Health and safety measures are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, risk. No single strategy or set of strategies will completely eliminate the risk of transmission of disease. The implementation of a layered defense plan, where many small interventions and strategies are combined simultaneously, can greatly reduce the risk.
Successfully reopening our campus will require continual collaboration among teachers, staff, students, and parents. Everyone has a critical role to play. Getting through this pandemic will require a great deal of social trust.
- FACE MASKS
- DAILY HEALTH SCREENING
- PHYSICAL DISTANCING
- PERSONAL HYGIENE
- CAFETERIA & MEAL SERVICE MODIFICATIONS
- ENHANCED CLEANING/ DISINFECTING SCHEDULE
- LIMITING VISITORS, SCREENING VISITORS
- HEALTH EDUCATION
- HEALTH CENTER MODIFICATIONS
- RESPONSE PROTOCOLS TO COVID-19 SCENARIOS
- COMMUNICATION REGARDING ILLNESS
As part of a multi-layered strategy, face masks are an effective measure to mitigate transmission from individuals who are infectious, even when they do not have symptoms. When worn properly, masks limit the spread of droplets and smaller aerosols when people breathe, speak, cough, or sneeze.
Based on current health guidelines, all students (with special monitoring in Pre-K and kindergarten) and educators will be required to wear a face mask while inside buildings and outside when they cannot keep six feet of physical distancing. Students will be required to bring two clean masks to school every day. The extra mask should be kept in a Ziploc-type of bag. Valve masks are prohibited. Divisional offices will have a small supply of extra masks in case a mask needs to be replaced during the school day. The school will also allow students to wear appropriate gaiters.
We anticipate that wearing a mask is going to be difficult for some students. We will be allowing students to take mask breaks outdoors as long as they are safely distanced.
Face masks will be required in the cafeteria while students are retrieving their food and beverage. When students remove their masks to eat, they should remain at least six feet apart.
• Be clean and in good repair
• Fit snugly, but comfortably against the sides of the face
• Cover the user’s mouth and nose
• Allow for breathing without restriction
• Be laundered on a daily basis or discarded if disposable mask is used
Masks should not:
Make references to alcohol or illegal substances, contain discriminatory, offensive or profane language, or political statements. As a school, we value the voices of individuals, and these are always in balance with the good of the community. Our hope is to keep the focus of the school day on the academic learning process absent potential distractions related to messaging on masks. Any mask should reflect our respect for our school community. Division heads and the School President will make the final determination on acceptable wear. If a student has a question about the acceptability of a mask, he/ she should ask the division head or dean of students before wearing it on campus.
Webb School has purchased a self-reporting health platform for each student, educator, staff member, tutor, and off-campus coach to complete a daily health check prior to arriving on campus. Families will be asked to check their child’s temperature and answer several standard health-related questions each morning.
The school has partnered with Base Camp Health and their back-to-school safety platform called Ascend. This web-based platform will help protect our students and faculty/staff from the spread of COVID-19. Ascend will give our school leaders the real-time information they will need to assess the risk of virus spread through our community, take proactive steps to keep infected individuals off campus, and help those individuals return to campus as quickly as possible when healthy.
Here’s how it works.
Before school each day, faculty, staff and students will take a 15-second survey, answering questions about their symptoms and any known exposure to COVID-19. Each person will be required to take and submit their body temperature. The service will combine this information with contextual data and other risk factors to tell each student or faculty/staff member whether to report to campus that day or not. Those community members who have not completed the health check when they arrive on campus will be required to report to Webb’s Health Center. While temperature and symptom checks don’t provide 100 percent assurance that an individual is not infected with the coronavirus, these health checks do allow for any individual presenting with symptoms to be isolated and directed to consult their physician.
The Ascend platform keeps data protected in accordance with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPAA and FERPA require that healthcare data be protected with stringent privacy procedures, and our partnership with Base Camp Health will be 100 percent compliant with appropriate privacy regulations. Ascend makes use of healthcare data of students and faculty/staff in its assessment of their risk of COVID-19 infection. But that data is visible only to the user and authorized personnel.
Additionally, the platform itself makes use of the most current data protection measures available – from data encryption to secure site protocols for the physical locations of our servers – to protect data from bad actors. Data security is a primary focus of Base Camp Health, and their Ascend platform deploys industry-leading protection measures for our faculty, staff and student information.
Webb students, faculty, staff, and their families can be assured both that users are protected from data risk and that HIPAA and FERPA provisions are fully met by this exciting new partnership.
Base Camp Health will contact families directly in early August to introduce the program and provide information about account set-up.
We are de-densifying our classrooms by taking out any non-essential furniture, which will allow for student seating to be spread out as much as possible. In our Learning Model 1 – relaxed physical distancing – there will be a minimum of three feet of space between students, while in Learning Model 2 – strict physical distancing – there will be six feet of space, as only half of the Middle and Upper School students will be in attendance each day. Additionally, some classes may choose to meet outside when the weather permits.
Furniture will be relocated to help with physical distancing and signs will remind students to not move the furniture.
Carpool loading areas
While we will not use staggered start times due to the fact that our morning drop-off is spread out over 40-55 minutes, we will implement a physical distancing plan during afternoon loading in each division.
Lockers temporarily suspended
The concern over students congregating at lockers in close proximity multiple times each day requires the suspension of regular locker use. Middle and Upper School students will be required to utilize backpacks.
