Got a question? Submit it to email@example.com and we will get it answered for you. The below questions were last revised on Oct. 24, 2020. Click on the titles below to reveal questions and answers.
- What to Expect at School
- Community Health
- Before Coming to Campus
- Facilities, Cleaning, and Health Protocol Updates
- Other Questions
How do I find schedules and changes?
Please be sure to keep updated by looking at the following resources: emails from your principals, teachers, and division (most are archived in Quaker Zone, under the “messages” button, see below); repeated information in Quaker Notes; and the Fall2020 page for general information. The Parents Calendar also has dates and Zoom links when available.
To read past principal messages that have been archived in Quaker Notes:
If you have trouble finding past emails that were sent directly to you from a principal, division, the Parents Association or teacher, click the “messages” button in QuakerZone:
Between now and Thanksgiving Break, schedules may vary by division, grade, and group (A Group/B Group). In Lower School, returning right now means four days a week Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday with Wednesday set aside for deep cleaning. In Middle School, dates will vary by grade and group. In Upper School, dates will vary by grade.
What about dropoff and pickup schedules?
To minimize crowding at our entrances and allow staff to check QR codes from Ruvna, we have established a schedule for dropoff and pickup in each division. See your principal’s letter sent on October 22 or 23, and posted in Quaker Notes on October 25.
For Lower School, the dropoff slot is based on the student’s last name in alphabetical order; teachers have prepared for rolling arrivals between 8:15-9 a.m. Families with two campus dropoffs can pick the slot that works for them. Dismissal is by grade; pull around if you have a 2nd or 3rd child (do circles).
Middle and Upper School have dropoff and pickup slots that are alphabetical based on the student's last name. Grade 5 and 6 students should enter from 37th street. Grades 7-8 should enter through the garage unless they have a younger sibling in Middle School. All Upper School students should enter through the garage.
How will we know what materials from distance learning students need to bring back to school?
Individual teachers will communicate about this. Students in grades 5 through 12 should bring their school-issued devices, charger, and headphones to school each day.
What role does community transmission rates play in deciding whether we can come back to school?
This is one of several metrics in determining our return, as described in the School Plan for 2020/21 which is posted online on the Fall 2020 page. Our Medical Advisory Team set the positivity rate at 2% for our School community on campus, which includes students and employees. As of the middle of October, we are well below that rate; to see the latest information, log into the Testing Dashboard and Information, which is linked from the Fall 2020 page.
What are the School's criteria for returning to hybrid or distance mode?
The metrics that determine the School’s learning mode are outlined on pages 7-8 on the School Plan for 2020/21 which is posted online on the Fall 2020 page.
How do I know if my child's teachers will teach in person?
A number of teachers and staff requested, qualified for, and have been granted remote work accommodations. Expect to hear from your principal, division or the teacher directly if this is the case.
What if I want to switch from distance to in-person mode, or vice versa?
Before Monday, October 26 at noon, you must click on QuakerZone in the Parent Portal, and click on the blue "hybrid selection" button to make a selection. Students who wish to move from the 100% distance learning mode to in-person learning must give the School two weeks’ advance notice after October 26. Contact your principal if you'd like to switch.
How are you managing recess?
The Lower School has assigned areas and faculty are being more vigilant than usual to ensure hand washing before and after recess, masks stay on, students stay in cohorts in assigned areas, and a wipe-down of equipment after use. In Middle School, students will use the football field for recess.
Are you using outdoor space?
Yes, we are using as many outdoor spaces as possible for classes, lunch, and recess. Tents and awnings have been set up and can be reserved for use by teachers, in addition to spaces on the fields. Middle School uses the wetlands area and athletic fields for outdoor classes and lunch.
Will you maintain cohorts?
Students in grades PK-5 will remain with their half-homeroom cohorts. 6th graders will stay with their half-homeroom cohorts with the exception of math, language, and arts. In the grades 7-12, students will move through their schedules to attend different classes. Classrooms have been de-densified to maintain six feet of distancing.
Whom do we inform if a student has been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID?
See the PDF “How to Respond to Possible COVID Cases” that is posted on the Fall 2020 page. This document outlines possible scenarios and some responses for them. It’s always a good idea to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not sure what to do.
Are you testing every student and employee? How often and why?
Yes. The School is conducting mandatory surveillance testing for all students and employees as an additional step to monitor the infection rates within our community. Before coming to campus to participate, all students and employees are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The School is continuing to offer PCR testing on a monthly basis. Both the testing schedule and the overall metrics are available online at the Fall 2020 page; click and log into the Testing Dashboard and Information. COVID-19 testing is not a diagnostic tool for daily clearance, but rather a way to keep an eye on the overall health of the community.
What is community COVID-19 data based on?
