Effective Monday, August 9, 2021, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 251. This order mandates that all students and staff wear masks when indoors in school buildings. Regardless of vaccination status, Westfield is required to abide by this new mask mandate. We have a year’s worth of understanding of how to make this work well within a school environment.
Westfield intends to operate as an in-person school for all students. Students and faculty who need to stay at home to quarantine due to a positive COVID test or being considered a close contact will be supported and included in the school program via Google Meet. The school does not intend to offer students extended remote learning options unless required by the state or local health department. Absences based on elective travel, non-COVID sickness, appointments, or any other reasons will be supported through asynchronous work only, as has been done in past years. Remote access to live classes will not be provided in these circumstances.
2021-22 COVID-19 Communications to Parents
Health and Wellness
As the 2021-2022 school year starts, COVID-19 remains a serious illness without an approved vaccine for children under the age of twelve. Westfield Friends School Return to School Task Force has consulted with and followed the guidelines established by the CDC, NJDOE, NJDOH, and the CHOP PolicyLab in creating its plans for in-person, hybrid, and distance learning.
Westfield intends to operate as a fully in-person school for the entire school year. Westfield Friends School will do its best in partnership with our school families to mitigate as much as possible the potential for exposure to COVID-19. However, parents and guardians do assume the risk of their child’s potential exposure to the virus in sending their children to school. Below are some of the disease prevention and mitigation measures the school will take. Additional procedures may be added as the incidence of cases rises in the region or new information is provided by the state, county, or CDC.
Entrance to School Buildings
Visitors, including Parents and Guardians, will need to sign in at the front desk, affirm their health, and wear a mask if they are not vaccinated
Upon arrival at school and before leaving your car or immediately after exiting the bus, Westfield staff will ask about your child’s health. While not trained EMTs, nurses, doctors, or other health care professionals, Westfield staff will make reasonable efforts to ensure that children are healthy as they enter the school buildings.
Face coverings and masks
Parents and guardians are responsible for sending their children to school with two clean, cloth face coverings every day.
Westfield Friends School’s plan for the school year includes the following practices:
- When outside, students and adults will be maskless
- When inside, vaccinated adults and students may be maskless
- When inside, unvaccinated adults and students will wear masks (we will continue to give everyone mask breaks throughout the day)
- Clear, physical barriers may be added to tables in the youngest grades to mitigate potential exposure to the illness.
- Parents must work with their children to help them practice and grow accustomed to wearing a mask properly and for extended periods.
- Most entrances and all classrooms have hand sanitizer dispensers. Students will be taught to use hand sanitizer every time they pass a dispenser.
- Students in grades 1-8 should keep personal hand sanitizer at school.
- Students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer at the start of each day, before
- meals and snacks, and frequently throughout the day.
- Staff will regularly sanitize all of the indoor and outdoor spaces. Teachers will minimize the need for shared materials.
- Larger groups of students or cross-grade activities such as Meeting for Worship, Looking at Art, Monday Gathering, or Middle School Student Government may be modified to accommodate social distancing, may move outdoors, or may happen through video-conferencing.
- Weather permitting, we will open windows and run ceiling fans to increase fresh airflow in classrooms and buildings.
- Parents and guardians must send a spare pair of shoes to school as students will go outside in all weather conditions and at times when the grass will be wet. Children will also need to have umbrellas and or raincoats available at school.
- Students must have appropriate cold-weather clothing for being outdoors on cold days.
- The lower-level art, music, and science rooms in the Main Building will have air filtration systems installed before the start of school. By mid-fall, air filters should be in place in all classrooms. Windows will remain open as a best practice for healthy air. The HVAC systems will continue to provide air circulation and fresh air exchange
- We will begin our days outside and go outside frequently for academic instruction and recreation.
- Students must bring a water bottle to school each day and may fill them at the water bottle filler stations.
- Students will bring their own lunches and snacks to school and eat in their classrooms or outdoors with their classmates
- Westfield follows a no-waste policy for meals. All trash and leftover food will return home in a student’s lunch box.
- Birthday celebrations are regular features of our school life. Only individually sealed snacks may be sent in. Parents should consult with teachers to decide on snacks that all children, regardless of dietary restrictions or allergies may share. Alternatively, parents might consider a special craft or activity as a way to celebrate their child’s birthday at school.
Although Westfield Friends School does not require students and staff to be vaccinated at this time, we strongly encourage anyone eligible to get vaccinated. Achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among our community members is one of the best ways for us to resume normal operations. Eligible students may find vaccination sites near them on this website or from a network of clinics in Burlington County. Currently, students who are 12 years or older are eligible to get vaccinated.
Singing will be permitted indoors with masks and will allow for recommended physical distancing. Whenever possible, singers will practice outdoors, physically distant and without masks. This may be modified if our policies change throughout the year.
Physical education classes will be held outdoors whenever possible. Masks will not be required outdoors, but physical distancing will be maintained. When physical education classes are held indoors, masks will be worn.
Daytime field trips will resume and all COVID protocols will be in place.
Extended Day, After-School Supervision, and After-School Clubs & Activities
We will continue to have the Extended Day Program for students (before/after school). Students will be spaced out to the extent possible and all health and safety protocols used during the school day will be followed. We will share information about after-school clubs and activities once it is available.
Westfield Friends School follows the New Jersey state travel guidelines.
Currently, WFS does not require any quarantine for students or employees returning from domestic travel.
Unvaccinated individuals returning from international travel must quarantine at home for a full 7 days after travel with a negative test taken in days 3-5 after travel, or a full 10 days without a COVID test.
Vaccinated students do not need to quarantine, but the CDC does recommend getting tested for COVID 3-5 days after travel.
Please make note of this policy and plan accordingly.
Incidence of any communicable disease should be reported to the Receptionist or the School Nurse at (856-829-0895). All children must remain at home for at least 24 hours symptom-free after they have had vomiting or diarrhea. Please note that if a child returns to School before being 24 hours symptom-free, the parent or guardian will be called to take their child home. Any student having any of the following communicable diseases must remain out of School for the indicated time.
Children who are visibly ill, feverish, or contagious cannot remain on campus where the illness could be spread to other children and adults. We reserve the right to contact the parent or guardian to pick up the child if we feel he or she is too ill to remain at School. Students who become ill at school will wait for their parents or guardians to take them home in a dedicated room with an attached bathroom. Parents and guardians should be prepared to pick up their child within one hour of a call that they are ill and need to be taken home.
We ask that all families keep their children home if they exhibit any signs of illness in order to keep the entire community healthy. A student will be asked to stay home if they exhibit:
- At least two of the following symptoms: chills, shivers, myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose; OR
- At least one of the following symptoms: fever (of 100.4 or higher), cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of smell, or new loss of taste.
Westfield Friends School will work with local public health officials to support contact tracing efforts including in the case of COVID-19 exposure. We are committed to keeping our school community safe. In all cases, we will work to protect the privacy of community members. The New Jersey Department of Health has published guidelines for contact tracing and ensures the privacy of everyone involved.
• Will follow current Communicable Disease Service guidance for illness reporting
• The School Nurse, School District Nurse, Head of School, and the Director of Finance & Operations may be involved in and serve as the liaison between the Department of Health and the School.
• Families must report to the Head of School or the Director of Finance & Operations any instances of close contact with someone with COVID-19 or if someone in the student’s household is diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspects they may have COVID-19
COVID-19 Information Sources