An elementary-only independent school located in Atlanta, serving children ages three through Sixth Grade since 1951.

2020–2021 School Year Pandemic Response Plan

Keeping Trinity Safe

Trinity School is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all its students, parents, employees, and guests. We have developed the following Pandemic Response Plan (PRP) for the 2020–21 school year that will guide our decisions regarding the reopening of our campus to students and employees as well as our overall program. We recognize that through the implementation of the following coordinated efforts, we can greatly reduce, not eliminate, the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our community. We strive to balance our mitigation policies with the known benefits of children experiencing in-person learning at school.

Trinity School will update this PRP as federal, state, and local guidelines and regulations change. It will also be included as a temporary addendum to Trinity’s Parent Handbook and Employee Handbook. Until communicated otherwise, the rules and guidance of this PRP control to the extent that there is any inconsistency between it and the existing Parent or Employee Handbook. If you have any questions regarding current policies or procedures, parents should contact their child’s division head and employees should contact their supervisor.

In addition to the comprehensive Pandemic Response Plan, we have linked a reference guide on this page that includes highlights of the PRP in an easy-to-read format and FAQ at the bottom of the page. 
 

Reference Guide

What's New

  • As we continue to learn more and adjust protocols accordingly during the ever-evolving pandemic, we continue to update the FAQ section of our Pandemic Response Plan, found below. The most recent questions and responses are found at the top. Please check this section of the PRP frequently for the most up-to-date information.
  • Effective November 30, 2020: Trinity will move from a 72-hour to a 24-hour fever-free rule per CDC guidelines. This change will go into effect on Monday, November 30. This policy change was updated in the "Contact Tracing, Exposure Response Plan, Returning to School, and School Communications" section and in the response to the FAQ: "What will be the protocol if a student or employee tests positive?" as well as the Reference Guide that is linked on this page.
  • November 18, 2020: The question, "Do individuals need to stay off campus if they are waiting on COVID-19 test results?" was added to the FAQ section to clarify that anyone awaiting COVID-19 test results for any reason must stay off campus until the test result is received and negative. This information was also clarified in the "Health Screenings and Symptom Assessment and Reporting" section of the PRP.
  • October 22, 2020: "Close contact" was updated in the "Health Screenings and Symptom Assessment and Reporting" and "Contact Tracing, Exposure Response Plan, Returning to School, and School Communications" sections to the CDC's most current definition: *CDC currently defines “close contact” as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.”
  • September 9, 2020: Protocols for household members of individuals who are under quarantine for close contact have been added to "Contact Tracing, Exposure Response Plan, Returning to School, and School Communications" and FAQ sections as well as the Reference Guide that is linked on this page.
  • August 26, 2020: School communication protocols when we have a confirmed on-campus case of COVID-19 have been added to the "Contact Tracing, Exposure Response Plan, Returning to School, and School Communications" section.
  • August 16, 2020: Language clarifying when masks should be worn was updated in the FAQ section under "When will masks be required? When will they not be?" and "What will P.E. look like? Will students practice social distancing? Wear face coverings?"
  • August 13, 2020: An updated Exposure Response Plan with clarification around protocols for individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19 has been linked in the "Contact Tracing, Exposure Response Plan, and Returning to School" section below. The plan was also updated in the Reference Guide that is linked on this page. 
  • August 10, 2020: Clarification around no face coverings with valves or vents has been updated in the "Mitigation Strategies" section below. We follow CDC guidelines around face coverings, and the CDC does NOT recommend the use of masks with exhalation valves or vents. We have added language to make it clearer that individuals should not wear face coverings with valves or vents.

Pandemic Response Plan

List of 11 items.

  • + Resources and Guiding Entities

    Trinity’s Pandemic Response Plan is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Health (DPH), the American Academy of Pediatrics, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards related to COVID-19, and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s executive orders as they pertain to COVID-19. In addition, a committee of Trinity community members with varied expertise worked together to develop this plan.

    As part of our planning, the School has taken into account the mounting evidence regarding COVID-19 in children and adolescents, including the role they may play in transmission of the infection. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, COVID-19 appears to behave differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses, such as the flu, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based. Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with COVID-19. Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. 
     
  • + Implementation

    To be effective, Trinity’s PRP requires the full cooperation of all our community members, and everyone is responsible for implementing and complying with the School’s PRP. This plan includes steps—such as signage placement, face coverings, physical distancing, screening procedures, contact tracing, enhanced cleaning, and frequent HVAC filter changes—that the School is taking to mitigate COVID-19 contagion. 