All students and employees coming to campus are required to get tested monthly, either with one of the School’s partners or independently (providing the School results is required), in order to participate. The School will monitor the 30-day average to ensure a rate lower than 2% positivity in order to keep on-campus learning on track. We continue to receive guidance from our Medical Advisory Team on COVID-19 testing and may adjust our testing protocols when advised to do so.
What is the cost of COVID-19 testing?
There is no charge at the time of School-sponsored testing. Health insurance information will be requested during the pre-registration process to seek insurance coverage and reimbursement for the cost of the test. Costs not covered by insurance will be paid for by the School, but only when tested by School-sponsored vendors. We ask that you adhere to the deadlines in order to be prepared for testing and to receive results on time.
How do I provide test results to the School if I don’t get tested at the School?
Families and employees who are unable to attend their designated School-sponsored testing day on campus must obtain their PCR test elsewhere and upload results to your child’s Magnus Health account via the Parent Portal by clicking on the Health Forms link. Please submit results within the same week as School-sponsored testing. A rapid antigen test will not be accepted at this time.
What do I do on the test date?
Please do not come to the campus if you are ill. Instead, we would ask that you contact your healthcare provider for further guidance, complete a PCR test as prescribed by your healthcare provider, and notify Health Services. When you arrive on campus, follow the directions given by Health Services staff and Security on site. You may arrive only during your scheduled time slot; please do not come to campus during another time slot as this will cause testing delays and may have a negative impact on the traffic flow in and out of the garage.
When do I receive test results?
Test results are typically available within two to three days. The vendor will share results directly with families or employees as applicable. Prior to testing, the vendor will ask that community members sign consent forms for permission to disclose test results to the Health Services staff. Health Services will keep this information confidential and store results in a student’s/employees Magnus Health account.
What does a positive test result mean?
Test results will be shared with you via email; presently, test results have been available within 48 hours, but this timeframe may change with increased demands on testing. Positive test results for COVID-19 indicate that the virus was detected and the individual is infected with the virus and presumed to be contagious. The infected individual is expected to isolate immediately and contact their healthcare provider for further guidance. Positive results, as required by law, will be shared with the Health Department. They will likely contact an individual with positive results to begin the contact tracing process. Please cooperate with the health officials.
Do I need to register somewhere if my child is participating in person?
No, we assume all children will participate in the on-campus part of hybrid learning if parents signed the waiver at the start of the year, and they have not otherwise indicated they will NOT return.
If we travel to a state on the DC quarantine list and then need to stay home for 14 days, who do we report that to? Do we need official permission to return?
Report to email@example.com and to your division's attendance email. You should check in with health services on a school day before your child plans to return after the 14 day self-quarantine.
What steps do I need to take before an in-person day?
Details and steps are outlined in the School Plan for 2020/21 and in messages from your principals. Make sure your student: takes their COVID test; brings extra masks; does their daily health screening using Ruvna; brings a reusable water bottle.
Are parents allowed on campus?
No, only students and faculty/staff working with students or on campus operations are allowed on campus. Please stay in your car when you drop off and pick up your student.
How can we acquire a bucket hat that is being used at the Lower School?
The Fox Den has a limited supply. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To what extent has Sidwell Friends updated the facilities, equipment and protocols?
We’ve done a lot! From adding Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization to our HVAC systems, adding air filters with HEPA and UV filtration to each classroom, acquiring thousands of yards of plexiglass for desks and teachers’ stations, repositioning 1,200 desks to de-densify classrooms, designating single-lane and one-way traffic patterns in all hallways, posting signage, to redoing how lunch is served, the list that can be found here and in the School Plan for 2020/21.
How will you serve lunch?
Lunch will be served in individually wrapped containers, brought to students at the student’s desk. The cafeteria is closed. To indicate allergy issues, the student health form is still used to manage lunches for students with food allergies so please make sure those are up to date. Please work with your principal for any concerns and questions.
Why are we going back to distance learning after Thanksgiving?
The variables and risk of exposure are considerably higher between two major school breaks. Families and employees either may travel or gather with people who have traveled during this break, such as returning college students, friends, and extended family. Because the District is continually adding “high-risk” states to its list, traveling to and from these states would necessitate a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for those traveling. When we factored in the time required for a full round of community testing after Thanksgiving (regardless of travel plans), there was very little time before Winter Break began. While we know that many faculty, staff, and student families will stay in the region, many may host visitors and welcome returning college students, with greater exposure to friends and relatives even if not traveling. The same risk applies to the period after Winter Break. To minimize this risk to the community, we will work in distance learning mode during this time.
How can we share our feedback about our student's academic experience?
Please continue to share via our surveys and talk to your principal and your child’s advisors and teachers. Your input is vital.
Can Parents Association volunteers organize in person events for students, families, adults?
For the 2020/21 school year, PA events should use a virtual format. Some service opportunities that are outdoors and done on an individual basis such as environmental cleanup are permitted.