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Response to COVID-19

MKA continues to closely monitor and respond to information and data surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families is, as always, our highest priority. In addition to communications sent home to parents from the school, we present the following resources for students, families, faculty, and staff. Please note: This webpage will be updated as new information arises. 
 

MKA is utilizing the following sources for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19:

Weekly Pooled Testing

We will be continuing weekly pooled PCR saliva testing of employees and students. Tests for Upper and Middle School students will be administered on campus. Tests for Primary School students will be sent home with students to be administered at home.

If your student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 90 days, please provide a copy of their test results to covid19@mka.org as this may impact their status for testing.
 
 

COVID-19 Protocols - Updated January 2022

Learn more about MKA's protocols for COVID-19 including:

  • Mask Requirements
  • Vaccination Requirements
  • Exposure Protocol
  • Symptom Screening
  • Quarantining

View All Protocols 

Daily Health Screening

Parents will be required to complete a daily health screening for their student via the Magnus Health App and asked to keep sick, symptomatic students at home, and to contact their campus nurse if they do not meet the health screening criteria. Instructions on how to set up the Magnus App are available here. Please note that we will no longer be taking student temperatures at their arrival at school, but ask that parents continue to do this at home before leaving for school.

View Magnus Mobile App Instructions

COVID-19 Vaccinations

MKA has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all employees, and 100% of employees will be fully vaccinated for the school year. We strongly encourage families to vaccinate eligible students, and we continue to review our vaccine requirement for students.
 

Vaccine sites can be found using the Vaccine Appointment finder at https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/finder.

If you have any questions, please contact covid19@mka.org.

Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

As of September 17, MKA has amended our vaccination policy to require that students who are 16 years or older be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The full policy is available here.

In addition, due to the increased risk of transmission during indoor, unmasked, athletic activity, MKA will be requiring all students participating in winter athletics, who are eligible for the vaccination (12 years +), be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Booster Vaccinations

As you know, the FDA has approved vaccinations for children ages 5 and up, and the CDC recently expanded their recommendation for boosters to include everybody over the age of 12. 

  • Given recent data about the effectiveness of the boosters, the rates of transmission in our community, and how quickly the Omicron variant spreads, we are now requiring boosters of all members of our community 16 and older, including faculty and staff. 
  • The vaccine clearly does not prevent an individual from contracting COVID-19, but vaccines and a booster have proven to mitigate the spread and symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Faculty, staff, and students have until February 1 or six months after their last shot (whichever comes later), to comply with this requirement. You may apply for an exemption from this requirement for medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs, by submitting an email to kdavison@mka.org by January 21, 2022.
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days, will have 2 weeks after this 90 day period to meet this requirement.

Not only does the science support vaccination, but vaccinated individuals are not subject to mandatory quarantines if they are close contacts of COVID-positive individuals. With no intention of changing MKA’s policy to provide synchronous learning to students in quarantine, being vaccinated is the best way to guarantee uninterrupted learning at MKA. 

We ask that you update your child's vaccination status (including boosters) in Magnus Health. 

Faculty and staff should report their vaccination status (including boosters) by emailing their updated vaccination card to covid19@mka.org.

 

 

Additional Mitigating Measures

The school will continue to have a layered approach to health mitigation measures and to rely upon the following additional measures:

  • Hygiene measures (frequent hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations)
  • Improved cleaning and disinfecting
  • Improved ventilation
  • Distancing where possible (especially when students are unmasked in lunch rooms) to help keep our community safe.

Other campus specific measures will be communicated to you separately by the Head of your campus.

Transportation 

For all school transportation (shuttles, fields trips, athletics), the following protocols will be in place:

  • Masks will be required to be worn throughout the journey.
  • Windows will be required to be open (for the whole journey). Or will be opened fully, and then left partially open, several times per journey, when weather does not allow them to remain fully open.
  • Buses will load front to back, and unload front to back.
  • Buses will be disinfected between journeys.

For questions or concerns regarding MKA's response to COVID-19:

Contact COMPLIANCE Team

NJ Data from COVID Act Now

Just a Reminder...

When submitting your COVID-19 saliva test, it is important to follow these guidelines: 

  • Do not drink or eat 30 minutes before taking the test
  • Make sure that the vial is  full with saliva - without bubbles
  • Screw the cap on completely

Tests with insufficient saliva will be rejected and students or employees will be required to provide their own negative PCR COVID test results in order to return to school.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mental Health Resources

Thank you to Karestan Koenen '86, PhD for sharing these resources with our community. Karestan is a Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and leads the Global Neuropsychiatric Genomics Initiative of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute.