Based on our needs to ensure our facility, our technology, and our faculty, staff and students are ready, we will be delaying our start date from Wednesday, Aug 5 to Monday, Aug 10. In addition, instead of bringing the entire student body back at once, we will be phasing in with smaller groups (1/3) of our students at each of our three schools (LMA, Lower, and Upper) over a three-day period; Monday the 10th, Tuesday the 11th and Wednesday the 12th. Our first full day with all students will be on Thursday, Aug 13.
Our rationale for this staggered format is to be able to spend a full day of orientation with students in smaller groups going over schedules, protocols, procedures and expectations that will ensure our learning environments, as well as our faculty, staff and students will be as safe as possible. It will also give us, as a school, time to observe our students, evaluate our plans in motion and make adjustments as needed before housing the entire student body. The staggered starts are scheduled as follows:
On Monday, August 10, the following student groups will attend.
- Upper School - Grades 7-8
- Lower School – Group A (1/3 of the students from each homeroom grades 2-6) *
- Little MA – Group A (1/3 of the students in each class grades PK-1) *
On Tuesday, August 11, the following student groups will attend their orientations.
- Upper School - Grades 9-10
- Lower School – Group B (1/3 of the students in each classrooms grades 2-6) *
- Little MA – Group B (1/3 of the students in each classroom grade levels PK-1) *
On Wednesday, August 12, the following student groups will attend their orientations.
- Upper School - Grades 11-12
- Lower School – Group C (1/3 of the students in each classroom grades 2-6) *
- Little MA – Group C (1/3 of the students in each classroom grades PK-1)*
On Thursday, August 13, all students Grades PK-12 will be in attendance
- This will be the first day as a full student body in each school.
- Lower school and Little MA families/students will be notified as to which group (A, B or C) and which orientation day (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday) they will be expected to attend.
- No changes in Major Holidays - Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break will remain as is.
- A new calendar will be published at a later date.
School and Parent Guidance for Exposures, Symptoms and Diagnoses
Director of Health Services
We are very fortunate to have Kristi Smith, RN, BSN leading our Health Services at Madison Academy. She has built our program from the ground up and has been invaluable in helping put together our plans. She, along with nurses from several area schools, have been in collaboration together this summer working on best practices. We also have Dr. Jackie Horton who teaches in our Medical Academy who will be providing counsel and support as needed.
Health Services will provide our day to day leadership, oversight and monitoring of all faculty, staff and students. MA will not be acting alone, but working with our local health department for guidance, contact tracing and recommendations. Staff development with our faculty and staff, as well as instruction with our students, will be also be provided to insure that we do all we can in the area of prevention, as well as knowing proper protocols in dealing with situations.
Clinic and Isolation Area
We have a clinic that is functional with restroom, refrigeration and 2 beds. In addition, we will have an “Isolation Area” that will be available as a supplemental space for anyone needing to be removed from the school population for a specified time.
General Levels of Infection
The State Department of Education, in conjunction with the State Department of Health, has given us this continuum as guidelines to determine the levels of risk and spread. These levels could be determined in the form of a directive from the state government. However, in most cases, schools will be allowed to make determinations within their own school based on their numbers. In MA’s case, in conjunction with the local health department, we would assess our own data and determine the level within our school and appropriate course of action.Level 1 -Minimal Risk
Teaching Models in Response to Levels of Spread
- On Campus – Traditional Learning Model
If we are in Level 1 (or lower end of Level 2), we will be using the Traditional Face to Face “On Campus” model.
If we were to find ourselves at some point during the year needing to reduce our numbers on campus, we would need to consider moving to a hybrid/blended model; which is a partial remote and partial on-campus model. The basis of this type of model is to significantly reduce the student population at school on any given day. From our survey both models below received favorable reviews from the input we received from parents. However, Model A was the overall favorite from our feedback. So, our plans will be to use this as our primary hybrid model if needed. (Model B will be kept as a back up plan if certain situations deem it a more appropriate option).
Hybrid/Blended Model A (Preferred Model) – This is a blended approach that reduces our school population by 50% on any give day. In this model, half of our students would be working “on campus” Monday and Thursday, while working at home remotely for the remainder of the week. The other half of our students would work “on campus” Tuesday and Friday, while working at home remotely for the remainder of the week. In this model Wednesday would be a remote day for everyone, while the school undergoes a day of deep cleaning and sanitization. Teachers would also be available on Wednesday for tutorials, club meetings and special activities.
