Return to School: Tuesday, Sept. 8
August 31, 2020

Dear Parents, 

As you know, we have been closely monitoring Placer County’s placement on the California Covid-19 Watchlist for many weeks. On Friday, August 28, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new system of monitoring counties' readiness to reopen based on different metrics. Though Placer County had been off the Watch List since August 19, the new monitoring system assessed Placer County in Tier 1 (Purple), indicating schools may not yet reopen without a waiver.

However, on Friday, Placer County Public Health requested that CDPH review the data used for this initial assessment, as it was from early August rather than recent weeks when marked improvements had been made.

Over the weekend, Placer County Public Health received a response from CDPH indicating that schools in Placer County will be allowed the option to resume in-person instruction on Sept. 1 based on the updated data. (See page 7, red highlight, from the attached Placer County Covid-19 Update).

As a result: If Placer County remains in an approved monitoring tier throughout this week, St. Albans Country Day School plans to transition back to in-person and on-campus instruction for all grade levels beginning Tuesday, September 8.

The results of our July 30 parent survey showed that 68% of St. Albans families preferred to have their child learn via in-person instruction when Placer County is not on the Watch List. We will send a new survey momentarily to each family (using your family's primary email address) to get a fresh sense of your plans. If your family has not received the survey by 11 a.m., please contact Ms. Mindy Sakoi via email to check and update our distribution list.

This survey will not act to confirm your family’s final decision, but is very important for us to prepare effectively. Tomorrow, you will be asked by your child’s home room teacher to deliver a definitive decision by Thursday, September 3 about returning to campus or extending your time at home with our Alternative Remote Learning Option. This option includes receiving class materials via Google Classroom and several live streamed lessons per day with teachers utilizing the Swivl robots to keep pace with the class.

  • Labor Day Holiday: Monday, September 7, no school.
  • Hot Lunch: Hot lunch will begin on Tuesday, September 8. 
  • Day Care: Day Care will begin on Tuesday, September 8. This year, Day Care will be provided by reservation only, and reservations must be made a week in advance. More details and instructions about our new online sign-up will be sent tomorrow. 

As we have shared before, our number one priority is always the health and well-being of our students, staff, and extended school community. We have been working continuously with Dr. Aimee Sisson, Placer County Health Officer, to create our school’s comprehensive Covid-19 prevention, screening and testing protocols.

Please see the overview below, and note that protocols are subject to change as we adapt to new information and guidelines.

  • MASKS: Masking is required for all students and adults while on campus, unless a teacher chooses to use the outdoor learning space which accommodates open air and socially distanced interaction. Please reference Tuesday News for masking guidelines.
  • DROP OFF: Students will don masks prior to exiting their vehicle and will follow the designated one-way walkways. Parents in Grades 2 and older, please do not walk your child to their classroom (unless you are a new St. Albans family); this will help to decrease crowding during the busy morning. Parents are not allowed in classrooms.
  • SYMPTOM CHECK: All teachers and staff members will undergo symptom screening and temperature checks each morning. At the classroom door, each child will be symptom screened and have their temperature checked with a touchless digital thermometer prior to entering the classroom. If temperature is equal to or greater than 100.1, they will be sent to the office to have their temperature re-checked using a digital thermometer. If again the child’s temperature is 100.1 or greater, the student will be isolated, sent home, and referred to a testing site. Please refer to our Symptoms and Testing Protocols in a later section of this email for more detail.
  • COHORTS and DISTANCING: Each grade level will constitute a cohort and will not mingle with other classes. Students will remain socially distanced within their cohorts as appropriate, and seated between 3 -6 feet apart in classrooms.
  • CAMPUS FLOW: Students will remain in their classrooms for most classes, with Music/Drama, P.E., and Computers taking place in auxiliary classrooms. We will utilize one-way walkways throughout campus. The upper grades will remain in their homeroom classrooms except for Science, P.E., Music/Drama, and Computers. Eighth grade students will also move for 2 additional periods during each week.
  • CLASSROOM SUPPLIES: Students will no longer be sharing supplies in the classroom unless the supplies can be cleaned in between uses. Scissors, glue sticks, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, etc. will no longer be available to students in a communal way.
  • FACILITIES: All drinking fountains have been turned off. Students will bring water bottles filled at home. Cleaning will be on-going throughout the day- Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, sanitizing solutions and/or sprays will be utilized. All cleaners are on the EPA approved list N. We are hiring an additional custodian to ensure that all areas of the school are deep cleaned daily.
  • HAND HYGIENE: Hand washing schedules are in place throughout the day including before and after lunch and hand sanitizer will be used every time students and teachers enter or leave the room. Each classroom will have hand sanitizing stations.
  • SANITIZATION: Cleaning will go on periodically throughout the day; Clorox wipes, sanitizing solutions and/or sprays will be utilized. We have electrostatic sanitizing machines that will be used in communal areas throughout the day, and at the end of each day for deep cleaning. 
  • LUNCHTIME: Students will eat at their desks or outside in designated areas separated by cohorts. Our hot lunches will be prepared in our kitchen, individually boxed with utensils, napkins and condiments, and delivered to classrooms. Masks and gloves will be worn by anyone in the kitchen. 
  • RECESS: Recess times will be staggered for lower grades. After eating, students will be assigned to a designated playground space and cohorts will remain separate. These areas will rotate weekly so that students have the opportunity to play with different equipment. The upper grade students will be given areas in which they can go.
  • PE: PE will be held outside as weather permits. When the weather is inclement, students will be in the Multipurpose room working on skills that allow for 6 foot physical distancing and all doors will be propped open. Masks will be worn inside.
  • COMPUTERS: The computer lab has been outfitted with Plexiglass partitions. Upon entering the classroom, all students will use hand sanitizer and after they leave, all keyboards, mice, desks, and chairs will be sanitized. Some computer classes will be held in students' homerooms.
  • PICK UP: Pick-up for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten are at 12:15 p.m. and they will be kept separate and distanced. Parents will not get out of their cars; teachers will take the child to their car. Each class, grades 1-8, have a designated outside space for pick-up and they are kept in cohorts; they do not mingle. Parents will not get out of their cars and cars may not arrive early to park in the circle. Cars will wait behind a designated line and then pull up to pick up their children in each designated area.
  • Day Care will be provided by reservation only, and must be made online using Sign-up, with one week’s advance notice. You will receive a DAY CARE email with the reservation link tomorrow 
  • Students will be kept in their grade level cohorts while in Day Care. Two cohorts may occupy separate areas of the same facility. For example: PK and K Day Care will be held in the Day Care room; 1st and 2nd Grades will occupy half of Taber Center; 3rd and 4th Grades will use the other half; 5th and 6th Grades will share the 5th Grade Classroom; and 7th and 8th grades will occupy separate areas of the Library.
  • We are still ascertaining whether we will be able to offer Morning Day Care at this time. 


