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COVID Considerations

Here at Silver Spring Day School, we are committed to keeping our families as safe as possible.  We are taking necessary precautions as well as implementing specific policies that will aid in a safe re-opening for our school.  Keeping in mind that this situation is ever changing and the need to be flexible based on recommendations + guidelines from the county, state, and CDC is important – below is an overview of our COVID protocols as well as safety measures in regards to programming and parent participation that we will implement for the ’21-22 school year:

How will it affect the programs being offered? 

  • SSDS will be able to offer only our Core Program classes (two-year-old through preK daily classes), plus limited spaces in our Little University program (1:30 pm – 3:30 pm).  There will be no Early Bird or Stay & Play for the 21-22 school year.  We will offer more add-on options beginning in the 22-23 school year.
  • There will be smaller class sizes with 2 teachers in each class.
  • There will be no co-mingling of program cohorts.
  • Activities and snack/lunch times will be set up to encourage distance between children and eating outside when possible.

How will it affect my tuition? 

  • Due to Covid guidelines, we will not be able to have parents participate in the class for the 21-22 school year.  Therefore all students will be charged 1/2 of the “opt-out” fee amount ($1,600) of $800 in the fall and the remaining portion will be paid during the winter/spring semester.

How will it affect the parent participatory nature of the school? 

  • Unfortunately parent participation will not be allowed this fall.  But starting January 31st, any family that opted in can participate on the playground during the child’s outside time!  And although they may look a little different, parent jobs will still be part of a family’s responsibility. And we welcome your creative ideas to support a strong community even under the circumstances. Class parent participation will resume in the 22-23 school year!

What are the mandates around vaccinations? 

  • COVID vaccination are required for all staff (including subs) and any parents/approved caregivers entering the building for drop off & pick up with the exception of any people with medical conditions who cannot be vaccinated.  Should we have a staff person with a medical exemption then we will require regular and frequent testing.  For unvaccinated parents/caregivers doing drop off or pick up we will coordinate for those to be outside.

Will I need to take a Covid test before starting school? 

  • All staff and students + any parents/approved caregivers entering the building for drop off & pick up will test for Covid prior to the first day of school (test should be taken within 72 hours of the 1st day of school) and will provide the admin office with documentation of negative test result.  Thereafter we will have staff and families test and provide documentation of negative results after major breaks such as Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break and Memorial Day Weekend.

What are your rules surrounding travel? 

  • For any international or US travel outside of Maryland and it’s adjacent jurisdictions (Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, DC), staff, students and primary caregivers responsible for pick up/drop will:
    • Take a Covid test upon returning and quarantine while awaiting results (At this time we do not require you to wait a designated amount of time after travel in the US or internationally before testing, but this may change depending on any new developments).
    • If the decision is to not be tested, then individuals will stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

What additional safety measure are being taken? 

  • Masks worn by staff + children inside when not eating or napping. Masks optional outside. SSDS will have extras at school for anyone who needs one.  Parents will be asked to pack extras in backpacks. It is recommended to have N-95 and KN-95 masks for better protection against Omicron. Paper surgical masks are also more effective than cloth masks. However, the key with any mask is that it fits snugly and properly. It should cover over the nose and mouth and under the chin with no gaps around the sides.
  • Separate entrances for 2s, 3s and PreK programs for drop off and pick up.
  • Daily Temperature and symptom checks for staff & students/any adult doing drop off or pick, and continual  monitoring throughout the day.  Children who develop symptoms during the day will be separated from the group.  Parents will be called for pick up.  Staff will be separated and will go home as well should they develop symptoms.
  • More hand washing built into the day.
  • Cleaning toys after use and limiting item sharing.
  • Continued deep cleans at the end of the day and throughout the year.
  • Thorough bathroom wipe downs and designated bathrooms for various classes.
  • Windows opened and fans/air purifiers available in all classrooms for circulation

How does SSDS determine the exclusion and return for persons with COVID symptoms and close contacts? 

  • When children or staff are showing any symptoms, including a runny nose/congestion, we are requiring a COVID test and significantly improved symptoms before they can return to school. Runny nose/congestion by itself has been added to the list of COVID symptoms. COVID aside, children and staff can return following a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea after being symptom-free for 24 hours without sickness reducing medicine.
  • When individuals are directly exposed as close contacts or test positive, we follow our local MSDE guidance/CDC guidance for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. In the case of exposure, the recommendation is to test 5 days from exposure and monitor for symptoms. If at any time COVID symptoms develop, the family or staff member should immediately contact their healthcare provider, tested for COVID, and notify SSDS.

Where do I go for COVID resources to get information about symptoms, testing, vaccinations, and other?

Our strong preference is for PCR tests. However, we recognize that access to tests at this time is limited and we don’t not want to limit the ability to test as soon or often as possible. We will continue to accept at-home or PCR tests. Please include your name and the date in any photos or uploads of home rapid tests. Also, please be sure that any at-home test used is authorized for 2+ and EUA authorized (such as iHeath or BinaxNOW).

SSDS Important Google Forms:

We will continue to follow MSDE Covid guidance & CDC guidance for early childhood/preschool centers and update as necessary.  We appreciate your patience during this time as we continue to evaluate and consider our necessary steps for a safe year.  Please reach out with any additional questions in regards to our COVID protocols + safety plans.