Our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is our community's safety and health. Above all, we ask our community members to be sure to take care of your health and wellness. We also continue to pray for those who have passed, who have suffered from COVID-19, and who stand on the front lines of serving our citizens by keeping us healthy and safe. In our plan, SR Forward, the School’s health and safety protocols are outlined. We are resolute in our mission to educate and raise confident leaders and innovators, who will lead through lives of purpose that integrate faith, intellect, community, social action, in a global community that needs them more than ever.
Our plan, SR Forward, is based on three key principles:
*SR Forward provides an overview for all members of our community to know what to expect. The plans shared in this document are based on the most current public health assessment. We ask that you continue to be flexible as we work diligently to stay abreast of new information and modify our plans accordingly.
- 2021-22 School Year Operations
- Sick Protocol
- Health & Safety: Campus Enhancements and School Protocols
- Athletics and PE
- Parents and Campus Visitors
- Stone Ridge COVID-19 Medical Advisory Council
In 2021-22, Stone Ridge will operate at full capacity on campus without remote or hybrid learning.
Stone Ridge is prepared to support students and faculty in the event that they have to quarantine due to COVID-19 infection. The 1:1 device program will continue to provide individual devices to enable student learning during quarantine. If a student must quarantine, their classroom(s) will be equipped with the technology to allow for their synchronous participation in their classes. In the event that a teacher must quarantine, instruction will be delivered virtually in the scheduled, on-campus space, and students will log into the virtual class. A classroom proctor will be present to supervise the students. Students are expected to bring their headphones to school daily so that they are prepared for this situation. The flexible systems that equip students and teachers in accessing the classroom technology necessary to enable virtual participation will be rapid and adaptive.
Accommodations for livestreaming/attendance will only be made for students required to quarantine by the Health Department or a medical professional. Students who are ill should not attend classes, either on campus or virtually, and instead should rest and focus on their health and recovery (see School sick protocol below).
Guiding Factors for Campus Operations
Decisions about whether and how to safely operate campus rest on both Internal and External Factors:
Internal Factors: Stone Ridge health and safety procedures are fully developed in accordance with CDC and other guidelines and best practices applicable to independent schools. Sources of information have included the Maryland Departments of Health and of Education, the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), Independent School Management (ISM), and other such organizations.
The appropriate plans, policies, training, and monitoring are in place to ensure compliance within the Stone Ridge community. The work of educating our students, families, faculty, and staff on internal protocols is an ongoing process; the support of the entire community is critical.
External Factors: Stone Ridge’s decision about campus operations is guided and/or determined by a number of factors external to Stone Ridge’s control. These include:
- Mandates or orders from the Maryland Governor, State Board of Education, Montgomery County Executive, Montgomery County Health Official, and/or other governing authorities.
- Local Health Conditions related to COVID-19 in the Stone Ridge community area, primarily Montgomery County, but with consideration given to the state of Maryland, the District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince George’s County, and other nearby locales.
In assessing Local Health Conditions, Stone Ridge will consider guidance from the State of Maryland, Montgomery County, and other relevant authorities, as noted above.
Community Expectations & Norms
With the guidance of local public health officials and our Medical Advisory Council, Stone Ridge upholds the following community expectations and norms to ensure a safe environment for in-person academic instruction. Keeping our community healthy requires an even stronger home/school partnership than ever before.
We must work together and trust each other to mitigate health risks through our personal choices and vigilance in adhering to health standards. We ask our families and staff to ensure the following practices to keep our community safe:
- Stay home if you have symptoms of any illness. All community members are expected to adhere to all federal, state, and local travel quarantine orders, advisories, and best practices.
- All community members must report potential exposure or positive COVID-19 test results immediately to Stone Ridge.
- We are adopting new norms of waving, bowing, or fist/elbow-bumping rather than hugging or handshaking so that nobody needs to feel anxious or self-conscious about their own comfort-level with contact.
Ages 16 and Older
Stone Ridge requires vaccination for eligible individuals ages 16 and older (subject to legally required exemptions) as the best means of reducing the risk of transmission and providing our students and faculty/staff with the safest possible educational environment. Vaccination not only works to protect the individual who is vaccinated, but also protects students who are not yet eligible and anyone at increased risk from COVID-19.
As of today, Stone Ridge strongly encourages but is not requiring students ages 12-15 to be vaccinated while the vaccines are under Emergency Use Authorization for this age group. It is possible that we will change this decision in the future and require vaccination prior to full authorization if School operations are dramatically impacted by the pandemic. The timing of this full authorization is unknown, but we ask families to plan ahead: please talk to your child’s doctor about vaccination.
