reopening Upper School

We are preparing a wonderful and safe learning experience for your daughter. Below are plans for Upper 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

During the first week of school, we will focus on building comfort and understanding with our COVID protocols on campus. Students who plan to attend school on campus this year will not need to join classes virtually this week; students who are remote learners will need to attend synchronous courses with their alphabetical group during the first week.

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. 

Faculty will monitor the halls between classes and locker times will be staggered. We will follow set protocols for sanitizing desks between classes and handwashing/hand sanitizing. 

Carpool & Dismissal

All Upper School students who do not drive to school must enter campus in the mornings at the Windland Smith Rice entrance on Perkins Extended and be dropped off in front of the Taylor Building. Every girl must have on her face covering before exiting the car.

Pick-up for all Upper School students who do not drive to school must be picked up in front of the Athletic and Wellness Center.

Students with a free period or study hall during their first class of the day are allowed to arrive as late as 8:40 a.m. (before the beginning of the second class period.) Otherwise, students will be expected to arrive on campus by 7:40 a.m. and depart after 3:15 p.m. Students should arrive no earlier to campus than 7:15 a.m. and carpool for Upper School begins at 3:15 p.m. 

Physical Distancing & Cohorts

Girls will sit in assigned seats in each of their classes to make any necessary contact tracing easier. Faculty will monitor the halls between classes. We will follow our set protocols for sanitizing desks between classes and handwashing/hand sanitizing. As we begin the academic school year, Upper School students will be divided into two cohorts based on last names starting with A-K and L-Z. 

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 "Resource" 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." We will have time scheduled for face covering breaks each school day during ALAPP and other times when possible.

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

During the first week of school, we will focus on building comfort and understanding with our COVID-19 protocols on campus. Students who plan to attend school on campus this year will not need to join classes virtually this week; students who are remote learners will need to attend synchronous courses with their alphabetical group during the first week. 

Outdoor Spaces

We will frequently hold classes, lunch, and snack outside. Girls are encouraged to bring an outdoor folding lawn chair to keep at school for these times.  

Lunch & Snack

Lunch 
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 note that a la carte options will NOT be provided this semester. 

Each grade level cohort will have the opportunity to have lunch in the Dining Hall on a rotating schedule. Other grade cohorts will eat lunch with their advisory groups.  

Snack
Girls need to bring a snack and a bottle of water (water only) each day. 

Parents & Guests

No visitors, parents, nor 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. We are not gathering groups of parents or guests on campus until further notice and there will be no field trips or group transportation. Student organizations and clubs will continue to meet and be an integral part of school life; many of these meetings will take place virtually.

Chapel

Each cohort will have the opportunity to attend Chapel in the sanctuary on a rotating schedule. When not in the sanctuary, students will watch Chapel with their advisory groups.

Athletics

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

After3

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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