COVID-19 Policies & Procedures

Covid 19 Updates

Golda Och Academy continues to closely monitor and respond to information and data surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check this page regularly for the most current school policies and healthcare resources.

COVID Policies & Procedures

List of 16 items.

  • Boosters

    As per the updated January 19 NJDOH guidelines, beginning February 1, all students aged 12-17 who have completed their primary COVID vaccination series but have NOT received a booster upon being eligible, will be considered “Not Fully Vaccinated” and will be subject to quarantine in the event of an exposure. Furthermore, extracurricular activities such as athletics will continue to be limited to those whose vaccination is complete (including a booster if eligible).

    To keep our quarantine numbers down and to keep everyone healthy, we urge every student aged 12 and older to get their booster if it has been at least 5 months since completion of their primary series. 
  • Directions for Uploading Booster Records to Magnus

    Make sure to have a photo of the completed COVID vaccine card saved on your device, and then follow the below steps:
     
    • Log into Magnus via the GOA Website/Resources/Nurse’s Corner
    • Edit the Immunization Record for your child
    • Add a document/form, which will be your COVID vaccine card. This will not delete previously uploaded documents. Thanks for uploading!
  • Vaccinations

    Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible GOA faculty and staff are required to provide proof of their vaccination prior to the start of school.

    Vaccination is mandated for all GOA students 16+. The first dose must be administered within two weeks, prior to the start of school, with the record uploaded directly to Magnus. 
     
    As of November 3, the FDA and CDC have extended the Emergency Use Authorization of a pediatric dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 to children aged 5-11. Please see the Essex County COVID-19 Vaccination Locations webpage for information on how to make an appointment, or consult your local pharmacy.
     
    Achieving a high rate of vaccination for all of our students will confer benefits on our entire school. Students who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past the second dose) by the January 3 return to school will not be required to test weekly, nor must they quarantine after exposure to an infected individual (unless they develop symptoms) or upon return from travel beyond our contiguous states. Moreover, we hope to reinstate our Lower School Aftercare and Funtracks programs soon, which will be limited to fully vaccinated students since they blend cohorts.
     
    At this time we are not imposing a vaccine mandate on all students covered by the EUA. We realize that this is a new product, and that families need time to consult with their medical providers.
     
    We strongly encourage all vaccine-eligible members of our community to be fully vaccinated for their own health and the health of our community.

    Moreover, access by adult visitors to the GOA campus will be restricted to those who are fully vaccinated and share a copy of their record prior to their first visit. If you make an appointment on campus, please be sure to send a photo of your vaccine card to Della Irby at least a day prior to your visit.
  • Vaccination Exemption Policy (Employees)

    Background
    Golda Och Academy (“GOA”) is mandating that all covered workers be fully vaccinated prior to student contact for the 2021-22 school year. The Administration, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, has decided that this requirement is necessary for the health and safety of our school community and to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak on our campus that could cause us to implement virtual instruction. We will also require that all eligible students and visitors to our school show proof of being fully vaccinated before being admitted to our schools or any school sponsored events or activities.

    Covered Workers
    For purposes of this Policy, “covered workers” shall include all individuals employed by GOA, both full and part-time, including, but not limited to, administrators; teachers; educational support professionals; individuals providing food, custodial, and administrative support services; substitute teachers, whether employed directly by GOA or otherwise contracted; contractors; providers; and any other individuals performing work in the school district whose job duties require them to make regular visits to the school district, including volunteers. Covered workers do not include individuals who visit the school district only to provide one-time or limited duration repairs, services, or construction.

    Proof of Vaccination
    Covered workers shall demonstrate proof of full vaccination status by presenting any of the following documents if they list COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for EUA by the FDA or the WHO, or that are approved for use by the same, along with an administration date for each dose:
    1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Card issued to the vaccine recipient by the vaccination site, or an electronic or physical copy of the same;
    2. Official record from the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) or other State immunization registry;
    3. A record from a health care provider’s portal/medical record system on official letterhead signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, registered nurse, or pharmacist;
    4. A military immunization or health record from the United States Armed Forces; or
    5. Docket mobile phone application record or any State specific application that produces a digital health record.

    This documentation shall be provided to Della Irby, Executive Assistant.

    Exemption Requests
    Should a covered worker seek a medical exemption, he/she should do the following:
    • Obtain a letter from his/her physician documenting the reason for the exemption, including the underlying condition and the specific risk associated with obtaining the vaccine.  The letter should include the physician’s signature and clearly identifiable contact information.
    • Provide the letter in a sealed envelope to George Paulick, Director of Human Resources.
    • The Director of HR will review all requests and may request additional information from the covered worker to make an informed decision.   All decisions will be made based on the facts presented and any applicable legal requirements.
    • The Director of HR will not share any confidential medical information with any third parties without the covered worker’s consent.
     
