SAAS 2020-21 Reopening Plan
- Upcoming Town Halls
- Recordings of Previous Town Halls
- Safe at SAAS Parent Commitment Letter - Action Required
Here are recordings from our previous Town Halls:
- October 8: All-School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- October 13: Middle School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- October 19: Upper School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- November 16: Middle School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- November 19: Upper School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- December 8: Middle School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- December 15: Upper School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- January 11: All-School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
- January 14: Middle School Town Hall, RECORDING HERE
Prior to students returning to campus, families will need to complete a Safe at SAAS Parent Commitment Letter. This letter is now accessible on your Magnus Health profile. Please log on to Magnus and sign the commitment letter.
- Important Messages Regarding Our Return to Campus
- Decision Making Considerations
- Contact Us
- December 29 SAAS Return to Campus in 2021
- December 14 SAAS Safety Update Remote on Campus (OPTIONAL program for families)
- November 15 Message Regarding December Retreats on Campus
- October 30 Message Regarding Retreats on Campus
- October 21 Message Regarding Upper School Retreats on Campus
- October 14 Message Regarding Middle School Retreats on Campus
- September 29 Message Regarding October 13 Start Date
Our current Return to Campus plan balances the guidance we’ve received from our board risk management task force, Governor's Dec 16 Reopening Guidance , WA Department of Health guidance, public health consultations, the lagging and predictive health indicators from King County, IHME, our insights into our student wellness, and our evaluation of the significant mitigating measures we’ve put into place for the safety of students, faculty, and staff to support their readiness and comfort in returning. We are fortunate to have insights from multiple perspectives to help guide our decision making.
The decision to Return to Campus is one that lives with the school after taking these perspectives into account and understanding the uniqueness of our student population, our size, our campus, our faculty and staff, and our measures we’ve put in place supporting the safety and well-being of this SAAS community. We appreciate that no decision will completely align with any one stakeholder perspective of what is safe, preferred, or necessary as we start the new year.
As previously committed, we will provide options for family and faculty choice as we navigate through the remaining months of this school year.
We want to reinforce and support your family’s and our faculty’s personal choice in returning to campus through the end of this school year. Every family has their own health-related considerations or comfort levels in making these decisions.
As a reminder and in support of your decision making, SAAS will provide a remote option for any student whose family makes the decision to have their student attend remotely instead of coming to campus when in-person options are offered for their grade level. Students may attend full-time remote due to family health or other circumstances in any of these scenarios.
We remain committed to our initial philosophy that if we can safely have students on campus in the Fall in some form, we will, and we are continuing to prepare for that being a reality. We feel that the philosophy is important for the sake of our students, our families, and our socio-economic well-being as a city and nation.
In terms of what our plans for re-opening, we are and will be guided by the requirements of governing educational and health authorities, taking into account our SAAS community, and mitigating risks in as many ways as we can. Guidance and information have changed significantly since the early planning stages and we are adapting, each day, to the new thinking.
In all scenarios, we are placing the greatest priority on safety which means social distancing, reduced class sizes, required personal protective equipment, screening, and upgraded sanitation measures throughout the school days. Our plan has required creativity in how we think about space, schedule, supervision, transportation, lunch; in short, we have had to rethink almost everything from how it has traditionally been done in schools.
Physical safety is requiring us to forego or virtually convene the kinds of large community events—games, performances, and assemblies—we value so highly until a vaccine is in place or other mitigating precaution is reasonable and available.
Having any level of in-person school within this new reality will require individual and collective agility, resilience, and a healthy comfort with ambiguity which are all hallmarks of the SAAS community.
The SAAS 2020-21 Reopening Plan is grounded in the following principles:
- ACADEMIC QUALITY/CONTINUITY
- CARE & CONCERN FOR FACULTY, STAFF, STUDENTS, & FAMILIES
- EQUITY AND ACCESS
- LONG TERM INSTITUTIONAL SUSTAINABILITY AND VIABILITY
- ABILITY TO TRANSITION SMOOTHLY BETWEEN SCENARIOS
We will stay true to balancing these principles, and at the same time, we fully expect that our plans may need to be revised as we continue to learn more before school reopens in 2021.
The cross functional 2020-21 Scenario Planning Committees have tirelessly evaluated multiple scenarios for reopening. Committee and task force members represented administration, staff, faculty, board members, parents, and alums and represented health, educational, non-profit, and strategic planning expertise. We thank all of them for their individual and collective contributions.
- Remote Learning Block Schedule Revised
- Retreats on Campus
- Winter Trimester Plan Overview
- Extra-Curricular After-School Activities
Winter Trimester 2020-21 New Daily Schedule
MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHEDULE FOR WINTER TRIMESTER
What is Conferencing on the Block Schedule?
Dates and Times for “Retreats on Campus”
Retreats on Campus will be held on the dates below. All retreats will begin at 9 AM. Detailed information about drop off, pick up, etc. will be sent to families during the week of January 18.
- 6th Grade: January 25 and 26, February 1 and 2
- 7th Grade: January 28 and February 5 (Please note new date.)
- 8th Grade: January 29 and February 4 (Please note new date.)
- 9th Grade: February 12
- 10th Grade: February 11
- 11th Grade: February 9
- 12th Grade: February 8
Registration for “Retreats on Campus”
PODS / Cohorts
PODS will be assigned by Division Leadership for each of the days. POD size will not be more than 10 students in each group to accommodate physical distancing and safety requirements. Locations of the PODS include SAAS’s larger spaces such as gyms, garage, theatre, field, and other large convening areas outside of classrooms for the safety of a 10-person POD.
