THE JOURNEY AHEAD
t. Gabriel’s Catholic School will focus on promoting behaviors and strategies that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Health procedures and guidelines may change as virus data is updated and as the 2021-2022 school year progresses. Health protocols will follow recommended guidance from multiple local and national organizations.
All visitors, will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire via Raptor Sign-in System about current symptoms and recent exposure. These screenings will be required before entering campus, and health monitoring will be strongly suggested for all individuals. While any student is home exhibiting symptoms or self-isolating, it is recommended to log symptoms into the Magnus Health Portal.
Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
Faculty, staff, and students will be expected to frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at multiple times throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations throughout the school and all classrooms.
Faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue if possible and immediately wash hands after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Face masks will be required indoors only. We will reevaluate on September 13 and monthly thereafter. Decisions will be made based on campus spread and the 7 day hospitalization moving average in Austin, Travis county.
EPA registered disinfectant wipes will be issued to all classrooms to maintain surface hygiene. High touch surface areas will be wiped down multiple times per day.
Students will be required to bring 1 refillable water bottle daily, labeled with their first and last name. Only the filtered water dispenser on the water fountains will be used. Playground “high touch” surfaces such as grab bars and railings will be cleaned routinely.
The school nurse’s office will continue to have plexiglass dividers between exam tables.
This space will be treated as the “quarantine” space as needed for illness. Students who are feeling “ill” will be asked to wear a mask, or be given a disposable mask if needed.
Covid vaccinations are not required for children 12 and over to attend school. St. Gabriel’s follows the Diocese of Austin’s vaccine policies, and this is not a required vaccine by the Diocese or by the State of Texas. It remains your choice as a parent whether to vaccinate your eligible child.
Deciding When to Stay Home
Even as the risk of COVID-19 decreases, it is important to all of us to keep our school community as healthy as possible with regard to any and all communicable illnesses. The guidelines below are still relevant in deciding when to keep your child home.
Convenient Testing Availability
To help relieve some of the stress that staff and families in every school experienced last year, we have made two important additions. First, we have hired an additional nurse to support Nurse Tracy Robson this year. She will take the lead on our second health addition, which is the availability of rapid-COVID tests on campus, when needed and with parent permission. We have partnered with Healthcare IT Leaders who will be providing the advice, training, and tools we need to administer this testing program. The COVID tests they provide are Binax Now and BD Veritor.
Exactly as we did last year, if your child exhibits COVID-like symptoms or is deemed a close contact to a positive case during the school year, a COVID test is required. In that situation, you may still bring your child to your own medical provider for this test and simply share the results with one of the nurses. However, this year, we will also have the ability to offer that testing on campus, administered by one of our registered and trained nurses for your convenience. If tested on-campus and the result is negative, your student can remain on campus following the “test to stay” protocol detailed in the Fall Campus Plan.
For on-campus testing, if your student tests positive for the COVID virus, you will be contacted by the school nurse and asked to pick them up. The nurse will perform contact tracing to determine who was in close contact with anyone who tests positive and will contact the parents of “close contacts” for permission to test them or pick them up. Our hydrostatic cleaning protocol will be implemented.
You will be notified when the waiver to give permission for encamps testing is available on mySGCS. Reporting of test results done on campus as required by local/state or other government entities will occur via the Healthcare IT Leaders system. This reporting is particular to each state, so only the information required by the State of Texas will be shared, just as at your medical provider’s office.
SGCS Test-To-Stay Protocol
Any individual who had been deemed as a close contact will be given the option to stay on campus for learning if the following protocol is adhered to:
Negative COVID-19 rapid test results received on school determined schedule.
The following schedule will apply assuming negative test results. Testing to occur on day 1 - 3 - 6/7
Or 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 if additional positive cases occur.
Individual Returning to Campus
In the case of the individual who was diagnosed with Covid-19, the individual may return when all of the following requirements are met:
At least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever reducing medications)
Improvement in symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath, etc.)
At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.
If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a medical doctor –licensed in the state of Texas, note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID-19 via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/. Home test kit results will NOT be accepted.
In the case of an individual who has no symptoms but has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, monitor for symptoms for 14 days, and receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test on day 1,4 and 7, following exposure to stay on campus. If symptoms arise at any point, follow protocols listed above for symptomatic illness.