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2022-23 Guidelines

The guidelines are informed by the following: 

Individuals Who Have COVID Symptoms

As a reminder, if your child has 2 or more COVID-19 symptoms we recommend that your child is tested before returning to school. If they are negative, they may return when their symptoms are resolved. If you choose not to test your child, they will need to stay home for 5 days and wear a mask for the next 5 days at school. 

Individuals Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must stay home and isolate for five (5) days if they have a positive COVID-19 test. As long as symptoms have improved and the individual has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, they may return to school on day six (6). Upon return to school, students  and staff will be required to mask on days 6 – 10.

Day zero (0) of the quarantine is either the first day with a clear onset of symptoms or the date of the positive test if asymptomatic. Day one (1) is considered the first full day after symptoms begin or the positive test is performed (i.e. if a PCR sample is collected on a Monday, but the results are not received until Wednesday, then Monday is still considered Day 0).

Exposure to COVID-19 (home, school or community)

Quarantines are no longer required for individuals who are exposed to COVID-19. Families will be notified if there is a positive case in their class. Please be vigilant in monitoring your child for symptoms.

If symptoms develop, please test your child. If positive, follow the isolation guidance above.

Reporting Absences & COVID-19 Cases

Please to monitor your children for symptoms.  Please report any symptoms, positive COVID-19 cases and/or absences to your campus’s attendance email:

In-Person Instruction

Quarantine & Close Contact Tracing

(to be defined based on most current guidance from MCPHD)

Quarantine Required (10 days) if:

 No Quarantine Required if exposed individual is:

Start of School Events

We will hold Family Orientation August 17 from 4 – 7:30 pm at the Lower Schools and 4 – 8 pm at the Middle School. Back to School Night will be August 24 at the Middle School from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and September 2 at the Lower School from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. School will being August 19 with dismissal at noon. 

Symptom Tracking

Parents will be required to fill out the MyMedBot app for all unvaccinated students to track their child’s symptoms. The application will help you assess if your child should attend school.

Pick Up & Drop Off

At the Lower Schools, the pickup and drop off window will be:  8:10 – 8:30 am and 3:00 – 3:30 pm.  Middle School drop off will begin at 7:45 for morning movement and students will be released to go to their classroom at 8:00 am. Drop off will be 3:40 – 4:00 pm.  Parents will be permitted inside the building, but must wear a mask. Each campus will communicate specific information about drop off and pick up locations. 

Masking

Face masks are recommend for students and required for unvaccinated faculty and staff. All visiting adults will be required to wear a mask. Masks must be a solid color or patterned print. No characters, images, or words. 

Masking will be required for all during certain periods for all students.  

Social Distancing

We will practice social distancing in classrooms and hallways of 3 feet.

Uniforms

We will return to our standard uniform policy and wear basic uniforms Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Dress uniforms will be worn on Wednesdays and as requested. Please wear your dress uniform on the first day of school. 

Sanitization

We will utilize hand sanitizer and handwashing throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer stations will be available at the front door and in every classroom. There will also be regular sanitizing of restrooms, specials classrooms, and common areas.

Before & After Care

We plan to provide before and after care, and students will remain in grade level cohorts. Before care is available from 7:00 – 8:00 am and after care from 3:30 (4:00 at the Middle School) – 6:00 pm. Students will be masked and socially distanced during before and after care. 

Lunch & Water Bottles
Field Trips
Specials
Lauds & Chapel
Recess and Outdoor Class
Outside Visitors
Lunch & Water Bottles

Each location will determine how to best use serve lunch with social distancing. Hot lunch will be served at all schools. Parents will not be permitted to each lunch with their child.

Please arrive at school with a filled water bottle with your student’s name on it. For safety, students will not be using the water fountains.  Instead, contact-free water bottle filling stations are being installed throughout each campus.

Field Trips

We will continue to explore creative ways for students to extend their learning outside the classroom. Outdoor field trips will be allowed. 

Specials

Specials will take place in designated areas. Each room will be thoroughly sanitized between classes, and students will have designated materials that are not shared between students or sanitized between use. 

Lauds & Chapel

Lauds and Chapel will happen as they have traditionally in the hallway, gym or commons. Parents will be invited, but masks will be required. 

