Learning Plan for 2021-2022
Tentative Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year
We expect that the pandemic will not yet be fully behind us when we resume classes for 2021-22, requiring St. Timothy’s School to operate from a flexible “playbook” rather than from a singular plan.Below are the key plans of our “playbook” for 2021-22. These represent our most likely scenarios based on what we know today, and they are subject to change. We will continue to evaluate, update, adapt, and communicate before and after the start of the 2021-2022 school year. We remain committed to offering a safe and successful in-person learning experience for all students at St. Timothy’s.
Anticipated Health Protocols for 2021-22
- If CDC guidelines continue to indicate that universal masking and three-foot distancing will permit safe in-person learning and mitigate risk of transmission, all classrooms will be set up to maintain three-foot distancing between students. We expect that we will continue universal masking for all on campus, as well.
- We will follow the most current guidelines of the Wake County Health Department, NCDHHS, and CDC. This includes following their guidance for student and employee quarantines as any cases or possible exposures occur. A person’s individual vaccination status will likely impact the necessity and duration for any quarantine after possible exposure.
- We will modify our traditional protocols/practices to avoid large group indoor gatherings, such as crowded middle school hallways during class changes, a full dining hall at lunch, a full sanctuary for chapel services, or other indoor activities where distancing cannot be maintained.
- We will likely operate our dining hall with significantly reduced capacity and continue to prioritize outdoor picnic spaces for snacks and meals, weather permitting.
- We will require regular handwashing and maintain hand sanitizing stations around campus.
- Ventilation and air filtration upgrades made throughout campus in fall 2020 are permanent. We will maintain our elevated cleaning/disinfection protocols as a precautionary measure.
- We are evaluating the effectiveness and necessity of the daily health screening and temperature checks based on emerging research and new public health guidelines. Similarly, we’re evaluating the need and feasibility for asymptomatic testing for the full school or targeted populations at designated times. Decisions on these topics will be made based on the most up-to-date research and guidelines offered in summer of 2021.
- Masking and three-foot distancing will permit a return to our more traditional class sizes (up to 18 students in PK-grade 3 classrooms and no more than 18-20 students in our larger classroom spaces in grades 4-8).
- We are evaluating whether to maintain our temporary tented courtyard spaces for co-curricular activities, picnic lunch spaces, and other needs that arise.
- Outdoor mixing of students may occur, provided appropriate masking and distancing protocols are followed. Some limits on mixing between class cohorts indoors are likely to be implemented in order to minimize the number of possible quarantines should a case occur on campus. A modified middle school class rotation is being considered that would offer students more than one class cohort, but fewer than in pre-COVID years.
Anticipated Schedules and Distance Learning
- Daily staggered arrival and dismissal times will minimize crowding of students on sidewalks and hallways during peak arrival and dismissal times.
- With proven confidence in our risk mitigation protocols, widespread vaccine availability for at-risk populations, and improved public health metrics, we will not offer a distance learning option, except for those students who must temporarily quarantine due to exposure or personal medical circumstances. Such temporary distance learning may be modified in certain grade levels and circumstances to emphasize self-paced, asynchronous work.
- We expect that our fall athletic season will begin on time with our traditional offerings, though following recommended risk mitigation strategies, like masking and distancing. Availability and extent of school-provided transportation for athletics is under evaluation.
- We are not currently planning for any off-campus field trips through December 2021. We will evaluate spring 2022 field trips in fall/winter 2021.
- In consultation with relevant experts and reviewing models of peer schools, we hope to find safe and appropriate ways to resume band, chorus, and drama productions.
- Each of our community events will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on public health metrics and whether practical mitigation strategies are possible.
- As a school, we firmly believe in the scientifically-proven efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, and we’re pleased that a substantial majority of our faculty and staff (over 95% to date) have chosen to be vaccinated. We strongly encourage all in our community to consult with their physician and obtain a vaccine if advised to do so.
- Given the Emergency Authorization status of COVID vaccines, we are not currently requiring vaccines as a condition of employment or enrollment. We respect that vaccination is a private medical choice, and we request that parents not ask employees or other parents/students about their personal vaccination status.
- In consultation with medical experts, public health authorities, relevant independent school organizations, and in accordance with applicable laws, our Board of Trustees will carefully evaluate vaccination requirements as a condition of employment or enrollment at a future time, including if/when vaccines receive permanent FDA approval.
As always, if the trajectory of this pandemic shifts unexpectedly, our plans may change as a result. We remain committed to timely and transparent communication with all in our community.