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Return To Learn

2020-21 School Year Plan

MESSAGE FROM OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL

Thanks to the positive COVID-19 containment efforts in Connecticut, 
Fairfield Country Day School will return to campus for in-person learning this fall.
School will begin with Student Orientation on September 1 & 2 and class instruction starts on September 8. 
FCDS has prepared different teaching models that provide uninterrupted learning if public health data changes.
 

List of 1 items.

List of 3 items.

  • GUIDELINES TO SAFE REOPENING


    • Cohorting.  Students will be grouped together by grade level to start the year. FCDS will adjust cohorts based on health indicators.
    • Social distancing.  Classrooms are reconfigured to maximize social distancing consistent with public health guidelines including spacing between student desks and appropriate distance when teachers are instructing the class.
    • Face coverings.  In accordance with state mandates, everyone will be expected to wear a protective face covering that completely shields the nose and mouth when inside the school building. Exceptions to this guideline include snack, lunch, recess, and outdoor activities when boys are able to maintain proper social distancing.
    • Illness. Parents are expected to keep their son at home if he is feeling sick, has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Daily Screenings. Each school day will begin with a health screening and temperature check.
    • Drop Off/Pick Up. Staggered timing of grade cohorts to accommodate social distancing when entering and exiting the School.
    • Sanitation. Regular deep cleaning and sanitization of the entire building. 
    • Personal Hygiene. Increased handwashing or hand sanitizing is expected throughout the day.  
    • Travel Advisory. We expect all families to adhere to Connecticut’s travel advisory (Executive Order No. 7III). https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel.  
    • Hybrid Learning. FCDS will provide remote learning to students who need to be home for an extended absence due to health reasons. 
    • Building Enhancements. FCDS has improved safety features throughout the facility.
    • Touchless plumbing fixtures
    • New nurse’s station with controlled isolation system
    • Professional HVAC evaluation and MRV-13 filter upgrades
    • Increased air conditioned spaces
    • Optimized classroom use to reduce movement around the building
    • Tables replaced with desks for appropriate social distancing
    • Plexiglass screening in high impact areas
    • Tents for outdoor classrooms and lunch space
    • Health and directional signage throughout building 
  • COVID-19 PROTOCOL

    School Day Illness. If a student is on campus and feels ill with any symptoms of COVID-19, he will be placed in an isolation room within the nurse’s office. The parents will be contacted and the student will be sent home. Employees who are not well will leave campus. Anyone who becomes ill during the school day must contact their Health Care Provider for further assessment.

    Positive COVID-19 Test. Any positive COVID-19 tests of a student, employee, or family member should be reported to FCDS. The school nurse will contact the Fairfield Health Department and the FCDS community. The School will assess the exposure risk to determine levels of interaction based on the CDC guidelines and protocol.  (Exposure = 15 minutes within 6 feet of an infected person without a mask). A cohort affected by a student or teacher will transition to remote learning until the level of exposure is determined and contact tracing, testing, and cleaning is initiated and completed.

    Return to School. Students, teachers and staff may return to school if they provide a note from a healthcare provider indicating clearance for return to school or documentation of a negative COVID-19 test.  If a student, teacher or staff has a positive COVID-19 test, or has symptoms and is considered positive, they may return to school if the following criteria are met: 
    • No fever without fever-reducing medicines for 24 hours. 
    • Symptoms have subsided in severity.
    • Ten days have passed since symptoms first occurred.  
     *Please note that these are the current CDC guidelines and may change.
     
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  • DAILY SCHEDULE

    In order to provide the highest quality education, FCDS has thoughtfully modified some of the daily routines to accommodate health mandates and create more opportunities for academic learning. Please review the following enhancements to our fall program. Additional grade-specific information will be provided from Division Heads in the next two weeks.

    Early Fridays. With increased instructional learning created in the daily schedules, all students will end Friday school days after lunch, beginning at 1pm. Friday early dismissals will allow necessary time for faculty professional development and deep facility cleaning.

    Lunch. To begin the school year, cohorts will eat lunch together outdoors or in classrooms.

    Athletics. Physical education instruction for Lower School boys and on-campus sports will be modified for Middle and Upper School boys. 

    Dress Code. To ensure the comfort of our boys in athletics and academics, FCDS is relaxing the dress code for Grades 4-9 for the fall semester. 
    Boys in all grades should wear:
    • Collared shirt
    • Shorts or pants (no cargo, denim, or gym shorts) 
    • Belt
    • Sneakers
    • Face covering

    Staggered Drop Off / Pick Up Times. Each cohort will use a designated school entrance and a time slot for entering and exiting the School.
     
     
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Return to Learn Information Sessions

Covid-19 Resources

Fairfield
 
Federal
CDC

Global

FCDS Safety and Preparedness FAQ

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • What guiding principles have informed Fairfield Country Day School’s planning for the 2020-21 school year?

