Covid-19 Guidelines (2021-2022)

Please review our in-school policies below. Families are also expected to follow risk mitigations outside of school. If we hear of or observe unsafe behaviors, we have the right to ask students to stay home.

We will follow this updated Decision Aid in the event of positive cases. Please note, there are many factors that go into making these decisions and while the Decision Tree will serve as our guide, there may be circumstances in which we require additional information from families before determining the outcome.

Our School Nurse, Miriam Kotek, serves as the main point of contact for Covid related matters. She can be reached at kotekm@mjbha.org or 301-962-9400 x711. 

Guidelines (alphabetical order)

Students must wear masks while on the bus, keep the windows open (weather permitting), and only sit in seats that have been designated by the bus driver for students. Students may not eat or drink on the bus.

All passengers should wear a mask, and weather permitting, keep the windows down. 

If a member of the carpool has Covid, or Covid-like symptoms*, the entire carpool may need to quarantine while we await test results, depending on vaccination status.

*Anyone with Covid symptoms with or without a known exposure must stay home. Symptoms include: At least one of the following: fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, new onset cough, shortness of breath, chills, or new loss of taste or sense of smell, OR at least two of the following: muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose. For those with chronic conditions, any symptoms that are  a significant change from normal baseline should prompt a student to stay at home. Anyone with a known or suspected Covid exposure, regardless of vaccination status, must contact Nurse Miriam Kotek before returning to school.

 

As per our State and County health and safety guidelines, all students and all staff members must wear a mask at all times indoors, unless they are in a room alone. Masks must be worn outdoors if it is not possible to be at least 6 feet away from others. Gaiters and masks with external valves are not permitted. 

Cloth face coverings should cover the mouth, nose, and chin and should be washed after each use. Disposable masks are designed for one-time use and should be discarded after wear.

Please send extra masks in your child’s backpack, as well as a box of disposable masks to store in their lockers.

Students and faculty will be asked not to kiss the mezuzot this year. 

Our classrooms are set up with 3 ft distance between students. Unvaccinated students will eat with 6 ft distance between them. Vaccinated students will be able to eat without distance. 

This year, our Preschool, Lower, and Middle School will have grade level pods during the academic day. At times, grade levels come together for programs with risk mitigation factors (masking, distancing) in place. 

Our Upper School students will have classes and other programs together. Masking and distancing will be in place, except when eating. At this time, we have received confirmation that 92% of our Upper School student body, and 100% of our faculty are vaccinated. By October 1, our Upper School will be a 100% vaccinated “community.” We are reaching out to the families who have not yet submitted their vaccination cards and will take necessary steps and precautions to ensure the safety of our community.

Students from various grades join together for after care, homework hour, after school activities, and athletics. Students will be masked at all times during these programs, but there may be times when physical distancing is not in place. Should a positive case occur impacting one of these programs, we will utilize contact tracing to assess quarantine scenarios for our students.

We will follow this updated Decision Aid in the event of positive cases. Please note, there are many factors that go into making these decisions and while the Decision Tree will serve as our guide, there may be circumstances in which we require additional information from families before determining the outcome.

The CDC recently shared an update for K-12 indoor classroom settings, indicating the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed (student(s) correctly and consistently wore well fitting masks the entire time. At this time, we have decided not to adopt this exception in our school quarantine guidelines. We will continue to reevaluate with our Medical Task Force.  

As stated above, if a student, faculty member, or anyone in their household has Covid-like symptoms, has been exposed to someone with Covid, is awaiting Covid test results, or has a household member awaiting Covid test results, they will not be allowed on campus. If a vaccinated student or faculty member is exposed to someone with Covid, please contact Nurse Miriam Kotek before returning to campus.

“Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms*. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.”

