COVID-19 Response & Communicable Disease Plan to Limit the Spread of COVID-19
March 11th, 2022
Dear NVS Community,
I am relieved to let you know NVS is taking the first step in transitioning to a sense of normalcy while upholding our value of safety. Beginning March 11, masks will be optional outside for everyone on campus. NVS will continue to mask indoors until mid-April when the mask policy will be revisited. When we revisit the mask policy in April, NVS will base decisions on the variables that measure our local metrics which help us determine local risk factors. These are recommended by the CDC and include new Covid-related hospital admissions over the previous week, the percentage of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients, as well as coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the previous week. We look forward to seeing our students' smiles!
January 2nd, 2022
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has proved to be incredibly transmissive. Although the CDC does not understand the fullest extent of Omicron's effects, youth hospitalizations are surging across the country. Due to these concerns, NVS has implemented the following new protocols in order to remain open for in-person learning:
Masks: Students and staff must wear disposable (surgical) masks, either underneath a cloth mask or on its own. Cloth masks without a disposable mask underneath will not be permitted. Students will be reminded to change their masks throughout the day to maintain their effectiveness.
Vaccines: All staff and adults in the building must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster or third vaccine. Please present your COVID-19 Vaccination card to Sari if you come into the building.
Testing: Part of our multi-tiered approach in keeping our community safe and our students in school is frequent COVID-19 testing. NVS is currently partnered with OHSU and the OHA for two COVID-19 testing programs: symptomatic rapid-testing for all students and staff who begin to experience symptoms at school, and weekly screening testing for all unvaccinated students. We thank you for your participation in these programs! We also encourage families to get tested outside of school, especially three to five days after a gathering. Click here to order free at-home COVID-19 tests through USPS.
Gatherings: If your family or student partakes in any large indoor gatherings, we ask that your student stay home for five days afterward to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
Exposure/Quarantine: If someone in your household has been exposed to COVID-19 (within six feet for at least 15 minutes near someone who tested positive with or without masks), please stay home and get the exposed person tested on the fifth day after exposure or ASAP if symptoms arise. If your student is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, they will also need to stay home for at least five days regardless of whether they were exposed directly. Source: CDC Quarantine & Isolation
Communication: Communication is key to keeping our community safe. If a family member is exposed or tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know immediately. We are here to work with you and the county to get you the information and services you need.
November 29th, 2021
COVID-19 & Masking
NVS is aware that the Oregon Department of Health adopted temporary rules which will revise the statewide indoor/outdoor face covering rule and the K12 face covering rule. This maintained a statewide requirement for mask use indoors and removed the requirement for everyone five years and older to wear a face covering outdoors. Due to the new COVID-19 variant Omicron and county metrics, NVS will continue to require outdoor masking requirements to maintain consistency and health standards for our students, teachers, and community until the end of the 2021 year. NVS will reevaluate outdoor masking requirements after winter break (12/20-12/31).
October 14th, 2021
Dear NVS Familes,
As winter rolls in and rain becomes consistent, we want to remind you of NVS masking requirements (NVS requirements are under the "Recommended" column below). Note: Masks are less effective when wet, therefore students should bring several masks to school to cycle through. Please wash all of the masks your student has worn after each day.
NVS is thrilled to expect COVID-19 vaccines for students five years and older within the next month! NVS encourages all of our students to get vaccinated as soon as possible. NVS is working to host a vaccination site at school and will let you know more information as we receive it. Thank you for your partnership in keeping our community safe. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, click here and here.
October 5th, 2021
Dear NVS Families,
We are excited to partner with OHSU and the OHA to implement a new COVID-19 Screening Program (PCR tests) to test all students once/week for COVID-19. This is in addition to our symptomatic COVID-19 testing program (rapid tests). There are several OHSU resources attached to this email for your reference. NVS students will be conducting their tests at home and will be directed to bring them back to school on the same day each week to be shipped to the OHSU lab. If you'd like to request any of the forms in a different language, please let us know.
We must receive a signed consent form for OHSU (attached). This is in addition to the COVID-19 General Testing Consent Form we have already collected during registration.
Please send your signed OHSU K12 COVID-19 Testing Authorization Form to Sheila in the office or bring it to drop-off/pick-up. If you need a paper copy we are happy to provide one. We will send more updates soon in order to roll out the program quickly and efficiently.
August 26th, 2021
Dear NVS Community,
Neskowin Valley School is proud to be a leader in the implementation and practice of firm protocols in our school to support the safety of our students, staff, and community.
With COVID-19 surging in our communities, NVS will continue to follow all CDC and OHA guidelines with the goal of keeping our students and staff healthy and in school. As of August 26th, 2021, we have officially adopted more protocols to meet our health and safety priorities.
NVS will continue to allow only staff and volunteers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 into the building. Beginning September 7th 2021, all staff and volunteers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 whether indoors or outdoors on NVS campus during school and office hours Monday through Friday. All visitors must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and sign in with the office immediately upon arrival. Once COVID-19 booster vaccines are available, NVS will require COVID-19 booster vaccines for all staff and volunteers.
Parents and families will remain in their cars when dropping off and picking up their students to limit the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Each day before students arrive at school, families are required to complete the NVS Daily Health Screening. Students will not be allowed in the building until their screening is complete.