    • Our foremost priority is the health and wellbeing of our community. As a small school, FCDS has been able to rapidly adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Though FCDS has made modifications to ensure our community’s health, the essence of the School––expert teachers of boys, boy-centered programs, and a strong community––remains the same.
  • What health guidelines will FCDS follow?

    The School follows all guidance from the CDC, Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), and the Fairfield Health Department. Additionally, the School submitted a detailed reopening plan this summer to the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), its accrediting body.
  • What contingencies does FCDS have in place for the 2020-2021 school year?

    Per parent and student feedback, FCDS has continued to update its Remote Learning procedures, which it implemented successfully in the spring, and will be ready to pivot to Remote Learning if the State of Connecticut and/or Fairfield County health data directs us to do so.
  • How will FCDS conduct health screenings?

    • Staff will do a brief health screen of the boys including temperature check each morning at the School’s entrances.  All Faculty and Staff will do a daily health screen and temperature check as well.
    The School asks that families report travel to areas on the CT DPH Travel Advisory List to Julie Seymour, RN, MSN, Director of Health Services and Safety.
  • What will happen in the event of an infection at FCDS?

    In the event that a boy is not feeling well or a teacher is concerned for a boy's health, he will be directed to the nurse’s office. An isolation room has been designated in the event that a boy is showing symptoms of COVID-19. The boy will be evaluated and sent home with a parent or guardian and instructed to follow up with their health care provider for assessment and testing if warranted.
  • What will FCDS do if there is a known COVID-19 close contact of a student or faculty/staff member?

    FCDS will be following the state protocol as it becomes available.
  • What will FCDS do if there is a known COVID-19 infection of a student or faculty/staff member?

    • If anyone is known to test positive for COVID-19, they are asked to report the result to the School immediately.
    • The student, faculty, staff member will be excluded from school.
    • Families of students in the cohort that are presumed close contacts, either by another student or faculty/staff member, will be notified and transition to remote learning until individuals in the cohort are assessed and tested if warranted.
    • The School will contact the Fairfield Health Department to assist in contact tracing.
  • Will my son have to wear a face covering?

    Yes. Everyone at the School will wear a face covering indoors and whenever 6-feet minimum distance cannot be maintained.
  • What other hygiene measures are in place?

     
      • Social distancing will be maintained wherever and whenever possible.
      • Boys will have limited movement throughout the building. To reduce foot traffic, teachers––not boys––will typically rotate among classrooms. Hallways and stairwells will be primarily one-way and students will transition along the exterior of the building.
      • Professional HVAC evaluation and MRV-13 filter upgrades have been performed. 
      • Water fountains have been replaced with no-contact water bottle filling stations. Students should bring a filled water bottle to school with themselves.
      • Classroom furniture has been replaced to further separate boys.
      • Doors and windows will be propped open to increase airflow.
      • All bathrooms will be single occupancy and sinks and toilets have been replaced with no-touch fixtures. 
      • Additional handwashing stations have been set up throughout the school.
      • During school days, the School will clean classroom spaces regularly. Every evening the School will conduct a thorough cleaning of the school and a deep clean of the facilities each weekend.
  • Is FCDS open to visitors?

    No. Only students, faculty, and staff will be allowed in the School. Admissions will conduct virtual tours and outdoor campus tours, weather permitting.
  • What changes will FCDS make to the program?

    • The School will continue to prioritize core academic skills and social-emotional needs of students.
    • Athletics, Art and Music programs have been modified.
    • All fall field trips have been postponed.
  • How is the schedule going to be different?

    • The School will stagger boys’ arrival and departure times. 
    • FCDS will use multiple entry points so cohorts do not interact.
    • To ease contact tracing, boys will only share spaces with their grade-level peers. 
    • There will be longer breaks between classes for cleaning and for transitions to take place to maintain social distancing.
    • Friday classes will be dismissed beginning at 1pm.
    • Assemblies: The School will continue to utilize the Blue Block remote viewing model from the spring.
  • How will FCDS serve boys unable to physically attend?

    Boys who cannot attend FCDS will receive remote instruction.
  • How will school buses operate?

    FCDS is waiting for notification from the Town of Fairfield regarding local bus transportation. Out of town students may opt to take the non-Fairfield bus.
  • How will lunch operate?

    FCDS will begin the fall with lunches prepared by our dining services and served in classrooms or in our outdoor spaces.
  • How will athletics work?

    • Lower School will participate in PE classes and boys in Grades 4-9 will have modified on-campus sports.
    • FCDS has relaxed the fall dress code so that boys will be more comfortable participating in the sports program.
  • What is the School doing to serve others during the pandemic?

    • FCDS is guided by its motto––”We are judged by our deeds.” As in the spring, the School will continue to support our broader community through outreach and stewardship. Boys will actively participate in service projects to help frontline workers and individuals affected by COVID-19.