COVID-19 Updates

JMSG Current Status

JMSG is currently offering hybrid programming. This includes on campus classes 4 days, along with 1 day of hybrid/asynchronous learning each week. 

Our top priority is the well-being of all of our community members, including students, faculty, staff, and families. We take a thoughtful approach and continue to stay abreast of the latest information to plan for multiple contingencies. 

Please see here for the Reopening Campus Plan: Policies and Protocols.

Covid-19 Safety Plan

Please visit this webpage for updates and information as we work together to respond to the evolving situation.


FAQs

List of 28 frequently asked questions.

  • Can my daughter attend on campus school if she exhibits symptoms after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine?

    If any of the following symptoms are moderate to severe, then students will need to stay home:

    • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
    • Loss of taste or smell.

    If fever only, then students can return after 24 hours free of fever without use of medication.

    If other symptoms exist, please check with your child’s health care provider who can then verify the symptoms are not Covid-related; then once the health care provider gives the go ahead for them to return and they are feeling better, they can return to school.

    If the following symptoms are limited and are mild and have only occurred since receiving the vaccine, then students can be at school if they are feeling well enough. Those limited symptoms are: fatigue, headache, chills, muscle or joint pain.

    However, if those symptoms persist for more than 2 days, then students should stay home.
  • What's the latest domestic travel policy?

    You can find this at the end of the Reopening Plan above, but here it is as well:

    • If your daughter traveled out of state or was exposed to those outside her social bubble, she needs to stay home for 14 days after the date of her last exposure or after the day she returned.
    • She should consider getting tested 3-7 days after returning from travel and stay home for 14 days after returning from travel even if she tests negative. 
    • If she tests positive, please contact her medical provider and please see relevant policy. 
    • Pay attention for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Please check the full list of COVID-19 symptoms. 
    • It is recommended that she get tested immediately if she starts to feel sick or if someone she was in close contact with starts having symptoms or tests positive. 
    • Please keep in mind that she can get symptoms 2-14 days after being exposed. If someone was exposed on April 1st , they could develop an infection by as late as April 15th . 
  • What are the plans for building community?

    In our planning, we focused on how to create a culture of care if only online, as well as in the hybrid program. As we addressed this at the parent back-to-school orientations in August, the first 5-15 minutes of each class is about creating a culture of self-care and one of connecting with each other. In addition, Advising, All School Meeting, Families (cross-graded group), Class Meetings, clubs all allow for community to become stronger. With a hallmark of our program being the strength of our community, we continue to recognize individual students for who they are, respect student voices, build rapport with each student; and seek their feedback. We at JMSG will continue to prioritize community connections for girls as well as the developmental needs of early adolescents.
  • From the public health perspective, what is safe in-person socialization for middle school girls?

    Being socially distant by 3 ft. in the classroom and 6 ft. in all other spaces and wearing masks is still the safest way for the girls to interact. The School has asked parents to limit social get-togethers for their daughters to girls in the same cohort/class grouping. When the girls gather to either study, attend class, or socialize together, they should be wearing masks and socially distancing even if in the same cohort/class grouping. All of these protocols have been put in place to help reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.
  • Is it possible to maximize outdoor learning and social distancing so the girls do not have to wear masks all day?

    We are following public health directives in mandating mask wearing except while eating and drinking.
  • Will public health require students to get the Covid vaccine as it does other vaccines?

    If the vaccines are given per Emergency Use Authorization, then they cannot be required. Once the vaccines obtain FDA approval for middle school aged students, it is not yet clear whether they will be mandated for schools.
  • What kind of ventilation exists in the main building and the Georgia O'Keeffe Art Cottage?

    Although the JMSG buildings are not equipped with HVAC systems with AC capacity, doors and windows will be kept open as much as possible. Air purifiers will continuously run. If weather is permitting, classes will be held outside whenever possible per public health recommendations.
  • Is a full staffing model in place?

    Yes, however, not all teachers will be on campus.
  • I saw some on campus classes say ‘online’. Does that mean the teacher is remote but the girls are in classrooms?

    Yes, it does mean that the teacher is remote. There will be another teacher/classroom assistant to assure the girls are being safe as well as attending to her studies.
  • Will JMSG on-campus school close due to air quality?

    If the air quality is in the unhealthy, very unhealthy, or hazardous category, on-campus school will close. 

    Since JMSG will take advantage of being outside as much as possible and opening windows and doors when inside, if the air quality is in the unhealthy for sensitive groups category, it is recommended students who are in this category remain home on those days. 

    Please note as well that if Mills College decides to close its campus due to unhealthy air, JMSG is prohibited from being on campus. Mills College will base its decision on the air quality noted on Purple Air.
  •  Will JMSG sponsor field trips or social gatherings?

    In-person field trips are not sanctioned by public health at this time. Social gatherings are not allowed per public health. JMSG does not have plans to host any social gatherings for cohorts. JMSG will continue to follow public health directives and to base its decisions with the health and safety of all of its community members at the forefront.
  • Although we will only require girls wear masks, is it recommended from the public health perspective for kids to wear masks as well as face shields?

    Masks are required at JMSG, and shields are optional. Though wearing both is not a public health recommendation, depending on balancing risks, if you or your daughter have underlying medical conditions that make either/both of you more vulnerable to serious conditions due to Covid, you may want to consider having her wear both. Since Covid is spread through droplets and aerosol, properly wearing both would add another layer of protection. Checking with her pediatrician might be your first step in helping you make this decision.
  • What’s the plan for individuals who slip up with mask wearing?

