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School Policies » Medical and Emergency Procedures - Including COVID-19

Medical and Emergency Procedures - Including COVID-19

Illness

If your child becomes ill at school, he or she will be sent to the sick bay where an assessment will be made as to the severity of the child’s condition. The administrator or office personnel may consult the parent. Situations in which a student would be sent home include: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, headache, pink eye, coughing, a chance of exposing others to illness, or severe discomfort.  

Children should be kept home when they are visibly ill or have a temperature greater than 99 degrees. It is especially important to keep a child out of school if there are any symptoms of COVID. Parents must call and let the office know when your child is ill. If it is a highly contagious condition (strep throat, pink eye, or COVID), parents must inform the office as well.  

Students must visit a medical provider to receive a note indicating that a child is safe to be at school or students must receive a negative COVID test. Students with a medical release or negative test must also be symptom free for three days before returning to school.

Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID, it is necessary for your sick child to be picked up within an hour. Failure to do so will revoke your privileges of participating in on-campus instruction.

Flu and other Immunizations

It is now state law that there is no longer an exemption from state-required immunizations based on personal beliefs. We also strongly request that your child and family get a yearly Flu immunization no later than November 1st in order to keep our school safe from waves of winter sickness. While the shots cannot prevent every strain of the flu, they will dramatically cut down on the frequency and severity of what is “going around.” Additionally, during the COVID outbreak, decreasing the chance of flu-like symptoms at school will decrease anxiety and fear for the many lives connected to the Hilldale family.

 During Phase 1, students must have a flu shot in order to participate in on-campus instruction.

Injuries

Wounds are cleaned and cared for according to American Red Cross first aid procedures. Parents or guardians are notified by the office or extended care staff for all potentially serious injuries and for any head injury. In the event that a child sustains a serious injury and a parent cannot be reached, the family’s doctor will be contacted, and if necessary, 911 emergency services will be called.  

Allergies

It is imperative that we be informed of and updated about serious allergies or asthma and that we are told the procedures for care in the event of a problem. A list of these allergies will be made available to all school teachers and personnel and will be kept in every room. Food allergies are a serious concern and food sharing is never allowed to protect the safety of our students. Please reinforce this at home.

Hilldale is a NUT-FREE school. There are several students at Hilldale who have nut allergies ranging from mild to severe, even fatal. Students are naturally inclined to share food even though sharing food is not permitted. Therefore, it is imperative for the safety of all our students that no nuts are brought to school for any students. Peanut butter is not allowed. In cases of class parties, it is imperative that only foods which are nut free and not processed on equipment which processes nuts are brought to school. Please reinforce with your child the importance of not bringing nuts and not sharing food.

CONTAGIOUS CONDITIONS:  Strep Throat, Lice, Chicken Pox, Ringworm, Pink Eye

There are a number of illnesses that are common to school communities, such as strep throat, lice, chicken pox, ringworm, and pink eye. As a precautionary measure, parents and guardians should check their students’ hair and body periodically. Please contact the school office if you suspect that your student has any contagious infection or illness. Once reported, the entire school community will be alerted immediately for school wide health awareness and precautionary actions.

Medications

Students are not to take medications on their own and are not to keep such medications in the classroom. Necessary medications or pills must be administered by the school office personnel. Parents should leave the medication in the original container to the office with written prior authorization and provide specific instructions for dispensing as needed. It is the obligation of the parent to inform the office personnel if a student is on any kind of on-going medications taken at home or at school and to inform us if the child has any notable health problems such as severe allergies, asthma, etc. Please be sure to update your child’s information forms if a new health issue arises. Parents will be required to give written permission for dispensing of any over-the-counter medication as well.

General Emergencies (Earthquake, Fire, Etc.)

Hilldale School maintains disaster plans in case of earthquakes, fire, tornadoes, and intruders. In the event of an evacuation, our gathering place for an evacuation (i.e. fire) is at the Teglia Center; for a Lockdown/ Barricade situation involving an active shooter, the blacktop/multipurpose space will hold all children. Parents will gather on the playground and check out their child with school officials.

Teachers will account for and supervise the children in their classes in the event of an emergency. They will stay with the students until they are picked up by an authorized person. Non-teaching staff will assist as directed, including relieving teachers who may be needed for first aid. Office personnel will handle home/school communications via cell phone and email/ text, as available. Every attempt will be made to bring a speedy reunion between parents/guardians and children. Please be certain to sign your child out so that all children can be properly accounted for.

Hilldale School follows the San Mateo County “Big Five” emergency situation protocol. Administration and staff have been trained in proper protocol. “The Big Five” emergencies that we prepare our students and staff for are: Shelter in Place; Drop, Cover, and Hold On (earthquake); Secure Campus (a potential threat); Lockdown/Barricade (an immediate threat or active shooter); and Evacuation (including a fire).

