With the Governor’s latest announcement
, our landscape changes, but we continue to plan for re-opening in August, and our top priority remains the health and safety of all members of our community while delivering a vibrant and engaging educational experience to our students.
While the routine will look different, our mission remains the same: to assist all students in creating meaningful and balanced lives, developing lifelong learners and stewards, and productively serving a world in need of their gifts.
We eagerly await the opportunity to welcome students back to campus in a healthy way to start the 2020-21 school year. We will continue to be guided by updates to the San Mateo County framework and the latest research and findings. We will welcome students back on campus while maintaining a healthy and safe environment including appropriate physical distancing, face coverings, attention to hygiene, and avoiding large gatherings. In addition, members of our community (faculty, staff, and students) will stay home when they are sick, we will stagger drop off and pick up times, and we will create traffic flow to keep students distanced and safe.
We are prioritizing care of the individual student and the community by focusing on:
The following information will provide more insight into how we are thinking about keeping our campus as safe as possible. The Priory–through its size and availability of space, and its number of students–is blessed with the opportunity to keep our students safe and enjoy learning on campus.
Woodside Priory is committed to delivering an education and student experience that is distinctive and true to our Benedictine mission while assuring that all members of our academic community are safe and well.
When students and faculty return in August they will experience the same, familiar ABC schedule they are used to, with a few alterations that will enable us to maintain a safe and healthy environment. The schedule will continue to be robust, and will enable a dynamic and flexible academic experience in the classroom.
There will be added passing periods between classes, which allows more time and less rushing between classes.
Hallways and other thoroughfares will be well marked to allow for maximum physical distancing while students are passing from place to place.
Before release from a classroom, there will be a cleaning time allocated to clean work areas, and to wipe down light switches and door handles.
It is likely that Priory will move between the different scenarios of in-person and fully remote learning at different points in the year, as conditions in our immediate and larger community dictate. In the case that we must pivot to distance learning, we have created a new Distance Learning Schedule based on feedback from teachers and students last spring. The schedule increases instructional time and builds in essential community time: chapel, advisory, FLEX, and faculty meetings, student-led clubs. Other features of this DL schedule:
Students attend academic classes 4 out of the 5 days a week.
Each class meets 2x a week for 60 minutes.
Wednesdays are used for teacher prep and community activities.
Easy to have A-week/B-week schedules to rotate when classes meet so that classes do not always meet at the same time.
Collapsed on 4-day weeks.
Below are some of the safety measures we are planning at this time. These guidelines are based on recommendations from San Mateo County, the CDC, and in consultation with other peer schools. It’s important to note that this is a dynamic situation, and as new guidelines are put in place, we anticipate some of this changing over time — perhaps even before school begins, or after the school year is underway.
We are adding 12 hand washing stations to give all students access to hand-washing throughout the day.
Every classroom and other key parts of campus are equipped with hand sanitizing stations.
We also suggest that students carry their own small bottle of hand sanitizer to use if necessary.
Additional staff has been hired to clean our campus and enhanced cleaning procedures will be put in place.
Our entire facility will be cleaned and disinfected daily, with high-touch, high-traffic areas cleaned during the day.
Each classroom will have disinfecting materials for students to use to clean their desk before each class period.
Bathrooms will be disinfected and sanitized regularly during the school day
We will tent key areas on campus to create different spaces for students to learn.
Our indoor spaces (PAC, Student Center, Dining Hall, and classrooms) have very good HVAC units and we use MERV 12 and MERV 13 air filters, which are replaced quarterly.
When possible, classrooms will keep windows and doors open to increase the exchange rate of fresh air in rooms.
Our Dining Hall, food preparation, layout, distribution, and menu selection have been redesigned to keep our community safe and to provide healthy and nutritious food options for our students.
Physical (plexiglass) barriers are being installed in areas where distancing is not possible.
Hallways, staircases, and building entrances will all be one-way to aid with appropriate distancing.
Lockers will not be issued; students should carry their belongings in their backpacks.
All rooms will be labeled for maximum capacity.
All furniture with soft coverings has been removed.
In the event that someone on campus tests positive for COVID-19, we will be able to determine those who have come into close contact with that individual, and in accordance with the CDC and county health guidelines, we will contact those who may have been exposed.
We will have a designated space on campus to isolate anyone who becomes sick during the school day until he or she can be picked up.
Those who are sick will be required to remain home (faculty, staff, and students). Because we know that a number of students will stay home throughout the year, we will be extremely well-equipped for sick students (if they are able) still to attend class remotely and not fall behind.
Drop Off and Pick Up
Middle School drop off will be 8:00 - 8:20 AM; drop off will be at the Upper School breezeway
Upper School drop off will be 8:15 - 8:35 AM; drop off will be at the Upper School breezeway
Middle School pick up will be 3:00 - 3:20 PM, pick up will be at the Upper School breezeway
Upper School pick up will be after 3:20 PM at the Upper School breezeway
Approved face coverings (masks or shields) will be required to be worn throughout the day. This will become part of the dress code.
Training on the proper wearing of and care for masks will be done during student orientation.
Each day, every student, faculty, and staff member will do a health check including taking temperature and answering health-related questions.
Health check will be done on an app prior to arrival on campus.
Training on using the app will be provided.
Any student who has not completed the temperature and health screening prior to arrival on campus, and submitted the results via the app, will be sent to the Health Center for the screening and temperature check.
Visitors to campus will be limited and those that must come to campus will be screened appropriately.
We request that parents not drop by campus unless they have a scheduled appointment. Parents must also wear masks at all times when on campus.
CHAPEL and CO-CURRICULARS
We know how important Chapel and other spiritual activities are in the life of our community, and we are committed to providing as many meaningful activities for students as we safely can. Unfortunately, we are not able to gather in the chapel as an entire student community, but we are exploring other opportunities for classes or groups to gather to engage in these formative times. We will provide creative virtual experiences or small group opportunities for our community to learn about, experience, and celebrate our Benedictine traditions. Also, we are in the process of reimagining retreats and service opportunities.
We are working with the moderators of our co-curricular activities such as robotics, Model UN, drama, choir, yearbook, JSA, Dedicated to Diversity, PRISM, sports medicine, and Latinx United to enable students to work with one another. With an emphasis on meeting in-person as much as they safely can, these activities will provide great opportunities for students to take a break from their screens, make friends, and deepen skills by joining with like-minded peers to pursue their interests. Moderators will communicate regularly as specific plans are developed.
Athletics are also an important part of our day and we are proud of the number of students that participate on our teams. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), will announce its plans for the upcoming year on July 20. Ultimately, we do not know what the decision will be with respect to competitions, but our coaches are committed to working with our students to form meaningful bonds, stay healthy, and form character.
COUNSELING and SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
As we prepare to return to school, managing anxiety and stress will be a factor in how we navigate this transition. Ms. Sandra Kelly
, our Director of Social and Emotional Health will provide more resources in the coming weeks. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact her directly.
We will continue to provide weekly communication each Wednesday and next week, we will begin to host weekly Webinars for parents. More information to follow next week.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.