COVID-19 School Updates2021-09-03T17:10:17+00:00

COVID-19 Response

Important Links

Frequently Asked Questions

How was the decision made to return to 5 day, on campus learning?2021-02-25T12:44:34+00:00

The Administrative Faculty contributed much time and effort to come to a recommendation regarding the change to the existing plan created by the Back to School Task Force. These considerations focused on needs of students, study of scientific research regarding spread of Covid-19 in schools, updated recommendations of the CDC, faculty member input, vaccination schedules and parental concerns.  The Administrative Faculty has been able to find common ground in returning students to school 5-days, full time, on campus while honoring the needs of faculty members and community members who may not feel able to return in person at this time. 

Will there be outdoor learning in Trimester 3?2021-02-25T12:38:01+00:00

Time spent outdoors will continue as part of daily routines as weather and curriculum permits. The school will use outdoor desks when appropriate, some tents, the dismissal overhang and the Sportsman’s Club as outdoor learning spaces.

What happens if the county returns to Purple as per OPHAS system?2021-02-24T20:16:24+00:00

If Summit county were to return to Level 4 / Purple, we will shift to full distance learning. The county would first go to a Red Watch to warn of that impending change and increased community spread.  This warning would also signal the school community to be aware of a possible change to the learning model.  If Summit county would change to Level 4 / Purple, Spring Garden would go to an all distance learning mode and then follow the existing plan to return to in-person learning.  

Have faculty had the opportunity to be vaccinated?2021-02-24T20:15:47+00:00

All school staff have been given the opportunity to receive their first vaccination. Second vaccinations are also tentatively scheduled the week of Spring Break pending further information from the Health Department. By returning to school in person on March 22nd, staff who have been vaccinated should have received their second vaccine dose and have passed the two week window for efficacy following vaccination.  

What if families do not want to return to in-person learning in Trimester 3?2021-02-24T20:15:00+00:00

Remote Learning can continue for those families choosing to learn from home in the Third Trimester.  Families choosing remote learning need to indicate their decision to Rocky Lewis ([email protected]) by Friday, March 5th.  Remote Learning will also remain an option to those needing remote options due to quarantine and extended COVID absence.  

Do current safety protocols remain in place now that we are 5 days on campus?2021-02-24T20:13:47+00:00

Yes, all current safety protocols remain in place as outlined in The Health and Safety Plan including masking, six foot distancing, increased hand washing, limiting in-building visitor and gathering policies, and air purification systems within classrooms.  


Educating Absent and Quarantined Students2020-10-08T17:56:42+00:00

We expect many more absences this year due to both our more conservative approach to keeping children at home when experiencing viral infection symptoms, and the possibility of students having to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 outside of school.

When individual students are absent for 4 or more days, they will work with their teachers to make up any essential missed work.

Absent and quarantined students will not directly join our Remote Learning students, but they will have access to recordings of the classroom live streams to watch when they are able and use as a resource. Absent students will not be expected to re-watch the entire live streams from absent days, but can use these videos to work with their teachers for making up work.

Doctor Notes2020-10-06T15:37:24+00:00

Students and school personnel must remain at home if they have a fever above 100°F or experience any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Parents/guardians should have a low threshold for keeping their child home from school if any of the above symptoms are present.  The parent/guardian should seek advice from their child’s healthcare provider (MD/DO, CNP, PA) after illness and a release will be required before returning to school.

If your child has a chronic condition that makes 2 or more of these symptoms common, such as seasonal allergies, asthma, GI issues, migraines, etc., please talk with Tracy Edwards about the doctor note protocol moving forward for your child.


Daily Health Check & Health Monitoring2020-10-01T16:22:51+00:00

Following CDC and SCPH guidelines, parents/guardians are expected to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms and check their child’s temperature prior to coming to school each and every day.

Students must remain at home if they have a fever above 100°F or experience any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or bodyaches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Parents/guardians should have a low threshold for keeping their child home from school if any of the above symptoms are present.

Teachers and staff will monitor students for symptoms of COVID-19 throughout the day. They will have a low threshold to request assessment for students who develop persistent symptoms while at school unless the symptoms can be clearly attributed to another non-infectious factor or illness. If your student has a chronic condition that may mimic symptoms of viral illness, please reach out to Tracy Edwards.

