Return to Campus Precautions
Dear families,

In anticipation of our return to campus following Thanksgiving Break we want to share with you how we are enhancing our existing plans to ensure our students and faculty return to a safe environment after break. We are implementing a few substantial changes that deserve special attention:

  • Staggered bell schedules to reduce the number of students in the hallways by half.

  • Reassigned lockers to further spread out students in the hallways during the passing periods of each bell schedule.

  • Fixed seating chart for each section used in all classes to further limit possible close contacts.

These changes are, of course, only part of a plan for a safer community. The entirety of the Safe Return plan remains in effect. These new measures, in addition to existing measures, are expanded upon below. Points that are bolded, are our new protocols.
While we look forward to enjoying our Thanksgiving Holiday, we want to remind everyone that it is our goal to safely return to campus and to keep campus open. With that in mind, it is incumbent upon us all to be prudent in our decisions regarding holiday travel. CDC recommendations for holiday travel can be seen here.   

  • We are introducing a staggered schedule:
  • 7th, 9th, 11th, and 12th grade schedules will begin at 7:55am and end at 3:25pm.
  • 6th, 8th, and 10th grade schedules will begin at 8am and end at 3:30pm.
  • New schedules will be distributed to on-campus students Monday morning, November 30th.
  • Morning and afternoon carline times are not affected.
  • Distance Learning schedules will accord with these changes.

  • Locker assignments have been changed to increase the distance between students in the same grade.

Brief Explanation
By staggering the class schedules there will be less people in the hallways during any transition period. By reassigning lockers we are maximizing the distance between students in the hallways during transition periods.

  • Every section has a fixed seating chart.

  • Students are required to use hand sanitizer when they enter a classroom.

  • Students and teachers will sanitize desks at the end of each class period.

Brief Explanation:
We have implemented fixed seating charts to reduce the number of close contacts to any individual. Our sanitizing procedure leaves the classroom clean after each period and reduces the number of germs being brought into the classroom at the beginning of each class.
Outdoor Lunch and High School Lycaeum

  • Lunch tables are limited to two people per bench, four people per table.

  • Masks must be worn at tables unless eating lunch. Once a student has finished eating, the student must don the mask again.

  • Masks must be worn outside when within a 6 foot distance of another person.

  • After eating lunch or during Lycaeum students will choose one of four zones—social tables, volleyball, soccer, and football—and must stay in that zone for the entirety of the period. Masks are required in the social tables zone.

  • All sports equipment is sanitized before students return to the building.

  • Students are required to use hand sanitizer before re-entering the building.

Brief Explanation
Lunch and Lycaeum are windows of needed leisure and relaxation during the school day. With these precautions we can allow for this relaxation while keeping our community safe. The zoned activities, in particular, decrease the number of close contacts for each individual.

  • Before coming to campus, everyone should complete a home screening for COVID symptoms. 

  • Everyone on campus is required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while inside the school building.

  • Everyone on campus is required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while outdoors and within 6 feet of another person. This includes carline and parking lots.

Brief Explanation:
Our consistency in practicing these precautions will help ensure the health and safety of our community. Wearing a mask, keeping distance, and hand cleanliness are best practices in preventing the spread of infectious disease. As it is now cold and flu season, it is even more important to take measures to decrease the spread of germs.
We are truly thankful for our wonderful community at Great Hearts Irving. We are thankful for your support, for your trust, and for your encouragement. We hope each of you has a safe, relaxing, and joyful Thanksgiving Holiday and we look forward to welcoming students on campus on Monday, November 30th.

Yours in Partnership,
Michael Cowan
Headmaster, Upper School
Great Hearts Irving