How much protection will masks, social distancing, and sanitization protocols provide to my children when they are on campus?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. To prevent transmission of COVID-19, individuals should continue social distancing, wear masks, and wash their hands frequently. Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected because they limit the projection of coughs and sneezes into the air. Because the virus can live on surfaces for a period of time, we will frequently sanitize high touch surfaces including classrooms and bathrooms. While the
electrostatic spraying product aims to prevent COVID-19 from adhering to surfaces, we will take every necessary precaution to additionally sanitize surfaces on a daily basis. Despite all of our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent transmission of COVID-19 within our community, but we will make every effort to limit this possibility and we ask families' partnership in helping us to do so.
How is Ranney opening classrooms or accommodating social distancing within existing classrooms?
We have analyzed the capacity of every classroom and space on campus to determine the maximum number of people that can be allowed in that space with social distancing (minimum 6 feet apart). Given sectioning of classes, we are also taking the step of expanding classrooms, particularly select classrooms in the Lower and Middle Schools. We will schedule classroom use such that maximum class size (i.e. all students enrolled in the class) for each class can fit safely into the scheduled space. Last year, the average number of students in each classroom, across divisions, was 12.5. Some classes are much smaller than this and will be able to fit comfortably in smaller classrooms. Larger sections will require larger spaces. As a result, many classrooms or larger spaces (e.g. Panther Hall, Paulus Library, Searle Library) will be repurposed as classrooms. Based on survey results, we know that at least 10% of our students are already planning to participate in distance learning. So while we are planning classrooms based on the total class enrollment, we also anticipate that on any given day some portion of the students will be learning remotely.
Will there be times when students are allowed to take off their masks during the day?
We will require masks for all students, faculty and staff while on campus. Exceptions to this policy include when students are eating (in small groups, sitting 6-feet part) or when physically-distanced outside. We are building in time to the schedule for students in all divisions to have time to be able to get outdoors, whether during recess for Lower School or during flex or recess time for the upper grades.