In the CRS COVID protocols that follow, the Health and Safety (H&S) Committee aims to present the best evidence and guideline-based practices to optimize the health and safety of the CRS community, both the students and faculty, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The H&S Committee is a 13 member committee of dedicated current and former parents, trustees, and faculty, including administration and our school nurse. Many of these protocols advise measures thought to significantly decrease the likelihood of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus at school. While we recognize that no measures can completely eliminate risk, we feel that we can meaningfully reduce and mitigate these risks with the successful implementation of these recommendations.
The committee's goals are to promote the individual health of our community members, as well as the health of our community as a whole. Related to this, it is important to note that one of the main responsibilities of the H&S Committee is determining if the overall risk is mitigated to a degree that in-person learning is possible (see Protocol #10: Assessment of Risk of In-person Learning). In addition, H&S can advise on hybrid models - specifically if and how various models may impact the health and safety of our students and teachers in the event that this assessment is relevant.
In writing these protocols, we were driven by the major guidelines for schools issued to date (see: REFERENCE LIST). In addition, we used the medical and scientific literature as needed when determining how best to mitigate risk to our community. This committee has been meeting frequently since March. It is the committee’s hope that our in-depth discussions are translated into these protocols in their detail, the focus on the physical health and safety of our students, teachers, and all community members, as well as consideration of the CRS culture.
It is also important to emphasize that this committee realized early in this planning process that we needed to work collaboratively with CRS’ Programming Committee so that the practical application of protocol components was considered, in addition to our students’ educational experience and our teachers’ work environment. There have also been many instances where programming and teachers have highlighted specific in-school scenarios that need H&S consideration in the context of this pandemic. This has allowed for H&S to proactively advise on measures that will minimize risk in each specific scenario; H&S has incorporated all of this scenario-specific guidance into the relevant protocol.
We also realize the need to consider our community’s social and emotional health during this pandemic. The bulk of our committee's effort is in considering the physical health of our community members. However, there are often social and emotional considerations explored by the H&S committee. These discussions are often guided by a committee member who is both a clinical social worker and mental health clinician. H&S supports the formation of a separate Social and Emotional Committee to advise CRS during this pandemic through their specific lens.
We realize that these protocols lay the foundation for COVID practices at CRS when students and teachers return to in-person learning. The H&S members are committed to continued review and incorporation of any information that will promote the well-being of the CRS community. We also realize communication of these protocols is an important first step. Next, we need to support CRS to continue to implement the guidance outlined in these protocols. We aim to continue to work collaboratively with faculty and advise on programming approaches, facilities changes, and essential communications. Importantly, we hope to advise on how to educate our families, students, and teachers on the CRS COVID H&S practices outlined in these protocols.
We end with a reiteration of the acknowledgment that we know there aren’t measures we can advise to completely eliminate risk as it relates to coronavirus during in-person learning, however, we are trying to do everything possible to mitigate risk to the greatest extent possible. As you know, this pandemic is an evolving and constantly changing situation. Our committee will aim to stay up to date with all school guidance and relevant public health data related to COVID-19. We will listen to feedback based on faculty experience implementing CRS’ COVID practices. And, we are willing to adapt our protocols as needed to best serve the health and safety of the CRS community.
The CRS H&S Committee