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COVID-19 UPDATES

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*Dr. Ferguson is fully vaccinated and is requiring all faculty and staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for the safety of our students.

2021-2022 COVID-19 Safety Protocols

August 27, 2021

  • Starting Monday, August 30th, we are requiring all students to be tested weekly. We will provide testing at school or you can use your own at-home antigen test. We are using the same company that we used before school started to test every child during the school day  from 8:00 am - 10:00 am. You will not need to arrive early for drop off. We have the ability to capture PCR and Rapid from the same swab. If you have access to your own testing facility, you may opt-out of school testing. An Opt-Out of School Testing Form will be available this afternoon on your myWeiss portal. The testing will cost $30 every Monday. Ms. Maribeth Lenz will invoice accounts on a monthly basis or you can have your credit card on file charged. 
    • The CDC recommends that all vaccinated children and adults who are fully vaccinated to refrain from routine screenings unless they present with symptoms. Please select this option on the Opt-Out Form. CDC does not recommended retesting within 3 months after a person with COVID-19 first developed symptoms (or the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test if their infection was asymptomatic). Please also select this option on the Opt-Out Form if this pertains to you.
    • If you would prefer to use a saliva test, please use this link below: https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid
    • At home testing results will be sent on Monday mornings to Pam Tripp at ptripp@weissschool.org
  • The 21-22 COVID-19 Dashboard is posted under the Resource tab on your myWeiss portal. If your child has been exposed, you will receive a personal call from Dr. Tammy Ferguson. 
    • IF your child has tested positive - THEN your child will isolate at home for 10 days. Any siblings will also quarantine for 10 days.
    • IF your child has been exposed - THEN your child will quarantine for four days minimum from date of exposure. Student will be able to return with a negative PCR test. Please contact Mrs. Pam Tripp if you would like to test with Dr. Dowie. The sibling of the exposed student does not need to stay home unless they have symptoms. They are considered second-hand exposure.
  • If your child experiences any COVID related symptoms while at school, we will call home right away to get consent to test your child at school, or you can come on campus to test your own child at school, or pick up your child to test at another facility. The test results will tell us whether your child can stay at school that same day or will need to be picked up immediately.
  • If you travel by plane, please plan to quarantine for four days and then PCR test before returning to campus.
  • Masks will be worn indoors and outdoors by all students and adults. We are now eating lunch outside and are spreading students out while eating. A stimulation study that came out this week showed that, in classrooms, surgical masks reduce transmission 8-fold. Surgical masks have a great filter, but sometimes they are way too loose on kids. Fit and filter are very important with Delta. For great masks look for ASTM-certified surgical or tight-fitting cloth masks for kids. For fantastic masks, look for KN95 or KF94 made for kids. N95’s are not made for kids, so do not buy them for kids to wear; they don’t fit correctly. Dr. Eva Enns from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health put together an amazing list with specific kid mask brands here. Dr. Linsey Marr at Virgina Tech also made an amazing list here.
  • We have air purifiers in every classroom and office, but we have decided to upgrade to a larger square footage system beginning Tuesday, August 31st.
2021-2022 School Year -  COVID-19 Plan

July 28, 2021

Dear Weiss School Families,
 
Based on the latest CDC update on July 27th, all vaccinated and unvaccinated adults and students are required to wear masks while inside our school building. We will be following CDC recommendations until further notice. Masks will be optional for when adults and students are outside. We will continue to provide parents with a virtual learning option for 3rd-8thgrade students. If you have an Early Childhood-2nd grade student that must be virtual, please contact Mrs. Pam Tripp at ptripp@weissschool.org to set up a meeting with me to discuss the options. For the 2021-2022 school year, The Weiss School is committed to providing the following three options:
 
Option #1 - On-Campus Learning Five Days a Week
I want to assure you that my team has worked day and night to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for everyone on campus. My administration, teachers, and support staff have worked diligently to create healthy buildings, healthy classrooms, healthy activities, healthy schedules, and healthy policies to welcome students back on the campus. Our campus COVID-19 plan invests heavily in the critical levers of a safe return to campus, including a robust set of stringent health and safety measures. It is also a plan designed to allow The Weiss School to adapt to the pandemic's changing conditions and still provide for the continuous education of our students. Parents and students will adhere to all on-campus safety measures, procedures, and protocols as detailed in the campus COVID-19 plan. 
 
