Our Head’s Statement on COVID-19 & Beginning the School Year Safely

Dear School Family,

I hope you are enjoying your summer. We had a wonderful summer program and now our teachers are resting up before the new school year begins. We are excited to have your family join us in just a few short weeks!Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our School has thrived.

Thanks to our safety protocols, we are proud to share that we had uninterrupted in-person learning since reopening in September 2020. Our families’ continued caution and our teachers’ diligence in following health and safety measures helped us to achieve this goal. We were blessed to have had no cases of COVID among adults or children.

Thankfully, our teachers are now able to be vaccinated, and based on CDC and Austin Public Health recommendations, we will continue our successful practices and procedures until our students can be vaccinated as well.The CDC recommends layering multiple prevention strategies. Here are the health and safety procedures we will continue because they have worked so well:

– Students and adults wear masks inside when not eating or sleeping
– Mask breaks can be taken by students for brief periods of time indoors while using a face shield provided by the school

– Smaller numbers of students in a stable group to limit exposure
– Staggered drop off and pick up to maintain these groupings
– When two cohorts are together, masks are worn and physical distancing is maintained

Ventilation and Air Filtering
– The Church provided us with a new ventilation system that brings in fresh air to the classrooms even when doors and windows are closed
– HEPA air filtration cleans the indoor airMore activities are done outdoors, including snack and lunch, as weather permits

– Students wash their hands upon arrival and many times throughout the day
– Staff teaches hand washing procedures, visual routines are posted by the sink as a reminder, and timers are used to help students wash for at least 20 seconds
– Hand sanitizer is available throughout the school and used when washing is not an option

Staying Home When Sick and Getting Tested
– Temperature checks upon arrival
– Families use extra caution, keep sick children at home, and inform the office of symptoms
– Rapid antigen testing provided by the school at no cost, on request
– Children exposed to COVID quarantine from 10-14 days
– Students who travel by airplane, or other public transportation, quarantine for 7-10 days

Cleaning and Disinfection
– Frequently touched surfaces, including sinks and bathrooms, are sanitized daily using an electrostatic sprayer and an EPA approved disinfectant

We miss seeing families inside the School, and we had hoped that we could return to our community gatherings and events that we had prior to COVID. Due to increasing COVID numbers and a lack of vaccines for children, we will continue to have only staff in the building.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Wishing you well,

Gigi Khalsa, Head of School