PODS / cohorts will remain together throughout each of the days and not change members between transitions. Students will transition to another location with their assigned POD/cohort one time during a ½ day and up to 3 times during the full day using marked paths and staggered departures when needed to reduce cross overs during transitions.
Students will be provided a break snack during the ½ day and lunch during the full day session. This will be prepared by SAGE and served using physical distancing, a non- touch student selection process, and a quick grab and go pick up process. All will be supervised.
Your POD assignment
After registration is complete, your student will receive the following information in preparation for the day.
- POD Name
- Arrival time
- Location for student safety pre-check and temperature screen
- POD location
- POD adult leader(s)
- Departure time and location for pick up
Gatherings will be limited/modified and, if “in person,” will use safety precautions. All meetings and large events will be hosted virtually or postponed. Back-to-school nights, parent conferences/meetings, tutoring sessions, visit days, open houses, grade-level meetings, college visits, faculty meetings, etc. will be online through end of Winter Trimester. There will be no in-person spirit events, performances, or manias.
No travel nor in-person retreats are planned, and international travel will not occur during the 2020-21 school year due to the complications in planning, safety precautions, and the uncertainty that travel will be allowed during that time frame.
No visitors on campus. No visitors on campus will also be the norm. This is to reduce exposure from the outside and impact on contact tracing reporting. Exceptions will include substitute teachers for in-person classroom teaching or emergency repair/service response.
ACADEMIC COMPETITIVE TEAMS
Upper School Robotics: Students interested in joining our Robotics Team should reach out to Meghan Jimenez. The season officially starts January 9. Club meetings are Mondays and Thursdays 3:45 - 5:15 PM.
Arts rehearsals and gatherings are under review.
From December 18, 2020
The Cardinal Athletics team is working alongside the SAAS safety team, WIAA, and the Emerald Sound Conference (ESC) to be able to provide a safe return for all our athletics programs. Our biggest goal is to get our athletes back out playing and competing in a safe manner.
- Read this Upper School Athletics update.
- Take this quick survey about a potential new Spring ESports program open to Middle School and Upper School students.
- Cardinal Quest has begun! Missions are live in the app! If you joined, you should have received your username and password in an email from Hilary O’Dougherty or Marc Moquin. If you have not received any information or are having trouble signing in, please reach out to Hilary O’Dougherty.
Questions? Contact Cathy Schick, Athletics Director.
From November 30, 2020
Our plan is for Clubs, in both divisions, to meet virtually on Wednesday afternoons during community time. Learn more about club offerings in Middle School and Upper School HERE.
Our four guiding principles in schedule design:
- Predictable, meaningful daily/weekly routine
- Student access to teachers
- Best practices of hybrid teaching and learning
Our principles allowed us to prioritize:
- Manageable, predictable routines for each day.
- On-Campus and remote schedules place academics and instructional time at the center. We know that the most important element for success in a hybrid schedule is student access to teachers and intentional design and build of curriculum.
- Uniformity across on-campus and remote schedules to create coherence, meaningful community engagement, flexible for needs that traverses both divisions.
Summer Professional Development & Preparation
Our summer professional development for faculty has been designed to prepare faculty for a hybrid teaching scenario. That preparation has been divided as follows:
- Designing courses for active student engagement, diverse learning profiles, and a variety of assessments and incorporating a cycle of effective feedback;
- Building courses using an intentional pace and layout, with effective and efficient use of technology, and to incorporate a culture of performance;
- Teaching courses while and by building authentic relationships and while and by acting as an effective communicator.
Standards for Designing, Building, and Teaching Hybrid Courses
These categories rely upon standards developed by and with One Schoolhouse: Partners in Innovation and articulate both sufficient and exemplary practices within each of these areas. Though the articulated practices generally represent best practices, and are thus those we want faculty to work toward at all times, they speak more specifically to courses intended for a blended environment.
Modelling Best Practices: Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning
As we do when teaching our students remotely, we will conduct our faculty summer professional development relying upon a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
In preparation for our synchronous professional development sessions, faculty, including teachers, coordinators, counselors, and college advisors, will explore various media on topics including engagement and student-centered learning in both the in-person and remote or online environments; effective tools for assessment and feedback, especially using our learning management system (LMS); and best practices for equity and inclusion, especially as achieved through providing clear learning objectives and transparent grading practices.
During the synchronous sessions, faculty will further investigate concepts and practices that emerge from asynchronous work attached to the above categories, discuss those concepts and practices with peers, and receive direct instruction on common and uniform practices that we have determined will best serve our students. Those uniform practices involve time allotted for asynchronous and synchronous learning, organization of and labeling conventions within the LMS, expectations for providing student feedback on assessment areas, and use of common technologies.
New Faculty and Associate Faculty
New faculty will require greater time and attention. As part of their development, they will attend a separate boot camp this summer to onboard them to the mission and guiding principles as they relate to teaching, learning, and participation in the life of the school. They will also explore the same hub areas noted above, with some differentiation for those new to the profession. Those new teachers, mostly hired for associate positions, will then work with Evan Hundley, our Assistant Head of School for Curriculum and Instruction as a cohort for continued professional development throughout the year.
