Suzuki Strong: a Brief Summary of Suzuki Enhanced Protocols during COVID19

We are Suzuki Strong – which is a short way of saying that our community response in these times of uncertainty has been overwhelming. We are proud to be partnered with such wonderful staff, parents, and more throughout our community. Together we are stronger, and together we will get through these uncertain times.

Below is a list of some of the enhanced protocols we have communicated to our community. The are centered on addressing the spread of COVID19 increases in the Metro area, in addition to the guidelines put forth by the CDC, Georgia Health Department, and Bright from the Start (for example, excluding parents or visitors into the building, daily health screenings, PPE, contact tracing, etc.). 

These are some of the key steps The Suzuki School has implemented in an effort to reduce the risk for families and faculty to be exposed to COVID19:

Keep COVID19 out of the school by:

Requiring parents to limit playdates, sleepover, and birthday parties outside of school to include only children in the same classroom and not children from other classrooms or campuses. (note: we have added daily contact tracing on our daily health check-in form to monitor this.)

School “Pods” for school-aged siblings:  We are advising parents to be selective of the pods that the siblings may join to ensure that the other families are like-minded regarding safety.

Team sports – We have asked parents to limit team sports for Suzuki students (and their siblings) to teams where proper social distancing is monitored and enforced, and enhanced health and safety protocols are observed.

Travel: Regardless of in-state or out-of-state destinations, we have advised both faculty and families that they may be asked to isolate themselves for up to 14 days upon their return, and that a negative Covid19 test result may be required before returning to Suzuki. Criteria used to determine whether such an exclusion period for travel will be imposed include:

  • Mode of travel – Car vs. Air…
  • Single family rental vs. hotel/resort…
  • Level of participation in large group gatherings (e.g. family reunions, theme parks, crowded beaches, etc.)

Social outings and recreation – we are asking everyone in the Suzuki community to:

  • Refrain from going into restaurants and bars for in-person dining since social distancing because appropriate social distancing is challenging. 
  • Refrain from community pools and other recreational or social outings where exposure risk cannot be carefully monitored.
  • Limit or refrain from using gyms unless they can assure us that 100% social distancing and enforced mask wearing is in place.

Centralized air purification system:  The school installed Global Plasma Solutions which is an air purification system which has been tested to kill coronavirus. In addition, the school has used Geneon products for years, for which one of hte benefits is the classrooms and common areas can be easily cleaned with a misting machine which also reaches difficult places to clean such as vertical surfaces.

Updated Hours: We have moved drop-off and pick-up to a carpool system, limiting faculty from being shared between classrooms during these times. To do so, we also now operate under modified hours, on a staggered basis, starting as early as 7:45 AM and ending as late as 5:15 PM. The breakdown of our classrooms is as follows: 

ProgramDrop Off WindowPick Up Window
Primary Program7:45-8:15am3:45-4:15pm
PrePrimary Program8:15-8:45am4:15-4:45pm
Infant/Toddler Program8:45-9:15am4:45-5:15pm

Social Distancing: Everyone in the school is expected to socially distance (except classroom teaching teams), including administrators, and this is being tracked daily through our  contact tracing system. None of the classrooms comingle. We have reconfigured offices and shared spaces to ensure that no groups need to comingle. Substitute teachers are required to stay out for at least 3 days before beginning an assignment in another classroom.

Masks – Children:

  • All children ages 3 and above must wear a cloth (or n95 type) mask at all times during the day except while eating, sleeping, or outside. It is noteworthy that the children have been wonderful with this. (note: Children ages 2 to 3 may be required to wear a child-sized mask if they have a runny nose).
  • We are asking parents to have children wear the mask on all family excursions outside the home.
  • We are asking parents to send in several masks each day so that if one gets soiled it can be replaced.
  • Masks must be appropriately-sized.
  • Child-sized N95 type masks are required for children with allergies or very runny noses (or to keep the child out of school until the runny nose resolves.)

Masks – Parents:

  • Parents must always wear an appropriate mask when on school property (outside drop off and pick up only).
  • Parents need to be periodic reminders of the policies and best  practices regarding mask usage and protocols.

Masks – Faculty:

  • The school provides N95-type masks for our faculty to increase their protection from the cloth masks we initially supplied to them.
  • The PVA is conducting an N95 mask drive to supplement our limited stock for our faculty.
  • We are providing face shields as enhanced protection (to be worn with the N95 mask) for those faculty and staff who want them.

Other

  • If a child’s exposure is identified in a classroom, that child, and any of that child’s siblings from other classrooms must also be quarantined for at least 14 days, as well as any children from the Suzuki community with which they had close contact during the prior 3 days before symptoms developed.
  • New Families – We require a seven-day isolation before starting at Suzuki, or a negative test result within the prior week.

Enhanced communications:

  • We are asking parents to be transparent and forthcoming about recreational travel, or events outside of school which may result in exposure, in order to reduce faculty anxiety and minimize risk to our other community members.
  • We are providing all community members with a weekly COVID19 newsletter summarizing new policies, reinforcing existing ones, and addressing questions and concerns.
  • We have reached out to area private schools to share our plans and ask that they take our sibling students into consideration when making plans for their community.