COVID-19

Reopening in the Fall

Bayside Academy’s administrative team and Medical Advisory Task Force continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 as it applies to our community and to follow all recommendations from the state and the CDC. We are working to provide you with clarity about the year to come and will keep our community updated here with our plans. Please remember the health of our students, their families, and our community is of utmost importance.

The next update is scheduled for early August.

Frequently Asked Questions

As more questions arise and the COVID-19 health guidelines continue to evolve, we will regularly update these Frequently Asked Questions over the coming weeks. Please submit any questions to advancement@baysideacademy.org. We will answer questions on a rolling basis as our plans are finalized.

Please remember to always refer to the current Bayside Health Plan as it is an evolving document that will be updated as new information is provided by healthcare officials and the Medical Advisory Task Force. The Bayside Health Plan applies to all aspects of the school and campus.

List of 21 frequently asked questions.

  • Is the first day of school still August 19?

    The first day of school is scheduled for August 19 for PK3–12. We are closely monitoring the widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in the Baldwin and Mobile County areas to determine under which operating mode we will open.

    We are optimistic that the implementation of face coverings in public places and physical distancing measures will help decrease the spread, allowing for a healthy start to the school year.
  • Will there be on-campus PIN (Parent Information Night), Orientation, Locker Set-Up, and Meet the Teacher?

    It is likely these events will be a combination of Zoom meetings and small on-campus groups arranged by last name on August 17 and 18. More information will be forthcoming.
  • Will The Shoppe on the Bluff be open to pick up school supplies and uniform items?

    The Shoppe will be open if the school is in operating modes GREEN or YELLOW. More specific information will be provided in the coming weeks regarding how to pick up books, supplies, ID cards, uniform apparel, neck gaiters, etc. if Bayside is in operating mode ORANGE.
  • Will students and faculty be required to wear cloth face coverings?

    Yes, a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth will be worn on campus by all faculty, staff, and students while in operating modes YELLOW and ORANGE. This is subject to change based on guidance from the CDC, ADPH, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Bayside Medical Advisory Task Force and our current operating modes.
  • What type of face covering is allowed?

    One approved uniform face covering will be provided to each student, faculty, and staff member before the start of school. Additional approved uniform face coverings will be available for purchase in The Shoppe either in person or online, depending on our campus operating mode when they neck gaiters are delivered. A communication will be sent when the neck gaiters are ready for pickup and/or purchase. This is the only face covering that will be allowed to be worn at school. Please do not keep your child home from school if his/her face covering is misplaced. If a student arrives at school in an unapproved face covering, they will be provided with and billed for one from The Shoppe.

    Face coverings at Bayside are not an opportunity for personal expression. They need to be safe, appropriate, and convenient. The decision was made to have a uniform face covering, and a neck gaiter was selected. Gaiters are worn around the neck, providing less risk of being mistaken for someone else's and surface contamination. The neck gaiter should be on the students when they arrive in the morning and remain around their neck throughout the school day.
  • What are the enhanced safety protocols the school is putting in place to keep my child safe?

    Stay Home When Sick:  It is critically important for students, faculty, and staff to stay off campus if feeling unwell. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, is awaiting test results for COVID-19, or has had recent exposure to a close contact with confirmed COVID-19 must notify the school nurse and not return to school until cleared. It is important for siblings of students displaying high risk symptoms to also stay home until all are cleared by the school nurse to return to campus.

    Social Distancing:  Social distancing is one of the most effective, proven measures to decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19. To implement this important practice throughout campus, classroom space will be leveraged to accommodate social distancing of 6 feet between students and faculty/staff when possible.

    Face Coverings:  A uniform-approved cloth face covering over the nose and mouth must be worn on campus by all students, faculty, and staff.

    Increased Cleaning Protocols:  Following CDC guidelines, cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces will occur throughout the school day. Our afterhours cleaning crew will sanitize all classroom surfaces, common areas (indoor and outdoor), and playground at the end of each school day.

    Hand Hygiene:  Hand sanitizer will be available throughout campus. Ample time for handwashing also will be incorporated into daily schedules.

    Daily Health Screenings:  There will be daily health screenings upon arrival consisting of symptom and temperature checks. More specific grade-level details of where and how these screenings will take place will be provided before the start of school. Please note that if a student or faculty/staff member has a temperature of 100.4˚ or higher, he/she will not be allowed on campus.