Optional for families: We are aware that some families may be negatively impacted by a remote learning at home schedule due to their own family or work responsibilities. SAAS will provide a supervised, study hall-like programs for students to be on campus, in a central location, while they’re following their online class schedule. Students will follow all safety protocol and have a socially distanced work space using their laptops and headphones to attend their specific online/remote class schedule.
PRINCIPLES FOR THEE REMOTE ON CAMPUS PLAN
- Protect learning: Provide structured, supervised study hall environment for students in need of a safe, quiet environment during remote weeks.
- Ensure safety: Adhere to physical distance and sanitation protocols for a healthy environment.
- Manage needs flexibly: Design a daily flow that allows for breaks, exercise, lunch/food, and other accommodations.
Supervise across times of day: Build a transition from Remote on Campus to After-School Study Hall, after school sports and enrichment opportunities.
HOW DOES REMOTE ON CAMPUS WORK?
Students who have signed up for Remote on Campus will:
- have a socially distanced work space using their laptops and headphones to attend their specific online/remote class schedule.
- follow the online/remote class schedule in terms of block and break times.
- be able to purchase lunch if they choose not to bring one from home.
As with other on-campus classes, students who have signed up for Remote on Campus will:
- be required to wear facial coverings;
- social distance while in the Remote on Campus space and while on campus;
- follow all family symptom pre-screening requirements;
- follow all on-campus screening requirements;
- keep all personal items in your backpack and space; and
- follow the same attendance protocols as other on-campus classes.
WHAT TO BRING / NOT BRING
- Bring in backpack: binder and school supplies, book to read, sketchbook & markers or colored pencils, chromebook & charger, headphones, snacks, water bottle, comfort item, fidget toy if necessary. Kindle can come to school by permission for reading only.
- Do not bring: money, toys, personal technology (i.e. handheld gaming devices, personal laptop, etc.).
HOW CAN WE SIGN UP FOR REMOTE ON CAMPUS?
- Remote Learning
- Retreats on Campus
- Interim Hybrid
- Full Hybrid
- Remote on Campus for Kids - Optional for Families
Our intentions have been to have clear communication about the multitude of scenarios we’ve considered this school year to return students to campus. We understand and agree that these terms can get over-whelming or confusing. Along with the “label” of a particular plan, we will include as much description as possible when using these terms for ease of understanding. Hopefully, the following will be helpful.
Remote Learning is currently the learning model in place at Seattle Academy, which involves students attending classes virtually from a remote location, not on campus, for their eight block academic schedule. Remote Learning is an option that will be used in tandem with all of our plans throughout this school year either due to the personal choices made by the student and their family to learn remotely or due to the need for grade levels not scheduled to be on campus to continue classroom learning.
Physical distancing, as currently defined, will require use of the full campus and alternating students between being on campus and attending classes remotely throughout the end of the school year.
Retreats on Campus builds upon traditional opportunities for SAAS students to convene with others in their grade level and engage with subjects and activities outside the regular classroom curriculum.
Retreats on Campus plans will allow students to come back on campus with their own grade level on specific scheduled days. Students will be organized in pods of ten and will gather in assigned larger spaces on the campus. Much like retreats, students will engage and connect in smaller groups to bond with other students in their grade. We will also be using part of this time to orient students to the campus and safety protocols.
We are aware that some families may be negatively impacted by a remote learning at home schedule due to their own family or work responsibilities. SAAS will provide a supervised, study hall-like program for students to be on campus, in a central location, while following their online schedule. Students will follow safety protocols and have a socially distanced workspace using their laptops and headphones to attend their online/remote class schedule. This offering will be available starting on January 11.
- Social Distancing
- Masks / Face Coverings
- Showing Symptoms
- Isolation and Quarantine
- Testing and Health Protocols
- COVID-19 Reporting
- Contact Tracing / Attendance
- Vaccine Phases for Washington State
- HVAC and Building Systems
- Personal Items
- All members of the SAAS community should avoid nonessential travel, particularly via means that place people in close confinement, and particularly to areas with known high COVID counts.
- All students, faculty, and staff who plan to return to in-person events on campus AND plan to travel via means that result in close contact with other passengers (domestic or international) will be required to contact SAAS Safety to provide information regarding nature and locations of their travel. Depending on the nature and location of travel, traveler(s) may be requested to either:
1. Self-quarantine upon return for a period of 14 days before returning to in-person, SAAS events, OR
2. Provide proof of a negative COVID-9 test that has been obtained no earlier than 5 days after the last date of travel.
- Students, faculty, and staff who have traveled internationally will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days or per the alternate time frame designated by Public Health.
- Students, faculty, and staff traveling any time after October 1 who plan to attend in-person extracurricular activities, athletics, Retreats on Campus, and/or class are required to contact firstname.lastname@example.org about the nature and locations of their travel.
- CDC Consideration for Travelers in the US, the CDC Travelers Index, and the Washington State Department of Health Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic webpage should be consulted before taking any trips to understand your risks of travel and requirements for your return.
- Each classroom has been measured and reconfigured based on social distancing requirements.
- Students will be sitting in classrooms based on 6 feet social distancing parameters.
- Classrooms are designed so students will be facing in one direction as much as possible to reduce potential exposure.
- Classes will be released on staggered schedules to help eliminate congestion during passing times.
- Signage in the classrooms will identify what’s necessary for social distancing.
- Stairwells and hallways have been designated as one-way when possible with clear directional signage.
- Students will walk through buildings to learn the footpaths and traffic patterns during their orientation.
