TALLULAH FALLS— Schools are planning how to begin classes amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has shaken up traditional school start plans for every school in the country.
Tallulah Falls Schools has released their reopening plan for classes to start August 24, and the school is putting measures in place to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff.
The school is offering in-person and blended learning to students who meet certain criteria.
“As you can imagine, planning for the new academic year has been a difficult task given the ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President and Head of School Larry Peevy in a statement to Tallulah Falls School parents, guardians and students.
“Even with the challenges we have faced, I want to assure you that we remain committed to providing a high-quality college preparatory education for all TFS students. And, we will face this challenge as a united learning community.”
Peevy explained that a Risk Management Committee was established in order to ensure the health and safety of all Tallulah Falls students, faculty and staff, to maintain the Tallulah Falls mission of preparing students for life by elevating character and intellect and to ensure TFS continues to make financially responsible decisions.
The committee consisted of key campus leaders with David Chester, Assistant Head of School, as Chairman.
“We continue to be guided by our mission and plan on a successful school year with an in-class experience for all students beginning August 24. However, one of the lessons we have learned over the course of the past few months is the importance of flexibility,” Peevy said.
“As information concerning COVID-19 continues to become available, we will update our plan accordingly.”
Face coverings will be required for students, faculty and staff when physical distancing is not possible, such as hallways, stairwells and bathrooms, according to TFS reopening plans released on their website.
Exceptions will be made with consideration for medical reasons and to accommodate eating and drinking, outdoor activities and PE.
The school will provide one face covering per student, but additional coverings should be provided by students and these face coverings will be worn at all times on TFS buses.
Health screenings will be conducted daily and any student who has a fever or is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not come to school until 24 hours have passed since the resolution of the issue without the use of medication.
Parents and guardians must complete a questionnaire before students report to the school or shuttle location.
Students will be isolated and assessed by a school nurse and appropriate action will be taken to isolate the children if they exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, fatigue, and other COVID-19 symptoms.
A report must be made to the school if a student or employee is exposed to COVID-19. Exposure is defined as 15 minutes or greater within a distance of six feet or less.
TFS will contact the Department of Public Health (DPH) as well as families
in the event that a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19.
Contact tracing will be completed on anyone who is diagnosed with the virus. Guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health.
In the morning, students will enter academic buildings in a staggered fashion through multiple entrances with thermal temperature kiosks. They will exit in a staggered fashion as well.
Desks will be distanced and students will have assigned seats. They will be provided with face shields for classroom use and will not share school supplies.
Students should bring their own water bottles. All first semester class trips are cancelled as well.
Signage encouraging proper health and hygiene practices will be posted on campus.
Hallways will have directional signs to direct the flow of traffic and there will be a staggered release between classes.
Dining Services will limit serving breakfast and dinner to boarding students only, but day students, faculty and staff will be served lunch five days a week.
Lockers at the Upper and Middle schools will not be used and restroom occupancy will be limited.
Only pre-arranged visitors will be allowed on campus until further notice.
Extracurricular activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The shuttle will run on a normal schedule, but students will be assigned seats.
Enhanced cleaning measures
TFS has implemented an enhanced cleaning schedule to clean and disinfect commonly used areas to include high-touch surfaces like door handles, stairway handrails, tables and restroom doors. Touchless faucets have been installed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 each classroom will have approved disinfectant and wipes.
In addition, UV ionizers have been installed in the fresh air systems at the Upper School and HVAC systems at the middle school.
Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout campus.
For more information on Tallulah Falls School’s reopening plans, visit https://www.tallulahfalls.org/our-community/reopening_fall_2020.cms