The Pfizer vaccine for ages 5–11 may be authorized as early as the end of next week; assuming this occurs as expected, Stone Ridge’s policy at that time will be to strongly encourage parents of this age group to vaccinate their child.
Stone Ridge is evaluating options for providing a vaccine clinic on campus for students ages 5–11, but nothing is confirmed at this time. We encourage parents to make their own arrangements, through their pediatrician’s office or other providers, and we will let families know if an on-campus vaccination option becomes available. If your child does get the vaccine, please upload a copy of the vaccination card to MAGNUS. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can confirm that we have received it.
Stone Ridge’s definition of “fully vaccinated” is hereby updated to include the booster shot, which is now available for those ages 16+. All employees and students ages 16+, who are booster-eligible based on the date of completing their primary vaccine series, are required to receive their booster shot no later than Monday, January 17, 2022. Those not yet eligible for the booster must receive it within one week of their eligibility, based on their prior vaccination dose and/or the date they turn 16. CDC guidance allows “mixing and matching” between the type of booster and the initial series (though only Pfizer is available for 16-17 year-olds). Stone Ridge continues to strongly encourage vaccination for students ages 5-15. This policy is subject to re-evaluation if CDC definitions change or as other conditions warrant.
Submitting Proof of Vaccination Instructions
Upload the vaccination card to Magnus along with the dates and type of vaccine received under immunizations.
COVID-19 vaccine cards need to be uploaded in Magnus to the "Has your child received the COVID 19 Vaccination?" location. If you uploaded it to the "Maryland State Immunization Form" section, please upload another image under the "COVID 19 Vaccination" icon.
Here are reminders and instructions about Magnus.
Any questions about Magnus can be directed to Michelle Cofino, and for questions about health forms contact Giovanna Corcoran, RN.
Vaccination Medical Exemptions
Stone Ridge will consider requests for exemption from the vaccine requirement from students or employees for whom a specific medical condition represents a legitimate contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine, pursuant to applicable laws. A family wishing to engage in this accommodation process should email email@example.com for specific instructions. All requests will be reviewed by the Health Services team, select members of the School Administration, and physicians on the School’s Medical Advisory Council.
Stone Ridge does not accept religious or philosophical exemption requests to vaccine requirements for students.
Policies for Unvaccinated Students and Employees
To maximize the health and safety of the School community, unvaccinated individuals are required to follow several additional protocols.
Additional protocols for age-eligible unvaccinated individuals include:
Weekly COVID-19 PCR/NAAT testing (12 years and older unvaccinated individuals): a negative PCR/NAAT test must be submitted each Friday in order to be on campus the following week. This testing will not be provided by Stone Ridge; families and employees must procure these tests and submit the results to the Health Services office. The weekly testing should take place on either Wednesday or Thursday with the results reported to the Health Office on Friday 3:00pm.
Weekly COVID-19 PCR/NAAT on-campus testing for 11 and under: is available every Thursday. If your child misses their chance to test on campus, please contact the Health Services Office to make arrangements to provide a PCR/NAAT test result in order for your child to return to classes the following Monday.
Daily health screenings: Unvaccinated students and employees will submit the daily Magnus health screening questionnaire. Here are the reminders and instructions about Magnus. Vaccinated individuals do not have this requirement.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who are not feeling well must stay home, communicate with the School’s Health Office, and follow the School’s sick protocol, which indicates that individuals can return to school only after 24 hours of being free of illness or symptoms, and in some cases after clearance is granted by the School’s Health Office. All students and employees must also follow any health department directives regarding isolation or quarantine, in cases of illness or exposure.
The high transmissibility of Omicron increases the importance of proper masking. Effective January 2022:
- Mask type: All students and employees are required to wear a KF94, KN95, or N95 mask, or to wear two masks.
- Those wearing two masks should wear a cloth mask over a medical style mask, per CDC guidance. This option is temporary until January 18, to allow families time to procure KF94, KN95, or N95 masks.
- Suitable high-grade masks include these adult KF94s, adult KN95s, child KF94s, and child KN95s. (These are disposable but typically can be reworn multiple times until they are soiled.)
- Stone Ridge will have a supply of suitable masks in order to provide one for any child who is unable to bring one the first day.
- Outdoor mask use: until further notice, students will wear masks outside when in close proximity to others.