- In order to meet social distancing requirements, each building was mapped in terms of how many students could fit in a classroom as well as passing areas and how students would navigate from class to class.
- Buildings will have one-way staircases and hallways when possible.
- It was determined that all buildings would have one-way staircases and hallways.
- In each building, directional signage will be clearly posted. Students will also have a chance to walk through the buildings and ask questions during their orientation.
- Exceptions to the one-way hallways will be made for accessibility needs and for bathrooms during class time.
- Classes will be released on a staggered basis so that students do not converge in hallways.
Plexi-glass will be installed in high traffic areas such as the front offices.
Masks/facial coverings are required at SAAS
Masks/facial coverings are required to be worn by students and adults at SAAS during all activities including class, during transitions, during bus rides, during extracurricular activities, during “Retreats on Campus” and are required in the State of Washington to be worn in public.
- SAAS will provide five (5) masks per student for each trimesters they are scheduled to be in campus. Sttudents received one mask in their supply bag at the end of August. The additional four masks for Fall Trimester will be distributed to each student on the first day of Retreats on Campus.
- Mask will be 3-layer, reusable/washable, and adjustable.
- Students should wear a mask and have at least one extra in their backpack each day.
- Students may wear their own masks; 3-layer or thicker masks as recommended.
- Teachers will be provided shields, in addition to masks, to protect them and others in the classroom.
Individual hygiene practices will be reinforced through safety communication in orientations, in classrooms, in training campaigns, and through facility signage, in order for students, faculty, and staff to exercise individual responsibility through hand washing and healthy personal habits.
Hand sanitizer is available in all commons areas, restrooms, food service areas, and in all classrooms.
LIMITED TOUCH APPROACH
- Students will be issued an electronic key card that allows them to “tap in” to buses, daily pre-certification screening, as well as, purchase lunch without touching any equipment.
- All Middle School students will be assigned a Chromebook so sharing of equipment is not required. All Upper School students have their own laptop.
- Packets will be created for students in arts and sciences so that they are not sharing supplies. These packets will be available for students during orientation.
- No lockers or locker rooms will be available this year. Students will need to take their personal items with them from classroom to classroom in their backpack.
- Main doorways to hallways, stairways, common areas, and restrooms will be left open to avoid using high touch door handles.
Our preparation for students on campus include sanitizing all spaces on our campus.Contracts for janitorial services have been significantly increased for the Fall including the addition of daytime janitorial personnel in each building to support the sanitation required between and during class. Significant investments in additional equipment such as steam cleaners, monitors, electrostatic wands and pressure systems, sanitation stations in each classroom, office, and commons space have been procured to enable the sanitation process.
- Disinfecting stations have been provided in each classroom with protocols to sanitize between each class and during the class if needed.
- While students are in class, each building will have additional janitorial staff each day that sanitizes high contact areas such as main doors, stairwell railings, restrooms, etc. so that these areas are cleaned in preparation for the next passing time between classes.
- The additional janitorial staff in each building will sanitize those classrooms and surfaces that house higher risk programs in preparation for the next class to enter. Students will not enter the class until the sanitation has been complete.
- We have increased our cleaning and sanitation rotation each evening.
- We will do a deep sanitation of all buildings in use ach night and each weekend as the student population changes.
- Our janitorial partner has undergone certified training in COVID-19 specific sanitation practices to prepare for the Fall.
STAY HOME IF...
Students showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to school. Parents/guardians should keep them at home and report the illness to the school. Accommodations will be made to support students through remote learning. These symptoms include:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
- fatigue and/or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
SHOWING SYMPTOMS WHILE AT SAAS...
- SAAS will have a designated isolation areas (- for students, faculty, or staff who exhibit symptoms after arriving on campus.
- Anyone who exhibits or reports symptoms will be isolated.
- Faculty or staff will be immediately sent home to self-isolate.
- Students will be escorted to a designated isolation area on campus. Parents will be immediately notified and asked to pick up their child. The student will remain in the designated isolation area until pickup.
- -The isolation area will be thoroughly disinfected after each use.
- Seattle Academy will provide additional instructions on next steps for isolation and consideration of testing as appropriate.
- In all cases, internal contact tracing will be employed to identify any potential close contacts for quarantine. Appropriate notifications will be sent to relevant parties and/or the larger SAAS community.
- Notification and tracing requirements will be aligned with Public Health, take into account medical privacy concerns, an include notification of those with exposure risk based on contact tracing information.
SHOWING SYMPTOMS WHILE OFF CAMPUS...
- Remain at home to self-isolate and do not come to school. Students will be able to participate in remote learning during their time at home.
- Contact your physician or local care provider to notify them that you are feeling ill. Follow the recommendations of local physician or care provider regarding evaluation or testing decisions
- Notify email@example.com and provide the following information:
- Best estimate of approximately how long ago the symptoms started
- Whether they have been in close contact with any SAAS students, faculty, or staff in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset
- If the sick individual HAS been on campus OR had close contacts from Seattle Academy within 48 hours since of the onset of symptoms:
- Internal contact tracing will be performed by SAAS to identify any close contacts may need to be quarantined
- If the sick individual HAS NOT been on campus within 48 hours since of the onset of symptoms:
- Internal contact tracing is not necessary so long as the individual in question:
- Has not been on campus within the 48-hour window since onset of symptoms
- Has not come into close contact with other SAAS students, faculty, or staff during the 48 hours preceding the onset of symptoms.
