Learning » Learning Plan for 2020

Learning Plan for 2020

St. Timothy’s School plans to safely resume on-campus teaching and learning on August 20, 2020, provided the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Wake County Health Department permit local schools to meet.

While this will be a return to school unlike any we’ve ever experienced, we remain committed to being a safe, joyful, nurturing place for our students—where we will balance hard work and academic growth with plenty of opportunities every day for friendships, fellowship, and fun.

Core Commitments

  • The safety and wellbeing of our students, families, teachers and staff are our priority. We will follow the directives of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and NCDHHS when making all operational decisions, promising timely communication and transparency with our families if plans must evolve or change at any point.
  • We will maximize on-campus, in-person teaching and learning, provided we can do so safely and responsibly. We will also ensure that a distance learning option is available at all times for families with any health concerns.
  • Our faculty and administrators are dedicated to extensive curriculum planning and intensive professional training on best practices for teaching, planning, scheduling, building community, and supporting students during these unprecedented times.
  • We are committed to assisting and supporting parents—especially working parents—for whom childcare and/or facilitating distance learning activities (should they become necessary at any point) can be a burden.
  • Regardless of any scenario or circumstance, our efforts are always driven by our mission and our Portrait of a Graduate:
St. Timothy’s graduates build upon an excellent academic foundation to…
                Solve problems with diligence and creativity.
                Embrace both faith and reason in pursuit of truth and meaning.
                Strive to lead healthy, honorable, and joyful lives.
                Treat all people with dignity, respect, and compassion.
                Love and serve God and one another.


Key Features of Our Plan

Classroom Space
  • Every classroom space and activity will follow social distancing guidelines, maintaining at least six feet of distance between students whenever possible.
  • Every building and classroom space will operate at or below 50% occupancy. Class sizes in all but a few of our largest spaces therefore will range from 9-12 students.
  • Small class sizes require more classrooms, prompting us to utilize nontraditional classroom spaces—such as the library, dining hall, and gymnasium. These spaces will be equipped with age-appropriate desks and chairs, equipment/technology, and all necessary learning materials to “feel” like classrooms for our students and teachers.
Daily Schedule
  • All students in grades PK through 6 will meet on campus every weekday. Classes for students in grades 7 and 8 will operate on a 6-day rotation, with students meeting on campus 5 out of every 6 weekdays and one day of off-campus distance learning and independent asynchronous activities out of every 6 weekdays.
  • Large group gatherings indoors, such as chapel or lunch, will not occur. Students will participate in weekly virtual chapel services with classmates, and lunches will occur in individual classes (utilizing outdoor picnic areas, as weather permits) each day.
Daily Health Screenings and Hygiene Protocols
  • Daily health screenings and temperature checks will be required for all students and employees on campus. In addition to following proper hygiene and handwashing protocols, all students and adults will be required to wear cloth or disposable face coverings when inside buildings. Students’ face coverings can be ordered through the STS Lands’ End uniform portal, or families may purchase or make their own (they must be a single solid color and fully cover the nose and mouth). 
Daily Schedule and Classroom Logistics
  • Daily drop off and pick up times will be staggered to minimize large groups gathering during carpool.
  • After School Care (ASC) will be offered following social distancing and small-group guidelines; however, no drop-in options will be available this fall. 
  • Students will be based in a single classroom each day, with teachers rotating between classes. However, weather permitting, each day will also feature substantial time outside of the classroom—for recess, P.E., Music, Movement, and/or Drama outdoors (including two tented, open-air, outdoor classrooms in the courtyard).
  • Teachers will simulcast some lessons—teaching in person to one group while simultaneously teaching virtually to another classroom (and any students at home). SmartBoards, webcams, and personal devices will allow students in both classrooms to learn and interact together during such lessons, while a non-teaching staff member will supervise and facilitate students in the “remote” classroom. When possible, teachers will rotate their in-person and simulcasting classrooms to ensure a balanced experience for all students.
  • To accommodate the smaller class sizes in grades PK-2, rather than a teacher and assistant together in a single classroom, in many cases teachers and assistants each will be in their own classroom. The teacher and assistant will rotate between rooms/students throughout the day based on the lessons or activities that are planned for each group.
  • Students may pack individual lunches or order any day of the week from My Hot Lunchbox, with orders delivered directly to classrooms. Milk will not be provided to students, and microwaves will not be available.,
  • We are assessing all classroom supplies to identify items typically shared that may be impractical to sanitize or to order in bulk for every student. We may ask families to provide a very limited number of supplies for their child to have at school. More information will follow in August.
Co-Curriculars, Fine Arts and Athletics
  • Co-curricular classes (such as P.E., Movement, Science Enrichment, Social-Emotional Learning, and World Languages) and fine arts classes (Music, Drama, and Art) will continue on campus and virtually. Rotating schedules will allow students to experience all co-curricular and fine arts classes during the year while still limiting the number of students a specific co-curricular or fine arts teacher may see in a given week or month. 
  • We will not be able to offer some middle school elective classes, such as Debate or Robotics, as standalone classes this fall. We will seek alternative opportunities for offering these experiences to our students throughout the year.
  • Plans for Band are still under consideration, but they will likely include individual and small group ensemble opportunities offered in-person outdoors and virtually.
  • We are currently awaiting updated guidelines from our conference and independent school associations regarding fall athletics. Information will be provided to families of eligible students in mid-July. If conference athletic options are limited, we will pursue non-contact athletic opportunities to offer our student athletes this fall.
Individual Distance Learning Option for any Student
  • Any family may elect for their child to do distance learning in lieu of on-campus classes. Because of the complexity of planning for this option, we will require families who begin the year with their children doing distance learning to maintain distance learning for at least the first six weeks of classes (through Friday, October 2).  Families who begin the year with their student pursuing distance learning may elect to move to on-campus learning after October 2. 
  • Individual distance learning will always be available for students who are required to isolate at home due to health concerns.
  • Individual distance learning will include a combination of live simulcast classes, recorded lessons, virtual meetings, and asynchronous activities. Parents should inform Lower School Head Lindsay Behrens lbehrens@sttimothys.org or Middle School Head Tim Coleman tcoleman@sttimothys.org if you anticipate your child pursuing this option.
Cleaning and Facilities
  • All classrooms will be sanitized using hospital-grade equipment and CDC-approved cleaners at least once each day, with public spaces and high-touch surfaces sanitized multiple times per day.
  • HVAC equipment and programming schedules have been adjusted to prioritize maximum airflow and fresh air intake throughout the day for all buildings, with high-quality filters installed and new air cleaning technology also under consideration.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are located at every building entrance.
  • Bottle filling stations have been installed to water fountains.
Orientations and Training
  • Leading up to and during the first days of school in August, online and in-person orientations will be offered for all students and parents to ensure their comfort and understanding of all new processes and health guidelines for the fall. More details on orientations will follow in early August.
Temporary Full-School Distance Learning
  • Our priority is to maximize on-campus, in-person learning. However, in the event that temporary distance learning becomes necessary at any point, teachers and administrators will offer new schedules, lessons, and approaches for distance learning that build on our successes in spring of 2020 and reflect lessons learned from student, parent, and teacher experiences and feedback—as well as our extensive professional development during the summer. A more detailed plan for distance learning will be shared if that scenario becomes more likely.
  • Over a dozen families have already volunteered their homes to host potential distance learning sessions if they become necessary at any point. Please email Head of School Tim Tinnesz ttinnesz@sttimothys.org if you are willing to consider hosting students in your home for any distance learning days this fall.

