reopening Lower School

We are preparing a wonderful and safe learning experience for your daughter. Below are plans for Lower School during the first week of school, Monday, August 17 - Friday, August 21 and other details regarding reopening campus.

You may submit any questions using the "Ask a Question" button linked on this page. FAQs are also linked and will be updated regularly.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

First Week of School Schedule

The first day of school, Monday, August 17, will be a supply drop off day and a chance for students to meet their teacher and see their new classroom.  Please use Monday as an opportunity to practice carpool and talk through any concerns or questions your daughter may have about returning to campus.  View the back to school resources page for further details on the first week Lower School plans. 

Cleaning, Sanitation, & Handwashing

Students' belongings will be individually stored and shared technologies will be regularly disinfected. All surfaces will be cleaned after every class and frequently touched surfaces wiped down periodically throughout the day. End-of-day cleaning will include an outside professional cleaning company wiping down with approved disinfectant all contact surfaces. We will follow set protocols and a schedule for frequent handwashing.

Carpool & Dismissal

Drop off
When students are dropped off they are to go directly to their homerooms. Moss Hall and Walnut Grove will have a teacher on duty beginning at 7:15 a.m. Please make sure you have completed the COVID-19 Student Health Check form on St. Mary's app under "resources" before dropping off your daughter(s) each day. Every girl must have on her face covering before exiting the car.

7:15 a.m.: Carpool begins for all girls
8:00 a.m.: School day begins

Pick up
Afternoon carpool will begin at 3:00 p.m. each day.  

Physical Distancing & Cohorts

Cohorts in Lower School are your daughter's homeroom class. Classrooms have been reconfigured to provide maximum spacing and allow for physical distancing.  Students will enter buildings using designated points of entry by grade. Meals will be delivered to classrooms and students will eat in their homerooms or outside (weather permitting). Travel in buildings will be minimized and outdoor spaces will be used as often as possible.

Health Screenings

Before arrival each day, parents will assess their daughter’s health and enter the data into the Student COVID-19 Health Check form located under the "Resources" section/icon of the SMS app. This must be completed before each student is dropped off at school. A dedicated health center space will be offered for well care and will be separate from sick care.

If you do not already have the app, search for "St. Mary's Episcopal School" in the App Store and in Google Play. Please "ALLOW" notifications during the download process to ensure you receive notices, reminders, and other information communicated from St. Mary's. 

Face Coverings

Teachers and students will be required to wear face coverings. Face coverings should not display words or logos. There will be several scheduled times for the girls to go to designated areas outside for "face covering breaks."

COVID-19 Exposure & Quarantine

If your daughter tests positive for COVID-19 or doesn’t pass the School’s COVID-19 Health Check (explained in detail in the "Health Screenings" section above), you must contact the Health Center immediately. If a student tests positive in your daughter’s cohort, the school will alert you as soon as we receive that diagnosis. We will advise you on quarantining based on the most recent requirements by the Shelby County Health Department.

Currently that advice and our policy require that a student who tests positive:

  • Isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or if asymptomatic, from the date of positive test
  • Be fever free for 24 hours, without fever reducing medication
  • Improvement of all COVID-19 symptoms

Quarantine after close contact means:

  • 14 days in your home starting from the last day of contact with positive case
  • A student who has been exposed to COVID-19 cannot get out of quarantine early even with a negative COVID-19 test or a doctor's note.
  • Be symptom-free and with no new exposure as per the School’s COVID-19 Health Check

Hybrid Learning

The faculty has been working hard this summer planning for their classes to toggle between hybrid and in-person learning. Our hope is that remote students will have a learning experience similar to that of the students at school. Their day will be structured the same as that of the girls at school. We will spend time during the first week of school making sure the girls understand expectations for hybrid learning.  We will also hold virtual parent orientations so that you will know how to support your daughter when she is learning remotely. We are ready to adapt and change when needed but plan to maintain some familiar and comforting patterns. 

Outdoor Spaces

We will have plenty of opportunities for classes to be taught outside. Teachers will be able to sign up to use outdoor class space and PE will always be held outdoors, weather permitting.  We are making additions to our outdoor spaces to make them more learner-friendly.  These will include tents for more shade and new recess zones.

Lunch & Snack

Students may choose to bring lunch from home or purchase the quarterly meal plan. For those on the meal plan, Flik will provide pre-packaged meals which will be delivered to classrooms and designated spaces. Dining hall use on both campuses will be limited in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines. This semester, there is no option for daily purchases on declining balance accounts. 

Please pack a snack and a bottle of water (water only) for your daughter each day.  No snack will be provided this semester. 

Parents & Guests

No visitors, parents, or special guests will be permitted in buildings this year. All indoor, large group gatherings (Chapel, grade level parent events, parent coffees, etc.) will be reimagined to take place outdoors or virtually.

Events & Gatherings

Student events and gatherings are postponed or redesigned to allow physical distancing. All St. Mary’s special events are either postponed or redesigned to be online. We are not gathering groups of parents or guests on campus until further notice and there will be no field trips or group transportation.


Chapel will be streamed into homerooms every Tuesday morning. 


The athletic department is currently operating within the guidelines set forth by the TSSAA, Shelby League, and state and local governments. 


After3 will be available for all girls starting on the first full day of school. Girls will remain in their grade-level cohorts in After3.

Partnering with Families

The School must partner with each family to abide by the following:

  • Completing the School’s COVID-19 Health Check at home daily via the SMS app (available in the App Store and in Google Play)
  • Keep the student home with symptoms or known exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Washing hands often throughout the day
  • Staying in smaller contact groups
  • Physical distancing
  • Wearing face coverings when required by ordinance and according to age (St. Mary's requirement is PK through grade 12.)
  • Follow Shelby County Health Department guidance on exposure, testing, isolation, and quarantine.

Early Childhood

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Lower School

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Middle School

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Upper School

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