Health and Safety Procedures and Protocols 2021-2022

Updated 9.16.21

 

Marin Montessori School will continue to closely follow the guidelines set forth by Marin County Public Health and the Office of Education.  These updated procedures and protocols are in line with Public Health’s revised guidelines from August 2021.  MMS will never be less restrictive than what is recommended by Public Health, but may choose more restrictive requirements in an effort to keep our community safe.  The foundational principle of our guidance is to ensure that all MMS students have continuous access to safe and full in-person instruction. 

An Update on Covid Protocols

Essential Practices

 Marin Montessori School will follow the CDC’s key prevention strategies in order to provide a safe environment for our students.

  • Universal and correct use of well-fitted masks that cover the nose and mouth for all students and Crew, 2 years of age and older

  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette (i.e. properly covering your mouth and/or nose with sneezing and coughing)

  • Engaging in outdoor activities whenever possible and increasing ventilation for indoor activities

  • Cleaning and disinfecting when needed, to maintain healthy facilities

  • Limiting non-essential visitors

  • Clear safety protocols for community events

  • Encouraging vaccinations for all eligible students, community members and staff (expected for staff), as well as providing onsite COVID19 testing after school breaks

  • Requiring students and staff to stay home if sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine after possible and confirmed exposures

Marin County Public Health will determine specific mitigation strategies on masking and classroom mixing on an on-going basis, based on trends in transmission rates, verified vaccination rates, prevalence of new variants, and impacts on Marin County health care systems. Please see the Mitigation Strategies Continuum.

Masks

Mask-wearing is a key safety measure in preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  MMS does require consistent and correct use of well-fitting face masks with proper filtration by all students and staff. Masks should be worn at all times, by all people in school facilities, with certain exceptions for certain people, or for certain settings or activities, such as while eating or drinking. Masks are required in all classroom and non-classroom settings, including hallways, school offices, restrooms, etc.

  • The most effective fabrics for cloth masks are tightly woven, such as cotton and cotton blends, breathable, and in two or three fabric layers. Masks with exhalation valves or vents, those that use loosely woven fabrics, and those that do not fit properly are not recommended. 

  • Find a mask that is made for children to help ensure proper fit. Check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin and that there are no gaps around the sides.

  • We ask each student to come to campus with at least two extra masks each day, unless otherwise instructed by your classroom’s Lead Teacher.  Please be sure these are kept in a clean bag.

  • Most people, including those with disabilities, can tolerate and safely wear a mask. However, a narrow subset of people with disabilities might not be able to wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask. Those who cannot safely wear a mask should not be required to wear one.  If your child is unable to wear a mask due to a documented disability, please email healthandsafety@marinmontessori.org

  • In limited situations, Marin Montessori School will be approving the use of a face shield with a drape instead of a face covering.  If you would like to request this for yoursel f or your child, please email healthandsafety@marinmontessori.org.

  • Masks are required on school buses and vans. 

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Students will be provided ample opportunities throughout the day to wash hands. 

  • Staff will reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  When handwashing is not possible, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will be used.

  • Staff and students will be encouraged to cough and sneeze into their mask or a tissue. Masks that become dirty or wet should be replaced with a clean one as soon as possible. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When a mask or tissue is not available or in use, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow, not their hands.

  • MMS will provide adequate supplies to maintain healthy hygiene, including soap, a way to dry hands, tissues, hand sanitizer and no-touch/foot-pedal trash cans. 

Improved Ventilation

All classrooms have been equipped with large single-window fans.  These are intended to draw the air out of the classroom and improve ventilation.  The MMS campuses are also fortunate to have the option of opening doors and/or windows.  It is recommended that classrooms open doors and windows whenever possible, especially in the front and back of the room to improve cross air flow.  

Each classroom will also be equipped with either air conditioning or a space cooler to help moderate the temperature and an air purifier.  For the classrooms with air conditioning, the filters have a MERV rating of 13.  MERV ratings are based on the effectiveness of the filter and how many particles are removed from the air.  Filters with a MERV rating of 13-16 are considered the most effective in removing bacteria, saliva droplets, and dust from smoke.

Cleaning

All staff are trained in the use of cleaning and disinfecting products and will be expected to clean and disinfect their own work stations and any common areas they use. Each classroom has a binder with cleaning information and fliers are in all shared spaces with guidance on cleaning/disinfecting.  At this time, Classroom staff has been advised to only use soap and water in their daily cleanings.  High touch surfaces and objects (for example, door handles, sink handles, toilets, drinking fountains) will be regularly cleaned between uses as much as possible.  Disinfecting will be performed by our cleaning crew once the students are no longer on campus. The Corte Madera campus will continue to be cleaned nightly.  Junior High students will resume responsibility for cleaning the St. Vincent’s campus at the end of each day.  Over the weekend, the Junior High campus will be professionally cleaned.  

Visitors

Non-essential visitors, including parent volunteers, will be limited when students are on site.  Essential workers will be required to adhere to all health and safety guidelines, including proof of vaccination.  Any substitutes, contractors, visitors or volunteers working directly with students must be fully vaccinated.    

