As we continue to navigate the constantly changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Dunham School is committed to the health and safety of our students, parents, and staff. We have benefited from our unique partnership with Ochsner Medical, which allowed us to safely operate face-to-face school last year. We will continue to utilize this partnership in the 2021-2022 school year.
Dunham will safely reopen grades 2-12 for full-day face-to-face learning on August 5, 2021. Home and school visits for grades PK, K, and 1 will begin on that day as well. Due to our traditionally small class sizes, campus layout, and innovation, we are blessed to be able to safely operate school. The protocols and procedures described below have been put in place to create the best experience possible for each of our students. We will continue to monitor guidelines from the CDC as well as our state and local authorities and will update these protocols as necessary. If you have any questions, please contact your division office.
To begin the school year, all students in grades K-12 and all adults will be required to bring a face mask and wear it indoors during the school day. Students in the two-year-old program through PK4 are not required to wear face masks. At this time, the mask requirement will extend through September 1. Our school leadership team is committed to assessing the infection rates within the school community, and we fully anticipate lifting mask requirements if COVID-19 infection rates remain low. We will assess on a weekly basis beginning on August 13. Dunham reserves the right to reinstate face mask requirements as we deem them necessary to protect the students and faculty in our community. Students may not wear face shields, bandanas, neck gaiters, or face masks with valves. Parents and other visitors will be held to the same mask requirements of the school. Masks are not required outside.
Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Hand Washing
The Dunham School will continue to operate safely through the practice of more frequent cleaning, sanitization, and hand washing. Hand sanitizing and washing stations are located throughout our campus. Dunham will continue to educate students about safe hygiene practices.
COVID-19 Monitoring and Follow-up Procedures
In partnership with Ochsner, Dunham has developed health and safety protocols in order to maintain the health of the entire community. We rely on our partnership with parents to closely monitor their child’s health, look for symptoms of COVID-19, and notify the school in the event of possible COVID-19 infection.
If your child begins to have any symptoms (headache, fever, cough, or respiratory distress), the student must receive clearance from their primary care physician (PCP) in order to return to school. Typically, symptoms appear within three to five days of exposure.
Clearance to return to school from your primary care doctor must be sent in writing to our school nurse, Connie Jenkins, before the student may return to any and all school programs. If you do not have a primary care doctor, an appointment with a pediatric or family care physician can be arranged through our nurse and partnership with Ochsner Medical at The Grove location.
Parents are expected to notify the school if their child experiences any symptoms and is scheduled to see their primary care physician.
In the event a student manifests symptoms during the school day, the student will be relocated to a separate area, apart from other students, until a parent or guardian arrives to pick them up. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, families will be notified in an appropriate manner.
If a member of a student’s household tests positive for COVID-19, the student is required to obtain clearance from their primary care physician in order to return to school. Permission to return to school should be emailed to our nurse Connie Jenkins.
If someone in your child’s homeroom, advisory, or athletic team tests positive for COVID-19, you will be notified. All classes will continue to operate, but we will notify you so you can help prevent the spread of disease. If you want your child to be tested, that can be ordered by your physician or expedited through our partnership with Ochsner Medical at The Grove location. Test results are generally available in 48 hours. If you would like testing through Ochsner, please email our nurse, Connie Jenkins.
The lunch program from SAGE Dining will return to standard operating procedures this school year. Dining hall occupancy will remain reduced to meet socially distancing guidelines while unmasked. Students will eat in the Rollins Family Dining Hall, in the front circle, or other assigned dining locations around campus. Until further notice, we cannot accommodate parent visitors for lunch.
Recess, Physical Education & Athletics
Physical education/activity will take place in all grade levels as a part of the school day. Middle School students will dress out for physical education classes. Students will NOT be required to wear masks during recess, PE class, or athletics. We will follow LHSAA guidelines and protocols with regard to Middle and Upper School team sports and will communicate updates with student-athletes and their families.
Carpool & Aftercare/Study Hall
We will continue our use of Safe Dismissal to move students efficiently from classroom to car during afternoon carpool. Aftercare and study hall will continue to operate. As a reminder, students may NOT be dropped off at the DAC.