The Paideia School

COVID-19 Policy

August 2024

Welcome back to school! We all hope you had a fun and restful summer.

The two nurses offices are located in the 1509 building (1st floor) and the Junior High house 1st floor (the door across from the main JH entrance).

The nurses rely on the information you enter and update annually into Magnus Health to assess and treat your children as issues arise. Please make sure you have updated your students’ information.  If your student needs an updated immunization form please specify to the doctor’s office you need the 3231 form, not just the office list of immunizations. 

Please make plans for your students, and family, to get the flu shot and COVID booster this fall. 

CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older receive an updated 2024-2025 COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 this fall and winter whether or not they have ever previously been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. The updated 24-25 COVID vaccine will be available in August or September. We do not currently have plans to offer the COVID vaccine with the flu shot clinic.

Our on-campus community flu shot clinic will be held on Wednesday, Oct 2, 2024 from 2:30-5:30pm.

August 2022

Paideia School is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all its employees, students, parents, and guests. To help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in our school community, we have developed the following policies.

The policies and procedures outlined below are not intended to be permanent but will remain in place until the School communicates otherwise. In addition, this plan will be updated as federal, state, and local guidelines and regulations change. The school will communicate revisions as needed. 

Resources and Guiding Entities

The School's COVID-19 policies are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),  Georgia Department of Health (DPH); federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including standards related to COVID-19; and Georgia Department of Education. A committee of school employees and a public health physician developed the Paidiea plans with input from our administrative staff.

The School's COVID-19 policies are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),  Georgia Department of Health (DPH); federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including standards related to COVID-19; and Georgia Department of Education. A committee of school employees and a public health physician developed the Paidiea plans with input from our administrative staff.

  1. Implementation

    To be effective, this plan requires the cooperation of all our community members. All employees and community members are responsible for implementing and complying with the school's plan. This plan includes multiple steps to mitigate COVID-19 contagion. 

    This plan addresses the health and safety procedures that the school has implemented and the responsibilities of the school and its community members, including:
  • self-screening procedures and policies for anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms;
  • prevention procedures, including hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
  • cleaning, sanitizing, and ventilation;
  • prompt identification and isolation of sick individuals and protocols for contact tracing;
  • management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan;
  • communications and instructions for the school community; and
  • communications and training that will be provided to employees. 
  1. Face coverings 

    It is optional for students, employees and visitors to wear face coverings while inside buildings on campus. At times of increased community spread we highly recommend wearing masks indoors. We respect and support everyone's personal decisions regarding masking.
  • If someone has had close contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID we recommend wearing a mask indoors and around others for 10 days following their last exposure. 
  • Outdoors: In general people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. At times of substantial to high transmission, it is recommended that people wear masks in large crowds or in close contact with others not fully vaccinated.
  • For large gatherings or events there may be special mask requirements depending on community spread (Paideia or metro Atlanta) and the specifics of the event. Currently, we recommend masking while indoors at assemblies or other large gatherings.
  1. Health Screenings and Symptom Assessment and Reporting

    We will continue to require employees and families to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, stay home and get a COVID test. As defined by the CDC, individuals with COVID-19 may have any of the following symptoms, which may appear two to 10 days after exposure to the virus: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle or body aches, congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. According to the CDC, this list of symptoms does not include all possible symptoms. Please contact your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

    The School has implemented the following policies and procedures to layer multiple preventive strategies; to provide a process for employees and families to report when they are sick, experiencing symptoms, or if they or anyone in their household have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  1. Covid-19 Illness Policy:

    Recognizing that it's not possible to eliminate risk altogether, we will rely on the diligence of parents, students, faculty and staff to do our best to reduce the risk of spreading viral illness on our Paideia campus. We will work with the Dekalb County Board of Health if anyone on campus is diagnosed with any reportable illness, such as Covid-19, while protecting each individual's privacy of personal information. Currently, only clusters of COVID infections need to be reported to Dekalb County. A COVID-19 cluster is defined as three or more people (students or staff) with symptom onset/collection dates within a 14-day period who do not share a household.
  1. Daily Screening Plans 

    Students (with parental supervision) and employees must self-screen daily. Students and employees should stay home if they have signs of infection. They need a negative COVID test prior to returning to school.