    This PRP addresses the health and safety procedures that Trinity has implemented and the responsibilities of the School and its community members, including:

    • prevention procedures, including hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
    • procedures for safe physical distancing and limiting visitors, including parents, to campus;
    • cleaning, sanitizing, and ventilation information;
    • screening procedures and policies for anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms;
    • prompt identification and isolation of sick individuals and protocols for contact tracing;
    • protection and controls for student pick-up and drop-off; and
    • employee training and ongoing communications.
  • + School Program: On-Campus Learning and Distance Learning

    Our current plan is to start the 2020-21 school year with on-campus learning. 

    Safeguarding the health of our community members is our top priority, and we are prepared for a delayed campus opening or switching to distance learning throughout the school year if public health guidelines require us to do so. 

    On-Campus Learning
    We are excited to welcome students back to Trinity for on-campus learning, and we will offer a full-day schedule that includes early morning drop-off, lunch service, Specials classes, and Extended Programs. Trinity’s physical and human resources enable us to provide an at-school, in-person education under new health and safety guidelines. Some program modifications that you may see will include: additional classrooms for student grouping; limiting student travel during the day; a new daily schedule with the ability to pivot to distance learning quickly if necessary; limited in-person, large group meetings and activities; limited off-campus travel; increased use of outdoor spaces for student learning and socialization; and enhanced technology, including personal electronic devices for all students and digital access into the classroom.

    Please contact your child’s division head (Rhonda Mitchell for Early Elementary or Sarah Barton Thomas for Upper Elementary) if you would like to discuss remote learning options if your child has underlying medical conditions or if you have other concerns. 

    Distance Learning if Campus is Closed 
    We learned a lot through our distance learning experience in the spring, and if we are required to move to full distance learning, our students will still experience the meaningful and joyful learning that is a hallmark of the Trinity education. Students will participate in developmentally appropriate schedules that are a balance of live and recorded content. All students will have access to their own electronic device. The School will continue to utilize a number of digital tools—including Google Educational Tools, IXL, and SeeSaw—for learning, engagement, and assessment. 
     
  • + Social-Emotional Support

    Supporting our students’ social-emotional development is more important than ever during these trying and uncertain times. 

    In addition to your child’s teachers or division head, Consulting Psychologist Carli Reis and School Counselor Erica Pendleton (Ms. P) will be available to help parents regarding their children’s adjustment back to school and any other related concerns. Please contact your child’s division head with questions (Rhonda Mitchell for Early Elementary or Sarah Barton Thomas for Upper Elementary). 

    Erica will be available to meet with children individually once school resumes. Erica and Carli will continue to support teachers and to help facilitate morning meetings, as needed. They are also great resources for families who want outside support for children who need more help transitioning back to school. 

    Considerations for Parents
    Children are looking to their parents to let them know how they should be feeling about things. As much as possible, parents should try to be a non-anxious presence in their children’s lives and communicate their confidence in their children’s ability to cope with stressful situations, including going back to school. 

    Parents are encouraged to help children reestablish routines at home that will help prepare them for coming back to school. This linked article from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has some great suggestions to prepare for reentry.

    Once parents read through the School’s PRP and understand more about the 2020–21 school year, they are encouraged to communicate clearly with their children about the return to school to begin to prepare them for how things are going to look different this school year. Frequent brief conversations—e.g., “See how the mailman has a mask on? You and your teachers will wear masks at school, too!”—are recommended instead of one or two long conversations that hash out all of the changes.

    Parents are encouraged to reinforce the idea that children have agency in keeping themselves safe and healthy rather than emphasizing the many unknowns. Although no one knows exactly what the school year will bring, it is important that children feel a sense of comfort knowing that there are specific things they can do (e.g., hand washing and maintaining a safe distance) to help keep themselves and others healthy.

    Ample evidence shows that maintaining balanced nutrition, getting moderate exercise, practicing mindfulness, establishing good sleep habits, and having adequate social support are the best ways to counteract the effects of stress on children (and adults). Little things can help to make big improvements in the reduction of stress!

    Parents can help the School by communicating with their children that although every family has dealt with COVID-19 differently, the Trinity community supports each other. There will be a different set of expectations at school, and we hope that everyone will respect differences in how families have approached dealing with the virus.
     
  • + Mitigation Strategies

    We recognize that through the implementation of coordinated efforts, we can greatly reduce, not eliminate, the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our community. Trinity School strives to balance our mitigation policies with the known benefits of children experiencing in-person learning at school.