If a student displays COVID-19 symptoms then the teacher will contact the office and they will be assessed in a designated sick room appropriate for COVID-19 isolation. A parent/guardian will be called to pick up the student. While waiting to go home, ill students will wear a face mask and be cared for in the sick room monitored by school personnel utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

The parent/guardian will be referred to seek advice from their child’s healthcare provider (MD/DO, CNP, PA).

Closing School Due To COVID-19 in Students and Staff2020-10-01T16:00:34+00:00

The OPHAS classification system will be utilized for changing between modes of learning for the entire school. However, there are circumstances where individual students and teachers, individual classes or a cohort of classes will be told they need to change their mode of learning.

These factors are unpredictable and may warrant quick changes between modes of learning for matters of health and safety. If there are a significant number of students absent which may indicate the possibility of an outbreak, the school will need to act quickly to protect the community.

The Decision:

  • These decisions will be based on guidance from Summit County Public Health.
  • These decisions may happen quickly and therefore will not permit the school to give parents/guardians significant time to plan.
  • In addition to the county level identified in the OPHAS website, Spring Garden will continually assess other internal factors that may affect our school’s mode of learning including student absenteeism rate and teacher/staff absence.
  • Additionally if there are inadequate teachers and staff despite use of substitute teachers to maintain safety campus, there would not be significant notice to move to distance-learning.
  • It is important for families to have thought through plans necessary for these unpredictable circumstances.

The Process:

  • Tracy Edwards/Susan Hudson is notified that a student or teacher has tested positive for COVID19.
  • The student/teacher is isolated if they are at school and sent home or remains isolated at home.
  • SCPH is notified of the positive case.
  • A decision is made by administrative staff on whether or not it is necessary to move the class or cohort to distance learning mode.
  • The decision to change to distance learning will take effect the immediate next school day and last for 7-14 calendar days.
  • A “One-Call Now” phone recording will go out to all parents/guardians in the class affected by the
    case with details on next steps.
  • An email will follow the phone call.
  • A follow-up communication will inform the parents/guardians of when students can return.
COVID-19 Reporting2020-10-01T15:17:00+00:00

Tracy Edwards, Director of Administration, is the primary point of contact for any COVID-19 concerns and will take questions and manage reporting to SCPH. If she is unavailable, please contact Susan Hudson.

SGWS acknowledges that an individual’s personal health information is private and will be kept confidential except when mandatory reporting requires consultation with SCPH.

  • Students and SGWS employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, through a lab test or clinical examination, should notify Tracy Edwards ([email protected]) no later than 24 hours after receiving a confirmed diagnosis.
  • Positive cases of COVID-19 in students, SGWS teachers, and staff members will be reported to Summit County Public Health Department within 24 hours of notification.
  • All parents, guardians, and employees will receive an SGWS email notification of a positive COVID-19 result in any students, faculty, or staff members without disclosing protected health information. Additionally, parents and guardians of students and SGWS employees who are part of the same class will receive an additional notification regarding possible exposure within the class.
  • SGWS will provide SCPH the information needed for contact tracing. Specifically, student or employee name, parent/guardian name, date of exposure, and phone number is required by SCPH.
  • Parents, guardians, faculty, and staff who have been exposed and are placed in quarantine can expect follow up from SCPH.

In order to provide the safest environment and limit the number of individuals at the school, the use of the building will be limited to faculty, staff, and students. Parents will not have daily access to the school building unless requested by the administration to pick up an ill student. Contractors, parents, and other visitors must be accompanied by a staff member and follow these guidelines:

  • All guests and visitors should remain at home and not visit the school if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19. Per the CDC, symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever (temp > 100°F), chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
  • A staff member is responsible to screen any visitor by asking if they have any symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • All visits should be planned in advance and only as needed for operations.
  • Visitors are required to wear face masks while in the school building.
  • Work days will be restricted to 10 individuals for indoor projects and 15 individuals for outdoor projects.
  • Visitors are permitted to use the restroom.
Illness and Absence2020-10-01T11:36:02+00:00

Any student or employee who has symptoms suspicious for COVID-19 (see section 1) or has been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 must remain at home and not attend school. Despite the strategies SGWS enacts to mitigate risk of transmission, they will not completely prevent an employee or student from contracting an illness. Many illnesses overlap with similar symptoms to COVID-19.

Due to the wide range of possible symptoms, it is expected that there will be an increase in absences from school and work. SGWS is instituting a requirement for parents/guardians to report the reason for all student absences from school.

Based on recommendations from Summit County Public Health (SCPH), the following steps will be required to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our school community.

