Greene Street Friends School’s Guiding Principles for Operations during the COVID-19 pandemic are still in effect. The complete list is below. Decision-making regarding communicable diseases, including COVID-19, continues to follow requirements and guidelines from local and state public health authorities, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the 2023-24 school year.
Greene Street Friends School (GSFS) recommends that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 and be up-to-date with any boosters for which they might be eligible. The CDC has said that one of the most important measures each of us can take to protect ourselves and our community from severe COVID-19 related illness, is to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Masking is optional at Greene Street Friends School. There may be a situation when the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) mandates masking, in which case we would defer to the PDPH guidelines. GSFS may also require masks in times of high transmission and high-risk activities.
It is GSFS policy that when a child is ill, they remain home and they must be 24 hours after vomiting or fever. As this is already the policy, we will trust families to continue to monitor their children for illness and if they are not well, they should NOT come to school. Families are expected to monitor their children and keep them at home if they are not well.
Click here for the list of symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19. If a student stays home while feeling unwell, we ask that you test your child to confirm that the illness is not COVID-19. Families should be in touch with Nurse Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org when a student tests positive.
GSFS does not conduct Covid-19 testing. If a student stays home while feeling unwell or has been exposed by a personal contact, we ask that you test your child to confirm that the illness is not COVID-19.
School work when ill:
There is no longer virtual or remote learning at GSFS. Students who are home due to illness or quarantine related to COVID-19 should rest and recover. If they feel well enough to do school work, they should follow along with assignments shared by the teachers. Illnesses are an excused absence.
GSFS will follow reporting requirements of positive cases to PDPH, as mandated.
Quarantine and Isolation:
GSFS will follow the PDPH requirements for a shortened 5-day quarantine and isolation period. Should an individual test positive, they must isolate and not attend in-person school for 5 days from the positive test. They may return to school for days 6-10, but must follow strict masking guidelines, which may include eating lunch in a separate area.
When there is a COVID exposure at school:**
Exposures to COVID will occur. When this happens, we will ask the exposed individual to mask for 10 days following the exposure. Masking can be shortened: if there is a test taken on day five, and it is negative, then masks may be removed on day 7. GSFS will inform the individuals who have been exposed as close contacts* to COVID while at school.
When there is a COVID exposure at home:
Unfortunately, this is likely to happen as well. When a household member tests positive for COVID, the family members exposed must mask for 10 days after the positive family member’s isolation ends (note that this may be 15 days in total). They may remove the mask earlier with a negative COVID test (if there is a test taken on day five, and it is negative, then masks may be removed on day 7).
*Close Contact = Individuals that have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes within a 24-hour period, masked or unmasked.
Guiding Principles for Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. The health and safety of all students, caregivers, faculty, and staff continues to be of highest priority at GSFS and the School will:
* Follow all regulations and directives from state and local governments.
* Continue to learn about how the virus is spread and what the transmission rates and risks associated with different segments of our school community are.
* Recognize the diversity of demographics and family structures that exist in our community.
* Monitor the disparate and inequitable impact of the virus on different communities, particularly Black and Brown families; and prioritize health and safety of all.
* Ensure that faculty and staff are provided with adequate support to perform their jobs safely; and
* Develop and revise all safety plans and educational programs with our mission in mind.
2. We rely on facts, data, science, and the advice of medical professionals in making decisions.
* We follow advice and guidance from public health officials, particularly the PA Dept of Education and PA Dept of Health, and the Philadelphia Dept of Health and CDC.
* We seek out expertise within our community.
3. Uphold the school’s mission, especially its commitment to equity and integrity.
**The procedures above are in place currently for the 2023-24 school year. If local or national requirements and guidelines change surrounding COVID-19, GSFS reserves the right to alter these procedures in accordance with public health recommendations.
Updated: August 2023