Session 3 Protocol
(Updated January 1, 2023)
COVID-19 and other transmissible airborne illnesses continue to play a role in our lives, but (thankfully) we have strategies and more knowledge of how to safely navigate them. At OSA, it’s important our students have as positive, safe, and interactive experience as possible. This plan will be amended as we learn more. Parents will be advised of changes in the Weekly Updates. Safety measures may change depending on current and updated public health guidelines. OSA is committed to following all requirements and recommendations from the Ventura County Department of Public Health.
SESSION 3 SAFETY MEASURES:
- Indoor masking is optional. It is recommended for those at risk, with family members at risk, or if recovering from any illness. Masking requirements will be amended if the Ventura County Department of Public Health recommends indoor masking;
- All OSA staff working with students in any indoor capacity are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Any additional staff or subcontractors working indoors with students this year will fall under the same requirement;
- Families are encouraged to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. One Spark Academy will give registration priority to children who are fully immunized against COVID-19 prior to entry. With a small population of students, our program is less at risk of an outbreak if most students are vaccinated against COVID-19. This decision is not only based on the VCDPH recommendations, but due to concerns by staff and current families with at-risk members;
- A vaccination requirement is currently in place for any participants (students or chaperones) of any overnight trips that OSA takes part in;
- Our ongoing safety measures include creating a low transmission learning environment as much as possible: high % of vaccinated persons; good ventilation/filtration for all indoor spaces; and, being outdoors as much as possible.
- All students/staff must be mindful of actions that contribute to increased airborne transmission: singing, loud talking, shouting, etc. while indoors. These actions require greater distance from others as well as greater ventilation;
- OSA COVID-19 Safety Recommendations follow the “K-12 Guidelines 2022-2023 School Year” plan, updated September 30, 2022, as well as the Ventura County Department of Public Health guidelines and amended with consideration of our particular needs, population, and environment.
The key for us as an OSA community is to do our best to keep ourselves and others healthy. With consideration of our particular needs, we believe we are on track with the following:
- The CDC is currently relaxing its quarantine and social distancing recommendations if there is exposure but no symptoms/ positive test, but continues to recommend masking if you suspect recent exposure but have not tested positive, are in poorly ventilated or crowded indoor locations, when visiting at-risk populations, or when recovering from any illness.
QUICK GUIDE if your child tests positive for COVID-19, if they exhibit symptoms, or if they’ve been in close contact to someone with COVID-19:
- Students/staff who are sick with ANY flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, coughing, sneezing) may not attend classes, even if a test for COVID is negative.
- If students/staff exhibit any flu-like symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, they may not attend classes until they are asymptomatic for five days (some symptoms may be residual but not active) and test negative;
- If students/staff are asymptomatic for five days and still test positive, we will make recommendations for this situation on a case-by-case basis, as to when students/staff return, which may include:
- vaccination status of student;
- active COVID illnesses by other persons in the home;
- COVID illness recovery within 90 days;
- risk-factors of others that the person may come in contact with;
- types of classes taken;
- If students are not feeling well— even if you think it’s just a cold:
- Do not come to OSA classes;
- Get tested with an at-home (Rapid Antigen) or PCR test;
- Please know that false negatives may occur the first two days of symptoms with either test. A PCR test is still the preferred and more accurate test for the first two days of COVID-19 symptoms. Visit vcrecovers.org for information about testing options;
- If students have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19:
- Review CDC guidelines here.
- Get tested with an at-home (Rapid Antigen) or PCR test;
- If negative, take precautions immediately, which includes isolation from COVID-19 positive family members as much as possible, and/or wearing a mask around them;
- If students test negative for COVID-19 and are not exhibiting symptoms of any illness, they may attend classes, but taking precautions is recommended (masking when distance isn’t possible, staying away from high-risk individuals) for five or more days;
- Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19. Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.
- Indoor masking is optional, but recommended for those at risk, with family members at risk, or if recovering from any illness. Students or staff who opt to mask for any reason should feel comfortable to do so. If wearing a mask for the safety of yourself or others, KN95 or snug surgical masks are recommended. Most other masks are not effective;
- Should indoor masking requirements resume per the VCDPH: All students, staff, and visiting adults would need to wear masks that are worn properly and fit snugly over both the nose and the mouth (KN95 or snug surgical masks);
- A surgical mask will be provided to students who request one.
- Any student who arrives on site and/or who exhibits visible symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or its variants will need to isolate until a parent can be reached for pick up. It is the responsibility of the parents to have their child tested for COVID-19 if symptoms warrant it, and communicate to OSA the results of that test;
- We recommend parents assess students prior to arrival on site;
- Students/staff who have any knowledge of continued exposure despite a negative test should take extra precautions around others (e.g. masking, distancing).
COMMUNICATION IF THERE IS EXPOSURE AT OSA
- If OSA is made aware that a student/staff member has tested positive for the virus, and may have exposed students and/or staff, anyone with direct contact with that individual will be contacted via email (name of student will not be shared unless their parent agrees), and appropriate measures will be decided. If known, the degree of exposure will be shared with parents. Parents can then decide whether to watch for symptoms and/or get a COVID test. OSA may require a negative Covid test prior to returning to classes, for exposed students/staff, dependent on the level of exposure.
- Getting tested for COVID-19 when symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 will help with rapid contact tracing and prevent possible community spread.
IF STUDENTS/TEACHERS MISS CLASS DUE TO ILLNESS
- We currently have NO plans to offer concurrent online and in person instruction. It is too stressful on teachers, and dilutes the attention that students get both in class and virtually.
- If a teacher needs to hold classes virtually (in the event that teacher is sick), then the whole class would move online for the necessary time period. If students are already on site for other classes, they can bring their computers and headsets (required), and access the class via Zoom from the campus.
- If a student needs to miss class due to illness, then they would arrange to meet with their teacher either on Zoom or when they return. Students (or their parents) would be responsible for maintaining communication regarding missed classes, assignments and deadlines.
- OSA instructors will do everything possible to help students who miss their classes due to illness stay updated on lessons, including posting assignments on Edmodo, providing short meetings via Zoom, or providing added study session time upon a student’s return.
- It is the responsibility of all students, their families, and staff members to ensure that our community stays healthy by taking extra precautions to keep themselves healthy: getting vaccinated, reducing exposure to unvaccinated individuals (who are outside of the family), avoiding travel to high risk areas, avoiding large indoor group gatherings, and taking preventative measures to avoid getting sick (masking where appropriate, physical distance, and good hygiene).
HYGIENE and CLEANLINESS
- OSA will reinforce washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer, avoiding contact with one’s eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff. We will promote hand washing throughout the day, especially before and after eating, and after using the toilet. While COVID-19 and its variants are airborne, good hygiene will help to prevent other illnesses, thus keeping our community healthy.
- Food service recommendations:
a. Arrange for eating outdoors as much as feasible. Indoor seating will include extra ventilation (open windows, fans, etc.)
b. Clean frequently touched surfaces. Surfaces that come in contact with food should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before and after meals.
c. Given very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, OSA will provide healthy lunches on site.