QSDL COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

We are very grateful for our 100% vaccinated community, which allows us to remain in-person during COVID-19 spikes and surges, reduces loss of instructional and social time due to absences from quarantine/isolation, and greatly reduces risk of transmission and infection.

QSDL SAFETY MEASURES INCLUDE:

  • All QSDL staff working with students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Any additional staff or subcontractors working with students this year will fall under the same requirement;
  • Current families with students eligible for the vaccine are required to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. Current families with students eligible for the booster are required to vaccinate their children with the booster against COVID-19.
  • INCOMING students: Qualia: The School for Deeper Learning will give admissions priority to children who are fully immunized against COVID-19 prior to entry, or will be as soon as they are eligible. With a small population of students, our program is less at risk of an outbreak if all of our students are vaccinated against Covid. This decision was made due to concerns of staff and families with at-risk members or children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine;
  • Our safety measures include creating a low (or no) transmission learning environment as much as possible: high % of vaccinated persons (currently 100%, students and staff); indoor masking (with double masking or KN95, N95 or KF94 masks only); distance based on the activity; good ventilation/filtration; being outdoors as much as possible; and, twice-weekly on-campus COVID-19 testing with BrioLabs;
  • QSDL COVID-19 Safety Recommendations follow the “K-12 Guidelines 2021-22 School Year” plan, updated January 12, 2022, as well as the Ventura County Department of Public Health guidelines, updated December 9, 2021, and amended with consideration of our particular needs, population, and environment.
QUICK GUIDE IF YOUR CHILD OR FAMILY MEMBER/S TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID (whether symptomatic or not)

The evolving recommendations are confusing for everyone, and not all learning situations are the same. We do not solely rely on testing as the only measure of safety as the lab cannot maintain same-day results as initially promised, due to the spike of cases and subsequent spike of samples the lab is receiving daily. With consideration of our particular needs, we are on track with the following:

  • If students/staff are symptom-free for five days after a positive test, they should test again with a home test (PCR tests will show a positive result for up to 90 days from testing positive). With a negative test result, they can return as long as there is no continued exposure at home (an active case of COVID), and they continue masking at all required times while following safety recommendations on site. In the case of not being able to get a reliable test, then:
  • If students/staff are asymptomatic for up to ten days after a positive test, and/or continue to test positive with an at-home test, we will make recommendations for this situation on a case-by-case basis, as to when students/staff return, which may include: 
    • vaccination status of student, and/or Covid illness recovery within 90 days;
    • level of exposure at home;
    • number of fully vaccinated persons at home;
    • risk-factors of others that the person may come in contact with;
    • types of classes taken;
  • Students/staff who have any knowledge of continued exposure despite a negative test should take extra precautions around others, including leaving at least 6 feet of space outdoors if eating or socializing;
  • Students/staff, when unmasked outdoors, should keep at least 3 feet of distance while eating and socializing at all times; 
  • When in the presence of others, students/staff must be mindful of actions that contribute to increased airborne transmission: singing, loud talking, shouting, etc. These actions require greater distance from others at all times, especially if unmasked.
MASKS
  • All students, staff, and visiting adults are required to mask indoors, when sharing indoor spaces with students or one another. Masks need to be worn properly and fit snugly over both the nose and the mouth. Snug surgical masks with cloth masks (“double masking”), or KN95, N95 or KF94 masks. Students wearing inadequate/ill-fitting masks and/or those not being worn properly will be provided a surgical mask.
  • Masks are not required outdoors, unless working in close proximity (less than 3 feet) with others. Studies show there is negligible risk of viral transmission outdoors, in areas with open ventilation. However, families with high-risk factors should encourage students to mask outdoors when around others.
  • Masks will not be required by students or staff in PE when activities are performed outdoors and when there is ample spacing between individuals.
  • A surgical mask will be provided to students who forget theirs, to prevent unnecessary exclusions.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING
  • In-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking, ventilation, high levels of vaccination) are implemented.  This is consistent with CDC K-12 School Guidance. However, due to Omicron’s higher transmissibility, we will continue to take extra precautions.
SCREENING

All persons exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (sore throat, nausea, dizziness, fever, cough, congestion, fatigue, body aches) must be tested and follow standard isolation protocols CDC Isolation unless the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma) OR a healthcare provider has confirmed an alternative named diagnosis. If a person with symptoms tests negativethen they can return to school/work after 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever reducing medication and symptoms have improved.

