MCCS remains committed to the mission and values of our school and community as we continue to navigate the complexities and evolving landscape associated with COVID-19. The response to this pandemic is multifaceted and requires a strong and dynamic partnership between home and school. The MCCS Admin team will continue to monitor the guidelines from the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD), CalOsha, California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE) and will update plans accordingly. 

 

As permitted by Alameda County, MCCS Elementary program is returning to campus February 22, 2021. To ensure that we return to campus as responsibly as possible, We are relying on expertise and guidance from local public health officials, State guidelines, Alameda County’s School Public Health Department, Department of Social Services/Community Care Licensing, and California Department of Education  recommendations. Safety measures include stable cohorts “bubble groups”, physical distancing in classrooms, facial coverings for staff and students, symptoms screening, ventilated classrooms, and expanded cleaning and health protocols to minimize risk of infection. 

 

The MCCS Elementary program is staffed by:

Head Teachers – 6 (k, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Specialists (Art, Music, Spanish, P.E.) – 4

Administrative Team – 4 (Head of School, Assistant Head, Program Coordinator, and Office Manager) 

Housekeeping Staff – 1

 

The following reflects plans and protocols for on-campus instruction.

 

Online Learning option: 100% distance learning, both synchronous and asynchronous

In person Learning option:  Hybrid learning- combines in person instruction with online instruction (synchronous with online students). The amount of synchronous instruction varies by grade level.

Use of indoor and outdoor classroom spaces for in-person learning. 

  • Indoor spaces: well ventilated, doors and windows open, 2- high grade Hepa filters per classroom 

COHORTING

The Elementary program classes will be configured as 3 cohorts of grade level classes  (K/1, 2/3, 4/5) consisting of stable “bubble groups”.  Bubble groups will be maintained as a consistent group throughout the entirety of the school day. 

Grade level groupings may be combined, with physical distancing, during the following times: recess/lunch/PE/outdoor learning experiences

Max students in on campus classrooms = 12

 

Classroom Space/Physical Distancing

MCCS will create indoor and outdoor classrooms spaces to facilitate physically distanced in-person instruction, following ACPHD guidelines to meet physical distancing requirements.  Classrooms will be structured to support 4-6 foot distancing between student work spaces.  Students and teachers within each stable “bubble group” will maintain physical distancing of no less than four-to-six feet where feasible. Students will  mix with other students within their stable bubble group for classroom instruction, lunch, and recess periods.

 

Egress

Schedules are adjusted to ensure that only one stable group is moving through common spaces at a given time.  Classroom furniture is set up to ensure 4 feet between student  work spaces.

Students will use assigned bathrooms located in their respective spaces on campus; no more than one student will be permitted in the bathroom at a time. Adults will use adult-designated bathrooms only.

MCCS will utilize the entry point located on the Elementary playground for entry and exit in order to maintain physical distancing and prevent large gatherings during drop-off and pick-up times. Students will be subject to health screening upon entry to the facilities.  Students will line up 6 ft apart on the sidewalk, at the lower yard gate. Parents will complete the health screening and sign-in using the Brightwheel app.  An administrative rep will conduct a temperature check, completing the health screening protocol. Students will move to the designated waiting area for their classroom cohort.

School Building Entering and Exiting Routes:

K-enter and exit through classroom patio doors.  

1st-enter and exit through classroom patio doors. 

2nd– enter and exit through the first set of exterior front doors. 

3rd-enter and exit through classroom patio doors. 

4th-enter and exit through front door of 4th grade building

5th-enter and exit through front door of 5th grade classroom

End of on campus day pick up-teacher brings class to lower yard, parents scan out at designated tables and pick up their respective student(s).

 

Late Arrivals

If a child is late, families will bring their child to the MCCS front office for health screening/check-in and escort their child to their class cohort. 

Parents and visitors will not enter the hallways or classrooms.

UPDATED TRAVEL GUIDANCE AS OF APRIL 2, 2021

 

We received notification from ACPHD regarding the CDC issued guidance released on Friday, April 2, 2021 indicating that fully vaccinated adults may travel domestically without the need to test or self-quarantine. Adults who have not been vaccinated will still need to self-quarantine following travel out of state or country. The state has dropped the 120-mile radius standard for travel-related quarantine as of Friday, April 2, 2021. As of April 2, 2021  this guidance applies to adults, not children.

