Coronavirus Policies and Procedures
Odyssey School is coming together to respond to COVID-19 and the challenges it presents to our school and community. Our Board of Trustees, Program Directors, and Executive Director Coranna Adams are working throughout summer and into fall to continue to bring our students holistic, heart-centered, individualized education.
At the heart of this planning is our steadfast commitment to core values, including the protection of the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and a shared and individual learning journey seen through the lens of Integral education. We endeavor to create the best possible learning environment to achieve these goals.
The Board and COVID-19 Response Committee will continue to monitor the situation in Asheville and the surrounding areas. We will stay in communication with our families as plans evolve based on changing circumstances.
This school year will require flexibility, patience, communication, and collaboration from all of us. We will join together and move forward with all of the strength of our community to continue to provide the invaluable Odyssey education we all want for our children.
Mitigating the risk that COVID-19 poses to all of us means layering our approach to managing it. The virus impacts human health in complex ways and our response is equally complex and multi-tiered. The following strategies form the foundation of our plan to return to campus while doing our best job to keep everyone safe.
- Daily Health Checks. Families will screen their students daily for illness. In order to help make the communication between home and school less onerous, we’re working to find the right health app that can make this easy. This app will aggregate the data for school and alert us when a child is experiencing a fever or other COVID symptoms of which we should be aware.
- Masks. The science is clear on this issue. All students except PreK and K students will wear masks and/or face shields daily both inside the classroom and in the common areas. PreK and K students will be strongly encouraged to wear masks and/or face shields in the classroom cohort but are not required to do so. 1st and 2nd grade students will be required to wear face coverings when inside the building, and we will reassess this practice after the four week start of school. Students 3rd grade and older will wear masks in all indoor spaces. Teachers and Administration will also wear masks and/or face shields. Teachers will provide breaks during the day when students may remove their masks. During the breaks, students will be social distancing and will likely be outside.
- Handwashing. Students will wash their hands when entering the building and throughout the day, with supervision in our younger grades (PreK-4).
- Cleaning and Disinfecting. We’re working with our building and janitorial staff to make sure the building is carefully cleaned each day. Teachers and administration will work to clean high touch surfaces throughout the day. We’re also implementing cleaning stations that elementary teachers will travel with in order to make sure that bathrooms are disinfected after each classroom use.
- Tabletops, doors handles, backs of chairs, and other frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected by teachers using school-supplied EPA approved disinfectant multiple times daily.
- Toys and other manipulatives used in the classroom will be disinfected multiple times per day by faculty and staff using an EPA approved disinfectant.
- All areas will also be disinfected nightly by our janitorial staff.
- Windows will be kept open as much as possible, if applicable.
- If a faculty member, staff member, or student has been sent home because they are exhibiting symptoms, the room and the objects and surfaces they touched will be disinfected.
- Student Materials. Students will use materials designated for their sole personal use (pencils, pens, paper, scissors, glue for example). These materials will stay at school and cannot be brought home. Students should not share supplies.
- All manipulatives will be sanitized daily.
- Computers will not be shared between students. Students will wash hands before using school computers and each computer will be wiped down with disinfecting wipes at the end of each period of use.
- No personal toys will be brought to school from home.
- Cohorts. We’ve rearranged our groups to keep each classroom cohort separate. Students will stay with their cohort as much as possible. Cohorts will refrain from co-mingling with other cohorts on the playground, in the bathroom, or in communal spaces as much as possible.
- Outdoor Classrooms. We’re working to add additional outdoor classrooms at Odyssey with the goal of transforming the picnic table and pavilion areas into classrooms by October 1, 2020. Beginning on August 31, 2020, every student at Odyssey will be outside at least twice daily, either for an academic class or at recess. This will provide students and teachers the opportunity to be appropriately physically distanced without wearing masks.
- Physical Distance. When possible, students, faculty, and staff are expected to maintain a six foot distance. Class group size will be determined by the ability to maintain physical distancing in the designated classroom space as best as possible.
- Drop-off. Parents will drop their students off outside of the building. No walk-ups will be allowed. Students will enter the building without parents, but with the support of a teacher or administrator.
- Students will enter the buildings through separate, newly assigned entrances.
- PreK: Back of Building Entrance
- K-4: Front Entrance
- 5-8th: Lower Stairwell
- 9-12: High School Entrance
- Afterschool. We are working to determine if we will be able to offer aftercare in the coming year that follows our health and safety guidelines.
- Remote Learning for At Risk Population. We are evaluating if we can offer live-streaming video of all 5-12th grade classes for students who are at home sick or are immuno-compromised. We will continue to assess the internet capacity at the school in order to make it possible for students who are home to access livestream video.
- Community Commitments. We are finalizing new forms that will be added to the annual enrollment forms for families. The forms will include a family health survey, travel notifications, and other matters to protect our community. These new forms are not required but strongly recommended because they help us stay healthy together, by keeping us notified of the unique challenges and circumstances that your family may be facing. Please trust that this information is confidential and will be used only to keep communication and safety best practices in place.