In March of 2020, the CDS Board of Trustees created a Health & Safety Task Force (Task Force) to help guide the Administration’s decisions and create protocols to support the safety of our community during COVID-19. The Task Force created this COVID-19 Handbook guided by the CDC recommendations and policies set by the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD).
Health & Safety Task Force Members:
Stacey Bruns, Head of School, Parent of 2 Alumni
Jamie Morris, CDS Administrative Coordinator, Parent of Preschool and Kindergarten Students
Elaine Alpern, NP, CDS Board Member, Parent of 7th Grade Student and 3 Alumni
Shawn Lipinski, ScM, Parent of 6th and 4th Grade Students
Renée Fischer, MD, CDS Board Member, Parent of 3 Alumni
Thomas Jefferson Health District Representative: Ryan McKay, MPA, Senior Policy Analyst
Guiding Principles of the Task Force:
Use our best judgement.
Prioritize a healthy and safe learning and working environment for students and faculty.
Recognize that reopening campus, if it can be done safely, is in the best interest of our students.
Provide training, time, and support necessary for faculty to prepare for successful on campus experience.
Help the Administration provide proactive, clear communication to the CDS Community, as decisions become available.
Help parents understand that this year will require flexibility, support, grace and patience from our parent body, as we are making decisions under extreme uncertainty.
Support the faculty to ensure the community abides by the policies, protocols and rules set forth in the COVID-19 Handbook.
On-Campus and Distance Learning Decisions
Please note, while we are eagerly preparing to be back on campus with students on August 20, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving and may require changes to the best laid plans. This year will require flexibility, caution, grace and patience from our parent body, as we are making decisions under extreme uncertainty.
We must be ready to revert to Distance Learning on short notice if health conditions shift in our area or within our school community. CDS will operate in the following manner based on the Forward Virginia model of phased reopening determined by Governor Northam and/or local health officials:
PHASE 3: If Charlottesville remains in Phase 3, we plan to be in school 5 days per week with all necessary safety measures in place. If the Task Force and Administration finds that a 5-day-per-week on-campus schedule can not be done safely or effectively, we will make the appropriate adjustments to schedules for each class.
PHASE 2: If Charlottesville is in Phase 2, we will provide families with a weekly schedule that includes distance learning and as much on-campus learning following the guidelines of the State of Virginia, the TJHD, and the Task Force.
PHASE 1: If Charlottesville returns to Phase 1, the school will return to distance learning.
On-Campus Modifications and Preparation
We have been modifying our campus and preparing for “On-Campus” learning since early April. This includes: purchasing PPE for teachers and stocking up on cleaning and disinfecting supplies; working with an architect to determine and organize classroom spaces to ensure 6-foot-distancing for students and teachers; adding outdoor spaces, including a new stage, for outdoor instruction and play; installing new windows that open for ventilation in classrooms; installing touchless faucets throughout the school; purchasing temporary furniture to allow for physical distancing inside the classrooms; and purchasing technology for teachers and classrooms to prepare for synchronous learning (some students at home and some at school).
Opting to Learn from Home
Assuming CDS is permitted to have on-campus learning in August and beyond, we understand that some families may choose distance learning. Those students will learn online with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous experiences. Please refer to the Distance Learning expectations section of this document.
If you have not done so already via the survey sent on July 20, 2020, please email Stacey Bruns as soon as possible with your intention to engage in on-campus or distance learning. This helps our planning process significantly. We understand that the situation is fluid and that your preferences may change in the future.
Calendar and Schedule Changes
Start Dates: As noted in our email dated June 5, 2020, CDS will start school 9 days earlier than usual on August 20, 2020. This will allow for more flexibility should the need arise to close the school in the event of a COVID-19 infection in our community. In addition, we plan to bring students back to campus in two groups in order to meet their teachers and classmates, learn our new COVID-19 policies and procedures, and become acclimated to new classroom spaces and routines. Only students with a last name starting with A – M will come to school on Thursday, August 20th. Only students with a last name starting with N – Z will come to school on Friday, August 21st. Assuming the transition goes smoothly, all students will come to school on Monday, August 24th. Parents will need to be available and on-call if students are struggling to adjust to the new protocols.