    Visitors on Campus:  The school will strictly limit access to campus by visitors (parents, volunteers, external groups, vendors, etc.). Based on the operating mode we are functioning under visitors will follow specified protocol as follows:
    • When in mode YELLOW, all visitors must wear face coverings and must check in with the administration or division office they are planning to visit for a health scan prior to entering campus. Visitors will receive a badge indicating they are clear to enter campus.
    • When in mode ORANGE, all of YELLOW applies, plus no visitors will be allowed on campus without a scheduled appointment. Volunteers will be on a case-by-case basis.
    • When in mode RED, campus is closed to all visitors.
  • What data is being used to drive our decisions about operating modes?

    We are prepared to move fluidly from one operating mode to another as necessary while preserving the integrity, continuity, and excellence of our academic programs.

    Please note that divisions may not be synchronized in their operating modes based upon the location of a potential outbreak in the school as well as the suitability of virtual learning for particular grade levels.

    While decisions about the safest mode of operation will be made based on the recommendations and guidance of the CDC, AAP, ADPH, and Bayside’s Medical Advisory Task Force, Bayside will be monitoring the following metrics in an effort to better anticipate mode transitions that may need to occur:
    • Government regulations/guidelines (CDC, AAP, and ADPH)
    • Community health and outbreaks
    • Virus transmissibility; percentage of positive cases among students, faculty, and staff; response capacity; and treatments
    We anticipate, based on CDC predictions, additional outbreaks of COVID-19 may impact on-campus programming during the 20202021 school year. During any period of virtual learning, we remain committed to engaging students in meaningful learning experiences and supporting academic excellence.
  • Can divisions be in different operating modes?

    Yes, divisions are not guaranteed to operate in the same mode based on the location of a potential outbreak in the school as well as the suitability of virtual learning for particular grade levels.
  • What is the protocol for a positive COVID test of a student or faculty/staff member?

    • Parents should notify the division office if your child has tested positive for COVID-19 to initiate quarantine/isolation protocol and to coordinate missed work. 
    • Students, faculty, and staff that test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to remain in isolation at home for 14 days. Isolation is designed to separate sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
    • Contact tracing will be performed. Students, faculty/staff who have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case must quarantine at least 14 days in order to monitor their symptoms. Exposure is defined as interactions occurring within 6 feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes or longer (at Bayside, in the community, or in the same household).
    • Bayside will communicate with faculty/staff, parents, and students impacted, keeping confidentiality at the forefront of our communication.
    • The impacted school facilities will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • What is the protocol if a member of your household receives a positive COVID test result or is experiencing high risk symptoms?

    • Parents should notify the division office(s) if your child(ren) will be absent due to illness or if a member of the household has tested positive for COVID-19 to initiate quarantine/isolation protocol and to coordinate missed work.
    • If one member of the household is experiencing high risk symptoms for COVID-19, all other Bayside students, faculty, and staff in the household must stay home until cleared to return to campus by the school nurse.
    • Students, faculty, and staff that test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to remain in isolation at home for 14 days. Isolation is designed to separate sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
    • Students, faculty, and staff who have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case must quarantine at least 14 days in order to monitor their symptoms. Quarantine is designed to separate and restrict the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick.
    • Bayside will not share any personal medical information with anyone outside of the impacted family and key personnel.
    • The impacted school facilities will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Should I contact the school if I believe someone in the Bayside community has COVID-19?

    A positive confirmation of a COVID-19 case within the Bayside community must be reported directly from the family impacted.
  • If my child(ren) need(s) to isolate or quarantine, how will they keep up with school work?

    Teachers will provide instruction should students be home in quarantine or isolation. Based on grade level, a variety of virtual platforms and teaching strategies will be utilized. If they are feeling well enough to participate, their attendance will be required and assignments will remain due as if they were on-campus. Should students not be able to attend due to illness, teachers will work with the students individually to keep them current.
  • Are there separate areas in the nurse's station for suspected COVID-19 students and routine visits?

