Dear Earth Native Youth Program Families, 

As long as our school has been in operation we have had one overarching goal, that every student who participates in our program returns home to their families safe and sound at the end of every program day. Our organizational focus on safety, risk management skills, good training and solid program debriefs have helped us to maintain a stellar safety record over the last decade. While the introduction of COVID-19 into the world certainly threw us all for a loop we want to assure you that we are taking this threat to our students and staff very seriously. Our goal as an organization this year is to have ZERO cases of COVID-19 transmission at our programs. We have taken strong steps to greatly reduce the chances that any case of COVID-19 will be able to spread person to person at our programs.

After pouring over scientific data, policies from other organizations, state and local regulations, and consulting with health professionals for the last several months we have developed the following policies. While this document can certainly be read top to bottom, it is intended to be used for reference throughout the school year to both inform parents about our policies, and health guidelines, and lay out procedures should someone in our programs (student or staff) get sick, come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 themselves.

We hope this document answers all of your questions about our COVID-19 policies and procedures but should you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us and we would be happy to assist you. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Dave Scott

Executive Director

Earth Native Wilderness School

dave@earthnativeschool.com

512-299-8870

Youth Programs COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

Updated August 10 2020

 

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at class or within the Earth Native Community the 2020-21 school year will follow the following procedures. 

Note: These procedures will remain in effect until further notice and are subject to change as new science emerges and/or as new state laws and local ordinances emerge or are relaxed.

Symptoms associated with COVID-19 - Symptoms will be updated as necessary in an attempt to display the latest science. 

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

 

Sick or have been in contact with someone who is? Stay Home

Please help keep our community safe and healthy by keeping your children at home if they are experiencing ANY symptoms of illness. Additionally, since children are believed to often be asymptomatic when infected with COVID-19, we ask that you complete your own daily family health screenings that include all of the members of your household. If ANY member of your household is experiencing symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, we ask that you err on the side of caution and NOT send your child to class until that household member's symptoms have resolved or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. 

If your child or someone in your household does test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attending an ENWS class, please let the Youth Programs Director know as soon as possible so that we can alert others to potential risk of exposure. We will make all efforts to maintain confidentiality and will not reveal the name of the individual who tested positive. Should a COVID-19 case arise within our community, Earth Native School will conduct internal contact tracing to make sure that any potentially exposed students/community members can be made aware.

We’re all in this together and we greatly appreciate your support helping to keep the kids, teachers and families in this program safe.

Health Screenings

Until Further Notice: All students and staff must undergo a health screening prior to joining their group (Weekly, Monthly, or Weekend classes)

Until Further Notice: All Wild Life Forest Preschool students and accompanying family members must undergo a quick health screening prior to entering the preschool grounds.

Screening procedures currently include:

  • Temperature Check - Each student and staff member will be screened for a fever using a no touch infra-red thermometer prior to class. Body temperature readings must be below 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Symptoms - Parents will be asked to certify that:

    • neither their child/teen, nor anyone in the student’s household, is exhibiting any of the above symptoms associated with COVID-19. 

    • neither their child/teen, nor anyone in the student’s household, has been exposed to anyone with a lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 test in the 14 days prior to class 

      • If a child/teen or anyone in the household has been exposed to someone with a positive lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 14 days. ENWS will require confirmation that the student has received a recent negative lab-confirmed test result before they can attend class within the 14 day exposure window, even if they remain asymptomatic.

Masks

Sign in and out: 

On July 2nd 2020 Governor Abbot issued a mask mandate for most Texas counties to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The mandate states that people should wear face masks while out in public with the possibility of being around people other than their household members. Therefore, until further notice, masks must be worn by all adults and any accompanying siblings aged 10 and older while signing students in and out for class.

 

During programming:

 

All Earth Native staff will be required to wear masks when not able to physically distance from students, parents or other instructors. Note: Program instructors will not be required to wear a mask during incidental quick close interactions (i.e. hiking, while watching kids playing, or while at the creek, etc.), but rather during sustained close interactions or activities.

For students - Earth Native students will not be required to wear masks throughout the day. Earth Native is 100% outdoors which greatly reduces the potential for illness to spread at our classes and programs. Luckily every location where we operate has ample space to spread out! That being said, we will be requiring that all youth students who are 5 years old and older (excluding Wild Life Forest Preschool) bring a cloth facemask to class as part of their gear. 

Student mask use for short periods of time will be required as laid out below.

  • While inside all enclosed buildings, including communal bathrooms, when children must be in close proximity to one another in a poorly ventilated space. (i.e. if the group has to shelter in an enclosed space for a period of time to escape inclement weather). Note: An exception to this rule is extended to Wild Life Forest Preschool students entering the preschool classroom.

  • Students who are 10 years old and older will be required to wear masks during activities when sustained close contact with others (within 6 feet) for prolonged periods of time is necessary. 

Physical Distancing

Sign in and out: 

A minimum of 6 feet of distance must be maintained between any person (student or staff member) who is not a member of their household during sign-in and sign-out or when discussing issues with staff members. 

During programming:

Instructors will make a concerted effort to maintain physical distance during programming whenever feasible. However to maintain the integrity of programming there will be times when students and instructors are within 6 feet of each other. Precautions such as sanitizing hands, sanitizing materials between students, and/or wearing masks will be implemented to help reduce risk during periods of sustained close interactions.

Smaller Groups

As long as COVID-19 spread and cases remain widespread in our region, we will be keeping our individual class groups smaller to minimize the number of people that each student will interact with. Students will be kept in small groups of 9 or fewer to reduce the number of people that they will come in contact with during class (with the exception of Wild Life Forest Preschool which will have a max ratio of 16:2).

