Senesh Parents:

I hope everyone is enjoying the school break and staying healthy! Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, I am reaching out to share information about our school opening plans next week. We are continuing to prioritize the health and safety of all, while working to preserve in-person learning as much as possible. 

Below you will find information about testing, masking, new test-to-stay protocols, reduced isolation and quarantine times, and more. While our goal and plan is to keep our school doors open for in-person learning, we are also prepared to support our students who are remote due to quarantine and to pivot part or all of the school to remote learning should we experience an unmanageable increase in COVID cases among our staff or students. 

Monday, January 3—Required Whole School Testing at Senesh:
  • All Staff test from 8:30-9:00am.
  • All students test from 9:00-11:00am.
  • Please notify Nathalie Cabot if you traveled internationally. You may email her at ncabot@hannahsenesh.org and she will advise on the tests you will be required to take before returning to school.

Tuesday, January 4—School Reopens at 9:30am (there will be no morning school bus service on Jan. 4):
  • No morning school bus. There will be an afternoon school bus.
  • School delayed opening until 9:30am to allow all test results to be processed and any positive cases reported to families prior to school entry.

Middle School Basketball Teams: 
  • Practice is canceled January 4 and 6. We hope to begin on January 11 pending school COVID data.

Masks: 
  • We strongly encourage families to use well fitting KN95 masks or surgical masks given the increased transmissibility of Omicron. If necessary, the school will provide your child with a child-sized surgical mask.
  • To keep our staff healthy, we ask all staff to wear KN95 masks. The school is able to provide masks for all staff. 

Testing:
  • We will test all students and staff in school on January 3 and 10.

Symptom Screening:
  • Symptom screening is an effective strategy of minimizing the spread of COVID in general and of Omicron in particular due to its transmissibility and the rapidity with which symptoms develop. See the CDC’s list of symptoms here.  
  • Students should not come to school with symptoms of illness, regardless of vaccination status. If your child has any COVID symptoms, please keep them at home until receiving a negative PCR test result. 

Snack/Lunch:
  • We will use a mixture of outdoor and indoor distanced dining while eating as long as weather allows. 

COVID-19 Vaccine:
  • All students ages 5 and older must have received their first COVID vaccination, and have uploaded confirmation of that vaccination to Magnus, by Friday, January 7, 2022. All students must get their second vaccination by Friday, January 28, 2022. Students are considered fully vaccinated two weeks following the second dose.

Additional School Guidelines based on Updated CDC Guidelines

Positive COVID-19 Cases:

  • Asymptomatic:
  • If a child tests positive and is asymptomatic, the isolation time is 5 days, and if asymptomatic at that time, follow with 5 days of wearing a mask to minimize the risk of infecting others.
  • Return to school on day 6.

  • Symptomatic (if you had symptoms at any time during this case):
  • Ten day isolation period. Day 1 starts on the test date or day symptoms appeared. Return to school on day 11.

Exposed to COVID-19:

  • If you are not fully vaccinated (two weeks past the last vaccination shot) or more than six months out from their second mRNA dose and not yet boosted:
  • Quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Test at day 5 after exposure and return with a negative test on day 6. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

OR

  • Test-to-stay protocols approved by the CDC and New York Department of Health for asymptomatic individuals:
  • The student must receive a negative result on a rapid antigen test each school day during the five days following exposure. 
  • Each day a parent should bring the child and a rapid test to school in the morning of the school day. The school nurse will administer the test. If the test result is negative the child can remain in school. Parents must remain on site until the test result is processed.
  • If the rapid test is positive; the COVID positive protocols above must be followed.
  • Individuals who exhibit any symptoms of COVID will be required to quarantine and will not be eligible to participate in test-to-stay.

  • Individuals who are not six months out from their second dose of vaccine or have received their booster shot: 
  • Do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  
  • Test on day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

  • If the exposure is due to someone in your household testing positive for COVID:
  • Quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. 
  • Test on day 5 after exposure. 
  • Return to school on day 6.
  • If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

I am grateful for your understanding and cooperation as we navigate this pandemic together. 

If you have not yet participated in this year’s annual campaign, we hope you will consider giving today to invest in keeping our doors open as we continue to navigate COVID-19. A gift of any amount makes a difference. 
With gratitude and appreciation,
Nicole Nash
Head of School