MCCS has enhanced its cleaning protocols increasing frequency of sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and spaces after use. This includes, but is not limited to: door handles; light switches; sink handles; bathroom surfaces; tables and chairs.

Soft furnishings, including bean bags, area rugs, cushions, stuffed animals, etc. have been removed.  Classroom windows and doors that lead to outside will remain open to create well ventilated classroom spaces.

Students will have individual and personalized kits with learning materials, books, and art supplies which will be sanitized daily.  Materials that cannot be easily sanitized (e.g. books) will be cycled; removed from classroom use, quarantined, and reintroduced to classroom circulation following the quarantine period.

Each classroom and office will have safe and effective cleaning (disinfecting solution or wipes) supplies to sanitize surfaces and high-touch areas throughout the day. The faculty and housekeeping staff will clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces and objects students and  employees come in contact with.  

High traffic areas and highly touched surfaces, as well as outdoor eating spaces and the playground equipment, will be disinfected at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Mills College janitorial cleaning service conducts deep cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces in highly touched areas such as classrooms, restrooms, offices and all interior surfaces after the end of the school day. 

Areas Where Meals Are Eaten 

Snacks/Lunches are eaten outdoors, weather permitting.  On rainy days, children may eat indoors, physically distanced, with doors and windows open, air purifiers on to support air filtration.

MCCS will clean and disinfect the locations where meals are eaten daily, prior to and following snack and lunch periods. 

Engineering Controls

We will implement the following measures for situations where we cannot maintain at least six feet between individuals.

We maximize, to the extent feasible, the quantity of outside air for our buildings with mechanical or natural ventilation systems by: 

  • Utilize the outdoor spaces for instruction 
  • Create well ventilated spaces by keeping windows and doors that lead to outside spaces open in order to increase outdoor air flow and dilution of indoor air.  There is forced air in the corridors, and the filters in those units have been changed out to MRV 13.  
  • Each classroom has two indoor air (Blueair Pure 211 units).  Air purification filters will be replaced on a regular tri-monthly schedule.
  • Air quality due to fires/smoke – MCCS monitors the Air Quality Index using the Purple Air monitor (set on US EPA) located on the Mills College campus.  The EPA ratings and descriptions inform the decisions regarding when to play freely outdoors, remain outside with low impact play, move indoors with windows and doors closed, and school closure. (see chart below)
    • Good (green zone): All outside activities ok – school will be open.
    • Moderate (yellow zone): Outside activities are ok, outside with low impact play.
    • Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange zone)
    • 101-130—Short periods of low impact outdoor play
    • Indoors with air filters on high, doors and windows open
    • 130-150-Indoors with doors and windows closed—Air filters on high
    • 130-Families notified of increasing AQI and school closure if AQI reaches Red – Unhealthy (red zone): school will be closed; observe day of force majeure.
    • Very Unhealthy (purple zone): school will be closed; observe day of force majeure.

Shared tools, equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Items that employees come in regular physical contact with, such as phones, headsets, desks, keyboards, writing materials, instruments and tools must also not be shared, to the extent feasible. 

Hand Sanitizing 

  • Hand sanitizer stations are mounted throughout the hallways and bathrooms. 
  • Soap dispensers are mounted in bathrooms and classrooms.

The MCCS Admin team will authorize additional hand sanitizing stations, as warranted.

Meal Times

All staff will wear gloves for tasks such as serving food, handling trash, or using cleaning and disinfectant products, or changing diapers and soiled/wet clothing.

Children and staff are not allowed to share or touch each other’s food.

Additional measures:

  • Utilize tables to spread children out to ensure adequate spacing of children. 
  • Practice proper hand washing before and after eating. 
  • Use paper goods and disposable plastic utensils when possible.
  • Immediately clean and disinfect tables after meals. 

Hygiene

Additional measures:

  • Conduct regular cleaning/disinfection of public and high-touch areas throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are mounted throughout the hallways and bathrooms. 
  • Soap dispensers are mounted in bathrooms and classrooms.
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and use paper towels to dry hands thoroughly. 
  • Use bathroom time as an opportunity to reinforce healthy habits and monitor proper handwashing. 
  • Teach children to avoid contact with one’s eyes, nose and mouth, and use tissue to wipe their nose and to cough/sneeze inside their elbow. Model and practice handwashing before and after eating, after coughing or sneezing, after playing outside, and after using the restroom. 
  • All personal items are to be labeled and kept in a separate bag to ensure personal items are separate from others. 

