Covid Updates & January Planning

School Schedule for January 
School will resume in virtual learning mode for all Divisions on January 4, as previously announced. It is our hope that conditions will allow all Divisions to return to hybrid learning on January 11. This will be evaluated during the week of January 4.

Please save the date for a parent information meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, January 6, 7:00-8:00 pm, at which time we will provide an update on plans for hybrid learning. 

Travel & Safety Reminders
If you travel outside of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, or DC to a state with a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 10% (“high risk”), upon return, you are required to get tested and self-quarantine at home until a negative test result is received. These guidelines are outlined in the Maryland travel advisory (part 2-B), which we ask all members of the Stone Ridge community to follow. 

Both at Stone Ridge and in your personal lives, please remember to adhere to our Community Expectations and Norms so that we can continue to take all appropriate precautions to keep our entire community as safe as possible, regardless of whether you have recently received a negative test result.

CDC Quarantine Guidelines
The CDC recently updated its guidelines to allow, in certain circumstances, for required quarantine periods (for close contacts of a positive case) to be shortened from 14 to 7 or 10 days, as the risk of transmission declines after that time. The Montgomery County Department of Health has since adopted this policy. At this time, Stone Ridge is not changing its policy regarding campus access; the 14-day requirement will remain, as stated in the Magnus screening questionnaire:

In the last 14 days, has your student had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes or had physical contact) with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, suspected of having COVID-19 (i.e., tested due to symptoms and is awaiting results of a COVID-19 test), or has your student been instructed by any health care provider or health official to self-isolate or quarantine?

Individuals directed to quarantine by their Health Department may follow the guidance they are provided regarding when to leave their homes and enter the broader community, but Stone Ridge prefers a conservative policy for campus access in order to minimize risk for our families and employees.

Covid-19 Testing at Stone Ridge 

December 2020 screening results:
Stone Ridge provided on-campus PCR tests for students and employees from December 3-15. A total of 798 tests were administered, with three positive results and 795 negative results. This includes the results that just arrived today from our last date of testing on December 15 and that had not yet been announced: 85 Upper School students and a few employees were tested, and all results were negative from this final set of post-Thanksgiving tests.

January 2021 return-to-campus screening:
Following the Christmas break, Stone Ridge again will provide required return-to-campus PCR testing at Stone Ridge for all students who will be on campus and for those faculty and staff with student contact. 

Please save the following dates; an announcement with registration details will be provided closer to these dates:

January 6 and 7, 1:00-6:00 pm: Little Hearts - Grade 5; Grades 6-12 Blue
January 13, 1:00-6:00 pm:  Grades 6-12 Gold

Future surveillance testing program:
Stone Ridge is working diligently to build the capability to conduct its own antigen-based surveillance testing program on campus. The School recently received Federal and State approval to administer and process tests on campus and has contracted with a test kit provider whose supplies will arrive in January. 
The testing will entail a nasal swab administered by a member of the School’s Health Services office and processed that same day at Stone Ridge. 
The purpose of this testing will be for surveillance, to monitor the health of the community and assess whether the School’s mitigation strategies continue to be effective. As such, not every member of the community will be tested every week. The School is developing protocols and procedures, including determining the rotation upon which each grade level or employee will be tested.
Participation will be required for those choosing on-campus learning, and a one-time waiver will be provided so as to eliminate recurring paperwork.
Additional details will be provided as they are finalized, and we will discuss this further at the January 6 parent Zoom meeting.
A caution about testing:
It is important to keep in mind that any testing, whether for screening or surveillance, is imperfect and does not eliminate the risk that one may carry the virus and be able to transmit it. This is due both to the limits of the tests themselves and the fact that the virus has an incubation period of several days prior to which it is generally not detectable.
Testing should be viewed as one layer in a multi-layered approach to safety, which at Stone Ridge includes mask use, daily health screening, distancing, small group sizes, air purification and ventilation, hygiene, sanitization, and more.