    Do you have any of the following symptoms?
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

    If answering "yes" to any of these symptoms or questions, please stay home unless symptoms are due to a chronic health condition.
  1. What to do if you are sick:
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. While waiting for test results stay away from others, including staying apart from those living in your household.
  • Get tested as soon as possible after your symptoms start. Treatments may be available for people with COVID-19 who are at risk for becoming very sick. Don’t delay: Treatment must be started early to be effective—some treatments must begin within 5 days of your first symptoms. Contact your healthcare provider right away if your test result is positive to determine if you are eligible. 
  • Self-tests are one of several options for the COVID-19 virus and may be more convenient than laboratory-based tests and point-of-care tests. Ask your healthcare provider or your local health department if you need help interpreting your test results.
  • You can visit your local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing sites.
  1. For students, faculty, and staff who test positive at home:
STEP 1: Report illness to the school nurse at nurse@paideiaschool.org. Day 0 is the day the person tested positive or the day new symptoms started, whichever is earlier.
STEP 2: Stay home for five days and isolate from others in your home.
STEP 3:
(If asymptomatic or improving on day five)

You may return to school or sports if:

  1. Your symptoms are gone
    OR
  2. 24-hours after you no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication and your symptoms have improved. You must wear a mask indoors and around others for 10 days after the start of your illness.
STEP 3:
(If symptomatic on day five)
Remain at home. You may return when you are improving and 24-hours after your fever stops without the use of fever-reducing medication. Continue to wear a mask through the 10th day while indoors and around others.
STEP 4: Continue to mask for a total 10 days from day 0.

 

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and get a COVID test. If you test positive you need to stay home and isolate away from others for 5 days. On the 6th day, if your symptoms are gone or improving you may leave isolation and attend school or work. You must continue to wear a mask indoors and around others for another 5 days. Please notify nurse@paideiaschool.org of any positive students or employees.

If you are not well enough to attend school or work on the 6th day, you may return when you are feeling better and have had no temperature over 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours or more without fever-reducing medicines.

  1. If you become ill while at school:
  • If a student or employee becomes sick or is experiencing symptoms at school, they will go to the nurse clinic for an evaluation and COVID-19 test if available. If they test positive or have other symptoms that necessitate going home the student will wait in the clinic area until a parent, guardian or their designee is able to pick them up. All students will be supervised by an adult while waiting to go home.
  • Employees who become sick or experience symptoms while at school should notify their supervisor, contact the nurse and leave the school immediately and get a COVID test.
  • If there is a risk that classmates or others on campus were exposed, families will be notified via email.
  1. Notification of Covid-19 cases

    On campus contacts will be notified via email. Anyone testing positive needs to notify people they have had close contact with outside class or school activities in the last 48 hours. COVID positive people will receive these instructions and dates about returning to school and activities from the nurse. We are required, by law, to report COVID clusters to the Dekalb County Board of Health.  Any information provided to the Dekalb County Board of Health will be kept confidential in accordance with federal, state and local privacy laws.

    If someone has had "close contact" with a person who is positive for COVID-19 they may continue to come to campus. Please screen yourself carefully each day for signs and symptoms and test yourself for COVID at least 5 days after your last contact. If you develop symptoms at any time, stay home and get tested. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a person for 15 minutes or more (cumulatively) in a 24 hour period.

    Parents should continue to report student absences via email to the appropriate teacher or level Principal's assistant. The nurse must also be notified, via email at nurse@paideiaschool.org, of students testing positive for COVID-19.

