Risk Management Plan 2021-2022

Just as I wear a mask to protect you, and you wear a mask to protect me, remember that the decisions you make impact others’ children, and the decisions others make will impact your children.”

Last Updated April 19, 2022. This reflects our best thinking up to this point and we are constantly working on it. Updates will be shared here and via newsletter.

The seven pillars of our risk management efforts—Vaccination, Testing, Masking, Ventilation, Hygiene, Screening, and Culture and Community Obligation—follow the best practices recommended by public health authorities (see the CDC’s personal prevention strategies) to reduce the chance of exposure to the virus. Below are details of the efforts we are making in these areas, and more, to reduce the risk of transmission.

Questions? Contact covidresponse@cais.org

Risk Management Plan

Masking Protocols
  • CAIS bases the determination for masking requirements on the SF County information on the CDC data tracker page
  • With the CDC risk level currently at yellow in SF County, CAIS is requiring masks indoors at all campuses.
  • When the CDC’s risk level is at green, masks will continue to be required indoors for adults and students at our Preschool (Waller Campus). For the 150 Oak Campus, 888 Turk Campus, and 19th Avenue Campus, when the CDC’s covid risk assessment is low (ie, green), CAIS may opt not require students, employees and other adults to wear masks indoors at the 150 Oak, 888 Turk, or 19th Avenue Campuses. Of course any child or adult may continue to choose wearing a mask at any time.    
  • See grid below for protocols during the green (low) risk level when individuals at campuses other than Waller may also be required to wear masks:

Masking Protocols During Green Risk Level at 150 Oak Campus, 888 Turk Campus, and 19th Avenue Campus

Scenario Mask (M) or Mask Optional (O) for the following groups?
Student Student’s sibling Student’s classmates and instructors

Positive Case

Student tests positive for COVID-19


If test negative on or after Day 5, mask through Day 10 or until symptoms resolve.


Mask for 10 days.


Mask for 10 days. 


Student exposed to COVID-19 outside of school


May attend school as long as asymptomatic.

Mask for 10 days. 


Mask for 10 days.



Student presents with  COVID-19 related symptoms, yet tests negative


Optional upon return after symptom-free



Symptomatic (Fever)

Student has a fever, yet tests negative


Optional upon return after 24 hours fever-free



Non-COVID Related Illness

Student has a cold, yet tests negative


Optional upon return after symptom-free




  • Families are required to provide face coverings for their students whenever masking is required.
  • CAIS will keep a supply of disposable masks at the front desks of all campuses in the event that students lose their mask.
  • Persons exempted from wearing a face mask due to a medical conditions (even when required) must wear a face shield with a drape on the bottom, or other non-restrictive alternative, if their condition permits it (For exemptions to face masks, see CDPH Face Mask guidance and CDPH TK-12 guidance).
  • People entering CAIS campus facilities may not wear masks with vents, as they allow the wearer to expel aerosols into the environment. Additionally, clear face guards may be used, but not as a substitute for face coverings whenever masking is required. 
  • COVID-19 vaccination of staff, eligible students, and household members is one of the most effective ways to decrease the risk of COVID-19 in schools. Vaccinated adults and children ages 5-18 help protect the youngest children who are not yet eligible for vaccination.

  • With vaccines now available for everyone aged 5+, and in consultation with the Pandemic Response Advisory Team, CAIS requires that all eligible individuals receive their second shot by January 19 and are fully vaccinated as of February 2, 2022. Employees are required to be boosted by January 18. Moving forward, children who turn five will have six weeks following their fifth birthday to be fully vaccinated. (With the increased eligibility for boosters, up-to-date status continues to evolve and we will require eligible community members to conform to the SFDPH definition of “up-to-date” as it changes.)

  • CAIS will require proof of vaccination status for all employees and students aged 5+ except those with legitimate legal exemptions that are medical or religious in nature. It will be treated with confidentiality in accordance with HIPAA regulations.

  • Only visitors essential for instruction or school operations will be allowed on campus, and they will need to show proof of up-to-date vaccination status. Parents will generally not be allowed into campus buildings.

COVID-19 Screening
  • CAIS conducts weekly saliva batch screening for all students who are ineligible or have exemptions for vaccination.
  • CAIS will hold activities outside as space and schedule permits, especially snacks/meals and exercise.

  • Windows will remain open to increase natural ventilation with outdoor air when health and safety allow. When possible, room doors will be left slightly open to promote flow of outdoor air through the indoor space. 

  • We will continue to use portable air cleaners (HEPA filters) in classrooms at all three campuses to provide one more level of air filtration.

