Health and Wellness

Table of Contents

The health and wellness of our students, staff and community are always a priority at The Garden.  For the 2021-22 academic year, we have adjusted our programming and incorporated additional health safety practices and protocols to directly address the continued health concerns associated with COVID-19.  The Garden adheres to all health guidance published by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as applicable to schools and childcare facilities.  The Garden also observes all WA state and local King County mandates and recommendations as they relate to COVID-19 safety practices and protocols.  

Programming Updates

Indoor/Outdoor Learning Spaces
To address the continued concern of COVID-19 transmission among students, The Garden will operate both a fully outdoor program as well as a hybrid indoor/outdoor program for each class (Ladybug, Cricket, Honeybee) for the fall of 2021.  All students will utilize the newly renovated school playground as well as The Garden Next Door with their cohort groups throughout the fall.  Students in our hybrid programming will also spend a portion of the day in the classroom or movement room. 

Cohorts
The Garden’s traditional programming included 18 students and three teachers.  To further reduce the concerns of COVID-19 transmission, each class is again divided into two fully separate cohorts of 8-11 children that will each be taught by two teachers this fall.  Although the children in the cohorts remain fixed for the duration of the programming, the teachers will rotate so that all four of our teachers spend time with students participating in both the fully-outdoor and hybrid programming.

Safety Practices

Masking
Following the current recommendations of the DOH and CDC, we are a fully-masked campus.  All staff, parents and students are required to wear a mask upon exiting their vehicle while present on school property during school hours, regardless of vaccination status.  Students will be able to take outdoor, socially distanced mask breaks if needed with the supervision of a staff member.  Snack will take place with students socially distanced and outdoors for both the fully-outdoor and hybrid cohorts.

Vaccination
All teachers and staff members at The Children’s Garden are fully vaccinated.  Any substitute teachers that may assist with classes during the year are also required to be fully vaccinated.

Ventilation
All indoor classroom spaces will be operating with open windows to increase outside airflow.  All classroom spaces (including the movement room and office) will also operate air purifiers throughout the day.  The main classroom additionally utilizes a centralized HVAC system with HEPA filter.

On-Campus Protocols

Drop-Off
Parents and caregivers will exit their vehicles (masked) and walk students to the designated outdoor drop-off area for his/her cohort and;

  • Assist the student with hand washing at the outdoor sink
  • Let a staff member know if the student will need immediate assistance to use the bathroom
  • Check-in the student for daily attendance via the posted Brightwheel QR code posted in each cohort drop-off area.

Health/Symptom Check
We will not be performing student temperature checks this year however, we will continue to have families respond to our daily health screen when they check in at drop off. We ask that families assess their child’s health each day before bringing them to school and ensure that they DO NOT DISPLAY ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19.  These symptoms include:

  • New or uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
  • Temperature of 100.4 F or higher
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Onset of headache, particularly associated with fever
  • Chills, fatigue or extreme weariness
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Close contact with a person currently displaying symptoms of having a confirmed case of COVID-19

If a student or any family member displays symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that the student refrain from coming to campus until a negative test has been obtained for the individual with symptoms.  Should a positive test result, we ask that the student/family member observe the isolation and quarantine procedures outlined by the CDC.  All test information should be sent to Brin Hamilton in the office.

If a student is ill with symptoms differing from those associated with COVID-19 or receives a negative test and symptoms are still present, we ask that families follow standard illness protocols and keep the student home until he/she has not vomited and has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.  

Pick-Up
Children will meet parents and caregivers at their cohort’s designated pick-up area and should be walked by their parent/caregiver to their vehicle. 

Student and Staff Only Areas
All indoor spaces including the main classroom, movement room and office are reserved for Garden students and staff only.  This includes the office bathroom.

Travel Safety and Protocols

Students (under 5 years) and Unvaccinated Travelers

We currently ask that all families observe the DOH and CDCs recommendations for unvaccinated travelers when traveling with their unvaccinated Garden students out of state or internationally:

  • Get tested with a molecular (RT-PCR)  test 4-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.  

You can find the full detail of these guidelines here:

CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

DOH guidelines: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/Travel

Fully Vaccinated Travelers
Fully vaccinated adults and children over 12 may travel domestically and to many international locations without the need to test or quarantine, however:

  • Fully vaccinated adults should still continue to monitor for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days after travel
  • If a fully vaccinated traveler displays signs or symptoms of COVID-19 less than 10 days after travel, they should self-isolate and get tested. 
  • No student with a family member displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should return to campus until the individual has received a negative test and proper quarantine measures have been observed.5

Daily Health Screen

Brightwheel Check In
Each student has an online profile in Brighthweel. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to download the Brighthweel app on their mobile device.

At drop off, parents and caregivers will check-in their student through Brightwheel by confirming a series of statements.

