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A Coeducational School | Early Learners to Third Grade

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Start of School

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • If our family travels out of state, will we be asked to abide by quarantine rules and guidelines?

    Yes, you will need to abide by quarantine rules and guidelines unless your travel is limited to DC, Maryland, and Virginia, which does not require quarantine or testing, or you have been fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 within the past three months.
     
    Individuals within the Close community who are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 do not need to quarantine after either exposure to an individual with COVID-19 OR after travel, provided that: (a) the vaccinated individual is asymptomatic; (b) at least two weeks has elapsed since the individual received the second dose of the vaccine; and (c) no more than 90 days has elapsed since the second dose was administered. Vaccinated individuals are still subjected to weekly COVID-19 testing measures.
     
    Vaccinated individuals are required to adhere to all risk-mitigation measures in
    place on the Close, including wearing masks; physical distancing of at least six feet; frequent hand washing and other hand hygiene measures; and well-ventilated work areas or classrooms.
     
    Explanation for the Policy: The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines currently being administered across the U.S. have excellent efficacy at preventing symptomatic COVID infection. Although their impact on asymptomatic infection and transmission is not fully known, encouraging data led the CDC to issue new guidance exempting asymptomatic individuals who have been fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 within the past three months from having to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure. By extension, vaccinated persons without symptoms do not need to quarantine following travel during this interval, since the risk posed by travel is predominantly due to the potential for unrecognized exposure to infected persons. (Note: this does not mean that the vaccine is only protective for three months, but rather that the CDC is comfortable from its early data at this time issuing a guidance that is operable for three months.)
     
    We strongly encourage members of our Cathedral school communities to be thoughtful about the amount and nature of their travel. We ask our community members to abide by the D.C. guidelines for travel and quarantine and to stay abreast of these changing guidelines.
     
    We view our Cathedral schools’ policy as an investment in the safety of the Close community and a way to sustain in-person learning through the end of the school year. We thank you for your support, understanding, and continued partnership.  
     
    The Beauvoir Covenant remains steadfastly in place. We urge members of our community to stay vigilant with those outside their household. Avoid small, unmasked, indoor and outdoor gatherings without adequate social distancing. We appreciate your help and support as we continue to work together in the spirit of shared sacrifice and collective responsibility.
  • What should our family do if we need to quarantine for a period of time before returning to campus?

    Unvaccinated students, faculty, or staff who have traveled to one of the states on the DC Health high-risk list or to a CDC Level 3 country, whether for essential or nonessential reasons, should not return to campus until one of the following conditions has been met:
    1. The individual has a negative result from a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 collected on or after day 7 from the date of return from travel (day 1 is the date of return to the DMV). For example, if a student, faculty, or staff member returned from a high-risk state to the DMV on a Sunday, then Sunday is day 1. A COVID-19 test should be administered on or after day 7, which would be the following Saturday. The turnaround time for a COVID-19 test in our region is around 24 to 48 hours. A student, faculty, or staff member who is tested on day 7 (Saturday) and receives a negative test and is symptom free by Sunday evening or Monday morning could return to school on Monday, or
    2. In lieu of a negative COVID-19 test on or after day 7, the individual can remain off campus for 10 days from the date of return from travel (day 1 is the date of return to the DMV).
     
    We ask that any household member who returns home from identified hotspots pay strict attention to all home-safety measures suggested in the OSSE guidelines (i.e. six-foot distancing, mask wearing, proper hygiene, and monitoring for illness). Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you practice these important safety measures to help ensure the well-being of the Beauvoir and Close-wide community
  • Will testing be available for students, faculty, and staff prior to returning to school?

    Students, faculty, and staff need to receive a negative. Testing will be offered on campus by Capital Diagnostics on Tuesday, September 7, Welcome Back to School Day. Please notify our school nurses if you have made alternative testing arrangements.
  • Will the Close-wide traffic pattern remain the same when we return?

    Please expect some changes regarding new patterns. Communication will be forthcoming before the return to school. We do not have sufficient clarity with respect to the construction projects on the Close to announce a change in the expected traffic pattern. As with most construction projects, the timeline is open to change at any point, and we appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience. The community will be updated with any changes.

Attendance

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • What does a Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up look like during the week?

    Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up will take place by carpool or walk-up during arrival and dismissal at designated entrances. Given COVID-19 safety protocols, children with parent/caregiver help will get in and out of cars, opening and closing their own car doors. Those families walking to school should be mindful of using Cathedral Close sidewalks and crosswalks at all times. At their designated entrances, hands free students wearing face masks will be greeted by faculty and staff who will instruct and aid students in using hand sanitizer and thermal temperature scanners or no-contact forehead thermometers before proceeding to their classrooms. 

