COVID Policies for the 2021-22 school year
Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID will be required to wear a mask upon arrival to the clinic until they have been assessed and either sent home with a parent/guardian to see their doctor, or they have been assessed and can return to the classroom.
Students who are sent home with COVID symptoms or have opted to stay home because they have COVID symptoms, will be required to have a doctor’s note clearing them to return to school.
If the student is tested for COVID and the test comes back negative or the doctor does not deem it necessary to test for COVID, then they can return to school with a note from their doctor.
If a student tests positive for COVID, they will be required to isolate for 10 days since their symptoms started (or 10 days from their COVID test date if they were asymptomatic) and 24 hours since their last fever without using fever-reducing medicine. After this timeframe, they may return to school as long as their COVID symptoms are improving.
Students are required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact (within 3’ for at least 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period) of someone who tested positive for COVID with the following exceptions:
-those who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms, do not need to quarantine
-those who have tested positive for COVID within the past 3 months and do not have
symptoms, do not need to quarantine
If a student is identified as a close contact and does not meet the exceptions stated above, they must quarantine. The timeframes for quarantine for students who are asymptomatic are as follows:
- 10 days before returning to school without a COVID test
- or 7 days if the student tests negative for COVID (test must be done no sooner than
day 5 after their exposure and the results will need to be sent to the clinic).
If s student is identified as a close contact and develops symptoms, they must see their doctor and return with a doctor’s note.
If a student tests positive, all family members are considered close contacts and must follow the quarantine guidelines stated above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will masks be required in school facilities?
• It is against State Proviso 1.108 for the school to require mandatory mask-wearing for staff and students in schools. As such, masks are OPTIONAL, but highly encouraged as a mitigating factor.
Are there any areas where masks will be required?
• The South Carolina Department of Education has shared that masks can be required in school nursing rooms and athletic trainer areas, and thus will be required by the school in these places.
• The State Proviso does not address visitors wearing masks. Therefore, all visitors to include parents, will be required to wear masks as an additional precaution.
Can the school ignore the State Proviso and require masks anyway?
• No, the school must follow the proviso.
If I don’t want my child to wear a mask, do I need to sign an “opt-out” form?
• No, since State Proviso has determined masks are now optional, waiver forms are not required.
Will masked and unmasked children sit next to each other?
• Masked and unmasked students will be in the same classroom. Desk barriers will be available upon request.
If I want my child to wear a mask, how will the school ensure they do?
• If a child whose family has indicated they should wear a mask removes it, the teacher will remind them to put it back on. If they refuse to do so, the parent will be called.
Will there be processes in place to ensure my child is not bullied if they choose to wear a mask?
• Yes, as per the student code of conduct, bullying under any circumstance will not be tolerated.
What safety protocols will be in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
• Enhanced cleaning and sanitation routines
• Student handwashing
• Social distancing of 3 ft. to the extent possible
• Plexiglass barriers available
• Seating charts in classrooms and the cafeteria • Micro shield 360 • Air-conditioning units to operate on the maximum ventilation settings, bringing fresh air into buildings (GPS Air filters)
• Masking is strongly encouraged
Will there be temperature checks this year?
• Temperature checks will be upon referral to the nurse’s office.
Can students play on the playground?
• Yes, playgrounds will be in use.
Will children be eating in the cafeteria?
• Yes, although scheduling and rotations may be adapted as per individual school capacity needs.
Will there be a separate area in the nurse’s station for people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms?
• Yes, there will be a room for routine nursing visits and a separate one for persons with COVID-19 symptoms.
Will water fountains be working again?
• Bottle filling machines will be in use to reduce the spread of germs.
Is the school going to provide teachers with cleaning supplies and PPE?
• Yes, teachers should talk to their principals who can request additional supplies from the front office if needed.
Will volunteers and visitors be permitted back in schools?
• As administrators continue to monitor the pandemic, a decision as to when volunteers and visitors will be welcomed back into school buildings will be determined.
• Parents/Volunteers will be required to wear a mask while in the school building.
Will your protocols change if the virus gets worse?
• Bridges Preparatory School will continue to monitor our schools’ cases and consult with CDC and DHEC when formulating our protocols, as well as following state laws.