Reopening Plan 2020-21

Safety, Community, Mission: Reopening BBA

We are very fortunate to be in Vermont, where infection rates remain extremely low, but we are deeply aware that the health of the community will ultimately determine how schools are able to operate. Therefore, we have put in place a plan which will utilize both in-person and remote instruction, and will allow us to adjust that balance as circumstances evolve. In all scenarios, we will remain focused on our mission and our culture, creating engaging and vigorous educational experiences while caring deeply for each other and our community.

Learning Together: Returning to Campus

List of 12 items.

  • Learning Together: Returning to Campus (Printable)

  • Logistics for a Smooth Reopening (Printable)

    Review Meg Kenny's August 25th presentation (PDF) on the logistics of BBA's reopening plan.
  • Guiding principles

    1. Our highest priority in any decision we make about the operation of school is the safety and social‐emotional well‐being of our students, families, faculty and staff.
    2. We will build upon BBA’s programmatic excellence through engaging and vigorous learning experiences, regardless of the learning mode (in‐person, hybrid or remote).
    3. Our approach will advance our efforts to focus on what matters most and how traditional content serves the development of the Spire Skills.
    4. We will embrace and inspire the joy of learning during these times of challenge.
    5. We will model and encourage individual agency and resilience (as both individuals and a community).
    6. We will rely on expertise, scientific knowledge and proven data from the CDC, state of Vermont, AOE and others.
  • Learning and Teaching

    In response to the ever‐changing nature of the COVID‐19 pandemic, we have created a hybrid learning model starting with 50% capacity on campus. This approach will allow us to dial up to 100% capacity on campus, or dial down to full remote learning depending on the local conditions. It is essential that all members of the BBA community maintain a flexible and adaptable mindset for the 2020‐2021 academic year.

    Program

    By leveraging what we know about brain‐based learning and student engagement, we’ve designed a re‐entry plan that connects students to our community—our people and our place––while keeping everyone safe and protecting our communities. School will open for students in a hybrid teaching and learning structure: this will allow for our safe return to campus, as well as the flexibility to transition to full in‐person learning and/or remote learning as local conditions dictate.

    In BBA’s hybrid learning model, students will attend school every other day on Monday through Thursday. Students will be divided alphabetically into Green and Gold cohorts, so approximately 50% of students will be on campus each day. On alternate days, students will attend classes online, joining classes remotely and engaging with classmates and teachers in a hybrid model. This model gives us the flexibility to move to full in‐person classes or shift to fully online as appropriate/necessary. Think of this approach as a volume dial—we are starting in the middle and have the ability to pivot to full campus capacity (turn up the volume) and the ability to pivot to full remote (turn down the volume). On Fridays, everyone will work remotely.

    Students who cannot attend school in person due to health concerns or other reasons can select a fully remote model and access their classes from home, providing a synchronous connection to BBA courses. More information on the process to enroll in this synchronous remote option (including the documentation needed) will follow. In addition, some programs and student learning needs will necessitate a full on‐campus option. Students and families will learn more about these options from specific program directors and/or case managers.

    We’ve adjusted the opening school calendar with a phased‐in approach so that we can welcome and support new and returning students to campus. We will follow all health and safety guidelines and reduce density through grade‐specific programming. More information will be shared with students and families in the coming weeks. The schedule will be finalized and then updated and shared as needed.

    All learning modes are guided by our desire to balance:
    • Keeping our community as safe as possible;
    • Ensuring the social and emotional well‐being of our entire community;
    • Making sure our students are learning and progressing academically;
    • Focusing on meeting the needs of each student;
    • Building culture and strengthening connections within our community.
  • Hybrid Model

    • Weekly blend of on‐campus and remote learning. Green Cohort will learn on campus Monday and Wednesday and remotely Tuesday and Thursday.
    • Gold Cohort will learn on campus Tuesday and Thursday and remotely Monday and Wednesday.
    • Green and Gold Cohorts will learn remotely on Friday.
    • No large group gathering will occur, and 6 foot spacing will be maintained in classrooms. A virtual all school assembly will occur once a week.
    • Class sizes are similar to a normal school year (ranging from 12 ‐ 25). Approximately ½ the students will be in the class on campus Monday ‐ Thursday.
    • Advisory will meet each day and students will remain with advisors for Flex Block and Lunch (see detail in Advisory section)
  • Remote Model

    • In BBA’s remote learning option, students will engage primarily in courses offered in BBA’s existing program.
    • Students who select this option will work with their school counselor to adjust their program to better align with remote learning.
    • Students can request to join the hybrid learning model at any time.
    • Remote students can access a full range of courses, programs and supports. 
  • Health and Safety Overview

    The safety of our community is a shared responsibility and will require a partnership with our students, faculty, staff, and families. The first key safety measure that all students, faculty and staff members should take is to stay home when not feeling well. We all need to adhere to the new protocols. It is the combined responsibility of all community members to comply with these state and school recommendations and policies in order to keep our community as safe as possible.

