October 30, 2020
**Please watch this video of Dr. Johnson’s preface to this letter**
You are exceptional! First, thank you Jesus for protecting our school from any COVID-19 exposures thus far. And thank you parents for being extra cautious and keeping children home when they show any symptoms. I know it can be difficult keeping children home when you are working, but thank you for protecting our greater CBA Family. Thank you!
As you know, many students have now returned to public schools and, as a result, there is a slight upward trend of COVID-19 cases in Charleston. I have communicated with 4 other private schools this week who have each had at least one COVID-19 exposure in a classroom.
At CBA, we continue to prioritize air quality, as we use UVC filters and Halo Remo systems indoors and continue to expand our outdoor time. We plan on continuing outdoor time in the winter and recommend dressing your child appropriately on colder days. While I understand some families are more averse to colder weather, we are prioritizing fresh air to help fight the spread of influenza and COVID-19. We also recommend that students get flu vaccines as soon as possible; Neighbors Pediatrics and Neighbors Med provide them for $20.
I would also like to ask our parents to be extra cautious in public while trends are increasing (e.g., not eating inside a restaurant, constantly washing hands, avoiding large gatherings). If you travel internationally, you will need to be symptom-free and provide a negative COVID-19 test to re-enter school.
One purpose of this communication is to make sure CBA parents know what would happen if we discover that a student tested positive for COVID-19 and attended class during the previous 48 hours. In the event that a close exposure occurs on campus, we should not create extra stress on our community because we know the steps that CBA will take. If you have any questions, please ask them now, so if a quarantining procedure occurs for your child’s class you will be prepared and our office will not be inundated with questions or advice.
The CDC website provides this flow chart that schools are implementing.
What Parents Need to Know:
-If your child demonstrates the following symptoms, you will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before they re-enter school: Fever >100, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, undiagnosed vomiting, undiagnosed cough, or undiagnosed nausea/diarrhea. The school has negotiated a $75 fee for CBA families for rapid tests through Neighbors Med (adults) and Neighbors Pediatrics on Remount Rd (843) 410-5608.
-If anyone in your family tests positive for COVID-19, you need to notify the school immediately; call during school hours or text after hours 843-779-2472.
-Per CDC guidelines and support from local health officials, we will perform contact tracing if a child tests positive for COVID-19. If your child was in school within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms and tests positive, we will require the affected class to quarantine for 14 days.
- Parents will be alerted through text and email. We will inform parents that “another child in your child’s classroom-tested positive for COVID-19 and was in the classroom with your child on x day.”
- Aligned with CDC guidelines and to protect our whole community, this class will be quarantined for 14 days.
- We recommend but do not require asymptomatic students be tested at the end of the 14-day quarantine.
- If your child becomes symptomatic and tests positive, please inform the office and they will be quarantined 10 days after the onset of symptoms and must be symptom-free for 24 hours before re-entry.
- If you are not called, then your child’s class did not have a close exposure.
Understanding our protocol will eliminate extra calls and stress on the office.
Instruction and Assignments
When a whole class is quarantined, we will provide virtual instruction and assignments for all levels (Preschool – Class Dojo & Zoom, Elementary – Google Classroom). Teachers who are asymptomatic will provide instruction virtually.
- A close exposure is considered more than 15 minutes next to a COVID-19 positive person within 6 feet.
- If you have had a close exposure, you must inform the school, per the COVID-19 Community Agreement. Even if you were more than 6 feet part, you must also report if you were in the same indoor area and interacting with someone who tested positive for COVID.
- Elementary example of whole-class quarantine: If 1st grade has a close exposure, then first-graders and first-grade teachers (Maestra Rosa Maria, Mrs. Herndon, and Mrs. Davis) will be quarantined for
14 days. In this case, the 2nd graders will have a substitute teacher, since they share the same teachers as 1st grade. As long as the main teachers are asymptomatic, they will teach via Zoom while the substitute teacher proctors the class.
- If your family has had a close exposure outside of school, your children must quarantine for 14 days. Elementary students will receive assignments via Google Classroom and will have Zoom opportunities for extra tutoring 2 days/wk.
- If anyone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19, under no circumstances should you come to school. I only make this obvious statement because there was a family in another private school in Charleston who sent their COVID-19-positive child to school because they could not find childcare.
- Parents will continue to pay tuition even if their child is required to quarantine.
- CBA will conduct contact tracing when we are notified of a positive student case. The office will call you personally if you have been identified as a close contact. If you do not receive a call from us, you can safely assume your child was not identified as a close contact. Remember, there is no cross-cohort interaction within the school day. However, carpooling and after-school activities do put you at risk of being in potential close contact.
- If you have been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, you will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from the time of last exposure to the person with COVID-19.
- When someone is asked to quarantine, they should stay home and avoid contact with other people, including people in their own household as much as it is possible. We are asking our families to take quarantining seriously. We are trying to mitigate any potential spread of COVID-19, and keeping your child at home during this 14 day period is critical. You can find more information on quarantine here.
- Contacts of contacts are not required to quarantine. For example, a sibling in Grade 4 of a cohort member in a quarantining cohort would not be required to quarantine, as they are a contact of a contact.
- If you live in the same household as a positive COVID-19 case, you will need to quarantine an additional 14 days past the date the person with COVID-19 was able to end their isolation.
- If you live in the same household as someone who was asked to quarantine, you do not necessarily need to quarantine yourself, unless the household member is determined to be a COVID-19 case themselves, or you develop symptoms. It is recommended that close contacts to a case be tested, but no sooner than 7 days after the first contact with the individual with COVID-19 while they were contagious, or immediately if symptoms develop.
- An infected person is considered contagious starting 48 hours before they develop any symptoms or test positive. Testing negative for COVID-19 during quarantine does not shorten the 14 day quarantine or rule out possible infection. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to develop. By remaining in quarantine, you are loving the greater community and avoiding possibly exposing others.
- If your family travels out of the country during the school year, a negative COVID-19 test will be required for asymptomatic students to return to school in person. A molecular, non-Rapid test is required if you have traveled to a country with an advisory level of 3 or 4; please see the State Department’s travel advisory page to determine this. The molecular test may take up to 5 days to obtain results. You can also review the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination page for more information before you travel.
Inspiring World Changers together,
Nathan Johnson Ed.D.
Charleston Bilingual Academy