ACE COVID Statement

The cornerstone of the ACE Mentor Program is the meeting of mentors and students together, in-person, to develop strong relationships. For the past year, the program has required the meetings be hosted on a virtual platform. The national organization has been carefully watching and evaluating the current situation in hopes of allowing mentors to meet with the students in-person again.

At this time, the National Office does feel that the safest way for the program to meet is to continue to use virtual platforms. However, many affiliates have expressed the desire to allow in-person meetings.

We continue to monitor the situation carefully, and particularly so given the recent surge of Omicron. The protocols apply to affiliates in areas with low rates of infection based on the CDC COVID HOT SPOT MAP.

Recognizing the importance of in-person mentoring to students and the affiliates that serve them, we are providing here the protocols to restart in-person mentoring when safe.

COVID Protocols

The following are the necessary steps that we anticipate requiring for in-person meetings. ACE affiliates will ensure the following protocols are in place for in-person meetings with students. These protocols will remain in place until further notice:

  1. Proof of Vaccination is required for all mentors participating in in-person sessions.

  2. Masks required for all participants.

  3. Meetings may take place at schools or offices. ALL ACE Mentor protocols, in addition to that of the meeting site, must be followed by all participants.

  4. Signed waivers must have been received from all participants via electronic signature. More info on digital waivers is below.

  5. Letters to be sent home to parents explaining the waiver process, the waivers, and the safety protocols: COVID LETTER TO FAMILIES

  6. At each mentoring session there is to be a sign in sheet where everyone attending provides a phone number and email address and confirms no symptoms.

  7. Distribute exposure protocols to all team leaders: COVID LETTER TO VOLUNTEERS

  8. If the relevant protocols are not followed, mentors are to provide a warning to the students. If protocols continue to be unmet, mentors are to bring mentoring sessions to a close.

  9. If meeting location or school moves to virtual formats due to COVID, ACE programs must also move to virtual platforms.

*Definition of Fully Vaccinated, from CDC guidelines:

  • Two (2) doses of Pfizer or Moderna

  • One dose of Johnson & Johnson

  • RECOMMENDED: Booster for all who are eligible (six months or later)

School Based Meetings

  1. Affiliates must confirm that the school will allow outside visitors on school grounds.

  2. Affiliates must have received a copy of the COVID protocols being applied by the school and have made arrangements for prompt notification should the school’s protocols change.

  3. All protocols in place at the school location must be followed. If locations are requiring confirmation of vaccination, affiliates will need to present proof of compliance with vaccination requirements by mentors.

  4. Determine all governmental requirements.

  5. Confirm that mentors are allowed and comfortable going into schools (it is foreseeable that not every mentor will be allowed or comfortable). ACE will be guided by the preferences of mentors should they choose to be more conservative than these protocols require, including reverting to remote mentoring where prudent.

Office or Outside Location Based Meetings 

  1. Affiliates must confirm that the locations will allow outside visitors.

  2. Determine protocols of the location. All protocols in place must be followed. If locations are requiring vaccines, ACE volunteers and students will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

  3. Determine any and all governmental requirements.

  4. Confirm that mentors are allowed and comfortable going to an outside location. (Not every mentor will be allowed or comfortable.)

COVID Waivers

The student and volunteer COVID waivers are now available in the ACE database. Admins and team leaders will be able to invite students/volunteers individually or in bulk to complete the form. Once completed, the forms will be available within the participant’s profile and can be searched by status from the search page.

Just like with the consent forms, a direct link to the form is available in the student/volunteer profile in case the email invite doesn’t reach their inbox.

Student/Parent Waiver

Student form will work the same as the consent form with email invites going out first to students and then to parents. The key difference is students must be invited to sign because not all ACE teams will be in-person. Only participants whose teams are meeting in-person are required to sign the form.

 Email Flow

  • Student Waiver status default is “not received”

  • Student is invited by team leader or database admin. Status moves to “invited.”

  • Email goes out to student with form link.  Link is also available in student’s profile. Email continues to go out each day if form remains unsigned.

  • Student signs form. Status moves to “pending parent.”

  • Parent & Student receive email with parent link. Email goes out every day until the form is signed by the parent.

  • Parent signs.  Status moves to “received”

  • Student is eligible to attend in-person ACE events

Volunteer Waiver

The volunteer waiver process will be much easier than that of the students because only the volunteer will need to sign.  Just like with students, only volunteers who plan to attend in-person sessions or events will need to sign. They should be invited by team leaders or admins through the database.

Email Flow

  • Volunteer Waiver status default is “not received”

  • Volunteer is invited by team leader or database admin. Status moves to “invited.”

  • Email goes out to volunteer with form link. Link is also available in volunteer’s profile. Email continues to go out each day if form remains unsigned.

  • Volunteer signs form. Status moves to “received.”

  • Volunteer is eligible to attend in-person ACE events

Face Masks

Covering both nose and mouth completely.

Vaccination

The best defense against COVID.

Social Distance

Maintain a distance of 6 feet between others.

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