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La Scuola International School


Frequently Asked Questions

Please Review: SFDPH FAQs related to understanding Contact Tracing and what it means to be a Close Contact


What happens when a family has more than one child at La Scuola and one child is symptomatic?

In the case where a family has more than one child at La Scuola and siblings are in other cohorts, whether on the same campus or a different campus, if a child is symptomatic, the symptomatic child will be isolated in a designated location until a parent or caregiver can pick them up. The student will be sent home with instructions to isolate for 10 days and a negative COVID-19 test result will be required prior to returning to campus. The school must be notified of the results and will work with the individual on a campus return date in conjunction with SFDPH. The cohort will remain open and no specific communication with the health department is required.

We require any asymptomatic sibling to quarantine at home until the symptomatic child’s Covid-19 test results are back. 

If the symptomatic child’s test results are negative, the symptomatic student would follow standard handbook protocol on when they can return and the asymptomatic child may return to campus assuming they are also symptom-free. From our handbook: Children may return to school after they have been symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours and/or are accompanied by a doctor’s note. For example, if the child leaves the school on Monday with a fever over 101, she/he should not return until at least Wednesday. 

If the symptomatic student tests positive for Covid-19, SFDPH will be notified immediately to facilitate contact tracing.  The student must isolate at home for at least 10 days after first symptoms occurred.  

A symptomatic student may return 10 days after testing positive AND symptoms have improved and if it has been at least 24 hours since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.  

In this case, the sibling may be considered an individual who cannot avoid having close contact (for instance a caregiver or someone who cannot maintain any distance at home) and would be required to quarantine for 24 days (quarantine for 14 full days after the day that person completed their 10-day self-isolation). SFDPH quarantine and isolation guidance details can be found here.

This same protocol would apply in the case of any two family members or more that are at La Scuola.

Do you have any data on COVID cases in daycares and preschools in San Francisco?

The California Department of Social Services regularly updates Covid-19 Positive Cases in Child Care Facilities.

My young children are going crazy and they need to have a play date. How can we do one safely?

Making decisions about risk can be complicated. If you decide to have social interactions outside your household, please see these tips from the CDC

  • Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing).
  • Put distance between your children and other people outside of your home. Keep children at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Children 2 years and older should wear a mask over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) the other everyday preventive actions listed above.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Make sure your children are up to date on well-child visits and immunizations.
  • Although most children get no or mild symptoms when they have COVID-19, some children are at higher risk. For some families, children with health conditions or disabilities may be feeling an intense need for social interactions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to La Scuola or others and let them know. The San Francisco Human Services Agency also has a 24-hour Crisis Line For Parents at (415) 441-5437. Source: SFDPH.

What does ventilation look like at each campus?

At our Dogpatch campus, we have an HVAC system with Merv 13 filters in place which will be replaced every two months (typically replaced every 6 months).  In addition, each classroom is equipped with an air purifier with HEPA filters changed 1-2 times per month and is efficient for 800 square feet, the maximum size of our classrooms. 

At our Fell campus, we rely on a large number of windows to cool the space / circulate the air and a steam / radiator heating system. Three is no forced air in the building.  Each classroom is equipped with an air purifier with HEPA filters changed 1-2 times per month and is efficient for 800 square feet, the maximum size of our classrooms. 

At our Mission campus, we rely on a large number of windows to cool the space / circulate the air and a forced-air heating system throughout.  The furnaces will be equipped with Merv 13 filters.  Each classroom is equipped with an air purifier with HEPA filters changed 1-2 times per month and is efficient for 800 square feet, the maximum size of our classrooms.

What are we using to clean on campus? How did we change our cleaning procedures?

Across all three campuses, our facilities team cleans throughout the day and we have a janitorial crew that comes each evening. They both use Quat20 at the recommended dilution. 

At our preschool campus and for grades Kindergarten and 1, where there are more manipulative toys or sleep mats available for children, a diluted chlorine solution is used regularly, as recommended by the Department of Social Service and the SFDPH.  We continue to wipe down common areas and high touch surfaces throughout the day.

Are face shields considered face coverings? 

When we refer to face coverings, we are referring to cloth face coverings (defined below). Face shields may be worn in addition (and will be provided to our teachers that are more comfortable wearing them) but they are not required. Only cloth face coverings are currently required for our teachers and anyone over two. 

What is a cloth face covering? A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

Someone I met up with tested positive for COVID-19. We haven’t touched and have only met outdoors, what is the risk and what should I do next?

We are learning more about COVID-19 each week. At the current time, there is minimal risk to outdoor, no-contact interactions where people are six feet apart at all times with their faces covered, and no food or objects are shared. If you think you spent more than 10 minutes within 6 feet of that person while THEY were not masked, then you should quarantine for 14 days. See Guidance for Isolation & Quarantine. If you develop any symptoms of illness, call your healthcare provider, get tested and isolate according to the instructions in Guidance for Isolation & Quarantine. Source: SFDPH

How will the school support students whose parents make the hard choice to keep them home, or who have to stay home for quarantine?

We are activating all of our resources to support our students and families during our return to campus. While we cannot predict the future, we know that some families may choose not to attend in-person classes. Should students not be able to attend in-person classes, Distance Learning will be available for our K-8 students. In a Distance Learning setting, students will receive a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning.  

What will happen if someone tests positive?

SFDPH is finalizing its protocols for this, and we will follow these. We will share more information when we have it from SFDPH, but families can be certain that we will scrupulously implement all the steps required for our community’s safety.

What can students, families, and staff do?

If a case is detected that impacts a school, what are some possible steps we might take?

  • Work with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to evaluate exposure risk and make decisions regarding quarantine. 
  • The decision to close a school would be made on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, and would take into account the general safety of all students and staff.

Will we have extended care at Elementary and Middle School?

We are actively working on what that may look like and will keep you updated on any news.  Extended Care will be highly dependent on SFDPH regulations for mixing of student cohorts. Our traditional Extended Care would remix groups of students; if we are allowed to remix groups to some degree, we may have some flexibility to offer the Extended Care program. If SFDPH regulations are such that we are able to offer Extended Care, we will plan to start the program as soon as we can while ensuring our regular school day is operating effectively