“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 January 9, 2023.
This reflects our best thinking up to this point and we are constantly working on it. Updates will be shared here and via newsletter. Questions? Contact email@example.com
Risk Management Plan
All CAIS COVID protocol decisions are based on scientific advice from CDC and CDPH public health officials (with expert assistance from our COVID Response Advisory Team), including the protocols listed below.
COVID Protocols Keyed to CDC County Risk Level as Follows
* CAIS requires all employees to be up-to-date with vaccinations as a condition for employment. CAIS families are encouraged in the strongest possible terms to ensure that their children are up-to-date with their vaccinations. In 2021-2022, in anticipation of a California vaccine mandate for all children, CAIS required all eligible students to be vaccinated. Since the time, the state requirement has been delayed by a year and CAIS is therefore delaying its mandate for new students and students who have become eligible since the fall 2021 announcement.
** People who test positive for COVID-19 must wear a mask when indoors for a total of 10 days even if they have been cleared to return after five days of isolation.
What To Do If You Are a Positive Case or Close Contact
General Masking Protocols
- CAIS bases the determination for masking requirements on the SF County information on the CDC data tracker page.
- 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.
- CAIS requires all employees to be up-to-date with vaccinations as a condition for employment.
- CAIS families are encouraged in the strongest possible terms to ensure that their children are up-to-date with their vaccinations. In 2021-2022, in anticipation of a California vaccine mandate for all children, CAIS required all eligible students to be vaccinated. Since the time, the state requirement has been delayed by a year and CAIS is therefore delaying its mandate for new students and students who have become eligible since the fall 2021 announcement.
- Employees and families need to report vaccination status to the school.
- Guests (including parents) will need to attest to their vaccination status to enter CAIS campuses.
Per CDC and CDPH guidance, CAIS will NOT conduct or require routine screening for asymptomatic people.
- 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. (see CDC Tips for Talking with Children). Faculty and staff continue to teach and reinforce healthy hygiene practices in school.
Family and Employee Responsibility for 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. Last fall, SFDPH removed isolated runny nose/congestion from SFDPH’s list of Covid-19 symptoms for children and young adults in schools and childcare settings. SFDPH’s guidance retired their guidance on 06/30/22, and now point towards CDPH’s schools guidance. CDPH references CDC’s list of Covid-19 symptoms, which includes runny nose/congestion.
- People must stay home if they have any of the following symptoms:
- Fever (100.4°F/ 38°C or higher) or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- Your child can return when they have a negative test result and their symptoms are improving. If symptoms include a fever, your child can return when they are fever-free for at least 24 hours, without taking fever-reducing medication, other symptoms are improving, and they have a negative COVID-19 test result.
Culture and Community Obligation
- Our COVID response 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 COVID response behavior in class (e.g., hand washing, sneezing, coughing, masks) and we need parents to do so at home as well. We know that adopting these behaviors has positive effects on our children’s ability to navigate the global future.
Communication During the School Year
- The Health Center will be sending a weekly message to faculty and families each Friday sharing the CDC country risk level for San Francisco so the community will know which set of protocols we will follow in the next week.
- When there is a positive case in a class and employees/students are considered close contacts, the Health Center will send notification to faculty/staff at that campus, send notification to parents of the specific class, and send notification to any possible close contacts in after care if applicable.
- CAIS employees and families will be able to see a page on Schoology compiling all positive case notifications by grade.
- CAIS endeavors to communicate important information regarding COVID-19 risk management via a limited number of centralized channels:
- email newsletter
- live, interactive online events on occasion
- Communication will occur to the extent possible on a regular, predictable schedule; Newsletters will be sent 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.
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.