CDC school guidelines continue to recommend “universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status at all levels of community transmission;” the State of Maryland requires indoor masking for all public schools and will next reconsider its policies in December, and Stone Ridge considers masking to be an important part of our layered mitigation strategy to ensure the health and well-being of all members of our community. With many students still unvaccinated, and some individuals at high risk for developing severe disease, we are erring on the side of caution. We will continue to monitor conditions in order to determine when any change to this policy may be appropriate.
Mask Handling: Mask(s) should be in a bag marked "clean." For our littlest learners, parents may wish to write "front", "back", "top", or "bottom" on the mask. Dirty masks should be placed in a separate bag marked "dirty." When removing or changing a mask, the student should be at least six feet away from other people (preferably in a bathroom or outdoors) and they should immediately sanitize their hands after disposing of their dirty mask.
For employees, Stone Ridge will provide KN95 masks, and face shields will be made available for any staff member upon request. Each division office will have a supply of masks for anyone who arrives without a mask or needs a replacement mask during the day.
Weekly PCR/NAAT Testing for All Community Members.
Throughout January 2022, all students and employees regardless of vaccination status will be tested twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID in the prior 90 days should not be tested again; these students or employees will not be included in the testing plans above. Please be sure to report any prior positive COVID cases to Health Services so that these students and employees may be excluded during this time frame.
Please review the CDC Checklist for Parents for helpful information on sending your child to school and mitigating risk of COVID-19 infection. Parents agree to acknowledge and accept that there is an assumption of risk if they come to campus for any reason.
No staff member or student may enter the building if they have a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If a student is already at Stone Ridge, the student’s parent/guardian will be contacted and told to come pick up their child within 60 minutes. If a staff member is already at school, they will notify their supervisor and leave campus immediately.
Students and staff are not to be on campus if they show any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses and must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning. Please contact the Health Services Office to determine when your child can return to school after illness and if symptoms persist. If a student or staff member has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, then that person must remain in isolation until they have met the CDC guidelines to discontinue isolation.
Any student or staff member who shows signs or symptoms of illness during the school day should first contact the Health Services Office and speak with one of the nurses. If necessary, attention will be provided in the designated health waiting room near the Office of the Director of Health Services.
Testing Positive for COVID-19: Containment Response
If a staff member or student who has been present on campus tests positive for COVID-19, the School requires that the result be reported to the School (Director of Health Services and/or the Head of School) to receive the appropriate guidance.
Individuals with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be restricted from entering campus and must remain in isolation until they have met the CDC guidelines to discontinue isolation and meet the School’s return policies.
Stone Ridge will comply with any contact tracing protocols from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and/or Maryland Departments of Health and Education to identify all persons who may be considered a close contact. Those individuals will then be notified.
In the event of a positive test, the school will first follow any government or public health requirements with respect to suspending or reopening its operations. The School may also use its own judgement about closing in the event closure is not required by a public agency.
In the event of temporary closure, the School modality would shift to the virtual learning platform.
If Someone Tested Positive in Your Home:
This depends on the individual’s vaccination status. For purposes of household exposures, you are considered fully vaccinated if you have received your booster, or if you completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna in the past six months or of Johnson & Johnson in the past two months. The guidance then is as follows:
- Fully vaccinated individuals: quarantine is not required, but one should test on day 5 and wear a mask for 10 days. Stone Ridge may also require additional ongoing testing at School depending on the household circumstances.
- Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals: quarantine for 5 days and follow strict mask usage protocols for an additional 5 days. The School will conduct additional school-based testing during days 6–10 while that individual is on campus.
Contact Tracing Program
The Stone Ridge Health Office will follow protocols established by the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the CDC.
The Health Office will collaborate with the Montgomery County Health Department to report and provide information about positive COVID-19 cases, and people exposed to COVID-19 within these settings. This allows contact tracing to identify which students/children, teachers, and staff with positive COVID-19 test results should isolate, and which close contacts should quarantine.
If a student, staff or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19, the Health Office will be notified and follow up with the affected person or affected persons family. The Health Office will provide appropriate guidance to those individuals at that time.
Current CDC quarantine guidance for schools (January 2022) defines fully vaccinated as follows:
- Ages 17 and younger: completion of the primary vaccine series
- Ages 18 and above: completion of the primary vaccine series and the booster
As noted above, all unvaccinated close contacts will be notified by the Health Services Office regarding their quarantine requirement. At this time, Stone Ridge is discontinuing the prior practice of also notifying all potential vaccinated close contacts. With no quarantine requirement for those fully vaccinated, the main recommendation for vaccinated close contacts has concerned precautionary follow-up testing; with Stone Ridge currently testing the entire community twice weekly, those individuals would no longer necessarily have a need for additional testing.
