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Below, please find a description of protocols, procedures, and policies that will be in place for the 2020-21 School Year to help guide all of us through the reopening of school. We will continually be implementing new practices designed to keep everyone as safe as possible. These below protocols were approved by our Planning Recovery Team, a committee including staff, parents, and health care professionals.  Here is a copy of our original information that was posted before the start of the school year. Below is the most up-to-date information for current families at Monica Ros to reference. 

Changes will continue to occur as we receive additional guidance from federal, state and local authorities. 


Monica Ros School

Back to School Plan 

When Must Students Stay Home?

Please refer to the Student Symptom Decision Tree when suspecting exposure and/or symptoms. In considering family activities, please refer to the Coronavirus Riskiest Activities infographic. 

Students must stay home when they: 

(1) Have any symptom listed here (high-risk symptoms are: fever of >99.5 F, cough, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, and loss of taste or smell; low-risk symptoms are: fatigue/muscle/body aches, congestion/runny nose, headache, sore throat, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea), 

(2) Have had prolonged contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes per CDC definition) with a person who has tested positive for COVID, or 

(3) They have an ill household member who suspects they may have COVID

Any time that a child has an exposure as defined above in (2), they will be asked to stay home for 14 days and to obtain a negative COVID test before returning to school. Their class/grade will be notified while awaiting test results. 

Any time that a student has COVID, the entire school will be notified and their class/grade will stay home for 14 days if they were exposed to the COVID-positive student.

When May Students Return To School?

Monica Ros will confirm every absent student’s reason for missing school every day. We ask for the understanding of our community with this invasion of privacy; this is the year we need to keep abreast of health details for the good of our community.

If a child has one low-risk symptom as listed above in (1) they should stay home until  24 hrs after symptom resolution. They may return to school at that time. If a child has two or more low-risk symptoms (concurrently, or back-to-back) or one or more high-risk symptoms they must be evaluated by a health care provider or get COVID tested before returning to school. 

If a student has exposure to COVID as described in (2) they are permitted to return to school once they have quarantined for 14 days from the known exposure and obtained a negative COVID test result.  Their return to school is at the discretion of school administration. The student’s pod may remain at school; they will be notified of a suspected exposure in their pod.

As newer/other testing approaches become viable, changes to our protocols may occur.

All faculty and staff will follow the same procedures.  

What About Travel? Playdates? After school activities? Holiday Visitors?

Families will need to weigh their need for travel and various activities, whether for work or pleasure, against the needs of our school community.  Our community work is to minimize the risk.  Our daily behaviors have been clearly shown to minimize risk: wash hands, cover our faces, social distance, stay home when you’re sick.  Every family must consider Monica Ros School’s procedures/protocols and make sure they are comfortable adhering to them. We have posted, and regularly refer to, the Coronavirus Riskiest Activities infographic when considering families’ extracurricular activities. 

What is considered Discouraged Travel?
Monica Ros School highly discourages travel when done in a way that results in high-risk activities and/or experiences. Per the Coronavirus Riskiest Activities infographic, we are asking families to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days after travel:

  1. involving airports/airplanes and any large shared spaces where it is difficult for individuals to distance. 
  2. to or from any area highly impacted by COVID-19 subject to CDC Travel Health Notices.

The same applies to visitors who have participated in Discouraged Travel or other high-risk activities/experiences and then stayed in your home. Please self-quarantine 14 days after your visitor has departed. 

What if the school or a class needs to “stay home”?

If a preschool pod has to stay home for a prolonged period of time due to exposure to COVID-19, or the school is required to close by the local authorities, preschool families will receive a tuition credit of up to 6 weeks pro-rated for their student’s 3-, 4-, or 5-day program.  Families that themselves are the cause of a closure will not receive a tuition credit. 

Kindergarten and gradeschool students who need to stay home will begin remote learning. No credit will be offered. We ask that parents provide an area for working where the student can sit up straight at a desk or table, have all their materials organized around them, use headphones, a background screen, and a webcam on a flexible arm so the teacher can see what the student is writing. Our teachers are preparing for remote learning before school starts and we will also take time at the beginning of school to instruct the students regarding online materials.  

Questions and Comments

We welcome questions and comments.  Please contact Susan Hardenbergh, shardenbergh@monicaros.org, 805 646-8184 (school) or 805 746 5398 (cell).  We will adjust any of our policies and protocols as allowed or required by local, state and federal agencies.

UPDATE: September 2020: Here is our final approved waiver: MRS Waiver September Update



We Are Ready!

From our School Director, Susan Hardenbergh:

The work of keeping each other safe by following local, state and federal guidelines is entirely “do”able.  Our plan creates a safe campus, protects a strong program designed to interest and motivate your children, and allows for students and teachers to meet in person so that friendships and mentorships can grow and be strengthened.  There’s no place like school! 

Here’s an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics to corroborate our stance: