Dear St Andrew’s Families,

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is preparing for the return of students to our school campus for the first day of the 2020-21 school year on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. While plans regarding the school year continue to evolve, our plan is that students will attend school on-campus while simultaneously following the State and Local Health Department and the Independent Association of the Southwest COVID-19 safety guidelines.  In addition, we are developing detailed plans for distance learning should this become necessary.  These plans include training our faculty, incorporating new technology, and other measures to provide the best possible education for our students.

Below are the proposed plans for the 2020-21 school year.  These proposals may be altered as the vetting and feedback process continues.  I will continue to gather feedback from a number of groups to include parents, the medical community, and the business community.

First and foremost, we are wholeheartedly committed to the wellbeing and health of our school community.  St. Andrew’s Episcopal School will provide a safe campus and proper hygienic measures in response to COVID-19.  Best practice guidelines will be implemented for the welfare of our students, faculty, and staff.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School COVID-19 Policies

Daily Temperature Checks and Symptom Monitoring

Employees and students will be required to participate in daily temperature checks to attend school.  Persons who have a fever of 100.4 or above may not be admitted to school and must be fever free for 48 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication to return to school. 

Employees will assess students for any symptoms related to COVID-19 throughout the school day.  Students who exhibit concerning symptoms will be provided designated sick areas until they can be picked up. Accordingly, sick areas will be cleaned and disinfected after students go home. 

Face-covering Guidelines

Face masks are required to be worn by all faculty and staff.  Students in 3rd through 8th grades are also required to wear face masks.  

For outdoor spaces, face coverings are not required unless social distancing is not feasible. 

Guests and Visitors on School Campus

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School will be limited to employees, to include contracted therapists and tutors, students, and essential vendors who will be asked to abide by specific protocols. In a strategic effort to keep our school healthy, all other persons shall refrain from visiting campus, except for daily carpool and student pickup during the school day.  Before school opens in August, parents will receive information about changes in morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.  

In coordination with the Admissions Office, prospective families can also enter campus buildings, but must refrain from entering rooms containing students, and must wear face masks and adhere to personal hygiene guidelines at all times.

Diagnosis of COVID-19 within a School Community

Understandably, even with the best precautions, members of our school community may contract COVID-19. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be: 

·       Quarantine for 10 days.  After 10 days, the individual must be asymptomatic for an additional 3 consecutive days.  The best-case scenario is to quarantine for 13 days total but depending on whether or not you continue to have COVID symptoms the quarantine could last longer.  

·       Doctor’s Note.  A doctor’s note will be required to return to school after the quarantine period.

·       Report to Contract Tracer.  Individuals who test positive must report to a contact tracer with the Department of Health. 

After a positive case is confirmed, St. Andrew’s will move forward with procedures to determine who were in “close contacts” with a COVID-19 positive individual.  As defined by the medical community, a close contact is a person who was less than six feet away from a positive individual for more than 15 minutes.  Close contacts will be asked to stay at home and monitor symptoms for 13 days.  For example, parents and other household members residing with the student.   

To limit the amount of close contacts on campus, St. Andrew’s will implement schedules that best provide static groups and limited mixing cohorts for employees and students. 

·      Not every student or faculty member in our school will need to stay home for 13 days, just those who are identified as close contacts to a case.

·      If a student or teacher in De la Vega Hall (Tadpoles, PK4 , and K) tests positive for COVID, the entire building quarantines for 13 days.

·      If a student or faculty member in 1st or 2nd grade tests positive for COVID, these two grades will quarantine for 13 days

·      If a student or faculty member in 3rd or 4th grade tests positive for COVID, these two grades will quarantine for 13 days

·      If a student or faculty member in 5th through 8th grade tests positive for COVID, these four grades will quarantine for 13 days.

Any grade that quarantines for 13 days will switch to distance learning for that time period.

Cohorts and grouping

St. Andrew’s agrees to abide by the guidance of state and local authorities in regard to maximum indoor classroom group sizes based on the “Phase” of reopening currently in effect:

·      Phase 1 = groups not larger than 10

·      Phase 2 = groups not larger than 25

·      Phase 3 = groups not larger than 50

Gatherings in larger spaces or outdoors, such as Physical Education or sports, where social distancing is possible, may exceed these guidelines.

To limit the amount of close contacts on campus, St. Andrew’s will implement schedules that provide static groups and limited mixing of cohorts for employees and students without unduly sacrificing educational priorities.

Aftercare and After School programs will also be adjusted to minimize mixing of children.  Each grade will spend aftercare in their specific buildings.  For example, 5th through 8th grade will spend their time during aftercare in Grace Hall. 

Morning Exercise will be temporarily cancelled until further notice.

Lunch will not be served in Parish Hall.  Instead, students will eat lunch in their classrooms.

Water Fountains

Water fountains on campus will be closed.  We are asking students, faculty, and staff to bring bottled water from home.

Informational Signs

COVID-19 informational signs will be posted in high traffic areas (school entrances, restrooms, etc…) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs by washing hands every two hours, wearing a face covering, and social distancing.

Social and Emotional Needs

We are very much aware of the challenges our students and our community are facing during this time.  Please know our administrators, counselor, and faculty are working together to make sure we are addressing the social and emotional needs of our students.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

We know this fall will present challenges, but we are confident our community is prepared and strong enough to meet these challenges together.  We promise to work as hard as we can to provide the best education for your precious children.  Your understanding and cooperation are most appreciated.

Kind regards,

Kathryn Fitzpatrick
Head of School

COVID 19-Letter-5-11-20

COVID 19-Letter-4-30-20

COVID 19-Letter-4-21-20

COVID 19-Letter-4-16-20

COVID 19-Letter- 4-6-20

COVID 19-Letter-4-1-20

COVID-19 Letter 3-13-20

COVID 19 School Closure