Earthquake drills are held regularly; according to the earthquake guidelines of San Mateo County and the State of California, FEMA, and the USGS, children are taught to duck and cover with one hand over the head and face and the other holding onto a desk or table leg. Fire drills are also held regularly, and evacuation plans for each classroom are posted by the exits. Lockdown/Barricade drills are regularly held to teach children how to be safe in the unlikely event of an intruder/ active shooter. Every building and all fire extinguishers are inspected annually by the fire department, and each classroom is supplied with an emergency pouch.

If it is necessary to close the school due to an emergency, extended power outage, or crisis situation, we will place an announcement on the news radio stations KGO (810 AM) and KCBS (740 AM) in addition to using our own phone message system. Hilldale maintains emergency supplies for each student containing: food bars, water, and blankets for use if an extended stay at school is necessary. 

COVID-SPECIFIC POLICIES and PRACTICES

Four Pillars of Reopening

Hilldale adheres to the Four Pillars for a Safe Reopening: Health & Hygiene, Face Coverings, Physical Distancing, Limiting Gatherings. The details of each pillar are articulated below.

Health & Hygiene: 

  1. Each student, upon arrival, will be guided from his/her vehicle (after passing a temperature scan and a health screening) to an outdoor hand washing station. They will be supervised in washing their hands for 20 seconds. They will then be escorted to the appropriate classroom where a teacher assistant will be waiting for them. 
  2. Each teacher or teacher assistant (dependent upon who is the primary supervisor in the physical classroom) will wipe down desks, chair backs, light switches, door knobs every morning and every evening with an approved disinfecting solution. 
  3. At any sign of touching of the face or other behavior, students will then be instructed to clean their hands with hand sanitizer; each classroom has been outfitted with a touchless hand sanitizer dispenser.
  4. Water bottle dispensers have been installed; the drinking fountain is not accessible.
  5. Teaching assistants or teachers will supervise the use of hand sanitizer or hand washing before and after eating and entering/ exiting the classroom. Routines will be established and maintained.
  6. Teaching assistants or teachers in the Kindergarten - Second Grade cohorts instruct children on how to wash their hands, how to ensure they are properly scrubbing, and for how long.
  7. Air purifiers with UV lights are located in each classroom. 

Face Coverings and Other Essential Protective Gear: 

  1. All employees are provided with multiple masks and a face shield. Gloves are available in multiple locations for easier access. All employees are required to wear face masks. Teacher assistants, teachers, and administrators working with children in the two younger cohorts will also be encouraged to wear a face shield, and one will be provided.
  2. All students will be required to wear a mask when at school. Masks will be given to the children if theirs is not satisfactory at any point during the day.
  3. When outside during learning time, when seated at a table six feet from all other students, children in Grades K-2 will be provided with mask breaks if needed.
  4. No person will be allowed to come onto campus without a properly worn and well-fitting mask. Valve masks are not allowed.
  5. Masks are modeled by the staff with positivity. Children will be taught the reasoning and science behind mask wearing.
  6. Masks may be removed during eating time, only when the children are outside, seated at their appropriate table spot, and apart from another child.

Physical Distancing:

  1. Extraneous desks and tables have been removed; desk seats are assigned and positioned 6-feet away from others, facing the same direction (not each other).
  2. Each cohort has assigned seats inside and outside of the classroom for two usable spaces (the latter of which is used for eating).
  3. Stable cohorts do not mix or share a bathroom. Cohorts remain in-tact throughout the entire day.
  4. Staff members may not occupy space closer than 6-feet from one another.
  5. Neither students nor parents are allowed in the main office.

 Limiting Gatherings:

  1. All assemblies and events are held online – for students off site and on campus.
  2. All meetings (staff, Parent-Teacher Conferences, etc.) are held remotely.
  3. Any in person contact (i.e. Registration) will be set up for proper social distancing and will be staged over longer periods of time to decrease the traffic.

Responding to Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, runny nose, congestion, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of sense of smell or taste, pink or irritated eyes.

Responding to Symptoms for a Child who is at Home:

If a child is feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of illness (whether at night, on the weekend, or in the morning), parents must:

  1. Contact Mr. Lee, On-Campus Supervisor.   
  2. Keep the child out of school.
  3. Have the child tested or seen by the doctor immediately.
  4. Report the test results to the school.
  5. Monitor the child's symptoms.
  6. Return the child to school only after a negative test result (or doctor's clearance) ANDwhen the child is symptom-free for 3 days.