    Special Requirements for Exemption Approvals
    As a condition for continued employment, any covered worker who is granted a medical exemption will be required to obtain a negative COVID test (PCR) every week at their own expense and submit the results to Della Irby every Monday by 9:00 a.m.  Home tests cannot be accepted.  GOA shall track test results required by Executive Order 253 and must report those results to the local public health department.

    Other Exemption Requests
    A covered worker seeking a request for an exemption from the vaccine for non-medical reasons must submit a detailed letter to the Head of School explaining in detail the reason for the exemption request.  Such requests will be reviewed by the Head of School whose decision shall be final and binding.
  • Weekly Testing

    Sunday, January 30, will be our final on-site testing clinic, and that week, January 31-February 4, will be our final week of mandatory surveillance testing. Results for that week should be uploaded by Thursday, February 3. Unvaccinated students, not-fully vaccinated students, and students participating in some programs such as athletics will need to arrange for their own weekly PCR test, and report results. 

    We intend to continue universal weekly surveillance testing through January. Please schedule your tests either through our BackToWorkSystems provider or through any of the options available across the community.
  • Masking and Social Distancing

    The CDC now recommends that Americans use well-fitted and multi-layered masks such as surgical, KN95 or N-95. We strongly encourage all staff and older students to transition to using such masks, while recognizing that younger children may be unable to wear them all day. The most important goal is consistent mask use both in school and in other public settings.

    All individuals — students and adults, vaccinated and unvaccinated — are required to wear masks in our buildings. At the Upper School, students may be required to wear masks outdoors when social distancing is not possible. At the Lower School, masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors, with the exception of eating and drinking.

     In accordance with AAP and CDC guidelines, we are continuing to institute a layered approach including social distancing and other measures to reduce risk for our students and staff.
  • Campus Visitation Vaccination Policy

    Access by visitors to the GOA campus will be restricted to those who are fully vaccinated and share a copy of their record prior to their first visit. If you make an appointment on campus, please be sure to send a photo of your vaccine card to Della Irby at least a day prior to your visit.
  • In-Person Instruction

    GOA is committed to in-person instruction, which is by far the most effective educational format. Like other schools, we are not planning to offer a remote option this year as a matter of course. There may be circumstances in which the entire school must go remote, and there may be cases of individual medical emergency that would require a brief exception to this policy, but we are not able to provide the high level of instruction that we expect at GOA with an extended hybrid format.
  • Sick Policies

  • Quarantine and Isolation Policy

    • Updated: January 13, 2022
    • Students
    • Employees (Faculty/Staff)
      • Employees who test positive for Covid-19 or develop Covid-like symptoms should immediately begin isolation and inform their campus nurse and supervisor.
      • Employees who need to isolate may use paid time off under the GOA Covid leave policy.
      • Employees eligible but not boosted and who have an exemption from vaccination are subject to quarantine requirements following exposure to Covid.
      • Employees who are fully vaccinated (including booster if eligible) do not need to quarantine following a known exposure. They should get a PCR test between days 5-7 and continue to be alert for possible symptoms for 14 days after exposure and wear a well-fitting medical grade mask around others.
      • ​​Employees who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine for 7 days following a known exposure with a test on day 5.
      • The day that symptoms emerge or that a test registers positive is considered day 0. The next day is the first day of isolation (day 1). The employee must isolate at home for a full 5 days. For example, if symptoms emerge on Tuesday, isolation is through Sunday.
      • On day 6, assuming that there have been no remaining symptoms for 24 hours, the employee should take a rapid antigen test at home. If that test is negative, then they may return to work that day.  GOA will provide an antigen test to you at the beginning of your isolation period for this purpose.
      • On days 6-10 eligible returning employees must wear KN95 or similar masks on campus, and should not unmask, even to eat or drink, unless alone behind closed doors or outdoors.  The employee should maintain strict social distancing and limit unnecessary interactions.
      • If the antigen test on day 6 is positive OR symptoms are still present, the person should continue to isolate for the full 10 day period, returning to work on day 11.
  • Protocol for Positive COVID Results During the School Day

    With our new weekly COVID-19 testing protocol in place for all unvaccinated students, we anticipate periodically receiving positive test results. If these results are received when students are not present in school, then we will notify the parents of the affected student to isolate them at home, and inform the entire cohort that they, too, need to quarantine at home. As usual, we will provide families with the date when they should test for COVID, when quarantine will conclude, and plans for remote instruction in the interim.
     
