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A Coeducational School | Early Learners to Third Grade

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

All-School Remote Learning (Contingency Plan 3), November 30-December 18, 2020

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Why is Beauvoir planning to move into Contingency Plan 3 from November 30 through December 18?

    Under Beauvoir’s present Contingency Plan 1 (Half-Groups Campus Learning; virtual Make-My-Wednesdays) there would be twelve in-person school days between Monday, November 30 and Friday, December 18, when Winter Break commences. This decision has been reached knowing that COVID-19 cases are already beginning to increase across the country. Many medical experts have predicted a rise in COVID-19 cases during and after the Thanksgiving holiday as there will undoubtedly be a significant uptick in travel leading up to and during this period as well as an increase of individuals convening in indoor environments. When we couple this forecast with the fact that our own faculty and staff also need to remain healthy after working for nearly three consecutive months, we determined that remaining open under our current plan between Thanksgiving and the Christmas break would come at too great of a risk. Please remember that Beauvoir was brave and among the first schools to open our building for in-person learning in September. We made decisions based on our own unique circumstances. You have my unwavering commitment to continue to do the same both now and throughout the school year. We recognize that the decision to change to Contingency Plan 3 for the twelve school days between November 30 and December 18 is an inconvenience to several in our community, but we believe that it is not only the correct thing to do in terms of defending against a Covid-19 outbreak in our community, but also from a broader health perspective that is vital to keep the engines of our program running efficiently and effectively for the duration of the school year. Should your family be experiencing particular hardship making the arrangements necessary to permit your child to participate in the virtual learning program between November 30th and December 18th, please let us know by completing the survey at the close of this communication and we will endeavor to find ways to help. Lastly, please note that it is our full expectation to return to Contingency Plan 1 (Half-Groups Campus Learning) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
  • Will Beauvoir still have scheduled Make-My-Wednesdays during this period?

    Yes, the Make-My-Wednesday schedule will continue from December 2 through December 16, 2020.
  • What will the daily schedule look like from November 30 through December 18, 2020?

    Contingency Plan 3 (Full Remote Learning) is as follows. The daily classroom schedules will be shared soon.
    • All Beauvoir students, ELC through 3rd Grade will learn virtually during the week, Monday through Friday.
    • Beauvoir faculty and staff will teach and work remotely (a few teachers may deliver instruction remotely from their classroom environment).
    • Beauvoir will host optional “Make My Wednesday” enrichment experiences on Wednesdays, in conjunction with Beauvoir’s Virtual Community Meetings or Virtual Chapels.
    • Any ABC and Enrichment Classes provided during the school year will take place through a remote learning experience.
    • Students will have access to synchronous and asynchronous lessons via Beauvoir-issued iPads.
    • ELC teachers will provide remote support to families and a schedule of activities will be shared in the coming weeks.
  • Will Thanksgiving Chapel be virtual or in-person?

    Tuesday, November 24 is our scheduled Thanksgiving Chapel which will be livestreamed into classrooms and homes through our Vimeo channel. Students learning in school this day will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m., at which time the Thanksgiving holiday commences. Virtual learning, which will include the livestreamed Thanksgiving Chapel, will also be offered on this day for our remote learners.
  • Will Christmas Chapel be virtual or in-person?

    Friday, December 18 is our scheduled Christmas Chapel which will be livestreamed through the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.
  • When will the Early Learning Center (ELC) reopen in the New Year? Will the daily schedule be the same as students in PK-3rd Grades?

    The ELC plans to open to students on Monday, January 4, 2021, when teachers return for their Professional Day. The daily schedule will align with the PK-3rd grade daily schedule, opening 30 minutes prior to the start of school and closing one hour after the close of school.
  • Can our family still participate in virtual learning when we return to school on January 5, 2021?

    Yes. Beauvoir will assume that your family will maintain your current learning preference under Contingency Plan 1 unless otherwise stated. Should you wish to move into in-person or virtual learning, please notify your classroom teachers and Grade Level Director.
  • If our family travels out of state over Winter Break, will we still be asked to abide by quarantine rules and guidelines?

    Community members are asked to abide by the D.C. guidelines for travel and quarantine and are expected to stay abreast of these changing guidelines throughout the holiday season. While the Beauvoir Covenant remains steadfastly in place, we have revisited the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) recommendations, and revised one guideline surrounding the children of parents and caregivers who travel to identified hot spots: Household members and children who travel to hot spots must remain under a 14-day quarantine or any other “close watch” restrictions imposed by federal, state, and/or local requirements. However, children who have not traveled to identified hot spots DO NOT need to quarantine unless a household member becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19. These requirements apply to both essential and non-essential travel.
     
    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 community.
  • What should our family do if we need to quarantine for a period of time before returning to campus?

    If you are required to quarantine before returning to school in January, please reach out to your teacher, the school nurses, and Grade Level Director to inform them of your plans and your intended return date so that we can plan accordingly.
  • Will testing be available for faculty, staff and students prior to returning to school on January 5, 2021?

    As stated in my last communication, the three Close schools are working with a respected outside laboratory, Capital Diagnostics, to conduct PCR tests for COVID-19 on campus beginning in the coming weeks. Capital Diagnostics will be able to work directly with the health insurance carriers of students, faculty, and staff to seek insurance coverage and reimbursement for the cost of the test. Any costs not covered by insurance will be paid for by the school. We hope that this resource will serve us well in keeping our doors open in a safe and reliable manner for the balance of the school year. Due to the high volume of testing that is anticipated among the three schools at the end of the Winter Break, we may have allotted times for members of Beauvoir’s in-school community to get tested. Any and all details around such testing will be provided to you in a separate communication. It is important to note that the receipt of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 does not currently replace or override the quarantine requirements after returning from non-essential travel to states deemed high-risk as published and updated at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/phasetwo. We are continually monitoring these guidelines and will advise if these city-mandated rules change in a manner that impact testing and the need to quarantine
  • Will the Close-wide traffic pattern remain the same when we return in January?

    At this point, 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. I promise to keep the community updated with any changes as I become aware of them.
  • What Contingency Plan will Beauvoir move into when students return to school on January 5, 2021, and will there be a cohort switch of classrooms?

    We fully anticipate returning to school on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, under Contingency Plan 1 (Half-Groups Campus Learning). In an effort to provide as much continuity and structure to the student schedules, we have decided to delay the cohort switch of classrooms until January 5, which we believe will provide a smoother, more natural transition for students after the New Year. Faculty and Administration are presently designing student learning schedules for the new year and would appreciate your honest feedback. If you would like to participate in a return-to-school questionnaire, please do so by completing the survey here. We appreciate your input.

Attendance

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the date families have to make a final decision about the in-school or stay-at-home options? Is it possible to mix virtual and in-person learning, for example, three days a week in school and two days a week virtually? If we opt for in-person learning, can we do virtual learning if we need to travel?  

    By August 17, families must select either the in-person option or the stay-at-home option. We have a policy in place that asks remote learning families to wait for a two-week period before switching learning models in an effort to create more continuity, consistency, and less disruption for all students and teachers. As always, we want to make sure we are setting up each student for success. In order to mitigate risk, we will not permit irregular attendance, i.e. two days per week, or switching back-and-forth during those two weeks, unless your child is required to distance learn for a few days after being sent home for quarantine, illness, or other reasons. A student could attend 2-weeks in-person and 2-weeks remote, but only with advance notice. If you must travel, your child can engage in distance learning.
  • If families decide to start the year with remote learning for their children, but decide to return to in-person learning, do they have to wait two weeks before returning to school?

    The two-week policy only applies to families who have, at one point, joined the in-person learning and then decide to opt into virtual learning. It does not apply to students who are coming to school for the first time (unless they have been asked to quarantine based on the Beauvoir Covenant guidelines), knowing that many of our families began the year as virtual learners based on our Beauvoir Covenant. Eligible families who wish to return to in-person learning should inform their respective teachers and Grade Level Directors. We also ask that families work closely with their classroom teachers to determine the best return date so that teachers can thoughtfully prepare the classroom environment and students for the joyful “welcome back”.
  • What does a staggered Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up look like during the week?

    Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up will take place by school groups in 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. Please note: The at-school temperature check does not replace the pre-arrival Magnus Health Daily Screening required of all families and faculty and staff. It is a follow-up measure to further mitigate risk.

    Morning Drop Off:

    • Group A students begin arrival at 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. If parents are walking their child up to the school, they will arrive between 8:20 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. 
    • Group B students begin arrival at 8:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. If parents are walking their child up to the school, they will arrive between 8:50 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
    Afternoon Drop Off:
    • Group A students begin dismissal at 1:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. If a parent is walking to pick up their child, they will arrive between 1:50 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
    • Group B students begin dismissal at 2:00 p.m. until 2:25 p.m. If a parent is walking to pick up their child, they will arrive between 2:15 p.m. and 2:25 p.m.
  • If my child has a morning medical or dental appointment, should they enter the school at their designated entrance or at the Front Entrance and check in with the nurse upon arrival?

    Given the current abbreviated school-day schedule of 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., we ask families who arrive after 9:30 a.m. to opt for a virtual learning day. If you have a doctor's appointment or a dentist appointment or something that takes place in the morning that will have you arriving after 9:30 a.m., we ask families to use that as a virtual day because, as you can imagine, it is very difficult to 1) have our entrances supported knowing that all hands are on deck during the day; 2) escort children to their classrooms safely; and 3) take temperatures and more. As long as families arrive before 9:30 a.m., we are safe. After 9:30 a.m., school is still in session, but we ask that they opt into the virtual learning mode for that particular grade level. 
  • Is there any flexibility on the hours Beauvoir has chosen? Was there any consideration to shifting the in-person school hours to times that comport better with the workday, allowing drop off before work and pick up during lunchtime? 

    These plans with staggered arrivals and departures will be in place for the first eight weeks to start so that we can transition safely, after which time we will reassess and make decisions that are in the best interests of everyone's safety. Both St. Albans and National Cathedral School have also been very intentional with their scheduling and we recognize the developmental differences between the various students our schools serve. Please know that while we always try our best to coordinate among the three Cathedral schools, we will always make our final decisions based on what is best for the students. Each school will continue to keep our families updated should there be any changes to the schedule. I know that it does not provide a specific solution, but perhaps a bit more understanding. We want nothing more than to return to a normal school year.
  • Are there any other schools offering in-person learning at this time? If not, why is Beauvoir? 

    Every school is making different decisions for a variety of reasons based on space, enrollment, and other factors. Several schools in the area are offering in-person learning. St. Albans and National Cathedral School are offering a hybrid (Remote Plus) approach. To get the most updated information on other schools, please contact those individual schools directly. 

Beauvoir Covenant

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Where does DC government stand in the decision to reopen in-person and if DC decides the public schools are all online, will in-person learning be possible at Beauvoir?

    We are anticipating that the D.C. Mayor will shed some light on their school plans soon. Presently, private schools are able to make their own decisions about reopening schools in-person, however, we all know that if the Mayor announces additional orders for quarantine or other restrictions that impact our daily lives (work, school, or entertainment), we will certainly be required to follow them.
  • 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 cohorts 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 take and record temperatures of their children. They will upload these readings and complete the Daily Screening in Magnus Health every school day. Faculty and staff are required to do the same. 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.

    Please note: The at-school temperature check does not replace the pre-arrival Magnus Health Daily Screening required of all families and faculty and staff. It is a follow-up measure to further mitigate risk.
     
  • 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 pod-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.
  • Since there is no vaccine, will children need to be tested before coming onto campus and are faculty and staff required to have regular testing?

    Currently, it is not a requirement for employees or students to receive periodic COVID testing, based on guidance from the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) and OSSE. We are not requiring random COVID testing of children or adults prior to returning to school, although families and employees may certainly opt to do so, should they wish.
  • 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 taking their temperatures and uploading results to Magnus prior to arrival at school; wearing masks at all times and gloves when touching areas outside the classroom; using designated bathrooms and not deviating from the hallways they need to travel, or visiting other parts of the building unnecessarily. 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 in the Wellness Bungalow situated beyond Taylor Hall 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.
     
  • If a child is showing symptoms, how do they get to the outdoor bungalow with only one teacher in the classroom, if the buddy is busy?

