As we start the new school year, the overall goals are to keep students and staff healthy and safe, be responsive to student and family needs, and maximize teaching and learning. The pandemic, which we have now lived through for over 18 months, is not yet over, but we are in a very different place than we were in the beginning. At that time, there was still so much we did not understand about COVID-19 or how it would affect schools. A year later, we know both the importance of in-person schooling and that we can operate safely on campus if we follow certain mitigation strategies.
As you are aware, health and mitigation policies and directives can change quickly. We are consistently monitoring CDC and NJ State updates. Please read the following information carefully so we can have a safe and healthy school opening:
The Newgrange School is requiring all eligible faculty and staff to provide proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccination. We are calling upon all eligible individuals to support our efforts to become a highly vaccinated community and assist us in providing a safe learning environment for our community. Exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination policy may be granted for documented medical contraindications or sincerely held religious beliefs. The standard for an exemption is established based upon applicable federal and state law, and recommendations from local authorities. Individuals who require an exemption MUST be in contact with the School Nurse.
In accordance with Executive Order 251
issued by Governor Murphy on August 6, 2021, masks will be required for everyone in indoor spaces throughout campus effective immediately. Masks will remain optional for all outdoor spaces. However, depending on the nature of the outdoor activity, the school may require masks. Students/families who feel more comfortable wearing masks outdoors may do so if they choose to. It is recommended all families send their children to school with one or more masks each day.
The Newgrange School will not require health screening or temperature screening to enter the school building. All visitors will be required to wear masks.
COVID-19 Positive Test
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the family must notify the school nurse immediately. Upon notification of a positive case, we will notify the local department of health and initiate contact tracing. With a positive COVID-19 test, absences will not count against the student’s attendance record.
The following guidelines will be used to determine when a student can discontinue home isolation and return to school.
- Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 must home isolate as recommended by the CDC for 10 days since the symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
- Household members of the affected person should monitor for symptoms. Unvaccinated household members should follow close contact protocols. Fully vaccinated household members can return to campus and should monitor their symptoms for 14 days.
Local health officials, school professionals, and families will be notified immediately of a positive COVID-19 case. Confidentiality will be maintained per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and HIPPA guidelines. All policies are based on guidelines from the CDC and DOE.
If a student develops symptoms while on campus, the school nurse will immediately be informed. The student will be directed to leave campus. They must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. The Nurse may follow up with families and may recommend they see their health care provider prior to returning to school. If a student is considered to be in close contact (based on contact tracing), based on vaccine status, they must follow the guidelines listed above. There will not be a remote learning option for children who stay home because they are sick.
All faculty, staff, and students will be on campus each day. There are no remote learning options. Students who are absent or required to be off-campus for COVID-19 health-related reasons will work with their teachers to make sure all assignments are received and create a plan to continue the student’s learning without much interruption.