RETURNING SAFELY TO CAMPUS

A Road Map to Return to Campus Learning in the Fall

2020-21


PLANNING FOR OUR RETURN TO CAMPUS

We plan for a return to on-campus learningOur planning effort began last year with the establishment of a task force of administrators, faculty and staff, responsible for tracking and assessing the Covid-19 pandemic, monitoring health and safety guidelines from the CDC and local authorities, and learning from the experiences of schools in this country and around the world to inform a plan for Waterford students and faculty to safely return to campus.

While in frequent dialogue with board members, parents, community health experts, and local and national educators, the task force and subcommittees were charged with maintaining and improving program integrity and fidelity, while creating a safe and healthy environment for the 2020-21 school year in a manner consistent with the Waterford vision, mission, and values, and at a level that meets reasonable parent and faculty expectations, regardless of the particular mode of delivery.

We are able to return to on-campus learning through investments in technology and professional development of faculty, as well as creative use of schedule, space, and staffing.



GUIDING ASSUMPTIONS


The health and safety of all community members is of paramount importance, including physical health and the emotional well-being of our students, as well as our faculty.
Given the Waterford vision, mission, and values, and its philosophical commitment to the liberal arts model of learning, we should find ways to be together for on-campus learning whenever possible.
Knowing that reducing risk to zero is impossible, we will follow public health and safety guidelines—the Utah Department of Health and the CDC will be used as our main reference points for our ongoing assessment of risk.
We will define procedures and protocols to open and operate safely across as many program areas as possible. Given that public health and safety guidelines related to school operations will likely shift multiple times during the duration of COVID-19 concerns, we will also plan for the possibility of pivoting quickly from one set of operating rules to another

2020-21 RETURN-TO-CAMPUS SCENARIOS

Below are three scenarios (two on-campus learning options—full and hybrid) that we believe to be strong and viable for our fall return and the balance of the 2020-21 school year, knowing that COVID-19 will continue to evolve. Each plan is informed by the following key areas of importance—health and safety, Waterford program integrity (academics, arts, and athletics), and finance and operations:

ON CAMPUS LEARNING
full

ON CAMPUS LEARNING
hybrid

DISTANCE LARNING
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PROGRAM STRATEGY

All programs operate with all students on campus

LS will operate in learning pods by grade level with continued engagement from specialists

MS/US will operate on an ammended schedule to ensure health and safety protocols

Teachers use technology to simulcast classes to students following from home (we anticipate some students will need this option)

Canvas set-up to support in-person and distance learners

Large performance ensembles rehearse and perform

Athletic teams practice and compete




1

HEALTH PROTOCOLS

If ill, students and personnel stay home

Symptoms should be self-assessed before coming to campus

If a student becomes symptomatic, we will follow protocols and guidelines informed by the state and CDC

Enhanced cleaning & disinfecting

Hand sanitizer readily available; frequent hand washing encouraged

Masks utilized when physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain

Physical distancing where feasible

LS and MS/US will have separate health offices where “well” and “sick” students will be cared for in separate spaces; the health offices will be adequately stocked with PPE (ie. N95’s & surgical masks, face shields, and gloves)

OPERATIONS STRATEGY

Bus service continues

LS students will be eating in their classrooms

MS/US students will use the Dining Hall only to purchase lunch on a staggered schedule. Students will be guided to eat in small physically distanced groups.

LS Extended Day will operate normally

Program Strategy - hybridPROGRAM STRATEGY

LS - all students on campus in learning pods by grade level with continued engagement from specialists

MS/US - 2/3 of students on campus each day in an amended schedule - cycling to distance learning on a regular rotation

Teachers teach sections across all disciplines as scheduled

Teachers use technology to simulcast classes to students following from home

Assemblies held remotely

Canvas set-up to support in-person and remote learners

No large ensembles, but other forms of performance will happen with protocols and restrictions

Athletic teams will pursue competition, if UHSAA allows, with protocols and restrictions

