The members of Menlo School’s Response Team have been closely monitoring the rapidly developing COVID-19 crisis. For updates on this continually evolving situation, watch this page.
Welcome back for the 2021-2022 School Year!
We’re excited to share that we will begin the 2021-22 school year with 100% of our students on campus together participating in all of the programs you know and love, including the arts, athletics, and clubs.
Sharing Your Vaccination Status
If your student is recently vaccinated and you have not uploaded proof of your vaccination yet, we’ve provided two easy ways for you to submit your student’s vaccination card: either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your student to submit it here. If you would like to check your student’s vaccination status as we have it recorded, simply visit this page.
COVID PCR Testing & inspire diagnostics partnership
- Fully Vaccinated? Starting Monday, Sept. 13, we ask that you test weekly on your assigned day and submit your results in Fortress.
- Unvaccinated (including unvaccinated students and employees with medical exemptions)? To come to campus for classes and activities, you’ll need to take weekly lab-based PCR tests (not at-home tests) and upload the results to share with Menlo. You’ll receive a QR code allowing you to be on campus for the week, which you can use to check in at the beginning of each week. Upper School students will check in at the attendance office on arrival to campus, and Middle School students will check in at the Middle School Main Office.
- Menlo School is partnering with Inspire Diagnostics to offer weekly testing on campus for all students and employees free of charge. Pre-register here. Starting Sept. 13, testing clinics will be running Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 am-4:00 pm.
- You may use outside vendors as needed for PCR testing; you must still submit your testing results.
- Submit your test results by 3:00 pm on Sunday for the following week.
- Questions? Check out our PCR Testing FAQs.
- We strongly urge vaccination for all eligible students; a vaccinated community is our best way to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19 and gives us the best chance of offering a school year as close to “normal” as possible. 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.
- Now that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval for those 16 and older, we will require vaccination for all students 16 years and older. If your student is currently 16, we ask that they be fully vaccinated (defined as being two weeks past their second dose) by October 31, 2021. If your student will turn 16 later this year, we will require that they be fully vaccinated within two months of their 16th birthday.
- We anticipate that the emergency use vaccine could be available for our youngest middle school-aged students sometime this fall, and once it moves into the fully approved category, then these students will also be required to be fully vaccinated to attend school. As required by law, we will honor students’ medical exemptions.
- COVID-19 vaccinations are now mandatory for all employees, with some medical exceptions.
Social Distancing and Masks
- Under CDC and San Mateo County guidelines, students and employees will no longer need to social-distance on campus while masked. We ask that everyone, particularly those who have not received the vaccine, maintain 3 feet of distance while unmasked.
- Fully Vaccinated? Outdoors, mask-wearing is voluntary. Indoors, you’ll need to wear a well-fitting mask/face covering (no gaiters/scarves) at all times, unless you’re a vaccinated adult alone in your office.
- Unvaccinated (including unvaccinated students and employees with medical exemptions)? Outdoor mask-wearing is optional but strongly recommended. Indoors, you’ll need to wear a well-fitting mask at all times (no gaiters or scarves.) Children in our Child Care Center under age 2 do not need to wear masks indoors.
Quarantine Policy After Symptoms, Exposure, or Travel
- If you are not feeling 100% well and you are exhibiting any of the following common COVID symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, you should stay home and not come to campus: headache, new loss of taste or smell, fever or chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath/congestion/difficulty breathing, runny nose, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, muscle or body aches, diarrhea. This is one of the most important daily steps we can take to keep our campus safe.
- Anyone experiencing COVID symptoms will need to take a lab-based PCR test.
- Fully Vaccinated? If you test negative, you must self-quarantine until 24 hours after symptoms resolve. If you test positive, you must self-quarantine for at least 10 days, or until 24 hours after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
Unvaccinated? If you’re showing COVID symptoms, you’ll need to notify the School Nurse and stay home until you have met the following criteria:
- You’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications
- Other symptoms have resolved
- EITHER you have received a negative result from a lab-based PCR test OR or a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of your underlying condition (e.g. allergies or asthma) OR a healthcare provider has confirmed an alternative named diagnosis (e.g. Streptococcal pharyngitis) OR at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset
Been exposed to someone with COVID?
- If you are asymptomatic but have a confirmed COVID exposure:
- Fully Vaccinated? You’ll self-monitor for symptoms, but do not need to get a PCR test or self-quarantine if you remain asymptomatic. You may continue participating in all school activities including extracurriculars.
- Unvaccinated? You’ll be subject to testing and self-quarantine requirements that may preclude your participation in some school activities. The School Nurses will inform families of these specific requirements if contact tracing shows that their student has been exposed.
Have you traveled?
- If you have traveled outside of California, more than 250 miles away, or gotten on a plane of any kind:
- Fully Vaccinated? If you’re not experiencing symptoms, you don’t need to take a PCR test or self-quarantine.
- Unvaccinated? You will need to follow a mandatory 10-day self-quarantine after travel; after 7 days, you can “test out” of quarantine if you receive a negative PCR test taken 3-5 days after your return and you must wait for the results and share the results with Menlo before coming to campus. Results can be uploaded here.
- Sixth graders will receive POM (Peace of Mind) contact tracing tags and will need to wear them every day they’re on campus. This wearable tag measures “close contacts” in proximity to other POM tags. This means that if another sixth grader receives a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, our contact tracing team can quickly identify classmates who have had recent close contact with that person while protecting the privacy of all involved.
- Students in other grades and employees will not be issued POM tags this year.
Lunch and Cafeteria
- Given the current rise in infections in our area, we will need to begin the year with a closed Dining Commons. As was true last school year, boxed lunches will be available for all students and employees daily. We will provide further details on how and when to order lunches in our Back-to-School communications. We look forward to the day when we can offer in-person dining.
- We’re excited to offer our bus program again this year. While you will not need to social-distance on the bus, you must wear a well-fitting mask on the bus at all times. More details about our transportation program will arrive shortly with our Back-to-School information.
- Remote learning options are always available for students who are experiencing medical issues, whether COVID-related or not, or who are self-quarantining following COVID exposure or potential exposure. Distance learning is only available for excused absences through our Nurses’ Office. Distance learning is not permitted to facilitate travel, college tours, club sports, extended vacations, or other voluntary activities.
Campus Visitor Policy
- All campus visitors must show proof of full vaccination status (photo of vaccination card, or uploaded card to a mobile device is acceptable). Visitors will check in either at the main reception desk in the Upper School or the Main Middle School Office, where they will be issued a visitor pass. Only fully vaccinated individuals can volunteer on campus at this time.
- Full vaccination will be required for all participants on planned overnight trips. Where possible, we intend to create non-overnight options for unvaccinated students, though this may necessitate families providing transportation to the site at the end and beginning of each day. Details about individual overnight trips will be released before each experience.
Menlo Child Care Center
- Per state licensing guidelines, the Child Care Center will be open and will follow the same health and safety protocols as last year. Please contact Joan Barada if you have questions about these details.
- Visit the Athletics page for details on health and safety policies for student athletes and spectators.
Menlo’s Comprehensive Safety Plans
Tips on Staying Healthy
from Joan Barada, School Nurse
You can protect yourself and others from respiratory illness, including COVID-19, through common-sense preventative measures such as:
- Avoiding close contact with those with cold and flu-like symptoms
- Covering your nose/mouth when coughing and sneezing with a flexed elbow
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Throwing used tissues in the trash and washing your hands
- Cleaning your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Staying home when you are sick
- Calling ahead before visiting your doctor, urgent care, or the emergency room if you are sick. The healthcare provider will give you further instructions.
- The CDC currently recommends that the general public wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores. Surgical and N95 masks should be reserved for medical professionals.
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.