    Employees should notify the school of any absence (Kristal Litchefield and your level Principal's assistant). Please report absences for COVID-19 diagnoses to nurse@paideiaschool.org as well.
  1. Return to School Requirements:

    If students or employees are ill with any Covid-19 symptoms please contact your health care professional if you have questions about your care.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, isolate for at least 5 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your positive test date or the first day of symptoms, whichever was earliest. Day 1 is the first full day after test positive or your symptoms developed.
  • You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms are gone or have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​).
  • You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at school, home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days. Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.
  • If you continue to have fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask for the full 10 day period.. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions.
  1. Vaccinations

    We strongly recommend getting COVID vaccinations. All of our employees are vaccinated and a very large percentage of our students are vaccinated. We request everyone stay up to date on COVID vaccinations along with their other vaccinations.  We will offer clinics periodically for both COVID and flu vaccinations.
  1. Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

    Education of preventing virus spread, hand washing, and cough etiquette will be incorporated into all levels of school. We ask that everyone in the school community adhere to the following:
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible, but always:
    • before and after using the toilet
    • before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
    • before and after eating
    • after sneezing, coughing or using a tissue
    • after contact with garbage or high exposure areas such as a door handle,
    • banisters, and elevator buttons, after touching an animal
    • before leaving for school and as soon as you get home from school
    • between classes
    • If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Consider wearing face coverings in large gatherings and when community spread is high.
  • Do not share food or drinks – always have a personal water bottle that is cleaned
  • thoroughly each day with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you need to cough or sneeze.
  • Mouth and nose secretions should be wrapped with tissue and discarded in a
  • designated garbage can.
  • If you do not have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow to block secretions from your mouth and nose.
  1. Cleaning and Maintenance of Campus
  • HVAC systems have been cleaned and replaced where necessary. The school is following an aggressive filter replacement schedule to meet CDC requirements for enhanced ventilation and safety. Spaces have been assessed for access to greater fresh air intake. Each HVAC system on campus is different, but in cases where we can mechanically increase fresh air intake, we have. We encourage windows to be opened where possible.
  • Each classroom will have disinfectant spray, towels and disinfectant wipes for teachers and students to clean room surfaces during the day.
  • The disinfectant selected to clean rooms and buildings is approved by CDC and EPA and was chosen based on the speed with which it kills viruses and its safety for users.
  • Classrooms and buildings will be cleaned thoroughly each night.
  1. Visitor Policy
  • Visitors to the school, including parents may follow our mask optional policy. We request consideration and respect for everyone's masking choices. Please be aware of small meetings/gatherings and the individual participants' desires regarding masking.
  • Admissions applicants and their families will abide by the masking guidelines set by the admissions department. Please contact the admissions office for their current policy.
  1. Student General Health Policy:

    Students should stay home if they have fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, a very frequent cough or breathing trouble, strep throat, pinkeye, persistent pain (ear, stomach, etc.), or a widespread rash. To prevent the spread of illness, they may not return to school for at least 24 hours until they have been:
  • Fever-free, meaning no temperature over 100.0, without the use of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours
  • Free from vomiting or diarrhea – This includes being able to tolerate food and drink without more vomiting or diarrhea
  • Your student should be well enough to participate in learning and manage any symptoms that may linger (i.e. congestion, runny nose, cough).Younger students may need an extra day to fully recover

If a student is seen by a physician and tests positive for a viral or bacterial infection (other than Covid-19), a note from the physician is necessary before the they return to school.

Students that become ill during school hours should notify their teacher and go to the designated person for their school level. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 or a temperature of 100.0 or higher will be isolated, with supervision, and sent home. Parents will be contacted to pick up their student within one hour. If their temperature is elevated due to being outside and warm from surroundings or extra clothing, a retake of the temperature can be done to ensure accuracy. The nurse will be contacted for any questions or clarifications of symptoms.

  • Students with a temperature less than 100.0 but displaying illness symptoms or if the teacher states the student is unable to participate in class because they do not feel well will be evaluated by the nurse and sent home as necessary.
  • Students will remain in the clinic or designated area in JH or HS until pick up. Students may be picked up directly from the clinic or designated area in JH or HS and will be signed out from there. We recommend contacting their doctor for guidance.
  • Please notify the school immediately if your child is diagnosed with any communicable disease once they are home.