Health and Safety Plan
Updated August 2022
The following safety plan is based on the recommendations of the California Department of Public Health and what our experience tells us about the best ways to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases such as Monkeypox. We will update our protocols as information about new variants emerges or as new guidelines are released by the state and local health departments. What follows is based on the most up-to-date science available.
Synergy School requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all teachers and staff, as well as substitute teachers and parents who volunteer in the classroom. Students should submit an updated immunization record of all required childhood vaccinations, as well as a copy of their COVID vaccine card, if available. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19.
All adults and students are required to wear face masks while indoors for the first two weeks of school, after which the wearing of masks will be optional and a family’s choice. No one will be required to remove their mask and a safe space will be maintained for those who make that choice. Please communicate clearly with your children about whether you want them to wear a mask at school; teachers should not be put in a position to enforce a family’s wishes. Please note that the California Department of Public Health strongly recommends masking indoors during periods of high community spread. There may also be times when the school will ask individuals to wear masks indoors in specific and limited circumstances.
Ventilation is one of the key ways to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The school will maximize the use of windows, exterior doors to yards, interior doors to the hallway, and the ventilation system to maximize intake of fresh air and minimize recirculated air. When windows and doors must remain closed because of poor air quality as in the case of wildfires, each classroom and office will use portable air purifiers with HEPA-filters.
Anyone who has symptoms of infectious illness must stay home. Symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. A child who develops symptoms at school will be tested for COVID-19 before going home and be given test kits to take with them. Students returning from being sick will be tested by the school upon their return.
- Students who have been sick may return to school when they are symptom-free for a full 24 hours without medication.
- The sibling(s) of a student who is sick may attend school as long as they have no symptoms and are tested by the school each morning.
- Students exposed to a confirmed COVID case in their home are asked to stay home for at least two to three days because of the extreme contagiousness of the most recent variants. The family should consult the school about a return date and testing by the school.
- Students exposed to a confirmed COVID case are asked to wear a mask for a period of 10 days and to test daily before school for a period of 5 days.
- If a student tests positive for COVID-19, that student must remain at home until they test negative.
This policy also applies to staff and their children who attend Synergy School.
Synergy School is a certified and licensed COVID-19 testing lab. We will continue to provide rapid antigen tests in the following ways:
- Testing the entire school after extended breaks.
- Testing of symptomatic individuals at school.
- Testing students and staff returning to school after being sick.
- Providing home test kits to families as needed.
Our testing program is consistent with the California Department of Public Health’s Testing Framework for K-12 schools for the 2022-2023 School Year.
The school will follow good hygiene practices by teaching, reminding, and promoting handwashing throughout the day, especially before and after eating, after using the rest room, and after handling garbage, or removing gloves.
The health department is closely monitoring Monkeypox transmission in San Francisco, but currently considers the risk of Monkeypox in schools to be low.
Monkeypox is much less contagious than COVID-19 and does not spread the same way. However, we will use best practices learned during the pandemic and employ routine infectious disease control measures to reduce transmission of all diseases including, but not limited to:
- Avoid the sharing of clothing.
- Avoid the sharing of food, drinks, and utensils.
- Practice frequent hand washing.
- Continue standard cleaning protocols with disinfectants.