Pinecrest Academy Open for In-Person Instruction with COVID-19 Protocols a Success

We are grateful for everyday we are able to be here in person.  A sound preparation plan for a safe back-to-school opening has allowed us to remain open for in-person instruction since August 6, with very little disruptions and NO school, grade, or classroom closures.

As we live this school year out together as a community of charity, always mindful of how our words, actions, and thoughts impact our ability to keep our doors open, we have successfully managed our COVID-19 cases without additional spread, and we have learned a great deal.

Our COVID-19 response plan for managing active cases, contact tracing, and quarantine, following the Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines to avoid spread within our community, continues to prove a wise course of action. All of our mitigation efforts are working, and our students continue to comply with the protocols. Our COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet, advise, and guide our decisions moving forward.

As a school with small class sizes and large spaces, we are able to implement at least two of three of our mitigation strategies in every space. These mitigation strategies include: face coverings, physical distancing, and plexiglass barriers. Our most important effort is health screening, required by every student, faculty, staff, and visitor on campus. This is the first step to ensuring a healthy and virus-free environment. All are asked to take their temperature and answer a few screening questions before coming to campus. If prompted by the app to stay home, they do so. A key factor in our success is that our faculty and staff are not coming to work symptomatic, nor are parents sending a child to school with symptoms.

Communication and honest reporting of information also continues to be a measurement for our success. We have created a COVID-19 Dashboard - a report card of our school’s health that our community can view; the dashboard is updated weekly.  COVID-19 updates are also issued bi-weekly or more frequently, as needed.

To minimize the number of students being asked to quarantine after an exposure, we have partnered with our representatives at the DPH to fully understand how contact tracing and quarantine works.  Students who need to quarantine begin remote learning for a two-week period so that they do not fall behind and may continue to participate virtually in classroom instruction. We have had NO additional spread from active cases to any of our quarantined students.

While we remain in the YELLOW course of action, as defined in our School Re-opening Plan, we have begun to add in some of the daily school functions that we now understand can be done without fear of COVID-19 spread.

Our current thinking on moving forward towards the GREEN course of action is to review all of our original action plans and, if possible, apply the mitigation protocols and the contact tracing matrix, while carefully and thoughtfully adding back anything to help create the school environment our students know and love.

Please continue to refer back to this page regularly for updated information on COVID-19 and our mitigation efforts at Pinecrest Academy.  Questions can be directed to our COVID-19 Task Force Coordinator, Charlene Dougal, at cdougal@pinecrestacademy.org.

COVID-19 Task Force

Mr. Larry Blandford -Task Force Advisor, Former CEO of Green Mountain/Keurig Coffee, and current member of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission
Dr. Margaret Bourdreaux - Pediatrician
Mrs. Lori Chmura - CEO, Pinecrest Board of Directors member
Mrs. Missy Collins - Pinecrest Nurse
Mrs. Charlene Dougal - Assistant Head of School
Mr. Mark Doxtader - Business Owner, Pinecrest Board of Directors Chairman
Mr. Lenny Forti - PreK-8th Grade Principal
Mrs. Beth Howard - Interim Head of School and High School Principal
Mrs. Laura Kelley - Pinecrest Founding Family, Faculty Member, and Former Healthcare Provider
Dr. Patrick Kindregan, DO - Family Physician
Mrs. Jamie Kutter - Physician Assistant
Mrs. Joan McCabe - Pinecrest CFO
Mrs. Donna Marie Mitchell - Physician Assistant
Dr. Stephanie O’Rourke - Dentist
Mrs. Dianne Patota - Business Owner, Educator, and Pinecrest Board of Directors Member
Dr. John Petros - Emory University, Urology
Dr. Teresa Petros - Urgent Care Pediatrician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Dr. Manuel Rodriguez, DO - Infectious Disease
Mr. Tan Tam - Pinecrest Board of Directors Member
Mr. Mark Tollett - Pinecrest Facilities and IT Director
Mr. Mark Meersman - Owner of IPC Global
Mr. Alex Caraballo - IPC Global
Mr. Juan Cristian Santa Maria - Coca-Cola