FACE COVERINGS

In an effort to protect all members of the MCCS community mitigate potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus, pursuant to recommendations from public health officials, all members of the MCCS community must wear a face covering while at school, except during designated meal times. Face coverings can be made out of breathable cloth materials, cover the entire nose and mouth area, and be secured to the head with elastic ties or straps.  Students and employees who have been instructed by their medical provider that they should not wear a face covering will be provided with accommodations, which may include wearing a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, in compliance with State directives, as long as their condition permits. A drape that is form fitting under the chin is preferred. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. Masks with one-way valves should not be used. 

Employees need not wear a face covering when the employee is alone in a private office. 

Face coverings should be worn: 

  • While waiting to enter the school campus. 
  • While on school grounds (except when eating or drinking).

 

PPE – Face masks, shields, gloves, and other PPE will be available for staff and students.

MCCS staff will conduct daily health screenings. All employees are required to attest to their health on a daily basis using the mobile health screening app provided by Mills College. An employee exhibiting one or more symptoms associated with COVID-19 shall stay home and notify their supervisor of the reason for their absence.  Per ACPHD and CDC guidelines, employees who report one or more symptoms associated with COVID-19 may return to School after they have met public health requirements.

A daily health screening of all MCCS students will be conducted at drop off, which will include temperature and symptom checks on the Elementary yard.   Students will not be permitted on campus until the full health screening verification is complete.  Students who display COVID-19 symptom(s) at entry to school will be denied access to school. 

Families will need to prepare for transitions that incorporate daily health screenings and allow for 6 ft. social distancing guidelines.  

MCCS will document/track students and staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms, and will notify Mills College COVID liaison, local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

MCCS will monitor staff and children throughout the day for signs of illness; send home children with a fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms after isolating from the general classroom population and notifying parents.

MCCS staff will ascertain whether a child has a history of allergies.  Allergies will not preclude a child from participation.

  • MCCS COVID-19 Site Liaison will advise staff members and children of the steps to take if symptoms, or exposure to COVID-19 occurs. 

We strongly urge everyone to get tested, in order to detect and mitigate for transmission of the virus, by asymptomatic COVID-19 positive cases. 

 

https://curative.com/search 

https://covid-19.acgov.org/testing.

https://covid-19.acgov.org/testing.

 

Illness – COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

 

MCCS has designated COVID-19 Liaisons that are responsible for communicating and enforcing COVID-19 Public Health safety protocols, ensuring staff and students receive education about COVID-19. One member of this team is designated as a liaison to ACPHD in the event of an outbreak on campus and will be responsible for supporting contact tracing with ACPHD. 

Per ACPHD guidelines, if a child exhibits any of the signs of illness (below), they will be isolated from the general population and we will notify a caregiver immediately to pick up the child. Removal from school, initiates a 10-day quarantine period. We recommend families contact their health care provider, seek COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Chills 
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or 
  • Runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell

We will also monitor symptoms for MULTISYSTEM INFLAMMATORY SYNDROME IN CHILDREN (MIS-C).

MIS-C is a rare but serious complication of COVID-19 affecting children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. 

MIS-C Symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired 

 

If a student has been removed from school due to COVID-19 symptom(s), they enter into a 10 day quarantine period.  A medical evaluation and COVID-19 testing will be recommended.  

 

Returning to School

If (1) the student’s COVID-19 test is positive OR (2) the student is NOT tested and has NO medical evaluation the student may return after:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
  • There have been at least 24 hours with no fever, diarrhea or vomiting, without the aid of taking medicines to lower the fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), AND
  • The child is free of other symptoms, such as cough, congestion/runny nose, or shortness of breath. 
  • A note from a doctor or clinic is not needed. 

If a student is NOT tested but has a medical evaluation, they may return before 10 days have passed if:

  • Symptoms have resolved, AND
  • A medical evaluator (a doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a certified physician assistant) provides a letter indicating that (1) an alternative diagnosis has been made and (2) the student’s symptoms are NOT due to COVID-19. For privacy reasons, the program is not allowed to require disclosure of the alternative diagnosis.

