves and our community members. We ask that students and families take the same protective measures. A successful, safe and healthy school year is a team effort. 

  • We will have full days of school 8:00am-2:45pm.

  • All students are required to attend in-person. There will be no fully-remote option.

  • Masks are mandatory for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Masks must be worn properly, over the nose and mouth, at all times, except for lunch. Any student found without a mask, or wearing it improperly, will be sent home.  

  • The mandatory daily COVID-19 screening must be completed each morning before 7:30am. Make sure the Magnus Mobile V2 app is downloaded onto your phones and perform a trial run of the screening before school starts. Any student who has not completed this screening will receive detention. 

  • Daily disinfection and sanitation will continue. Students will wipe desks at the start of each class, proper hand hygiene will be reinforced, and lunch periods will be closely monitored to ensure that students are taking precautions. 

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 (ten) days from the onset of symptoms or from the day of the positive test if the individual is asymptomatic. A doctor’s note will be required in order to return to school AND sports. 

  • Close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Exception: In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.

    • Individuals identified as close contacts must quarantine for 7 (seven) days after exposure.

    • Close contacts should be tested on day 5 (five), and may return to school on day 8 (eight) if the test result is negative and should continue to monitor for symptoms for the next week. If a close contact tests positive, he/she must quarantine for 10 (ten) days from onset of symptoms or positive test if the individual is asymptomatic. 

    • ONLY PCR tests are accepted. Rapid/at home test results will not be accepted.

    • Individuals who are close contacts who choose not to get tested must quarantine for 14 (fourteen) days.

    • Exception: Fully-vaccinated individuals or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not have to quarantine if they are close contacts, but must self-monitor for symptoms for 14 (fourteen) days. If at any point symptoms develop, the individual must remain at home and get tested.

  • Student vaccination cards should be on file in the nurse’s office. Email cards to School Nurse Jennifer Froysland jfroysland@msdacademy.org as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine if they are identified as close contacts, but we cannot exclude students from quarantine unless their vaccination cards are on file.

  • Quarantined students will work asynchronously on assignments and will have the opportunity to arrange meetings with teachers and counselors via Zoom.

  • Do not send a student to school if she is sick. The NJDOH identifies cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or loss of taste or smell as symptoms that each warrant a doctor’s visit and COVID-19 testing. If a student has 2 (two) of the following symptoms, she is also to stay home: fever, chills, rigors (shivers), myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose. Contact the school nurse jfroysland@msdacademy.org with questions or issues.