This health screen is accessed by scanning a QR code through the Brightwheel app on a mobile device. If you need assistance paper Health Screen options are available.

Household Symptoms/Health Screen Statements
You will be asked to confirm the following statements for your household members.

  • No new or uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
  • No temperature of 100.4 or higher
  • No sore throat
  • No diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • No onset of headache, particularly associated with fever
  • No chills, fatigue or extreme weariness
  • No new loss of taste or smell-adults only
  • No close contact with a person currently displaying symptoms of having a confirmed case of COVID 19
  • No out of state travel if unvaccinated
  • No congestion

Please do not send your child to school if you cannot affirm the above statements.

Student Illness with Symptoms– COVID and/or Cold and Flu symptoms

View the King County COVID-19 Return to Work/School Flow Chart for quick reference on returning to school.

The Children’s Garden asks that families utilize the COVID-19 Return to Work/School Flow Chart published by Public Health Seattle King County when assessing a student’s symptoms and health before sending them to school.

Per the flow chart, if a student or any family member displays symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that the student refrain from coming to campus until a negative test has been obtained for the individual with symptoms.  Should a positive test result, we ask that the student/family member observe the isolation and quarantine procedures outlined by Public Health Seattle King County and the CDC.  All test information should be sent to Brin Hamilton in the office. COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • New or uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
  • Temperature of 100.4 F or higher
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Onset of headache, particularly associated with fever
  • Chills, fatigue or extreme weariness
  • Loss of taste or smell

If a student is symptomatic with one or more of the symptoms listed above, they may take a rapid (antigen) or PCR COVID-19 test. If the test is negative AND there is NO known close contact with a positive case of COVID-19, we ask that families follow standard illness protocols and keep the student home until he/she has not vomited and has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. In addition, symptoms must be improving before a student returns to school. Please note, it is a long-standing Garden policy to keep children home if they have an actively runny nose requiring tissues. If the test is positive, we ask that families follow quarantine procedures and keep the child home for 10 days following the onset of symptoms.  The child may return to school after the 10 day quarantine IF symptoms are improving and he/she has not vomited and has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.

If a student is ill with symptoms differing from those associated with COVID-19 or receives a negative test and symptoms are still present, we ask that families follow standard illness protocols and keep the student home until he/she has not vomited and has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. In addition, symptoms must be improving before a student returns to school. Please note, it is a long-standing Garden policy to keep children home if they have an actively runny nose requiring tissues.

COVID-19 Exposure/Close Contact

If a student has been exposed to COVID-19 they must quarantine for 14 days since the last date of close contact, regardless of whether they are symptomatic and/or receive a negative test, as per the Public Health Seattle King County Flow Chart. If no symptoms develop, the student can return after their 14-day quarantine. If symptoms develop, the student can return 10-days after symptoms began AND at least 24-hours have passed since fever resolved AND symptoms have improved.

Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

If your student tests positive for COVID-19, they can return to school once at least 10 days have passed since the beginning of their symptoms or their positive test, at least 24 hours have passed since their fever resolved, and symptoms have improved. Please see the Public Health Seattle King County Flow Chart for more details. Please note, for contact tracing, it is important that you provide positive test result information to Brin Hamilton as soon as possible.

Accepted COVID tests for return to school

After travel: Negative COVID test results provided for the return to school following travel need to be from a molecular (RT-PCR) test. Antigen (Rapid Tests) are not accepted after travel UNLESS the student displays symptoms of COVID-19.  Tests must be taken at least 5 days following the return from out of state travel.

If a student develops symptoms: If a student develops symptoms of COVID-19 and has an active infection, negative rapid (antigen) test results are accepted for returning to school. PCR results are also accepted. All COVID tests (including rapid tests) must be performed at a lab, pharmacy, doctor’s office, etc. At-home rapid test results are not accepted.

What’s the difference between PCR Test and Rapid Test (Antigen)?

PCR Test. PCR testing is considered the “gold standard” in SARS-CoV-2 detection. This test actually detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even those who have no symptoms. The test can be done in a clinic, hospital, or even in your car. Turnaround time is generally in the 2-3 day range but results can be in as little as 24 hours. 

Antigen Test (frequently referred to as a rapid test). This test detects protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus. It can be done in a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital. Turnaround time for results is usually very quick and in some cases, results can be reported within 15 minutes.

Stay Home if Sick
COVID symptoms include almost every general illness symptom including congestion.  Upon onset of symptoms we recommend you get your child tested with a molecular (RT-PCR) or rapid (antigen) test. It is important that students exhibiting any signs of illness stay home, even if symptoms are not believed to be related to COVID. Please note, all tests must be performed by a medical professional. At-home test results will not be accepted.

Please note, it is a long standing Garden policy to keep children home if they have an actively runny nose requiring tissues.

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