The greatest strength of our MICDS community is, and always will be, its people. With this in mind, our commitment in these moments of heightened uncertainty is to ensure the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff while sustaining the best possible framework for great teaching and learning.
As always, guidelines are subject to change at any time based on updated CDC and St. Louis County Department of Public Health guidelines.
It is important to remember that COVID-19 challenges, while significant, do not and will not define our collective endeavor as a school. Our Mission endures: to instill in our students lifelong habits of confidence, compassion, critical thought, and moral action, and to prepare them for lives of purpose and service. We will remain true to these commitments through and beyond our present adversities.
We continue to have confidence at MICDS that a high rate of vaccination in our community offers the best available path toward a full return to a safe and normal experience of school for our students.
Vaccination reduces the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, which in turn reduces the likelihood of required quarantining, which in turn reduces the likelihood of interruptions to the in-person learning experiences that we are committed to providing to your children. As more members of our community become fully vaccinated, we will continue to depend less on other spread mitigation measures to limit our vulnerability to such disruptions.
February 10, 2022 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
January 18, 2022 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
January 2, 2022 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
December 9, 2021 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
July 15, 2021 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
August 3, 2021 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
August 10, 2021 Letter to Parents from Jay Rainey
August 10, 2021 Opening of School Information from Amy Scheer, Head of LS
August 10, 2021 Message from the Middle from Jen Schuckman, Head of MS
August 10, 2021 Back to School Letter from Head of Upper School Scott Small
- Safety/PPE Requirements and School Mitigation
As of February 22, 2022, MICDS is mask-optional for students and employees. We will continue to reinforce proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing. In addition, we continue to use our air ionization system and practice regular cleaning and disinfection throughout the school day.
- Daily Self-Screening for COVID-19 or other health symptoms
We are asking all employees, students, and visitors to monitor themselves using the following questions before coming to campus each day. Visitors, including parents/guardians, are now welcome on campus but must self-screen for potential symptoms before entering academic areas or any buildings and have the option to wear a mask.
If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, we ask that you or your child not attend school and that you contact the school nurse for appropriate follow-up:
- Has your child or any household contacts tested positive for COVID-19?
- Has your child or any household contacts displayed potential COVID-19 symptoms or been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results?
- Have you or your child been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?
- Do you or your child have any of the following symptoms: stuffy/runny nose, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, chills, headache, or muscle aches?
- Documenting Vaccination Status
While we are not requiring at this time that all eligible MICDS students be vaccinated, at a minimum we need to know, on an aggregate basis, how many students have been fully vaccinated to date. This information helps us determine the extent to which additional COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures, such as masking and distancing, will be necessary to limit the disruptions to in-person learning that diagnosed cases in our community would precipitate.
To maximize in-person learning and socialization in keeping with the tenets of our MICDS Mission, we are requesting that parents and guardians upload COVID-19 vaccination records for their vaccinated children. This request accords with the recommendations in the Return to School Guidance published by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. Please click here for instructions on how to update your child’s Magnus Health Portal with a photo of their COVID-19 vaccination card. If you have already uploaded COVID-19 vaccination documents in the past, please do so again to ensure the accuracy of our records as the new school year begins. Click here to log into the Parent Portal, navigate to the Magnus Health Portal, and upload your child’s card.
Vaccination records will be maintained in accordance with the same principles of individual privacy protection to which we adhere in our maintenance of other student health records. Students without COVID-19 vaccination documentation will be assumed to be unvaccinated.
- MICDS COVID Notifications
If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, how will we be notified?
- When a positive case is reported, Health Services will gather information to determine locations of potential exposures on campus. Parents/guardians and faculty/staff will receive an email reporting a positive case and location of potential exposures (i.e., classrooms, athletic teams, and other school areas).
- All positive reported cases are added to the MICDS COVID-19 Dashboard, which is updated regularly during the school year.
- In accordance with privacy laws, the School is unable to provide names of those who test positive for COVID-19.
- Contact Tracing at MICDS: Quarantines, Isolations, and Potential School Closure Due to COVID-19
For those who have tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status:
- Day 0 for isolation timelines is symptom onset or positive test date if asymptomatic.
- All students and faculty/staff:
Isolate for at least 5 days following onset of symptoms or positive test.Return on Day 6 or any day thereafter dependent on:
- Symptom resolution: 24-hour fever free without fever-reducing medication, no runny nose, no more than a minimal non-productive cough (not disruptive to work, does not inhibit continuous mask wearing, not coughing up phlegm)
- Optional Antigen Test around Day 5: Per CDC guidance, if an individual has access to a home or lab confirmed test and wants to test, the best approach is to use an antigen test towards the end of the 5-day isolation period. Individuals should only test if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms as indicated above have improved. If the test result is positive, the individual should continue to isolate until day 10. If the test result is negative, the individual can end isolation, but should continue to wear a well-fitting mask while in school buildings until day 10.
- Stringent masking and symptom monitoring on campus through Day 10 past exposure.
- Eating and drinking should only occur at a distance from others.
- Continue to self-monitor for symptoms, notify the divisional school nurse, and seek re-evaluation from their healthcare provider if symptoms recur or worsen. If symptoms recur or worsen, the individual must stay home and seek medical care.
- For current Athletic Guidelines following a positive COVID test, please reference: MSHSAA 3/2/22 COVID-19 Return to Play
MICDS Quarantine Guidelines
Close Contact at School
- As of March 28, 2022, all identified on-campus close contacts, regardless of masking, may remain in school as long as they are healthy, remain symptom-free, and do not test positive for COVID-19.
- The CDC still defines close contact as within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period. However, guidance from health officials tells us that the risk for students and staff contracting the virus is low for those who do not have extended contact with a COVID positive individual. Although close contacts at school do not have to quarantine, we will still notify parents of the exposure so that they can closely monitor their child for symptoms.
- A close contact to a positive student/staff member who has multiple symptoms will need to stay home and may return after 5 days if they are asymptomatic and they have been fever free for 24 hours. They may return sooner if they are well and have a physician’s diagnosis other than COVID or produce a negative COVID test (lab confirmed or administered by MICDS School Nurse, not a home test).
- If we identify a cluster of positive cases within a specific class, grade level, or athletic team, we will contact trace more closely and reserve the right to implement quarantines for identified close contacts to reduce the chance of additional spread within the community.
Close Contact to Household Case
- Unvaccinated individuals who are close contacts with a positive case in the same household will be required to quarantine at home for a minimum of 5 days from the date of last exposure.
- Vaccinated individuals who are close contacts with a positive case in the same household will be requested to monitor for symptoms for ten days from the last date of exposure.
- Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to be tested for COVID-19 on day 5 or later.
Definitions of Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated – Updated as of 3/28/22
MICDS will continue to use CDC school guidance to define vaccination status:
Fully vaccinated or recent confirmed COVID-19 infection
Initial series plus booster, OR
Completed initial Moderna/Pfizer series within last 5 months, OR
Completed initial J&J series within last two months, OR
Were exposed to COVID-19 and had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days (positive test result confirmed by testing facility or MICDS nurse)
Completely unvaccinated, OR
Completed initial Moderna/Pfizer series more than 5 months ago without booster, OR
Completed Initial J&J series more than two months ago without booster
- Family Partnership for Community Safety: General Guidelines
- Families play a vital role in maintaining safety on campus. The number one safety measure continues to be keeping a child home if they are sick. We also encourage all MICDS families to keep family members up to date on well visits and get a COVID-19 vaccination and an annual flu shot, if possible. Please see the Washington University School of Medicine’s Student Symptom Decision Tree for further guidance on when your child or you should stay home and/or seek medical assistance when not feeling well. Our School Nurses will continue to use this decision tree to determine when students need to go home due to symptoms.
- It is imperative that we partner together for the health and safety of our community, which includes cooperation and collaboration regarding accurate reporting of symptoms, keeping children home when they are ill, and abiding by current isolation/quarantine guidelines. Please communicate with Health Services within 24 hours if your child or a member of your household becomes ill and/or diagnosed with COVID-19 or if your child has been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19. Having this information will help us provide a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff.
- We want to work with families to support their child’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home. We understand that there are families with higher risk members in their households. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all do our part to adhere to state and local health recommendations and regulations to control transmission and potential future outbreaks. Moreover, there may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard.
- Family Partnership for Community Safety: Travel
Our Health Services team is happy to work with families to determine appropriate actions upon the return home from travel. MICDS follows CDC travel guidelines. Please visit these links to review current guidelines that pertain to your travel plans:
- COVID-19 Testing Resources and Information
MICDS is pleased to now offer VOLUNTARY and FREE rapid antigen testing for symptomatic employees and students via a federal government program accessed through the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Our hope is that offering the testing on campus will provide quicker answers regarding symptoms and the need to isolate, quarantine, or just monitor symptoms. It not only will help the individual, family, and School determine potential return to school dates more quickly but also provide individuals and families with knowledge and results they can share with their primary care providers for appropriate follow-up. The rapid ACON FlowFlex antigen test is a voluntary, minimally invasive anterior nasal swab test that can be used only for testing symptomatic individuals within seven days of symptom onset. The test will be administered by one of our school nurses and yields results in just 15 minutes without any additional equipment. Both of our nurses completed the required training to administer the tests at MICDS and will report all results to the St. Louis County Department of Health as required. In order to access a voluntary test at MICDS, please reach out to Michelle Fox or Stephanie Presson. They will determine when an individual’s symptoms would warrant potential testing or not and partner with each individual and/or family.
- For PCR testing, our Health Services Team recommends contacting your primary care physician to explore the best and quickest option.
- In addition, the following are community resources offering testing as well:
Please note: for symptomatic students or employees, Health Services cannot accept positive or negative results from a home COVID-19 test for documentation and contact tracing purposes.
- Additional Resources for COVID-Related Information
- Important Terms
- Cases – Anyone who has tested positive, whether or not they have any symptoms.
- Close contact – Anyone who through contact tracing was found to be within 3 feet for at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour time frame, starting two days before symptoms first appeared or date of the test (whichever is earlier). Exposure level and setting will be considered when making a determination of close contacts.
- Contact of a contact – Anyone who has had direct contact with a “close contact” as defined above. A “contact of a contact” does not have to quarantine or stay away from campus unless the contact to whom they have been exposed develops symptoms, at which point they would be determined a possible “close contact.”
- Isolation – The separation of people with an infectious disease, like COVID-19, from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine – Separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.