If the student’s COVID19 test is negative, and the parents or guardians want the student to return to the program before the 10 days of isolation have passed, the student may return if:

  • The student is feeling better (symptoms do not have to be completely resolved), AND
  • There have been at least 24 hours with no fever, without the aid of taking medicines to lower a fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), AND
  • The student consults a medical evaluator (a doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a certified physician assistant) to determine the significance of their symptoms. The medical evaluator will need to provide a letter indicating that (1) the student’s symptoms are NOT due to COVID- 19. For privacy reasons, MCCS is not allowed to require disclosure of the alternative diagnosis

If it is not possible for the parent or guardian to consult a medical evaluator, they must obtain a COVID-19 negative test result indicating that a molecular test or a PCR was performed.

NO COVID-19 test result:  the staff or child can return before the end of the 10-day quarantine if all three of the following criteria are met:

  • They are feeling better. (The symptoms do not have to be completely resolved.)
  • There have been at least 24 hours with no fever, diarrhea or vomiting, without taking medicines to lower a fever, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).
  • A medical evaluator (generally a doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a certified physician assistant) provides a letter indicating that 1) the symptoms are NOT due to COVID- 19, AND 2)  an alternative diagnosis has been made. For privacy reasons, MCCS is not allowed to require disclosure of the alternative diagnosis

Positive COVID-19 Test Result: 

In the event a case of COVID-19 is detected within our school community, we will implement the following protocol: 

  • Notify Mills College COVID liaison
  • Notify ACPHD
  • Notify DSS CCCL (Preschool only)
  • Notify families
  • Initiate 10 day quarantine protocol
  • Initiate cleaning of the exposed space(s)
  • Implement contract tracing protocols

ACPHD contacts the family who tested positive to initiate contact tracing. School leadership will work with ACPHD to communicate the appropriate information to the school community. MCCS will close off areas used by any COVID-19 positive person, and will clean and disinfect the classroom spaces. 

MCCS Admin may help identify adults or children who may have had close contact with the positive case. Alameda County Public Health defines Close contact as: The exposed group includes all members of the case’s stable cohort (students and staff) and any additional individuals known to have been in close contact with the case (within 6 feet for ≥15 minutes) during the case’s infectious period.

The classroom bubble group associated with a positive diagnosis will need to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results. (If someone is positive and has no symptoms, they are to be isolated for 10 days.)  Testing of the classroom bubble group associated with a positive diagnosis is recommended.

A child/staff member can return to school once they have met all three criteria: 

  • Respiratory symptoms are improving
  • Fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines AND 
  • At least 14-day isolation period has passed since illness onset

In the event a case of COVID-19 is detected within our school community, we will implement the following protocol: 

Isolation 

Students who present with or report symptom(s) at any point during the school day will be accompanied to a designated isolation space where they can remain while arrangements are made for their return home.  

MCCS will follow the guidelines outlined by ACPHD and ACOE and will take the following steps if/when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19: 

  1. MCCS will obtain documentation that confirms a COVID-19 case has occurred at the school. 
  2. When there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, faculty/staff will immediately notify MCCS Admin. Team (School Site Liaisons) Families will notify the MCCS Admin team, children@mills.edu
  3. The School’s COVID-19 Liaison will notify ACPHD of the confirmed case via safelearning@acgov.org or phone (510) 268-2101 and will complete the ACPHD report form. The Liaison will address the required questions outlined by ACPHD in the communication. 
  4. The COVID-19 Liaison, in consultation with the Head of School, will identify the exposed cohorts and group(s) that need to be notified, will determine the dates the exposed case was infectious at school, and will determine/communicate when the quarantine period begins for contacts. 
  5. Cohort members and/or close contacts of the COVID-19 case will be advised to follow quarantine instructions and contact their health provider to consider testing. 
  6. The student stable group where exposure occurred will be required to remain at quarantine for 10 days after their last exposure, before reentering the school campus. If a student in a potentially exposed stable group has a sibling in another stable group at MCCS, the sibling will be required to remain at home for 14 days before reentering the school campus. While at home, students can access the curriculum via online instruction.  Following the protocol outlined by the ACPHD, MCCS will work with the ACPHD on a case-by-case basis. 
  7. The School will advise household contacts of the confirmed case to follow quarantine / insolation instructions.   A list of community testing resources will be provided.
  8. The School will enact our cleaning and disinfecting protocol for the affected classroom and spaces where the confirmed case spent more than 15 minutes. 
  9. The Site COVID-19 Liaison will prepare an exposure letter to send to faculty/staff, and families. 

Are there any requirements we need to follow before our child attends school in-person? 

