COVID-19 Updates

Current Covid Precautions

 

Aug 13, 2021

Here is our beginning of year COVID-19 Procedures 

Dear Crestone Charter School Families, 

This COVID-19 procedure was written in coordination with Moffat CSD#2 Superintendent Sarah White. We appreciate her support and contribution of much of the text below.

At this time, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) recommends schools and districts should work directly with their local public health agency and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) for guidance on COVID-19.  Both CDPHE, and Saguache County Public Health (SCPH), as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommend a layered approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. These recommendations include staying home with possible COVID-19 symptoms, or other signs of sickness, increased ventilation, maximization of outdoor activities, testing, physical distancing, cohorts of students, cleaning /disinfecting, handwashing, vaccination, and universal mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status. They also recommend prioritizing in-person learning. CCS will follow a modified layered approach. Each of these are described in detail below.

At the Crestone Charter School, we will have all adults wear masks inside the school, and we will encourage students to wear masks, particularly when other aspects of the layered approach are hard to maintain. For example, when two students are sitting side by side to read together, or when cohorts need to share the Rainbow Hall. While students are encouraged to wear masks, we are also supportive of the individual student’s (and their family’s) wishes. Some students and their family have decided to wear masks consistently, and others do not want their children to wear masks. While teachers may suggest or encourage mask-wearing at times, students will be supported to follow their family’s agreements. Teachers will do their best to know and remind students of these when possible. Clean masks will be available for staff and students to use and exchange as needed. NOTE: Mask wearing is federally mandated on all public transportation. School vehicles are considered public transportation and masks will be required during transport.

This encouragement and support is in line with parts of our mission and published scope which state, “We strive to inspire healthy responsibility in relation to self [and] community;” and “To provide a learning environment that… respects the… uniqueness of every student” and “To develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills…. and a sense of community responsibility;” It would be easier to require or not require masks for all students; it is discerning and a teachable moment “To prepare each student to comprehend the challenges we all face in a world in transition.” Based on staff and family survey data and conversations with individuals, this choice is for some too strict and for others not strict enough; at this time it fulfills the recommendation to prioritizing in-person learning for the highest number of students in our community.

Saguache County Public Health still has the authority to enforce public health orders, and CCS has the ability to alter its COVID-19 procedures. This may include mandatory masking, quarantine requirements, and school closures. This will be decided based on cases in the school and region, government recommendations and mandates, and in response to the evolving pandemic. We will inform Charter School families of CCS COVID-19 procedure changes through Alma and email.

This is our start-of-year procedure and justification. We appreciate your understanding as we attempt to safely navigate this pandemic. Read on to learn more about Covid-19 symptoms and prevention.


 

All school staff, students, and parents are encouraged to improve the safety of our school by taking their own individual actions to protect themselves and others including the most vulnerable among us.

 

1. Get vaccinated

2. Wear a mask whether you are vaccinated or not

3. Practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette 

4. Stay home if you're sick or symptomatic and get tested right away

5. Adhere to requirements of isolation if you test positive

6. Inform the school administration if a family member or close contact tests positive

 

When making the decision to mask or not, consider the following information:

As of August 2021, the Delta coronavirus variant is responsible for more than 83% of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC described Delta as more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, Ebola, smallpox, MERS, and SARS, and as contagious as chickenpox. The variant is concerning because it spreads quickly and easily, affects younger populations, may make vaccines less effective, and may reduce the effectiveness of some treatments. Masks have been used for over a century in hospital settings as a basic standard of care to minimize disease transmission. Public use of masks by individuals at the onset of symptoms is a common voluntary practice in many places around the world and is regarded as a common courtesy like covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Here are articles from peer-reviewed sources, hospitals, universities, and CDC about mask efficacy.

As of now, this is the CDC’s list of COVID-19 symptoms: 

 

Experts say early symptoms associated with the Delta variant have shifted slightly compared to the original strain of the virus. “Delta seems to be more likely to cause stuffy nose, sore throat, and headache, while the original strain caused more cough, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and smell,” says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. But those symptoms appear to become more severe, particularly in those who have not received a vaccine.

 

Please know that I have attempted to find the best balance between the safety of the staff and the students while maximizing in-person learning, and based on current available data from stakeholders and official recommendations which I will continue to monitor. As a staff at CCS we are unified behind staying home if sick, and wearing masks, as worthwhile safety measures, and encourage students and families to support us in this well intentioned effort to keep us all healthy and in school. 

Thomas Cleary

Director, Crestone Charter School

tcleary@crestonecharter.com

719-256-4907 x114

General Safety Protocols (layer approach)

  • Families keep sick children at home / Isolation of any sick student or adult

  • Optional Health Screening for all adults and students via district arranged mobile weekly testing van

  • Mask wearing is required during all public transportation, including school vans

  • Increased ventilation: over 25 HEPA grade air filters throughout the building, operable windows in every room, 

  • maximization of outdoor activities: learning pergolas and outdoor tables for learning and eating, 

  • physical distancing: minimum 3 foot between desks and when lining up, smaller lunch grouping and more tables available (including outdoors eating), 

  • cohorts of students: minimize mixing between classrooms, 

  • cleaning /disinfecting: spaces, surfaces and materials, 

  • Handwashing: instruction and opportunities provided particularly before meals, 

  • Vaccination: encouraged

 

  • We will continue to encourage the 3Ws to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth in the school building and on school grounds.

  • Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact in the school building and on school grounds.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

July 6, 2021

School Procedures are under review and will be updated August 10-12, 2021. This will include mask requirements, travel restrictions, non-staff access to the building, and instructional modalities.

Masks are currently required for individuals who are NOT FULLY VACCINATED, or for all adults when meeting with an unvaccinated student.  

In the event of re-introduced Covid Pandemic precautions, CCS may re-adopt standards from 2020/21 school year or others as determined under the guidance of the CDC, Colorado government, or Moffat School District. CCS, at its sole discretion, will set building expectations in terms of mask requirements, room capacity, and the hosting of events. 

See below for examples of prior procedures and for many resource links. Our overarching consideration is the health and well-being of our students, staff, parents, and the broader community. Thank you for your support.

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