November 17, 2020 Updates: Travel Protocol and Mitigation of COVID-19 Spread
Salisbury Academy will require any student or employee who travels via mass transit – i.e. a plane, train, or bus – to quarantine and not be present on campus for a minimum of five (5) calendar days from completion of such travel. Please refer to the CDC travel guidance and the CDC guidance regarding protecting yourself when using transportation for additional information. View the updated SA COVID-19 Handbook with highlighted Travel Protocol section.
With current data showing community spread being linked to social gatherings that do not adhere to social distancing and masking, we ask that our families consider the recommended best practices that will mitigate the spread of COVID-19, both at school and at home. We’ve included the links to the NCDHHS guidance for private gatherings as well as the CDC holiday guidance.
New Update as of October 20, 2020: Clearance to Return
For clearance to return details, please view the Clearance to Return after Exclusion of Symptoms form
Communication Regarding Health Issues:
With questions contact us at email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the SA front office at 704-636-3002
Face Covering Updates:
The CDC has recommended cloth face coverings with two or more layers. As your child is able, please encourage them to wear this type of mask. The CDC has also advised that face coverings with vents provide a reduced level of protection. For this reason we ask that you please not send your child to school with a vented mask.
COVID-19 Response Plan for Positive Cases
Each confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Salisbury Academy community will be evaluated individually taking all factors into consideration as we make decisions about on-campus vs. distance learning for individual cohorts or the school as a whole. In all scenarios, the SA community will be informed and kept up-to-date of the positive case(s) and what it means for each student and family. Generally, the following will be our guidelines for decision making:
1 Confirmed Case: Next action steps will be disinfection at a deep level and monitoring for further symptoms/cases before any definitive steps to transition a cohort to distance learning are taken.
2-3 Confirmed Cases: A class or cohort will likely switch to distance learning for a 14-day period.
5 Confirmed Cases: 5 cases will qualify as a cluster. In this event, SA will work with our Medical Task Force and health department to determine the need for transitioning to distance learning based on location of cases and degree of community spread/transmission.
Reopening School: Salisbury Academy's Plan for 2020-21
This is an evolving plan meant to provide transparency as we plan for 2020-2021. This plan is subject to change as the current situation is very fluid and changes rapidly.
Afternoon Carpool: Afternoon carpool for 2020-21 will follow social distancing guidelines and will run similarly to how it has been done in the past, with a few changes. Please note the following:
Guided by Mission
The Salisbury Academy plan for reopening is guided by our commitment to the health and well-being of our school community and our mission of inspiring a love of learning and preparing passionate leaders through discovery, stewardship, community, and faith.
Scenario Planning for 20-21
Throughout the pandemic, Salisbury Academy has followed the guidance of state and public health authorities. It is our goal to have students on campus when possible and to provide as much clarity as we possibly can for our school families.
There will be heightened attention to matters of health and wellness which will impact students, their families, and the format in which learning will occur.
Formal and informal forms of social distancing will continue.
COVID-19 waves will impact our community for the foreseeable future.
Planning priorities are safety, wellness, flexibility, and excellence.
How Salisbury Academy is Reopening:
SA Reopening Leadership Team meets weekly to focus on health/safety and academics/activities planning. This group has specific charges and a list of key questions that they use for weekly reporting and task list focus.
Salisbury Academy has a medical advisory group to provide input and oversight into health and safety procedures and confer with our local health department for health and safety updates and decisions. On-campus strategies include but are not limited to:
Daily temperature and health screenings: All students and staff will have daily temperature screenings at carpool and will use a screening app (more information to come in the weeks ahead) to submit health status prior to arrival to the SA campus. Each family and staff member will sign a Wellness Pledge outlining when it is and isn't safe to come to school.
Physical distancing and space use: JK and K classrooms will be located in the SA Spark Center for 2020-2021. Grades 1-8 classrooms have been strategically redesigned and remapped in the main campus building in order to allow for 6' social distancing.
Minimizing exposure: Campus visitors will be limited. School schedules have been adjusted to minimize exposure and limit mixing of students. Additional PE classes have been added to allow for extra movement for students. Enhancement teachers will travel to student classrooms.