    If a child is showing symptoms at school and has a fever, a nurse (or an administrator) can escort a child to the outdoor bungalowThe student will be escorted from the school via the door near the Admissions office to the exterior infirmary or Wellness Bungalow. The parents will be notified and the child sent home. The parent or caregiver does not have to enter the building. We do ask that parents honor any requests to pick up a child with respect and understanding, knowing this is a difficult time for all. According to the DC DOH, we're never going to be 100% free of germs, but we can mitigate risks and get children back into school. We simply want to be able to keep our doors open this year for the learning to continue.
     
  • Why is the distribution of information about a COVID case limited to the affected classroom and not shared with the entire school?

    Based on counsel given from DOH and OSSE, we are unable to notify families if a child or adult is sent home with COVID-related symptom(s) to protect the privacy of families and prevent mass panic. Given the students are safely separated into cohorts without mixing, there is only a need to contact those who have been in contact with the identified case. An example might be a student in Kindergarten with a sibling in 3rd Grade. If the kindergartner were diagnosed, the 10 families in the classroom would be asked to quarantine and would be notified that an individual in the class has been diagnosed (name not disclosed). In addition, members of the 3rd Grade class might also be asked to quarantine, but that would be the investigator’s decision. The contact tracing allows the DOH to quickly reach out to your family in this case, if you were not in any of the classes, but had just attended a birthday party with a family who had a diagnosed case in the home. If a family feels this is too much a risk and they are not comfortable with this policy, we are recommending that they may wish to opt for the remote learning plan at this time. If policies should change, we will certainly inform our families as soon as we are aware.
  • 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
  • What happens if there is a death in the Beauvoir community due to COVID-19?

    No one can prepare for such unthinkable sadness as a COVID-related death, which is why we are steadily preparing for the safest return to school until we learn that, based on what we know, another contingency plan would be required. The Beauvoir Community and the wider Cathedral Close, would respond with an outpouring of support and care at that difficult time and beyond.

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 to older students. Younger students will remain inside the school in designated classrooms or learning spaces with easy access to the playground. 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.
     

Classroom Pods/Cohorts

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • In Contingency Plan 1, are both student groups A and B on campus at the same time and do they share a classroom?

    In Contingency Plan 1, 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
  • Will students learning virtually be able to interact with students in their classroom?

    Yes. We will schedule periods throughout the week when students can come together, such as morning meetings, closing meetings, specials, and other specific lessons that are conducive to all students coming together.
  • 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.
  • How will the children get to know their other partner teacher and classroom? Will they switch groups and, if so, what safety procedures will be taken before doing so? Will each child and teacher be tested for COVID first? 

    We are working to provide alternative ways and equitable opportunities for students and teachers to get to know one another, but only if we can do so in a safe manner. There will be no switching of teachers or classrooms during the week or every other week. Fall Break in October might provide a possible opportunity to change teachers midway after a thorough school cleaning during the extended break. Only then, if done safely and appropriately, would students be able to possibly experience their other partner teacher in the classroom setting. No additional testing will be required, but students, faculty, and staff will continue to practice the same safety protocols at all times, including wearing face masks, social distancing, and handwashing.
     
  • 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. We are fortunate to have certain staff members and specialists working on campus this year, even if they are livestreaming lessons into the classroom from a remote office. 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 allow for the same system used in the past with guest teachers, who might be available under short notice.
  • What will the class pods look like?

    As with every year, the administration works very closely with grade level teams to create classroom communities. Many factors are considered when building these new cohorts, including social and academic needs, friendships, diversity, and even relationships that might NOT pair so well together! We also look at various information factors such as those with siblings and those who are only children. We want to be sure all needs are met for our students. It is quite a complex, intentional task that begins in the spring. This year, we have also looked at class lists to accommodate family priorities and coordinate as best as possible with siblings at National Cathedral School and St. Albans. We want siblings to come to school together. For example, you can imagine the logistics when fifty-two second graders out of seventy-nine have siblings at Beauvoir, National Cathedral School, or St. Albans. Class rosters and classroom teachers, logistics for the first day and weeks of school, and entry and exit information will be available via the Parent Portal once you receive your class welcome letters in late August. More information will follow this month about drop off/pick up; classroom, lunch, and playground schedules; routines; assignments; and expectations as we are still working through those details with faculty leaders and administration.
  • 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.
  • Why is the school going to remote learning for all on Wednesdays? With deep cleanings happening every afternoon after school and on weekends, what is the reasoning behind closing every Wednesday? 

