Sandy Spring Friends School

 

Breadcrumb

COVID-19 Updates and Info

This web page serves as a resource for navigating  the school year and SSFS's response  to COVID-19. SSFS is committed to providing an outstanding and novel educational experience, while keeping our community connected and supported in various ways.  

  • Last updated: September 7, 2022

Guiding Principles and Decision Making

Important Updates

The Home and School Partnership: A Shared Responsibility

While the School is taking extraordinary measures to reduce the risk of virus transmission, there is no ability for the School to provide a completely risk-free environment for students, employees, and other community members. Studies indicate that the best protection for the community is provided by consistent practice of individual hygiene and social distancing measures by every member of the community.

As school takes place on campus, protecting the SSFS community from the COVID-19 virus is best accomplished through a combination of individual and institutional practices that provide layers of protection. No one step by itself is sufficient, and the best protection is provided through actions taken by the School, its employees, and each student’s family, forming a partnership, or social contract, that expands protection beyond the actions of one individual or institution. Many of the specifics of this partnership are summarized in the table below and described in detail in the rest of this document.

Read The Home & Partnership Partnership Document


School Policies

SSFS is committing to implementing all possible measures in order to greatly reduce the possibility of viral transmission. The key practices will be:

 
Buses

SSFS buses will run at full capacity during the 2022-2023 school year. Mask-wearing on buses will be optional. 

COVID-19 Communications

SSFS will continue to update our community through the divisional newsletters on a monthly basis through our “COVID Response Team Corner” as well as providing weekly updates regarding COVID positive cases in the newsletter and on our school’s COVID dashboard.

Dining

When the weather permits, dining for lunch will take place outdoors in the quad on picnic tables for Middle and Upper School. During the winter and in inclement weather, SSFS utilizes the Westview dining hall as well as the Clifton building and Westview classrooms. 

Masking

SSFS is a mask optional campus. It is important to note that for people with COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test must follow the School's isolation and quarantine policy regarding mask wearing upon their return to campus. 

Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines and Protocols

The SSFS Health Center, in partnership with the Covid Response Team, has established guidelines for close contacts, quarantine, and isolation. 

The School is closely following follow closely the isolation and quarantine guidelines expressed by the Maryland Department of Health and Human Services in July 2022.

Read More about Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines and Protocols
Safety Measures for COVID-Positive Cases in School

If COVID-positive cases among the faculty and students rise to 5% of the total student population in any given division, we will strongly encourage masking. If cases increase to 10% of the total student population of said division, we will institute mandated masking for ten calendar days. We would also move to socially distanced seating (indoor and outdoor) during the lunch periods for the affected division.

Screening

Vaccinated PK-12 grade families should continue to regularly assess the health and wellness of their child and to keep them home if they are not feeling well and to email the Health Center if their child is exhibiting any COVID symptoms.

Vaccination

SSFS requires all eligible faculty and staff and all eligible students in the Lower, Middle, and Upper School to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine (including the first booster shot, if applicable) and submit their records to the Health Center vis the Magnus Health (or email for faculty-staff).

Read More about Vaccination
Visitors

Parents and other visitors are allowed on campus with advanced appointments or through registration (for events). Visitors must either provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (including the first booster shot, if applicable) or a negative antigen test taken the prior to their arrival.

For athletic games, parents/guardians and other visitors are allowed on campus without an advanced appointment. We ask that spectators still continue to provide proof of vaccination or take an antigen test prior to arriving.

Additional Safety Measures

For specific questions about your child's classes or special needs, your child’s teacher(s), advisor, or division head are your first and best resources. See the faculty-staff directory page here. Other resources include:

PRIMARY POINTS OF CONTACT

Lisa Dyer, School Nurse
 lisa.dyer@ssfs.org
301-774-7455 x120

Mónica Ruiz, Assistant Head of School
monica.ruiz@ssfs.org
301-774-7455 ext. 114

COUNSELORS

Joel Gunzburg, LS Counselor
joel.gunzburg@ssfs.org
301-774-7455  ext. 118

Erin Rose, MS Counselor
erin.rose@ssfs.org
301-774-7455  ext. 175

Beatrice Adewole, US Counselor
beatrice.adewole@ssfs.org
301-774-7455 ext. 138

Elizabeth Billett, US Counselor
elizabeth.billet@ssfs.org
301-774-7455 ext. 179

DORM STAFF

Kwame Darko, Dean of Boarding 
kwame.darko@ssfs.org
301-774-7455  ext. 362