Hybrid Model B (Situational Model) – This is a model that we would use in special situations where one area of our campus may be doing well, while others may be experiencing a higher risk. This plan gives us an option to keep certain grade levels, areas or even an entire school (LMA, Lower, or Upper) on campus doing traditional face to face learning, while other parts of the campus may need to work remotely at home.
Virtual School Option is Now Available
In the initial draft of our plan, we did not have an online “Virtual School” option for those who did not feel comfortable sending their children back to school for traditional “on campus” learning. However, after hearing from several of our parents that they might be interested in this type of option, we made the decision to provide this as an alternative to those parents who had this need. We have researched and visited programs and decided to partner with a reputable company who offers proven K-12 online instruction.
The beauty of this program is that, although students may be taking classes virtually, they will remain on roll at Madison Academy. In this program, students would also take our bible classes online, attend our chapels online and can also be involved with any school function such as class activities, athletics, band, chorus, clubs or organizations. It is a program that requires at least a semester commitment, at which time a student can return to “on campus” traditional learning at Madison Academy or sign up for another semester of Virtual School.
In addition, an on campus facilitator will be available to help register, work through any issues throughout the semester and just help a student remain connected with MA. Any parents who may be interested in this option should contact their principal for more information. Registration will begin the first week of August and MA Virtual School is scheduled to begin on August 19.
Graphic Illustrating Level of Spread and Corresponding Teaching Models (and New Virtual School option)
Navigating Large Groups
We are evaluating all of our situations where students would be in large group gatherings. These gatherings will happen, but social distancing guidelines are being applied to ensure student safety. These gatherings include, but are not limited to: Chapel, Recess, Physical Education, Class Transitions, Corral, etc. Principals will be providing more information relative to how they plan to handle these situations.
We have been working with our vendor, Chef Advantage, on how we will manage our food services. The first thing we are working toward is expanding our seating options to accommodate for social distancing. At LMA, we can manage our smaller numbers and social distancing fairly well. However, with our Lower and Upper schools it becomes more of a challenge. To help with this, additional outside spaces are being developed to accommodate their social distancing needs. In case of rain or cold weather, we have a plan to set up the Performance Center (basketball court) as an alternative.
A few other things that our students can expect include the following. Until the Covid-19 situation improves, we will have a menu that will be streamlined and not quite as robust as we have had in the past. We will be serving from disposable carry out containers and using disposable eating utensils. In the Lower and Upper School, there will be no self serve areas on the line as we have had in the past, but food will be placed in containers by cafeteria personnel. We will continue to work toward a safe and healthy eating experience.
These procedures will differ at LMA, Lower and Upper Schools. Principals will cover this in more detail as they provide information specific to their schools. We have purchased a software program called “School Pass” that should be very helpful.
Field Studies and Field Trips
Field Trips and Field Studies will be looked at on a case by case basis if our school is in the minimal to moderate level. Otherwise, we will likely need to either cancel for the fall or move to the Spring Semester.
Fall events, such as Grandparent’s Day, etc. will be looked at on a case by case basis.
- Regular and Special Cleaning Schedules
- Adequate and Appropriate Materials and Supplies
- Staff Development for Best Practices in Covid-19 Prevention
- Handheld Individual Foggers
- Outside Cleaning Service - Available as Needed
- New Bathroom Dispensers
- Installation of Hand Sanitizing Stations
- Providing of Sanitization Supplies to Classrooms and Offices
- Plexiglas sheets will be located at high traffic areas such as offices, cafeteria, etc.
The ALSDE and the AHSAA have approved for student athletes to return to campuses for summer workouts. However, coaches have certain screening protocols they use in working with their student athletes including, but not limited to, temperature checks and symptom checks. These protocols apply to the screening of coaching staffs as well.
Games and Competitions
At this point, games are planned to go on as normal, but several options have been discussed by AHSAA. When seasons do begin, things will likely look much different when considering how admissions will be handled, how concessions will be handled and what social distancing will look like in the gym or on the fields of play. An option to view games via streaming seems to be shaping up as an option. We will continue to study this and will communicate procedures as they are developed.
As the summer moves forward, plans specific to the Upper School, the Lower School and Little Madison Academy will be provided by principals. Their first phase of plans are scheduled to come out to parents the week of July 20.