    Morning Drop Off:
    • Students begin arrival at 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m.
    Afternoon Drop Off:
    • Students begin dismissal at 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Beauvoir Covenant

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

Bungalows

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • What are the bungalows and do they require special permits and zoning approval?

    The bungalows are outdoor portable buildings outfitted with classroom furniture that can be temporarily installed when extra space is needed. The Beauvoir Bungalow classrooms will be assigned as multi-purpose classrooms this year. All permits are in place. The Woodley Park Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) was unanimous in its approval of Beauvoir’s proposal to place four bungalows on its campus. The Board of Planning approved zoning on July 29, 2020.
     

Classroom Pods/Cohorts

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • In Contingency Plan 2, are both cohorts A and B on campus at the same time and do they share a classroom?

    In Contingency Plan 2, each class of 20 students is divided into two groups—A and B—each with an average of 10 students and one partner teacher. Groups A and B will be on campus at the same time, but will have separate, designated, learning spaces. They will not share a classroom, but may switch learning spaces at a safe, designated time, such as after a long weekend or extended school break.
  • Will the Head of School continue to hold monthly grade-level birthday celebrations this year? On my child’s birthday, can I send in treats for their class cohort?

    The Head of School will continue to invite children to virtual monthly birthday celebrations by grade level. Unfortunately, students should not bring in birthday goodies or special snacks to share with their class cohort this year until the health and safety restrictions have been lifted
  • Is it correct that the only spaces students will be allowed are the hallway, their classroom or learning space, and designated bathroom?

    Yes. In addition, students will have access to the outdoors, including the Cathedral grounds and Beauvoir playground during the school day. The playground will receive regular cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day. In addition, there will be regular cleaning of high-trafficked areas, furniture, and bathrooms on a daily scheduled basis.
  • How will the kids be socially distanced in class and on the playground?  

    The classroom environments will be arranged with desks, tables, and chairs socially distanced from one another so that students have safe spaces to learn. They will each have their individual kits in the classrooms that contain all the supplies they will need for school so that students are not sharing materials. Outdoors, the playground will be divided into appropriately sized zones so that cohorts can play in a “boundary-bound” area without having to mix with other cohorts of students, and regular cleaning will take place throughout the day.
  • Who are the Classroom Buddies and what happens if a teacher is out sick with a non-COVID cold or flu?

    Classroom Buddies are staff members who typically support the teachers and students at lunchtime or other activities during the week as needed. Adult buddies are assigned to each class. If at any time, we are unable to safely support a classroom, we will contact families and inform them of the need to learn remotely on that day (ideally with enough advance notice). We ask for your understanding and flexibility during this time, and please recognize that our building and child safety protocols will not always allow for the same system used in the past with guest teachers, who might not be available under short notice.
  • Will students keep their iPads at school or home, or will they be allowed to carry them to and from school?

    Students will be allowed to carry their iPads back and forth between home and school. Home readiness kits, with school supplies provided to every child, will remain at school or at home if remote learning to ensure that no materials are shared between students. While these kits will vary by grade level, basic items include regular, assorted and dry-erase markers; colored pencils, small golf and regular sized pencils, and crayons; erasers, scissors, tape, and glue or glue sticks; folders, rulers, construction paper, and index cards; sand timer, bubble wands, and popsicle sticks; personal white boards and clipboards; pencil sharpeners, Post-It notes, and green and black flair pens; journals and workbooks specific to each class; Math Racks, counters, and a deck of cards; personal painting set or watercolors; Legos, dice, and wooden pattern blocks; Playdough, pipe cleaners, and frames; and plastic tweezers or grippers, magnifying glasses, and, Ziploc bags.
  • Should my child have a separate work space at home for remote learning?

    Creating a learning space at home specific to school is always beneficial for a child. Children should not work in a high-traffic or loud area in the home. Likewise, children should have a workplace that is structured and supportive to the learning process; the comfy bean bag chair may be the place your child would like to work, but you as the adult will determine the best place for your child to work. Please ensure the learning space is appropriate for focused, sustained attention and is reminiscent of a school desk/table and chair. Your child’s “classroom” at home should be a separate desk or a table with appropriate lighting and accessible supplies. Beauvoir will provide a home readiness assessment. We ask that students not bring stuffed animals, pets, or siblings into the virtual learning environment unless permission has been granted by the teacher (share days).
  • If local COVID cases increase in the weeks before school opens, what criteria will you use for a final decision to move to another Contingency Plan?

