Dear Collegiate Families,
This letter is to update you on our plans for a safe return to campus on day one of the 2020-21 school year.
Collegiate’s Process and Plan
Our Board of Trustees and our administrative Reopening Team have undertaken a comprehensive review of COVID-19 public health guidance, state reopening guidelines, our campus footprint, parent input and school logistics. Our efforts are informed by regular engagement with medical and space utilization experts, as well as local, national and international resources. We are committed to fostering a safe and healthy learning community, and I am grateful for the efforts of the many employees and volunteers working on this shared goal.
I am confident that Collegiate School will open its campus to students on Sept. 1, unless otherwise directed by the state. Our plans are guided by our goal of minimizing exposure on campus. Accordingly, we are implementing screening and mitigation measures to help keep our students and staff safe. While Collegiate will look and feel different, please note that these measures are intended to prevent the disruption to in-person instruction. Physical distancing will be critical for our return to campus — and is required at all schools in Virginia.
On June 9, Gov. Northam outlined the steps all schools must take
to be able to open their campuses on a limited basis this summer and, later, for all students — consistent with the state’s reopening phases. When Virginia enters Phase Three, which the Governor expects to happen prior to the scheduled start of the school year, all grades may return to campus with appropriate actions taken to mitigate potential spread of the virus — the central focus of our Reopening Plan.
What Should You Expect?
Our Reopening Plan will continue to be refined over the course of the summer as conditions evolve and as the State issues Phase Three guidelines for schools. However, there are several points I can share with you now:
The campus will undergo rigorous daily cleaning and disinfection.
Areas, learning and otherwise, will be spaced to provide necessary physical distancing.
Pre-screening/on-campus temperature screening will likely be required (specifics forthcoming).
Students will receive training on new flow and patterns and preventative measures in advance of their return to school (specifics and dates forthcoming).
Lunch service will be suspended this year; students, faculty and staff will bring lunches.
For the two weeks prior to school, families will be asked to diligently follow physical distancing.
If traveling to what is designated a high-risk area by the CDC, you will be asked to self-quarantine for two weeks before school starts.
Quest after-school care will be provided beginning Monday, Aug. 31, following the same self-distancing protocols as our classrooms.
The Reopening Team and other planning teams are determining how schedules, time and space will be used to maximize effective and engaging teaching and learning across all school divisions, while adhering to health and safety guidelines. Additional details will be forthcoming; we intend to host divisional orientations to ensure you understand all of the logistics involved with a return to campus learning. We recognize that consistent school schedules are critical for our busy families and are prioritizing daily on-campus learning for all students.
We will update you throughout the summer as the details take shape in accordance with Virginia’s Phase Three guidelines, which have yet to be communicated. In the meantime, I urge you to review the CDC guidelines for schools
as you become familiar with what the space and flow on campus will likely be. I know many want more specifics; however, we are using every opportunity to learn from and respond to a changing environment.
While our focus has been on the safe reopening of campus in the fall, we recognize the importance of athletics, the arts and other extracurricular activities in the lives of our students. We have designated a team that will focus on the details of extracurricular activities for the 2020-21 school year once Virginia’s Phase Three guidelines are released.
In the meantime, the currently applicable Phase Two guidelines allow for minimal activity, including athletics limited to individual or team-based practice, skill-building drills or conditioning activities that allow maintenance of physical distancing at all times. We are currently working on a plan for having interested students on campus for wellness programming on the Robins Campus in July. More information will be provided on this shortly.
Our Collegiate Community
Thank you for your patience and support as we move forward toward our shared goal of gathering together as the Collegiate community. We appreciate your support, now and going forward, for physical distancing, which remains critical for our return to campus. The behaviors off campus will affect our ability to gather on campus and remain in School.
While the school will look and feel different, we are committed to offering our very best Collegiate. On a personal note, I miss each of your children. Please stay safe, remain healthy and be in touch with any questions.
Penny B. Evins