In each Reopening Roundup, we will continue to address questions from the Reopening Survey.
What investments are you making to the Health Office to prepare for reopening?
We are expanding Health Office staffing such that at the start of the year we will have three nurses available. The Heath Office, located in the Commons, will take over select performing arts classrooms (these classes will be relocated to larger spaces). The auxiliary Health Office spaces will be transformed into quarantine and isolation rooms to support sick students waiting for parent pick up. We will designate a private area for our Health staff to confidentially notify families in the event of suspected exposure. We have invested in additional equipment including no-touch thermometers, PPE, and other supplies to outfit the additional health spaces.
When does school start and will there be any changes to school calendar?
The first day of school is Tuesday, September 8. We are finalizing details regarding a soft start schedule for the first week to allow students, families, faculty and administrators to get used to our new reality: daily Health Certifications and check-in, staggered class dismissal, one-directional hallways, and more. The first week of school we will have a shortened schedule with dismissal at noon.
We are also adding six professional development days to the Revised 2020-21 Calendar to allow faculty to plan from home and the campus to be sanitized thoroughly. Students will not have classes on the following days:
How will students walk through halls between periods so that they are socially distanced?
Throughout the day, we will stagger class release times for Middle and Upper School students to minimize traffic in hallways during transition periods. We will institute one-way hallways with clear signage, and we are exploring use of outdoor sidewalks to make the one-way expectation practical for students in MS and US. Middle and Upper School locker pods will be off limits. Students will not be assigned lockers for the year and they will have to carry their belongings with them throughout the day. Lower School students will have access to lockers, but access times will be controlled. Lower School grades will have designated rest rooms and will each have their own "neighborhood," allowing hallways to be traversed by different grades in and out of the building. We will monitor this system and make adjustments as necessary.
How is the school improving room ventilation?
We are upgrading our ventilation and HVAC and ventilation systems across campus. We have conducted extensive preventive maintenance on each building’s HVAC system to ensure everything is working properly. In consultation with HVAC experts and peer independent schools, we are enhancing our filters from MERV 8 to MERV 13. We are adding two HEPA Filters to the new Health Office isolation rooms and are assessing if we need to get an additional filter for the main Health Office. We are working to maximize air change per hour for each building and classroom space by increasing outside air intake and decreasing relative humidity. We will recommend that classroom windows remain open, and we are installing screens on any windows that do not already have them.
Have there been changes to bussing?
Ranney School does not directly hire the busses that are used for transportation to and from campus, but we work closely with the Board of Education and MOESC (Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission) to secure bussing. Unfortunately, the challenges created by COVID-19 have meant that bus companies are not willing to bid on non-public school routes. As a result, a number of our families who typically rely on bussing will need to find alternative transportation. Please contact Renee Racanelli, Operations Coordinator, at 732-542-4777 ext. 1167 or email@example.com for more information.
You can find the latest version of our 2020 Reopening Plan here. In upcoming Reopening Roundup communications we will share policies related to quarantine policies, athletics, extracurriculars, and more. For the latest information, please visit www.ranneyschool.org/covid-19. We invite you to please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
The partnership between home and school has never been more critical to the health and safety of our community. With the ability to learn virtually, students have the option to keep up with their studies even when feeling under the weather. Making the choice to keep your child(ren) home when they are sick is critical to keeping our community healthy. Thank you for your continued partnership, flexibility and patience.
Dr. John Griffith, Head of School