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Return to Learn: Frequently Asked Questions

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Return to Learn: Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of The Fay School's most Frequently Asked Questions in regards to our Fall 2020 Return to Learn Plan.

NEW: How did Fay invest in Online Learning over the summer?
  • In June, we offered our four weeks of additional Online Learning at no cost to families. This additional time spent teaching online gave us the ability to prototype innovations like integrating subjects and including more science.

  • Additionally, our faculty have participated in additional online Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop training and more Zoom Professional Development. 

NEW: How will Fay operationalize all of Fay's new safety measures?
  • The Return to Learn Policies and Procedures are new for everyone. We will dedicate ample in-service time for every Fay Employee to learn, review, and practice all of our new protocols and procedures.

NEW: Will the 2020-2021 Fay calendar change?
  • Given the fluidity of this situation, the calendar could change, like an extension of the school year. Fay will do its best to give the most advance notice possible.

How will In-person Learning and Online Learning be the same or different?
  • Teachers in both settings will coordinate to teach the same skills and units as well as keeping pace with each other. Lesson objectives will be the same, but the manner in which they are carried out may look different. For example, something that might be given as homework for In-person Learning will be part of the regular independent work and may not be called homework. In-class assessments such as quizzes and tests, progress report formats, and report cards will be the same and issued concurrently. We hope that if your child engages with Online Learning, they will participate fully in the Online School Day. However, we know that the home setting presents unique challenges. To that end, we ask that if you decide that your child will not participate in certain parts of the Online School Day, you will let your child’s teacher know in advance.  
Will my child be able to move between In-Person Learning and Online Learning?
  • To provide for staffing needs and create a stable classroom community, parents must commit to In-person Learning or Online Learning for at least the first trimester of school. We will be monitoring the changing conditions and consider local health department advice, CDC recommendations, and parent feedback to plan for the trimester. After the first trimester, parents may elect to change how their student attends school. We will endeavor to maintain classes, but we know that if many families change their learning plans, we may have to move teachers to accommodate the demands of new class configurations. Given our previous experience with Online Learning, we expect students in both modalities to reach the same level of achievement.
How will morning health screenings take place?
  • Your child must undergo a morning temperature check. The temperature check of the enrolled student(s) will take place through the car window of the seat they are sitting in using a contactless thermometer.
    • If the temperature reads about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then no students in the car will be allowed onto campus that day. 
    • If the temperature(s) reads below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then the student’s vehicle will be allowed to proceed to their drop off point.
  • At the drop-off point, a masked and face shielded Fay employee will open the door after the hands of the student(s) have been sanitized with hand sanitizer. If a car does not have hand sanitizer, the Fay employee will provide it.
  • The student(s) will then follow their color-coded “Fay Trail” directly to a mask station where the student(s) will be given any necessary or forgotten mask (photos and video will be shared once finalized).
  • The student(s) will then continue following the color-coded “Fay Trail” to their classroom to settle in.
How will afternoon carpool take place?
  • Only the outside lane (furthest from the Meadow) will be used for afternoon carpool so that cars can easily depart via the inside lane (closest to the Meadow) once your child is safely loaded and buckled.
  • Depending on the number of families who prefer In-person learning, the duration of afternoon carpool could vary.
  • Your visor must always be clearly displayed to maximize the efficiency of the afternoon carpool.
  • A Fay employee, standing near the Guard House, will begin recording the arrival of each car into a shared electronic spreadsheet that updates in real-time to classroom computers and/or Promethean Boards. This electronic spreadsheet will be monitored by your child’s teacher and help aid in maximizing the efficiency of children dismissing from the classroom as their ride arrives.
  • The Fay School will also employ a walkie-talkie system to communicate to classrooms to alert teachers when a child’s vehicle has arrived.
  • Fay employees will be stationed along all classroom-to-carpool routes so that your child will always be safely monitored and easily assisted if necessary.
  • Once a child safely walks to the designated areas in front of The Fay House, they will be carefully directed by a Fay employee to their vehicle.
How long will morning or afternoon carpool take?
  • Results from the Preliminary Return to Learn Parent Survey will help us better understand the expected In-person learners and expedite planning on this topic.
Will The Fay School offer any sort of refunds or tuition credits if the school cannot offer In-person Learning for any amount of time?
  • The Fay School will be unable to offer any sort of tuition refunds or credits if the school does not offer in-person learning for any amount of time during the 2020-2021 school year. This is because we are contractually bound to our Fay employees and many third-party vendors. In addition, The Fay School’s expenses have increased significantly during the 2020-2021 school year to adhere to national, state, and local health guidelines and to keep our community members as safe as possible as we have planned for both In-person and Online Learning Programs.   
