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Developments related to the coronavirus are ever-changing. In order to respond with flexibility to recommendations and consultation from health and medical professionals, our plans will pivot, as needed, with the changing environment in order to best serve our students and faculty.

COVID-19 Protocols

(Last Updated 11/26/2021)

Holy Spirit Prep continues to monitor multiple factors related to COVID-19 in our community, and consult multiple resources including the CDC, the Georgia Department of Public Health, other health professionals, and the standard of care among other schools and school systems.

In order to determine our health protocols and mitigation strategies now and in the months ahead, we consider all of the following.

1. Parental empowerment:  Our Catholic Faith teaches us that parents are the first educators, guardians, and stewards of their children.  In our Holy Spirit Prep school family, we strive to support our parents in that role.  

2. Guidance from scientific data and our health professionals:  We have and will continue to review recommendations from multiple health organizations and pertinent studies.  We track data on COVID-19 and regularly review the guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC.  Additionally, Holy Spirit Prep seeks medical consultation from physicians regarding the physical and emotional concerns and impacts related to COVID-19.  

3. Community Perspective:  Our Administrative Team is always open to speak with parents about any issue of concern.  We have had many productive and informative conversations with parents on the topic of COVID-19 protocols since the pandemic began.  We are grateful to have a genuinely Christ-centered community of care and trust for one another that allows us to engage in difficult conversations when they arise - as is the case with COVID-19.

4. Student Health:  We provide physical and mental health protection for our students, and an engaging school life.  Our goal is to provide appropriate and reasonable physical and mental health protection while simultaneously facilitating engagement and vitality for our students. All are critical for their growth and fulfillment of their God-given potential.  

We strive to make the very best decisions for our entire Holy Spirit Prep community.  As we do, we always submit our plans to the Lord, asking for His guidance.

Presently, the following COVID-19 protocols are in place:

SYMPTOMS

One of the most important and effective ways to maintain the health of our student body, faculty, and staff is to closely monitor for symptoms.  Students who have had a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher, experienced vomiting or diarrhea within the previous 24-hour period, or have a cough, are not to report to school.  Likewise, students who are deemed to have a potential contagious illness will be isolated from others, and the parent will be notified.  Parents, please monitor closely for symptoms related to COVID-19  and notify the school nurse whenever you suspect or confirm a positive case.

MASKS

Masks are optional. They are not required for students, faculty, staff, and parents on campus.  If a student, faculty,  staff member, or parent is unvaccinated and does not have natural immunity to COVID-19, mask use is encouraged. 

The school will strive to create an environment of respect for those who choose to wear masks and those who don't.  Teachers have been instructed to advise all students to respect and support their peers in all areas of the COVID-19 protocols, including the choice of whether or not to wear a mask.

Regarding social distancing in the classroom, indoor large group gatherings, and Mass, upon parental request a student choosing to wear a mask may be located near other masked students in implementing social distancing when and where feasible and practicable.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS

The school will not provide temperature checks for students and staff upon entering school buildings.  Faculty, staff, and parents of students should continue to monitor temperature and other symptoms daily before coming to school.  Students who have had a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher should remain home.

CLEANING AND SANITIZING

Cleaning protocols will continue to include daily wiping and spraying to sanitize and disinfect spaces.  Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer are readily available for classrooms as needed. Regular hand washing throughout the day for students, faculty, and staff is encouraged and included in the daily routine.  Air scrubbers have been installed in the Middle School building, and the school is investigating the feasibility of installing air scrubbers in the Lower School and Upper School academic buildings.

POSITIVE COVID CASES & CONTACT TRACING

Parents will continue to receive communication regarding positive cases among students and staff via a weekly report of the number of cases by division of the school in the Green & Gold Newsletter.  

When a student has tested positive for COVID-19:

They are required to remain home in isolation, and the school nurse will work with the student's parents to determine an appropriate time frame and requirements for return to school.

Any siblings in the household attending HSP are required to test negative before returning to school.

The school will notify all parents of the affected grade that there was a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the grade.

Parents of students who had contact with the COVID-19 positive student will also be notified and provided with instructions and guidance for how to proceed. 

Consistent with public health department requirements for schools, all positive cases of COVID-19 are reported by Holy Spirit Prep to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

 

TESTING

According to current medical data, individuals with natural immunity after recovering from COVID-19 are the most protected from future infection, followed by those who are fully vaccinated.  For parents who are notified by the school about a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in their child’s grade, or contact with a COVID-19 positive student, testing for COVID-19 is readily available in the market.  The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is the most accurate and definitive test available at this time.  A PCR test usually requires a healthcare visit, and turnaround times for test results can range from 1 hour to a few days depending on the testing location. 