All MCCS families, faculty, and staff are expected to follow CA State and Alameda County Public Health orders. We are asking families to honor the CA State and ACPHD Travel guidance and limit non-essential travel. If you travel 120 miles or more from your home,  CA COVID travel policy  please initiate a 10 day self quarantine. 

For schools: we ask that you do not send your child to school and that you test 3-7 days post travel. (ACPHD Travel Guidance)

As part of the daily health screenings, families and staff are obligated to report the following information and remain at home as recommended by the CDC: 

  • If your child has COVID symptoms.
  • If your child has come into close contact where exposure lasted for more than 15 minutes, at 6 feet or less or included direct high-risk contact with someone suspected, diagnosed, or awaiting results for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • If your child has traveled where there is a high rate of COVID-19 and/or attended an event with a potential high rate of exposure in the last 14 days.
  • If you have been notified by a health professional that you, your child, or anyone in your household may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19.
  • If you have been notified by a health professional that you, your child, or anyone in your household, tested positive for COVID-19.

We will continue to monitor the health and safety risks of the pandemic and balance the educational and public health goals to serve our community. In addition to the enabling conditions, return to campus will be subject to program considerations, including staff availability.  

Ventilation

Per CDC recommendation to increase the use of outdoor air as much as possible, MCCS will use natural ventilation whenever possible. Doors and windows will be open to increase outdoor air and dilution of indoor air.  There is forced air in the corridors, and the filters in those units have been changed out to MRV 13.  In addition, we have installed two indoor air (Blueair Pure 211 units) per classroom.

Monitoring Air Quality

MCCS monitors the Air Quality Index using the Purple Air monitor (set on US EPA) located on the Mills College campus.  The EPA ratings and descriptions inform the decisions regarding when to play freely outdoors, remain outside with low impact play, move indoors with windows and doors closed, and school closure. (see chart below)

  • Good (green zone): All outside activities ok – school will be open.
  • Moderate (yellow zone): Outside activities are ok, outside with low impact play.
  • Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange zone)
  • 101-130—Short periods of low impact outdoor play
  • Indoors with air filters on high, doors and windows open
  • 130-150-Indoors with doors and windows closed—Air filters on high
  • 130-Families notified of increasing AQI and school closure if AQI reaches   Red
  • Unhealthy (red zone): school will be closed; observe day of force majeure.
  • Very Unhealthy (purple zone): school will be closed; observe day of force   majeure.
AQI Value Actions to Protect Your Health from Ozone
 

Good

(0-50)

 

None

 

 

Moderate

(51-100)

 

Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

(101-150)

The following groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion:

  *People with lung disease, such as asthma

  *Children and older adults

  *People who are active outdoors

 

 

Unhealthy

(151-200)

 

The following groups should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion:

  *People with lung disease, such as asthma

  *Children and older adults

  *People who are active outdoors

Everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

 

Very Unhealthy

(201-300)

The following groups should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion:

  *People with lung disease, such as asthma

  *Children and older adults

  *People who are active outdoors

Everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.

 

 

MCCS communications will be compliant with privacy requirements (FERPA, HIPAA). We will balance confidentiality with transparency to ensure that all impacted community members receive necessary information without compromising the privacy of individual community members. We will also follow the communication guidelines as outlined by ACPHD and ACOE in “Protocols for the Onset of Symptoms, Close Contact with an Individual Testing Positive for COVID-19 in a School or Childcare Setting.” 

The School will follow these guidelines for preparing communication to parents and students about COVID-19 protocols and policies: 

  1. Families will be notified of: 
    1. new screening protocols and requirements, 
    2. new instructional schedule and methods of instruction, 
    3. face covering requirements and other physical distancing protocols 
  1. We will provide communication to parents and employees regarding requirements before they can return to work/school after testing positive for or having symptoms associated with COVID-19, consistent with the School’s screening policies, and CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. 
  1. We will provide communication to employees about absence planning protocols in the case of COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, such as having emergency lesson plans in place, or pre-prepared virtual lessons. 
  1. We will provide communication to employees notifying them of new policies and protocols. 
  1. We will provide communication to the school community regarding a cohort or school closure (if one becomes necessary). 

 

Jennifer Bond Assistant Head of School-MCCS School Site Liaison: jbond@mills.edu 510-430-2056

Debra L. Brown Head of School-MCCS COVID Liaison: msbrown@mills.edu 510-430-3253

Learn more about our Elementary Program and Admissions Process