COVID-19 Prevention & Preparation

UPDATE: May 16, 2022

Dear Inspire Families:

Inspire School of Arts and Sciences considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. Therefore, we want to make you aware that eight students and two teachers have tested positive for COVID since Friday, May 13. We are following public health recommendations to ensure that the students and staff with COVID-19 follow instructions for isolation and remain away from others until they can safely return to school. We are still planning for in-person events and activities for the end of school, so we highly recommend mask-wearing in public places. 

What does this mean for you and your child?

  • Your child may remain in school unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.  Being exposed to somebody with COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that your child will become infected.  In fact, scientific research, and experience from around the country – including from California during this school year – demonstrate that schools remain among the safest places for children to be.
  • We recommend that your child get tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days of contact with the positive person, or sooner if your child starts to show symptoms.  You may get tested by clicking here to find a testing site near you. Over-the-counter (at-home) tests may also be used.
  • If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, please ensure they isolate at home immediately and notify us right away at covid@inspirechico.org.  When you notify us, we can take additional steps to keep our school community safe.
  • Your child must continue to wear a mask indoors in the school and community per school, local, and state requirements. Follow school policies to protect against COVID-19.  High-quality masks with the best fit and filtration will provide the best protection for your child and the school community.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, your child should get vaccinated against COVID-19.  If your child is 12 years of age or older, a booster dose is recommended five months after the second dose.  Vaccinations against COVID-19 remain the best way to protect against the spread of this virus and against severe disease.  Make an appointment to get vaccinated or contact your child’s doctor or healthcare provider to learn more.

We will continue to provide you with regular updates as needed.  Note that infections diagnosed in students and school staff are not necessarily the result of exposure at school when safety protocols are followed at school, and COVID-19 transmission remains much more likely to occur outside of school settings.

We encourage you to contact us with questions and concerns. Please call us at (530) 891-3090, email us at covid@inspirechico.org, or visit our website www.inspirechico.org for updates.

Please be assured that we are committed to facilitating an optimal learning experience ensuring the safety of our students and staff.

Sincerely,
Inspire Staff

UPDATE: CDPH Announces Upcoming Changes to Schools Indoor Masking Mandate

Dear Inspire Families,

Over the last school year, Inspire School of Arts and Sciences has followed California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance and mandates to allow for a return to full in-person instruction in the safest way possible. 

This morning, Governor Newsom announced a change to the mask mandate for schools. After 11:59 p.m. on March 11, California will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools. On March 12, 2022, the K-12 Schools Guidance will shift to strongly recommend masks and will not require masking while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Please note that this change to statewide guidelines does not take effect until after 11:59 p.m. on March 11, 2022, effectively, Saturday, March 12. Masking is still required by all while indoors on school grounds until that date.

We appreciate and acknowledge that the state lifting the mask requirement may cause anxiety for some people, especially those at higher risk for COVID-19 or who live with someone at higher risk. Please note that mask-wearing is still strongly recommended by the state and is an option for every student or staff member who wishes to wear one at any time.

We also appreciate and recognize that others who do not support masking in schools will continue to share their opinion that masking should end immediately. Our decision to adhere to state guidelines – not more, not less – has enabled us to continue in-person learning while weathering the COVID-19 storm. We are aware other schools and districts in California have passed resolutions not to enforce state masking mandates; however, our school will continue to follow the guidance as stated.

Thanks to the commitment and resilience of our Inspire community doing our part, we now have the tools to turn the page and begin a new chapter. This new chapter is focused on continuing the mitigation strategies we are all familiar with and focusing on personal responsibility and respect. 

Respecting Personal Choice

  • The state is providing personal choice for masking in schools with the expectation that individual decisions are respected.
  • One should not make assumptions regarding someone’s beliefs or health status based upon their choice to wear or not wear a mask, nor should they comment on them.
  • Inspire teachers may discuss the change with students in a developmentally appropriate manner, including how to respect everyone’s personal choice.
  • If your child(ren) expresses any anxiety, feel free to reach out to our school counselors for additional support as needed.

Responsibility 

  • Students and staff should continue to remain home when sick.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test if exhibiting symptoms and/or if they have a known exposure to COVID-19.

Thank you for your collaboration as we continue to navigate the move toward an endemic state. I truly appreciate your patience and understanding as we take every step to preserve the health of our students and staff while keeping our community as safe and healthy as possible. 

As always, your questions are welcome and your concerns will be carefully considered. Your feedback is integral to our ability to serve students and support our staff. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or phone. 

Have a safe and healthy week ahead.

Sincerely,

Becky Brown 

UPDATED: March 1, 2022

UPDATE: February 17, 2022

California’s changing mask mandates have caused a good deal of confusion around the impacts for public schools. Here’s the bottom line (as of right now!):
 
1) California’s statewide indoor mask mandate for vaccinated residents has expired as of Feb. 15.
2) This DOES NOT APPLY to the workplace, or to public schools. Staff and students are still mandated to wear masks indoors. 
While Governor Newsom plans to unveil a new plan today for coexisting with the COVID-19 virus, officials are delaying an announcement on masks in schools until February 28. I will certainly update parents and guardians when we have more information from the California Department of Public Health.
 