    We have implemented basic infection prevention measures, including the promotion of handwashing and respiratory etiquette and the use of face coverings and physical distancing. Continual on-campus learning will only be possible with all of us working together to follow these health and safety guidelines, on and off-campus. 

    Handwashing
    Frequent handwashing is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Hand sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60 percent alcohol) are at entrances and other locations throughout the school. Students, employees, parents, and visitors should wash or sanitize their hands after entering the building. Everyone is instructed to frequently wash their hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, but especially at the beginning and end of their time on campus, before and after mealtimes, and after using the restroom.

    Respiratory etiquette
    Everyone should cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose, and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette signage will be displayed throughout the School.

    Face coverings
    Everyone must wear a face covering while on campus—including during drop-off and pickup—and provide their own face coverings. Students should have two clean face coverings available each day at school. According to public health officials, individuals can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not feel sick. While not a substitute for physical distancing, the use of face coverings is an important way that we, as a community, can protect each other by mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

    Exceptions may be made with consideration for medical reasons and age and to accommodate eating and drinking; outdoor and physical activities, including P.E.; and instructional time when physical distancing can be maintained and additional preventative measures are in place.

    • Do NOT use face coverings that have a valve or vent
    • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
    • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face, top of your nose, and under your chin
    • Make sure you can breathe easily
    Face coverings do not have to be worn by employees when they are alone in their classroom or office.

    Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Ventilation
    Trinity uses CDC-approved, eco-friendly medical-grade disinfectants and has implemented updated cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilation practices. This includes routine cleaning and disinfecting throughout the campus. We will administer frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas and items, such as toys, manipulatives, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, and water fountains.

    All students and employees will practice healthy hygiene, including frequent handwashing, throughout the day.
    If someone within the community contracts COVID-19, contact tracing will be used to identify and notify people who may have been exposed at school, and also to determine the exposed areas and equipment within the building. These areas and equipment will be disinfected per CDC guidelines.

    The School’s HVAC system allows for the maximum amount of incoming fresh air, air recirculation is being limited, and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Trinity will continue to maintain an aggressive filter replacement schedule to support the best air quality.

    Limiting Campus Access
    As virus spread is more likely between adults, we are restricting parent and visitor access to student learning spaces. 
    • All parents and visitors must enter through the main reception area, wear face coverings, and be screened upon arrival.
    • There may be occasions when parents are invited onto campus for meetings and events.
    Physical Distancing, Student Cohorts, and Group Gatherings
    All individuals at Trinity School will maintain a safe physical distance of six feet as feasible. Signage throughout the School will reinforce physical distancing.

    The School will maintain cohorts of students and teachers to minimize crossover among children and adults within the School. We will minimize travel throughout the building when feasible, including a Flik lunch being delivered to classrooms and Specials teachers (excluding P.E.) traveling to classrooms to facilitate learning. In addition, teachers will take advantage of Trinity’s outdoor learning spaces when possible.

    We will limit in-person large group meetings. We are reimagining how we come together as a community, including the opportunity for students to perform and speak in public through virtual and small group settings.

    Physical Barriers
    Mobile physical barriers will be used throughout the campus, such as on the reception desk, on student tables, and in learning support rooms.
     
    Shared Items and Water Fountains
    Teachers will limit the sharing of classroom materials and workspaces between students and will sanitize items as needed. Only items that can be easily disinfected will be used.

    No personal toys will be allowed on campus.

    Students and employees should bring and use a refillable water bottle and use the water bottle refilling stations as well as faucets in classrooms. Please label your child’s water bottle. Water fountains will be available for refilling bottles only.

    Travel and Field Trips
    Employee’s non-essential business travel is restricted, and we ask that all community members limit non-essential travel.

    Off-campus field trips will be restricted.

    Student Drop-off and Pickup
    Carpool schedules will remain the same for the 2020–21 school year. We appreciate everyone’s patience as new health and safety protocols may extend the duration of carpool.