Events

Marin Montessori School recognizes the importance of gathering and community building.  However, we must balance this with our priority of keeping our community safe and the campus open for in-person learning.  In accordance with current Public Health guidelines, adult gatherings will be permitted on both the Junior High and Corte Madera campus without requiring proof of vaccination status.  These events will be held primarily outdoors and masking at all times will be required.  Food and drink will not be served in order to reduce the risk of socialization without a mask.    

Vaccine and Testing Requirements

In accordance with the School’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards, MMS expects all employees to be fully vaccinated to help safeguard the health and safety of our staff, students, and families from COVID-19.  Staff and student vaccination rate data (the percentage of staff and students who are fully vaccinated) will also be published and posted on the school website no later than October 1, 2021, and will be updated on a monthly basis at a minimum. Vaccination status of individual students and staff will not be made public.  Collection of student vaccination records will begin this fall.

Testing will be required prior to the return from any school break exceeding three days.  While Public Health does not recommend the routine testing of asymptomatic staff and students, Marin Montessori School may implement routine testing as an added safeguard later this fall.

For more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine and testing options, please go to the Testing and Vaccinations site on the Marin County Office of Education website.

Quarantine Requirements for Close Contact Exposures, Symptoms or Illness 

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to keep the virus from entering the campus in the first place. 

  • We ask parents/guardians to closely monitor their children for signs of infectious illness including COVID-19. Children who have symptoms of any infectious illness or symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend school.  Symptomatic children may return to school once symptoms have resolved.  If the child has a fever, the child must be 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medicine prior to returning to campus.

    • Children with mild symptoms may only return to campus if a doctor’s note is provided or is on file indicating that the symptoms are due to a known allergy.

  • Staff will also monitor for signs of infectious illness, including COVID-19, and will not report to work if they have symptoms.

  • All students and staff should continue completing the Cleared4School wellness check each morning.

  • We ask that you immediately notify Marin Montessori School using the healthandwellness@marinmontessori.org email address in the event that you or your child are experiencing any symptoms or have been in close contact with a person who has a suspected case or has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • To understand how we will be managing symptomatic community members or close contact exposures, please reference the Marin County COVID-19 Safety - Decision Tree for Schools - Vaccinated or Unvaccinated.    

  • When in doubt about whether to come to campus or not, please follow the guidance from Cleared4School and/or contact healthandsafety@marinmontessori.org.

The Infirmary

  • If a student at the Corte Madera campus becomes symptomatic during the day, the student will be taken to the Conference Room in the administrative building, which will serve as the campus’ infirmary.  The Office Manager will phone the student’s parents and the student will remain, supervised, in the infirmary until the parent arrives (please arrive within 30 minutes of receiving this notification).  After the child leaves, the conference room will be closed for 24 hours and disinfected.

  • If a student at the Junior High campus becomes symptomatic, the student will be taken to the designated infirmary.  The Junior High Director or Assistant will phone the student’s parent and the student will remain, supervised, in the infirmary until the parent arrives (please arrive within 30 minutes of receiving this notification).  After the student leaves, the infirmary will be closed for 24 hours and disinfected.

  • Crew members who become symptomatic while on campus are asked to leave campus and go home immediately.  Crew members may also wait in the infirmary if they need to be picked up.

Travel and Gatherings

  • If an unvaccinated student travels out of state, the student may attend school for in-person instruction if they stay asymptomatic, wear a mask, monitor for symptoms for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 5 days after they return from out-of-state travel. If any symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 or be evaluated by a healthcare provider. 

    • Quarantine may be discontinued after 7 days with a negative test completed on Day 5 or later if they remain asymptomatic.  

    • During modified quarantine students cannot participate in any extracurricular, social or community activities (incl. childcare). 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine but should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.  

  • At this time there are no limitations on gatherings beyond masking when indoors at a public location or when on campus.  We strongly encourage families to mask up when gathering together in groups and limit indoor activities.  

Additional Information

  • MMS is offering a limited transportation program this year for Junior High students in Marin County.  All riders will be masked, windows will be open when possible, and fans will be set to bring in fresh air from the outside, rather than recirculating the internal air.  

  • Carpools are permitted as long as riders remain masked at all times, windows are open (weather permitting) and riders are distanced as much as possible.

  • Physical distancing on campus is no longer recommended.  Recent evidence indicates that in-person instruction can occur safely without physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g. masking) are implemented.

  • If you would like to bring a snack or treat for your child’s birthday or a particular celebration, first please check with your child’s teacher.  All snacks/treats must be individually wrapped.  Single serving, prepacked foods are also acceptable.

  • Students will resume the use of reusable glass plates, bowls, cups and metal utensils in the classroom given that COVID-19 does not spread easily on surfaces. 

  • Students will resume their own snack preparation and cooking.  Teaching staff will ensure that students wash their hands prior to and after finishing their snack, as well as before and after cooking.  Students must remain masked for the entirety of the snack or meal preparation. 

And as always, if you have questions, concerns, feedback, etc. please feel free to email healthandsafety@marinmontessori.org!