  • Asymptomatic fully vaccinated persons and persons who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to quarantine after close contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19. All others need to follow CDPH quarantine guidance for schools.
  • CDPH quarantine recommendations for unvaccinated students for exposures when both parties were wearing a mask, as required in K-12 indoor settings:
  1. When both parties were wearing a mask, unvaccinated students who are close contacts (more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period within 0-6 feet indoors) may undergo a modified 7 or 10-day quarantine as follows. They may continue to attend school for in-person instruction if they:
    • Are asymptomatic;
    • Continue to appropriately mask, as required;
    • Undergo at least twice weekly testing during the quarantine; and
    • Continue to quarantine for all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting.
  • Any student who arrives on site and/or who exhibits visible symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or the Delta or Omicron variants will receive a temperature check and staff may recommend that the student isolate until a parent can be reached for pick up. It is the responsibility of the parents to have their child tested for COVID-19 if symptoms warrant it, and communicate to QSDL the results of that test.
  • We require parents to assess students prior to arrival on site.
WHEN TO STAY HOME/GET TESTED
  • Follow the strategy for Staying Home when Sick and Getting Tested from the CDC.
  • If QSDL is made aware that a student/staff member has tested positive for the virus, and may have exposed students and/or staff, anyone with direct contact with that individual will be contacted via email (name of infected will not be shared unless infected (adult) or infected parent (minor)), and appropriate measures will be decided. If known, the degree of exposure will be shared with parents. Parents can then decide whether to watch for symptoms and/or get a Covid test. QSDL may require a negative Covid test prior to returning to classes, for exposed students/staff, depending on the level of exposure.
  • Students who share a home with a family member who has contracted COVID-19 should show proof of a negative COVID test and be symptom-free before returning to campus, and student cannot return to campus until all family members have ended quarantine (10 days) or tested negatively via home test (5 days).
  • Getting tested for COVID-19 when symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 will help with rapid contact tracing and prevent possible community spread.
  • Staff members and students with symptoms of COVID-19 infection should not return for in-person instruction until they have met CDPH criteria to return to school for those with symptoms:
    • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
    • Other symptoms have improved;
    • They have a negative test for SARS-CoV-2, OR a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma), OR at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset.
      • If asymptomatic, can refrain from quarantine following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Fully vaccinated persons are recommended to be tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 10 days.
      • Should follow CDPH and local health department recommendations regarding isolation and/or exclusion from high risk settings if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2, and must follow any mandatory requirements from local health departments.
  • Quarantine recommendations for unvaccinated students for exposures when both parties were wearing a mask, as required in K-12 indoor settings. These are adapted from the CDC K-12 guidance and CDC definition of a close contact:a. When both parties were wearing a mask in any school setting in which students are supervised by school staff (including indoor or outdoor school settings), unvaccinated students who are close contacts (more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period within 0-6 feet indoors) may undergo a modified quarantine as follows. They may continue to attend school for in-person instruction if they:
    • Are asymptomatic;
    • Continue to appropriately mask, as required;
    • Undergo at least twice weekly testing during the 10-day quarantine; and
    • Continue to quarantine for all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting.
IF STUDENTS/TEACHERS MISS CLASS DUE TO ILLNESS
  • Students/teachers who need to miss class due to illness, and feel well enough to do so, will engage in our concurrent online learning program so as to mitigate any learning loss. 
  • If a teacher needs to hold classes virtually (in the event that teacher is sick), students can bring their computers and headsets (required), and access the class via Google Meet from the campus.
  • If a student needs to miss class due to illness, then they would arrange to meet with their teacher either via email communication, on Google Meet, or when they return. Students (or their parents) would be responsible for maintaining communication regarding missed classes, assignments and deadlines.
  • QSDL instructors will do everything possible to help students who miss their classes due to illness stay updated on lessons, including posting assignments on Alma, providing short meetings via Google Meet, or providing added study session time upon a student’s return.
  • It is the responsibility of all students, their families, and staff members to ensure that our community stays healthy by taking extra precautions to keep themselves healthy: getting vaccinated, reducing exposure to unvaccinated individuals (who are outside of the family), avoiding travel to high risk areas, avoiding large indoor group gatherings, and taking preventative measures to avoid getting sick (masking, physical distance, and good hygiene).
HYGIENE AND CLEANLINESS
  • QSDL will reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one’s eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff. We will promote hand washing throughout the day, especially before and after eating, and after using the toilet. While COVID-19 and its variants are airborne, good hygiene will help to prevent other illnesses, thus keeping our community healthy.

Food service recommendations:

  • Maximize physical distance as much as possible while eating (especially indoors).  Arrange for eating outdoors at all times
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces. Surfaces that come in contact with food should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before and after meals.

 

UPDATES

This plan will be amended as we learn more. Parents will be advised of changes via regular updates.

Safety measures may change depending on current and updated public health guidelines. QSDL can easily transition online and/or outdoors should the need arise, even temporarily.