When we ask for students to quarantine, we understand that it is difficult to keep children away from other household members. Quarantine means not leaving the house-unless it’s for the purpose of accessing healthcare.  If parents need to quarantine, they may not drive carpool or have close contact with others outside their household.  We ask that those students instructed to quarantine remain home and not have playdates with others.  As best as you can, try to keep them away from their siblings who are not in quarantine-but they do not need to be locked in a separate room. Often the quarantine will just be for a few days while we await test results for other students or staff in the affected pod.  However, there may be times when the quarantine will be for a full 10 days if there is a confirmed positive case in the pod.  One cannot get a negative test to “test themselves out of quarantine” and lift restrictions/return to school at an earlier than specified date.  While in quarantine, please monitor your child for symptoms, consult with your doctor if any symptoms should develop and notify Nurse Kotek if your pediatrician is concerned for a possible covid-like illness and/or is recommending covid testing.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

“Isolation is used to separate people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).”

Obviously, for small children-this might not be possible as they need to be cared for by an adult.  Isolation is typically a 10 day period of time from the onset of symptoms, during which time the child is considered contagious.  The caregiver should wear a mask (as well as the child when awake-if possible), attempt to keep a 6 foot distance as much as possible, frequently clean commonly touched surfaces and wash hands and limit contact as much as possible.  The caregiver and other household members will need to quarantine for an additional 10 days after their last contact with the child in isolation (the caregiver’s quarantine will be a total of 20 days-the 10 days that they are in contact with their child in isolation plus 10 full days after that exposure).  If the caregiver or any other household member starts to show signs or have symptoms of covid-like illness, then they should contact their health care provider for further instructions regarding testing and isolation. While in isolation, please keep Nurse Kotek informed of your situation and update as necessary so we can help guide you as to when your family is cleared to return to school.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/isolation.html

*Anyone with Covid symptoms with or without a known exposure must stay home. Symptoms include: At least one of the following: fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, new onset cough, shortness of breath, chills, or new loss of taste or sense of smell, OR at least two of the following: muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose. For those with chronic conditions, any symptoms that are  a significant change from normal baseline should prompt a student to stay at home. Anyone with a known or suspected Covid exposure, regardless of vaccination status, must contact Nurse Miriam Kotek before returning to school.

In addition to our regular cleaning and sanitization schedules, our facilities team will adapt the following procedures:

  • Restrooms: Cleaned 2x a day
  • Trash Removal: Additional and larger cans will be placed throughout the building
  • High touch Surfaces: Handrails, Water fountains, Buttons, Door knobs- cleaned daily
  • Ventilation: Merv-13 filters

Each room will be equipped with disinfecting wipes for students to use in between classes. Students will wipe down their tables/desks and chairs in order to prepare the space for the next student. Teachers will ensure that the spaces have been wiped down. 

Anyone with Covid symptoms with or without a known exposure must stay home. Symptoms include: At least one of the following: fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, new onset cough, shortness of breath, chills, or new loss of taste or sense of smell, OR at least two of the following: muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose. For those with chronic conditions, any symptoms that are  a significant change from normal baseline should prompt a student to stay at home. Anyone with a known or suspected Covid exposure, regardless of vaccination status, must contact Nurse Miriam Kotek before returning to school.

If a student begins to experience Covid-like symptoms during the school day, they will immediately be separated from other students and sent to Nurse Miram Kotek to determine appropriate next steps.

*A household member is considered anyone who spends significant time in your house (around Berman students/faculty). This includes nannies, housekeepers, other caregivers, or indoor Shabbat guests.

We ask that you follow any current school guidelines when planning or attending smachot. This includes indoor masking and eating outdoors or distanced if you are not vaccinated.

Our school travel guidelines are based on behaviors rather than location. Families should utilize the same risk mitigations while traveling that they do at home (masking indoors, avoiding large crowds, avoiding indoor dining, etc.). If your family had a Covid-exposure, or participated in a high risk activity (large gatherings with no Covid precautions in place, sleepovers with unvaccinated people, etc.), please contact Nurse Miriam Kotek before returning to school. 

In addition, students and faculty members must follow any current state or national guidelines for travel, both nationally and internationally.

All staff, and all students ages twelve and up are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by October 1, 2021. Parents must upload their card to the Parent Portal. If your child has already received their vaccine, we ask that you upload the card before the start of the school year so we can plan accordingly. 

Students who turn 12 after the start of the school year will need to provide proof of vaccination within 45 days following their twelfth birthday.

All students and staff will be required to receive a flu vaccine this year. We will share a timeline once this year’s vaccine is released.