There does appear to be a shift on the horizon though. If you’re interested, here’s an article from CalMatters on how lawmakers are rethinking school mask rules.
 
Thanks, everyone! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Becky Brown
Principal/Superintendent | She/Her
bbrown@inspirechico.org  

UPDATE: Free At Home COVID Tests

Did you know that every home in the U.S. is eligible to order  free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests? The tests are completely free.

Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them. CLICK HERE 

Need a test immediately? Visit the Butte County Public Health site to view all your local options.

Updated January 18, 2022

UPDATE: January 13, 2022

The Omicron variant, with its increased transmissibility, is causing a spike in positive cases in our school and community. We want parents to know that we don’t currently have plans to return to distance or hybrid learning, and that in-person learning continues. While we are proud of our staff and students’ high rates of vaccinations and consistent compliance with masking recommendations, we have seen increased numbers since our return from Winter Break. As of this afternoon, we have had seven students test positive since January 3. More than ever, we encourage our parents and guardians to take advantage of vaccinations and boosters for yourselves and your students. We ask that you keep your children home if they are symptomatic, test regularly, and let us know if they receive a positive test result.

A limited supply of at-home rapid tests are available for students in the Inspire office ONLY if:
1) they are symptomatic, or
2) they must show a negative result as a condition of return to school

Updates to California Department of Health Guidelines for K-12 Schools:
Among the updated guidance, you can expect to see:
Changes to contact tracing – Schools can now contact parents of class cohorts to inform them of a student who tests positive within that class, club, or group. If you receive a letter, read it carefully and follow the instructions. If you have questions, email the Inspire COVID team at covid@inspirechico.org.
Changes to isolation rules – If a student tests positive, they now have to stay home from school for only five days (vs. ten). They can return at the end of five days if they are not experiencing symptoms and they test negative for COVID-19.

CDPH K-12 School Guidance
CDPH K-12 Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Email covid@inspirechico.org

UPDATE: California to Require COVID-19 Vaccines for all Students

Inspire parents and guardians, we want you to be aware that the state of California will be mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all K-12 students and school staff. This article in EdSource outlines the details. Here’s what we know at this moment:

  • The mandate applies to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade in public, charter and private schools, and all school employees.
  • The law will not go into effect until the FDA approves the vaccine for each age group, and will begin either on January 1 or July 1 after approval.
  • Covid vaccines will be among the roster of 10 other vaccinations, such as polio, mumps and tetanus, that the state requires students to receive before starting school.
  • The mandate allows exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons.
    Students who opt-out of the Covid vaccine will not be allowed to attend school in person, but they can enroll in independent study.

It’s important to note that schools cannot make decisions about vaccine mandates at the local level, and that Inspire will need to comply with state public health requirements. We will update you as we learn more. In the meantime, if you have questions, you can contact Becky Brown at bbrown@inspirechico.org

Updated October 22, 2021

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COVID-19 Operations

COVID-19 Operations Written Report

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2021 COVID-19 Checklist

2021 COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist

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COVID-19 Prevention Program

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has published COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools in the 2021-22 School Year. As you continue to make decisions about your child’s learning, we want to be sure to keep you informed. The following is a summary of Inspire’s COVID protocols, in alignment with CDPH.

  • Masks are required for everyone indoors while students are present. Mask mandates are enforced consistently. 
  • Classrooms are cleaned regularly. 
  • Ventilation is a key component of a safe and healthy classroom environment. Inspire’s HVAC systems are installed with hospital-grade MERV-13 filters. 
  • Students are expected to wash their hands frequently and to use hand sanitizer when entering or leaving the classroom. 
  • Students experiencing symptoms of COVID should not come to school.
  • School employees must provide proof of vaccination or agree to be tested weekly. 
  • Vaccination for COVID-19 has been proven to be a safe and effective strategy for keeping students safe on campus. We strongly encourage Inspire families to seek vaccination for their students. 

Updated September 20, 2021

Prevention & Preparation Begins at Home

Campus health and wellness begins at home! We’re all doing our part to keep Inspire safe– please review the guidelines Butte County Public Health (BCPH) developed to assist parents in determining when students should be kept home. Please note that wellness checks should be performed daily, prior to coming to campus.

 BCPH COVID-19 Resources

 

Daily Wellness Checklist:

  • Temperatures must be under 100.4 without the use of fever-reducing medication (Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, etc.) for 24 hours prior to attending school.
  • Temperature checks should be performed daily.
  • Screen your child consistently for potential COVID-19 symptoms or exposures utilizing the student symptom decision tree.

 

A graphic chart depicting what to do if a student is exposed to COVID-19

Staff/Student Quarantine

We are following the California Department of Public Health’s quarantine recommendations for staff and students. These vary widely depending on whether the person is symptomatic or asymptomatic, vaccinated or unvaccinated, masked or unmasked. Please see the links below for details.

What happens if my student is exposed? 

What happens if a staff member is exposed?