    Since mask-wearing is required at all times except when eating and drinking, we will have extra masks for those girls/adults who forget theirs at home. Proper mask wearing will be strictly enforced.
  • Will girls move class-to-class once JMSG is on-campus or will faculty move between cohorts?

    Currently, faculty who are teaching in person are moving class-to class, with students remaining stationary with their class grouping.
  • Will teachers be wearing cloth masks that cover their faces, or clear shields so students can see their faces?

    The girls will be able to see their teachers’ faces via Zoom, but unfortunately, not in person. We are taking every precaution we can to keep the community safe. The best protection for faculty is to be socially distant and to wear masks. Although JMSG will provide faculty with face shields as well, these will be optional for them. If they choose to wear a face shield, they will still be required to wear a mask. Clear masks have been shown not to offer the same level of protection as cloth or paper masks.
  • Could you explain contact tracing and how it might be used at JMSG?

    Contact tracing has long been used by public health agencies to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Contact tracing helps to identify people who have an infectious disease and the people with whom they came in contact, then working with them to stop the spread of the disease. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home. Contact tracing for COVID-19 typically involves:

    • Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone they had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious;
    • Notifying contacts of their potential exposure;
    • Referring contacts for testing;
    • Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of Covid; 
    • Connecting contacts with services they might need so they can remain at home during the self-quarantine period.
    To prevent the further spread of disease, people who had contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others until 14 days after their last exposure to a person with COVID-19. Contacts should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath.

    How it might be used at JMSG: JMSG would investigate in much the same way as described. We would interview the person who has tested positive, ask them to retrace their steps at school so that we would know their physical footprint, as well as ask them with whom they were in contact in the period beginning two days prior to manifesting symptoms (if they are symptomatic) up until they began their isolation. We would then follow up with all whom they had contact, following the protocols as stated above and in our Covid-19 policies and protocols. By limiting students to interacting with only their cohorts, limiting their use of the facilities, following restrictive facility use by faculty/staff, and requiring strict disinfecting/cleaning measures, hand-washing, wearing masks and 6 ft. distancing, our hope is to limit the spread of the virus. Through the imposed limitations, the hope is that each person’s daily footprint at school is reduced, thus helping to reduce potential exposure and helping us to trace someone’s contacts.
  • How much information about Covid-19 and its transmission should I share with my daughter?

    Much of this depends on your daughter, her development, and her temperament. You know her best. A rule of thumb is to respond to her questions, and to her curiosity. Listening to her is key. Sometimes our children just need to be heard. As our worlds have been turned upside down, so have theirs. Carefully listen to: what specifically she is asking; is she curious as to the science or is she worried, looking for comfort; is she missing her friends, or has she gotten inaccurate news from social media. Oftentimes, asking her to “tell me more about that” or sharing how hard you know it is, is all she needs. Answer honestly, and answer with just enough information to satisfy her question. For some girls, this means telling them all you know, and for others, not very much at all.

    It is also important to remember while talking about difficult situations with our children that this one in particular, not only affects them, but through their actions, they can also have significant life and death impact on others. While it’s important to tell them how low the percentage is for children to become severely ill, easing whatever fears they may have for their own safety, it’s also important for them to understand the responsibility they hold as well since they could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, infecting those around them.  Hone in on what they can do. If we ALL wore masks, maintained 6 ft. distancing, practiced hand washing, it would be a game changer in terms of getting back to a semblance of life as we used to know it. 

    Young adolescents love to be activists – this is an excellent way to truly benefit the good of all of those around them.
  • What about parents who are not living together and could have other families. How do we keep each other safe if separated parents have very different standards regarding protocols?

    The best case scenario is to be transparent with one another and work towards each household holding the same standards that reflect those stated by the ACPHD. This not only will help to keep family members safe, but it also will help the children in the family understand the important part they can play in not spreading the virus, caring for those they love; it also lessens the possible confusion and concern they may experience in trying to understand why one household is listening to the science and medical experts and why the other household has chosen not to do so and is more relaxed in their approach.
  • Can children transmit Covid-19 even if they are asymptomatic?

    The latest research indicates this is so; and that children as young as 5 years old are transmitters.
  • My daughter receives ADA accommodations. How will this be impacted in distance learning?

    Maryann Molinari, JMSG Learning Specialist, will be reaching out to each of the families whose daughters need accommodations.
  • Can I hire one of the JMSG faculty to tutor her?

    No. JMSG faculty are prohibited from tutoring JMSG students as a matter of equity.
  • Can I ask JMSG faculty/staff members to babysit?

    No. As a preventive measure and as a matter of equity, this will not be possible.
  • What is the status for Mills?

    Mills is currently closed to the public. We do have use of the soccer field, and have been able to take advantage of a few other areas, gaining permission on a case-by-case basis.
  • Have any JMSG community members tested positive for COVID-19?

    The School was notified that a JMSG employee, who was last on campus on 8/27, tested positive for COVID-19.
  • If my daughter travels via plane, train, or via other public transit and/or gathers with those outside of her social bubble, does she need to stay home for 14 days?

    Yes. Your daughter will need to stay out of school for 14 days. Please contact her advisor who can help organize her at-home studies.