Possible or Confirmed Case of COVID-19

Our safety protocols of maintaining six feet of distancing and wearing masks when indoors (or outdoors, if maintaining distancing isn’t possible), along with daily sanitizing, extensive indoor air ventilation and filtration, and plenty of outdoor learning and breaks are all designed specifically to reduce the risk of spread of the virus if a person who is infected is on campus.  We will also require self-administered daily health screenings before drop-off and daily temperature checks on campus when students arrive.
However, in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID case in our community, the NCDHHS has released a reference guide and flow chart considering several scenarios involving COVID-19 exposure. Our protocols at St. Timothy's School will closely follow these guidelines, as well.
The School Nurse will immediately contact the Wake County Health Department in the event of a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the St. Timothy’s School Community. The School will follow the Health Department’s directions, at a minimum, and may take additional precautions if we believe the situation warrants. Our protocols include:
  • Someone experiencing close contact with a person who tests positive must stay home and quarantine for 14 days (even with a negative test).
  • Someone experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19 must remain home until
    • Being symptom-free for at least 10 days, OR
    • Testing negative for COVID-19 and being fever-free (without medication) and symptom-free for 24 hours, OR
    • Receiving confirmation of alternate diagnosis from a medical professional and being fever-free (without medication) and symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • Someone who develops one or more symptoms during the school day will be promptly isolated from students and staff and go home.
  • Someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or received a positive test result will need to stay home until it has been
    • 10 or more days since the onset of symptoms (or, if there are no symptoms, 10 days since the date of the positive test), AND
    • 3 or more days of being fever-free (without medicine), AND
    • 3 or more days since symptoms have improved.
In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case among students or faculty/staff:
  • School administrators will notify the Wake County Health Department.
  • School administrators will work with local health authorities to immediately notify staff and families while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with all federal laws. Administrators will work with authorities to determine who has been in close contact with the infected person.
  • Based on the extent of contact and possible exposure, school administrators will work with local health authorities to determine what parts of the school campus need to be closed for cleaning and what students, staff, and classes will need to temporarily move to distance learning and quarantine from home, as well as the duration for such a quarantine.