Face coverings: All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings. Face coverings may be a variety of styles (ear loop, tie, or buff) and must comply with the school uniform policy on not referring to alcoholic beverages, tobacco, illegal substances, weapons, or including derogatory or political language.
Cleaning and hygiene: Additional daytime custodial staff has been hired to support needs for cleaning school facilities throughout the school day. Proper hygiene practices for students and staff will be taught and reinforced each day and further supported through campus signage.
If a student, employee, or immediate family member meets the criteria for being symptomatic for COVID-19 as
defined by the CDC, tests positive for COVID-19, or has known exposure, the School will require they follow the
below recommendations promulgated by local health providers. “Exposure” involves direct exposure to a
diagnosed person without the benefit of PPE in place.
Asymptomatic with Known Exposure
Quarantine until test results are back
Negative test - quarantine at home for 14 days after last exposure
Positive test - quarantine for 10 days after test performed as long as no new symptoms develop
Isolate until test results are back
Negative test - Isolate until 3 days of no fever and any other symptoms are improving
Positive test - Isolate until 3 days of last fever AND cough and congestion or other symptoms are improving AND a minimum of 10 days since the symptoms first developed
View the full Salisbury Academy COVID-19 handbook for further details
All of this planning is supported by our SA board with regular check-ins.
Salisbury Academy has prioritized two scenarios and plans to reopen in the On-Campus Learning scenario:
*This is currently the reopening scenario for August 2020
Social Distancing in this Scenario:
Begin school in the fall with 6-foot social distancing in place.
No large indoor gatherings on campus, such as lunch, presentations, and assemblies.
Limit on large community events, even if they are held outdoors, because social distancing would be too difficult to enforce.
Campus visitors will be limited.
School day routines such as arrival, departure, and movement around campus will be adjusted to meet social distancing requirements.
Health and Safety in this Scenario:
Additional daytime cleaning staff will be added for increased sanitation.
The school nursing station will be enhanced and adjusted to accommodate heightened health and safety protocol.
Health screenings will be incorporated into the daily routine before students enter the school.
Signage around campus will help to direct flow and spacing of students and staff.
Face coverings will be required.
Students and staff may be referred for COVID-19 testing as needed/recommended.
Classroom Learning in this Scenario:
Classrooms large enough to accommodate a full class with proper spacing will be used for full classes.
In spaces that are not large enough to accommodate full classes, classes will be broken into two groups.
Rather than students traveling to enhancement teachers, enhancement teachers will come to the student classrooms.
When possible, instruction will take place outdoors.
We realize there may be students who require distance learning after we have returned to campus. For those cases, we are working on technology and logistics for students to join classes remotely through livestreaming or video sessions with a more individual learning plan to remain on pace with instruction.
JK/K students will remain in their classroom with their teacher and assistant teacher. Special subjects teachers (music, art, Spanish, physical education, etc.) will travel between classes. Lunch and break times will be modified to reduce cross-group contact.
Lower School (Grades 1-4) students will remain in their classroom with their teacher. Special subjects teachers (music, art, Spanish, physical education, etc.) will travel between classes. Lunch and break times will be modified to reduce cross-group contact.
Middle School (Grades 5-8) will run a schedule that reduces the frequency of class changes with teachers coming into student spaces for instruction. Lunch and break times will be modified to reduce congregation and group size.
In the Remote Learning Scenario:
If mandated by the governor of North Carolina and state and local health officials that all schools shift to remote learning, Salisbury Academy will enter a period of distance learning.
Support will be provided from the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools to advocate for independent school choice with on-campus instruction for our Early Ed and Lower School divisions.
Teachers are actively preparing and participating in summer professional development to be ready for distance learning in this scenario.
Learn more about #SAConnected Remote Learning
In the SAConnected: Engage from Home Learning Experience
We understand that there are families who wish to remain in the Salisbury Academy Program, but whose overall medical profile prevents them from engaging in on-campus learning for some or all of 2020-2021. It is our goal to provide a learning program to serve these families through a virtual learning option. This program is not designed to replicate the on-campus experience and the goal is to provide education continuity for our stay-at-home students so they may eventually reenter our on-campus learning without gaps in core academic areas.