    Given the changing landscape, the response to this question will be dynamic and based on immediate needs. Some reasons may include an increase/decrease in community spread, lack of community compliance, CDC and DOH orders, new federal/city/state directives, and/or a limited number of available teachers. Please trust that we would make the best and safest decision for our students and Beauvoir community.

Community

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • How will the Beauvoir Community receive updated information during this unprecedented school year?

    Given Beauvoir’s commitment to a safe return and continued healthy school environment, the Head of School will deliver periodic Community Updates with important information for families about schedules, procedures, and other matters. During the summer months, 3 such updates were held and posted on the website and can be accessed here. Likewise, our Roadmap to Beauvoir: Comprehensive Communication Guide for families (available on the website since July 31) was created, in part, from Family Focus Group sessions, as is this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, which we will continue to update based on feedback by our parents and caregivers. The Guide and FAQs are living documents, which are updated as new information becomes available.

COVID

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Will the background rates and trends in the DC/MD/VA region factor into what Beauvoir does?

    Beauvoir takes many factors into consideration, including the rates of spread in our local DMV area, guidance from medical experts, and DOH guidelines. A student’s home state may also provide guidelines or orders that are unique to the state, but Beauvoir’s ability to provide both in-person and remote learning will be beneficial to all of our families, knowing that a variety of reasons may inevitably lead our families to opt into one model or the other. We feel that we have enough safety measures in place based on CDC and DOH guidelines to reopen school, knowing that we have ample indoor and outdoor space for children to play, learn, and grow with great ventilation, appropriately sized groups of students who will not be mixing with other classes during the day, safety equipment for all individuals in the building, and strict protocols in place. Some determining factors for closing school include an increase in COVID cases, DOH rules or other official directives, and the number of students/faculty/staff reporting illnesses.
  • Will temperatures be taken at school?

    Before arrival, parents and caregivers are required to assess the wellbeing of their children. Upon arrival, children will be greeted by faculty and staff who will aid students in using hand sanitizer and thermal temperature scanners or no-contact forehead thermometers before proceeding to their classrooms. Temperature checks will be administered for outside vendors, repair technicians, or others needing access to the building, too.


     
  • What happens if my child contracts the virus from school? What do we do when there is a COVID case with a person in our presence?

    In the very unfortunate case that a child or adult contracts the virus, the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) would step in to give us guidance, as they are the ones to manage the contact tracing and try to determine who else is required to test and/or quarantine. The individual would be asked to self-isolate for two weeks or until the individual and his/her household are symptom-free. All families in the class cohort may be asked to self-isolate and test (per DOH guidelines) as part of the contact tracing. If a positive COVID test is received for a child or an adult, then, and only then, would we notify families for privacy reasons as directed by OSSE. This is one of the reasons for separating children: to mitigate risk with testing limited to a smaller population or pod.
  • How can we help everyone understand the importance of keeping children home when they are sick?

    We encourage all parents and caregivers to keep children home if they are sick or if they, or any household members, present with any COVID-related symptom, including cough, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, runny nose, or unusual fatigue. We are truly hoping that our Life Rules and consistency in our response to known risks will send the message that we cannot waiver on these decisions when it comes to community safety.
  • How will you protect the emotional health of our students?

    We are so fortunate to have members on our faculty and staff who are skilled in supporting the social and emotional well-being of students and families (ex. Guidance Director, Chaplain, Director of DEI). We also have connections to outside resources, as needed, should a family warrant additional support systems (ex. counselors and psychologists). Our teachers have expertise in certain areas that can also support our students during this unusual time.
  • Will children need to be tested before coming onto campus and are faculty and staff required to have regular testing?

    As we move into this new school year, Beauvoir will begin administering mandatory PCR testing for students, faculty, and staff every week. We have partnered with Capital Diagnostics for testing and will share the schedules with families when confirmed.
  • Will Beauvoir’s faculty and staff be held to same high safety standards as that of families and students in preventing the spread of COVID-19? How will you protect the adults on campus?

    We are concerned about the safety of everyone within our community, including our faculty and staff. Faculty and staff will not only implement the same health and safety protocols expected of families and students but also pledge to do the same by signing Beauvoir’s COVID-19 Prevention and Safety Covenant as inspired by the Beauvoir Life Rules. These protocols include faculty and staff wearing masks at all times and gloves when touching areas outside the classroom; and using designated bathrooms. With the exception of face masks, BVR will provide adults with additional PPE supplies, including full-body aprons and face shields if desired. Outside vendors who may have to come into the building for any specific service or repairs will be administered a temperature check before entering the building.
  • Will there be a more specific set of guidelines released regarding non-COVID symptoms that may appear during the course of the day?