    In the event that we learn during the school day that a student has tested positive, then we will follow the following protocol:
     
    1. Nurse Roberta or Nurse Ilena will contact the parents to confirm that they have received the results, ask them to come to school to collect their child immediately, and ask for permission to inform the child in a reassuring but clear manner that they are being picked up because their test result was positive. 
    2. The nurse will next inform their campus principal of the situation and ask them to inform the Head of School and relevant faculty and staff.
    3. The nurse will come to the classroom and ask the student to accompany her to the office, where they will wait to be collected. 
    4. The Head of School will notify parents of other children in the section that their child has been exposed to COVID, should be collected from school and commence isolation. These students will not be allowed to take a bus home.
    5. The Head of School will send a general notice to the GOA community mentioning the infection by grade level.
    6. The classroom teachers will inform their students that, “Because of an infection in our class, we are going to switch to remote learning. Your parents will come to pick you up soon.” Meanwhile, teachers will keep their students separate from other sections and staff, whether in the classroom or ideally outdoors, until they are collected. 
    7. If this situation develops close to dismissal it may not be practicable for parents to make a special trip to collect their students, but we will still communicate with them so they can take measures to minimize contact with children in other cohorts.
  • SchoolPass App: Daily Wellness Screenings & Dismissal Protocols

    We are looking forward to using the SchoolPass app again this year for our entire school, Pre-K through 12th, to manage our wellness screening processes as well as our dismissal procedures in the Lower School
     
    The SchoolPass app enables us to screen vehicles entering our campus, tracks student transportation plans, and consolidates real-time schedule changes for the carpool line, buses and after-school activities. In short, parents and caregivers will now be able to manage and communicate dismissal changes using the SchoolPass app on their smartphones, or through the SchoolPass website.
     
    SchoolPass will also be used every morning, by every member of our community, to manage our wellness screening process. By 7:30 am, everyone will be required to login and do a wellness check for all child(ren). Upon arrival to school, Lower School parents/caregivers will be asked to show their green check mark (on their phone) to the staff on hand. Upper School students with cellphones will be asked to present the green check mark either through the app or via screenshot from a parent's device. Please be sure to complete the screening(s) before arriving at school. 
     
    Those who have already set up an account in the past will continue to use their current login information. Please note that everyone must have the most updated app downloaded on their phone. You can find it in the app store by searching “SchoolPass.” 
     
    New GOA families will receive an email directly from SchoolPass with login information and instructions regarding how to access and use the website and app. Please note, this email will be coming directly from “no-reply-3600@schoolpass.com.”  
     
    If you are having any trouble logging in, please contact SchoolPass directly at (301) 255-1870.
     
    Please review the information below carefully and reach out to Michael Newman (Lower School) at mnewman@goldaochacademy.org or Crystal Hopkins (Upper School) at chopkins@goldaochacademy.org with any questions. 
     
     
    Overview of SchoolPass and How We Will Use it at GOA
     
    • GOA uses SchoolPass to check for all schedule changes throughout the day, in lieu of individual communication by email or phone. As parent/caregiver, you will be responsible for communicating any dismissal changes with the school through either the SchoolPass website, or the app. 
    • SchoolPass is used to manage our carpool line, with RFID stickers affixed to car windshields. These stickers are scanned by our staff as vehicles move through our lot. If there is no sticker, the approved driver will give his/her name to the person scanning and it will then be inputted. 
    • We have assigned two RFID stickers for each family to place on the windshield of up to two vehicles. You will also specific directions for how to display the RFID sticker. For those who still have their stickers on their windshields, those will still be fully operational. 
    • New families will receive an invitation from SchoolPass (it will be sent shortly after this email) that includes information for how to log in and how to download the “SchoolPass” app. If you do not receive an email, please notify Michael Newman (Lower School) at mnewman@goldaochacademy.org or Crystal Hopkins (Upper School) at chopkins@goldaochacademy.org.  
    • Please also be sure to log out and log back into the app to reset any changes that have occurred during the summer. 
     
    Setting Up Your Child(ren)’s Dismissal Schedule
     
    • Parents/guardians must set a default schedule for their child on the SchoolPass website. You cannot do this from the app. This schedule should reflect how your child(ren) will go home on normal days, Monday through Friday. These defaults must be set in order to make changes in the future. Please note: default setting from last year may still be in place and should be edited if need-be. We are asking that this information be logged by the end of the day on Monday, September 6. 
    • After you have set your default schedule, you can make 'moves' and 'changes' to your child's schedule in the app, or on the website. These changes are managed exclusively by you and are sent to the school as you update them.
    • All dismissal changes must be made in SchoolPass no later than 2:30 pm Monday-Thursday, and no later than 1:00 pm on Fridays. Should you need to make a change after the system closes for the day (in an emergency situation), please contact the main office directly at 973-602-3700 (Lower School) or 973-602-3600 (Upper School).  
    • If your student’s information is not up-to-date on SchoolPass, we will not have a record of it and it may impact how your child is dismissed.
     
