COVID-19 Policies

Recent Communications

This page was last updated on 8/18/2022

Arbor Update: 2022-2023 Guidelines

In Spring 2022, responsibility for oversight of policies related to COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses passed from the Arbor COVID-19 Task Force to the Arbor Health and Safety Committee. The COVID and Other Respiratory Illnesses (CORI) Subcommittee of the Health and Safety Committee has been formed, consisting of the Health and Safety Committee Chair, the Arbor Head of School, three teachers representing both campuses and the various grade levels, a parent and two subject matter experts who were previous members of the COVID-19 Task Force (both of whom are also Arbor parents). 

Please take a moment to review the guidelines for the 2022-2023 school year, as published by the CORI Subcommittee. This document will be available at the end of every Arbor Update, and can be downloaded at any time from the FACTS Family Portal. 

Previous Communications

April 1st, 2022 — Review of Current Policies
March 10th, 2022 — COVID-19 Alert Level Update: Return to Yellow

Community Partnership

With the development of vaccines and regular development of boosters against COVID variants, COVID is transitioning from pandemic to an endemic pathogen. The intent of Arbor’s policies is to ensure the safety of our students, teachers, staff, and community while supporting student learning.

We ask all Arbor families to commit to:

  • Respecting the decision of others regarding masking on campus.
  • Keeping students at home if they are sick with an infectious illness, including the flu or strep throat.
  • Making efforts to arrive and pick up children on time, particularly when addressing any student who becomes ill while on campus.
  • Reporting family illness or any other information to the school that will assist us in maintaining a safe environment.
  • Following CDC recommendations regarding traveling and self-quarantine when returning from travel.

COVID Policies

We strongly recommend all students and staff mask while indoors. If a student is reported to be COVID positive after having been in the classroom, all members of the class will be required to mask for five days and parents will be notified of a possible exposure.

Arbor strongly recommends all members of the community be vaccinated and appropriately boosted before the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

Daily cleaning routines continue to be enhanced at the classroom level and the schoolwide level each day. These procedures will include frequent disinfecting of the high-touch surfaces in the classroom and the regular disinfecting of bathrooms, floors, and indoor common spaces throughout the school.

Staying home when sick is critical, and has always been part of Arbor’s policies, even before COVID. Please do not send your child to school if ill, and respond quickly to pick up your child if they become ill during the school day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Arbor have guidelines for social distancing?

Arbor has relaxed social distancing requirements in our school environment for the coming school year. CDC is not placing the same emphasis on 6-foot social distancing that they did earlier in the pandemic. Emphasis has shifted to ventilation and utilizing outdoor spaces for activities where possible, which Arbor has already incorporated into our community practices. Arbor also enjoys a very high vaccination rate among faculty, staff and students, which introduces an additional layer of protection not available to the Arbor community when strict social distancing was initially implemented. Additional information about CDC’s current recommendations may be found on their website.

Can children have ANY symptoms, other than fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and still return to school if they are COVID negative? Will they be required to mask if they have other symptoms?

If a child does not have COVID, the guidelines are the same as they were before COVID. They may return to school if they have no fever for 24 hours without the use of temperature-lowering medications, they have had no nausea, vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours, and they feel well enough to engage in classroom activities. If they have other symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, a judgment must be made on the part of parents (and their child if old enough) about whether to stay home, erring on the side of staying home. If a teacher feels a child is not well enough to participate in class, they will call parents and ask that the child be picked up. Students with a lingering cough may be asked to put on a mask. Arbor does not have any mask requirements for non-COVID illnesses. Arbor continues to encourage families to keep students home when they are sick.

Is a PCR test required for returning to school?

A PCR test is not required for return to school if a person is COVID positive, as long as they have quarantined for at least 5 days and meet the criteria for symptom abatement (fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, etc.) They will be required to mask for an additional five days after return to school.

A person who is initially COVID negative, via rapid antigen test must have an additional negative COVID test (obtained by a PCR or at home antigen test) on the day they will be returning to school or the night before.

Will weekly case counts be shared with the Arbor community?

Any incidence of COVID positivity in a classroom will be shared with parents in that class, and masking will be required of everyone in the class for 5 days. Arbor will be reviewing and reporting to our community our overall status weekly as well as any policy changes that may need to be made.

At what point will a classroom be closed? Will we be using the alert levels (green, yellow, gold, orange, red) this year?

We have changed our approach to cases in the classroom to use masks as the initial mitigation measure. Beyond that, classroom closures would be a tool of last resort, to be employed only in extreme cases (e.g. inability to provide sufficient staffing, reaching a Bright from the Start threshold). We will not be depending on the use of alert levels.

When should children be tested?

When a child shows any symptoms, they should be tested. Please refer to Arbor’s COVID-19 Screening Chart on page 7 of Arbor’s 2022-2023 guidelines.