    Yes, we now have two separate areas within the nurse’s station. All students will be given a health screening upon arrival to the nurse’s station. Any students displaying COVID-19 symptoms will be admitted into the containment area. Students not displaying COVID-19 symptoms who are there for routine visits will be admitted into the clinic area. Students will be required to wear a face covering.
  • How can families prepare students for health/safety routines at school over the summer?

    Over the summer, families can help reinforce safety protocols by:
    • Teaching Healthy Hygiene Practices:
      • Encourage frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer.
      • Practice coughing and sneezing into elbows.
      • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid hugging, high-fiving friends. Instead create “hand shakes” such as ankle bumps.
    • Teaching and Encouraging our Health Protocols:
      • Visually show and practice keeping six feet apart.
      • Practice wearing a cloth face covering.
      • If you are not feeling well, you will need to stay off campus..
      • We encourage families to socially distance and wear face coverings when in public places.
    • Maintaining Preventative Health Practices:
      • Continue regular doctor visits and well-child appointments.
      • Keep immunizations and physicals current.
      • Encourage lots of physical activity and time outside.
    • Helping Keep Students Emotionally Safe:
      • Ask how they are feeling and give them space to share and ask questions.
      • Maintain a routine at home to provide stability.
      • Continue reassuring them that the adults in their lives are there to support their physical and particularly mental health. Please note that these are different times: anxiety and depression are on the rise among teens.
      • Reach out for help, students and parents.
      • Our counseling team is available to provide support.
    It is likely that COVID-19 will continue to impact our community for the foreseeable future until there is a viable vaccine and therapeutic treatment options. For the two weeks prior to the beginning of school, families are asked to diligently follow social distancing and face covering recommendations.

    We acknowledge that constant handwashing, wearing face coverings, and physical distancing are challenging. However, we implore you to remain vigilantif not for yourself then for all members of the Bayside community.

    While the school will do its part in attempting to mitigate exposure during the school day, it is important that our families understand their obligations in ensuring the same when the school day ends. We all have the same goal: to have an in-person experience on campus. We thank you in advance for your assistance in helping our community remain on campus as long as possible. So please, even when you are away from campus, remember to wash your hands frequently, wear a cloth face covering when in public, and maintain social distance.
  • Should we need to transition to virtual learning, how will it look different that it was in the spring?

    During the spring of 2020, Bayside created and implemented an emergency virtual learning plan to meet the needs of our students in the midst of a global crisis. This plan was enacted swiftly, meaning that teacher training in the various platforms and pedagogy was condensed, and virtual learning schedules were focused on minimizing further disruption to students, faculty, and families while still allowing us to reach our curricular objectives. While we are extremely pleased overall with what our faculty and students achieved during this period of emergency virtual learning, we have now developed a more intentional virtual learning model for potential implementation in the 2020–2021 school year.

    The virtual learning models being developed include the following:
    • Active school email addresses have been established for all students in Grades 5–12. Google Classroom accounts have been created for all students beginning in PK3.
    • Increased synchronous (Zoom/Google Meet) instructional time.
    • Additional opportunities for social interaction among students with a focus on their emotional well-being.
    • Additional, structured opportunities for students to receive extra help.
    • A consistent weekly schedule that more evenly distributes the amount of time students spend in class each day.
    These improvements are based upon student, parent, and faculty feedback as well as further reflection, research, and discussion about what works best for our students from an academic and social-emotional perspective in a virtual environment.
  • What if my child is high risk or lives with high risk family members?

    Because we want all of our students to benefit from the Bayside Academy educational experience, a fully virtual option will be provided in Grades 2–12 for families who have a unique health circumstance. Please contact your child’s division head on or before July 31, 2020, should you choose to explore this option. 
  • How will full-time virtual learning work?

    Families who elect to use the full-time virtual learning platform will be asked to commit to virtual learning one marking period (quarter) at a time. The commitment needs to be made in writing to your child’s division head on or before July 31, 2020, to participate in virtual learning for the start of the school year. While students are learning virtually, they will not be allowed to participate in any co-curricular activities unless virtual participation is possible. Tuition rates will not be altered for virtual learning. The virtual learning environment will look different amongst grade levels but will remain true to the values of a Bayside education. At this time, it was decided that virtual learning options would not be available in PK3–1st grade unless mandated by government order or should the school experience high levels of COVID-19 in the lower grades, as on-campus learning is most effective for this age.
  • What will athletics look like in the fall?

