The following is the information provided to CDPH in January 2021 as part of the reopening approval process.
2021 COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist
Name of Local Educational Agency or Equivalent: Chinese American International School
Number of schools: 3
Superintendent (or equivalent) Name: Jeffrey Bissell
Address: 150 Oak Street, San Francisco CA 94102
Phone Number: 415-865-6000
Date of proposed reopening: 10/09/2020
County: San Francisco
Current Tier: Purple
Type of LEA: Independent School
Grade Level: Preschool–8th
This form and any applicable attachments should be posted publicly on the website of the local educational agency (or equivalent) prior to reopening or if an LEA or equivalent has already opened for in-person instruction. For those in the Purple Tier, materials must additionally be submitted to your local health officer (LHO), local County Office of Education, and the State School Safety Team prior to reopening.
The email address for submission to the State School Safety for All Team for LEAs in Purple Tier is: K12csp@cdph.ca.gov
LEAs or equivalent in Counties with a case rate >=25/100,000 individuals can submit materials but cannot re-open a school until the county is below 25 cases per 100,000 (adjusted rate) for 5 consecutive days.
For Local Educational Agencies (LEAs or equivalent) in ALL TIERS:
☐ I, Jeff Bissell, post to the website of the local educational agency (or equivalent) the COVID Safety Plan, which consists of two elements: the COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP), pursuant to CalOSHA requirements, and this CDPH COVID-19 Guidance Checklist and accompanying documents, which satisfies requirements for the safe reopening of schools per CDPH Guidance on Schools. For those seeking to open while in the Purple Tier, these plans have also been submitted to the local health officer (LHO) and the State School Safety Team.
I confirm that reopening plan(s) address the following, consistent with guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the local health department:
☐ Stable group structures (where applicable): How students and staff will be kept in stable groups with fixed membership that stay together for all activities (e.g., instruction, lunch, recess) and minimize/avoid contact with other groups or individuals who are not part of the stable group.
Please provide specific information regarding:
How many students and staff will be in each planned stable, group structure? (If planning more than one type of group, what is the minimum and maximum number of students and staff in the groups?)
Each of our stable groups in in our K-8 programs will have a minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 16 students. There will be no mixing of students between stable groups.
If you have departmentalized classes, how will you organize staff and students in stable groups?
If you have electives, how will you prevent or minimize in-person contact for members of different stable groups?
☐ Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School: How movement of students, staff, and parents will be managed to avoid close contact and/or mixing of cohorts.
OAK CAMPUS: We have staggered drop-offs of students to minimize the potential of crowding at the start of school, and have opened another entrance on Gough Street. in addition to our main entrance on Hickory Street. Stable groups will be kept in their classroom spaces with their lead teachers (English and Chinese). Stable groups will stagger times to exit the classroom to head to Hickory Yard for recess and/or physical education classes, so as to avoid stable groups meeting with each other in hallway spaces as much as possible. All of our hallways have been equipped with floor markings to require “traffic” on the right side entering or exiting, so that stable groups can pass each other in an orderly fashion. TURK CAMPUS: We have staggered drop-offs of students to minimize the potential of crowding at the start of school at our Turk campus. Stable groups will be kept in their classroom spaces with stable groups of 6th and 7th/8th grade teachers only working with them. Stable groups will stagger times to exit the classroom to head to Hickory Yard for recess and/or physical education classes, so as to avoid stable groups meeting with each other in hallway spaces as much as possible.
☐ Face Coverings and Other Essential Protective Gear: How CDPH’s face covering requirements will be satisfied and enforced for staff and students.
All students, faculty and staff are checked for face coverings each day. Our preschool has had notable success in having students maintain the use of face coverings indoors (except during nap time, per DPH regulations). We have encouraged all students and staff to eat meals and snacks outside to reduce the risk of respiratory transmission of COVID indoors. We have only brought students inside for meals/ snacks during periods of poor air quality (i.e., when the AQI has gone over 150.)
☐ Health Screenings for Students and Staff: How students and staff will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and how ill students or staff will be separated from others and sent home immediately.
We arranged for all faculty and staff to take part in a testing clinic at CAIS on September 28, and conducted testing clinic every two weeks from October through December. Since the start of January (after a pilot for faculty and staff in mid-December), we have all faculty, staff and students take part in saliva pool PCR testing with Mirimus. Faculty submit samples on Mondays of each week, and students submit samples Wednesday of each week, with results coming within two days. Each day, faculty/staff and students’ parents will complete a daily symptom screening questionnaire to check for any potential symptoms of COVID, and to track temperatures and signs of fever. If there are any symptoms, the school will receive an alert and the affected parties will be alerted to stay at home. Faculty/staff and students who become ill or who show potential symptoms of COVID will be removed from their cohorts and brought to an isolated space. Faculty/staff will be advised to return home, and students’ parents will be called immediately to come to CAIS to pick up their child. Anyone who shows these symptoms will be encouraged to contact their physician and to schedule a COVID test.
☐ Healthy Hygiene Practices: The availability of handwashing stations and hand sanitizer, and how their safe and appropriate use will be promoted and incorporated into routines for staff and students.
