OMFS COVID-19 Specific Policies
1. Health & Safety Policies Related to COVID-19
OMFS staff and families will work together to ensure that the policies listed below are followed. It is our collective duty to create a community of trust, and to mitigate risk where possible.
1.1 Screening For COVID-19
- Families/Staff/Volunteers will be asked to complete an online Covid screening each day and show this to an educator (families) and/or record that it was completed (staff/volunteers) upon arrival.
- All families will be greeted by an OMFS staff to ensure the completion of the screening. If the online screening was not completed this must be done on site.
- Screening must be done by an adult who spent time with the child/ren prior to attendance at OMFS (ie. a parent or guardian, not by a person who has picked a child up in a carpool).
- Any staff, volunteer, or child who does not pass the screening will not be able to attend forest school/camp until the isolation period is complete.
- No child, parent, volunteer or staff will be permitted to remain on site until screening has been completed.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT CHANGE -
- If a forest school participant has tested positive for Covid within the last 5 days, they are not permitted to attend Forest School
- If a participant has had Covid within the last 10 days, and is still testing positive on a rapid test, we ask that they not attend Forest School
- If a participant has had covid within the last 10 days, and is no longer testing positive, they are required to wear a mask to attend Forest School
- If someone in the participant's home is still testing positive with Covid, we ask that they wear a mask to attend Forest School
We appreciate everyone's adherence to this policy as it will protect our program from unnecessary closures.
1.2 Mask Use
- Mask use at forest school is optional but OMFS remains a mask friendly environment for anyone wishing to wear a mask at any point in the forest school/camp day.
- Any individual exhibiting new Covid-19 symptoms will be required to put on a mask
- Masking may be required based on your answers to the screening (eg. if a family member is positive for covid -19, a positive test within the last 10 days)
1.3 Hand Washing & Hand Sanitizing
- Hand washing and/or hand sanitizing will always occur before and after eating, after washroom use and at other times that educators see fit.
- Hand washing stations are available at Hemlock Ridge (our main gathering area)
- Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content is provided by OMFS and is used after all meals, when using the washroom in the forest, and at other times as educators see fit
- Please do not send hand sanitizer with children
- Children should bring their own small hand towel for hand washing
- Proper hand washing techniques will be taught in a child friendly way and reviewed regularly
1.4 Campfire Cooking & Food
- Campfire cooking is available when prepared with clean/sanitized hands
- Children are required to bring their own mugs, utensils and dishes for any campfire cooking.
- As always, children are taught that food is not to be shared at forest school/camp
- Please ensure that your children are able to open and close their own food containers and packages. Educators will be available to help, with sanitized hands, as required.
2. Group Sizes
- Group sizes will not exceed 24 children in any group on a given day
- Groups may travel to the forest in smaller groups of 8-12 children for their daily adventures
3. Program Closures
- Programs may be cancelled without notice if staff shortages occur
- Programs may be cancelled without notice if SMDHU or the Province of Ontario deems that the site be closed
- Program cancellation can happen prior to or during a day’s programming
- In the event that program cancellation occurs during the day, families will be notified and asked to pick their children up immediately
4. COVID-19 Refund Policy
- Refunds will not be issued for illness as per the OMFS refund policy
- Refunds will be issued if the program requires closure due to a requirement from the SMDHU or the Province of Ontario
- Any required closure of programs due to COVID-19 will be refunded based on days missed, noting that partial day closures will not be refunded
- All registration fees and deposits paid for forest school are non-refundable
- Deposits may be refunded or credited if the program cannot commence as scheduled and the entire duration of a session must be cancelled
- The refund policy regarding illness and inclement weather cancellations remains unchanged, refunds are not available for these missed days
5. Management of Suspected Cases & Exclusion Protocol
- Children/staff/volunteers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 at forest school/camp will put on a mask and safely isolate from the group, with an educator (for children), and must be picked up or depart immediately
- Children's temperatures may be taken if exhibiting symptoms
- If staff : children ratios are changed due to staff needing to leave, based on symptoms, families may be required to pick up children
6.1 Family Responsibilities
- Teach your child proper hand washing techniques and hygiene strategies such as sneezing into their elbow, washing hands after touching their face, and using a tissue to wipe their nose
- Ensure that you complete a Covid Screen of your child before forest school/camp
- Agree to not send a child who is unwell to Forest School/Camp
- Provide your child with a small hand towel to be kept in their backpack
- Read and sign this Memorandum of Understanding prior to the start of the program and following any required changes
- Communicate with OMFS if you have any concerns, or if a family member may has COVID-19
6.2 OMFS Responsibilities
- Ensure a Covid Screen is completed for all participants, staff and volunteers upon arrival to forest school/camp each day
- Ensure all staff and volunteers read, sign, and adhere to the Memorandum of Understanding when facilitating or attending any OMFS program
- Provide ample hand washing and hand sanitizing opportunities for children and staff as described in the content above
- Ensure all staff are trained in and adhere to the COVID-19 policies
- Communicate with families any changes to the above written policies