    We have two different health options. Those children who have bumps and bruises or need ice will go to the nurse’s office, with which they are familiar. If they have a fever and need to go home, they will be isolated until the parents can pick them up. Many of the COVID-symptoms (i.e. cough, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, runny nose, or unusual fatigue) do mirror general illnesses such as the common cold, but our nurses are skilled at making these assessments and come to know a child’s history and behaviors quite well over the year. We will be working hard to make the best decision at any given moment guided by the D.C. DOH and OSSE; both have acknowledged that it is best to be on the safe side when making these determinations.
     
  • In most countries, you are exempt from the quarantine if you have a negative test not older than 48 hours. Will Beauvoir accept an official COVID-19 test?

    With regard to travel, we are not accepting test results at this time, and ask everyone to abide by the quarantine request. In addition to international travel, a 14-day quarantine order is now in effect in D.C. for those traveling to states that are considered high-risk areas. The current list of states can be found here

Curriculum

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Will there be outdoor learning and enrichment offerings, plus additional academic at-home assignments and academic instruction on Wednesdays?

    A. Yes, teachers will be seeking outdoor opportunities for students as much as possible for learning and play experiences. We will be zoning off our 3-acre playground into several coordinate areas so that learning cohorts can safely play outdoors without mixing with other groups. In addition, the 57-acres of the Cathedral Close, which provide ample opportunity for teaching and learning outside, include the Bishop’s Garden, Olmsted Woods, and the Cathedral lawns. Any enrichment activities will be outdoors. The enrichment classes are in the development phase right now. The Auxiliary team will be sharing that information with families as soon as it has been confirmed. 

Early Learning Center (ELC)

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

Face Masks

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

HVAC

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Considering CDC guidelines on outdoor air use and filter levels, have any upgrades been done to the HVAC system, including the level of filtration?

    Yes, we are following CDC guidelines as well as key recommendations from industrial and environmental building hygienist consultants, who surveyed our building in summer 2020.  Newer HVAC systems replaced older ones, including in the ELC and school kitchen, which have new HVAC systems in place. We installed UV-C light and upgraded the density of filters with a higher rating in the air handlers. The recommended MERV 13 filters are now in place in all rooms throughout the building for improved filtration and efficiency. In addition, AC has been added in the kitchen.
  • Will there be portable air purifiers in every classroom to keep our classroom air quality safe?

    New portable HEPA air purifiers are placed in every classroom and learning space as advised by the building hygienists. We continue to conduct periodic air quality sampling and closely monitor the temperature and humidity as recommended by the HVAC contractor. We have learned that opening windows may put a strain on the HVAC system and make air flow less efficient. Finally, we provide training for community members on an annual basis.

Playground and Cathedral Grounds

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Will the pods be able to have recess outside, and will access to the Cathedral grounds require reservations with all the Close schools—Beauvoir, St. Albans, and the National Cathedral School—vying for outdoor space?

    Yes, our students will have recess outside. During the school day, all our children will have ample access to our outdoor 3-acre playground. There will be zoned areas for playground use and extensive child-safe appropriate cleaning of playground equipment during the day and at night. The playground is open to BVR students during the school day. Students will have access to other outdoor venues on the ample 57-acre Cathedral grounds, including Olmsted Woods and the Bishop’s Garden. The Cathedral Close leaders will determine if a reservation system is required. 
  • Can children do small pods of outside athletics in the fall?

    This is a question that I imagine we will receive throughout the fall, and although we are unable to control extra-curricular activities (nor do we wish to), we are hoping that our families will select activities that follow the same guidelines that we have at Beauvoir (social distancing, mask wearing, outdoors only, fewer than 12 participants, no contact).
     
  • Can families arrange playdates with children outside of their classroom?

    Though we are not preventing families from organizing safe and socially-distanced playdates with small groups of friends outside of school, we are obviously concerned about playdates outside of the classroom, as you can imagine the ripple effect this will have if we need to self-isolate, and the contact tracing spreads to other classrooms. It is important to build relationships in safe ways and, as such, we ask families limit carpools and playdates to peers within their child's classroom only. 
3500 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tel: (202) 537-6485
Fax: (202) 537-6512
Privacy 

Our Mission

At Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, we provide an extraordinary early childhood education in a diverse community that values every individual. Beauvoir’s program encourages creative, courageous learners and builds an enduring foundation for a lifelong spirit of inquiry and joy in learning.
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