NVS will continue to uphold indoor masking requirements regardless of vaccination status, as well as adopt outdoor masking requirements. NVS understands that engaging in teaching and learning outside does not guarantee social distancing. In order to keep our students and staff safe, everyone must continue to wear their masks outside unless participating in an activity where social distancing can be consistently maintained. This includes scheduled mask breaks, instructional times, and eating. Masks must be made of reusable cotton or be disposable non-medical grade and must be snug-fitting with a nose clip. Bandanas, neck gaiters, or scarves are not permitted. NVS staff and teachers are committed to helping our students with this challenging expectation. We will model and reinforce this important behavior with patience and understanding.
The Oregon Health Authority predicts a COVID-19 surge in early September, while the Oregon Health and Science University predicts a COVID-19 peak in mid-October. Due to the relentless surge and devastating effect on our community, NVS will adopt two cohorts until further notice. The Kindergarten and First Grade classroom will cohort with the Second and Third Grade classroom. The Fourth and Fifth Grade classroom will cohort with the Middle School classroom. Staff and volunteers will be permitted to teach and interact with all classrooms while maintaining distancing and masking requirements.
If a student must remain at home for an extended period of time due to illness or exposure during the 2021-2022 school year, NVS is prepared to teach developmentally appropriate lessons online through the use of Google Classroom.
Thank you so much for your continued flexibility and tenacity as our community continues to live through this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t wait to have NVS students on campus!
June 15th, 2021
Dear NVS Community,
NVS strives to protect our community from the pandemic that has swept the globe and unpredictably and unjustifiably hurt so many people, especially those in marginalized communities. We are committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our school and our community to support a mentally, emotionally, and physically safe environment for ambitious learning experiences.
NVS stands with the nature of science and ecological caring.
We believe the nature of science is a way of knowing;
We believe the nature of science addresses questions about the natural and material world;
We believe scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence;
And we believe science is a human endeavor.
The scientific community states vaccinating adults for COVID-19 is the most effective scaffold in K-12 schools to protect the safety and health of communities. NVS also believes getting vaccinated is a caring and thoughtful approach for our community to stay safe and to stop the spread of the unpredictable and deadly COVID-19 virus.
As an inclusion and community-oriented leader, I have assessed every scenario to support every individual’s decision. I have thought about inviting unvaccinated and vaccinated teachers to work at NVS. When I think through what this would look and feel like, the division among the teachers, faculty, and students would make it impossible to educate each person in an equitable manner. Protocols would be different for the teachers who are unvaccinated and it would not be fair to our students who do not have the agency to decide whether or not to get vaccinated at this time.
It is our sole responsibility to support a safe, healthy, and welcoming environment where all of our community members can engage in relevant, meaningful, and ambitious teaching and learning experiences. Every one of our community members have endured trauma this past year. In order for NVS to support our community in repairing this trauma, we must protect ourselves to the fullest extent possible. Asking and supporting our community to get COVID-19 vaccines will enable NVS to provide the absolute best practices to our students, families, and teachers.
It appears the vaccines will be fully approved by the FDA very soon. If anyone is concerned about these vaccines and their emergency authorization, please see the “Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines Explained”.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a statement recommending COVID-19 vaccinations for children 12 years and older, saying "vaccines are safe and effective in protecting individuals and populations against infectious diseases" and that "new vaccines are evaluated by a long-standing, rigorous, and transparent process".
The Oregon Health and Science University states,
“Vaccines keep people from going to the hospital or dying because of COVID-19.
Side effects are usually mild to moderate, lasting only a day or two.
Vaccines can’t track you, affect your DNA, damage your fertility or give you COVID-19.
Getting a vaccine is especially important for people of color.
Vaccines are safe. They were tested in tens of thousands of people, including people of color.
Vaccines contain no fetal tissue or fetal cells.
You won’t pay any money for a vaccine.”
If you are unsure about the COVID-19 vaccine or have questions, please consult your physician. We have linked important information and resources below.
In response to this past year, in an effort to keep our community safe, and to provide the absolute best teaching and learning practices, all NVS faculty, staff, and indoor volunteers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before August 16th, 2021, unless the individual has obtained an approved accommodation.
To assist any faculty, staff, and indoor volunteers who cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a qualifying medical condition or sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, NVS will engage in an interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be provided that does not create an undue hardship and/or does not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the students, faculty, staff member, or volunteer or others in the workplace. To request an accommodation for a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, please contact Sari Tullis to begin the accommodation process.
Because of the work we strive to do with parents/guardians this year and how much NVS values parent/guardian partnerships, we will permit vaccinated parents and guardians in the school building for specific volunteer opportunities. However, unvaccinated parents/guardians will be welcomed to volunteer and attend only outside community events.
Vaccinated individuals can confirm their vaccination status with Sari Tullis, NVS Head of School, in-person or online with their original COVID-19 vaccination card or a digital photo of the card. Please do not provide any additional medical information as part of the proof of vaccination.
Additionally, NVS will welcome essential personnel into the building and will also follow the Ready Schools Safe Learners guidelines from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority for the 2021-2022 school year, which will be published in July. This document will provide more information about specific mask, social distancing, and sanitation guidelines.
Thank you for your partnership in creating a safe and prosperous future for NVS. All policies are subject to change as we receive more information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fully vaccinated against COVID-19: People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson); there is currently no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status.
Unvaccinated parents/guardians: Unvaccinated parents/guardians have not completed a vaccination series or received a single-dose vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination card: A COVID-19 vaccination card must include the patient’s full name, date of birth, the type of vaccine received, the date(s) of administration, a vaccinator signature, and must be issued by a medical organization, pharmacy, or verified party.
Citations and Resources: