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March 1, 2021

Dear Heritage Families,
 
Over the past several days, we have been working with our COVID Medical Task Force to safely amend our COVID protocols regarding the length of quarantine for students and faculty members who have been identified as “sustained contacts” with a COVID positive individual on campus.
 
These discussions were prompted by the following developments:
 
  • Governor Kemp announced the launch of Phase 1B for educational professionals late last week which allows our faculty and staff greater access to COVID vaccines.
 
  • We are several weeks out from our last school holiday (Winter Break). With the return from each school break, we have seen an increase in COVID cases on campus. With no school break on the horizon until April, we do not expect significant travel or large family gatherings to be the norm.
 
  • The number of positive cases in Coweta and our surrounding counties has dropped significantly from where the numbers were in January.
 
  • The CDC guidelines released in December for shortened quarantine periods have been in place long enough to provide supporting data of their effectiveness. Georgia Public Health and our COVID Medical Task Force has now given us the “green light” to incorporate a version of these guidelines in our school setting.
 
At this time we are not comfortable with the CDC recommendation of administering a PCR test on Day 5 of quarantine and students returning on Day 7 with a negative test. We have, however, come up with a hybrid version of a shortened quarantine. In talking to many other independent schools who have been using this method since January, we are confident that this is an effective way to not only help students get back to school earlier but also detect cases in quarantined students who may be asymptomatic.
 
What is Changing:
 
  1. If your child is asked to quarantine because he or she is a close, sustained contact with a COVID positive classmate, you now have the option to schedule a PCR test to be administered on Day 7 of your child’s quarantine. If the PCR test is negative, he or she may return to school on Day 10. Please note your child must continue to monitor for symptoms and adhere to all COVID school protocols-wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands, etc. Rapid tests will not be accepted and we must receive the negative PCR documentation from a testing center where the PCR was completed by a medical professional. Self administered saliva tests or other tests done at home will not be accepted. PCR tests administered before Day 7 of quarantine will also not be accepted.
If your family does not choose to do the PCR test, your child can complete the full 14 day quarantine and return to school after it is complete if your child remains symptom free.
The shortened quarantine does not apply to close, sustained contacts who live in the same household.
 
  1. If your child has been COVID positive in the last 90 days, he or she will not need to quarantine. This must be approved by Nurse Renae Smith before return and it must be a positive case we tracked at school. For example, if your child was COVID positive over the Christmas Break and this information was not shared with the school at the time, we will require an antibody test for clearance. Due to the asymptomatic nature of COVID in some students, your child may have had COVID in the last 90 days and be unaware. If you believe this is the case, antibody tests are available locally. If this is something you would like to explore, please reach out to Nurse Renae for more information.
 
What Is Not Changing:
 
  1. If your child tests positive for COVID, he or she will remain quarantined for the normal period with day 1 beginning on the day the test was administered.
 
  1. Quarantining means that your child stays at home for the duration of the number of days assigned by the school. Trips to the store, orthodontist, sports practice, etc. are not approved during quarantine. If your child is unable to adhere to the number of quarantine days suggested, he or she will not be able to use the shortened quarantine length  even with a negative PCR test.
 
  1. The Return to School protocols for contact tracing, cleaning protocols, mask use, social distancing, and daily health screenings all remain the same.
 
Communication is key! Please let us know if your family is experiencing any health changes so we can assist you with the many resources we have available. COVID information is sometimes changing on a daily basis and we rely on our esteemed medical professionals to help us make the best researched based decisions.
 
We are so grateful to Georgia Public Health and our COVID Medical Task Force for helping us stay current on COVID news:
Dr. Samer Blackmon- Internal Medicine, Piedmont Healthcare
Dr. Edwyn Carter-Pediatrics, Piedmont Healthcare
Dr. Jeff Metts- Chief of Medicine and COVID-19 Incident Commander, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
 
Please let us know if you have questions. If your child has been assigned 14 days of quarantine in the last 7 days and you want to see how these new guidelines affect your child’s current quarantine situation, please reach out to Renae Smith via email at rsmith@heritageschool.com so she can determine if your child is eligible and direct you on next steps. We are kindly requesting that all questions be sent via email to Renae. Please do not text or call as we want to make sure we are able to answer all your questions in a timely manner.
 
We know every family brings a different perspective in their approach to COVID. If your family is uncomfortable with your child being at school for face to face instruction, please know the live remote platform is available.
 
Thank you for helping us to continue to Protect the Nest!
 
 
As we see increased cases in the surrounding counties, it is important for us to tighten up several of our COVID protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and in school so we need everyone’s help to Protect the Nest!
 
Enhanced protocols include:
  • Increased use of masks
  • Greater efforts to enforce social distancing
  • Increased cleaning efforts
  • Reducing the number of fans at sporting events
  • Ensuring host schools are following our protocols when we play at their venues
  • Ensuring host schools are sharing their COVID case numbers by grade level before we engage in team play
  • Limiting visitors to campus
  • Encouraging contactless transactions in the business office
 
 
 

Out of Town Travel?

Please contact Nurse Renae if you have questions about travel. 

If you choose to self-quarantine after traveling, please let your homeroom teacher and Division Director know so they can set up the live remote platform.
 
 
 

Return to School Plan

 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 14 items.

  • What specifically determines when our school moves from orange to red or orange to yellow?

    We use many different metrics to make decisions about moving from phase to phase. Every day we look at data from the Georgia Department of Public Health and look at the number of cases in Coweta, Fayette, Carroll, and Fulton counties. We review the Cases Chart filtering on Onset Date to get a more accurate picture of the trend of cases in the counties where our students reside. The daily attendance report is another key factor in our decision-making process. This report gives us the most up-to-date information on any child or faculty member who is not at school and if they are sick, a list of their symptoms. The School Nurse, Director of Campus Security, and Head of School will consult with the Heritage COVID Task Force if there is data that causes us to consider moving to a new phase. Any change in phase will be communicated to our school community via email and will appear on the Coronavirus Response Page on our website.
  • How long does a student/teacher have to quarantine if they test positive?

    If a student or teacher receives a positive test or a physician diagnosis of COVID-19, the person will quarantine for at least 10 days from when the symptoms first appeared, until no fever for at least 72 hours without medication and improvement of other symptoms. 
    A person who tests positive but who is asymptomatic will quarantine for 10 days from the date of the positive test unless symptoms appear during that time.

  • What guidelines do you have for students if a family member is diagnosed with COVID?

    If the family member lives in the immediate household, students must quarantine for 14 days. The School Nurse, Renae Smith, must approve a student’s re-entry to campus.
  • Will all Heritage families be informed when there is a positive COVID case on campus?

    We will update families if there is a spread or if their student has been in sustained contact or low contact with a COVID-positive person. Parents can also check the Covid Data Dashboard on the resource board for the most up to date numbers each Friday. 
  • What is sustained contact?

    Sustained contact means contact with a person within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more.
  • If one child in our family is required to stay home because he or she has had sustained contact with someone who has COVID, does the sibling who is in a different grade or class also need to stay home?

    No, the sibling would not need to quarantine unless the exposed sibling tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms.
  • How will I know if my child has to quarantine? How long will they need to quarantine?

    If your child was exposed to someone on our campus who has been identified as COVID-positive and your child is deemed to have sustained contact with this individual based on Georgia Public Health and CDC criteria, you will be notified by email to expedite the notifications process. Because we will engage the Health Department in contact tracing efforts, this agency may call you as well to get more information.
    If your child is asked to quarantine because he or she is a close, sustained contact with a COVID positive classmate, you now have the option to schedule a PCR test to be administered on Day 7 of your child’s quarantine. If the PCR test is negative, he or she may return to school on Day 10. Please note your child must continue to monitor for symptoms and adhere to all COVID school protocols-wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands, etc. Rapid tests will not be accepted and we must receive the negative PCR documentation from a testing center where the PCR was completed by a medical professional. Self administered saliva tests or other tests done at home will not be accepted. PCR tests administered before Day 7 of quarantine will also not be accepted.
  • What is involved in contact tracing?

    The school will notify Public Health of the positive test and will notify families whose students are deemed to have had sustained contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) first. We will then notify families whose students have had low contact. We strongly encourage families to work with Public Health contact tracers should they reach out to you. Public Health officials will not reach out to families of students who have not been in sustained contact.
  • If a student has had sustained contact with someone COVID positive, is the student expected to stay home for 14 days even if they get a negative test?

    If your child is asked to quarantine because he or she is a close, sustained contact with a COVID positive classmate, you now have the option to schedule a PCR test to be administered on Day 7 of your child’s quarantine. If the PCR test is negative, he or she may return to school on Day 10. Please note your child must continue to monitor for symptoms and adhere to all COVID school protocols-wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands, etc. Rapid tests will not be accepted and we must receive the negative PCR documentation from a testing center where the PCR was completed by a medical professional. Self administered saliva tests or other tests done at home will not be accepted. PCR tests administered before Day 7 of quarantine will also not be accepted.

    If your family does not choose to do the PCR test, your child can complete the full 14 day quarantine and return to school after it is complete if your child remains symptom free.
    The shortened quarantine does not apply to close, sustained contacts who live in the same household.
  • Will my child need to quarantine if they have already had COVID?

    If your child has been COVID positive in the last 90 days, he or she will not need to quarantine. This must be approved by Nurse Renae Smith before return and it must be a positive case we tracked at school. For example, if your child was COVID positive over the Christmas Break and this information was not shared with the school at the time, we will require an antibody test for clearance. Due to the asymptomatic nature of COVID in some students, your child may have had COVID in the last 90 days and be unaware. If you believe this is the case, antibody tests are available locally. If this is something you would like to explore, please reach out to Nurse Renae for more information.
  • What happens if someone in sustained contact with my child just has symptoms? Will we be notified of this type of contact or is it only when someone has a positive test?

    Based on the recommendation of Georgia Public Health, we are only notifying parents when we have a positive case on campus. Our experience to date is that students who have had symptoms of COVID have not tested positive. Strep throat and allergies are common ailments that may present the same symptoms as COVID.
  • Will students need to quarantine if one of their teachers gets COVID?

    Students will not need to quarantine unless they were deemed to have had sustained contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with the teacher.
  • What happens if my child’s teacher has to quarantine or cannot come to work because he or she is ill?

    We are fortunate to have a wonderful group of substitute teachers who are trained to use the SWIVL system. If your child’s teacher is feeling well but just quarantining at home, he or she may choose to teach from home using the SWIVL system. A substitute will serve as a facilitator in the classroom while the teacher instructs if that is the case.
  • Why is the School limiting attendance at some athletic events?

    Unfortunately, athletic events, especially indoor athletic events, have been very difficult for us to monitor effectively. It is tough to enforce mask policies and social distancing with fans that do not attend the School. While our school has many safeguards in place, other schools who are not in session, are not taking the same precautions. We continue to look at each week and make decisions based on our current phase. Outdoor events will be easier to manage and will have less restrictions.
     
    If your family chooses to attend activities at other schools’ venues, we strongly encourage you to wear masks and socially distance even if the school you are visiting does not require those safeguards.

#protectthenest

Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.
We are doing our part to Protect the Nest by offering remote services to families who do not wish to come to the Administration Building in person. If you have questions please contact the appropriate person via email. 
 
Questions:
 
Kristin Skelly, Head of School
 
School Records and Website Login Assistance:
Dr. Sandy Thames, Registrar
Student Billing and Smart Tuition:
Cherie White, HR and Benefits Manager
 
Financial Assistance:
Dan Langford - Director of Finance and Operations
 
Security Questions:
Mike Adcock, Director of Campus Security

Not sure who to contact?
Judy Cooper, Front Desk Receptionist
jcooper@heritageschool.com
 
 
 
 

Our Approach

Our Approach is “Preparation-Not Panic”
We are only using information from reputable sources such as the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health to guide our preparation practices. We believe that we are well equipped to handle any situation that should arise regarding COVID-19 by planning and employing scientific based practices. 
For the most detailed and up-to-date information on COVID-19, we encourage you to bookmark this page, watch our school calendar, and monitor the following websites. We will update this page with information about COVID-19 as it relates to The Heritage School. 
 
 
 
The Heritage School2093 Highway 29 North, Newnan, Georgia 30263Main Office: 770.253.9898 770.253.9898