  • During wildfires or other times when air quality is poor (AQI 150+), CAIS will prioritize maintaining healthy air quality indoors. Our school may remain open even if we need to close windows or decrease outdoor air intake by our ventilation system during these times. We shall continue other precautions, especially wearing face masks, and using portable air cleaners (HEPA filters).

  • Enhancements were made to the HVAC system for the purpose of optimizing ventilation.
  • CAIS will continue to promote hand washing throughout the day, especially before and after eating, after using the toilet, and when entering or leaving a location.
  • NCIS will ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, tissues, and hand sanitizer.
  • Additional sinks and hand-sanitizing stations are available at multiple locations on all campuses.  
  • Before the start of school and throughout the school year, CAIS encourages parents to introduce their children to the healthy hygiene practices that students will follow at school, e.g., distancing, face coverings, hand washing, sneezing and coughing into sleeves or tissues, limited face-touching, etc. (see CDC Tips for Talking with Children).
  • Faculty and staff continue to teach and reinforce healthy hygiene practices in school. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • CAIS/NCIS will continue routine cleaning.
  • If a campus location has been occupied by a +COVID-19 within the last 24 hours, CAIS will clean and disinfect the spaces occupied by that person during that time.
Symptom Screening
  • All students and employees must stay home if they are sick.
  • Families are obligated to check their child(ren)’s symptoms each morning at home before coming to school. Cooperation is essential, as CAIS has discontinued symptom screening with the Magnus Health smartphone app. Staff, students, and families should know the symptoms of COVID-19. People must stay home if they have any of the following symptoms:

• Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or chills
• Cough
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Loss of taste or smell that started in the last 10 days Children may say that food “tastes bad” or “tastes funny”
• Feeling out of breath or having a hard time breathing
• Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
• Fatigue
• Muscle aches or body aches

  • If your child DOES have any of the symptoms above: 
    • Keep them home from school 
    • Contact your child’s doctor 
    • Get a COVID-19 test for your child (rapid home tests are acceptable).
    • Family members of students and staff should get tested promptly if they have symptoms of COVID-19. This will lower the risk of infection spreading to people in your school. 
    • Inform the CAIS Health Coordinator at covidresponse@cais.org that your child is sick.
  • Students who become sick at school will be sent to the health coordinator or division assistant, and CAIS will require parents/guardians to pick up their children. Children will be walked outside to be picked up; parents/guardians may not enter any school building to pick up their children.
  • Employees who become sick at school must notify their supervisor and leave school immediately.
  • Employees exhibiting the above symptoms should be tested for COVID-19 (rapid home tests are acceptable) and notify the school of the results.
  • Conditions for returning to school following any illness are described below, under “Returning to School After Illness or Home Isolation.”
Home Isolation - Quarantine and Modified Quarantine

We are following San Francisco Department of Public Health’s updated guidance from December 31, 2021:


Some highlights from the latest guidance:

  • Individuals who are up-to-date with their vaccination for COVID-19 and have close contact do not have to quarantine.
    • They should get tested on day 5 after Close Contact.*
    • They should wear a well-fitting mask around others until day 10, indoors and outdoors.

    If symptoms develop, they must test, stay home and follow directions in Column B of the Summary Chart.

  • Modified Quarantine” (applicable only to students and only for in school exposure)

    • CAIS students who are not up-to-date with their vaccination for COVID-19 and have close contact in an indoor classroom setting at school can leave quarantine to attend school if both the student and the infected person were wearing face coverings for the duration of their exposure and all of the following criteria are met:

      • They remain asymptomatic
      • Continue to wear a face covering while at school
      • Undergo twice weekly COVID testing with negative results; PCR is recommended but rapid antigen testing testing is acceptable
      • Avoid all out of classroom activities including extracurricular activities and out of school programs (Students in modified quarantine are unable to participate in CAIS After Care or Enrichment classes for the duration of their modified quarantine.)
    • The duration of modified quarantine is 10 days. Modified quarantine is only applicable for CAIS students who were exposed at school, i.e., not at home or in other non school locations. Faculty and staff should follow standard quarantine guidance. 

  • Guidance regarding quarantine is frequently revised and updated by DPH as their understanding of recent variants increases.

  • If you know or suspect that your child has is a Close Contact to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 (including but not limited to family members with whom they cohabit), it is the duty of the parent or guardian to contact the Pandemic Response Coordinator at covidresponse@cais.org to disclose this information and receive instructions based on the most up to date DPH guidance.  
  • Likewise, it is the duty of employees to disclose to CAIS if they or anyone else with whom they cohabit have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they are a primary close contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • When CAIS learns of a positive COVID-19 test or primary close contact among our students or employees, we will communicate this information with the impacted families and employees and report it to the SFDPH as required. In sharing the relevant information that we know, we will respect the privacy rights to which all individuals are legally entitled (for example, we will be able to identify grade and cohort but not specific individuals). See “Communication” section below for more details.

