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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. MKA will continue to monitor the progress of COVID-19 and will update these guidelines as appropriate. 
If a community member tests positive for COVID-19, they should immediately report their positive result to their campus nurse who will provide the with them with the most recent protocols to follow. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations

  • Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. 
  • We strongly encourage community members to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and to receive 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. At this time, we do not anticipate a vaccination requirement for the school’s overnight trips scheduled for the fall. 
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved updated Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. On September 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that everyone, ages six months and up, receive the vaccine. MKA is not mandating this updated vaccine; however, evidence has proven that COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way to protect our community from severe disease and hospitalization. Visit to find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, and see the CDC website for complete information and recommendations surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.

Mask-Optional Policy

  • For the 2023-2024 school year, masks will continue to be optional for community members, unless individuals are returning from isolation or have been determined to be highly exposed to a positive case.
  • The school is fully supportive of an individual’s choice to wear a mask.
  • In the event that a student is required to wear a mask, they should supply their own masks but can visit the Nurse’s Office if they need a replacement.

When to Stay Home or Attend School

  • Do not attend school or extra-curricular activities if you are unwell and/or exhibit any of the symptoms compatible with COVID-19, including fever, headache, cough, sore throat, and runny nose. 
  • If a family member has symptoms of COVID-19, students may continue to attend school but should follow the exposed individual protocol until their suspected positive household member has been tested for COVID-19.
  • Please review the guidelines on this page for when your child may attend/return to school, and if you have any questions regarding these procedures, please contact your campus nurse.


  • Please note that at-home rapid test, laboratory-administered rapid test, and/or PCR laboratory test results are ALL accepted. (We no longer require PCR testing).
  • If a community member tests positive for COVID-19, they should immediately report their positive result to their campus nurse. 
  • Please note: A negative test for COVID-19 does not mean that your child is well enough to be in school. Follow the  guidelines on this page for when your child may attend/return to school.
  • Beginning September 25, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home. Before throwing out expired tests, visit the FDA’s website to see if expiration dates have been extended on your current tests.  

Next Steps if Positive for COVID-19

If a community member tests positive for COVID-19, they should report their positive result to their campus nurse. Those who test positive for COVID-19 must follow the below protocol:

  • Stay home and isolate for 5 full days (with Day 0 as the day of the positive test or symptom onset), regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.
  • On Day 6, if symptoms have resolved, they can return to school provided that they have received clearance from their campus nurse.
  • For 5 days after returning to the building (Days 6 to 10), the positive individual must:
    • 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.
    • Not participate in indoor extracurricular activities in which masks cannot be worn “correctly and consistently.”
    • Dine outside or in a dining space that is distanced from other community members.
    • In order to end mask-wearing protocols earlier, an individual can take a test any time from Day 6 onwards, and provided that they receive 2 negative tests 48 hours apart, they can stop wearing a mask after their second negative test (Day 8 at the earliest).

Exposure to a Positive Case

Provided that you remain symptom-free, you may continue to come to campus, but you must follow the below protocol:

  • Notify your campus nurse so that they can monitor the exposed individual for symptoms.
  • The exposed individual should wear a mask at all times when inside the building and on any school transportation for 10 days following their exposure (with Day 0 being the last day they were exposed to the positive individual).
  • For outdoor extracurricular activities, masks do not need to be worn.
  • Take a test for COVID-19 on Day 5, after their last exposure.
  • If they develop symptoms, isolate immediately and get tested for COVID-19.

Making Up Work During Isolation

Isolation resulting from COVID-19 is treated as any other illness. 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: Rachel Masters, 973-783-8809

**If a community member tests positive for 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.