Wilberforce Health and Safety Bulletin
This Bulletin provides details for our back-to-school plans for the 2021-2022 academic year.
All students, faculty, and staff will be on campus for the 2021-2022 school year.
Update from Head of School 8/12/21
- Covid-19 Vaccination
- Mask Wearing
- Absentee Survey (replacing daily health screening)
- Sick Child Policy
- Instruction on Campus and Support for Absent Students
- Campus Life
- Parent Visitor Policy
- Close Contact Policy
- If you or your child test positive for COVID
Please note that a person’s vaccination status is confidential medical information between themselves and their health care provider. We ask that all members of our community respect the privacy of others in our school.
Effective August 9, 2021, the New Jersey governor issued an executive order requiring each school to maintain a policy regarding mandatory use of face masks by staff, students, and visitors in the indoor portion of the school premises, with some exceptions for various circumstances. Our policy is to follow the governor’s orders. Thus, all students, staff, and visitors are required to wear appropriate face masks while indoors unless they are eating, drinking, or exercising, as described in the governor’s order.
Masks are not required outdoors.
It is crucially important that parents keep children at home when they are sick, symptomatic, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID.
Each morning, parents will receive a text reminding them that by sending their child to school they are affirming that their student(s) are not sick, symptomatic, and have not been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID.
If your child needs to miss school, we ask you to fill out the Absentee Survey to indicate your child’s absence and the reason for the absence.
Students must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. A doctor’s note will be required prior to returning to school.
There will not be a remote learning option for children who are at home sick. Please contact your child’s teacher(s) so that they can coordinate missed school work.
All instruction will be on campus this year. We are not offering remote learning options. If there is a COVID exposure in class that requires a whole class to quarantine for several days, the students will then learn remotely through Google Classroom and Zoom. There will be no blended learning with some students in-person while others at home.
Students who need to be off campus because of sickness or quarantine should contact their teacher who will help to work out a plan for the student to keep abreast of instruction in class. Teachers are committed to supporting our students. However, it is important to realize that “keeping up” is not the same as watching all classes on Zoom. There are many situations in which simply reading or working through problems, and perhaps having a short call with a teacher, is better for the students than watching Zoom classes.
Lower School - Teachers will work with students to help them make up any lessons or material missed. Teachers will send missed work home with students upon the day of their return and will allow sufficient time for a student to complete this missed work. Parents should not call/email to collect missed work until a student has been absent three consecutive days. In each case, teachers will work with parents and students so they do not fall behind in their studies. Please do not worry about your child missing school. Sickness is a normal part of the school year, and our curriculum spirals back to concepts covered when your child was not present.
Middle and Upper School - Teachers will give instructions to their students on how they can engage the class from home. Instructions will vary from class to class. Teachers, at their discretion, may give instructions to join a live class on Zoom, watch a recording, or work independently. As we have learned from this past year of hybrid and remote learning, there are some subjects and classes that lend themselves better to a synchronous live Zoom session than others. For example, rather than having a student engage in a live discussion with audio challenges, it might better serve the student to get ahead in their assigned reading or assignment (essay, project, or problem sets) during that class time. In each case, teachers will work with students to support them so they do not fall behind in their studies. Students should not expect to receive instructions within the first 24-hours of their absence.
- We will continue to hold classes outdoors as much as is practical.
- We will also eat outside as much as possible. During inclement weather, we will eat inside - while transmission rates are high students will eat at their desks.
- We have HEPA filters in every classroom which filter out COVID particles. We also are diligent to bring fresh air into our classrooms and common areas at regular intervals.
- We will not be cohorting classes.
- We do plan to resume field trips.
Lower School: Classes 4-5 are still planning on going to Gettysburg, PA. We will monitor conditions closer to the date of the trip. Each student, parent and teacher will be required to submit a negative COVID test within 48 hours of departure. Covid rapid tests are now freely available, inexpensive, and over-the-counter at CVS and other local pharmacies. (For home tests, please submit a picture of test kit result.)
Middle and Upper School Retreat: We do plan to resume our Middle and Upper School September Retreat at Black Rock Retreat Center in Lancaster, PA. Each student and teacher will be required to submit a negative COVID test within 48 hours of departure. Covid rapid tests are now freely available, inexpensive, and over-the-counter at CVS and other local pharmacies. (For home tests, please submit a picture of test kit result.)
Group meetings of the Parent Teacher Fellowship will resume, outdoors as much as possible, but also in designated areas indoors when needed. Parents are asked to follow current state protocols for indoor and outdoor mask wearing.
Parents can meet with faculty or staff by appointment.
Parent volunteers are welcome, and must follow current protocols and answer survey questions at the front desk.
Open Classroom events and tours will resume, unless conditions in the community are prohibitive.
Food sent into school is by prior approval only.
Who is considered a “close contact” of a person with COVID?
Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone with suspected or known COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes during a 24-hour period. In certain situations, it may be difficult to determine whether individuals have met this criterion and an entire cohort, classroom, or other group may need to be considered exposed.
What do I do if I am a student or teacher who discovers he or she has been a close contact of a person with COVID.
Exposed close contacts who are not fully vaccinated should be referred for COVID-19 testing. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days should not be referred for COVID-19 testing.
Exposed close contacts who have no COVID-like symptoms and are either fully vaccinated or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days:
- Do not need to quarantine, be excluded from school, but should be tested 3-5 days following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- Should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.
- Should wear a mask in other indoor public settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
What do I do if my child or someone in our household tests positive for COVID?
This is important, time sensitive information to convey to the school.
Please contact either the Lower School Head, Hyme Park, or the Middle/Upper School Head, Leo Yoon, immediately.Call their cell phone.Do not rely upon email.
- School Hours
- After-School Activities
- Physical Education (PE) & Athletics
- Musical Instruction
- Respect and Care
Physical education will resume normal schedules for Lower School.
Both Middle and Upper School athletics will resume. We follow the protocols of our league, the NJSIAA. Our Athletic Director will communicate relevant protocols as they come out from NJSIAA.
Spectators are permitted at all outdoor athletic events. We ask that parents observe whatever mask-wearing protocols are required by the state at that time. We anticipate that indoor spectators for winter sports will be allowed as well, but we will announce those plans closer to the beginning of the winter season.
We seek to promote a culture of respect and care toward fellow students and families who make different choices about masks, vaccines, or other measures. Unkindness or any kind of making fun of other students or adults for their choices about how to manage their health is out of place and will not be tolerated at Wilberforce.