Option #2 - 100% Virtual Instruction for 3rd-8th Grade Students
My team is prepared to provide an outstanding virtual experience for your child. We had an outstanding virtual experience for our students during the 20-21 school year, and I know we will do an incredible job again. Thank you so much for all the positive feedback. It is very important to consider this option if you have a student or family member in your home who is at high risk.  At any time, a parent can give a three-day notice when the student is ready to return to the on-campus learning option or hybrid model. A negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccine is required.
 
Option #3 - Hybrid Model for 3rd-8th Grade Students – Set Schedule for Each Quarter
The hybrid model gives parents the option to let their students participate at school and from home. Because students are returning to campus a decreased number of days, the Hybrid Model presents a moderate risk of exposure to COVID-19. This model requires for parents to create a schedule of virtual and on-campus days that will be set and adhered to for each quarter. At any time during the nine weeks, a parent can give a three-day notice to start on campus learning full time. 
 
The following enhancements have been made to safely open our campus for students and staff in August:
Enhancements
  • Staffing - Additional cleaning staff has been hired to clean and sanitize high touch areas throughout the day. Additional support staff has been hired to help support teachers and monitor hallways.
  • Furniture - Additional furniture is in place to create appropriate spacing. 
  • Outdoor Space - Additional space has been created outside for learning and play.
  • Technology - Fiber has been installed to increase the speed of internet access in all areas on the campus. Classrooms have been upgraded with audio and video equipment that will allow students in remote environments to synchronously participate in classes being held on campus.
  • Plexiglass - Plexiglass shielding has been installed in areas with fixed interactions. Plexiglass will also be used in classrooms, if needed.
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) - The Weiss School has purchased a mask for each faculty and staff member. Parents are required to purchase masks for students. We will have extra masks on campus in case of an emergency.
  • Additional Sinks and Sanitizer Dispensers - Additional hand washing stations and hand sanitizing dispensers will be placed throughout the campus to allow for regularly scheduled hand washing and hand sanitizing throughout the day. Students will wash their hands upon entry and exit of classrooms.
  • Water Fountains - We have disabled water fountains, and students will only have access to filling stations located throughout the school.  
  • Enhanced Cleaning - A schedule has been created to sanitize all areas during transition times throughout the day.
  • UV Air Disinfection Systems - The Weiss School has installed Fresh-Air UV systems in our HVAC.
  • Signage - Additional signage has been posted throughout the campus to promote all health and safety guidelines.
The following policies and procedures will be adhered to by our school community:
 
School-wide Policies and Procedures
  • Follow Federal, State, and Local Orders - Our entire Weiss School community must adhere to the directives of applicable federal, state, and local government health departments, including the CDC, regarding social distancing in public and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Daily Symptom Check - We will be relying on close cooperation from our parents and students regarding morning temperature checks. Please check your child’s temperature before leaving home, and we will check temperatures before your child(ren) exit your vehicle and throughout the day on campus.
  • Stay Home if Sick - If your child is sick, you are expected to keep him or her home from school.
  • Travel - Families are responsible for reporting travel to any area that has a COVID-19 infection rate above 10% to the Head of School by email.
  • Medical School Forms and Emergency Contacts - Parents are required to submit all required student medical forms before the first day of school. Parents must provide at least three emergency contacts who are able to pick up your child from school within 1 hour of receiving a call from The Weiss School if he or she presents with a temperature or becomes ill during the school day. Your child will be placed in a separate room until you arrive. 
  • Social Distancing - All hallways and classrooms will be marked with 6 feet decals for spacing and foot traffic flow.
  • Aftercare, Clubs & Athletics - Follow all policies and procedures exhibited during the school day. 
  • Physical Education & Taekwondo - Physical Education and Taekwondo uniforms are optional. Students will not be penalized for not dressing out.
  • Supplies – Sharing of school supplies will be limited.  
  • Face Masks – All vaccinated and unvaccinated students and faculty will wear masks while inside the building.
  • Increased Hand Washing Throughout the School Day - Students will wash hands frequently throughout the day. Please practice and reinforce good hygiene practices at home, in particular, the importance of frequent hand washing.
  • Sharing Items - Limit the items your child brings onto campus each day and reinforce policies around not sharing of food, supplies and other items with other students. Teachers are ordering individual supplies for students.
  • Snack/Lunch - Masks will be removed while eating. Students will have plexiglass between two students eating together. Outside dining is available.
  • Visitors – We are limiting parents and visitors on campus until the infection rate drops to 3% and below for the safety of our students and staff members. Front office access will be permitted with limited capacity.
COVID-19 Symptoms
 