    We opted to ease into the school year, knowing how difficult this transition will be for everyone to a socially-distanced school environment with masks on all day and no-touch policies. Understanding how hard this will be for students, teachers, and parents to acclimate, we want to enable everyone to practice this new norm in appropriate stages before going full speed ahead. We also felt it would be appropriate to leave the building fully open for additional and deeper cleaning on both Wednesdays and weekends so that we can maintain clean and safe buildings for the long term. This schedule will be in place for the first eight-week transition; we plan to reassess as needed.
  • 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 4 frequently asked questions.

  • How will you build community?

    We will build community through creative collaboration. We plan to welcome our newest families in different ways with help from the Parents Association (PA), including virtual meet-and-greets and small, informal, in-person get-togethers (with face masks and social distancing). A virtual tour is one means of engaging everyone in our community. We will also make sure the classroom environments and bungalows reflect the former classrooms with smaller groups of students. Learning spaces will be set up as in the past with materials and more to make the space look familiar and welcoming. In addition, the academic Summer Extension Program [June 15-July 2] demonstrated the many ways to build community and those suggestions will be shared. Brainstorming is well underway.
     
     
  • Will homeroom teachers have in-person, socially distant, outdoor visits with each child in their pod before school starts?

    The academic team is working closely this summer to plan some thoughtful, developmentally appropriate ways for students to transition to the new year and their teachers, both virtually and in-person, to build community. Please stay tuned for more updates to come!
     
     
  • How can we help our child have a smooth transition and successful start at Beauvoir since we are unable to walk him into the classroom and help him get settled in the morning?

    This is of great importance to us, as well, for we want to make sure that the transition for our newest students is carefully thought out in advance. We are in the process of planning some August events (virtual and in person), as well as new connections in partnership with the Parents Associations (PA), which is also planning to host some events that will lead to a smoother transition. We will keep you posted!
  • 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, four 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 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Where does DC government stand in the decision to reopen in-person and if DC decides the public schools are all online, will in-person learning be possible at Beauvoir?

    We are anticipating that the D.C. Mayor will shed some light on their school plans soon. Presently, private schools are able to make their own decisions about reopening schools in-person, however, we all know that if the Mayor announces additional orders for quarantine or other restrictions that impact our daily lives (work, school, or entertainment), we will certainly be required to follow them.
  • 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 cohorts 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 take and record temperatures of their children. They will upload these readings and complete the Daily Screening in Magnus Health every school day. Faculty and staff are required to do the same. 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.

    Please note: The at-school temperature check does not replace the pre-arrival Magnus Health Daily Screening required of all families and faculty and staff. It is a follow-up measure to further mitigate risk.
     
  • 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 pod-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.
  • Since there is no vaccine, will children need to be tested before coming onto campus and are faculty and staff required to have regular testing?

    Currently, it is not a requirement for employees or students to receive periodic COVID testing, based on guidance from the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) and OSSE. We are not requiring random COVID testing of children or adults prior to returning to school, although families and employees may certainly opt to do so, should they wish.
  • 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 taking their temperatures and uploading results to Magnus prior to arrival at school; wearing masks at all times and gloves when touching areas outside the classroom; using designated bathrooms and not deviating from the hallways they need to travel, or visiting other parts of the building unnecessarily. 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 in the Wellness Bungalow situated beyond Taylor Hall 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.
     
  • If a child is showing symptoms, how do they get to the outdoor bungalow with only one teacher in the classroom, if the buddy is busy?

    If a child is showing symptoms at school and has a fever, a nurse (or an administrator) can escort a child to the outdoor bungalowThe student will be escorted from the school via the door near the Admissions office to the exterior infirmary or Wellness Bungalow. The parents will be notified and the child sent home. The parent or caregiver does not have to enter the building. We do ask that parents honor any requests to pick up a child with respect and understanding, knowing this is a difficult time for all. According to the DC DOH, we're never going to be 100% free of germs, but we can mitigate risks and get children back into school. We simply want to be able to keep our doors open this year for the learning to continue.
     