    • For the health and safety of our community, drivers need to remain in cars and not park and walk up to or through the carpool area, including the dismissal table.
    • This year, parents will not be able to walk their child into their classroom. 
    • Everyone should wear face coverings when they arrive on campus.
    • During student drop-off and pickup, employees will wear face coverings, maintain six feet of physical distance whenever possible, and avoid physical contact with other individuals.
    Deliveries
    Parents will not be allowed beyond Reception to deliver items to students. We will receive all deliveries at the loading dock or Reception.
  • + Health Screenings and Symptom Assessment and Reporting

    We will continue to inform and encourage families and employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. As defined by the CDC, individuals with COVID-19 may have any of the following symptoms, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle or body aches, congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Also according to the CDC, this list of symptoms does not include all possible symptoms. Please contact your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

    Trinity has implemented the following policies and procedures to assess a person’s health status prior to entering the School; to provide guidelines for screening individuals before they are allowed to enter the building; and to provide a process for families to report when they are sick, experiencing symptoms, or if they or anyone in their household have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

    Before arriving on campus
    Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, knows that they have COVID-19, is awaiting COVID-19 test results for any reason, or has had close contact* with someone who is positive or symptomatic of COVID-19 should isolate at home. In addition, parents should communicate with the School—using the methods listed below—if one of them or a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19, experiences symptoms of COVID-19, or has close contact with someone who is positive or symptomatic of COVID-19.

    *CDC currently defines “close contact” as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.”

    Parents should take their children’s temperature before arriving on campus and keep their child home if they have a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit or above. 

    Parents should continue to report student absences, COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts, and COVID-19 diagnoses via studentout@trinityatl.org.

    All parents will receive a weekly text from the School-Pass app, which will remind them to monitor their child’s health and stay home if they are sick or showing symptoms.

    Screening Procedure for Students
    • A face covering is meant to protect others, therefore all employees, parents, visitors, and students are required to wear a mask on campus, especially when physical distancing is not feasible.
    • Students will have their temperatures checked on campus each day. Any student with a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit or above must immediately leave the campus or be further evaluated by the school nurse.

    Screening Procedures for Employees, Parents, and Visitors
    • Employees, parents, and visitors must enter through the main reception area. 
    • Non-essential visitors will be limited and all visitors must have an appointment prior to being screened and admitted.
    • Parents will not be allowed past Reception once school resumes unless they have an appointment or have received a communication from the School that states otherwise.
    • A face covering is meant to protect others, therefore all employees, parents, visitors, and students are required to wear a mask on campus, especially when physical distancing is not feasible.
    • Upon arrival, employees, parents, and visitors will form one line, maintaining at least six feet of distance from others.
    • All adults entering the building will have their temperature checked.
    • Anyone with a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit or above must immediately leave the campus or be further evaluated by the school nurse.
    • If the screening reveals any COVID-19 symptoms, the individual will immediately leave the campus or will report to a designated isolation room until the school nurse or designee can evaluate their condition and determine the appropriate next steps.
    • All individuals should wash or sanitize their hands after entering the building.
  • + Policies for Individuals Exhibiting Symptoms at School

    If a student is sick or experiencing symptoms at school, the teacher or other designated adult will escort the student directly to the isolation room and report to the school nurse. Both escort and student should wear face coverings.

    Parents who become sick or experience symptoms while at Trinity should notify the school nurse and leave the building immediately or report to the designated isolation room until able to leave the School.

    Trinity School has implemented a specific COVID-19 health support policy that promotes everyone staying at home when they are sick or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, when household members are sick or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or when required by a healthcare provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household.
  • + Contact Tracing, Exposure Response Plan, Returning to School, and School Communications

    Contact tracing is part of the process of mitigating the spread of infection. Trinity School has a plan to work with public health officials if a community member tests positive for COVID-19. The Trinity contact tracing team and/or local public health officials will work with the infected person to identify close contacts and will notify community members who may be close contacts. Patient confidentiality will be maintained. Instructions that follow current CDC and Georgia DPH guidance will be provided to the infected person and all close contacts regarding isolation and quarantine. If you have any questions about the plan, please contact Nurse Debbie Bright

    COVID-19 Symptom Checker
    - Fever (100.0° or above) or chills
    - Cough
    - Muscle/Body aches
    - New loss of taste or smell
    - Sore throat, hoarseness
    - New or unusual headache
    - New or unusual fatigue
    - New or unusual congestion or runny nose
    - Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    - Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing: CALL 911
    - Chest pain: CALL 911
    - Confusion or difficulty being roused from sleep: CALL 911
     
    Exposure Situations and Returning to School
    *Please note the following:
    - A negative COVID-19 test result does not affect the duration of isolation or quarantine in any situation.
    - Household members of a person who is required to quarantine due to close contact do NOT need to quarantine unless the household member who had close contact begins displaying symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19. Example: Siblings of any child who is in quarantine for close contact with a diagnosed individual can continue to attend school as long as the child who had close contact does not display any symptoms.
     
