May 2021 COVID-19 Policy Updates and Reminders

Headwaters School
We wanted to take a moment to thank each family for their care and diligence during the entire school year, especially related to COVID-19, Headwaters has updated and added some policies in regards to COVID-19. We ask that families read this email closely to understand any policy updates.
Dear Headwaters Families, 

We wanted to take a moment to thank each family for their care and diligence during the entire school year, especially related to COVID-19, Headwaters has updated and added some policies in regards to COVID-19. We ask that families read this email closely to understand any policy updates. 

In this email, we will review a few updates that have emerged as we move further into the school year. Those include:
  • New Additions to the Addendum
    • Vaccine Updates & Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People
  • Current Policy Updates
    • What’s Required to Return: Allows for a doctor/medical provider to prescribe a rapid test to rule out COVID-19 and give alternative diagnosis.
    • Testing Requirements: Allows the above, but still requires a PCR test to end quarantine at day 7.
    • Travel & Holiday/Event Policies: Denotes minor changes, especially for vaccinated people. 
  • Reminders
    • Students with Allergies, Asthma, or Baseline Symptoms: Reminder of current policies especially regarding students with seasonal allergies. 

 

 

New Additions to the Addendum

Vaccine Updates & Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

We are not requiring the vaccine for anyone at this time and we do not currently have plans to do so for the upcoming school year. We will continue to be in conversation with our Health Advisory Group and follow CDC guidance regarding the vaccine. 

Guidance for Vaccinated People
Per the CDC: “For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).” We also recommend people review the CDC’s page Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People for the most up to date guidance. 

At Headwaters School, we expect vaccinated people to continue to follow all rules and protocols related to COVID-19 safety, including mask-wearing. Please continue to wear a mask while on campus or at a school-related function, unless eating/drinking or taking a mask break. This includes outside. We are continuing masking because we are not requiring the vaccine at this time and want to set a good example for all students who are unable or haven’t received the vaccine. 

Fully vaccinated people do have some updates around quarantine and testing that we would like to clarify: 
  1. Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.
  2. Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
  3. Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic.
Get Your Vaccine with Tarrytown Pharmacy
All eligible adults 16 and older are invited to use this electronic sign-up form to sign-up for a Pfizer COVID vaccine at Tarrytown Pharmacy this Wednesday, May 5. Appointments are available from 1 PM to 3 PM at their location at 2727 Exposition Blvd. Ste. 105 Austin, TX 78703. Learn more at this link.

Current Policy Updates

What’s Required to Return (Page 6)

Contact your doctor/healthcare provider for guidance, including isolation and/or testing. 
  • If your doctor prescribes testing, we will accept any negative test result from any test prescribed by your doctor (PCR or rapid test). This update negates earlier guidance to only accept negative TR-PCR test results to allow a student to come back sooner from isolation due to symptoms.
Ask your doctor for a note with details on when your child is able to return.

Testing Requirements (Page 6)

Based on recent recommendations from our Health Advisory Group and guidance from APH and the CDC, Headwaters will now accept any negative test result from any test prescribed by your doctor (PCR or rapid test) if your child is showing any symptom. This will allow your doctor to possibly provide an alternative diagnosis. This alternative diagnosis and a note from your doctor will allow your child to return to school faster. 

However, in the event your child is exposed to someone diagnosed with or presumed to have COVID-19, Headwaters will only accept a negative molecular test, like the RT-PCR test, and NOT a negative antigen test, like the rapid test to end quarantine on day 7. Please follow the “When to Quarantine” guidance below. People who want to seek a free COVID-19 PCR test through Austin Public Health can complete an Enrollment Form here. Testing is not required by Headwaters School.

Travel & Holiday/Event Policies (Page 12)

Travel
As of May 4, 2021, the “CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.” We will continue to review CDC recommendations and recommend that the community considers the CDC guidance before travel, whether domestic or international. We provided some CDC charts in the Addendum about recommendations and requirements for non-vaccinated and fully vaccinated people.

End of Year Gatherings and Events
As the year ends, we will be holding some outdoor, physically distanced gatherings for 8th Grade Graduation and High School Commencement. Our Springs and Creek Campuses will celebrate Gates of Life in smaller ceremonies, including car parades. 

In an effort to mitigate COVID-19 at these events, we will be following CDC guidance. Guests will be required to wear a mask (inside and out, even if vaccinated), stay at least 6 feet away from other households, washing/sanitizing hands, and asking anyone experiencing any symptom of COVID-19 to not attend. Check the event organizer’s directions for more details. 

Reminders

Students with Allergies, Asthma, or Baseline Symptoms

For students who experience regular recurring allergy, asthma, or baseline symptoms like runny nose and cough will be permitted to attend school with a doctor’s note outlining their symptoms. If your child experiences or is starting to experience regular seasonal allergies, please have your doctor write us a note to have on file. 

Thank you!

We appreciate your help in keeping our community safe. You can read more about our school policies here in the COVID 19 Addendum in the Student & Family Handbook.

Thank you!

Headwaters School Admin Team
planning@headwaters.org
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Springs Campus

18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

Creek Campus

Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-804-2708
Fax: 512-628-4810

River Campus

Middle & High School
807 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-480-8142
Fax: 512-480-0278