Health Screening of Students and Staff
  • At the classroom door, each child will have their temperature checked with a touchless digital thermometer prior to entering the classroom. They will also be symptom checked. The following symptom checklist has been provided to teachers, staff, and parents:  
❏ Fever (100.1° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
❏ Cough 
❏ Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
❏ New loss of taste or smell 
❏ Sore throat 
❏ Headache 
❏ Muscle aches or body aches 
❏ Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea 
❏ Fatigue
❏ Nasal congestion or runny nose 

  • If a student comes to school and they are running a fever of 100.1 or higher, they will be given a mask (if they are not already wearing one) and will sit in an isolation room in the office until a family member picks them up.  
  • If a teacher comes to school and is running a fever, they will be sent home and another staff member will take over their classes.

Contact Tracing
  • Susan Irish has completed the John Hopkins University contact tracing course and will serve as our contact tracer for the school. She will follow all guidelines below regarding the protocols we will use if we have a suspected exposure or a suspected case of COVID. She will contact both local health officials and families.  

Testing of Students and Staff
  • If a student, teacher, or staff member has COVID 19 symptoms, they will be sent home and referred to a testing facility within 48 hours of symptom onset.  
  • If a student, teacher, or staff member has a confirmed COVID 19 case infection, the school will notify the Placer County Health Department. Susan Irish, our contact tracer, will identify contacts and any exposed contacts will be quarantined for 14 days. We will refer all contacts to a testing facility. Cleaning and disinfection of the classroom and primary spaces where the case spent significant time will be cleaned while that classroom of students will be placed on distance learning for 14 days.
  • If a student, teacher, or staff member tests negative after symptoms, they may return to school 3 days after symptoms resolve.

Triggers for Switching to Distance Learning
  • We will close the school if CA or Placer County Public Health changes their guidance and closure is deemed necessary. 
  • Any class with a COVID positive teacher or student will transition to distance learning immediately and for the following 14 days. The classroom or classrooms will be closed for 24 hours and then cleaned and disinfected. Other areas of the school may also be closed once contract tracing has been completed.
  • If multiple cases in multiple cohorts or at least 5 percent of the total number of teachers/student/staff are positive cases within a 14-day period, we will close the entire campus and switch to distance learning for at least 14 days.  

We have been working around the clock since spring to create and provide the safest and most meaningful and robust educational experience possible for our students. 

I realize that I’ve provided an inordinate amount of information above – yet want to continue to provide you with the status of our preparations and planning to assist you with your decision making. 

We are ready to have our students safely and joyfully back on campus. And we are crossing our fingers that we may do this next week!

Mrs. Laura Bernauer  
Head of School