Yinghua Academy Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan and Covid Safety Plan 2021-22

Covid-19 Dashboard

Updated on: 1/21/22 # of confirmed cases without exposure at school # of confirmed cases with exposure at school
Staff 0 0
Students 5 13

The school’s Covid-19 dashboard is updated on Fridays by 12 p.m. Data is based on active situations from the previous Friday at 12 p.m. through the current Friday 12 p.m. Previous Weeks.

The CDC published new guidelines in January 2022 for Covid-related quarantine and isolation in response to the Omicron variant, which can be found in detail here. Yinghua will be following these guidelines, some of which are highlighted below:

Isolation – If your child tests positive for Covid:

  • They should isolate at home for at least five days from the start of symptoms (or from the day they test positive, if asymptomatic). If symptom free on day five, students may return to school on day six wearing a well-fitting mask and not taking the mask off in the presence of others. In order to accommodate this CDC requirement, all students, K-5th grade, who return on day six from isolation will eat in the cafeteria temporarily, allowing for distancing of over 6 feet, for the completion of the ten day period. 6th-8th grade students returning at day 6 will eat in their classrooms through day 10.
  • We also request that the positive student takes a rapid antigen test before returning to school. If the antigen test is still positive on day 5, your child may still be contagious, even if symptoms have resolved, so he/she should stay home an additional day and retest. It is possible to be contagious for more than five days and we do not want to put other students at risk. If you need a rapid home test, please request one from the Health Office.
  • Parents may choose to keep their child home for the full 10 day isolation period if they prefer.
  • The school nurse will email directions to access homework and attend a daily Zoom check-in.

Quarantine – If your child is a close contact to someone with Covid:

  • If your child is fully vaccinated (including the booster for those eligible), he/she is not required to quarantine if the close contact is not in your immediate family. However, you may choose to quarantine if that is what you prefer.
  • If your child is not fully vaccinated, then your child will need to quarantine at home for at least five days. They may return to school on day six if they are symptom free and have tested negative on or after day five.
  • Families may choose to quarantine for a full ten days if they prefer not to test, but we highly recommend that your child tests if they develop symptoms.
  • Although vaccines protect against severe illness and hospitalization, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people may become infected with Omicron. Therefore, if there is a case of Covid in your own home, we also require that all Yinghua children in the family quarantine for the first five days, regardless of vaccination status, to monitor for the possible development of Covid. This requirement is more conservative than CDC recommendations, but we have seen Omicron spread rapidly through families. If siblings continue to come to school after exposure, and then become positive a few days later, they have exposed their classmates in the meantime. We know this may feel like a burden to some families, especially if siblings stay healthy, but our goal is to minimize spread at school and keep in-person learning an option for everyone.
  • The school nurse will email directions to access homework and attend a daily Zoom check-in.

Vaccination 

  • It is highly recommended, but not required, that all staff and eligible students receive the Covid-19 vaccination. For more information click here
  • Unvaccinated staff must test weekly and quarantine if determined to be a close contact.

Masking 

  • All students, parents, and staff will be required to wear a mask while inside the school building. 
  • This may be adjusted when community spread of Covid-19 is at low levels in the surrounding counties. 
  • Students and staff may remove masks when outside for class or recess, but should not congregate together in large groups. 
  • Alternatives to mask wearing will be considered by the administration with proper medical documentation, and may consist of wearing a face shield and increased physical distancing.
  • The YA school board masking policy can be found here: YA-013-COVID-19 Related Face Coverings.

Other Mitigation Strategies

  • Teachers will implement three feet physical distancing between students whenever possible.
  • K-5th grade students will eat lunch in their classrooms. 
  • 5th grade homeroom teachers will teach math, Chinese, and social studies to minimize class movement. 
  • 6th grade students will eat in the cafeteria at a separate time from 7th and 8th grade students, who will also eat in the cafeteria. 
  • All families should check their children for signs of illness before leaving home to come to school. Click here for a Covid-19 screening guide. 
  • Please keep all sick children home. Siblings must also stay home if your child has Covid-like symptoms until Covid is ruled out.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located at each entrance door for student/staff use.
  • Students and staff will wash and disinfect hands throughout the day. 
  • Facilities staff will disinfect surfaces throughout the day and monitor air quality measures.
  • Health Office Staff will wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and will isolate students with possible infectious symptoms. 
  • Please report any family exposure to Covid-19 to the Health Office. The school must report all diagnosed cases of school staff or students to MDH. 
  • Whole classrooms will not need to quarantine if exposed to someone in the class with diagnosed Covid as long as students are wearing masks. Individual students will need to be isolated if they develop any Covid-like symptoms after the exposure. 
  • In order to ensure continuity of educational services, students at home for isolation or quarantine will have access to daily assignments and be offered one hour of “live” learning/check in with a grade level teacher via Zoom. Ginger Hao will email instructions to the family.

