Home COVID-19 Planning & Safety
Park Day School is committed to providing a safe environment where dynamic and engaging learning thrives. Health and safety, while supporting our students and their learning, is at the forefront of our efforts.
Alameda County is currently in the Purple Tier per the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which indicates widespread COVID-19 in our county. Schools may not open for in-person learning until disease conditions improve and we move into the next tier (Red) for 14 days. While we are in the Purple Tier, the County is accepting waivers to allow in-person learning for elementary school grades. On September 17 we applied for a waiver to reopen elementary grades in some capacity. Park Day School will continually assess Alameda County’s mandates as they are announced. See below for more information about the waiver process.
Comprehensive Reopening Plan (Printable)
Park Day School will remain in distance learning mode until Alameda County is out of the purple zone on the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days and infections are trending downward, and/or Alameda County grants an elementary waiver which permits us to bring students to campus.
Park Day School applied for an elementary school waiver on September 17. This was in response to the September 2 announcement from the Alameda County Office of Education (in cooperation with Alameda County Public Health Department) opening the waiver process for schools located in counties on the state’s coronavirus watchlist who are seeking to resume in-person instruction.
As of September 17, more than 400 waivers have been granted to elementary schools in California. Should Park Day be granted a waiver, we are planning to have a phased/gradual reopening with two grades (4 – 6 cohorts) starting at a time. View ACgov school-guidance website for most up to date information.
When permitted by Alameda County, we are planning for a return to campus in stable cohorts. Decision making will be based on guidelines from local public health officials, State guidelines, Alameda County’s recent School Reopening Guidance, and CDC recommendations, including physical distancing in the classroom, facial coverings for staff and students, expanded cleaning and health protocols to minimize risk of infection, and screenings for illness. We have been working with epidemiologists at Capsid Consulting to refine and improve our plans.
We recognize that we can only manage the safety procedures for the daily operations on the Park Day campus. The success of our plan to have all students learning on campus depends upon our families and community upholding their social responsibility to remain vigilant, adhering to the health and safety orders of our county.
It is important for our school community to recognize that our plan to protect student and staff health is two fold:
We plan to provide regular and transparent updates to our community as local, State, and Federal recommendations evolve over the summer. We will be in touch with families in August with more finalized plans.
Prior to re-opening campus, we will require each family to complete the COVID Parent Acknowledge Risk form.
We are continually updating our health and safety policies and practices, with guidance from the California and Alameda County Departments of Health, the Alameda County Office of Education, and the CDC. We know that many of these changes are inconvenient and may take adjusting to, but all were made to keep our community safe.
To be successful, we’ll need our students and employees to share the responsibility of keeping our campus community healthy and safe, to be alert for symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19 and if feeling unwell in any way, to stay home.
Face Coverings and Other Protective Gear
Health Screening and Testing for Students and Staff
Healthy Hygiene Practices
Ventilation and Outdoor Spaces:
Increasing outdoor air circulation lowers the risk of infection by “diluting” any infectious respiratory virus with outdoor air. Being outside is even lower risk.
Staff Training and Family Education
All staff and students will be trained and families will be educated on the application and enforcement of our plan.
Physical distancing between individuals in classrooms and about campus will be the new norm. We have made many changes to our facilities to promote health and safety of our staff and students.
We are increasing our janitorial services to ensure health and safety of staff and students, and working to ensure that cleaning and disinfecting is being done to meet EPA as well as CDC and local guidelines.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols: Janitorial staff will perform nightly cleaning and disinfecting of all occupied classrooms, restrooms, offices, and hallways, following the most recent CDC guidelines. Janitorial staff are cleaning and disinfecting restrooms and all high touch surfaces throughout the school day.
Ventilation and Outdoor Spaces: Increasing outdoor air circulation lowers the risk of infection by “diluting” any infectious respiratory virus with outdoor air. Being outside is even lower risk. Classes will not be held outside if the AQI is over 100. School will be cancelled if the AQI is over 150.
Outdoor Spaces: Cohorts will do as many activities outside as possible, especially snacks/meals and activities that produce more respiratory droplets such as active exercise. We will be designating separate outdoor spaces for each cohort, and have planned over 15 outdoor classroom areas with seating spaced 6 foot apart.
Inside Spaces: None of the buildings on the Park Day campus have central air systems, and thus there are fewer concerns about recirculated air. Weather and air quality permitting, windows will be opened to increase ventilation with outdoor air when health and safety allow, for example, when it does not worsen individuals’ allergies or asthma. When possible, exterior room doors will be slightly opened to promote flow of outdoor air through the indoor space. Generally, opening windows will effectively increase the amount of outdoor air in a room.
Air Purifiers: Portable True HEPA and activated carbon filter air purifiers will be provided in all classrooms and offices prior to reopening.
Park Day School has contracted with Agile Force to host community COVID testing sessions every two weeks for all staff and our school community.
