Dear SPMA Families,
As we complete our fourth week of school, we are happy to announce we have had no positive COVID cases. We have sent several children and their siblings home due to cold-related symptoms but each ill child has either been cleared by a Healthcare Provider or has presented documentation reporting a negative COVID test result prior to returning to school.
As we enter the cold, flu, and strep season we will continue to monitor students for concerning symptoms. We are very grateful for the many families who err on the side of caution before sending their child to school. The decision to send your child to school when ill can affect the health and well-being of other students and their families. We are also thankful for those parents who have worked with us in achieving our health and wellness goal to keep everyone in school. This often means picking up your child promptly when there is a concern for an illness and taking the appropriate action to seek medical attention. We thank you for your patience.
Despite having no current COVID cases at SPMA, a positive case of COVID will result in the following:
Families will be notified immediately if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. The decision for a class or the school to self-isolate and begin Montessori Distance Learning (MDL) for 14 days will be dependent on the interaction or any potential interaction between the sick individual and others.
During MDL, families will begin to monitor their child(ren) for COVID-like symptoms at home. Symptomatic children will be required to be tested before returning. Asymptomatic individuals may test 7 days after an exposure to an individual who is COVID positive, as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Parents or individuals in close contact with children who test positive for COVID are required to quarantine their child for 14 days and should notify the school immediately. In any case, we will maintain the confidentiality of positive test results as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Our current process for sending children home for COVID-like symptoms is as follows:
If a student or staff member presents with concerning COVID-like symptoms, he/she will be asked to be excluded from school immediately. To return to school, students or staff must meet the following requirements:
- Provide a negative COVID test result, with proper documentation.
- Student/staff member is cleared by a Healthcare Provider/Pediatrician with documentation that deems the individual is well enough to return to our campus.
Documentation is due prior to entering the school and may be received via email, fax or hand-delivered. If a COVID test is not recommended by a Healthcare Provider, this must also be either stated in the documentation or a differential diagnosis must be provided. If a COVID test is recommended but the test is not performed, the student will be asked to quarantine for 14 days following the onset of their first symptom. If a child or staff member has a negative COVID test result but is still exhibiting moderate symptoms, he or she may not return.
Individuals will be excluded or remain home from school if they exhibit one of the following moderate COVID symptoms:
- Fever greater than 99.4
- New onset or worsening cough
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
Individuals will be excluded or remain home from school if they exhibit two of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea- Chills
- Muscle pain/excessive fatigue
- Nasal congestion/runny nose
Siblings of an ill student with COVID-like symptoms may be asked to be sent home as well. This is reviewed on a case by case basis and is often determined by the number and severity of symptoms.
In addition to our COVID policy, our sick policy located on page 5 of our SPMA Handbook reminds families that individuals with a fever greater than 99.4 may not return to school for 48 hours without the use of Tylenol and/or Motrin. In addition, individuals who require the use of antibiotics must take the medication as prescribed for 24-hours prior to returning to school.
Our goal is to have students and staff members return to school each and every day. To maintain the integrity, health and well-being of our school, we take every case seriously and appreciate your patience. The COVID policy may change as we use multiple platforms to make the best decisions for our school. We rely heavily on the CDC’s recommendations and also trend for changes within our community. We are also open to hearing suggestions, answer questions, and listen to concerns as we view our school as a community of its own.
Lauren Singer, RN, BSN, BSHS
SPMA School Nurse