Wednesday Early Release for Planning and Cleaning: Current guidelines recommend that classrooms don’t interact. In order to achieve this, teachers must remain with their classes throughout the day. This reduces teachers’ planning time, a vital component of teaching excellence, significantly. To allow for more planning time, grades K-8 will be released from school between 1:20 – 1:40 pm on Wednesdays. This will also allow for another deep cleaning of the school mid-week. Please make arrangements now to ensure your child can be picked up early on Wednesdays.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday School Day: Studentswill have their temperatures checked in the Drop Off Zones between 8:15 – 8:45 am, daily. Studentswill be picked up between 3:00 – 3:20 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday pick up times are from 1:20 – 1:40 pm.
Health, Hygiene, and Safety Protocols
The CDS Task Force has developed multiple COVID-19 protocols based on guidance from the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and the TJHD. These public health-informed protocols will be strictly followed by CDS. Families will be required to attest that they will abide by these protocols in order to engage in on-campus learning.
Daily Symptom Screening Protocol:
AT HOME: Before coming to campus each morning, all faculty and students will be required to take their temperature at home and assess for the presence of any symptoms of COVID-19 . If your child has temperature of 100.4 F or higher or any symptoms of COVID-19, it is imperative that you keep your child at home, report the symptoms to the school 434-817-2371, contact your child’s pediatrician, and follow the COVID-19 SYMPTOMS PRESENT PROTOCOL in the Scenario Based Decision Model section below.
We are asking families to begin this screening for fever and COVID-19 symptoms two weeks before the school year starts and before returning to school after Winter Break. We also strongly recommend that families avoid any COVID-19 hotspots and practice strict social distancing and mask-wearing.
AT SCHOOL: Current CDC guidelines discourage the use of symptom screening (e.g. daily temperature checks) in schools. This recommendation is based on the fact that the majority of children with COVID-19 will be either asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic, so symptom screening is unlikely to accurately detect infected children. For more information, please refer to this specific CDC guidance. This makes parental vigilance in keeping children at home when sick all the more vital.
On-Campus Safety Protocols:
The following measures will be instituted at CDS to limit COVID-19 exposures:
MASKS: All faculty and students will be required to wear a cloth face covering or masks on campus. Students will have “mask breaks” throughout the day. A cloth face covering, mask or face shield will be removed for lunch, snacks, naptime, or outdoor recreation, or when it needs to be replaced. When a mask is temporarily removed, it should be placed in a labeled clean paper bag until it needs to be put on again. We encourage the use of mask lanyards or gators to decrease the chance of contamination or loss of masks. Students should have extra masks in their backpacks just in case it is needed.
The school is purchasing masks for teachers. We ask families to provide their own clean masks for their children daily. Please choose a mask that fits your child appropriately. A supply of backup masks will be on campus for those who lose or forget a mask.
We recognize that mask wearing may be difficult for younger children. We ask that you work with your children for several weeks prior to the opening of school to acclimate them to daily mask wearing. Teachers will also use creative techniques to help children to understand the importance and proper use of masks.
SOCIAL DISTANCING: CDS will practice physical distancing, spacing individuals at least 6 feet away from each other. In areas in which lines of students may form, there will be distance markers to guide social distancing. In the classroom, desks and tables will be maintained at a distance of 6 feet apart. Restrooms will have new, strict occupancy limits and distance markers. Physical distancing with preschool and kindergarten students is difficult and unnatural. Faculty will do their best to support physical distancing, but families must accept and understand that it will be imperfect.
HAND WASHING: Students will wash hands with soap and water before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and before and after going outside. They should wash their hands every two hours and teachers will create a schedule for handwashing throughout the day to ensure this occurs. Students and teachers will apply hand sanitizer every time they enter and exit classrooms.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING: CDS will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting. We will greatly increase the frequency of environmental cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, including high-touch surfaces inside and outside the buildings. Tables and chairs will be sanitized at the end of each class. Students and teachers will apply hand sanitizer every time they enter and exit classrooms.