The first tests will be administered on September 28th and 29th 2020. Participants schedule appointments online- through Agile Force scheduler portal. Tests are offered at no cost to the employee and community. Community members will be provided with the RT- PCR Test (99.9% accuracy, FDA approved- nasal swab) – with the option to have the IgG Antibody test.
The Agile testing lab provides a summary report within 72 hours of the testing session. The results will be submitted to Alameda County Health Department and to the participant directly.
When Park Day’s campus officially opens, staff, students, and families will be asked to show documentation showing the results of a negative COVID test dated at no more than two weeks prior to the date of our return to campus. In between testing and a return to campus, Park Day asks all community members to reduce their social exposure to essential business only, and tighten all social circles to avoid exposure.
In the event a member of our community is diagnosed with COVID-19, or if anyone in their household, or anyone who has had close contact with a student, is diagnosed with COVID-19, they will contact our Public Health Liaison, Cassandra McCraw, email@example.com, immediately. In the event a possible case of COVID-19 is detected within our School community, we will follow the Alameda County Office of Education and Health Department protocols.
Criteria for school re-entry will be updated as we receive revisions from the public health agencies.
Isolation & Quarantine | COVID-19
The Contract Tracing Team will support County Contact Tracing efforts by listing all staff/students that had close contact* with the confirmed COVID-19 positive individual during the time period between two days prior to when the individual’s symptoms appeared and the last time the individual was on the school campus. The school will utilize the contact tracing feature of Titan HST, which will aid us in quickly determining contact exposure in the case of any cases on campus, and communicate with contacts and require that they all quarantine following County quarantine instructions for 14 days after the last date the case was present at school while infectious.
School Communications: The Communications team will communicate with staff and families promptly sharing any notifications or changes. In the case of confirmed cases, the school will follow the County guidance for communications and other safety protocols.
School Response Team
*Close Contact being within 6 ft of the confirmed COVID-19 + individual and for more than 15 minutes
Once we are permitted to reopen, the school (or a particular class/cohort) will switch to Distance Learning per State guidance if 5% or more of staff and students test positive, and/or and if/when:
Students will be in stable cohorts that will remain separate from each other. Cohorts will be comprised of no more than 14 students each, and faculty staffing will remain stable during set periods of time in order to support students. The total head count for the cohort (no more than 14 students) will remain at 16 or fewer people at all times. If reopening under the waiver, each teacher will work with one to two stable cohorts depending on their teaching role with the school.
We have designed and are ready to implement three operating scenarios to meet varying conditions.
The on campus model is modified to allow for physical distancing and to meet County guidelines. Varying technological supports allow families who choose to keep their students at home to participate in distance learning. Cohort sizes are determined by state and county guidelines.
We are planning stable cohorts (see Stable Cohorts above). Distance learning cohort groups were announced in August. We intend to utilize the outdoor space on our beautiful campus as much as possible, and have planned over 15 outdoor classroom areas with seating spaced 6 foot apart.
Accommodating Students Who Need to Stay Remote: Some families will choose to keep their students home because of health concerns, and some students may need to quarantine at home. It is likely that we will experience a positive case of COVID-19 in our school community. In these cases the school will utilize our Remote Learning tools to support their learning. To provide scaffolding and support, in the first weeks of school, students will receive instruction on using their designated platform for remote learning.
The Hybrid Model involves a sustained program of instructing stable cohorts both on campus and remotely. This would become necessary if the County requires or the school determines that we need to reduce student density on campus for safety reasons. Alternate schedules have been developed for this possibility, and teaching and learning will utilize Distance Learning tools.
An upgraded distance-only learning model was designed based on survey feedback and will also reflect new guidelines. We will launch Distance Learning instruction if / when:
Lower School: Our Distance Learning schedule is aligned with the developmental needs of each grade level. Based on feedback from our family surveys, we are prioritizing synchronous learning, smaller group instruction, and/or 1:1 check-ins.
Middle School: Our Distance Learning schedule is very similar to our on campus schedule, which makes it easy for us to toggle between the two. Based on feedback from our family surveys, we are prioritizing synchronous learning, smaller group instruction, and/or 1:1 check-ins.
We have been working to improve our technological solutions for our students when learning remotely.
Field Trips and Overnights: Unfortunately, all overnight and field trips are on hold until health guidelines change. We are developing ways for students to bond and get (re)acquainted at the start of the year.
Community Gatherings & Special Events: All school-sponsored in-person events will be canceled or held in an online format, if possible. Once restrictions loosen, in-person events will be determined on a case-by-case basis with strict adherence to Alameda County Department of Public Health guidelines.
On August 24th, all staff completed a training on the entire reopening plan and health and safety practices. Prior to reopening, leadership will review health and safety practices with the community, including staff, students, and families. The review will include daily health screening, facial covering requirements, healthy hygiene, physical distancing, and drop-off and pick-up procedures. In addition, the Park Day website hosts videos to help guide families and students as to best practices in sanitation and social distancing.
State Guidebook for Reopening Schools
In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California
Alameda County School Reopening Plans
California Dept of Public Health COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Schools