Please call Mrs. Pam Tripp at 561-298-3780 or Dr. Tammy Ferguson at 772-418-3905 if your child has tested positive for COVID-19, is exhibiting symptoms, or has been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus. Please do not send your child to school and please continue to call until you speak with an administrator on campus. Please do not leave a message. Every minute is critical in making sure we can contact trace as fast as possible. Failure to inform the school within two hours of diagnosis may result in your child being removed from campus for 14 days. During this time at home, your child will be able to continue classes via remote learning. 
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of the novel coronavirus include:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss or smell or taste
For additional information regarding when a student becomes sick or reports a new COVID-19 diagnosis at school, please refer to the CDC guidelines for the latest protocols that The Weiss School will be following: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/student-becomes-sick-diagnosis-flowchart.html
 
After reading this letter, please email Mrs. Pam Tripp at ptripp@weissschool.org by Monday, August 2, 2021 to select the learning environment option that works best for your family. 
 
The Weiss School Leadership Team has worked diligently this summer to put in place every safety measure and protocol to ensure everyone's safety on our campus and will continue monitoring our COVID-19 plan throughout the school year. I will be serving as the point person for all COVID-19 related questions or concerns. Please email me at tferguson@weissschool.org if you have additional comments or concerns.  
 
Yours in Education,
Dr. Tammy Ferguson

Directions on How to View The Weiss School Covid-19 Dashboard
 
The Weiss School Covid-19 Dashboard lists the number of people potentially contagious with Covid-19 while on campus in 2021, and the number of people quarantined due to close contact on-campus. Updates will be made immediately if additional cases are discovered.
 
Below are the directions on how to view The Weiss School Covid-19 Dashboard:
  1. Sign into the myWeiss portal
  2. Click on the Resources tab next to your child’s name on the top menu bar
  3. Once you are on the Resources page, click on the post titled Covid-19 Dashboard – Weiss School (see image below)
  4. Once you click on the post, you will be able to view the dashboard with the most current information
 
 
Thank you for working to limit the threat of Covid-19, and in exercising patience in managing all of the related inconveniences. Here is a reminder of best practices in promoting health: 
  • Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.
  • CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!

COVID-19 Update:
The Weiss School has taken a cautious and deliberate approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our administrative team created a Campus Reopening Plan that incorporates all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as best practices to further the safety of our students and staff members. We work diligently each day to ensure the safety of all Weiss School Wolverines!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?

    A: There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19. Clinical management includes prompt implementation of recommended infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings and supportive management of complications. See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19Children and their family members should engage in usual preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including covering coughs, cleaning hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza.  Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
  • Q. Are children at increased risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality from COVID-19 infection compared with adults?

    A: There have been very few reports of the clinical outcomes for children with COVID-19 to date. Limited reports from China suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. However, as with other respiratory illnesses, certain populations of children may be at increased risk of severe infection, such as children with underlying health conditions.
  • Q.
    Does the clinical presentation of COVID-19 differ in children compared with adults?
     

    A: Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19. These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon.  See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19.
  • Q.
    Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 compared with the general population and how can infection be prevented?
     

    A: No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. From limited information published from past Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon. For information on risk, please see current risk assessment. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine.  Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
The Weiss School is a co-ed private school that serves gifted students in PreK-3 through 8th grade in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. A Weiss School education prepares students to think analytically and creatively, act socially responsible, live vigorously, and create imaginatively in a warm and supportive educational environment.