Recess and Outdoor Class

Recess and outdoor time is an essential part of a student’s experience at The Oaks and will continue to be offered. Grade level cohorts will be maintained during recess. During recess or other time spent outside, masks will not be required.

Outside Visitors

Outside visitors will be allowed inside in the building, but required to wear masks and practice social distancing. 


Middle School FAQ

How can you accomplish social distancing with lockers?

We do not plan to use lockers until restrictions on social distancing have been lifted. Students will be able to have their backpacks with them in the classroom at all times.

I am concerned about choir and band. How will you make sure the students are safe during these higher risk activities?

The music teachers have been consulting the latest research studies on the spread of Covid -19 with singing and playing band instruments. We have made modifications to our program to promote the safest learning environment for these students.

Band
We have moved the band program to the Commons, the largest room in the school. Students will be 10 feet apart, allowing us to exceed the recommended guidelines for social distance in band. Seventh and eighth grade students will keep their instruments at home, and they will learn repertoire during band class using drum pads and other percussion instruments. Sixth grade students will learn to play their  instrument when appropriately distanced outside.

We will be providing more thorough information and a description of guidelines for middle school band before school begins.

Choir
The current choir room is large enough to allow us to exceed the guidelines for social distancing in choir. We have made numerous modifications to the curriculum to ensure a rich musical experience while not having the risk of singing in person unless outside.

We will be providing more thorough information and a description of guidelines for middle school choir before school begins.

Students will be in the cohort of their homeroom all day with the exception of math in 6th – 8th grades and fine arts majors in 7th & 8th grades. Why are you bringing cohorts together for these classes, and what precautions will be in place to support student safety?

Our math classes are differentiated, so that students are able to learn at the perfect pace for them. Bringing students from different homerooms together for math allows us to make sure that the homerooms continue to be a mix of diverse learners and allows for greater latitude in developing class lists. This is also the case for the fine arts majors. (For example – Putting all the art majors together in one homeroom does not allow us to balance the classes or ensure students are placed with friends.)

To provide extra precautions when students are brought into these classrooms, we have scheduled additional periods between classes, so that rooms can be sanitized completely. Students will be picked up from their homerooms by the teacher and guided to the classroom. Masks will be worn at all times in these classes, students will be seated by homeroom, and movement from their assigned seats will be extremely limited.

Will drop off and pick-up be different this year?

Yes. There will be assigned doors for grade level entry in the morning with accommodations for siblings from different grades and students who carpool. Specific staircases will be used, and students will report directly to their assigned homeroom. Detailed instructions with diagrams will be provided as we near the start of school.

There will be no Morning Movement this year due to the unpredictability of weather. We do not want to have the group of up to 100 students gathering in the building if the weather does not allow us to be outside.

Before care will be available from 7:00 to 7:55, and students may enter the building and report to their  homerooms beginning at 7:55 am.

Pick-up will be different this year with all students waiting in their homerooms to be called to their cars. We will add a formal pick-up line on the Columbia side of the building with a teacher calling from the sidewalk on the east side and the west side of Columbia. Students who walk, bike, or take the bus may be dismissed to leave at the beginning of dismissal. Detailed instructions with diagrams will be available closer to the start of the school year.

What about House time?

There will be house time. Any mixing of grades will take place outside. 

What will the middle school schedule look like if there is a need to close the school due to Covid-19?

The schedule will look very similar to the regular daily schedule with their same teachers. This will be the case if a homeroom closes or the entire middle school. (See the attached sample schedules for online schedules due to closure.)

How will my middle school child be supported if she is attending in-person, but she needs to stay home for several days due to exposure to Covid-19 or another sickness?

Students will be supported by their currently assigned faculty through Google classroom. Teachers will provide support just as they would any absent student in the past, but this year there will be significantly more online resources for them if they feel well enough to work from home.

What school supplies will my child need this year?

You can find the school supply list here

Have Questions?

Change is always challenging, especially when it may effect your children. Please share any questions or comments you have using the form below, or by emailing me directly at ahart@theoaksacademy.org.

I’ll respond to your inquiry directly and as quickly as I can.