We are committed to keeping track of the current COVID-19 metrics in our community in order to continue to inform our decisions moving forward. We have updated our dashboard to align with suggested data from the CDC Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making and continue to monitor this data each week. Here are the three core data points in each community:
- Positive Test Rate (Buncombe County)
- Positive Cases per 100,000 over the last 14 days (Buncombe County)
- Implementation of five key mitigation strategies
- Consistent and correct use of masks
- Social Distance to the largest Extent Possible
- Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Cleaning and Disinfection
- Contact Tracing in Collaboration with the local health Department
The first two data points are produced by the Buncombe County Health Department and the third we will be monitoring by surveying our faculty weekly. We will be utilizing the same color coding as the CDC on each of these values to determine the overall risk level in our community. Please click on the CDC Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making to see more about the values for each category and additional information.
Our most recent data dashboard can always be found on the right side of all pages on our website!
We also continue to evaluate the academic performance of our students and their mental health as we monitor our school opening plans.
The most important protocols in our system will be to consistently encourage our students to wash their hands with soap and water and utilize hand sanitizer throughout the day when they are not washing, wearing masks/ cloth face coverings, and maintaining six feet of physical distance between individuals at all times. These are things that we hope you have been encouraging your own children to do over the last few months and something we will be heavily leaning upon within our school environment.
As mentioned above we are committed to continually monitoring data as we navigate our return to school. Right now we know that our community data tells us that there is a moderate risk of reopening school. The plan structure for reopening we have chosen is considered a medium risk since we will have some mixing of groups of students and teachers throughout the school day in Middle and Upper School. With this risk level we anticipate positive cases of COVID-19 within our school community.
We will communicate with you each time we have a confirmed positive case in our student or staff population. As soon as we receive the information, we will update our COVID-19 dashboard and send a notification email that it has been updated to our entire school community. Per North Carolina General Statute 130A-143 we cannot share identifying information about positive COVID-19 cases, only the Health Department has the authority to do so. We are allowed to share that there is a positive case within our school community but cannot share details about specific classrooms, names etc. Please do not ask us to violate the law, we will not do so.
When there is a positive case within our school community we will be working in collaboration with the Buncombe County Health Department to conduct close contact tracing. If your child is considered a close contact you will be notified and your child will have to quarantine per the Buncombe County Health Department and state guidelines.
Remember, per the guidelines from the state of North Carolina, those identified by the Health Department as close contacts to someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test are required to quarantine at home for 14 days after their last contact with the diagnosed individual. It is recommended that close contacts be tested to identify additional positive cases. Close contacts testing negative will still need to complete the full original 14 day quarantine. While students are quarantined at home, if they are asymptomatic, they are still required to participate in school virtually.