With the changing nature of COVID, parents should watch for updates on school policy and practice through updates by Paul Leaman, head of school. EMS anticipates opening with mask optional for the 2022-23 school year.
EMS Mask Optional Guidelines
- EMS will continue following the guidelines of the CDC, VDH, and local medical advisors.
- The CDC, VDH are the groups we intend to follow in the event conditions change and merit a return to masking practices or other mitigation measures for public health.
- Masks are optional for the 2022-23 school year except in specifically designated areas. All students, faculty and staff are welcome to mask (or not) based on their own personal comfort. If a parent elects not to have their child wear a mask, no forms or other notifications to the school are required. Each family’s decision will be respected by all members of our school community. For those who wish to continue wearing a mask, please note that N95, KN95, and surgical masks have been shown to provide a higher level of protection.
Considerations to keep in mind
- Staying home when sick will continue being required as this is the best way to prevent spread of any communicable disease.
- Current understanding is that individuals can choose to dramatically reduce personal risk from getting COVID by vaccination and a myriad of mitigation efforts. Personal choice of wearing a properly fitted N95 or KN95 mask provides significant protection.
- Schools are no longer expected to contact trace within a school setting; however, EMS will communicate with faculty and families when we learn of potential exposure from a COVID positive person and manage quarantine and isolation expectations on a case by case basis as we have since the start of the pandemic.
- Other mitigation measures at EMS will continue as we have practiced this school year. Instructional practices, seating arrangements, in classroom activities, etc. can continue as they have when all students wore masks. The only change is that students may choose whether or not to wear a mask.
Mask Optional - Rules to Date
- Effective March 21, 2022, all faculty, staff, and students will have the option of whether or not to wear a mask.
- A placard will be posted by doorways of spaces where masks are required due to specific concerns pre-approved by administration.
- Masking on buses will follow the latest federal/state law.
- Masks will be optional in the auditorium; however, seating will continue to be spaced.
- In alignment with updated guidance from VDH, a student who tests positive will be isolated for at least 5 days. If symptoms have improved and no fever is present, the student may return on day 6 only if an appropriate mask is worn consistently and correctly on days 6-10. If a mask is not worn, then the student will return after day 10.
- Parents are expected to notify school if a student tests positive for COVID-19.