Re-Opening of School Fall 2020
Contribute to the APA COVID19 Emergency Relief Fund
Several supporters of the school have communicated a desire to help financially given the economic circumstances that independent schools and their loyal families are facing. Many APA families have graciously contributed back the credits issued by the school resulting from our closure from March 13 through the end of the year.
Health and Safety
- The Head of School, Division Heads, and Director of Health Services as well as other administrators have completed a COVID-19 Contact Tracing Certification Course through Johns Hopkins University.
- APA has contracted with IsoKlean, LLC to purchase two electrostatic disinfectant foggers. These will be utilized on a regular basis to sanitize our facilities and buses.
- Temperature checks will be administered to all faculty, staff, students, parents, and visitors prior to entry into any building on campus. Mid-day temperature checks will be administered as well.
- Entry into any building on campus will be limited to faculty, staff and students ONLY. Other visitors will be allowed on campus by appointment only.
- Hand Sanitizing stations will be provided in every classroom. Students are encouraged to bring their own sanitizer to use when moving from place to place.
- Students are encouraged to bring a labeled water bottle to school with them. No-touch fountains within our facilities can be used to refill individual bottles.
- All students will require a COVID19 liability waiver in order to attend school on campus.
5th grade – 12th grade students will sanitize desks at the end of each class period before transitioning to the next class.
- Teachers will teach, supervise, and reinforce handwashing for all students.
- Families are encouraged to begin practicing handwashing according to CDC guidelines.
- CDC videos are available here https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/videos.html
- Lower School resource schedules have been adjusted to account for time to disinfect supplies and spaces in between class groups.
Health Advisory Task Force
- All faculty will participate in professional development during the summer to become proficient in the use of a single online instructional platform.
- Teachers will supplement their face-to-face instruction with online tools so that all students and families feel comfortable if we are to have to return to virtual learning at any point.
Scheduling and Spacing
- Class sizes have been reduced and student desks will be safely spaced apart in all divisions.
- Many teachers have moved into classrooms that best accommodate their class sizes.
- The schedule has been adjusted to reduce unnecessary contact between individuals as much as possible.
- Resource teachers will travel to classrooms when possible.
- In the case that we could not safely accommodate our entire student body on campus, a blended learning (virtual/face-to-face) contingency plan is in place. Students would meet on campus several days a week and participate in virtual learning off campus several days a week. (Grades 7-12 only)
- Given the many new protocols that will be in place the first day of school we will be staggering our start date as follows:
- On Monday, August 24 – Transition - 5th will return to school for a half day.
- On Tuesday, August 25 – Transition through fifth grade along with grades 6 and 9 will return to school for a half day. This will give our newest middle school and high school students an opportunity to adjust to their new environments
- On Wednesday, August 26 – ALL students will return to campus for a full day of instruction. Seniors, Mrs. Moye and Mrs. White are busy working on a way to offer you all a safe, socially distanced senior retreat on this day. We will communicate more details on that at a later date.
- Lower school classes will continue to participate in all normal resource offerings (Art, PE, computer, character ed, chorus, music, foreign lang, creative movement). Modifications will be in place to ensure sufficient spacing, and the health and hygiene of the students.
- Middle and Upper School Schedules will be available to view on Renweb on August 10. Lower school class lists will be available to view on Renweb, Friday, August 21st at 4pm.
- Middle and Upper school schedule changes cannot be guaranteed and are limited to available space in class sections due to COVID19 spacing restrictions.
- Lockers will not be utilized in middle and upper school. Students will be issued textbooks and keep them at home. Students will only be required to transport binders, writing utensils, and lightweight books/workbooks in their bookbags. Cubbies can still be utilized to store athletic equipment or musical instruments.
- All food service procedures have been modified to incorporate sufficient distancing as well as health and hygiene standards set by the CDC.
- There will be no self-service food options but a pre-order process will be in place so that students desiring a salad or sandwich will be able to pick up a pre-packaged meal as an alternative to the hot meal option.
- A staggered break/lunch dismissal schedule has been established to minimize the number of students moving through the cafeteria at any given time.
- There will be a clearly marked one-way flow of movement in and out of the cafeteria at all times.
- MS/US lunch will allow one grade per week to sit in the cafeteria to accommodate sufficient spacing. Students not eating in the cafeteria will eat in classrooms or in designated outdoor seating spaces.
- Break food will be individually packaged grab-and-go style service. Students will eat in their 3rd period/homeroom classrooms.
- Vending machines will be off limits until further notice.
- Signage will designate sufficient spacing in lines and clearly mark seating options for students.
- Families are encouraged to communicate their intent to utilize our buses so that we can adequately plan for the fall.
- Families that have used the bus in the past, but plan to provide their own transportation should let Carolyn Allen know at their earliest convenience.
- Buses will not be divided by age so that family members can share seating.
- Temperature checks will be administered to each rider before boarding the bus on a daily basis – parents should wait until their student has boarded the bus before departing.
- Buses will be sanitized daily prior to and after each trip to and from school.
- Operations staff will follow transportation guidelines set by local health officials pertaining to bussing.
- Bus riders will be required to wear cloth face covering during transit. Bus monitors will strictly enforce compliance.
- Protective barriers have been added between seats on all APA buses.
Athletics, Extended Day, Academic Center, and other Activities
- APA will follow guidelines set by the NCISAA with regards to offering athletics.
- APA intends to offer our normal extended day services and will utilize additional campus spaces if necessary, to do so safely.
- The Academic Center will continue to operate. Crystal Wooten and the administration are working together to determine ways to safely offer one-on-one tutoring.
- At this time all off-campus field trips are on hold. We will gather information from the organization or venues that we visit to ensure that their health and safety guidelines meet the standard of expectation to keep our students and teachers healthy.
What criteria must my child meet to return to school? We realize that there are many reasons other than COVID19 that would cause a fever. We are in communication with medical professionals to determine a protocol for allowing students to safely return to school if they are exhibiting symptoms.
How does APA plan to handle a case of COVID19? APA will follow guidelines set by the CDC and local and state health officials to communicate with students and families should there be a case of COVID19.
Will cloth face coverings or masks be required on campus? APA will follow guidelines set by the CDC and local and state health officials and the NCDHHS Health Toolkit to ensure that our faculty, staff, and students are at the lowest risk possible for exposure to COVID19. Please see CDC guidelines on masks here (*updated July 23, 2020).