In order to effectively clean and disinfect the school, elementary and middle school students will be dismissed on Wednesdays between 1:20 – 1:40 pm. Preschool students have the option to leave early, but it is not required. Parents will need to arrange to pick up their children early on Wednesdays.
CLASSROOM SPACES: All three CDS buildings will be used for homerooms this year. Students will not switch classes, but teachers will have the ability to move to different classrooms within their buildings. The Cottage will have preschool and Kindergarten students. The “Main Building” will have 5th – 8th grade students. The Music, Art and Fitness Center will house 1st – 4th grade students. By spreading the students over three buildings, we can more easily follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and reduce the mixing of classes and age groups. We will use specific entrances for specific classes. We will teach children in our outside spaces as much as possible. Homerooms will be assigned specific bathrooms.
Music Classes: Students will have regular music classes. Activities that involve singing or playing an instrument will only be conducted outside.
Spanish Classes: Students will have regular Spanish classes. Students will either have Spanish class outside or in their homeroom.
Art Classes: Elementary and Middle School students will have weekly Art classes. Students will watch a video created by the Art Teachers and then do the project in their homeroom or at home.
Physical Education & Recess: Students will exercise outside daily, rain or shine. Teachers will take kids on walks around the neighborhood and to Meade Park. The tot lot on Little High Street will be used for preschool recess. The new Children’s Garden (behind the Cottage) and the Greentop will be used for PE and recess, in shifts, so that age groups do not mix.
DROP-OFF PROCEDURES: Parents will pull into the Zones (marked by cones) located on 10th Street (Preschool, Kindergarten, 5th, 6th) and 11th Street (3rd – 4th, 7th, 8th) and Little High Street near the Gym (First and Second Grades). We ask that 4th – 8th grade students and their siblings use the Drop-Off Zones between 8:15 – 8:30am; Preschool – 3rd grade students use the Drop-Off Zones between 8:30 – 8:45 am).
PICK-UP PROCEDURES:Parents will wait in cars outside of campus to pick up children. Parents should not gather while dropping off or picking-up students. Studentswill line up with their homeroom teachers in the Zone where they were dropped off in the morning. Parents will pull into the Zones (marked by cones) located on 10th Street (Preschool, Kindergarten, 5th, 6th) and 11th Street (1st – 4th, 7th, 8th).
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Pick-Up times:
Preschool – 12:00 – 12:10 pm on 10th Street for half day students; 3:00 – 3:15 pm on 10th Street for full day students
Kindergarten- 3:00 – 3:10 pm on 10th Street
1st Grade- 3:00 – 3:10 pm on Little High Street
2nd Grade- 3:10 – 3:20 pm on Little High Street
3rd Grade and 4th Grade- 3:00 – 3:10 pm on 11th Street
5th Grade and 6th Grade- 3:10 – 3:20 pm on 10th Street
7th Grade and 8th Grade- 3:10 – 3:20 pm on 11th Street
Wednesday Pick-Up Times:
Preschool – 12:00 – 12:10 pm on 10th Street for half day students; 3:15 – 3:30 pm on 10th Street for full day students
Kindergarten- 1:20 – 1:30 pm on 10th Street
1st Grade- 1:20 – 1:30 pm on Little High Street
2nd Grade- 1:30 – 1:40 pm on Little High Street
3rd Grade and 4th Grade- 1:20 – 1:30 pm on 11th Street
5th Grade and 6th Grade- 1:30 – 1:40 pm on 10th Street
7th Grade and 8th Grade- 1:30 – 1:40 pm on 11th Street
MORNING MOVERS/AFTERCARE:These programs will not be offered due to COVID-19 guidelines that prohibit the mixing of children from different classes.
FOOD: Lunches and snacks will be eaten outside whenever possible. When eating indoors students will maintain social distancing in their classrooms. Yay Lunch deliveries are an option for students. More information will be provided by Yay Lunch detailing their plans for contactless delivery.
SHARED MATERIALS: Use of shared materials will be minimized and only done if safety and hygiene can be maintained.