- Internal contact tracing is not necessary so long as the individual in question:
Please refer to the Isolation and Quarantine guidelines for RETURNING TO SCHOOL after signs of SUSPECTED COVID-19.
Isolation Guidance (Symptomatic OR Asymptomatic with Positive COVID Test)
For additional information from the WA state department of health, refer to: What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19?
IF SYMPTOMATIC WITH A POSITIVE COVID TEST:
Symptomatic individuals with confirmed COVID-19 can end home isolation when:
- They have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medications (tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.), AND
- All symptoms have improved, AND
- At least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared
NOTE: Patients with severe COVID-19 infections or immunocompromise may require longer periods of isolation
IF ASYMPTOMATIC WITH POSITIVE COVID TEST:
Asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can end home isolation when:
- At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test, AND
- They have not developed any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during that time
IF SYMPTOMATIC WITH NEGATIVE COVID TEST:
Symptomatic individuals with a negative test COVID-19 can end home isolation when:
- They have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medications (tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.), AND
- All symptoms have improved, AND
- They have been cleared to return to school as per the determination of their local healthcare provider.
Quarantine Guidance (After Close Contact with Known or Suspected COVID Case)
SELF-QUARANTINE GUIDANCE FOR CLOSE CONTACTS:
According to current guidance from the CDC as well as WA State and King County health authorities, anyone who is identified as a possible close contact of a known or suspected COVID-19 patient should do the following:
- Stay home for 14 days after last exposure
- Maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others and wear a mask at all times
- Self-monitor for symptoms
- Check temperature twice a day
- Watch for fever, cough, or shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, and other symptoms of COVID-19
- Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER ASYMPTOMATIC SELF-QUARANTINE:
Asymptomatic individuals can end self-quarantine and return to school when:
- At least 14 days have passed since the date of their last exposure to the known or suspected COVID-19 patients, AND
- They have not developed any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during that time
- The suspected case they were exposed to ultimately tests negative and is deemed not to have COVID-19 (as per the determination of their local healthcare provider).
At this time, testing has not been approved for the purpose of shortening the duration of quarantine for the asymptomatic close contact. However, the duration may be shortened on a situational basis if the close contact who potentially exposed them is able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
IF SYMPTOMS DEVELOP (OR ASYMPTOMATIC WITH POSITIVE TEST) DURING 14-DAY SELF-QUARANTINE:
Anyone who experiences symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 during the self-quarantine period should follow the isolation guidance outlined above for symptomatic or asymptomatic with positive COVID test.
- Families will be asked to complete an assessment of their child’s health each morning. This pre-certification assessment will be on the SafeAccess App. It will include a parental affirmation that students are not exhibiting symptoms, have not been exposed, and that temperatures have been taken prior to arrival. FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE A LINK TO THE APP THE WEEK PRIOR TO THE START OF “RETREATS ON CAMPUS.”
- Once students have cleared the assessment area, they will “tap in” with an electronic key card and go directly to their classroom.
- Students who do not have the proof of a parent assessment will need to complete a pre-certification process including temperature checks before they are allowed to “tap in.”
- Students who are at school and screen with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be quarantined, and families will need to pick them up.
HEALTH PROTOCOLS CONSULTATION
SAAS has contracted with Remote Medical International to support our health protocols with students, faculty, and staff. Their consultation and support includes:
- Nursing services
- Contact Tracing Protocols
- Exposure Protocols
- Safe Access Family Pre-certification app
- Health indicator dashboard assistance
- Health indicator interpretation/advisement
ON-CAMPUS COVID-19 TESTING
- Faculty and staff COVID-19 PCR tests will be provided weekly through the 2020-21 school year.
- Faculty and staff flu shots were provided in October 2020.
- We are hopeful that our families remain healthy during this pandemic. However, if a student or person living in the same residence is exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19, firstname.lastname@example.org must be notified as soon as possible to discuss quarantine requirements.
- Information will be gathered to support contact tracing to reduce the exposure to others in our community.
- Assistance will be provided in identifying testing referrals if needed.
- Information will be kept confidential to the extent possible as SAAS may be required to report it to public health authorities for guidance.
Please refer to the Isolation and Quarantine guidelines for RETURNING TO SCHOOL after signs of SUSPECTED COVID-19.
- We are coordinating contact tracing with our attendance system, as well as, evaluating additional apps to assist us in collecting needed information. An update will be provided after the evaluation.
- Teachers will be taking attendance for all classes regardless of whether the class is on campus or being held remotely.
- We will be asking families to report absences as normal even if your student is not scheduled to be on campus that day.
Internal Contact Tracing
- Seattle Academy will perform internal contact tracing for students, faculty, or staff members who become symptomatic on or off campus
- Internal contact tracing is intended to rapidly identify close contacts within the Seattle Academy community who should be quarantined due to potential exposure to an infected individual
- Internal contact tracing will be facilitated by a combination of the following:
- Electronic “tap in” records from the SafeAccess App
- Numbered seating arrangement in each classroom to enable reliable contact tracing of students in each pod and prevent widespread transmission in the event of a possible exposure scenario. Refer to Figure 1 for additional information.
- Faculty will document the following each class:
- Faculty will document the following each class:
- List of students in attendance
- Seating location of each student in attendance
- If an individual develops symptoms or tests positive, staff members will review all classes attended by the student in the previous 48 hours since onset of symptoms. The goal of this strategy is to identify any students who may be at higher risk due to seating proximity to the infected individual, which may allow for a more precise determination of close contacts who should be quarantined.