PROTOCOLS AND PROCEDURES FOR ILLNESS 

If a student is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 prior to or after class:

  • Please DO NOT bring your child/teen to class

  • Inform the Director of Youth Programs of the illness, the symptoms, and date when the symptoms began.

  • A student may attend class when any one of the following conditions have been met:

    • The student has been seen by a doctor and has been cleared to return to class (a doctor’s note is required).

    • The student has received a negative lab-confirmed COVID-19 test

OR

  • If a test is not taken or while awaiting test results, ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS have been met:

    • It has been at least 10 days since the date the symptoms first appeared

    • The student has been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications

    • The symptoms are improving/improved

 

If a student becomes ill or begins exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 while at any Earth Native School class, program, or event, a designated Earth Native staff member will:

  • Separate the individual from the group and isolate them away from other students and staff members. The student will be asked to wear a face mask until they are picked up. 

  • The parent/guardian of that student will be contacted immediately and directed to come pick up the student. If unable to reach the main point of contact, we will subsequently contact the emergency contact person from the registration form to come pick up the student. We ask that all parents be available via phone during class hours.

  • Earth Native will notify the parents of all students in that affected program group that a student or instructor from their child/teen’s group was sent home ill with symptoms that could potentially be COVID-19.

  • All parents will be advised to monitor their children for potential symptoms for 14 days following the day of notification

  • Classes will continue as scheduled unless the individual sent home receives a lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 result.

A student who leaves class due to illness may return to the program when the following conditions have been met: 

  • The student has been seen by a doctor and has been cleared to return to class (a doctor’s note is required)

 

OR

  • The student has received a negative lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result

OR

  • If a test is not taken or while awaiting test results, ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS have been met:

    • It has been at least 10 days since the date the symptoms first appeared

    • The student has been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications

    • The symptoms are improving/improved

 

In the event that an individual participating in an ongoing program receives a positive lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result:

  • The parents of all students who share a group with the person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be informed that there was a positive COVID-19 case within their child/teen’s program group and will be advised to monitor their child/teen for symptoms or get tested

    • If any students in the directly affected group have siblings that are in another group, all parents within those secondary groups will also be notified and advised to monitor their child/teen for symptoms or get tested

(For Weekly Nature School) The next scheduled class day will be suspended for the group that has had a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. 

  • Class will resume the week following the canceled class for all students who receive a lab-confirmed negative COVID-19 result

    •  If a test is not taken or while awaiting test results and the student remains asymptomatic, that student may return to class when either 14 days after exposure have passed or they receive a negative test result, whichever is sooner.

  • If there are siblings in other groups, 

    • Once the child/teen who was in the directly affected group receives a lab-confirmed negative COVID-19 test result, then ALL siblings in other groups may also return to class

    • If a test is not taken or while awaiting test results and the student who was in the directly affected group remains asymptomatic, their siblings may return to class when either 14 days after exposure have passed or they receive a negative test result, whichever is sooner.

    • If symptoms develop and a test is not taken or while awaiting test results, a student can return when  ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS have been met:

      • It has been at least 10 days since the date the symptoms first appeared

      • The student has been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications

      • The symptoms are improving/improved

(For Monthly Programs) All parents of that group will be informed of a positive test within their child/teen’s group and advised to monitor their children for symptoms or get tested. Since around one month will have passed between classes, the next scheduled class will continue as scheduled for all students who remain asymptomatic.

(For Bi-monthly Programs) All parents of that group will be informed of a positive test within their child/teen’s group and advised to monitor their children for symptoms or get tested. Since 14 days will have passed between classes, the next scheduled class will continue as scheduled for all students who remain asymptomatic.

 

Parents must notify Earth Native School if anyone in their household tests positive for COVID-19 to help ENWS assist with contact tracing.

If a student or staff member is exposed to someone with symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19.

Students will not be permitted to attend class if they have come into contact with ANYONE who is experiencing symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19. Students may return when the following conditions are met:

  • The student has received a lab confirmed negative COVID-19 test result.

OR

  • The student has remained symptom free for at least 14 days AFTER having contact with the symptomatic individual.

 

OR

  • The individual whom the student came in contact with who was experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 has received a negative lab confirmed COVID-19 test result and the student remains asymptomatic.

In this scenario Earth Native classes will continue as scheduled.

If a student or staff member is exposed to someone with a lab-confirmed positive case of COVID-19:

If the exposed student remains asymptomatic, they may return to class when either 14 days after exposure have passed or they receive a negative COVID-19 test result, whichever is sooner.

ENWS will notify parents of all students in that group and all parents in groups which have siblings connected to the directly affected group and advise them to monitor their children for symptoms or get tested

Class will continue as scheduled.

 

RETURNING TO CLASS

Procedure for returning to class for a student who was exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19 or personally has symptoms of COVID-19:

  • The student has been seen by a doctor and has been cleared to return to class/work (a doctor’s note is required)

 

OR

  • The student has received a negative lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result

 

OR

  • If a test is not taken or while awaiting test results, ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS have been met:

    • It has been at least 10 days since the date the symptoms first appeared

    • The student has been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications

    • The student’s symptoms are improving/improved

 

Procedure for returning to class following a positive lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result:

  • If student is not severely immunocompromised and were asymptomatic, they may return when

    • at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test

  • If student is not severely immunocompromised and has experienced mild to moderate illness, they may return when

    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and

    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and

    • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

  • If student has experienced severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised, they may return when

    • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and

    • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

© 2020 Earth Native Wilderness School

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© Copyright 2017 by Earth Native Wilderness School.

Contact Us

512-299-8870

info@earthnativeschool.com

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137 Woodview Lane

Bastrop, TX 78602