The Earth Tortoise School
A Montessori Community for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and their Families
Health Policies and Procedures
The State of Oregon’s Office of Child Care mandates that children with:
· a fever of 100.3 and higher,
· unusual yellow color of the skin or eyes,
· severe cough,
· skin or eye lesions that are severe, weeping, or pus-filled,
· stiff neck and headache,
· unexplained rash
· difficulty breathing or abnormal wheezing, and/or
· complaints of severe pain
cannot be in group care. Please keep your child home if they exhibit these symptoms. If these ailments appear while the child is in school, we will inform you to pick your child up.
Children may return to school after they have been free from these symptoms without the use of medications for AT LEAST 24 hours - with the exception of vomiting and diarrhea for which we require your child to be home for AT LEAST 48 hours after the last symptom or episode.
We understand that colds will linger but if children are lethargic and having trouble participating in daily activities, we will use our best judgment to send them home as needed. You may bring medication to school to continue treatment after the illness is no longer contagious and the child does not exhibit the symptoms listed above. We cannot give medication to treat any ailments if any of the above symptoms are present and we will not administer medication to mask symptoms. If your child requires medication to feel well, they need to remain home until that medication is no longer needed. We will ask you to sign a form authorizing us to dispense medication according to the directions on the label. To stay as healthy as possible, we wash our hands regularly and sanitize the classroom throughout each day.
COVID-19 Policies and Procedures
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an evolving situation which The Earth Tortoise School is dedicated to mitigating to the best of our ability. We serve a diverse population and see the school as a community of children, staff, and families. Guided by the State of Oregon’s Health Authority and the Office of Child Care, it is with the best interests of the whole community that we make our decisions and create policies. We will follow all OHA and OCC requirements and may, at times, put additional mitigating policies in place. These decisions will be based on the needs of our existing community and are made with our most vulnerable in mind. We may amend these policies as either the State of Oregon dictates and/or as we see a need in the community.
All enrolled families and staff must adhere to these policies and procedures:
• The Earth Tortoise School requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
• Families are currently allowed in the building. We ask that everyone stay mindful of physical distancing.
• However, any adults dropping children off at school are asked to stay outside the building if they 1) are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms, 2) have a temperature of over 100.3 degrees, and/or 3) have been exposed to a COVID-19 case. Please ring the doorbell to alert a staff member to come greet your child.
• Currently all adults must wear a mask when in the building.
• Once the State of Oregon’s mask mandate is lifted, individuals who have shown proof of a COVID-19 vaccination may come inside without their mask. All those either who are not comfortable providing proof of vaccination or who have not been vaccinated must continue to wear inside. The Earth Tortoise School will make the decision that all adults, regardless of vaccination status, may enter without a mask based on CDC and OHA recommendations, the level of active COVID-19 cases in our area, as well as any other pertinent information available to us.
• Children will no longer receive a health screening upon entering the school. However, please know that if your child has any COVID-19 symptoms, including but limited to, a temperature of over 100.3 degrees, cough, shortness of breath, and/or loss of taste or smell OR if your child has been exposed to a positive or presumptive COVID-19 case, they may not come to school. It is assumed that if children are arriving at school they are both symptom free and have not been exposed to COVID-19 to your best knowledge.
• All individuals for whom the following applies must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days:
o New shortness of breath
o Loss of taste and/or smell
• This exclusionary period may be shortened with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. If a negative COVID-19 test result is provided, individuals may return to school after they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
• If a child begins to display these symptoms at school, we will contact the parents, guardians, or other authorized contacts, and will require the child is picked up from school as soon as possible. They will be kept separated from other children until they are picked up.
• All unvaccinated individuals exposed to a positive COVID-19 case or a presumptive COVID-19 case must quarantine for 10 days.
• Vaccinated individuals exposed to a positive or presumptive COVID-19 case do not need to quarantine but must monitor for symptoms.
• The probability that a case of COVID-19 will become present at The Earth Tortoise School is directly tied to the level of spread and number of active cases in the larger community – the county, the city, and the state. Please make plans now with your own employer, family members, other child care providers, etc. so that you can be as ready as possible in the event that your child has to quarantine.
• All families will be notified of a positive COVID-19 case at the school.
• The Earth Tortoise School is limiting visitors at this time. Classroom cohorts are kept separated as much as possible. Early Intervention specialists do visit our classrooms as necessary. Parents or guardians may come to observe in their child’s classroom by appointment. Visitors outside of those listed above must either come after school hours or, if absolutely necessary, can enter the school during operating hours but may not enter the classrooms.
• We continue to be vigilant about sanitizing, handwashing, and asking families to keep children with any cold-like symptoms at home.
Thank you for keeping us all healthy!