    Sick with symptoms of COVID-19? Isolate at home.
    The sick individual may return to school after consulting with Nurse Debbie AND after at least 24 hours without fever of 100.0°F or above (without fever reducing medication) AND symptoms have improved significantly.
     
    Diagnosed with/Tests positive for COVID-19? Isolate at home.
    The diagnosed individual may return to school after 10 days have passed since sample collection or symptom onset (whichever is earlier) AND 24 hours without fever of 100.0°F or above (without fever reducing medication) AND symptoms have improved significantly.
     
    In quarantine for possible exposure or has close contact (within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset) of a person who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19? Isolate at home.
    The exposed individual may return to school after completion of quarantine 14 days from the LAST date of close contact.
     
    Has a sick household member with COVID-19 symptoms and cannot avoid continued close contact? Isolate at home.
    The exposed individual may return to school after quarantine, which begins when the household member tests positive or has first symptom and continues for 14 days after the last day that the household member had symptoms OR until 14 days after the household member’s negative test result.
     
    Has a carpool member who is sick or fails daily health screening at school? Isolate at home.
    The exposed individual may return to school after completion of quarantine 14 days from the LAST date of close contact.


    Please note that anyone who is absent or sent home due to illness shall not be permitted back in school again until they have:
     
    • Been fever and fever medication free for at least 24 hours, AND
    • Other symptoms have improved
    • Please consult your family’s healthcare provider if you have specific concerns about your or your child’s health or would like further medical evaluation

    Anyone who is absent due to a positive COVID-19 test shall not be permitted back in school until at least 10 days after the positive test result.

    Anyone who is absent due to close contact with a person who has COVID-19 shall not be permitted back in school until 14 days after last exposure. This person should check temperature twice daily and be observant for any onset of symptoms. They should also stay away from anyone who is at higher risk for getting sick. 

    In addition to the aforementioned requirements, anyone who is required to be off-campus due to a COVID-19-related concern must consult and receive clearance from the school nurse before being allowed back on campus.
     
    School Communications
    When an on-campus member of our community is diagnosed with COVID-19, the School will notify employees and the parents of students who had close contact with the diagnosed individual, providing them with action steps, including information about the required 14-day quarantine period. After close contacts have been notified, the School will also send a communication to the entire school community to keep everyone apprised of any confirmed cases at Trinity, even if they or their child were not directly affected.
  • + Extended Programs and Childcare

    We will continue to offer Extended Programs, both Core and Specials Classes. To maintain the guidelines in this PRP, including physical distancing, the number of openings in Specials Classes will be reduced. Even with modifications, students will enjoy creative, meaningful, and fun offerings.

    Conference Day Childcare
    Conference Days will likely look different this year and information about conferences and childcare will be forthcoming.
  • + Training and Preparedness

    This document will serve as the Trinity School response plan for COVID-19. The School will provide employees with pandemic preparedness training and additional resources will be available in MyTrinity.

    Additional communications and training will be ongoing as COVID-19 guidelines and requirements change. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s division head (Rhonda Mitchell for Early Elementary or Sarah Barton Thomas for Upper Elementary), Director of Operations Reginald Haley, or Nurse Debbie Bright for additional support.
     
  • + Additional Information for Employees

    Employee Absence Notification
    Employees should notify their supervisor of their absence and continue to report absences, COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts*, and COVID-19 diagnoses via employeeattendance@trinityatl.org

    *CDC currently defines “close contact” as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.”

    Employees Who Become Sick at School
    Employees who become sick or experience symptoms while at Trinity should notify their supervisor and leave the school immediately or report to the designated isolation room until able to leave the School.

    Emergency Paid Sick Leave
    Employees who are absent for four or more days must give Human Resources a provider’s note covering the days absent or let Human Resources know they will be filing for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL). Employees who have exposure concerns due to underlying health conditions must contact the Director of Human Resources.

    Expanded Family Medical Leave
    Employees unable to secure childcare should contact the Director of Human Resources, and HR will work with the individual’s supervisor to see what accommodations can be made. If none can be made, the employee may be granted Expanded Family Medical Leave. Employees should contact HR to discuss other available options.

FAQ

List of 34 items.

© 2017 Trinity School. All Rights Reserved
4301 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta, GA 30327
info@trinityatl.org | www.trinityatl.org
Phone: 404-231-8100 | Fax: 404-231-8111