About CAIS / Pandemic Response

Risk Management Plan


“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 August 10, 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 orange 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

Mask (M) or Mask Optional (O) for the following groups?
StudentStudent’s siblingStudent’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.
  • 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.

COVID-19 Screening

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.

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. 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.”

Culture and Community Obligation

  • 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.