Menlo’s Response Team has continued to monitor the Covid-19 pandemic. Watch this page for updates.
The 2022-2023 School Year
- Read the PCR testing FAQs here.
- Pre-register for PCR testing on campus with Inspire Diagnostics.
- What should you do if your student is out with Covid but well enough to learn from home? Please contact us as follows to request access to remote learning for a medically excused absence. Parents should email their request as soon as possible and, if known, the anticipated duration of absence to the Middle School Office (email@example.com) or Upper School Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please ask your students to check Canvas for their teachers’ instructions, as next steps may look slightly different depending on the day or mode of learning in each class.
Our plan for starting the 2022-2023 school year is outlined below. Keep in mind that flexibility and adaptability in responding to changing dynamics will continue to be essential elements to our success in keeping our campus and community safe.
By way of background, the Covid variants that are currently dominant in our area (as of August 2022) are more likely to produce symptoms and appear to take longer to leave the system than previous versions of this disease. As such, our approach will focus less on screening for asymptomatic cases and much more on reducing the risk of on-campus transmission by preventing those who are symptomatic from coming to campus and continuing to take a cautious approach to events where transmission may occur easily such as dining indoors and large indoor assemblies.
Much of our approach is similar to how we ended last spring:
Those with symptoms need to stay home. Our best line of defense as a community has always been and will continue to be to have anyone with symptoms stay home to limit on-campus transmission. To that end, we are working with our faculty to ensure there are options to support students who are home—either with symptoms or isolating due to a positive test—to ensure they have access to their learning remotely so they can remain home as long as needed. Teachers will share these details with students via their individual Canvas pages.
What should you do if your student is out with Covid but well enough to learn from home? Please contact us as follows to request access to remote learning for a medically excused absence. Parents should email their request as soon as possible and, if known, the anticipated duration of absence to the Middle School Office (email@example.com) or Upper School Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please ask your students to check Canvas for their teachers’ instructions, as next steps may look slightly different depending on the day or mode of learning in each class.
Vaccinations are required for anyone who has been approved for non-emergency use—currently, this means all employees and students ages 16 and up. Vaccinations for younger community members and boosters for everyone are strongly encouraged and recommended.
Masking will continue to be optional on campus with the exception of indoor assemblies and on Menlo buses where they are required for the time being.
We will continue to eat outdoors to start the year though we hope to be able to provide the option of indoor dining at some point this school year.
Isolation periods are still required for anyone who tests positive. The Centers for Disease Control and the San Mateo Department of Health guidelines will both continue to dictate isolation periods for those who test positive and our Health Office will continue to coordinate this detail for community members. Please contact them should you test positive.
- On-campus testing will continue to be provided by Inspire Diagnostics and, as before, there is no out-of-pocket cost for our community members. Those new to Menlo who would like to test on campus should pre-register at Inspire Diagnostics here.
All students, faculty, and staff need to obtain a negative test before coming to campus for the first time (orientation activities or the first day of school). Either a PCR or an antigen test is sufficient though those who have had Covid in the last 90 days should use the antigen test. You may test on campus, through your preferred provider, or with a home kit if antigen testing. Inspire will offer PCR and antigen testing clinics should you wish to use them as follows:
- Friday, Aug. 19, 8:00 am-4:00 pm
- Monday, Aug. 22, 8:00 am-4:00 pm
- Tuesday, Aug. 23, 8:00 am-4:00 pm
- Wednesday, Aug. 24, 8:00 am-4:00 pm
- Thursday, Aug. 25, 7:30-4:00 pm: All 6th graders and their chaperones will perform a second antigen test prior to boarding the bus for the retreat. Open to all after 9:00 am.
Friday, Aug. 26, 8:00 am-4:00 pm: Open to all
After the start of school, we are moving to a testing optional approach and will no longer require weekly testing for everyone. Symptomatic community members must be tested, and anyone who wishes to may test on-campus as they see fit. Inspire will be on campus each Monday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm. There is no longer a need to upload test results into Fortress as before.
- Visitors are welcome on campus provided that they are symptom-free.
A Note about Monkeypox
On top of everything else, we are also monitoring Monkeypox in our area. To date, there have been 15 confirmed cases identified in San Mateo County, and the Department of Health has indicated that this virus is not highly transmissible in schools, nor a concern for us at this time. The hallmark of the Monkeypox virus is a shingles-like painful rash spread through skin-to-skin contact or via kissing infected individuals. As always, we ask that anyone experiencing a rash of unknown origin remain home until diagnosed or the rash is vastly improved. Our Health Office can help concerned community members access information or medical support.
As we have done for the last three years, we will continue to monitor the progress of all infectious diseases in our community and keep an eye on infection levels here on campus and adapt our protocols accordingly. If we have learned anything through our collective experiences it is that how we start the year will likely not be how we will end the year. With that said, we realize that individual members of our community will receive our protocol decisions differently. If you have any questions or concerns about the approach we are taking, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us as we are eager to be helpful in any way we can.
Covid Vaccine Policy
- Vaccinations are required for anyone who has been approved for non-emergency use—currently, this means all employees and students ages 16 and up. Vaccinations for younger community members and boosters for everyone are strongly encouraged and recommended.
- You will not be considered fully vaccinated until 14 days after your final vaccine dose. Previous COVID infection or antibody tests are not a substitute for vaccination and will not be accepted for participation in activities for which full vaccination is required.
- The FDA issued emergency approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for students ages 5-11 in November 2021, which means Menlo’s youngest students are now eligible to be vaccinated, and we highly encourage them to do so as soon as possible.
Menlo’s Comprehensive Safety Plans
- Menlo School Reopening Safety Plan (January 2021)
- Menlo’s COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist
- Menlo School’s COVID-19 Prevention Program
Family Support Resources
Parents and guardians are a key part of a student’s success. As part of our commitment to them and their children at Menlo, we aim to partner with parents and guardians not only during times of joy and celebration but also during times of need or crisis. Menlo’s family support programs work to ensure that all families can fully participate in the life of the school. Our team works directly with families on a wide range of issues, particularly those that directly affect student learning, their sense of belonging, wellness, and various forms of personal security. We aim to promote equity and inclusion by providing personalized access to resources on campus and throughout the greater communities where our families reside.
Los padres y guardianes son una parte clave del éxito de un estudiante. Como parte de nuestro compromiso ha ellos y ha sus hijos en Menlo, nuestro objetivo es asociarnos con padres y guardianes no solo en momentos de alegría y celebración, sino también en momentos de necesidad o crisis. Los programas de apoyo familiar de Menlo trabajan para garantizar que todas las familias puedan participar plenamente en la vida de la escuela. Nuestro equipo trabaja directamente con familias en amplios temas, particularmente aquellos que afectan directamente el aprendizaje de los estudiantes, su sentido de pertenencia, bienestar y diversas formas de seguridad personal. Nuestro objetivo es promover la equidad y la inclusión al proporcionar acceso personalizado a los recursos en el campus y en las comunidades locales donde residen nuestras familias.
The Menlo Cares Program provides confidential meal support to members of the Menlo School community in the event of a family tragedy, major illness, or loss of an immediate family member. This support continues, modified for health and safety, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about Menlo Cares.