The BinaxNOWAntigen test is an over-the-counter test which offers convenience and a rapid (15 minute) turnaround time.  The BinaxNOW Antigen test appears to be very accurate in detecting positive COVID-19 cases among symptomatic patients, but not as accurate in detecting COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients.  Recognizing these limitations, the BinaxNOW Antigen test is currently available at Walgreens/CVS for approximately $23.00. 

FOOD SERVICE

Our cafeteria staff serves our students on either a plate or to-go box.  We will resume normal seating arrangements in the dining spaces, being aware that contact tracing can include these spaces.  Upon parental request, students who choose to wear masks may be located near one another in implementing social distancing in the cafeteria when and where feasible and practicable.

SPECIALTY CLASSES

All fine arts and specialty classes will resume as normal prior to COVID-19.  Social distancing and/or outdoor spaces will be used when reasonable and possible to minimize risk of the spread of COVID-19.  When feasible and practicable, at parental request, students who choose to wear masks will be located near one another in implementing social distancing in specialty classes. 

For instrumental music instruction, upon parental request, the school will make masks designed to be worn when playing musical instruments available to students.  For voice instruction, students who wish to wear masks may continue to do so during voice class or voice instruction.

GROUP GATHERINGS

Large group gatherings such as student meetings, assemblies, performances, etc., will take place outdoors or in spaces that allow for social distancing when reasonable and feasible.  In order to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 during large group gatherings, some limits may be placed on attendance, and in some instances, such as Mass, larger gatherings will be divided into smaller gatherings. 

Mass will continue to be held in the school chapels, HSCC sanctuary, or LS cafetorium. When feasible and practicable, upon parental request, students who choose to wear masks will be located near one another in implementing social distancing in large group gatherings and Mass.

CLASSROOMS

Teachers will exercise good judgment and reasonable discretion in arranging classroom spaces to maximize student learning while also mitigating risk of the spread of COVID-19.  Where possible, classrooms will allow for three feet of distance between students, but at times desks will be in closer proximity and grouped together for collaboration among students.  Upon parental request, when feasible and practicable, students who choose to wear masks will be located near one another in implementing social distancing in the classroom.  Seating assignments and length of time in close proximity will be monitored in the event a need for contact tracing.

 

PODS and COHORTS

When and where feasible and practicable, the school will implement in-school pods and cohorts for instruction and lunch including, at a parent’s request, grouping together those students who choose to wear masks.  There may be times when the pods and cohorts structure will not be able to be implemented due to student schedules that include changing classrooms.

REMOTE LEARNING 

Remote learning will be offered for students who have tested positive for COVID-19, requiring them to isolate.  Remote learning will begin within 24 hours of the first full day of isolation. 

Remote learning facilitators are available to discuss remote learning details, processes, and procedures used in the remote learning program. 

Additionally, parents uncomfortable with the school's COVID-19 protocols may request for their child(ren) to attend classes through remote learning.  A parent requesting remote learning should schedule a meeting with the applicable divisional Principal to receive and discuss the remote learning details, processes, and procedures used in the remote learning program.  

Since last year, HSP has refined its online learning processes, including a focus on Google Classroom access, engaging remote learning facilitators to partner with students and parents when out of school, and adjusting strategies for assessment of student learning for those students who are learning remotely.


 

Maintaining in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year while balancing the necessities of physical health, mental health, and effective instruction is a priority.  We all must work together as a school community to minimize the impact of  COVID-19 on our children.  Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy for COVID-19.  If you or your child is in a high-risk category and have not already recovered from COVID-19, we recommend you consider vaccination when available.

Other strategies to protect yourself and your family from severe symptoms of COVID-19 include ensuring proper hydration, consumption of Vitamins C, D, and Zinc, and rest.

In addition, Holy Spirit Prep encourages you to adopt a layered prevention strategy outside of school to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19.  This includes being tested if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 [Symptoms Related to COVID-19].  This also includes incorporating hygiene and other practices in your daily routine, such as hand washing, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and social distancing, both in your home environment and in the conduct of your social or other activities outside of school.


HSP COVID Response Team

Head of School - Dr. Lindekugel

School Nurse - Mrs. Daly

High School Principal - Mrs. Bertany

Lower School Principal - Mrs. Irizarry 

Preschool Director - Mrs. Tate

Athletics Director - Mrs. Wilhelm

Dean of Students - Mr. Sullivan

Campus Safety - Dr. Mandock

 

*At any time, these protocols may be subject to change based on the impact of COVID-19 on our community. We appreciate your continued vigilance and support to keep our community safe and in school.

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Holy Spirit Prep is Atlanta's premier Catholic, college prep choice for students age 6 months - 12th grade. Our mission includes developing a lifelong love of learning in our students. We do this by combining challenging academics in an orthodox Catholic environment with exceptional, dedicated faculty and a warm and caring school community.