COVID-19 Updates

This page serves as a community resource as we continue to plan for a return to campus and in-person instruction when it is safe to do so. Due to the dynamic and ever-changing nature regarding public health, this page will continue to be updated with current information regarding our safety measures and programming approaches as they continue to be refined and developed.
 
Letters from the Head of Schools
David Maher, Head of Schools, will continue to provide recurring commentary with updates and additional information about our return to campus or other important factors of consideration.
 
The following letters can be expanded by clicking the bolded text below.
 
Dear Husky Family,
 
In response to the recent surge in coronavirus cases, last week Governor Newsom announced statewide rules which prohibit public and private schools from offering in-person classes in 32 counties, including Los Angeles County.
 
According to these new rules, Rolling Hills Prep, Renaissance, and REACH Schools will not be able to consider offering in-person classes until Los Angeles County is off the state’s coronavirus “watch list” for two consecutive weeks. The state uses several indicators to determine which counties are placed on this list, including new coronavirus infections per capita, the test positivity rate, and the hospitalization rate.
 
We truly know how difficult it has been for you and your children to be away from our campus. We know our students learn best in person. This ongoing health challenge is frustrating and disheartening for all of us, and as a school community, we are focused on providing a rigorous and engaging educational experience with enhanced emotional support for our students this year. We appreciate all of the parent feedback from spring and continue to enrich our distance learning program while preparing for in-person instruction.
 
The health and safety of our faculty, staff, students, families, and our extended community is of utmost importance as we make our decisions. Our COVID-19 Task Force continues to thoughtfully evaluate implementing a four-day, on-campus hybrid in-person/online program but that decision will rely on our ability to adapt the campus and supply the community with resources, training, and policies to manage health risks. The task force, which is made up of faculty, staff, trustees and members of our extended community, has been meeting since March to review research, best practices and directives from national and local health agencies.
 
Once we are able to do so, our campus will be set up with the health and safety protocols and adaptations to support in-person learning. No matter which learning modality is in place, our goal as we begin this new year is to strive for excellence, and we will communicate with you regularly in the weeks ahead as we continue to prepare and plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 
 
The changes we are implementing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on campus are based on best practices as directed by the CDC, Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and the California Association of Independent Schools, among others. These adaptations are detailed in the following sections: Health and Safety Protocols, Facilities and Transportation, Communication and Training, and Frequently Asked Questions (these can all be viewed by scrolling down further on this web page). When we are able to return to campus, we will provide an environment that manages risk and mitigates the chance of the spread of coronavirus for all. 
 
During a virtual forum last week, our faculty and staff discussed ongoing preparations by administrators and staff, reviewed new cleanings and maintenance procedures, and examined professional development opportunities for increasing student engagement and motivation. In the event that we are able to offer in-person activities, one distinct advantage of our campus is our extensive outdoor space, and we are looking into opportunities to bring small groups of students together at school for labs, small group instruction, physical education, athletic training, and other initiatives. Stay tuned as we continue to explore safe ways to connect students socially. 
 
As we continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, all of us are hopeful that the measures taken in our county bring new declines in the rate of COVID-19 infection. We are fortunate to be able to continue to have the guidance of professionals as we make decisions and set up the training for all staff. Each week brings us closer to understanding the vast complexities and concerns inherent in getting students back in classrooms, thus allowing us to make the best decisions possible for our 2020-21 school year.
 
I will continue to be in touch with you in the days ahead to share our continued process and decisions. Additionally, we have constructed a new "COVID-19 Updates" web page to address the coming year. This page contains information about an eventual return to campus when it is safe to do so, archived letters from me, and other resources that may help you navigate the current situation. 
 
With every wish for the health and safety of you and your families,
 
David Maher
Head of Schools
Back-To-School
Although certain factors regarding a return to campus remain uncertain, we have constructed a "daily hybrid school schedule" that allows for any style of learning, including Distance Learning, in-person instruction, or a hybrid model of some kind.
 
 
 
Eventual Return to Campus
Although we currently are not permitted to return to in-person instruction, the following expandable sections provide additional insight into our current safety planning for an eventual return-to-campus. Each section will continue to be updated as new information is released and additional measures are developed.
 