There also is the practical challenge that the current level of cases generates more potential vaccinated close contacts than it is possible to communicate with on an individual basis. The reality of the current stage of the pandemic is that anyone can be a potential close contact of a positive case at almost any time.
HEPA air purifiers are in use to filter air 4-6 times per hour in classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, common areas, and offices which lack windows and/or may have multiple people gathering.
Window fan units are used in many locations to increase fresh air circulation in classrooms and offices.
Air filters have been cleaned/replaced and/or upgraded where possible.
Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms as well as entry points into our buildings;
Automatic faucets available across the entire campus;
New hand-washing sinks to the Carriage House's toddler room and Lower School classrooms;
Five portable sinks are in circulation to increase hand washing capabilities on campus.
Dining Hall & Lunch Protocol
SAGE Dining Services provides lunches to students enrolled in the lunch program, and to Stone Ridge faculty and staff.
Meal preparation and service follow all appropriate health and safety protocols.
Students sanitize their hands before entering the lunch line.
A portion of the seats in the Mathews Dining Hall in the Mater Center has been removed to facilitate appropriate distancing at each table, and the division lunch schedules are coordinated to limit the number of students in the Dining Hall at any one time.
For contract tracing purposes, Lower and Middle School students sit at assigned tables for lunch.
Weather permitting, outdoor seating is made available for some students as possible.
At the conclusion of meals: face coverings must be put back on immediately, trash will be disposed of or recycled properly, and students will wipe down their eating area.
In general, "snacking" is not permitted in classrooms during instructional periods.
Students may drink during class. We highly recommend using a straw so that the face mask does not need to be removed.
Safety precautions for vocal and instrumental classes will incorporate current best practices, including recommendations from ICPAAS. As much as possible, all music classes and ensembles will resume normal activities. Students participating in Chorus and Band may have additional safety protocols which will be communicated to parents of students involved.
Physical Distancing While Indoors
Classrooms will be set up in accordance with CDC recommendations that suggest three feet of physical distance between students whenever possible. When not possible, Stone Ridge will provide the maximum spacing available within the given space. This practice remains consistent with CDC recommendations given the School’s additional prevention strategies, such as enhanced ventilation, stringent cleaning procedures, ensuring sick individuals remain off campus, etc.
Students will have assigned seats in each classroom to assist with contact tracing if the need arises.
Stone Ridge keeps informed about any state and county health department guidelines for group gathering size limits. Adjustments may be made throughout the year.
Stone Ridge operates daily bus service to specific Maryland and Virginia locations and (free) shuttle service to and from the Medical Center metro stop in the morning and afternoons. Bus transportation supporting Stone Ridge athletic or social action events is also provided.
To ensure driver and passenger safety, the following procedures are in place:
Drivers and passengers must wear an approved face covering at all times while in the vehicle.
Vehicle windows will be opened (weather permitting) to increase air circulation.
Drivers will be responsible for disinfecting their vehicle after each trip.
With a primary focus on the health and safety of all Stone Ridge students and student-athletes, athletic programs will adhere to state, local, and School guidelines and will communicate any operational changes with families as necessary. Stone Ridge continuously monitors jurisdictional COVID-19 restrictions and will communicate with our respective league membership and peer schools necessary protocols prior to athletic competitions. Families should be aware that conditions at peer schools may vary and are likely to reduce the overall number of interscholastic competitions. Stone Ridge is committed to providing the best opportunities possible for our student-athletes while balancing all variables.
As of September 2021, per ISL requirements, all Upper School student-athletes must be vaccinated and submit to weekly COVID-19 PCR/NAAT test throughout the winter season. PCR/NAAT Testing will occur every Thursday on campus from 7:15–9:00 am. All students must be registered with CAPITAL DIAGNOSTICS. Please review the registration instructions in the “Testing” section of this webpage to ensure your student will be tested. Students not registered will not be able to receive testing at Stone Ridge. Student-athletes that miss a testing opportunity at Stone Ridge will need to provide a PCR/NAAT result from an external testing entity to be eligible to participate the following week.
If you plan to be tested outside of Stone Ridge, please notify the Health Services Office of your plans. Externally submitted test results must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12:00 pm, noon, on Monday for eligible participation that week.