  • Why is the distribution of information about a COVID case limited to the affected classroom and not shared with the entire school?

    Based on counsel given from DOH and OSSE, we are unable to notify families if a child or adult is sent home with COVID-related symptom(s) to protect the privacy of families and prevent mass panic. Given the students are safely separated into cohorts without mixing, there is only a need to contact those who have been in contact with the identified case. An example might be a student in Kindergarten with a sibling in 3rd Grade. If the kindergartner were diagnosed, the 10 families in the classroom would be asked to quarantine and would be notified that an individual in the class has been diagnosed (name not disclosed). In addition, members of the 3rd Grade class might also be asked to quarantine, but that would be the investigator’s decision. The contact tracing allows the DOH to quickly reach out to your family in this case, if you were not in any of the classes, but had just attended a birthday party with a family who had a diagnosed case in the home. If a family feels this is too much a risk and they are not comfortable with this policy, we are recommending that they may wish to opt for the remote learning plan at this time. If policies should change, we will certainly inform our families as soon as we are aware.
  • 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
  • What happens if there is a death in the Beauvoir community due to COVID-19?

    No one can prepare for such unthinkable sadness as a COVID-related death, which is why we are steadily preparing for the safest return to school until we learn that, based on what we know, another contingency plan would be required. The Beauvoir Community and the wider Cathedral Close, would respond with an outpouring of support and care at that difficult time and beyond.

Curriculum

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • How will you meet the curriculum needs of every grade level given an abbreviated day and remote learners?

    At Beauvoir, we do curriculum mapping, which is updated every September. There are curriculum expectations and grade-level benchmarks reviewed annually. As always, essential skills will be taught along with specials in subject areas including art and science. All specialist classes will be taught virtually given the safety protocols in place, but they will stream directly into the classrooms and/or homes at scheduled times. Each classroom or learning space will be equipped with the same instructional and audiovisual technology and access to all the manipulatives to enhance learning. We understand that every student learns differently and faces challenges, especially in this new learning environment. The faculty and Learning Resource (LR) Team are prepared to observe and assess students early on and make necessary adjustments. LR will be done remotely with time for math and literacy for 8 groups per grade level, plus the use of “Make My Wednesdays” time, too. Students will not be allowed to check out books from the library, but they will have options available on their iPads and families will be encouraged to read at home. Students will continue to be assigned homework, supported by the SeeSaw application for assignments and feedback. Remote learners will have a designated remote learning teacher.
  • Is there a difference in curriculum and instruction for in-person vs. remote learning?

    The curriculum for remote learners will be similar but obviously vary in how it is taught given that remote students will also work closely with the remote learning teacher and make connections with the classroom throughout the week. The classes for remote learning students will be a blend of synchronous and asynchronous lessons, as they were last spring and during the summer extension.
  • 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. Enrichments and ABC activities will be virtual. Many of the virtual enrichments will be the same as in-person enrichments, with some different offerings to accommodate the platform. There will be 6 or so offerings per day and virtual demos before signing up. 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. Under the current contingency plan, Wednesdays will be similar to the “Make My Wednesdays” you experienced last spring. Beauvoir will provide virtual enrichment activities online, including art, games, and storytelling, hosted by our specialist and ABC teachers. In addition, we plan to use Wednesday mornings for virtual chapels and community meetings.

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 earlier this summer. We are working with our HVAC contractor to make sure we have the optimum cycling of air as recommended by the CDC. New HVAC systems have replaced older ones, including in the ELC and school kitchen, which have new HVAC systems in place. We have 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 will be placed in every classroom and learning space as advised by the building hygienists. We will 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 will be providing training for all community members as we prepare to enter this new terrain together.

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 only during the school day. It is off-limits to the wider Close community and the public. 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. We are exploring innovative ways to open up the playground to our remote learners to enable them to use the playground at designated times. Also being considered are ways to have in-person, socially distant meetings with teachers and children.
  • 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, fewer than 12 participants, no contact).
     
  • Can families arrange playdates with children outside the cohorts or only with the children in their pod group?

    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 regular playdates outside of the cohort group, 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 are hoping that families will use their best judgment.
     
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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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