Athens Academy will work with the DPH on specific responses to campus cases of COVID-19. The protocols outlined below will be followed, but please know that action may be taken prior to these thresholds being achieved. We will utilize data and other guidance to make decisions for the wellness of our community. A priority is mitigating transmission in our community. Decisions off-campus can influence this, just as much as on campus activity, so please make healthy decisions away from Spartan Lane.
We will inform the community with general updates each week, so you have a sense of campus health. No names or details will be included, but enough to give you a sense of health issues in our community. One of two messages will be shared with those affected when a positive case has happened in a cohort (class, team, etc.). One message will share the need for a quarantine due to close contact, and the other will ask for added vigilance and attention. Depending on timing and circumstances, we likely will close an area of the school for a few hours or up to a day to clean and disinfect.
Officials have not recommended closing the school to quarantine for individual cases. Instead, it is recommended that schools look at specific patterns to determine if we have isolated cases or connected cases with potential internal spread. Generally, then, the following would trigger a 14-day move to at home learning for the following cohorts:
- Keep a homeroom at home (in PS, LS, MS): 2 confirmed cases within a classroom, where community spread is suspected, due to contact.
- Keep a grade home (all divisions): 5 confirmed cases within a grade across multiple homerooms, where community spread is suspected, due to contact.
- Keep a division home: approaching 5% of students within a division have confirmed cases across at least two grade levels, where positive individuals had been in contact (indicating cross-grade community spread).
- Please note that sports teams and other activities will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
A decision to move the entire school to remote learning would be made in consultation with local health authorities and healthcare professionals. Instances of this happening would include a mandate from an outside authority; the healthcare system in Northeast Georgia in crisis; and/or transmission rates in the school are across divisions and approaching 2%. It is assumed that these positive cases would be within a short period of time and indicating community spread. We could also be forced to move to virtual learning for a period of time should we have too many students or faculty staying home, making it difficult for us to safely manage the on-campus environment.
Change in Campus Modality
Athens Academy will be tracking guidance from healthcare professionals, CDC, DPH, AAP, DECAL. We will continue to monitor cases and the local situation in and around Northeast Georgia, specifically in Oconee and Clarke Counties. A major factor in our decision process is the number of positive cases within the Athens Academy community and transmission within our school community. Following our four W’s (wear a face covering, wash hands often, watch your distance, and wellness check each day) will contribute to a healthier and safer environment for all, please support these and help us lead by example.