CDC COVID CONSIDERATIONS – Last updated August 2022. Currently under review for Summer 2023 and school year 23-24. Please check back for updates.
SSDS continues to take precautions as we navigate COVID in a preschool setting. Thank you for joining us in this responsibility to keep our community safe.
As we have experienced throughout the pandemic, the situation continues to evolve and be ever changing. It is important to be flexible based on recommendations + guidelines from the county, state, and CDC. Below is an overview of our current COVID protocols as well as safety measures in regards to programming and parent participation for the school year. We will continue to be informed and guided by our local and CDC guidance for early childhood programs and make any updates as necessary. Therefore, these COVID considerations are subject to change.
Staying Up To Date on Vaccinations
- COVID primary series vaccination required + highly recommend boosters when available and eligible for all staff (including subs), parents who are participating in the classroom, and any volunteers — with the exception of any people with medical conditions who cannot be vaccinated. Should we have a staff person or parent participant with a medical exemption then we will require regular and frequent testing.
- SSDS strongly recommends that children be vaccinated now that the vaccine for 5 years and under is available. Currently COVID vaccination is not required for children.
Staying Home When Sick
- All staff, students, participants and adults who enter the building for drop off and pick up must self-monitor for symptoms daily. If at any time COVID symptoms develop, the family or staff member should immediately notify the SSDS office, test for COVID, and contact their healthcare provider (if necessary).
- When children or staff are showing any symptoms, including a runny nose/congestion, we are requiring a negative COVID test be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and significantly improved symptoms before they can return to school. COVID aside, children and staff can return following a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea after being symptom-free for 24 hours without symptom-reducing medicine.
- Children who develop symptoms during the day will be separated from the group. Parents will be called for pick up. Staff and Parent Participants will be separated and will go home as well, should they develop symptoms.
Ventilation Systems, Hand Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection
- Windows and fans/air purifiers available in all classrooms for circulation, and updated AC/heating systems.
- More hand washing will be built into the day.
- Continued deep cleans at the end of the day and throughout the year.
- Thorough bathroom wipe downs.
- Masking is optional both inside and outside. We will support and work with families with their individual choices. We understand that family masking decisions may change, please communicate with your teacher and the SSDS office at any point so that we can support you throughout the year.
- In some instances, we may require universal indoor masking. As per CDC guidance, we will move to universal indoor masking, regardless of vaccination status, when our area moves into a High Community Level. In addition, at times of an outbreak or increased transmission within our school, the use of masks may be recommended by local health departments regardless of COVID Community Level.
- In an instance of exposure outside of school and regardless of vaccination status, an individual is required to mask consistently in school for 10 days and test daily through day 5 before coming to school each morning. Should the exposure be a household member, SSDS will work with you to determine returning to school depending on the specific circumstances of continued exposure.
- If there is a class exposure, all individuals in the class and regardless of vaccination status will mask consistently for 10 days and test daily through day 5 before coming to school each morning. See below for isolation guidance for any individuals who test positive.
- All staff and students + any parents/approved caregivers entering the building for drop off & pick up will test for COVID the first week of school prior to orientation (test should be taken day before or morning of) and will complete the COVID Test & Vaccination Verification Form. Thereafter we will have staff and families test and complete our verification form after major breaks such as Thanksgiving, Winter Break, MLK, Presidents Day, Spring Break, and Memorial Day Weekend.
- When our area moves to a high COVID community level we will consider implementing regular weekly testing for staff and children.
- All parent participants must test and complete our verification form the day before or morning of their participation day in the classroom.
- For travel to any US or International destination that is designated at a high COVID community level, take a COVID test after travel and prior to returning to school. Please use our verification form to certify test results after travel. 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 test, then individuals will stay home and self-quarantine for 5 days after travel.
- Our strong preference is for PCR tests. However, we recognize that access to tests at times can be limited and we don’t not want to limit the ability to test as soon or as often as possible. We will continue to accept at-home or PCR tests. If using an at-home test be sure to use a currently valid test (some tests have updated expiration dates). Also, please be sure that any at-home test used is authorized for 2+ and EUA authorized (such as iHealth or BinaxNOW).
Exposure, Testing Positive, and Quarantine or Isolation
- When individuals are directly exposed as close contacts or test positive, we follow MSDE & CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation. In all instances, please call the school main number or email us at email@example.com.
- If an individual is exposed outside of school, the individual is required to mask consistently in school for 10 days and test daily through day 5 before coming to school each morning. Should the exposure be a household member, SSDS will work with you to determine returning to school depending on specific circumstances of continued exposure.
- If there is a class exposure, all individuals in the class will mask consistently for 10 days and test daily through day 5 before coming to school each morning.
- In the case of testing positive, regardless of vaccination status, the individual must stay home for at least 5 days and test to return on day 6.
- The Individual may return day 6 or later: if negative antigen test, fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), and if symptoms occurred, they have significantly improved. The Individual must wear a well-fitted mask upon return through day 10 from after symptoms started or the date of when the positive test was taken if no symptoms occurred.
- The individual must continue to remain out days 6-10 if symptoms continue and/or antigen tests remain positive. The individual can return day 11 after staying home the full 10 days.
- SSDS will continue to monitor and track exposures and when an individual at SSDS tests positive. Therefore, it is very important that families and staff communicate directly with the Admin Team in all instances. Also, we will continue to send courtesy COVID notifications to classes and school-wide.
Local and National COVID Resources
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Maryland Department of Health
- Montgomery County COVID Dashboard
SSDS Important Google Forms
We will continue to work with the Health Department and 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 to the Director or SSDS Admin Team with any additional questions or concerns in regards to our COVID protocols + safety plans.