Central to Stone Ridge’s commitment to the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education is the role our parents/guardians play in the life of the School. Stone Ridge is fortunate to have an active parent community across the grade levels. We have found that this positive parent participation and partnership results in an even stronger educational environment for our students and experience for all of our families.
Our parent events at Stone Ridge serve many purposes: providing an introduction for new parents to the School and its mission; building relationships with the faculty and staff; educating parents about curriculum and developmentally appropriate topics; strengthening the sense of community through connections to fellow parents; living the spiritual life through prayer and Mass; and fundraising.
Stone Ridge now requires all parent volunteers to be vaccinated and submit proof of vaccination to the Health Services Office. Due to the nature of volunteer activities and the likelihood of close interaction with Stone Ridge students and/or employees, we feel this is the best way to ensure the health and well-being of our community. Please drop off or email proof of vaccination to the School’s Health Services Office: HealthServices@stoneridgeschool.org. This submission is required only once; it is not necessary to resubmit prior to each volunteer activity.
Stone Ridge allows parents, admissions candidates, and other visitors on campus. Mask use is required for all indoor visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required while outdoors on campus. The Stone Ridge campus, to include the grounds and buildings, is located on private property. The vaccine requirement is not currently in effect for campus visitors or those invited to social events. Stone Ridge may choose to impose additional restrictions for certain non-volunteer events if that is deemed necessary and appropriate, and those protocols would be communicated specifically in advance of those events.
There is no solicitation allowed on campus. In order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, visitors are required to adhere to the following policy.
During normal business hours 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday:
- All visitors must sign in at one of the four reception desks located in the Upper School main office, Lower School main office, Hamilton House entrance, and the Facilities building. To gain access to these offices visitors must ring the doorbell located near the front door at each of these locations, look into the camera, and state their name and purpose for visiting.
- Visitors are required to provide a government issued photo ID.
- Unless otherwise directed, visitors are only permitted to enter buildings through the main entry doors, identified as door #1 on the building's exterior. Students and staff are asked not to open doors for any person or group of people at any other building entrance.
- Visitor passes must be displayed at all times while on campus.
- Visitors found on campus without a visitor pass, will be escorted to one of the four reception desks to sign in, or they will be asked to leave the campus immediately.
After normal business hours, beginning at 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, all day Saturday, Sunday, holidays, and at other times when the campus might be closed due to inclement weather:
- Visitors attending after school functions for the school, or an outside organization that has authorization to be on Stone Ridge property, must abide by the visitors policy set forth for the function/event.
- Unless permission is obtained from a member of the Stone Ridge staff, use of Stone Ridge School facilities after normal business hours is prohibited.
Following travel, all Stone Ridge community members are expected to adhere to any applicable federal, state, and/or local quarantine orders, travel advisories, and best practices. Please refer to the CDC travel webpage for guidance.
Stone Ridge has benefitted from a wide range of professional resources to help with our research and to guide the thinking of the COVID-19 Task Force, the Administrative Team, the Medical Advisory Council, and all faculty and staff involved in this planning.
Primary resources have included but not been limited to: the \American Academy of Pediatrics; Montgomery County and Maryland State’s Departments of Health (Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); resources from the National Association of Independent Schools, Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, the National Business Officers Association, Independent School Management, and the Sacred Heart Network of Schools. The School also has a robust parent, past parent, and alumnae community of professionals who are providing support and consultation on a wide range of topics.
Analyzing the data is a complex process and one that requires a team of professionals. Stone Ridge has assembled a team of medical advisors who have helped design our health and safety plans and who consult with the Administration through every critical step of decision making as we navigate this pandemic. For information on our medical advisory council, please read about them below. *
Stephen R. T. Evans, MD (SR Parent), is executive vice president for Medical Affairs and chief medical officer for MedStar Health and has served on the Maryland COVID -19 Task Force under Governor Hogan. Dr. Evans brings strong strategic, operational and medical leadership to this $5.7 billion, multi-jurisdictional health system comprised of 10 hospitals and 20 other health-related businesses across Maryland and the Washington, DC, region. In this position, Dr. Evans oversees the medical education, research, clinical quality, and risk management initiatives for the system, as well as the academic partnership with Georgetown University School of Medicine and MedStar Health’s other academic affiliations.
For the three years prior to this current role, Dr. Evans served as vice president of Medical Affairs at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He was responsible for strengthening relationships between the medical staff and the hospital, leading the identification and development of new programs, and acting as a liaison between administration, hospital staff and medical staff. In addition, Dr. Evans oversaw and supported the medical staff structure, assuring high-quality patient care and compliance with regulatory and accreditation requirements.
