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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

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Youth Programs COVID -19 Policies and Procedures

Updated January 15, 2021

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

 

 

Key Definitions 

Close Contact: For the purposes of someone being at risk for catching COVID-19, close contact is defined as, “within 6 feet of another person who has COVID-19 and is infectious for more than 15 minutes over a period of 24 hours without a mask”.

Masks: Face covering should have two or more breathable layers of washable, breathable fabric, should cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of the face and not have gaps. Masks should not contain exhalation valves or vents.

We have found that neck gators often slip from students’ faces and are hard for some students to manage. Therefore, if a child is using a neck gator as a face covering they must also bring a regular backup mask that they can switch to in case they are having trouble with their gator.

Effective immediately bandanas are no longer authorized for use as an authorized face covering by students due to the fact that students struggle keeping them up over their nose and mouth.

Sick or have been in close 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 an infection due to 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:

  • Symptoms- At sign-in 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 an infection due to 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. 

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 students, adults, and any accompanying siblings aged 5 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  when they are physically distanced from students (at least 6 feet).

 

For students - All youth students must bring a cloth facemask to class as part of their gear. 

Masks will be required for all students during sign-in and sign out, throughout the day when physical distancing is not possible, and inside all enclosed buildings (including communal bathrooms).

Students will be permitted to take off their mask during the class day under the following circumstances:

  1. When they are at least double arms length from other students (i.e. when two students hold out their arms and can't touch one another. We are using double arm's length because we feel that foot distance measurements are too difficult for many of the students to grasp.)

  2. When they are participating in a physically demanding activity that requires continuous movement (i.e. running games or hiking at a steady pace)

Physical Distancing

Instructors will make a concerted effort to maintain physical distancing during programming and/or enforce mask wearing when physical distancing is not used. 

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 with whom each student will interact. Students will be kept in small groups of 9 or fewer (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 an infection due to 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 the 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).

OR

  • 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 an infection due to 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 due to an infection with 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 and is believed to have been contagious while at class:

  • 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

(For Weekly Nature School) As long as it is determined that mask and social distancing protocols have been followed and no “Close Contact” has occurred between the COVID positive student or instructor and the other people in the affected group, all classes for the affected Clan will continue while the COVID positive student quarantines. 

(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.The next class will continue as scheduled.

(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. The next class will continue as scheduled.

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 an infection due to COVID-19:

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

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

OR 

  • 10 days have passed since exposure without testing and the student remain​s​ asymptomatic.

OR ​

  • 7 ​days have passed since exposure AND ​the student has received a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later) and the student remains asymptomatic

If a student or staff member has been in “close contact” with someone with a lab-confirmed positive case of COVID-19:

Close contact exposure is within the same household (parents, guardians, siblings, etc).

If the student remains asymptomatic, then the student may return to class when the isolation period (10 days have passed since the positive test) is over for the last person in the household to test positive, their symptoms are improving, and they have been fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.

Close contact exposure is with someone outside of the same household (a “last contact” can be established):

If the student remains asymptomatic, then the student may return to class: 

  • 10 days have passed since exposure without testing and the the student remain​s​ asymptomatic 

OR

  • 7 ​days have passed since exposure AND ​the student has received a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later) and the student remains asymptomatic

Note: If the student develops symptoms during the quarantine period, follow steps for "If a student is experiencing symptoms consistent with an infection due to COVID-19 prior to or after class"; if they subsequently test positive - follow steps for "Procedure for returning to class following a student’s positive lab-confirmed COVID-19 test" for protocols.

ENWS will notify parents of all students in that group and advise them to monitor their children for symptoms. 

Class will continue as scheduled.

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

  1. If student is not severely immunocompromised and was asymptomatic, they may return when

    1. at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test

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

    1. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND

    2. At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND

    3. Symptoms have improved

  3. If student experienced severe to critical illness or is severely immunocompromised, they may return when

    1. At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND

    2. At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND

    3. Symptoms have improved

© 2020 Earth Native Wilderness School