External Contact Tracing
- Washington state law requires labs and doctors to notify the local health jurisdiction upon confirmation of positive test results for infectious disease. Upon receiving confirmation of a positive test result, Altius will report the positive result to the WA state health department.
- While positive results are initially reported to the state health department, contact tracing and case interviews will typically be managed at a local level by the Seattle & King County public health department.
- If you have a positive test result, you will receive a phone call from a contact tracer from the Seattle & King County public health department. Contact tracers are usually employees of the health department, but may also be state volunteers or national guard personnel. The contact tracer is tasked with compiling a list of people who came into close contact with an infected individual to identify those who are at risk of contracting the virus. The contact tracer will then call these individuals to notify them of their potential exposure. The contact tracer can also help connect you and your potential close contacts to any support that may be needed during the isolation period. The entire process is usually completed during a 20-minute phone call. Your identity will not be disclosed to any of your close contacts. Close contacts are informed that they may have been exposed to the virus, but they are not provided with any information about who is responsible for the exposure.
- According to county protocols, contact tracers will ask the following:
- Deomographic questions about your date of birth, address, gender at bith, race and ethnicity
- Information about your occupation
- Information abour your COVID-19 illness
- How you believe you were exposed to COVID-19
- Places you have visited recently
- People you have recently been in close contact with
- Contact traceres will NOT ask about your immigration status, social security number, finances, or marital status. Do not provide this information to someone who is calling you for a case interview or contact tracing. Information collected by contact tracers will only be shared with public health professionals who are working to contain the virus.
- Some people who test positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic, which means that they are infected with the virus but do not experience any symptoms themselves. Asymptomatic individuals are still able to spread the virus even though they do not have any symptoms of the infection. It is critical that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 (or comes into close contact with an infected individual) complies with the current public health guidance for isolation or quarantine.
Figure 1: Example of a standardized, socially distanced classroom layout to facilitate internal contact tracing and reduce the risk of widespread transmission within each pod.
SAAS completed HVAC Audits in all buildings and the following measures are implemented before students return for Retreats on Campus
- MERV 8 & MERV 13 filters
- Coil cleaning, filtration gaps sealed
- Air changes per hour increased; expanded use of outside air/ventilation protocol
- GPS Air Scrubbing system installed on all owned buildings
- Air purification units added in designated classrooms
- Water system flush
- Water Fountains locked out
- Soft furniture removed
- Students will NOT be issued lockers this year.
- Students should keep their backpacks with them at all times.
- All items they bring with them should fit in their backpack.
LOST AND FOUND
- The school will maintain lost and found items for one week only.
- Any high-touch items such as waterbottles, hairbrushes, etc. will not be kept in the lost and found.
Glossary of Common Terms:
A close contact is defined by the King County health department as remaining within 6 feet of a known or suspected infected individual for longer than 15 minutes. Examples of close contact situations include:
- Living in the same household as a person with COVID-19
- Caring for a person with COVID-19
- Remaining within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
- Being in direct contact with saliva or other body secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).
Isolation is used for people who are symptomatic and/or have received positive test results and may be able to spread the disease. Sick individuals are asked to isolate themselves according to CDC guidelines in order to avoid infecting others.
Quarantine is used for individuals who are not currently showing symptoms but are at increased risk of having the virus due to close contact with an infected individual. Close contacts are asked to quarantine themselves according to CDC guidelines as a precautionary measure.
Symptomatic refers to an individual who is feeling ill with signs and symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19 such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea and vomiting, etc.
Asymptomatic refers to an individual who is not experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness. Asymptomatic patients with active COVID-19 infection are still capable of spreading the virus.
Updated on December 29, 2020
Please see the calendar on the Families Portal (scroll to the bottom of the page) for additional details.
- December 21 - January 1: Winter Break
- January 4: Professional Development Day (NO CLASSES)
- January 5: Winter Trimester Classes Resume
- January 11: Remote on Campus for Kids Begins
- January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (NO CLASSES)
- Week of January 19: Retreats on Campus
- January 20: Winter Parent Association Meeting
- January 22: Winter Trimester Midterm (NO CLASSES)
- January 25: 6th Grade Retreat on Campus
- January 26: 6th Grade Retreat on Campus
- January 27: African Diaspora Family Affinity Night
- January 28: 7th Grade Retreat on Campus
- January 28: KNKX Red Combo Instrumental Concert
- January 29: 8th Grade Retreat on Campus
- January 29-30: Upper School Winter Production
- February 1: 6th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 2: 6th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 2: Forefront Suicide Prevention Parent Training
- February 3: Families of Faith Affinity Night
- February 4: 7th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 4: Upper School Vocal Ensemble Concert
- February 5: 8th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 8: 12th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 9: 11th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 9: Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Forms for Parents
- February 10: 7th Grade Show
- February 11: 10th Grade Retreat Campus
- February 12: 9th Grade Retreat on Campus
- February 15 - 19: Mid-Winter Break (NO CLASSES)
- February 24: SAAS Parents for Awareness, Race Relations, and Community (SPARRC) Meeting
- February 25-26: Middle School Musical
- February 27: SAAS in the City
- March 1: 8th Grade Seattle Challenge Presentations on Campus
- March 2: 8th Grade Seattle Challenge Presentations on Campus
- March 3: Winter End-of-Trimester Performances
- March 4-5: Professional Development (NO CLASSES)
- March 8: Spring Trimester Begins
Videos, signage, and a series of communication campaigns will be used throughout the school year to reinforce safe behaviors and expectations including:
- Social distancing foot paths, directional signage, classroom social distance capacity;
- Proper use of masks and other PPE;
- Hand washing, respiratory etiquette, sanitation protocol; and
- Reporting and symptom identification.
