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, which has a new HVAC system in place. We have upgraded the density of filters with a higher rating. 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.
New portable air purifiers will be placed in various locations around the school as advised by the building hygienists. This will include rooms without windows to supplement increased HVAC system ventilation and filtration. We will continue to conduct periodic air quality sampling as well. We have increased fresh air intake with plans to keep the building ventilated on days that it feels safe to do so, but opening the windows may put a strain on the HVAC system and make air flow less efficient. We will have more information about opening one window occasionally and give instructions to everyone after consultation with our contractor. Finally, we will be providing training for all community members as we prepare to enter this new terrain together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A. Temperatures will be taken at home, not at school. School-administered temperature checks have not been advised due to the mass crowding it causes, and we did not feel comfortable taking student temperatures in cohort rooms because of the risk it puts on teachers as non-medical professionals. We do ask parents and caregivers to take and record temperatures of their children before arrival and after dismissal, and to upload the readings to Magnus.We will administer temperature checks only for outside vendors, repair technicians, or others needing access to the building.
In the very unfortunate case that a child or adult contracts the virus, the DC 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.
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.
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.
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.
We are concerned about the safety of everyone within our community, including our faculty and staff. The adults on campus will be asked to adhere to the same protocols set forth for everyone. 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. With the exception of face masks, BVR will provide adults with PPE supplies, including full-body aprons and face shields if desired.
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 at school and has a fever, a nurse (or an administrator) can escort a child to the outdoor bungalow. The 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.
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.
A. With regard to travel, we are not accepting test results as a quarantine exemption 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Yes. Families will be expected to wear masks as soon as they enter the school grounds. In addition, children should arrive at school wearing one of the five masks they are asked to bring to school each week. The other masks will be used as replacements should they soil or lose a mask during the day. Likewise, all faculty and staff members on campus will be required to wear masks and social distance. Each teaching space has been measured to ensure 6 ft. social distancing.
We have recommended that parents select a mask that provides a comfortable, but a close fit for the child, as students will be asked to wear it most of the day (except during lunch and snacks). Five masks should be sent in with students per week to remain at school so that they can be easily replaced if lost or soiled. In addition, the mask should pass the “candle test.” If the child is able to move or extinguish the flame of a lit candle while the mask is donned, it is too thin. Masks should be thick enough to prevent the candle from being extinguished.
Yes. Students will be required to wear masks in their pods at all times throughout the school day, in their classrooms or learning spaces, on the playground and Cathedral grounds. The two exceptions will be during lunchtime and snack periods. We encourage all families to practice wearing masks at home in advance of the start of school. Peer-to-peer observation is the best cue in the classroom, with gentle reminders from teachers, if needed, during the day. If warranted, further discussion will be confined to a parent-teacher conversation.
We are not encouraging mask free play right now as there is a mask order in place in D.C. and we want everyone to remain safe. We will have mask free times in the classroom during lunch and snack, while children are seated at their desks.
Students will be seated at their desks while eating snacks and lunch, which will be 6 feet apart from one another. In addition, some students may also eat outdoors on occasion, also in a socially distanced arrangement.
Lunchtime and snack periods will be the only time students and adults are allowed to remove their face masks. At all other times, we will ask them to keep their face masks on for safety reasons, to mitigate risk and the spread of any virus.
All classrooms will have strict, regular, cleaning protocols required in place that are effective to allay concerns or worries. We will also look at OSSE recommended requirements regularly and increase cleaning protocols as necessary.
Their arrival will start each morning via their own entrance; same with the Cubs. Masks for three-year-olds are not deemed advantageous given their young age; the ELC class is smaller in size, too. Parents will not be allowed into the school building, but we are considering ways to introduce them to the ELC only in August.
Guidelines state that fevers must stay home for 72 hours. If it is gone after 72 hours, the child may return to school. Quarantines of 14 days are reserved for known COVID cases and the self-isolation that is required of the diagnosed individual(s) and their close contacts.
You will receive a list from your classroom teachers in August that will outline the items you will need in order to get the year off the ground. The list may look a bit different this year given the unique circumstances, however, we can guarantee you that extra clothes and five, fitted, face masks will be on the list.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Our next Community Update is scheduled for August 14 at the same time (4:00 p.m.), at which point we should have more information for families about schedules, procedures, and other matters. Likewise, as promised by July 31, a Comprehensive Communication Guide is available to families on our website, including responses and information that came directly from the Family Focus Group sessions and more. Although the sessions were not recorded, please review the guide, for it will give you a good feel for the questions asked by our parents and caregivers, and Beauvoir’s commitment to a healthy and safe return.
Please click here to see the Comprehensive Communication Guide for Beauvoir Families.
3500 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20016 Tel: (202) 537-6485 Fax: (202) 537-6512 Privacy
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.