Four Winds School COVID-19 Policy (Revised Spring 2023)

Our school practices a multitiered approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the school community. This year, Four Winds’ strategy includes: Vaccination, Symptom Monitoring, Air Purification – Ventilation, Hygiene, and Optional Masking. Please contact your parent representative (Megan) or me (Airlie Rose – if you have any questions about the policy.

Vaccination: Four Winds requires students to be fully vaccinated plus boosted to the extent recommended by the CDC*. We encourage Four Winds families to get additional booster shots according to the CDC recommended schedule as they become available during the school year. (Any exemption to this policy will need to be approved by the board prior to the start of school.)

*CDC guidelines state that a person with a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection may consider delaying a primary series or booster dose by 3 months from symptom onset or positive test (if infection was asymptomatic).

Symptom Monitoring: With the reduced availability of PCR testing and the high incidence of false negatives on rapid tests, symptom monitoring is our first line of defense for keeping COVID out of the classroom. We encourage parents to stay up-to-date with the symptoms and keep children home when they show signs of being sick. The current list of COVID-19 symptoms according to the CDC is:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

Masking: We recognize that the individual contexts of our families vary. For some families, masking remains an important precaution, and for others, the downsides of masking outweigh any potential benefit. We leave the choice to mask or not to mask to individual students and their families, and we are dedicated to maintaining a classroom culture that is tolerant of either choice. Masks provide different levels of protection: Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the
highest level of protection.

  • When a student is required to mask due to a COVID-19 exposure, it is essential that they mask in a way that will protect themselves and others from COVID-19 when they return to school. Please provide your student with a well-fitting, NIOSH approved KN95 or N95 mask. If they cannot tolerate wearing this grade of mask, please keep them home until they test negative on a rapid test, according to the returning to school guidelines for students who are unable to mask.
  • If a student chooses to mask as a daily practice, The CDC recommends that they wear the most protective mask they can that fits well and that they will wear consistently. If your family or student chooses to mask to protect themselves or others, we encourage their families to support them by providing them with the highest rating mask they can tolerate, ensure that they wear it appropriately, and encourage them to wear it in all indoor, public spaces, so that their mask wearing is consistent and epidemiologically meaningful.
  • We encourage students to go mask free when outside. The CDC does not consider masking outside to be helpful or necessary (unless a person has recently tested positive for COVID-19). Therefore, we encourage students to relax and trust the evidence. Teachers will seek opportunities for outdoor learning as the curriculum and weather permit.
  • We recommend that all members of our student’s families wear high grade masks when taking public transit (bus, train, airplane). With the lifting of the mask mandate, travel is a particularly high-risk activity for COVID-19 exposure.

Air Purification – Ventilation: We will continue to run our surgical-grade air filters in both classrooms, and we will open the windows when possible.

If someone in my house was exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive…

How do I decide if someone in my household was exposed to COVID-19?

If I decide that someone in my family was exposed to COVID-19, what should I do?

Can my child go to school?

1. If your child is symptomatic, they must stay home.
2. If your child has been exposed, but does not have symptoms, they may continue to attend
school as long as they mask and remain asymptomatic. They should take a rapid test on
day 6.
3. If they have been exposed and are unable to mask, they need to stay home until day 6.
They should take a rapid test on day 6.
4. If anyone in your household is symptomatic, please test the symptomatic person with a
rapid test. If it is negative, and they continue to have symptoms, continue daily testing until
they test positive, recover, or 6 days have passed since the symptoms began.
5. If someone in your household tests positive, use the CDC isolation and exposure calculator
and follow the guidelines it gives for isolation and exposure.
6. If your student tests positive, they must remain home and isolate. Please take their
temperature once a day during isolation, so you can know when it is safe for them to
return to school. Use the CDC calculator to determine how long they are required to

If they were positive, when can they return to school?

After testing positive for COVID-19, your child can return to school after they meet 3 criteria:

  1. Complete the required period of isolation.
  2. Have been free of fever for at least 24 hours.
  3. Are free of symptoms or have symptoms that are improving.

They should continue to test every 48 hours until they test negative.

When does my child need to mask? When can they stop masking?

When they return to school, if they are able to mask, they must wear a high-quality mask (N95
or KN95) according to the following guidelines:

  • They can take a rapid test on day 6, 8, 10 etc…. If the individual has a negative test on Day 6
    or later, they no longer need to mask.
  • If a student is unable to mask, they may return to school with a negative test on Day 6.
  • If a positive individual continues to test positive, they must wear a mask in school until they
    test negative, even after day 10.

If someone in my house was exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive…

Suggestions for preventing the spread of the virus:
• Avoid interacting with people who are high risk for severe disease if they catch COVID-
• Ventilate your household as much as possible.
• If possible, isolate positive family members in a space that has separate air circulation
from negative family members.
• Wear high quality masks to the extent that you can tolerate them.
• Use air filters that have UV components that kill viruses.