Will Fay change the uniform policy for my child or dress code for Fay employees?
  • We do not plan to alter our uniform policy for Fay children other than to eliminate Formal Dress to begin the year.
  • Fay employees are being encouraged to wear comfortable but professional clothing to accommodate being outside for extended periods of time.
What will happen when a positive test for COVID-19 happens within the Fay Family?
  • Once a confirmed COVID-19 case becomes known in a person who has been at the school, Fay will notify Harris County Public Health. Harris County Public Health may help The Fay School’s Leadership Team and COVID-19 Task Force determine next steps for the school.
  • Fay will conduct contact tracing and alert anyone who has recently been exposed to the positive case.
  • All exposed individuals are required to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days. To return to campus, all exposed individuals must be asymptomatic for seven (7) days.
  • We will thoroughly clean and disinfect any areas where exposure occurred.
    • We will close off areas used by the individuals with COVID-19 and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize the potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. We will open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, we will wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • We will clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
    • If surfaces are dirty, we will clean them using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Will the school conduct contact tracing in the event of a positive test?
  • Yes. We are fortunate that the structure of our campus (multiple stairwells, easy access to the outside, the ability to Pod each grade level, etc.) allows us distinct advantages. Because of these advantages, Fay students have a very low probability of contact points outside of their grade level members, thus making contact tracing easier.
If non-teaching Fay employees can work remotely, will they?
  • Yes. If non-teaching Fay employees can effectively work remotely, then they will be required to do so. This is to minimize the number of adults coming on and off campus.
What if a Fay parent tests positive for COVID-19?
  • If a Fay parent tests positive, their child must be quarantined for 14 days and can opt into the Remote Learning. After a fourteen (14) day quarantine and seven (7) days without symptoms, the student may return to campus at the next entry point date.
Will you require masks and face shields for everyone on campus?
  • A mask must always be worn by any adult on campus, including parents who remain in their car while dropping off or picking up their child.
  • At all times, Fay employees will be required to wear a mask. This includes when outside and social distancing.
  • There are only two scenarios where a Fay Employee is not required to be securely wearing a face shield:
    • When alone in an office or classroom with the door closed, a face shield is not required.
    • When outside and socially distancing, a face shield is not required, although it is encouraged.
  • At a minimum, all students in first grade and above will be required to have a mask on their person while on campus. If the student is inside, they are required to securely wear a mask that fits well and covers the nose and mouth securely. If the students in the first grade and the above grades are outside and properly socially distancing, then a mask is not required.
  • A mask is not required at lunchtime (which will always be outdoors), but the student must be properly social distancing.
  • Students in First Grade and above are required to securely wear a mask if they are ever within six feet of a teacher.
Besides masks, what other PPE will you provide for Fay employees?
  • Masks, face shields, and gloves will be made readily available for all employees. Face shields cannot be used in lieu of a cloth mask.
Will you ensure social distancing in classrooms?
  • We cannot ensure that proper social distancing will take place 100% of the time for your child while in the classrooms. However, we have taken reasonable steps to separate desks by at least three feet and by six feet when feasible.
  • Results from the Preliminary Return to Learn Parent Survey will help us better understand the expected In-person learners and expedite planning on this topic.
What precautions will you take for children using the restrooms?
  • Bathrooms will be sanitized every two hours by a dedicated Fay employee. 
    • Upper Elementary (Third through Fifth Grade)
      • We will use the same indicator method (vacant/occupied flip sign) as we have done in the dining hall so that only one child at a time uses the bathroom. Vacant/Occupied flip signs will be used in every classroom and outside of every bathroom to ensure that only one child is in the restroom at a time.
      • Only one child will be permitted in the bathroom at a time.
      • Wearing a mask in the restroom will be required.
      •  Anytime a child leaves the classroom, a teacher must witness child sanitize and put on a mask (if age appropriate). The child must hand sanitize before the child goes into the restroom.
      • Adjust sign to “occupied” status before departing the classroom.
      • Adjust sign to “occupied” status before entering the bathroom.
      • Signs will be visible reminding of handwashing, especially near the bathroom and in hallways.
      • Flip restroom vacant/occupied sign back to “vacant” (sign is next to bathroom door).
      • Flip classroom Vacant/Occupied sign back to “vacant” (sign is next to classroom door).
      • Large hand sanitizer pumps will be placed at every classroom doorway and the teacher must witness children sanitize their hands upon returning to the classroom.
    • First and Second Grade
      • To ensure the separation of the First and Second Grades, we have erected a physical barrier down the middle of the common area that the classes used to share. This means that what was the Boys Bathroom in this common area has been designated to accommodate both sexes in the First Grade. This also means that what was the Girls Bathroom in this common area has been designated to accommodate both sexes in the Second Grade. (Videos and photos will be shared once this project is completed.)
      • Children in these grades will follow the same protocols as outlined above.