Returning to School After Illness or Home Isolation

If your child is tested for COVID-19, they can return after 

  • A negative COVID-19 test AND 
  • 24 hours with no fever, without taking medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), AND 
  • They are starting to feel better. Their symptoms do not have to be completely gone. 
  • You received a Return to School Clearance from the CAIS Health Office

This is usually the fastest way for your child to go back to their school or program. You must show proof of your child’s negative test, for example, the test result or a message from your clinic or test site that the test was negative. When your child is tested, let the clinic or test site know that you will need this. 

Rapid antigen tests are acceptable for return to school clearance. Please email a photo of the test results to covidresponse@cais.org with the following information:

  • Date of test
  • Student name, grade and class color
  • Time of test
  • Time of reading 

 If your child is not tested, or their COVID-19 test is positive, they can return after 

  • 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared AND 
  • 24 hours with no fever, without taking medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) AND 
  • They are starting to feel better. Their symptoms do not have to be completely gone. 
  • You received a Return to School Clearance from the CAIS Health Office

If your child ‘s COVID-19 test is positive, they can return after 

  • At least five (5) days have passed since your symptom(s) started AND
  • You no longer have fever, AND
  • Your other symptoms are getting better (they do not have to be gone), AND
  • You have a negative test* collected on day 5 or later
  • You received a Return to School Clearance from the CAIS Health Office

Exceptions: Doctor’s Note or Clinic Note

Sometimes a child’s illness is clearly due to another cause, like strep throat or hand-foot-and-mouth disease. In this case, your child’s doctor or clinic may give you a note saying that your child may go back to their school or program without a COVID-19 test. This does not mean that your child does not have COVID-19. Many children with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. It only means that a clear cause other than COVID-19 was found for your child’s symptoms. If your child has a note from their doctor or clinic saying that they can go back to school, the school should accept the note without a COVID-19 test. The note can be an email, electronic message or part of an after visit summary.

Culture and Community Obligation
  • We ground our work moving forward in the success achieved during 2020-2021, during which we had no in-school COVID-19 transmission, but have enjoyed strong enrollment, extremely low employee turnover, and documented results that show no learning loss in Chinese nor in English.
  • Our pandemic planning prioritizes the greatest good for the greatest number. The individual sacrifices required for the good of the group are small, but the benefits are huge.
  • Knowing that plans and rules will not automatically change culture or behavior, CAIS actively works to articulate, explain, and encourage healthy behavior among students, employees, and families, both in and out of school. We strive to foster a collective spirit in which we take care of ourselves, our fellow CAIS community members, and people in the wider community. This requires the support and participation of all CAIS community members.
  • It is essential for the health and safety of all of us that we place trust in the adults in our community—both CAIS employees and parents and guardians—to follow best practices both in and outside of school for managing the risk of transmission as recommended by public health officials and indicated in the CAIS Pandemic Response Plan. More than ever, our personal behaviors affect the health of our entire community. 
  • All CAIS parents, guardians, and employees are asked to sign agreements to follow health practices in and out of school as recommended by public health officials.
  • As indicated above, CAIS teaches and reinforces responsible pandemic behavior in class (e.g., hand washing, sneezing, coughing, masks). We know that adopting these behaviors has positive effects on our children’s ability to navigate the global future.  
Communication During the School Year
  • CAIS endeavors to communicate important information regarding COVID-19 risk management, learning, and teaching via a limited number of centralized channels:

  • Communication will occur to the extent possible on a regular, predictable schedule; Newsletters will be sent biweekly and cais.org/covid19response will be updated as new information becomes available.

  • CAIS will continue to solicit valuable input from community stakeholders on important issues and decisions.

  • CAIS follows the protocols developed by SFDPH. Some important items to note:
    • We will share instructions for close contacts directly with the affected class section and employees via email. 
    • CAIS will alert the broader CAIS community via the COVID Reponse Notices at a Glance page on PowerSchool.
Distancing and Cohorting
  • Physical distancing and cohorting are not required. SFDPH has relaxed requirements for these two measures as they are lower priority than other prevention strategies such as vaccination, face coverings, handwashing, and ventilation that allow for a full return to in-person instruction.
  • The 150 Oak campus remains divided into exclusive-use spaces assigned to either CAIS or French American/IHS, forming two sequestered “macro cohorts.” This includes instructional spaces, offices, entrances, corridors, stairwells, elevators, and restrooms. Students and employees of each school will be limited to their own exclusive-use spaces thus limiting contact between schools. CAIS students and employees must enter the building through the Hickory Street entrance. The Oak Street entrance will remain exclusive use for French American/IHS.