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COLUMBIA ACADEMY COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES

As Columbia Academy continues to navigate the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH), we will continue to provide a safe and engaging learning experience for our students and the entire school community. These practices are subject to change as we receive additional guidance from the CDC and MDH.

Additional Steps Columbia Academy Has Taken

  • Temperature checks and health screenings for every staff, parent/guardian, or child each time they enter the building
  • Staff trained on key COVID-19 health and safety measures
  • All adults and school age children are required to wear face masks 
  • Mandating social distancing and keeping children in small groups (no more than 14 children with 1 teacher in a classroom); absolutely no large group activities 
  • Students will only have close physical proximity to others in the same cohort (group).
  • Instructing staff to monitor for symptoms and stay home if they are sick 
  • Instructing parents/guardians to keep children home if or any member of the household exhibits symptoms 
  • Mandating frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds throughout the day, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing one’s nose. Teachers should help young children do the same.  If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands 
  • Advising persons to avoid touching their face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands) 
  • Increasing the cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, while taking extra care with children in the near vicinity.  Emphasizing cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces 
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and cleaning hands with soap and water  
  • Providing plentiful supplies for good hygiene, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
  • Restricting field trips to virtual only
  • Restricting outside visitors, volunteers, and in-person tours 

What Parents Can Do To Reduce the Spread of Germs

  • All adults and school age children must wear face masks when entering the building
  • Use hand sanitizer prior to touching the keypad and after exiting the building 
  • Upon entrance to the building, parents/guardians are asked to take their own and their children’s temperatures, showing the results of each to a staff member at the desk to record the result 
  • Families are asked to use personal thermometers brought from home; these should not be handled by Columbia Academy staff (in the event a family forgets their personal thermometer, the school will provide a thermometer for their use)
  • Wash your child’s hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water 
  • Honor the social distancing recommendations and do your best to provide 6 feet of distance between yourself and other staff, parents/guardians, and children in the building
  • Older siblings may NOT enter the infant classrooms 
  • If someone in your household is sick, everyone should stay home 
  • Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you or any family member is showing possible symptoms 
  • Avoid touching your face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands) 
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away and wash hands for 20 seconds- use hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash hands 
  • Limit interactions and potential exposure, do not make unnecessary stops while traveling from home, work or school 

What We All Can Do To Help

Discouraging vacation, gatherings, and travel:  

  • The CDC recommends that families avoid traveling  (staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others)
  • The latest guidance recommends you avoid large gatherings
  • Families returning from high-risk countries are not permitted to enter our schools unless they are symptom-free for 14 days after their return  

Follow general guidelines from CDC regarding COVID-19: 

  1. Protect your personal health-CDC Guidelines on Prevention 
    1. Know how it spreads 
    2. Take steps to protect yourself 
  2. Clean hands often 
  3. Avoid close contact 
  4. Take steps to protect others 
    1. Stay home if you are sick 
    2. Keep your child home if they are sick 
    3. Cover coughs and sneezes 
    4. Wear a facemask if you are sick 
    5. Clean and disinfect 
  5. Know the symptoms- Fever, cough, shortness of breath 
  6. Avoid social gatherings in large groups
  7. Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, social visits 
  8. Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

We would like to extend our sincerest thank you to our team of teachers and administrators, and to our families, for helping us to keep everyone safe and healthy. It is a proud moment for us all to walk in to all of our schools and to see the students and teachers working together, smiling, laughing and learning despite what is going on in the world around us. Thank you to our school community for your flexibility, positivity, and collaboration to ensure our students have a sense of normalcy in these extraordinary times!

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Additional Resources:

workplace-school-and-home-guidance

Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 _ CDC

COVID-19_ Resources for Households _ CDC

Checklist to Get Ready