Parents Club Q&A with CSM David

October 16, 2020

If more children develop Covid, will the school shut down? Who decides on the school shutting down?

The Academy Leadership will do everything in its power to keep the Students in the learning environment. Unless we are mandated to shut down, it is our intention for the Students to remain on campus for in-person learning as much as we are able.

If the school is shut down, what will happen to the foreign students and students that live far away from the school?

If the school is shut down, the Academy will reach out to the families to arrange transportation home. The Academy does have personnel available to care for the Students while that process is getting established. This would be similar to the normal leave for breaks. As the Dean of Student Life, I advocate that the Students stay here during the normal session and conduct any virtual online learning while staying on campus. If a situation is dictated to us that the Students need to travel to their home of record, we would work with families and accommodate as best as we are able. However, the question would remain, if we have a COVID positive person, how does that Student travel? Since I believe they would not be able to, I have personnel on to ensure the well-being of the Students that would remain on campus.

What is the procedure for sanitizing and cleaning the rooms used for quarantined and Covid positive students?

When a student receives a positive test result, the room they are in is left to sit dormant for 48 hours. Per the CDC’s guidelines, this gives the virus time to die and no longer be an active threat. After 48 hour the SJNA Custodian Staff conducts a deep clean of the room. Sheets and pillows are transferred with the Student and new bedding is put at the ready in case the room is needed for future use.

How are the students that are quarantined taken care of in terms of food/water etc?

The Dining Facility has been very responsive to put together meals for the Students in Quarantine and Isolation. The Meals are delivered to the quarantine area and the infirmary at normal meal times by either the nurse (infirmary) or the Resident Life Staff (Barracks/Resident Hall). Water is provided via sanitized water coolers in the halls of the barracks/residence halls. These coolers are checked at each meal and at the end of the day. Students in the quarantine and isolation areas are provided additional cleaning materials to ensure they are able to clean up after themselves in the common areas and their own rooms. The Resident Life Staff and Infirmary Staff have been ensuring that the Students’ needs are met by checking the Halls and having socially distanced conversations to check on them in person. Teachers have been found it successful to pass along things that they have been discussed during the online classes. Those concerns are passed along to the Resident Life Staff as a touch point to ensure the Students’ voices are being heard in as many ways as possible. The teachers and Students have so far been successful with the online portion of the courses. If teachers need to pass any non-digital form of work to the Cadet, Mrs. Ahlgren organized a process in which the teacher can drop those items off with her. Then someone takes those items to the quarantine or isolation area and places them outside the door of the Student needing those materials. Faculty and Staff have come up with some ideas to provide “care packages” to those in quarantine and isolation. Brownies and cookies have already been delivered with discussions on more ideas for how to support. Playing cards (for solitaire) or other ideas have been discussed as well. There is a strong desire by many looking for ways to let the Students know they are cared for.

Standard Operating Procedure for Students that are identified as COVID positive or close contact:

  • Student presents to the infirmary for a checkup either due to feeling ill or due to being identified as close contact to a COVID positive person.
  • Infirmary checks the Student.
  • If a Student is identified as possible COVID, the infirmary notifies the family and Resident Life Staff.
  • Resident Life Staff prepares the rooming assignment and identifies the best “low-traffic” time to escort the Student to collect enough belongings from the current room over to the quarantine or isolation room selected for their situation. When the Student is collecting their items, they will also be packing up the additional belongings and placing them in the closet of the room. Once that is complete, the room will be disinfected.
  • The Student then moves over to the quarantine/isolation area and the quarantine/isolation time begins.

The normal time given for quarantine is 14 days. So long as symptoms or situations do not change during that time, the Student will then be released back to the original room assignment and join the rest of the Students in going about the normal day’s procedures. 14 days is the suggested amount of time to ensure that the patient does not come down with symptoms.

The normal time given for isolation (COVID Positive) is 10 days. It seems a bit backwards, but that 10 days starts from when the symptoms began OR when the test was conducted. After 10 days the COVID positive person will not be contagious. If after that 10 days the Student is still experiencing medical issues we will certainly keep them under the care of health care providers and monitor as needed.

If more children develop Covid, does the infirmary have enough staff to take care of all the students needing medical care?

The infirmary staff has reassured us that they have enough staff to care for the Students and resupply of materials is not an issue for them.