We have installed many extra sinks in hallway spaces and in outdoor play areas. Water fountains have been removed or turned off, and replaced with sinks. There is a large amount of signage about handwashing, and teachers urge students to wash their hands well several times days, especially before and after meals. We have installed many Purell hand-sanitizer dispensers, and our maintenance company is maintaining an ample supply of soap and hand sanitizer.
☐ Identification and Tracing of Contacts: Actions that staff will take when there is a confirmed case. Confirm that the school(s) have designated staff persons to support contact tracing, such as creation and submission of lists of exposed students and staff to the local health department and notification of exposed persons. Each school must designate a person for the local health department to contact about COVID-19.
We have created a protocol to track all cases of possible COVID-19 symptoms and/or positive cases. Adam Ross is the Pandemic Response Coordinator and has completed both a Johns Hopkins/Coursera course on Contact Tracing for COVID-19 as well as completed a course for Pandemic Coordination hosted by Joffe Emergency Services. He works together with our Director of Communications Tim Reitz, our Health Center Director Lesly Louie, as well as with school division heads and directors to communicate with families of affected students, the families of their cohorts as well as the entire school community when there are cases of possible symptoms and/or exposures. We are following current SFDPH protocols to contact trace, and to communicate with families when their children may safely return to campus following a negative COVID-19 test or a period of 10-day quarantine at home (for symptomatic students) or checking in on student and family health for positive cases. Adam Ross and Lesly Louie are also maintaining several documents to track these incidents of students being sent home, their test results, and their scheduled dates to return safely to school. CAIS’s communication and contact tracing protocols can be found outlined in the Communication section below.
☐ Physical Distancing: How space and routines will be arranged to allow for physical distancing of students and staff. Please provide the planned maximum and minimum distance between students in classrooms. Maximum: 6+ feet Minimum: 6 feet. If this is less than 6 feet, please explain why it is not possible to maintain a minimum of at least 6 feet.
All faculty and staff have either already received or will receive training on maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing. In addition, class sizes have been set and desk/chairs arranged to maintain at least 4–6 feet of distance between students, as well as consistently 6+ f. of distance between adults and students in classroom spaces.
☐ Staff Training and Family Education: How staff will be trained and families will be educated on the application and enforcement of the plan.
CAIS has held regular online meetings with faculty/staff and families through the summer and during the start of the school year to discuss our planning as it has evolved. We have followed up with informational and additional training as needed in division meeting throughout the school year.
☐ Testing of Staff: How school officials will ensure that students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will be rapidly tested and what instructions they will be given while waiting for test results. Below, please describe any planned periodic asymptomatic staff testing cadence. Staff asymptomatic testing cadence. Please note if testing cadence will differ by tier.
All staff take part in weekly saliva pool testing along with faculty. This protocol was implemented as a pilot in mid-December 2020, followed by weekly testing at the start of January 2021. Any staff who show symptoms are asked to remain at home (or, if at school with the symptom onset, to return home immediately) and to arrange for a COVID test. Staff members are cleared to return to campus upon confirmation of a negative test and when no longer showing any signs of potential symptoms.
☐ Testing of Students: How school officials will ensure that students who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will be rapidly tested and what instructions they will be given while waiting for test results. Below, please describe any planned periodic asymptomatic student testing cadence. Planned student testing cadence. Please note if testing cadence will differ by tier.
All students take part in weekly saliva pool testing. This protocol was implemented at the start of January 2021. Any students who show symptoms are asked to remain at home (or, if at school with the symptom onset, to return home immediately) and to arrange for a COVID test. Students are cleared to return to campus upon confirmation of a negative test and when no longer showing any signs of potential symptoms.
☐ Identification and Reporting of Cases: At all times, reporting of confirmed positive and suspected cases in students, staff and employees will be consistent with Reporting Requirements.
CAIS has had three confirmed cases among our school community since November 2020, all members of our faculty and staff. In each case, when we learned about the positive COVID status of the individual, we immediately notified affected groups and individuals to quarantine, and gave them information provided from SFDPH on health checks following an exposure, monitoring for symptoms and testing for possible COVID infection.In addition, Pandemic Response Coordinator Adam Ross followed San Francisco DPH-Schools protocols to provide necessary information about the positive individuals, students in the cohort with contact information for their parents, and any other close contacts. This information was shared with the general DPH-Schools email address along with firstname.lastname@example.org (SFDPH Contact Tracing). Adam Ross also followed up promptly to any phone communication from DPH-Schools’ staff member calls for follow-up.
☐ Communication Plans: How the superintendent will communicate with students, staff, and parents about cases and exposures at the school, consistent with privacy requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA.
Our “Protocols for Communicating about Potential and Confirmed Cases” are presented on our Risk Management Planning page as a grid of scenarios outlining the various possible circumstances, ramifications for individuals, and corresponding communications required.
☐ Consultation: (For schools not previously open) Please confirm consultation with the following groups
☐ Labor Organization Name of Organization(s) and Date(s) Consulted: See Below
☐ Parent and Community Organizations Name of Organization(s) and Date(s) Consulted: See Below
If no labor organization represents staff at the school, please describe the process for consultation with school staff:
See Faculty Response, Family Responses (K-5th), and Family Responses (6th-8th) PDF attachments below for details.