Health Protocols

HEALTH PROTOCOLS

If ill, students and personnel stay home

Students and personnel screen for symptoms before coming to campus

School may take temperatures before entrance to buildings

If a student becomes symptomatic, we will follow protocols and guidelines informed by the state and CDC

Enhanced cleaning & disinfecting

Hand sanitizer readily available; frequent hand washing encouraged

Masks required when physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain

Physical distancing in hallways & classrooms

We will add tents to allow for use of outdoor spaces to promote ease of gathering safely

LS and MS/US will have separate health offices where “well” and “sick” students will be cared for in separate spaces; the health offices will be adequately stocked with PPE (ie. N95’s & surgical masks, face shields, and gloves)

Operations Strategy

OPERATIONS STRATEGY

Bus service continues with modified seating

LS Extended Day will operate, but with reduced enrollment and only by grade-level cohort.

LS students eat in their classrooms, box lunches will be avialable for purchase

MS/US students will use the Dining Hall only to purchase box lunches on a staggered schedule. Students will be guided to eat in small physically distanced groups outside or in designated areas indoors.

Program Strategy - hybrid

PROGRAM STRATEGY

All students and faculty in distance learning (PreK & Kindergarten will remain open for on-campus learning under the state's daycare provision)

Canvas set-up to support distance learning

No in-person arts performances

No athletic competitions





Health Protocols

HEALTH PROTOCOLS

Campus is closed with the exception of essential personnel

If ill, all personnel stay home

Essential personnel will self-screen before coming to campus, wear masks, practice physical distancing and good hygiene

Enhanced cleaning & disinfecting

Operations Strategy

OPERATIONS STRATEGY

No Bus service

No LS Extended Day



PLANNING, PREPARATION AND INVESTMENT PRIORITIES FOR AN ON-CAMPUS RETURN

Collectively these investments total $1M. The school has frozen all capital improvements and held salary increases to ensure that we are prepared to return. The combination of additional investment expenditures, freezing capital outlays, Waterford Resilience Fund contributions, and prudent financial planning allows for the School to remain financially strong as we weather the current economic turbulence wrought by Covid-19 and maintain security into the 2020-21 school year and beyond.


FACULTY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Waterford will focus on training and professional development opportunities that will allow our faculty to continue to pursue excellence whether they are teaching in-person, in a hybrid model or in a full distance learning experience. Investing $500,000 into professional development to prepare for the 2020-21 school year, all faculty will participate in a 4-week curriculum training to better support in-person and distance learning.

TECHNOLOGY

We are upgrading camera and speaker technology and equipment in every classroom across campus to facilitate and improve the experience for remote learners. Faculty will be able to teach to students present in the classroom while simulcasting to students who are engaging with the course from home.

SPACING AND DECREASED MIXING

We plan to maintain more consistent separation between the Lower School campus and the combined Middle and Upper Schools campus in the year ahead. The goal is to have the two divisions operate independent of each other, so that should we have an outbreak of illness in one division, the other might still be able to operate without interruption.

HEALTH PROTOCOLS AND PPE PROCUREMENT

Following CDC guidelines, the core of our safety strategy is a strong partnership with parents to ensure that health screenings take place before coming to school and that students remain home when ill, maintaining physical distance, practicing good hygiene, and having procedures in place for handling any illness that develops at school. Additionally, we will invest in PPE and resources, including touchless faucets, touchless paper towel dispensers, hand sanitizer stations, enhanced HVAC airflow, and new air filtration systems.


WATERFORD SCHOOL - ODE TO JOY

Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony is one of the most recognizable melodies in the world, but what makes this melody so unique is that Beethoven wrote it when he was deaf. He was living alone as a hermit and his deafness made it difficult for him to interact with others. Despite his isolation, the lyrics to Ode to Joy are incredibly joyful and speak of unity and happiness. Even now, Beethoven's music brings us together, even when we are apart. This project by the Waterford Ensemble and Mrs. Morris was created to demonstrate that even in times of crises the music goes on and you are not alone.



Road Map to Reopen Campus document sent to parents on June 12, 2020