Joining MedStar Georgetown University in 1990 as an assistant professor of Surgery, Dr. Evans rose through the ranks of hospital leadership, serving as chair of the department of Surgery for over seven years until 2009 when he was promoted to vice president of Medical Affairs. Throughout his tenure at MedStar Georgetown University, Dr. Evans succeeded in building a strong reputation for the department both internally and externally and became a nationally recognized leader in surgical education. Under his leadership, he significantly increased the surgical volume, as well as the quality of residents to the surgical program.
Dr. Evans received his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He completed residencies in both general surgery and obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a fellowship at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a specialist in General Surgery, Dr. Evans is certified by the American Board of Surgery, and previously held board certifications from the American Board of Surgical Critical Care, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Critical Care.
As a director of the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Evans helps the organization to set and regulate standards of practice and certifications for surgeons across America. Effective this past June, Dr. Evans became the chair for the American Board of Surgery. Additionally, Dr. Evans is an elected member of several distinguished national surgical societies including the American Surgical Association.
Steven Fong, MD (SR Parent), Family Medicine, Medical Advisor - FEMA.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, Dr. Fong has been serving as a medical advisor/consulting physician for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies, and Federal Occupational Health, in our national emergency response to the pandemic. As part of the Safety & Health component, he has been an advisor to senior management of FEMA and other federal agencies, and has communicated with the CDC and other Agency chief medical officers and experts, on CDC guidance and recommendations for best practices to ensure that their policies and plans for operations, reopening, and mitigating risk of infection during this pandemic are consistent with CDC guidelines. Dr. Fong has been closely monitoring the CDC guidance for schools, colleges, universities, businesses, athletic and recreational facilities, and all other settings that are impacted by COVID-19.
Patrick Hickey, MD (SR Parent and Trustee), is a Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician in the U.S. Army and Chair, Department of Pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University (USU). Previous assignments include leadership positions at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research - Military HIV Research Program, serving as the Department of Defense Deputy Principal for the US Army portfolio within the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Chief of International HIV Prevention and Treatment, the single largest Global Health Engagement program within the Department of Defense. Prior to that assignment, he served as Deputy Director of the Division of Tropical Public Health and Director of the Tropical Medicine and Traveler's Health curriculum in the Department of Preventive Medicine at USU from 2008 to 2016.
International work experience includes technical oversight and management of more than $100M PEPFAR portfolio in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania; serving as the Medical Director for the DOD Ebola Treatment Training Team in Liberia during the 2014 outbreak; a long term partnership with clinical education programs in Honduras; and numerous short term assignments in South and SouthEast Asia. He remains active in teaching, research, and clinical supervision of medical students, Pediatric residents and Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellows. His research focus is on deployment and travelers health among military service members and their families. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Disease, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, and holds a Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Travel Health by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Certificate of Traveler's Health from the International Society of Travel Medicine.
Ricardo D. LaGrange, Ph.D (SR Parent), is co-owner / COO / vice president of Basics Counseling & Testing. He is a Licensed Clinical and Research Psychologist with over 20 years of experience in the fields of public health; psychotherapy and counseling; training and consultation; seminar and workshop presentation; and evidence-based practices. Dr. LaGrange received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia, his Masters’ degree in Public Health from George Washington University and Doctorate degree in Psychology from Howard University. He has proven expertise in the science of behavioral change and leading healthcare-related initiatives with high-risk populations across multiple sectors. Dr. LaGrange approaches his clinical work with the belief that each client possesses unique strengths that through treatment can be harnessed to navigate even the most challenging problems. Trained as a scientist-practitioner and adjunct professor, Dr. LaGrange is dedicated to providing proven and state-of-the-art psychological services.
Jose Mario Ortega, MD (SR Parent and Trustee), has been a pediatrician at International Pediatrics since 1999. Son of founder Mario Ortega, MD, he graduated from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala and completed his residency at the Holtz Children's Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center where he was Chief Resident. Dr. Ortega, MD currently serves on the Medical Advisory Committee of one of the largest insurance companies in the area.
Amy Richardson, MD, MBA (SR Alumna ‘72 and Past Trustee) is a Pediatrician with broad experience in clinical practice, public health, academic medicine, research, health policy and healthcare management. Dr. Richardson attended college and medical school at the University of Virginia and completed her Pediatric training at Bowman Gray and the University of Virginia. After serving as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health service, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at the University of Rochester. Her business degree is from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Richardson currently serves as Senior Director of Medicaid Clinical Excellence at Aetna Medicaid, a CVS Health company.