BACKPACKS/BINS: CDS will provide families with a School Supplies List to purchase prior to August 17. On August 17th or 18th, each homeroom teacher will send a video to their students to help them prepare their backpacks/bins for the first day of school. Rather than sharing supplies at school, students will have what they need at home and can restock their backpack or bin when necessary. This will allow families to be adequately supplied should we need to switch to Distance Learning.
VISITORS: The campus will be closed to visitors. If parents need to come to campus, they will be directed to the front entrance of school only. They will be asked to provide their name and contact information for contact tracing purposes. Parents will have their temperatures recorded,will be required to wear masks, and will use hand sanitizer at entry and throughout their visit.
GATHERINGS/EVENTS: There will be no large indoor, in-person gatherings or events. Parent-Teacher Conferences and Back-To-School Night will be done virtually.
SUPPLEMENTAL PROFESSIONALS/THERAPISTS: Outside therapists, such as Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and others will not be permitted on campus, but may Zoom with students as needed.
FIELD TRIPS:CDS will continue to monitor the safety of local areas when considering the benefit of school outings off of CDS campus. Until 2021, CDS will not consider taking field trips outside of the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.
Scenario-Based Decision Model
Even when all best practices are followed as above, different scenarios with regard to suspicious symptoms, exposures and known COVID-19 disease will inevitably arise. The following protocols will be strictly followed by CDS:
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS PRESENT, DISEASE STATUS UNKNOWN PROTOCOL:
Covid-19 Exposure Protocol:
Covid-19 Known Positive Tet Protocol:
When a member of our community tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow the authority and guidance of the TJHD. This may include shutting down all or part of our campus temporarily for cleaning. The TJHD is prepared to advise schools on rules for quarantine (who needs to quarantine and for how long), contact tracing, and appropriate communication with parents that someone within our community has tested positive.
COVID-19 Teacher Training
The faculty will be trained in all health, hygiene and safety measures by the Task Force starting August 10, 2020.
CDS Distance Learning Expectations
In the event that a student or class is learning from home, Google classroom and Zoom will be used for synchronous and asynchronous learning. Please encourage your child(ren) to follow the distance learning expectations and etiquette outlined below:
ATTEND ALL OF YOUR CLASSES – Attending classes also means being fully focused and engaged the whole time.
BE ON TIME – You should be logged on, comfortably seated, and have all necessary materials for learning before the official class start time.
HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE AND SHOW RESPECT TO OTHERS – Kindness and joy are contagious. Try to have a good attitude and use respectful language and body language. If you are having a tough day or are not feeling your best, please let your teachers know.
PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY – Just as you would at school, put your phone away during classes.
USE CHAT APPROPRIATELY – Use the chat only to respond to teacher requests and to ask important questions. Do not open private chats with classmates during class.
USE YOUR REAL NAME IN ALL SETTINGS – Your teachers need to know who is present and who is responding. Do not create nicknames.
KEEP YOUR CAMERA ON DURING CLASS – Unless a personal exception has been made, we need to see you.
MUTE YOUR MICROPHONE UNLESS TOLD NOT TO BY YOUR TEACHER – This keeps distracting noises to a minimum and ensures everyone hears key information.
CLOSE OTHER TABS DURING CLASS – You should not be on Internet sites, gaming platforms, etc. during class.
REACH OUT TO YOUR TEACHERS WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS – Your teachers want to hear how the work is going for you. If the work is ever too hard, too time consuming, or too confusing, please email or tell your teachers. We want to adjust as necessary.
TURN YOUR WORK IN ON TIME – If for some reason you need an extension, please let your teachers know. Otherwise, please complete the work when it is due.
FOLLOW ZOOM ETIQUETTE:
Students should select a place to work on the computer where people can’t pass behind you. It is very distracting on video when there is movement in the background. Students may not work in their beds.
Students must be fully dressed in clothes that would be appropriate for school. Students may not join a video conference in pajamas (unless noted by the teacher as a special day) or other clothing unsuitable for school.
Students who engage in inappropriate behavior during a video conference will be asked to leave the meeting immediately.
The taking of screenshots, videos, or any other still-frame or moving images is strictly prohibited for students and parents and will result in further action taken by the school.