COVID-19 Information

February 13, 2022 - PLEASE SEE NEW Governor Murphy Mask Mandate (Governor Murphy Announces That Universal School Mask Mandate Will Be Lifted Effective March 7) and Teacher Margaret's latest communication to parents/guardians, below.

In-Person School

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.

Please check back to this page regularly as will keep it updated with communications.

As the 2022-2023 school year starts, COVID-19 remains a serious illness. Westfield Friends COVID Working Group met to review our layers of disease mitigation strategies. Our work continues to be informed by the NJDOE updated recommendations for schools July 2022, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CHOP PolicyLab. Our goals are to protect vulnerable community members, decrease the likelihood of an in school outbreak, and keep Westfield adequately staffed.

All Westfield employees are fully vaccinated. We encourage all families to speak with their pediatricians about vaccinating their children. The COVID-19 vaccine is now approved for use with children as young as 6 months. 

Below are some of the disease prevention and mitigation measures the school may take. Additional procedures may be added as the incidence of COVID cases or other communicable diseases rise in the region. 

Face coverings and masks:

Our intention is that most of the school day students and staff will be able to choose whether or not to wear a mask. There will be times and places when every student, employee, parent, and visitor will wear a mask. Those mask wearing times and places will include:

  • Whenever Music classes are in the music room or other indoor space including the Preschool Building
  • Whenever we are singing as a whole community in any indoor space such as the gym, library, Meetinghouse, or Preschool Building
  • Whenever students are in the Art Studio for Art
  • When we worship together or gather together in the Meeting House or the gym or the library as a school or division of the school
  • When we gather in the gym for performances and have invited guests such as parents and guardians in attendance
  • We will require that parents and invited guests wear masks in our buildings. 
 

There will be times when individual students may be required to wear masks to return or remain in school following exposure to a close contact at home or within the school. In all cases, we will want students to wear masks in school for the full ten days of their potential contagion.

There will be faculty and students who choose to continue to wear masks as a part of their individual defense against COVID-19 and for their continued comfort in being in school. We will support all students and staff who will continue to wear masks. 

Westfield Friends School may require short term universal masking during times of high disease transmission as required by county or state health officials. 

Parents and guardians are responsible for sending their children to school with sufficient high quality KN95 or surgical masks.

Handwashing, Hand Sanitizer, and Surface Cleaning

  • 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.
 

Air Circulation and Ventilation

  • All classrooms have Aeromax Air filtering units installed. 
  • Weather permitting, we may open windows 
  • We will begin our days outside and go outside regularly to allow for rooms to be cleaned and aired. 

Music
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
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.

Field Trips 
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.

Symptom Assessment
Incidence of any communicable disease should be reported to the Registrar or the School Nurse at (856-829-

Parents remain our first line of defense in keeping illness out of school. Always err on the side of caution. If your child seems even the littlest bit less then their usual self in the morning, keep them home. Do not send children to school hoping that they will rally or muscle through. 

 

Children who are visibly ill, feverish, or contagious cannot remain at school where their 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 30 minutes of a call that they are ill and need to be taken home. 

 

Incidence of any communicable disease should be reported to the Registrar 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. After a child has had a fever for any reason, they must be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine before returning to school.  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. 

 

Disease other than Covid-19

Exclusion from School 

Influenza or other respiratory virus

Until 24 hours after being fever free without fever reducing medication

Chicken Pox 

Until 2 days after the last lesion crusted over

Conjunctivitis

Until 24 hours after the start of antibiotic or until drainage from eyes resolved

Fifth Disease

No exclusion unless accompanied by fever

Scarlet Fever/Strep Throat

Until 24 hours after the start of antibiotic

Impetigo 

Until 24 hours after start of antibiotic 

Lice

Until effectively treated, nit-free, and cleared by school staff. 

Ringworm 

Until after 1st treatment, if lesions covered 

 

COVID-19

Exclusion from School 

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 AND  have tested positive OR have not been tested should stay home and away from others until:

The fifth day after symptoms began if all symptoms have resolved and your child has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. In all situations, day 0 (zero) is the day  symptoms begin. The student must wear a mask at school through day 10

Individuals who have NO symptoms and have tested positive should stay home and away from others until:

The fifth day after the positive test if all symptoms have resolved and your child has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. In all situations, day 0 (zero) is the day of the positive test. The student must wear a mask at school through day 10 

Vaccinated individuals or someone who has had a positive PCR test in the past 90 days who are identified as a close contact may:

Continue to attend school. However, they must be vigilant about wearing their masks and parents should be vigilant in monitoring for any COVID symptoms for ten full days from exposure. Day 0 is the day of their exposure.

Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive should:

Stay home for 5 full days. Day 0 is the day of their exposure. They should have a rapid test on day 5 to confirm they remain negative. As long as they have a negative test and remain symptom-free they may return to school on day five. They must wear a mask while in school until the tenth day after their exposure. You should continue to monitor for symptoms for ten full days from exposure.

New Jersey Department of Health July 6, 2022

 

Contact Tracing:

Westfield Friends School will work with local public health officials to support contact tracing efforts. 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 insures the privacy of everyone involved.

  • The School 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 School Nurse any instances of a student testing positive for COVID-19 or when they are a 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

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.