*Disclaimer: The healthcare providers listed above are not providing medical advice to, and have not established a doctor-patient relationship with, any individual affiliated with Stone Ridge, and none of their words or actions in consulting with Stone Ridge should be construed as such. Moreover, they are serving as professional advisors on a personal level to Stone Ridge and not as representatives of their employers.
Updated October 2021
For what COVID-19 related reasons should my child remain home?
Your child or a household member has any symptom of COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Your child or a household member has been instructed by a healthcare provider/health department to self-isolate/quarantine.
Please notify the appropriate division and the Health Services Office that your child will remain home:
- Health Services Office: email@example.com
- Little Hearts (Infants – K): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lower School (Grades 1 – 4): email@example.com
- Middle School (Grades 5 – 8): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Upper School (Grades 9 – 12): email@example.com
What to do if your child has symptoms of COVID-19.
Your child will need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider to determine if a COVID-19 PCR/NAAT test is necessary. If they do not perform a COVID-19 PCR/NAAT test, we will need a note from the provider indicating the symptoms are from something other than COVID-19 (such as allergies, influenza, strep throat, etc.)
At this time, we will only accept PCR/NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) results. Stone Ridge can accept the results of any available NAAT test, of which PCR/NAAT is one type. Please note that NAAT tests differ from rapid antigen tests. If a child is not symptomatic, but requires testing because of a close contact, the use of a rapid antigen test at school or a PCR/NAAT test would be acceptable. Lastly, any time a rapid antigen test is positive, the result needs to be confirmed with a PCR/NAAT test.
Your child may return to campus once a doctor’s note and/or a negative PCR/NAAT test is provided and they are cleared by the Stone Ridge Health Office.
Please submit all required medical documentation to the Health Services Office. If the information is received after hours, or over the weekend, please expect a response the next business day, after 9:00 am. If you have any questions please contact the Health Office weekdays between the hours of 9:00 am–4:00 pm at 301.657.4322 ext. 1562, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to fax documents, our fax number is 301.961.2639.
What if a student shows symptoms while on campus?
If a student presents with symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, the student will be accompanied to the Health Services Individual Waiting Room and the parent/contact will be notified. The student must be picked up within 60 minutes of the parent/contact being notified.
Your child will need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider and a negative COVID-19 PCR/NAAT test must be provided to the Health Office in order to return to campus. Additionally, the student must be symptom free for 24 hours (including no fever without the use of medication) before returning to campus.
Please submit all required medical documentation to the Health Services Office. If the information is received after hours, or over the weekend, please expect a response the next business day, after 9:00 am. If you have any questions please contact the Health Office weekdays between the hours 9:00 am–4:00 pm at 301.657.4322 ext. 1562, or send an email at email@example.com. If you need to fax documents, our fax number is 301.961.2639.
What if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
Maryland law and public health best practices direct that Stone Ridge will immediately contact the County Department of Health and follow its guidance or directives with respect to any quarantine, isolation, or closure decisions.
Close contacts will be identified and their information will be reported to the Department of Health. Please expect a call from the Department of Health after your case has been reported. Every situation will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Neither the Public Health Officer nor Stone Ridge is able to make any decisions in advance about whether a positive case would require a classroom, a grade level, or entire division to shift from hybrid to virtual learning.
My child was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Should they be tested?
No. Please make sure the Health Services Office is aware of your child’s previous positive COVID-19 test so she/he will not be in the testing rotation within 90 days of their laboratory diagnosis.
What does it mean to quarantine?
Quarantine refers to a strategy used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19, but does not know if he or she is infected, away from others. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows that he or she is infected. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their local public health authorities.
Testing out of Quarantine
There are two scenarios under which an unvaccinated student who is deemed to be a close contact of a positive COVID case may test out of quarantine requirements.
First, if that close contact occurred in school, at Stone Ridge, the “Test to Stay” protocols above, requiring daily testing until day 5 after exposure, would apply and allow the student to remain in school. (Though the student would still be required to quarantine outside of school, e.g., over the weekend.)
Second, if the close contact occurred outside of school, “Test to Stay” would not apply. In that case, following CDC recommendations, testing out of quarantine refers to getting a PCR/NAAT test on Day 5 following exposure. If the test produces a negative result, students are able to return to classes on Day 8.
Individuals who tested positive themselves cannot test out of quarantine; they must isolate, as described below.