Busing

  • Students must wear masks while riding on school buses. All people are required by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) order to wear face coverings while in public transportation hubs and on all public transportation conveyances (airplanes, public buses, etc.), including school buses (both public and private). 
  • Students will have assigned seats on the bus. 

Aftercare and Athletics 

  • We will be offering aftercare, enrichment classes, and athletics with Covid precautions in place.

Travel Guidelines

Covid-19 Definitions to Know

  • Close Contact: In general, a close contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. This may exclude students in an indoor classroom from quarantine when both the case and close contact were wearing a well-fitting mask during the time of exposure.
  • Quarantine: An individual is staying home due to a sick family member, a family member/close contact who is awaiting Covid-19 test results, or due to close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. 
  • Isolation: An individual is staying home due to illness and is either completing a 5-10 day isolation period, or is awaiting an alternative diagnosis or Covid-19 test results.
  • Confirmed Covid-19 Case without Exposure at School: An individual who tested positive for Covid-19, but due to the timing of the individual’s last day in the school building and onset of symptoms, was not considered infectious while at school. This is based on the MN Department of Health’s guidelines and current research that shows a person is most contagious for Covid-19 forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms and while symptomatic. This is also related to the incubation period for Covid-19 before symptoms start. People are not immediately contagious upon contracting Covid-19 from someone else.
  • Confirmed Covid-19 Case with Exposure at School: An individual who tested positive for Covid-19 and was considered infectious while in the school building. These cases are reported to MDH for the purposes of contact tracing at the school.

Procedure for Email Notification to Families 

In addition to the weekly Dashboard notifications, the school will send an email notification to families in the following situations (names will be confidential):

  • Your child’s teacher tests positive for Covid-19
  • Your child’s teacher is quarantining due to close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19
  • A student in your child’s grade level has been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • Updates to the situation as needed
  • For any positive Covid-19 cases with exposure at school, all identified close contacts will be notified by a separate email or phone call.

What to do if you have a sick family member

  • To decide if your child needs to isolate due to possible Covid-19 symptoms, read the MDH Decision Tree
  • Sick individuals with possible Covid-19 symptoms must complete a 5-10 day isolation OR be given an alternative diagnosis, or must have received a negative Covid-19 test result before children can return to school.
  • If a family member tests positive for Covid-19, that person begins a 5 day isolation period and unvaccinated family members start a 5 day quarantine period away from the infected individual if possible. 
  • Notify the school by completing an Absence Report or contacting Ginger Hao directly: ginger.hao@yinghuaacademy.org.
  • The health office will send you information regarding school work if your children are in isolation due to sickness or in quarantine awaiting family member test results.
  • Contact Ginger Hao immediately with any test results and provide documentation to the school.

What to do if you have a family member or close contact who tested positive for Covid-19

  • Any member of the family who had close contact with a positive individual must complete a 5 day quarantine at home. A close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the infected person for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.
  • Notify the school by completing an Absence Report or contacting Ginger Hao directly: ginger.hao@yinghuaacademy.org.
  • Close contacts should test for Covid-19 if they become symptomatic or 5 days after their last exposure to the positive person.
  • If the close contact tests positive for Covid-19, this person begins a 5 day isolation period and should stay in a separate room from the rest of the family as much as possible.
  • If you are a close contact to someone outside of your family who test positive, you do not need to quarantine if you are vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, you should do a 5 day quarantine.
  • Contact Ginger Hao immediately with any test results and provide documentation to the school.

Helpful Links

Yinghua Board of Education meetings offer an opportunity for public comment. All meetings are recorded, thus recordings offer a summary of public comment. In addition, comments may be registered with either the Executive Director at susan.berg@yinghuaacademy.org or Board Chair at paul.haller@yinghuaacademy.org.