    Objectives for School Health in the COVID Era
    (From Vermont Department of Health and VT’s AOE)
    • Decrease risk of individuals infected with COVID‐19 from entering the school setting;
    • Decrease transmission of COVID‐19 among faculty/staff and students;
    • Quickly identify individuals with COVID‐19 and put containment procedures in place;
    • Ensure that the special needs of students with physical, emotional and behavioral concerns are thoroughly addressed in a fair and equitable manner;
    • Communicate regularly with faculty/staff, students, families and the community.
  • Primary Safety Protocols

    This first section is designed to provide an overview of the primary safety protocols. More details will follow in this document and in the student handbook.

    Face Coverings
    All students and employees are required to wear face coverings indoors, outside when passing from class to class, and outside when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from other people. BBA will provide each student and employee with one washable face covering. Students and employees must wear the BBA covering or one of their own face coverings to school every day. Disposable masks will be available as needed. Every effort will be made for all students to have a break from wearing facial coverings during the day in physically distanced outdoor classrooms and outdoor lunch locations. Medical and learning needs exemptions and alternatives to face coverings will be made in consultation with BBA’s school nurse and special services case managers.

    Physical Distancing
    Students and employees will strive to maintain 6 feet of physical distance in and out of the classrooms. Movement on campus will be managed through staggered timing and new directional flow on campus. Staggered timing will be used during drop off, lunch, and pick up. Directional stairways and divided halls will decrease contact and promote distancing. Special signage and decals will be used to control the flow and indicate spacing when waiting in line for lunch, health screenings, etc. Classroom configurations are designed to adhere to guidance on distance. Larger spaces and common areas have been redesigned to accommodate distancing guidance.

    Daily Health Screening
    To help prevent the spread of COVID‐19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure to our community, all students and employees will complete a self‐screening each morning before entering the BBA campus/buildings. The screening includes a daily temperature check and response to a series of questions related to symptoms and possible exposure. BBA is using Ruvna Health to facilitate and document the screenings. Using this process is a key step to managing our student drop off protocols. Students who screen at home will receive a QR code that we will scan as they enter campus. All families will receive more information on this system prior to the opening of school.

    Hand Hygiene
    Handwashing and hand sanitizing is required throughout the day. In accordance with state guidelines, students and employees are required to practice hand hygiene when they arrive at school, before eating, before putting on and taking off masks, and after using the restroom. BBA has rented mobile outdoor sinks that will be positioned in key areas on campus and purchased additional hand sanitizing stations for outdoor spaces and at building entrances. Hand sanitizer will be provided in each learning space.

    Green and Gold Cohorts
    Students will start the year in two cohorts to facilitate BBA’s 50% capacity hybrid model. Generally the cohorts are divided by alphabet using students' last names. Green is last names A through L; Gold is last names M through Z. During in‐person learning days, students will attend classes based on their Green or Gold cohort and an Advisory/Flex/Lunch block with their advisory cohort.

    Staying Home When Not Well
    Students and employees are required to stay home if they are not feeling well. In addition, students and employees are required to stay home if they have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID‐19. Students who feel unwell at school or display symptoms while at school will be cared for by the school nurse in a medical isolation room until the student can be picked up by a parent or contact is made with a parent and they grant permission for the student to drive home. Families should consult with their primary care physician about care and protocols to return to campus. Employees who feel sick or display symptoms while at school will notify their supervisor for coverage and go home immediately.

    Travel
    All members of the BBA community must meet Vermont’s quarantine guidance prior to the start of school. The travel guidance may change as the school year progresses, and the quarantine requirement may be shorter if coupled with a COVID‐19 test, but we expect all students and faculty/staff to follow the guidance for cross state travel. If a student is not able to meet the quarantine guidance prior to the start of school, they should engage in their learning remotely until they satisfy the requirements.
  • Enhanced Health Policies and Protocols

    Several school health and student handbook policies and protocols have been revised and enhanced in response to best practices to reduce the spread of COVID‐19. These policies include: returning to school after an illness, attendance, restriction of visitors on campus, travel restrictions, field trips, Flex Block, teaching practices to reduce
    shared materials, and enhanced cleaning protocols. Policies will continue to be revised and enhanced based on state guidance released over the summer and updated accordingly. See details in the student handbook.

    Additional Health Measures
    In addition to the primary strategies mentioned above, BBA has also implemented a robust set of additional practices and procedures to enhance the safety of our community.