This will be different than Distance Learning which is what we experienced as a school this spring where teachers were devoted to providing instruction virtually for a class. Salisbury Academy continues to prepare for a scenario where a state-mandated or health department closure decision would require us to transition to Distance Learning.
In an effort to identify this program, we will refer to it as our SAConnected: Engage from Home experience. SA faculty and staff will provide a program designed to advance student academic progress until they are able to return to school. This experience will require the commitment from families for the entire trimester, and we anticipate that students would be given the opportunity to re-enter the on-campus learning community at the start of each new term (August, November, or February).
This will be available for students in grades 2-8, as we believe that a learn from home experience is best suited for those developmental ages. Additionally, success in the program will depend on levels of student independence, initiative, and executive functioning skills, and will also require a strong level of family support as well as home access to technology (broadband, computer, printer, etc.) and supplies (standard school supplies and occasional materials).
The format for this program will be delivered via a weekly learning template with assignments, resources, and learning objectives provided. This will include both recorded, sourced, and live instruction where appropriate. Key components will include:
Faculty will research, select, and facilitate learning via various school chosen platforms, software, and website
Faculty will determine accredited, age-appropriate curriculum content
Faculty will provide weekly preparation, organization, and distribution of all curriculum materials
Faculty will provide weekly virtual office hours for student support
Faculty are responsible for grading/assessing student work and mastery
School provides all curriculum materials and digital platforms used
If a family intends to begin the 2020-2021 year with our Learn from Home Experience, they are required to alert the Head of School in writing by Friday, July 31, 2020. The anticipated start date for the SAConnected: Engage from Home program will be August 17, 2020 to allow for the in-person school launch.
Access to the SAConnected: Engage from Home Experience is a part of our standard tuition rate.
SAConnected: Engage from Home vs. Distance Learning
SAConnected: Engage from Home is designed to provide support for students and families who must be out temporarily due to the impact of COVID-19 or for those who are not able to return to on-campus learning due to a concern with their child’s or immediate family member’s medical profile. It will align as much as possible with core academic teaching and learning.
Engage from Home is designed to maintain connection between campus and home and to provide learning continuity until a student can re-enter on-campus learning. During this option, teachers are offering two separate modes of education simultaneously-one in-person, the other online.
Distance Learning will be implemented only if mandated by local, state, or federal authorities. This plan is designed to provide an educational alternative to in-person instruction when it is not safe to open all or part of the SA campus. When Distance Learning is deployed, an entire class, division, or the whole school is involved. During a mandated Distance Learning period, teachers are devoted to providing instruction virtually.
In the event school must transition to full Distance Learning, we will prioritize continuing to offer on-campus instruction for our JK and younger students, if possible.
Answering Your Questions: The leadership team at SA is ready to help and will answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us for help in addressing your questions.
Back to School Quick Links
Additional COVID-19 Resources
SA will operate on a trimester model in 2020-2021. The above calendar also notes major holidays and breaks.
After-School Programming (ASK)
ASK programming will resume starting on Nov. 9 at the start of the second trimester.
To help us further plan for the future, please contact Melody Lee, our ASK Director, if you are interested in using ASK on a regular basis.
Lunch services are provided M-Th. for grades 1-8. Meals will be packaged and delivered to classrooms. Please view the Jag Weekly newsletter for the current menu.
Health and Wellness
The pandemic has been extremely challenging for all of us. In anticipation of the need for additional student mental/emotional health and counseling support in the new school year, our counselors, Mrs. Deal and Mrs. Doby, received additional training over the summer in preparation for upcoming needs. They are collaborating with faculty and staff on early identification/ warning signs of students who may be in need of assistance.
How you can help ready your children for return to school:
Discuss morning routines (submitting health status using school screening app) and daily temperature checks
Incorporate handwashing breaks in your daily routine
Wear face coverings in public
Maintain 6’ social distancing in public
Continue regular doctor visits and well-child appointments
Keep immunizations and physicals current
Encourage physical activity and time outside
Decisions on athletics will take into account the recommendations by the NC High School Athletic Association. Because of the likelihood that fall sports may not be able to be offered, SA is working on possible skills and drills options for fall sports in small groups, if the public health conditions allow for this. This is another reason why we have increased PE offerings for the 2020-2021 school year.