In conjunction with recommendations of the CDC, the DPH, and the Governor’s executive orders regarding COVID-19, the following protocols will be in place for the start of the 2021/2022 school year. Should the guidance of any of the three mentioned entities above change in course, we will review these guidelines, implement all mandates, and make prudent decisions about any other guidelines that would benefit the health and well-being of our community.
Physical Distancing and/or Cohorts
A physical distancing requirement will remain in place, where and when possible, for all indoor spaces, including desk locations within the classroom, lunchroom seating, hallways, break rooms, conference rooms, chapels, and gymnasiums.
The number of individuals within an enclosed space will be limited to how many can fit while maintaining a distance of at least three feet apart.
When the three-feet distance rule is not possible, groups will be made into cohorts to minimize exposure and mitigate spread of any variant.
This protocol is vital in reducing the number of students quarantined should a positive case arise.
Lunchroom and classroom seating will be assigned, and photos will be taken daily during the High School lunch period for contact tracing purposes.
With appropriate mitigation measures in place - cohorts, hand washing, and physical distancing - our traditional campus events will begin with “Pinecrest Meet and Greet” on August 9, 2021.
Each event will have appropriate protocols, determined for each individual event, depending upon the number of participants, the location, the COVID-19 status of our community, and the mix of students and adults involved.
All participants will be notified of the appropriate protocols prior to the event, which may include: health screening, mask wearing, physical distancing, cohorts, and limiting of the size of the event, depending on the space.
Vaccines will not be required for faculty, staff, or students and will remain at the discretion of the individual.
Any employee or student who has been fully vaccinated and is 14 days past the second dose will not be required to quarantine should they have a close contact exposure with a COVID-19 case, per CDC/DPH guidelines, unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
We ask students who have been fully vaccinated to provide the clinic with a copy of the completed COVID-19 vaccine card. The document may be sent via scan to the clinic or uploaded to Magnus under the “Immunization” section. If your student receives the vaccine during the course of the school year, please inform Mrs. Collins in the clinic as soon as you are able.
We are asking our PreK to 8th grade families to continue to help keep our community healthy by completing the daily health screening through the Magnus app. The screening will be updated and simplified and will assist families in determining if a child should come to school or be kept home because they are experiencing symptoms of illness.
It is not a mandate but will be a useful reminder to check the health of your children before sending them to school. Your partnering with us by using the Magnus app helped create a healthy classroom environment last year, and we pray you will continue to use it for the 2021/2022 school year.
An additional verbal/visual health screening will be done by teachers when students arrive in the classroom. The school reserves the right to send students home who are showing signs or symptoms of illness or who may have returned to school too soon after illness.
Screens and Barriers
All screens purchased for teachers in classroom spaces will remain and can be used at their discretion. All vinyl student desktop barriers will be removed. In small group table settings, some barriers may remain at the teacher’s or learning specialist’s discretion.
Face coverings will become optional for all, vaccinated or not, while on campus. It will be up to each family, student, or employee to make that decision for themselves. (With one exception - it is a Federal mandate that persons traveling on our Pinecrest buses must wear face coverings. See the “Transportation” section for details.)
We will continue with all normal daily cleaning/disinfecting procedures for physical spaces and will encourage classroom teachers and students to use the supplies in their classrooms to sanitize their space as needed.
Hand Washing and Sanitizing
A school-wide campaign encouraging hand washing and hand sanitizing during the school day by our students and employees will be undertaken. This continues to be the best prevention of the spread of COVID-19 within the school community.
Sanitation stations will remain in each classroom space, and its use will be encouraged throughout the school day.
Before and After Care
With appropriate mitigation measures in place - cohorts, hand washing, and physical distancing - this service will begin on the first day of school for all of our families and will be Located in Building “C.” You will need to pre-register for care, and there will be a limited number of spaces available.
Clubs - physical distancing and cohorts will be used to minimize exposure for all indoor club gatherings; assigned seating, attendance, and photos of club members in the club space will also be used.
Athletics - all teams will follow any protocols required by the GHSA. All fans, students, families, faculty, and staff will be allowed to attend sporting events. Masks will be optional for all athletic events. We reserve the right to add any necessary measures should a positive COVID-19 case or variant occur on a team or within the coaching staff.
Transportation - it is a Federal mandate that every person traveling by bus will need to wear a face covering. This includes athletic travel, club travel, retreats, and any other use of the Pinecrest buses.
Our wonderful volunteers will be welcomed back to campus to help with a host of different events and activities. A volunteer waiver will need to be signed by all campus volunteers. This waiver will be available online in the portal or at the front desk of each building. We will also send one home with each child in the Lower School in the blue folders.
The waiver will include asking all volunteers to perform a health self-screening before volunteering on campus, as well as agreeing to comply with any additional protocols that may be needed as situations and data require - and may include cohorts, hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a face covering.
Remote learning will now be offered only in the case of quarantine due to documented exposure. It will no longer be available as an option for occasional illness, travel, or other absences. Students who are out for reasons other than COVID-19 quarantine may check the portal or Google Classroom for assignments.
Lunch dates with children - will need to be preplanned by using SignUpGenius, limiting the number of adults who can attend on the same day; visitors will sit at a designated table in the lunchroom. Lunch visits will begin on or after August 23. This will allow our staff to establish daily routines and the students to learn our lunch process and seating arrangements.
Mystery readers and other classroom visits - will need to be preplanned, and coordinated with the classroom teacher.
We reserve the right to add back any necessary protocols to mitigate spread of COVID-19 should a situation arise that requires immediate attention, including asking a specific group to wear face coverings for a specific period of time, or re-instituting a cohort of students, or enforcing physical distancing within a space.