    Air Circulation and Ventilation
    We understand the importance of ventilation and air exchange to create safe environments that will reduce the risk with an airborne virus. Using guidelines from the state, we conducted a campus analysis of air filtration, ventilation and air handling systems in all buildings and learning spaces. Our facilities director worked closely with our mechanical contractor to assess the system and determine upgrades.

    We’ve upgraded air filters to the recommended MERV13 standard; these filters will be replaced every 3‐4 months, per the recommendations. Routine maintenance has been performed on all HVAC systems to verify their effective operation. HVAC systems will run a minimum of two hours prior to occupancy and through the duration of occupancy. Bathroom exhaust fans will operate 24/7 on school days.

    In addition, standard protocol will now include having doors and all operable windows open to further increase air flow and fresh air in learning spaces. BBA is fortunate that we have operable windows in all buildings on campus. Tents will provide outdoor learning spaces and teachers are encouraged to schedule classes outside as availability and weather conditions allow.

    Cleaning Practices
    Our facilities staff will be responsible for the daily cleaning and disinfecting of all shared spaces across campus (stairwells, hallways, student center, fitness center, library, health center, etc.). High touch surfaces will be cleaned multiple times a day on a regular schedule (beginning, middle and end of day). Special attention will be given to
    bathrooms, door handles, and high‐traffic areas. Disinfecting wipes and supplies will be available for use in each classroom. Under the supervision of teachers, students will wipe down their desk and chair before departing the learning space. This way the furniture will be clean for the next class. All cleaning products will be U.S. EPA approved disinfectants used against COVID‐19.
  • Other Protective Measures

    BBA is installing clear plexiglass shields in areas where there is frequent face‐to‐face interaction (attendance office, Headmaster’s office, Library circulation desk, Admissions and School Counseling Office, etc.). Foot operated door openers were installed on all multi‐person bathrooms. Safe handle tape has been ordered and will be installed on all exterior door handles and key interior hand railings. This tape contains a hygiene solution that kills bacteria and viruses. The handle tape will be changed on a regular basis.

    Water fountains will not be in use this year, but touchless water bottle filling stations will be open and disinfected throughout the day. We encourage students and staff to bring their own water bottles to campus in an effort to promote hydration, encourage sustainable practices, and limit the spread of germs.

    To avoid crowding in bathrooms and locker rooms, capacities will be limited. Protocols are still in development for PE classes. There will likely be pop‐up changing areas located in the gym and on the field to accommodate students and athletes. Locker room showers will be closed.

    Signage
    Physical signage will be placed throughout the campus to provide reminders about safe hygiene practices, one way stairwells, and entrances and exits. Floor markers for physical distancing will create a healthier campus environment. All students and adults are required to use the floor markers where available.
  • Health and Counseling Services

    The primary goal for the Health Center is to support the physical and mental health of all students within the BBA community. The school nurse and school based clinicians will continue to offer their usual services to our students, including the promotion of healthy lifestyles, health care guidance, assessment of needs, medication management, immunization verification, mental health counseling and social/emotional education and programming. We are re‐
    configuring the Health Center to create a medical isolation room with a private entrance to separate symptomatic students from other students accessing the health center for routine health needs.

    BBA’s school clinicians will:
    • coordinate with families and students to implement universal social and emotional screenings in order to identify students who need support (using BBA’s Advisory system);
    • establish a process to help identity and provide support to students and staff at potentially higher risk for significant stress or vulnerability from COVID‐19.
  • Response to COVID-19 at BBA

    BBA’s COVID Response Team will work with the Vermont Department of Health and local medical professionals to support all efforts for identifying, quarantining, and contact tracing, should a student or employee become symptomatic or test positive for COVID‐19.

    If an employee or student has been exposed to the virus, BBA’s first concern is for the health and safety of the individual and for those who have come in direct, close contact with the individual. Direct, close contact means within 6 feet of a COVID‐19 positive person for longer than 15 minutes without a facial covering.

    If an employee or student tests positive, BBA will close campus for a deep cleaning and operate in our remote model for at least a day so that the COVID‐19 Team can meet to assess the situation, following Vermont Department of Health guidelines.

    If an employee or student has come in contact with a COVID‐19 positive individual, they should:
    1. Contact the following (in order of priority), letting them know of the exposure and then follow their instructions.
      1. Healthcare provider (who can work with the individual to determine when/if a test is required.
      2. Employees should contact Human Resources and students should contact the BBA's school nurse.
    2. BBA’s COVID‐19 Response Team will determine next steps.
    3. At this time, the CDC recommends a 14‐day quarantine if anyone has close, direct contact with a COVID‐19 positive individual.
    4. Only those who have direct, close contact will be asked to quarantine.