Iris Family Preschool COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

Updated 9/12/22


TSTI’s Iris Family Center Program is licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF). All COVID-19-related changes are based on the current DCF guidelines, recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our local South Orange Department of Health (DOH), and TSTI’s Covid Advisory Panel. We will continually adjust our program’s policies and procedures to align with the current guidance from these agencies. Updates to our policies will be provided to families via email from the Early Childhood Director.

We require that all families and staff follow state and local regulations related to COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to quarantine requirements stemming from family travel and any other ordinances.

Masking for visitors is highly encouraged but optional, unless for large gatherings. Please make sure to always have a mask available with you when visiting in the event one is needed.

  • Every classroom will have access to a sink. 
  • Children and staff will follow rigorous hand washing routines. The children will be supervised to ensure they are properly washing their hands.
  • Hand sanitation stations are located throughout the building and outside of the building for times when hand washing is not available.
  • Our building meets or exceeds the State’s Early Childhood standards for air quality, and each classroom is equipped with an Aerus Pure and Clean air purifier. 
  • All TSTI staff are required to be fully vaccinated.

In the event that a child or a staff member exhibits symptoms at any point during the school day, they will be immediately separated from their group into a designated area until they are able to leave the facility. The child should be picked up within 30 minutes, if possible.

In the event that one of our staff or students has a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will:

  1. Notify all of the families and staff in our preschool who were exposed by the individual.
  2. Report the incident immediately to the South Orange Department of Health and DCF. 
  1. TSTI does not require masking or testing after one time COVID exposure in or out of school. Please continue to be vigilant in monitoring your child(ren) for symptoms and keep them home when symptoms are present. 
  2. If there is a positive COVID case in a class, families in that class will be notified. 
  3. In order to remain in school after COVID exposure in the home, asymptomatic contacts (including students who have tested positive for COVID within the last 90 days) must test via a rapid home test on day 5 after exposure. Results must be submitted to [email protected] with your child’s name in the subject line. Please contact us if you have difficulty obtaining test kits. After exposure in the home, all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, or whether they have had Covid within the last 90 days, must wear a well-fitting KN95 (or equivalent) mask indoors and outdoors from days 1-5, until a negative COVID test has been submitted. TSTI will provide masks as needed.
  4. Families who prefer not to mask or test their children have the option of keeping them out of school for a full 10-day quarantine. Virtual instruction will not be provided during that time unless the entire class needs to be quarantined.

If there are two or more additional positive cases in a class after a confirmed COVID case, we will seek guidance from the local department of health and/or the SOMSD nurses.

Students/staff with symptoms of COVID-19 who have tested positive via a home rapid test should contact us immediately and isolate until confirmation from a laboratory test. All students and staff with confirmed COVID cases should isolate until at least five days have passed since their symptoms first appeared AND be fever-free for at least 48 hours (two full days without the use of medicine that reduces fever) AND other symptoms have improved (for example, symptoms of cough or shortness of breath have improved). 

An N95 or equivalent mask must be worn at all times through Day 10.

Children who have symptoms and have tested negative should stay home and away from others for 24 hours, dependent upon current guidance from the Department of Health, after their fever has ended without the use of fever-reducing medications. 

According to state law, we will not permit any child who has had the following symptoms or illnesses WITHIN THE PAST 24 HOURS to attend school:

  1. severe pain or discomfort
  2. acute diarrhea, characterized as twice the child’s usual frequency of bowel movements with a change to a looser consistency within a period of 24 hours, or bloody diarrhea
  3. two or more episodes of acute vomiting within a period of 24 hours
  4. elevated axillary temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or over in conjunction with behavior changes
  5. lethargy that is more than expected tiredness
  6. yellow eyes or jaundiced skin
  7. red eyes with discharge
  8. infected, untreated skin patches
  9. difficult rapid breathing or severe coughing
  10. skin rashes in conjunction with fever or behavior changes
  11. weeping or bleeding skin lesions that have not been treated by a health care provider
  12. mouth sores with drooling
  13. stiff neck

Once the child is symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, or a licensed physician has given written indication that the child poses no serious threat, the child may return to school.

Updated 9/12/22

Due to Essex County being in a period of low transmission, we will begin the 2022-23 school year with masks optional for students and staff both indoors and outdoors with the following restrictions:

  • Masks must be worn in large gatherings including multi-class events. 
  • Masks must be worn for days 6-10, both indoors and outdoors, by individuals returning to school after COVID positive isolation.
  • Policies may change as recommended by the DOH or TSTI’s Advisory Committee for reasons including significant increase in transmission and outbreak.

The TSTI Covid Advisory Panel, which consists of educators, clergy, lay leaders, and medical experts representing a range of relevant specialties, reserves the right to reverse course on any policies, or to change them in any way needed to protect the health and safety of our students, congregants, staff, and clergy and are grateful for your cooperation in the matter.