The Altamont School is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of our faculty, staff, students and parents. As a Microsoft School with a 1-to-1 laptop program, we are fortunate to have a robust infrastructure in place for both in-person learning and distance learning. We continue to pursue our mission of graduating compassionate, well-educated individuals.
- COVID Protocols Update Jan. 7, 2022
- Back to School Plan
- Commitment to Support Altamont's Health, Wellness and Safety Protocols
- Vaccine and Masks
- Social Distancing Protocols
- Building and Ventilation Protocol
- Hand Washing
- Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
- Food Service
- Student Assistance Counseling
- Student Activities and Athletics
- 1-to-1 Laptop Program
- Internet Access
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recently changed its guidance for quarantine/isolation practices for schools. The ADPH now advises K-12 school students, faculty and staff to follow the updated isolation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Altamont will be adopting these guidelines effective immediately.
For students and staff members who have had a positive test, we will now require a shorter isolation if asymptomatic after five days. Isolation will be for a minimum of five days following the onset of symptoms or a positive test for asymptomatic persons. Isolation will end after five days, if asymptomatic and fever-free (without medication) for 24 hours. If symptomatic after five days, isolation will have to be continued. This shorter isolation is focused on the period when a person is most infectious and will allow students to return to the classroom more quickly.
As an example, if a student tests positive on a Wednesday, that is “Day=0.” The 5 days of isolation would be Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. This student would only be first eligible to return on Tuesday.
This shorter isolation is only possible when supported by other steps. With the shorter isolation, it is critical that people continue to wear well-fitting masks in and out of school, especially five days after the end of the isolation period.
We continue to support the ADPH recommendation for mask use and layered prevention strategies, such as receiving all recommended vaccination and booster doses, social distancing, and screening testing as keys to preventing COVID-19 and decreasing transmission.
We recommend adopting high-quality masks: Given the level of contagiousness and wide community spread of the latest virus variant, we ask that everyone use three-ply surgical masks, KN95 masks, KF94, FFP2 or N95 masks.
Vaccination: Our best mitigation strategy continues to be vaccination. If you or your children are not yet vaccinated, we urge you to consider it. If you are already vaccinated, and are eligible for a booster, you should also consider receiving a booster. It is very helpful for us to know the vaccination status of all our students in the event that we have a positive COVID case and need to implement contact tracing protocols. Knowing the vaccination status of our entire student body will also be useful information for us to know when we are making future decisions on our COVID protocols. If you have not uploaded your child’s vaccination card into the Magnus Health Portal, please either email a copy of your child’s vaccination card to Denise Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or upload the card into Magnus.
Free COVID Testing Program: We also want to urge you to take advantage of our completely free, and voluntary, on-campus weekly COVID testing that we are able to offer in partnership with UAB for all current students. Your child can get a PCR test every Wednesday morning in Patton Gym between 7:30-9 a.m. simply by registering your consent, and showing up for the test. The test is simple, fast, and the results are delivered to you via text and email within 24 hours. Screening tests are intended to identify infected people who are asymptomatic and do not have known, suspected, or reported exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Such screening helps identify unknown cases so that measures can be taken to prevent any further transmission.
The Altamont School is committed to providing a safe and healthy school environment for all our faculty, staff, students and parents. To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, Altamont has developed the following Back to School plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrators, teachers, students and staff are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for the transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our constituents. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our school.
As the pandemic persists and we move into the new school year, we remain committed to the following:
• Delivering an Altamont education to our students as effectively as possible under the conditions presented.
• Keeping the safety of the staff, students, and community at the fore.
• Following public health guidance based on the best available science and our expert panel.
• Maintaining the flexibility to respond to changing conditions.
• Utilizing the best prevention strategies wherever possible, which includes a variety of safety procedures and encouragement of vaccination.
• Recognizing that growth and learning depend upon those commitments being in place.
Commitment to Support Altamont's Health, Wellness and Safety Protocols
All families must commit to supporting Altamont’s health, wellness and safety protocols, and must agree to keep their children home when they are not feeling well, have COVID-like symptoms, or have potentially been exposed to the virus. Any symptoms, such as a fever over 100.4° F or a persistent cough, would mean the child needs to stay home. Families are required to complete and sign the Altamont School Health and Wellness Pledge.
Vaccine and Masks
The Altamont School is encouraging all eligible members of the community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Masks and physical distancing are required to keep children healthy and in school. The Altamont School will require masks for all individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated).
Masks or other cloth face coverings will be required for all students, employees, and visitors at all times while indoors and at the following times:
• During arrival and dismissal (between their cars and their classrooms)
• At any time outside where three feet of social distancing is not likely or possible
(e.g., recess, one-on-one or small group student instruction)
We highly recommend having a few masks on hand for your student(s) to wear throughout the week.
Masks must cover both the mouth and nose, must be at least 2-ply and must attach at the ear or tie behind the head. No bandanas, gaiter masks or masks with valves allowed.
Social Distancing Protocols
Social distancing of at least three feet will be implemented and maintained between teachers
and students in school at all times through the following engineering and administrative controls:
Classrooms have been audited by the school’s Senior Administration to provide maximum occupancy limits that adhere to the three-feet guidelines.
All desks and tables will be spaced so that students will be no less than three feet apart during normal
Teachers will have assigned seating in each classroom to assist with contact tracing measures, if
Facility enhancements in the 5th/6th grade hallway, Rotunda, Student Center, Orange Bowl and Senior Commons reflect our adherence to social distancing. The spaces in the 5th/6th grade hallway and Senior Commons have been widened and seating has been placed at appropriate distances to help mitigate student density. Some seating in the Rotunda, Student Center and Orange Bowl has been removed so that social distancing can be maintained.
Lunch will be served as Grab and Go, and students will be assigned lunch areas.
Lockers will be assigned alphabetically for 7-9 grades. Lockers will be optional for 10-11 grades. 12th graders will have dedicated space in the Senior Commons instead of lockers. Lockers will not be assigned for 5-6 grades at this time.
Non-essential visitors/guests will be permitted on campus by appointment only. Virtual meetings will be held for all parent/teacher meetings.
Failure to comply with any distancing/PPE protocols will be considered a disciplinary issue and will be
addressed by the school’s administration. Compliance within each classroom is considered a classroom management issue and is the responsibility of the teacher.
Signage regarding safety measures and various sanitation stations will be positioned throughout the school.
In classrooms, offices and various other spaces, social distancing will be maximized by furniture
placement and space configurations. Reservations and assigned seating may be required in some facilities to aid sanitization and contact tracing, and to minimize the use of high-touch surfaces.
Building and Ventilation Protocol
Operation of the school includes necessary sanitation, assessment and maintenance of building systems, including water, plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The HVAC system is equipped with bipolar ionization units that will help cleanse the air in each Altamont classroom. The maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the school, air recirculation is being limited, and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps are also being taken to minimize air flow blowing across people.
Students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently using the following directions. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face. Scrub the front and back of your hands. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands with the sanitizer and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash or sanitize your hands after touching your face. Students will be reminded to wash hands after common periods, before and after lunch, after using the restroom, and after PE class.
Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances/exits, every
classroom and various other locations throughout the school. There will be signage about handwashing throughout the school.
Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
Regular practices of cleaning and disinfecting have been implemented in accordance with CDC guidelines, including a schedule for routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, supplies, vehicles and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunch rooms, meeting rooms, common areas, the Rotunda, and drop-off and pick-up locations.
The school will continue to clean the building each night. All students must be off campus or in school-sponsored activities by 4:45 p.m. There will be no exceptions to this guideline.
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.
Hot lunch will be served each day through a Grab and Go format.
In addition to the serving line in the Diner, we will have two additional portable lunch stations. All lines will serve the same food choices. Vegetarian options will be available each day.
Classes will be assigned a specific lunch line to always report to for lunch each day. Classes will be
assigned a specific area to eat lunch in every day.
All tables in the building seat two students and are spaced as much as possible for social distancing. We encourage teachers to utilize outdoor spaces as much as possible for lunch, weather permitting.
Bottled water will be available for students at all serving lines. We encourage all students to bring their own refillable water bottle each day.
Students must stay in their assigned area for the entire 30 minutes of lunch.
Students will be responsible for clearing trash and sanitizing tables at the end of the lunch period.
Student Assistance Counseling
Student assistance counseling is available to all Altamont students. If you have questions or need to
speak to Mrs. Garrett, contact her at email@example.com. For COVID resources, visit our
counseling website at altamontschool.org/studentlife/student-assistance-counseling.
Student Activities and Athletics
Students will have the opportunity to participate in club or other extracurricular activities during the daily activities period. Any large school-wide assemblies will be modified to adhere to COVID protocols.
Athletics will be maintained on a limited basis. We are committed to having sports this year and will work with the athletics department to assess safety procedures for each sports team. We reserve the right to adjust schedules accordingly and will limit participation in events that may not be in the best interests of our athletes.
We would love to tell you more about our school! Go to the admissions page of our website to connect with our admissions team, watch informational videos and schedule a virtual visit.