- Upper School students will be eating lunches in classrooms.
- They can bring their own lunch or purchase lunch at school.
- At the beginning of the lunch period, students who wish to purchase lunch can go to several grab and go stations set up on campus.
- All lunches for purchase will be pre-packaged. There will be no buffets.
- Students will not be allowed to go off-campus for lunch.
- All Middle School students will be assigned a Chromebook. Families will be asked to sign a Chromebook Agreement Form at the beginning of the school year.
- All Upper School students have their own laptop. Families will be asked to sign a Technology Use Contract at the beginning of the school year.
- The school will provide support for families needing assistance with technology accessibility at home.
- Please contact email@example.com with any technology questions.
Our current transportation plan is more conservative than the most recent guidance. We will have students seated one occupant per seat next to the window with all windows open for ventilation during the trip. Students will enter and exit the bus using using social distance and sequencing requirements. We ask that families encourage students to wait in your vehicle until the bus arrives or practice social distancing if waiting in a common space.
Thank you for your questions regarding the upcoming Retreats on Campus. We have organized the questions into categories for your ease in finding answers. Please continue to forward your questions to SAAS2020FallPlanning@seattleacademy.org.
What will students do during Retreats on Campus?
During the weeks of January 25, February 1, and February 8, SAAS will be hosting grade-level “Retreats on Campus.” These “Retreats on Campus” plans will allow students to come back on campus with their own grade level on specific scheduled days. Students will be organized in pods of ten and will gather in assigned larger spaces on the campus. Much like retreats, students will engage and connect in smaller groups to bond with other students in their grade. We will also be using part of this time to orient students to the campus and safety protocols.
Times for Retreats on Campus:
9 AM - 2 PM
While the official meeting times of the retreat are 9 AM through 2 PM, we will be sending home detailed information in early January regarding specific drop off and pick up times which will range from 8:15 to 8:45 in the morning and 2:00 - 2:30 in the afternoon.
Dates for Retreats on Campus:
6th Grade - January 25 and 26, February 1 and 2
7th Grade - January 28 and February 4
8th Grade - January 29 and February 5
9th Grade - February 12
10th Grade - February 11
11th Grade - February 9
12th Grade - February 8
Please complete this registration form for each of your students.
Completed forms are due by Friday, January 8.
Pre-registering is central to planning of pods, the programming, transportation, supervision, and many of the safety logistics for each of the days. Students in grades not attending a “Retreat on Campus” day will follow their class block schedule as it appears for that day.
For questions or further details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are the pods organized? Can I specify which pod my child can be assigned to?
Middle School pods will be organized primarily by Advisory Group. Any Advisory larger than 10 students will be divided.
Upper School pods will be organized randomly and reviewed based on social connections that we are aware of. This is similar to how we would organize groups based on creating and fostering social connections.
Is it mandatory for all students to come back in person to attend the retreat or is it optional?
No, it is not mandatory for students to attend a retreat in person. Students are able to attend the retreats remotely for any/all days. You can register for that option if you’d like.
As a new Middle School family, I am not familiar with the entire layout of the school. I understand the goal is to use large open areas to meet but could you describe which ones have been selected to support the retreats?
The spaces that will be used are large convening areas and not typical classrooms that, based on the size, the ventilation, and the layout for the pod groups, make it possible to have groups of 10 convene safely. Locations that both US and MS may be using include: the Upper School Gym (2 pods); Middle School Gym (2 pods); the MS Rooftop Playfield (2 pods); MS Commons (1 pod); Theatre (2 pods); STREAM Garage (2 pods); Upper Learning Commons (1 pod); Jaffee Gym (2 pods); Annex (1 pod), 4th Floor MS Commons (1 pod); and Dance Studio (1 pod).
What are the health criteria you’re using for decision making? How are you taking into account the recent King County surge?
SAAS has been evaluating numerous health indicators, feedback from families, faculty, and staff, consultations with or information gathered from health professionals in our community, public health, OSPI and others, as well as, projections aligned with flu and holiday season to aid in our decision making.
Our primary data point continues to be COVID-19 cases per 100,000. The State, through the Governor’s office and OSPI, considers anything between 25 and 75 per 100,000 to be in the Moderate Risk category, and suggests below 25 per 100,000 as the target threshold for the safest return to in-person school activities. Safety mitigation measures are important at all levels but are necessary if opening at a level higher than 25. SAAS is investing in and taking significant safety measures to mitigate risk.
King County COVID-19 Key Indicators are released on Wednesdays, and they track it as a 14 day rolling average. We pay attention to this number, as well as, signs of momentum in either an up or down direction on all of the other indicators like the R factor and the percentage of positive cases identified through testing. The number published on September 30 was 53, which is significantly better than earlier months but slightly up from 51 the week before. The number published October 7 was 72, which is a surge we’re told was primarily impacted by the UW and Salish outbreaks but remains concerning related to a community health impact. We will be looking keenly at the October 14 information to see whether this higher momentum is isolated or whether it continues to be a trend.