  1. Student absence must be reported to the school office by phone or email on the morning of the absence. Please include the reason for the absence. When appropriate, SCPH recommends that ill students seek the advice of a healthcare provider to rule out COVID-19. Students must provide a release from a healthcare provider to return to school.
  2. All confirmed cases of COVID-19 must be reported to the school. In turn, SGWS Administration will work with SCPH to support contact tracing. We will follow the guidance of SCPH regarding exclusion from school for quarantine or isolation.
  3. Employees are expected to follow the same guidance by SCPH detailed above including a release from a medical provider to return to work.

In an effort to balance the goal of reducing the risk of viral transmission between students and staff against the potential negative impacts of face masks on a student’s learning experience, the following recommendations and requirements will be implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. All SGWS employees are required to wear a face mask unless there is a health-related concern that prohibits one from being worn. Employees are required to provide documentation from a healthcare provider for SCPH approval if they believe they have a medical exemption from wearing a face mask.

2. Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten students are required to wear a face mask at all times from arrival to dismissal with some exceptions throughout the day.

  • It is important for parents to help teach and support their child in putting on and taking off their own mask.
  • Teachers will reinforce the teaching on proper wearing and removal of face masks.
  • In case of a soiled or wet mask, all students should have two extra face masks in their backpacks in addition to the face mask they wear to school.
  • Students may remove their face mask when:
  • They are seated in their designated area for snack and lunch or while
    getting a drink of water;

    • Seated outside while maintaining 6 ft of physical distance;
    • When a student needs a short break or a new mask and can be seated in a safe area designated by the teacher away from the class

3. Kindergarten, Grades 1-8 students are required to wear a face mask at all times from arrival to dismissal with some exceptions throughout the day.

  • It is important for parents to help teach and support their child in putting on and
    taking off their own mask. Teachers will reinforce the teaching on proper wearing
    and removal of face masks.
  • Students may remove their face mask when:
    • they are seated in their designated area for snack and lunch;
    • during outdoor learning and/or recess where students are able to maintaina distance of 6 ft or more physical distance;
    • while getting a drink of water following classroom rules and maintaining physical distance; or
    • when a student needs a short break or a new mask and can be seated in a safe area designated by the teacher away from the class.
    • Face masks that are visibly soiled or wet must be exchanged for a clean one.
    • Documentation from a healthcare provider is required if a student has a medical or developmental reason for not wearing a face mask. Additional accommodations will be considered for any student who cannot wear a face mask for those reasons.

4. In accordance with ODH Director’s order issued 7/23/20, all adults must wear face masks inside the building AND outdoors when they cannot consistently maintain 6 feet of distance from individuals not in their family/household.

5. CDC recommends that the general population wear cloth face masks (unless otherwise recommended by a healthcare provider) so that N95 and surgical-type masks are reserved for healthcare workers. The cloth face mask should fit snugly yet comfortably on the face, mask the nose, mouth and chin and reach from before the ear around to the
other side of the face. Bandanas and neck gaiters have been shown to be ineffective at controlling droplet emission and should not be worn at school. Face masks with a translucent, plastic window that show a person’s mouth are permitted.

6. All students should wear a clean face mask daily. It should be marked clearly with their name. Consider writing front and back in case it is not obvious for the student. All students should have two spare face masks in their backpacks in addition to the face mask they wear to school. The school will provide a bag to store the face mask in use for the day. Face masks should be washed regularly at home.

7. A staff member may remove their face mask:

  • if they are sitting at their own desk in an otherwise empty classroom or office;
  • while eating with 6 ft physical distance from all other individuals; or
  • outside at a distance of 6 feet or greater from all other individuals.

8. Face masks should be worn if staff members are working in an indoor communal space and any other individual is present. Teachers and staff should have their face mask accessible at all times.

9. Face shields are intended to provide additional protection to an individual by reducing viral transmission from droplets entering the eyes and face where a face mask does not provide protection. Reusable face shields or eye protection can be worn WITH a face mask if a student or staff member chooses to do so. Per CDC guidance, face shields are not known “to provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles.” The CDC does not recommend face shields as a substitute for face masks. ODH guidance states that face shields can be an alternative where cloth face masks would hinder the learning process. Therefore, SGWS will permit face shields to be worn by a teacher WITHOUT a face mask only when they are outdoors, or 6 feet or more distance from anyone else and the use of a face mask will impair the learning process. Use of face shields may be impacted by county or state public health orders. They must be cleaned and disinfected properly after use.

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