What is Isolation?
Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).
Individuals can return to normal activities after 10 days of isolation, as determined by the Department of Health, and 24 hours with no fever without using fever reducing medications. Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
For more information on quarantine and isolation, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
COVID-19 PCR/NAAT Surveillance Testing Program
Is weekly PCR/NAAT testing mandatory?
Yes, for unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated individuals 12 and older (who are otherwise eligible for the vaccine) are required to provide a negative PCR/NAAT test each week on Friday by 3:00 pm. For students ages 11 and under, Stone Ridge provides weekly PCR/NAAT testing on campus each Thursday through Capital Diagnostics.
Do you use Rapid Antigen Tests?
Yes. On a case by case basis through our “Test to Stay” protocol, unvaccinated students who are determined to be close contacts following a school-based exposure, who otherwise would be required to quarantine, may continue to attend school under the condition of daily rapid antigen testing for the first five days following exposure.
What Rapid Antigen test is Stone Ridge using?
Stone Ridge purchased CareStart COVID-19 Antigen tests from Inspire Diagnostics.
The test is a mid-nasal swab. The swab is inserted into the nostril and swirled approximately five times per nostril. Adults and students as young as Grade 5 are able to perform the nasal swab themselves under direct supervision. Students in Lower School and Little Hearts are swabbed by a member of the Health Services team.
What happens if there is a positive Rapid Antigen test result?
A positive antigen test result must be confirmed by a PCR/NAAT test within 48 hours. Families or individuals will be directed to contact their own primary care physician for this follow-up testing. Though an antigen positive test is presumed to be accurate, false positives can occur. A PCR/NAAT test, which is considered a diagnostic test, is required for confirmation of whether the individual is indeed COVID-19 positive. Additionally, it is important to see one’s own physician for a full consultation regarding one’s health and next steps for management.
The individual receiving a positive antigen result must isolate until the results of the PCR/NAAT test can determine the next steps. The County Department of Health will be notified of all antigen positive results. The County will treat a positive rapid antigen as a positive until proven otherwise by a negative PCR/NAAT result.
Are antigen tests less effective than PCR/NAAT tests?
The effectiveness of a test (antigen or PCR/NAAT) depends on its intended use (i.e. diagnostic, screening, or surveillance testing). These tests may serve different roles in a testing program that includes surveillance and screening for the occurrence of COVID-19 infection, and its usefulness is based on the characteristics of the test (sensitivity, specificity), time to result (result turnaround time), ability to use at the point of care, false positive/false negative rates, and cost. PCR/NAAT is the most accurate test for diagnostic testing in those suspected of being infected based on symptoms or known contact exposure, and for confirmation of positive screening testing.
For surveillance testing, the antigen test is very effective because it is rapid, is easily performed at the point of care, has a low rate of false negatives, and is extremely cost effective. The CDC supports the use of antigen tests for surveillance. Because the antigen tests occasionally produce a false positive, all positive antigen tests will be confirmed with PCR/NAAT within 48 hours to guide final decision making for the individual and any contacts. The use of a surveillance program and any negative test results does not mean that other infection prevention methods can be scaled back.
Is there any cost for families to participate in the Rapid Antigen program?
No. Stone Ridge has purchased the test kits and supplies, and the Stone Ridge Health Services team conducts and oversees the testing. There is no cost to families, and your health insurance information is not needed.
What is the difference between antigen tests and antibody tests?
Antigen tests are sometimes confused for antibody tests. Antigen tests indicate the presence of a specific protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These tests are particularly appropriate for a school community because they are strongly correlated with infectiousness. Antibody or serology tests, in contrast, test for the presence of the antibodies created by one’s body to fight an infection; in this way, they can be used to determine if someone has previously had COVID-19. They are not appropriate as a surveillance test for monitoring current levels of infection.
If we travel, would Stone Ridge’s antigen testing be used to approve campus access?
No. Following travel, all Stone Ridge community members will continue to be expected to adhere to any applicable federal, state, and/or local quarantine orders, travel advisories, and best practices. If testing is required by such orders, families are responsible for securing their own PCR/NAAT tests.
Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
For any questions about COVID-19 testing or other safety measures at Stone Ridge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions specific to your child’s health, please email email@example.com.
Do you have any tips to help my child(ren) prepare for a COVID-19 test?
The Mayo Clinic has good suggestions as well as a video to view.
Katie Inch, Lower School teacher, made a short social story you can read with your children: Social Story - COVID-19 Testing