Our hope is that this number will move down, and our decisions regarding a return to campus beyond “Retreats on Campus” and selected extra-curricular activities as already announced will be on that number moving under and staying under 50 for at least two weeks as a target.
There are some other data points we're focused on, as are most of the independent schools in Seattle, including the R factor and the percentage of positive cases identified through testing.
And while we're paying attention to all of those data points, they're all still trailing indicators. So we're also mindful that we've seen the numbers dip only to quickly rebound, that there is a high degree of concern in the medical community regarding the likelihood of a Fall COVID-19 surge, and calendar-wise we're going into the traditional cold and flu season.
So while we are absolutely making data-informed decisions, there is an element of judgment that will be fundamental to decisions we make. We appreciate the degree of disagreement in the community about decisions - definitely varied perspectives depending on parent or student, US vs MS, within the faculty and staff, and varied perspectives among independent schools.
Will the new CDC guidance recently released on the virus spread through airborne particles beyond 6 feet change the logistics of the retreats and how?
No, it will not change the logistics of the retreat as the locations we have chosen and the space planning had already been well above the required 6 feet social distancing requirements. We will require all students and adults to wear masks, be socially distanced, hand sanitize, use marked walking paths during the transition, stay within the cohort, plus all pod locations will be sanitized during the transitions, and commons spaces (restrooms, hallways, stairways, doors,) will be sanitized while students are in sessions. All transitions between pods will be with the adult pod leaders to help orient students to the walking paths and distancing protocols.
Will SAAS require testing of faculty, staff, or students before Retreats on Campus begin?
SAAS will provide faculty and staff COVID PCR testing weekly until the end of the year. We are not planning to offer testing for students at this time but are evaluating it as a possibility before we come back in hybrid mode. Currently, there is no public health or CDC guidance recommending COVID testing for K-12 populations. We are monitoring that guidance along with the guidance of our SAAS community health professional continually on this topic. There are also unique components of testing of minors and privacy that we, again, are navigating.
How are you monitoring students/families for 14 days prior?
We have communicated the importance of our SAAS community to use the days between now and the Retreats on Campus to either begin or continue abiding by COVID-19 precautions and require all families to sign a commitment letter (LINK) to abide by the safety precautions and responsibilities.
Are you allowing N95 masks?
Yes, students are able to wear masks of their choosing as long as they are 3 layers or more and do not allow exhaling ventilation that could put others at risk. Shields are ok as long as they are worn with masks. At the beginning of the year, students received 3-layered masks from the school, so every student has multiple masks provided for them that fit this description.
What has SAAS done regarding the ventilation of the space?
SAAS had a complete system audit on all of our buildings and have invested in significant upgrades based on those recommendations (aligned with ASHRAE COVID guidance). Some of the upgrades included the installation of a GPS bipolar ionization air scrubbers on every unit, coil cleaning, upgraded to MERV 13 filters, seals, screens, and vents cleaned, building management system modified to increase air changes and increase use of outside air, exhaust system upgrades, and running in full occupancy mode to flush systems prior to coming back to campus.
Will you have circles painted on the floor/ground, and will that be TIGHTLY monitored for distancing?
Our safety team has placed signage throughout the campus that designates social distancing, safety protocol, and pathways, including dots for the pod groups and in all of the classrooms for student locations. All faculty and staff will be monitoring student behaviors to help ensure safety.
Could the 10 kids podded together complete a questionnaire regarding their levels of exposure?
Each day, families will be required to complete a questionnaire on symptoms, exposure, and travel, as well as students having a temperature check prior to entry. We are asking families to inform us daily if students have come in contact with anyone that has been diagnosed with COVID or is being tested for COVID. In addition, students will be asked to disclose travel in confined spaces and will be asked to isolate for a period of time (14 days post-travel) or provide a negative COVID test after 3 days of isolation post landing in Seattle.
Has the school been in touch with private schools that have opened in a hybrid mode in California, Idaho, Florida, and many other states and Europe to enquire about their experience opening?
Yes, many of us at SAAS are participating in national and international groups/forums that share information, protocols, and information on safety, curriculum, and re-opening logistics to learn from the experiences of others.
During retreats, how will the restroom facilities usage be monitored? How many kids at a time will enter the restroom facilities, and will they be sanitized after each student uses the facilities?
Each restroom has a COVID-19 capacity limit clearly displayed at the entry of every restroom and that capacity will be monitored as students use restrooms. Restrooms will be assigned by pod to manage the capacity issue and any transition concerns.
Restrooms are and will be sanitized frequently throughout the day.
Are you making parking lots available for students? If so, how many spaces and how will they be allocated?
Parking will be available for our Upper School students. The lot location will be shared with families when they receive their drop off time and location.
How is transportation going to work for Retreats on Campus?
Families can sign up for transportation as they are registering for Retreats on Campus. Based on that information, students will be informed of the bus route available for them for Retreats on Campus and details about the time and locations of their stop.
Busses will be sanitized between each trip, students seated per current transportation guidelines at one student per seat, facing forward, masked, and seated next to an open window for highest ventilation options.
- King County Public Health
- Washington State Department of Health
- Center for Disease Control
- Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation
- Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Dashboard
This electronic handbook is meant to answer questions about our return to campus this Fall. Please review and let us know if there is information you would like to have added or if anything is unclear. If at any time you have a specific question, please don't hesitate to reach out to SAAS2020FallPlanning@