COVID-19 Policies

Recent Communications

This page was last updated on 4/1/2022

COVID-19 Update: Screening Guidelines

The COVID-19 Task Force convened on Wednesday, March 30th, to continue its review of our current policies around return to school. Amendments were made and will go into effect on Monday, April 11th. These changes are reflected in our updated Return To School Screening Chart. 

The COVID-19 Task Force will meet again after Spring Break to evaluate the incidence of COVID-19 within the community and consider any change to our alert level (moving forward to Green or returning to Gold). The Task Force will also work with Arbor’s administration to continue to evaluate the policies and procedures and identify ways to continue its step-wise plan to lessen restrictions going forward. Thank you for your continued support as we implement these changes in the next few weeks. 

Previous Communications

March 10th, 2022 — COVID-19 Alert Level Update: Return to Yellow
February 7th, 2022 — COVID-19 Update: Return to School Screening Chart
December 30th, 2021 — COVID Alert Level Update: Gold in Response to Omicron

Community Partnership

The Arbor community relies upon each family to do their part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school community. This includes activities and behaviors outside of school. We rely on a mutual commitment to the wellbeing of each other as a primary strategy of keeping our school community safe.

We ask all Arbor Families to commit to:

  • Practice physical distancing and wear a mask while both on and off-campus.
  • Make significant consideration to limiting risks outside of Arbor (such as limiting social contact with those in the community or keeping contact only with those within the family’s COVID-19 “bubble”).
  • Keep students at home if they are sick with an infectious illness, including the flu or strep throat.
  • Keep students at home who have been exposed to anyone who has COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Keep students at home if someone in your household is ill or has been closely exposed to COVID-19.
  • Honor the request for families to limit their access to the school campus to approved events.
  • Make efforts to arrive and pick up children on time, particularly when addressing any student who becomes ill while on campus.
  • Report family exposure, illness, or any other information to the school that will assist us in maintaining a safe environment
  • Follow CDC recommendations regarding travel and self-quarantine when returning from travel.

COVID Policies

All staff and children ages 2 and up are required to wear masks while indoors. Masks will no longer be required at all levels during outdoor activities. Parents who wish for their child(ren) to continue wearing a mask while outside are encouraged to discuss this desire with their child(ren). Teachers will not be asked to enforce mask usage when students are outdoors.

Arbor will follow CDC recommendations that schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms. Class sizes may be limited to allow for physical distancing. Physical distancing will be explained, modeled, and reinforced by all faculty and staff. The use of outdoor spaces will be maximized, when appropriate, to support this strategy.

When students are unable to wear masks during snacks, meals, or naptime, teachers will ensure that all students maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between each other.

Daily cleaning routines will 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.

Access to the building during school hours will be limited. Parents and other visitors may be allowed on campus for specific parent events (including classroom observations) or special situations with administrative approval. All visitors will be met at the door and must submit to a health screening before you are invited to enter the building.

Students and faculty/staff may be separated into self-contained units (cohorts) with limited contact with other individuals in the building. The size and composition of the cohorts will be guided by the alert levels outlined on the COVID-19 Decision Tree. The use of playground equipment may be staggered to minimize mixing between classrooms. Carpool may be subdivided by level to assist in maintaining cohorts.

Arrival and dismissal procedures will be modified to allow for limited contact between students. Please allow extra time for morning check-ins, and pick up children promptly at the end of the day.

COVID-19 Decision Making Process

In July of 2020, Arbor Montessori School convened a COVID task force to monitor the global outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This committee has met­—and continues to meet—regularly to review the most current information from the scientific community and government authorities in order to make careful, intentional decisions that are in the best interest of our community’s health and safety.

Our sources of information include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Health care professionals in our Arbor community
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Dekalb County Health Department
  • Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Local, state, national, and international government officials
  • Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning/ Bright from the Start (Childcare Licensing)

As a part of their initial work, the Task Force established the COVID-19 Decision Tree to offer insight into how the above information will be interpreted and inform Arbor’s plans for learning and programming. The Decision Tree outlines five alert levels as defined by the CDC (i.e., substantial, controlled vs. substantial, uncontrolled community transmission) to address the conditions of transmission in the community surrounding Arbor’s campuses. It also includes language to address our particular school community (confirmed cases with known or suspected transmission in the school community; more than two classrooms affected, etc.). While the committee acknowledges the need to account for conditions in the broader environment, the most critical data are those which directly impact our community, including information about the specific zip codes that include Arbor or Arbor families.

At each meeting, the COVID task force evaluates the public health situation and establishes the alert level of the school. They also review and update safety protocols and procedures to ensure Arbor implements appropriate mitigation strategies to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission within the school. Arbor’s administration then uses these recommendations to make informed decisions about carrying out a particular learning model while keeping the children, students, and staff as safe as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child need to wear a mask?

Yes, in most case. Staff and all children ages 2 and up are required to wear masks while indoors. Masks are not required during outdoor activities. Parents who wish for their child(ren) to continue wearing a mask while playing outside are encouraged to discuss this desire with their child(ren). Teachers will not be asked to enforce mask usage when students are outdoors.

Recent evidence indicates that surgical masks are more effective than fabric masks; please consider sending your child in a well-fitting surgical mask if possible. We ask that all students have their masks securely placed over their nose and mouth before arriving in the green zone during carpool when used.

The teachers will offer lessons on how to wear masks, remind children not to touch their masks, and help children who need assistance adjusting their masks throughout the day. We will also have a collection of disposable masks if something happens to a child’s mask throughout the day.  Please note: children under the age of 2 should not wear masks.

How will you make sure sick students do not come to school?

We ask that as a community, all families commit to our health and safety protocols for self-screening and attest that they are symptom-free daily.

Will early morning and after-school care be offered?

After-school care is now being offered to Elementary and Adolescent Program Students. Please contact the Auxiliary Director for additional information. Early morning care will resume when there are sufficient students registered.

Will the shuttle bus be running between campuses?

Bus service will not be offered during our current COVID alert level.

Are parents allowed on campus this year?

Parents and other visitors are allowed on campus for specific parent events, classroom observations, and special situations (with administrative approval). All visitors will be met at the door and must submit to a health screening before you are invited to enter the building.

Will I receive notice if my child is exposed to a positive classmate or staff member?

Yes. Arbor will notify all impacted families and will follow the COVID-19 protocol for closing a class if needed. 

How can I, as a parent, support Arbor right now?

We ask that parents will be understanding with teachers and staff as we navigate these difficult times. We know that current plans are not perfect, but we are working hard to provide as much as we can for as many families as possible. Your support at this time means the world to us.