Fall 2020 Reopening Plans

As of July 28, 2020

For Fall 2020, ACDS intends to open on-campus, in-person, full-day, with health and safety protocols in place.

We are planning to reopen on campus with in-person instruction on August 31, or as soon as we are permitted per California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines and Santa Clara County Public Health Department, for all students and all grades. We will provide a safe, healthy campus environment and return to challenging, stimulating, and caring for our students as we all adapt to the circumstances together. 
 
Our reopening plan balances student and staff safety and wellness, the social-emotional and academic needs of the children, and our best effort at providing our full program and philosophy within the constraints of the CDPH and Santa Clara County public health guidelines. We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that "all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school."

OPENING ON CAMPUS

  • All students are welcomed back to campus for full-day programming, with three options: five days per week, with options for five days per week on campus; Simulcast learning at home (please see below); or three days per week with the other two days at home via Simulcast.
  • Per the July 17 CDPH order, if a county is on the state's COVID-19 watch list, all schools in the county must transition to 100% online learning until the county is off the watch list for 14 consecutive days or more, OR successfully apply for a waiver (ACDS is applying)

  • The CDPH mandate does not apply to preschools or early childhood education, so unless this changes, our Preschool can remain open on campus even if we are ordered to go online

  • Contingency plans are in place should we be required to temporarily return to online instruction
  • Depending on the grade level, students on campus will be arranged in stable cohorts or socially-distanced small groups limiting cross-grade interactions to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus

  • Students who need to remain at home will be able to participate in on-campus instruction in real time, using a laptop and the school's new technology for live video simulcasts from the classrooms
 (see below)
  • As of this writing, in-person gatherings of large groups are temporarily suspended; per the County's guidelines, field trips that do not mix student cohorts may be allowed; fall overnight field trips will be rescheduled for later in the school year, if possible

  • With schedule adjustments, our popular elementary enrichment classes and the middle school elective program will continue
 on a limited basis for on-campus and Simulcast learners

SIMULCAST FOR AT-HOME LEARNING

For families who wish to keep their children at home, but still benefit from the ACDS experience, we will use Simulcast technology to broadcast classroom lessons to our “home learners” on their devices. The experience is designed to be as interactive as possible and will be coupled with a Learning Management System (LMS) such as SeeSaw or Google Classroom. ACDS parents can choose whether they want their children to learn via Simulcast at home, instruction on campus, or a hybrid of the two.

CAMPUS HEALTH & SAFETY

In order to open our campus for in-person learning, the following action steps have been completed or are in progress:

  • Students and staff will be required to wash hands frequently and use sanitizer

  • Touchless faucets wherever possible on campus
  • Social distancing, as appropriate to different grade levels, will be the norm on campus, although it is not required by the current County guidelines

  • Masks will be required for all adults on campus at all times; per CDPH guidelines, masks are required for children in 3rd grade and up and masks are strongly encouraged for younger grades to help protect the safety of the children and teachers
  • Temperature checks are mandatory (per CDPH guidelines)

  • To optimize student safety, parent and visitor access to campus will be limited to necessary purposes only

  • Installation of coronavirus-rated MERV-13 air filtration in all 43 heating/ventilation systems campus-wide

  • HVAC system air and surface disinfectant units added to all 43 heating/ventilation systems campus-wide. This technology continually kills 99% of all airborne and surface bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, and volatile organic compounds
, constantly disinfecting classroom air and surfaces throughout the day. This means that every classroom, office space, and bathroom on the ACDS campus is being continually disinfected throughout the day, in addition to scheduled manual cleaning and disinfection by our staff
  • Outdoor instruction, for the appropriate grade levels, will take place whenever possible in our newly-created outdoor spaces
  • Additional custodial staff will focus on cleaning shared surfaces and classroom/workspace/bathroom disinfection using the Bioesque fogger backpack

  • Installation of six handwashing stations around the blacktop perimeter, several with foot pedal activation

  • Installation of two water bottle stations on either end of blacktop

  • Provision for six month's supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, plus three electronic hand sanitizer stations
  • Plexiglas desk shields for teacher and student use and anywhere that social distancing is impracticable
  • Renovation of our middle school science lab to allow socially-distanced occupancy and better ventilation

  • Creation of "ventilation hallway" for garden side elementary classrooms to minimize construction dust and direct sun

  • Installation of air conditioning units in elementary and ECE classrooms

  • ACDS will follow CDPH and Santa Clara County protocols for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases


Beyond COVID-19, we see these enhancements as safety investments for the future too. All of the major projects we've undertaken this summer will support generations of students and staff well after the pandemic is behind us. For example, the HVAC air and surface disinfection is expected to improve classroom comfort and health for children with asthma and allergies, and to substantially reduce the indoor transmission of cold and flu viruses.

ADDITIONAL LOGISTICS

  • For the safety of our children and staff, our new drop-off and pick-up process will ask parents of students in 2nd grade or older to remain in their cars unless entering campus is absolutely necessary

  • Lunchtime and recesses will be redesigned to restrict mixing of student cohorts

  • Signage regarding distancing, hand-washing, PPEs and other safety reminders will be prominently displayed

  • We're still reviewing options for extended care (Morning Care, Apple Tree, Apple Orchard, MASH)

  • We will provide our families with regular updates as CDPH, Santa Clara Public Health, the CDC, and other regulatory agencies revise their guidance and requirements


Whether we reopen on campus or are required to begin the year online, our goal remains the same: delivering the ACDS philosophy — love and respect for childhood, a balance of rigor, joy, and character education, and having fun at school — in whatever learning arrangements we find ourselves throughout the 2020-21 school year.

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