    Carpool Line
     
    • When your vehicle travels through our carpool line, the RFID sticker you have affixed to your windshield will be scanned by a teacher/staff member who will be stationed outside to identify your vehicle. RFID tag installation instructions will be attached to the RFID sticker that is sent to you.
    • After a vehicle is scanned coming into the lot, the dismissal information associated with that vehicle will be transmitted to the teachers inside the building (through their smartphones/computers). Students will then be called to the pickup area to go to their cars.
    • If a car does not have a RFID sticker, the driver will be asked to provide his/her name or carpool number to the staff member outside.
    • Please be sure that anyone picking up your child is an authorized driver in your carpool, or that if there is a dismissal change on a particular day, it has been made on SchoolPass.
     
    We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in using this system. Our main objective is, and always will be, the safety and well-being of our students.
  • Athletics

    • Updated: January 12, 2022
    • All age-eligible participating athletes must be fully-vaccinated. Proof of vaccination status must be uploaded to the Magnus health portal.
    • All students must be masked during practice and during games.
    • During games, students should take mask breaks away from other players, coaches and referees.
    • Students are expected to bring multiple masks during games and practices.
    • All students should bring their own water bottle.
    • If eligible, all students should get a COVID-19 booster as soon as possible.
    • For those students or families who do not feel comfortable participating in games, they may participate in practices and remain on the team.  Please reach out to your coaches to let them know if you will not be participating in games.
    • High School
      • Varsity and Junior Varsity Teams are participating in the SEC league which does not require student athletes to be vaccinated.  GOA athletes may be playing against other athletes who are not currently vaccinated.
      • Athletes who choose to participate in games and practices may be considered a close contact if a member of the GOA team or a member of the opposing team tests positive for COVID-19.
      • Additional requirements may be included for those students who are within the coming week of Na’ale or Neshama.
    • Middle School
      • Middle School Teams are participating in the Y.M.S.S.A. league which requires athletes, coaches and referees to be vaccinated; however, that vaccination requirement does not require a third vaccine/booster vaccination.
      • Athletes who choose to participate in games and practices may be considered a close contact if a member of the GOA team or a member of the opposing team tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Lower School Aftercare

    • Updated: January 10, 2022
    • Students must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to participate in the aftercare program
  • Lower School Funtracks

    • Updated: January 10, 2022
    • Students must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to participate in the Funtracks program   
  • Vacation/Holiday Travel Guidelines

    • Updated: June 2021
    • New Jersey – and Golda Och Academy – continue to strongly recommend delaying travel until all members of the family are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.
    • For those unvaccinated students who must travel, travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state beyond the immediate region (NY, PA, and DE) should self-quarantine while following recommendations from the CDC:
      • COVID (PCR) test should be taken on day #3-5; if travelers test negative, they should be quarantined for a full 7 days after travel.
      • If not tested (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Preventing Illness

Public health officials recommend the following steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
 

Dashboard

Test results from January 23-29, 2022
UPDATED: JANUARY 25, 2022

195
3
New Positive Cases
2
Students
1
Faculty/Staff
Lower School
4A & 4A/B - 1
Lower School
1
Upper School
Grade 6 - 1

148
Currently Exempt
From Testing

Dashboard Archive

List of 3 items.

  • January 16-22, 2022

    Test results from January 16-22, 2022

    478
    15
    New Positive Cases
    12
    Students
    3
    Faculty/Staff
    Lower School
    Gan A - 1
    1B - 2

    2A - 1
    3A - 1
    3B -1
    4A & 4A/B - 1
    5A - 1
    Livingston Bus - 1*
    Aftercare - 1*

    *Not an additional student.
    Students are already included
    in Grade/Section.
    Upper School
    2
    Both Campuses
    1
    Upper School
    Grade 6 - 1
    Grade 7 -
    1
    Grade 9 - 1
    Grade 12 - 1

    148
    Currently Exempt
    From Testing
  • January 9-15, 2022

    Test results from January 9-15, 2022

    492
    Tests Submitted

    12
    New Positive Cases
    8
    Students
    4
    Faculty/Staff
    Lower School
    Gan B - 1
    2B - 1
    3A - 1
    4B - 1
    4C - 1
    5C - 1
    Lower School
    1
    Upper School
    3
    Upper School
    Grade 11 - 2

    134
    Exempt
    From Testing
  • January 2-8, 2022

    Test results from January 2-8, 2022

    526
    Tests Submitted

    20
    New Positive Cases
    17
    Students
    3
    Faculty/Staff
    Lower School
    Pre-K - 1
    Gan A - 1
    2C - 1
    3A - 1
    3B - 1
    4C - 2
    5B - 1
    Lower School
    1
    Upper School
    1
    Both Campuses
    1
    Upper School
    Grade 6 - 2
    Grade 7 - 2
    Grade 8 - 2
    Grade 9 - 3

    121
    Exempt
    From Testing

Media Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Glenn Slavin
Director of Marketing and Communications
gslavin@goldaochacademy.org
973-602-3788