      • Designated bathroom breaks will be added to the daily class schedule.  
      • Assistant Teachers must witness student flip occupied/vacant sign.
    • Kindergarten
      • Kindergarten will follow the same protocols as outlined above for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade.
    • Primary I and II
      • One student is allowed in the restroom at a time.
      • Hands must be sanitized before a child enters the restroom.
      • One at a time, students will be allowed to circulate through the bathroom during a dedicated restroom break before they leave the classroom.
      • The assistant teacher or lead teacher will monitor and ensure appropriate handwashing and assist as needed. 
Where and when will lunch occur?
  • Students will eat lunch outside with their Fay Pod.
  • It will be at the discretion of each Pod’s teacher where lunch will take place.
  • We have been in touch with Simply Fresh and they have outlined the following guidelines for their food preparation:
    • Disinfectant is being used throughout the meal preparation period on the tables and serving utensils are being switched out every 30 minutes.
    • Every 30 minutes Simply Fresh employees are required to wash their hands.
    • Gloves are to be changed between task changes.
    • Simply Fresh has reiterated proper hand washing techniques.
    • Simply Fresh has adopted a more thorough wellness check protocol to include temperature checks and monitoring employees for flu/cold symptoms.
    • Simply Fresh is requiring a doctor’s all clear for employees that are out due to illness.
    • Simply Fresh drivers are carrying hand sanitizer and using between each delivery.
    • Simply Fresh has contingent plans and menus in the event we need to operate short-handed.
  • Results from the Preliminary Return to Learn Parent Survey will help us better understand the expected In-person learners and expedite planning on this topic.
How will recess work?
  • Recess schedules will be staggered by Fay Pod to help promote social distancing.
  • Through the week, Fay Pods will rotate between the Primary School side yards (if a PS student), Backyard Playgrounds, Play Space, Meadow and adjacent areas, and the Fay Forest.
  • Pods will not intermingle with other grade-level Pods.
  • Results from the Preliminary Return to Learn Parent Survey will help us better understand the expected In-person learners and expedite planning on this topic.
How will Specials classes take place?
  • We have not finalized our plans regarding Specials. The number of students engaging in In-person Learning will dictate our protocols.
  • Results the Preliminary Return to Learn Parent Survey will help us better understand the expected In-person learners and expedite planning on this topic.
How often will Fay sanitize classrooms?
  • Cleaning and sanitizing classrooms will happen throughout the day and at varying levels. Each evening, though, our custodial services will put on appropriate PPE for cleaning and disinfecting. Adequate ventilation will be assured and then frequently touched surfaces that are non-porous will be cleaned with disinfectant solutions. Cleaning supplies will be stored securely away from children and will never be used near children.
How much will students move around campus?
  • This will be based on the number of families planning to begin the year In-person. To start the school year, we will limit the amount of campus movement as we learn and gain confidence in everyone’s ability to execute our procedures and protocols correctly.
  • Results from the Preliminary Return to Learn Parent Survey will help us better understand the expected In-person learners and expedite planning on this topic.   
Do families need to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days before returning to Fay if they have traveled outside of the city of Houston?
  • The United States is currently a level 3 region, with Houston being a hot spot. We ask that all families and Fay employees self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days prior to returning to campus. If you travel to a geographic region defined with Risk Assessment Level 3 or Level 2 for COVID-19, then we ask that you and/or your family follow the CDC’s 14-day self-quarantine directive upon returning to the United States or before the return to in-person learning. Further, we ask you to seek and provide a doctor certification for your child to return to school if you or your child is diagnosed with COVID-19.
What commitments can I make as a Fay parent to help with containment of coronavirus spread?
  • I will maintain 6 feet of distance from anyone not in my household.
  • I will wash my hands often.
  • I will cover my face in public.
  • I will stay at home when I am sick.
  • I will seek testing immediately and self-report if I experience symptoms.
What can I do to support Fay’s efforts to safely teach my child?
  • Always demonstrate flexibility, patience, and compassion to every member of the Fay Family.
  • We discourage Fay employees, students, and their families from gathering or socializing anywhere. This includes group childcare arrangements, as well as gatherings at places like a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or a local store. Please join us in this effort!
  • Consider supporting Fay with a gift to our Annual Fund. As stated above, The Fay School’s expenses have increased significantly during the 2020-2021 school year to adhere to national, state, and local health guidelines and to keep our community members as safe as possible as we have planned for both In-person and Online Learning.
Did the school engage parents or medical professionals to gather more perspectives and input?
How do I keep up with what Fay is thinking and doing?
  • Read your emails! Each Thursday afternoon The Fay School emails the Fay Flyer to all families. All school-wide critical information is included in the Fay Flyer. We work to streamline this weekly email for quick reading, providing families with the information they need. We ask that all families read the Fay Flyer in order to coordinate all institutional needs. Although we work to streamline our communications, please know that should critical information need to be shared with our community, an email will be sent as quickly as possible. 
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