The following sections can be expanded by clicking the bolded text below. The date next to each entry indicates the most recent revision for the associated section.
 

 

 

MEDICAL SUPPORT AND TRAINING

 
  • Medical personnel will be on the campus to provide support, training, and care for members of the school community.
  • An area of the campus has been reconfigured into a health center as a resource and for students feeling ill and waiting to be picked up by parents.
 

CLEANING

 
  • Additional facility staff have been hired to accommodate cleaning needs of the campus. 
  • All drinking fountains will be closed. Water bottle filling stations will be open and cleaned every two hours.
  • Every night, a deeper clean will be completed by members of the cleaning staff.
  • Nontoxic fogging will take place every afternoon after dismissal.
  • All shared spaces (door handles, outside tables, lockers, etc.) will be continuously cleaned throughout the day.
 

SCREENING AND TRACING

 
  • Parents will be asked to sign an agreement with the School that they will monitor the health of their child, including temperature taking and maintaining safety protocols outside of school. 
  • Temperatures will be taken for all students, faculty, staff, and essential visitors before entry to campus. Parents will remain until students have been cleared to enter. 
  • Any member of the community who has traveled internationally, or has a member of their household travel internationally, will be asked to spend fourteen days at home in the United States (distance learning if necessary) before returning to campus. 
  • If a student has been on campus and later tests positive for COVID-19, the school administration will provide contact tracing to include interviews, check-ins, analysis of seat assignments and follow-up was needed with potentially infected persons.
 

PPE

  • Face coverings are to be worn at all times with the exception of lunch and PE, and will be provided by the School if needed. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be in place inside of every classroom and common area.
  • Plexiglass is being installed to promote safe spaces in classrooms, common, and administrative areas.
 

VENDORS AND VISITORS

  • There will be no lunch deliveries on campus apart from an approved contactless delivery service, “choicelunch.” More information on this process will be forthcoming. 
  • Only essential personnel will be allowed on campus until further notice. This includes college rep visits, vendors, and parents or family members. 


 

CLASSROOMS

  • All classrooms are being restructured to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Maximum occupancies will be posted in each classroom and common areas and adhered to throughout the day.
  • Airflow in classrooms will be promoted by air conditioning and open doors and windows. Air conditioning filters have been replaced and upgraded and will be regularly maintained throughout the fall. 
  • Temporary outdoor classroom areas will be in place for use when feasible.
  • Classrooms are being outfitted with the technology needed to facilitate effective distance learning, including cameras and microphones for faculty use.

RESTROOMS AND COMMON AREAS


  • One way traffic patterns will be clearly marked by written and visual symbols and non-teaching staff will coordinate the management of students between classes.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned and cleaning supply levels checked throughout the day. Additional bathrooms will be added to the main campus area. 
  • Handwashing stations will be added at different locations throughout the campus.
  • Our Board of Trustees Conference Room is being temporarily converted into a health and quarantine center for use by students feeling sick or waiting to leave campus.


BUSES AND VANS

  • All buses and vans will utilize seating guidelines to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Drivers will be screened daily before beginning their routes. 

 

ATTENDANCE AND CLOSURES

  • There will be four staffed entrances to the campus where every faculty member and student will come through each morning. Temperature checks will occur at all entrance areas.
  • Unless involved in an extracurricular activity with supervision, all students will leave campus at the end of the school day. 
  • In that social distancing, health screenings, and other restrictive measures would not be possible during inclement weather or times of low air quality, schooling must transition to online instruction for the day.
  • After school tutoring and support, including the ACE program, will be done off-campus virtually.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK: 

 
  • Faculty will devote any professional development time before the start of school to be trained in PPE guidelines, safety protocols, student support, and health and wellness awareness. 
  • We will be devoting the first two days of school to the full scope of COVID-19 procedures for students, including subject-specific procedures, PPE training, training for classroom cleaning, and accessing student support.
  • A comprehensive system will be in place for reporting ongoing concerns in the environment and individuals not following protocols. 
  • A firm policy for online learning will be communicated at the start of the year that includes standards and expectations for both teachers and students addressing rigor, tardiness, and cyberbullying.
 

