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Respiratory Virus and COVID-19 Policies for the 2023-2024 School Year

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MKA has sought to protect the health and safety of our entire community. The policies that follow are based upon the health and safety guidelines provided by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Montclair Board of Health. As of April 2024, the NJDOH has introduced new respiratory virus guidance for schools. These guidelines integrate measures for respiratory illnesses with similar transmission, symptoms, and prevention, including COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. While there are no longer COVID-specific policies, individuals should follow the below guidelines for all cases of respiratory illness. MKA will continue to monitor New Jersey respiratory illness activity and recommendations and will update these guidelines as appropriate. 
If a community member tests positive for a respiratory illness, they should immediately report their positive result to their campus nurse who will provide the most recent protocols to follow.

When to Stay Home and Guidance for Returning to School

  • Do not attend school or extra-curricular activities if you are unwell and/or exhibit any of the symptoms compatible with respiratory illness, including fever greater than 100 degrees, headache, cough, sore throat, stomach ache, and runny nose. 
  • You may return to school when:
    • All conditions under the guidelines listed on this page have been met
    • You are no longer feeling ill, you can comfortably participate in all normal activities, and any remaining symptoms are mild
  • Upon returning to school, the individual should do the following for 5 days:
    • Wear a mask (surgical mask at a minimum but preferably a KN95 or KF94) at all times inside the building and on any school transportation
    • Practice physical distancing when around others indoors
  • If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please contact your campus nurse.

Prevention Measures

  • Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses and the risk of serious illness. We strongly encourage community members to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and influenza, including any booster vaccinations that they are eligible for. COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters should be uploaded to your child’s vaccination record on Magnus Health.
  • There is no COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students. The school reserves the right to require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in overnight trips depending on the destination, 3rd party provider requirements, and local and destination infection rates. 
  • For the 2023-2024 school year, masks will continue to be optional for community members. 
  • Proper hygiene is encouraged, including washing hands frequently, not touching eyes, nose, or mouth, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.
  • Please note that with a rise in cases, as with any infectious disease, these guidelines may change in accordance with NJDOH recommendations.


  • Testing is not required at this time. However, testing for respiratory viruses may help to determine treatment and keep others safe.
  • If a community member tests positive for COVID-19 or flu, they should immediately report their positive result to their campus nurse. New Jersey still requires that we report all cases of respiratory illnesses, so it is important that you share positive results, so that we can meet our weekly reporting requirements. 

Making Up Work

As with all illnesses, students should contact their advisor and classroom teachers to make up any missed work as described in the MKA Handbook

Nursing Staff by Campus

Tri-Campus Nursing Supervisor/Middle School Nurse: Debra Van Eerde, 973-783-6324

Upper School Nurse: Melinda Costa Fernandes, 973-783-8788

Primary School Nurse: Rachael Masters, 973-783-8809

**If a community member tests positive for  a respiratory illness, including COVID-19, they should immediately report their positive result to their campus nurse.

Guidelines on when your child may attend/return to school:

  • The student has not had a temperature above 100 degrees for at least 24 hours while not taking any fever-reducing medications.
  • The student has been taking any prescribed antibiotics for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • The student has not vomited in the last 24 hours and a normal diet has been resumed.
  • The student has not had diarrhea in the last 24 hours and a normal diet has been resumed.
  • A physician has determined the nature and contagiousness of any undiagnosed rash. A note may be required from your physician in order for the student to return to school.
  • If the student is diagnosed with a communicable disease or illness (examples can include: Influenza, Pneumonia, Strep Throat, Pertussis, Chicken Pox, Impetigo, COVID-19, and Scabies), your campus nurse must be notified and will clear your child to return to school.