Dear Good Shepherd Families:
As you know, daily symptom screening is part of our Campus Re-Entry Protocols and Guidelines document that was shared with you a couple of weeks ago. We looked extensively to find an application that would be intuitive to use for faculty, staff, and families and easy to process this important data in a way that is usable and helpful. I am proud to announce Good Shepherd’s new partnership with Base Camp Health and its back-to-school safety platform, Ascend. We liked the Ascend platform because of the powerful algorithms behind the scenes. These algorithms evaluate the daily screening responses for several days and also look at the data regarding the virus transmission in our community. Ascend is a web-based platform that will allow us to add an additional layer of protection for our students, faculty, and staff from the spread of COVID-19 as part of our Campus Re-Entry plans. The Ascend platform gives our school leaders the real-time information they need in a confidential manner to assess the risk of virus spread through our community and to take proactive steps to keep infected individuals off campus, and return them in a healthy way, as quickly as possible.
It is easy to use. Before school each day, all faculty, staff, and families will take a 30-second survey for each individual coming to campus, answering questions about their symptoms and any known exposure to COVID-19. The app will process the responses to inform each family, faculty, or staff member whether or not to report to campus that day.
While the platform makes invisible COVID-19 risk visible and manageable, it keeps data protected, in accordance with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPAA and FERPA require that healthcare data be protected with stringent privacy procedures, and our partnership with Base Camp Health will be 100% compliant with appropriate privacy regulations.
Ascend makes use of healthcare data of students, faculty, and staff in its assessment of their risk of COVID-19 infection, but that data is visible only to limited authorized personnel.
Additionally, the platform itself makes use of the most current data protection measures available, from data encryption to secure site protocols for the physical locations of our servers, to protect data from bad actors. Data security is a primary focus of Base Camp Health, and its Ascend application deploys industry-leading protection measures for our faculty, staff, and student information.
Our students, faculty, staff, and their families can be assured users are protected from data risk, and HIPAA and FERPA provisions are fully met by this exciting new partnership.
Be watching for more information to come from Base Camp Health, including a “Welcome” email and instructions for establishing your account.
Julie McLeod, Ph.D.
Head of School