Athletic locker rooms
The athletic staff is working on schedules to allow for small groups of students to use the locker rooms at the same time. This may require that athletic practices start a few minutes later each day.
Routine hand washing
Teachers will frequently remind students to wash their hands. In the Lower School, set times will be designated for each grade. In grades 6-12, students will be allowed appropriate time throughout the day to wash their hands.
Hand sanitizing stations
We have added additional hand sanitizing stations throughout campus. Signage will remind students to wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.
Limit shared resources among students (toys, supplies, clothing, etc.)
Shared materials will be avoided or will be cleaned between change of users. All school toys or supplies will be disinfected regularly. Students should refrain from bringing personal toys or other items to school. Students of all ages will need frequent reminders about not sharing items such as supplies, clothes, drinks, and food.
Signage will help remind students to limit occupancy in tight spaces such as restrooms. It is especially important that students continue to wear face coverings in all campus restrooms.
Webb will continue daily lunch service with a slightly abbreviated menu. To minimize contamination via high-touch areas, some items will be premade and prepackaged, and other items will be served by cafeteria staff. Serving line capacity will be limited and traffic patterns will be altered to ensure safe distancing. In all seating scenarios, safe distancing will be maintained as well. Younger students in the Lower School will eat in their homerooms. Older students will use a combination of their classroom and the Lower School Commons. For grades 6-12, tables will be spaced out in the Spartan Bistro and decreased seating capacity at each table will be utilized. In addition to the cafeteria, the former library space will be used as a second dining facility. Students will also have the opportunity to eat outside the building when weather permits.
We will temporarily halt breakfast service in the Middle and Upper School cafeteria.
Commonly touched surfaces
Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned regularly throughout the day by two day porters who will rotate through the buildings.
We will not use water fountains for the foreseeable future. Water bottle filling stations will be used instead. We are installing several new stations throughout campus.
We have purchased a new electrostatic disinfecting sprayer to use in the restrooms during school hours. It has a quicker drying time so that restrooms will only be closed briefly and will allow us to disinfect restrooms multiple times each day.
Nightly cleaning & disinfecting
The evening cleaning staff will continue with the comprehensive daily cleaning and disinfecting of all frequently used academic and common spaces.
The filtration system is cleaned and changed regularly. The air quality meets or exceeds ASHRAE fresh air standards. The efficiency of many of our systems enables us to exceed suggested standards concerning the percentage of fresh air circulated, allowing for more healthy air dilution.
Faculty & staff training sessions
Faculty and staff will spend time during the first week of August learning about new health and safety protocols. Students will be apprised of this information through grade-level orientations during the first week of school and during special meetings as the school year progresses.
New signage specific to health and safety will be displayed throughout campus. The signage will have a distinct look and age-appropriate messaging. Additional signage with health and safety information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also be posted.
School health personnel are revising past protocols to ensure that health and safety are at a premium in the COVID-19 era.
Additional square footage is being converted in the Health Center to ensure that suspected coronavirus cases are kept separate from students with regular illnesses and injuries.
In accordance with federal, state and local guidelines, below are our response procedures to four common scenarios that may arise during the school year:
1. Any symptomatic individual who tests positive will be excluded from campus for 10 days from symptom onset AND will be allowed to return 24 hours after fever resolution* (if present) AND after improved symptoms. The individual will need a doctor’s note to confirm they are healthy.
2. Any symptomatic individual not tested will be excluded from campus for 10 days from symptom onset AND will be allowed to return 24 hours after fever resolution* (if present) AND after improved symptoms. The individual may return to school if a doctor establishes an alternative diagnosis (e.g., urinary tract infection) and the individual presents a doctor’s note to confirm the presence of alternate diagnosis.
3. Any symptomatic individual who tests negative will be excluded from campus until fever free for 72 hours* (if fever present) AND after improved symptoms.
4. Any exposed and asymptomatic individual will be excluded from campus for 14 days from last exposure if he/she remains asymptomatic. If the individual becomes symptomatic, they will be excluded until they meet the criteria listed above of a symptomatic individual who tests positive or is not tested.
* Fever must be resolved without the use of fever reducing medications.
The sharing of information between educators and parents will be at a premium this year. It will be important from a health standpoint that our Health Center staff understand any change in a student’s status. It will also be important for the divisional leadership to know when a student will be away from campus so that they can provide the appropriate academic support.
The divisional office should be contacted any time a student is going to miss school. Any student with a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater or presenting symptoms of a possible COVID-19 infection should not be present at school.
Communication regarding exposure to COVID-19
If a person is aware that he/she has been exposed to a COVID-19-positive individual, the school Health Center Director, Tommi Goodwin, should be notified by calling 865-291-3797.
If a case of exposure takes place on the Webb School campus, close contacts of the exposed student or faculty/ staff member will be notified via email by Webb personnel.
Communication regarding positive COVID-19 test
When a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, our Health Center Director, Tommi Goodwin, must be notified. Please call 865-291-3797. Full privacy and confidentiality will be observed. After consulting with the Knox County Health Department, the school will implement its contact tracing system. Close contacts of the affected individual will be informed via email by Webb personnel.
NOTE: When a Webb community member can be around others after he/she has had or likely had COVID-19 depends on different factors for different situations. Due to the ever-evolving nature regarding guidance about this issue, please click HERE for the CDC’s recommendations. Webb will align its procedures with the most current CDC information.