Responding to Symptoms for a Child who is at School:

If a child or staff presents symptoms when at school, the school will:

  1. Take the symptomatic child to the isolation room and call parents for an immediate pick up.
  2. Inform the parents that the symptomatic child is required to get a test for COVID or a release note from a medical professional and quarantine for three-days symptom-free IF the COVID test is negative or quarantine for 14-days, the last three of which are symptom-free IF the COVID test is positive (whichever period of time is longer).
  3. The child’s class (and teachers) in the cohort are notified that a child has been sent home sick in their class.
  4. The school will post on the message board for parents that a child was sent home sick in a particular building.

The parents must:

  1. Keep the child out of school as per the quarantining instructions make clear.
  2. Have the child tested or seen by the doctor immediately.
  3. Report the test results to the school.
  4. Monitor the child's symptoms.
  5. Return the child to school only after a negative test result (or doctor's clearance) AND when the child is symptom free for 3 days.

Pathway for a Healthy Return to School Flowchart:

Responding to a POSITIVE COVID test:

If the symptomatic student gets a POSITIVE result from the medical provider:

  1. The child’s class (and teachers) are notified that a child has tested positively in their class.
  2. The entire school is notified of a POSITIVE case in a particular building.
  3. The class and teachers of the child are quarantined for 14 days. A negative test result is required for each child and staff before returning to school (after 7 days of exposure and in addition to the 14-day quarantine).
    1. If symptoms develop after the negative test, an additional quarantine period and negative test result are required for each symptomatic person.
    2. The COVID positive student can return at least 14 days from the start of symptoms, the last 3 days of which are symptom-free, AND a release from a medical provider.

 

Responding if the Symptomatic Child has a Sibling: 

Both children are sent home.

 

If the symptomatic child tests POSITIVE for COVID... 

  1. Both the class (and teachers) of the COVID positive child and the sibling(s) are sent home to be quarantined for 14 days.
  2. The school community is notified of a case in a particular building(s) via email. The school posts on the message board for parents that a child tested positive in a particular building.
  3. A negative test result must be received by the school for each child and staff before returning to school.
  4. The healthy sibling is allowed to return an additional 14 days after the symptoms of the COVID positive child have been resolved and the original negative test result has been received by the school.  

If the symptomatic child tests NEGATIVE for COVID... 

  1. The child is allowed to return after the negative test result or release from the medical provider is received by the school and after being symptom-free for a period of 3 days. 
  2. The healthy sibling is allowed to return after the symptomatic child provides the negative test results to the school. 
  3. The families from the sibling’s class are notified of the status of both siblings (as anonymously as possible). The school posts on the message board that the symptomatic child tested negatively.

Responding if a Household Member of a Student (or Staff) is Symptomatic: 

If a household member of a student is symptomatic... 

  1. The child must quarantine at home for 14 days. 
  2. All household members must be monitored for symptoms.

If the household member tests POSITIVE for COVID... 

  1. The healthy child is allowed to return an additional 14 days after the symptoms of the COVID positive household member have been resolved and the child’s negative test result has been received by the school.  Alternatively, the healthy child is allowed to return 14 days after the most recent contact with the COVID positive household member if the child is isolated from that household member and the school receives a negative test or a release from a medical professional.
  2. If an additional family member(s) is symptomatic or tests positive, the 14 day period resets.
  3. The families from the child’s class are notified of the status of the child in their class (as anonymously as possible). The school posts on the parent message board the status of the student.

If the household member tests NEGATIVE for COVID... 

The healthy child is allowed to return after the symptomatic household member confirms the negative test results with the school or a note from a medical professional releases the household members is received by the school.

 

Phases of School Re-opening

It is Hilldale School’s intention to reopen slowly and with measured steps. The first stage of reopening is Phase 0 (Fully Remote). The second stage is Phase 0+ (Remote, with a small group of children of essential workers and students with special learning situations). Next is Phase 1 where socially-distanced cohorts return to school in a hybrid of remote and on-campus instruction. With safety and equity at the forefront, Hilldale will return to a full opening through the following phases:

As it is necessary to respond in real-time to the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, the following triggers which indicate the prerequisites for moving from one phase to another are best-guess guidelines and may need to be modified as circumstances change. However, they are a good framework for anticipating next steps.

COVID Communication Systems

The Hilldale webpage “Response to COVID-19 – Parent Information” under the Parents Section is kept up to date with the latest information and resources for parents as situations develop and change.  Multiple documents, presentations, and a FAQ can be found on this webpage.

 

The Principal and the On-Campus Supervisor maintain a COVID Case Posting Board via JupiterEd.com which posts about cases with anonymity.

 

Parents are required to read through detailed instructions on the on-campus experience and complete an agreement prior to being allowed to participate in on-campus instruction. In Phase 1, teachers are encouraged to come to work but they are allowed to teach from home if they have medical or familial concerns.