EVENTS:

 
  • All large group events that bring parents, children, and other members of the community to campus will be canceled, postponed, or held virtually until we can gather safely in groups.
  • Morning Meeting and other large group events will be held virtually until we are able to congregate as a group.  
At which point will we be able to return to on-campus learning?
We are following the guidelines put forth by both the State of California and the Center for Disease Control. These guidelines maintain that until the County of Los Angeles has been in a positive trend for two weeks regarding the COVID-19 crisis, schools will remain closed.
 

At which point will on-campus instruction move back to remote learning?
Following a confirmed case of a student who was at school during his/her infectious period, other exposed students and staff should be quarantined for 14 days. The Schools will revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases or 5% of students and staff test positive within a 14-day period.
 

Will my student still be able to participate in clubs, extracurricular activities, and sports? 
Yes. Although CIF has delayed league sports until at least November, we will be offering a wide array of clubs and activities beginning in late August whether we are in distance learning or on campus. 
 

If we are on campus this year, how will the school respond if a member of the community tests positive? 
Any person testing positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate from campus for 14 days and test negative at the end of that time period. No person will be allowed to return to school without medical clearance. The privacy of any individual testing positive will be maintained in accordance with HIPPA and FERPA requirements. The School administration will interview the student and parents to initiate the contact tracing process.
 

What if a student or faculty member comes into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
Any person in close contact with the person who tested positive will be notified by the School and required to isolate from campus until they have medical clearance to return.
 

How have counselors been trained to handle the new mental health challenges that may arise during these challenging times? 
Our student support team is liaising with area professionals who know our school and our students. They plan on being both a resource for students and parents but a support system for faculty as well. Planning is underway for virtual events including guest speakers and parent information sessions.
 

Will students, faculty, and staff be required to wear a face-covering on campus?
At this time, students, faculty, and staff will follow state guidelines regarding face coverings at all times while on campus. As of June 29, 2020, the State of California has mandated the use of face coverings for all persons. We will apply this mandate and include all students and staff. We are seeking further clarity on the use of face shields in lieu of or in addition to face coverings.
 

How will wellness checks/temperature checks be administered? Should I expect to drop off my child early so that he is not late to class? 
Starting at 7:15 am, all staff, students, and faculty will have their temperatures checked with a no-touch thermometer prior to entering campus. School will start at 8:00 am to allow for screening. Per health department guidelines, anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher will need to depart campus.
 

What if someone develops symptoms on campus?                                              
Any students, faculty, or staff exhibiting symptoms will be required to wait in an isolation area until they can be transported home or to a healthcare facility, as soon as practical.
 

How will lunch and snacks be handled if we are on campus?
The Snack Shack and vending machines will be closed until we are able to open them safely. For lunch, we will only have one vendor, “choicelunch” www.choicelunch.com ). This company has demonstrated that they are able to utilize safety procedures including no-touch delivery and safe packaging. We will not offer Pizza Thursdays, Kelly’s Korner, or Pick-Up Stix. Students are welcome to bring their own snacks and lunch on any day.
 
 
How will desks and student seating be spread out to meet social distancing guidelines?
Classroom sizes are being limited to 14 students maximum to allow for social distancing. Desks will be spaced 6ft apart in class to the greatest extent possible and the use of outdoor space and common area will be maximized. Teachers, staff and coaches will reinforce standards for students maintaining social distance and reduce shared materials as much as possible.

 

"In This Together" Community Business and Services Registry

 
 
As an initiative to support various members of our community, we are launching the "In This Together" registry of community-owned businesses and services along with any special programs/initiatives/actions that they may be implementing to address the unique circumstances we are currently faced with.

Information received using this form will be used to populate an updated webpage that will serve as a point of reference for all members of our community. This opportunity is available to individuals, contractors, service providers, and non-owners of businesses to highlight their work as well.

To be included, please fill out the following form. If you submit information and wish to issue a correction or update the information provided, please e-mail Mr. Cameron Rogers at CRogers@RollingHillsPrep.org. Please try to provide information that will be usable for longer periods of time because updates and corrections may be delayed after initial publishing.
 

 

Public Health Updates & Resources

 

Click here for the latest press releases from the LA County Department of Public Health.

Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Facemasks are encouraged in all public settings in addition to social distancing precautions.
  • Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.
 

Resources for Accurate Status Updates

 
Resources for Families