    We recognize that athletics is a key component of a Bayside education and are committed to doing everything we can to continue to excel in that area. Our interscholastic athletic program is governed by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). The AHSAA has crafted and continues to update guidelines based on best practices from the CDC.

    All cocurriculars, including athletics, follow the current Bayside Health Plan protocols. We currently check temperatures of every athlete as they enter practice and work out in small groups with strict safety and cleaning protocols. As the summer progresses, Bayside will continue to do everything we are allowed to do under AHSAA rules, which should be very similar to what other schools will be doing. So far, AHSAA has not indicated plans for a delayed start to sports nor to any shuffling of seasons, but we are prepared to adapt as necessary.
  • What will performing arts look like in the fall?

    We are discussing and building those plans now. We will share with parents in the coming weeks.
  • What about community events like Back-to-School Bingo or Christmas Together?

    Guidance from the CDC, ADPH, AAP, and our Medical Advisory Task Force will help Bayside determine protocols on large events over the coming months.
  • What about Extended Day and enrichment programs?

    Extended Day and afterschool programs will be open with some modifications to meet the protocols of the school. Administration is discussing and building those plans now, and we will share plans with parents in the coming weeks. All afterhours programs follow the current Bayside Health Plan protocols.

School Notification

If anyone in your family tests positive for COVID-19, you should immediately notify the appropriate division head(s):
This medical information will be kept strictly confidential, but it is imperative that we have this knowledge as we work to keep our campus and school community safe.

Operating Modes

List of 4 items.

  • GREEN

    GREEN is the "new normal" mode in which Bayside Academy cautiously proceeds with most aspects of normal school operation with some limitations for the health and safety of our community.
    ➔ Health & Safety - Enhanced monitoring of student, faculty, and staff health; visitor access to campus may be restricted.
    ➔ Classes - Traditional schedule; classes meet in person.
    ➔ Cleaning - Elevated standards of hygiene and cleaning.
    ➔ Lunch Options - Traditional lunch options; maintain meal delivery with meals ordered online by parents. Lunches will be delivered to classrooms by key personnel who have followed proper hand-washing protocols.
    ➔ Gatherings and Common Spaces - Conditional based on CDC and ADPH guidance regarding number of people in attendance, square footage available, and environment of facilities in use (indoor vs. outdoor, social distancing ability, etc.).
  • YELLOW

    YELLOW employs multiple social distancing strategies to limit transmission risks by increasing physical space between students and limiting interactions in large group settings.
    ➔ Health & Safety - Daily monitoring of student, faculty, and staff health; visitor access to campus will be limited and visitors must have a health scan conducted in the clinic before entering campus. Face coverings are mandatory and must be worn by students during transitions. Face coverings are strongly encouraged in the classroom setting.
    ➔ Classes - Traditional or slightly modified schedule; classes meet in person with limited group sizes and moderate social distancing; minimized student movement. Possible staggered arrival and departure.
    ➔ Cleaning - Elevated standards of hygiene and cleaning.
    ➔ Lunch Options - Traditional lunch options; maintain meal delivery with meals ordered online by parents. Meals will be delivered to campus in individual, closed containers by the vendor. Lunches will be delivered to classrooms by key personnel who have followed proper hand-washing protocols.
    ➔ Gatherings and Common Spaces - Conditional based on CDC and ADPH guidance regarding number of people in attendance, square footage available, and environment of facilities in use (indoor vs. outdoor, social distancing ability, etc.). Limited size and number of gatherings.
  • ORANGE

    ORANGE reduces the total number of people who can be in a given area on campus at any time to maximize social distancing and minimize the mixing of student groups.
    ➔ Health & Safety - Daily monitoring of student, faculty, and staff health; no visitor access to campus without a scheduled appointment. Uniform-approved face coverings are mandatory in the classroom setting and during transitions.
    ➔ Classes - Schedule may be modified to accommodate high physical distancing; classes meet on campus with the possibility of some classes meeting virtually to reduce student movement; minimal to no student movement during the day. Staggered arrival and departure.
    ➔ Cleaning - Elevated standards of hygiene and cleaning.
    ➔ Lunch Options - No meal delivery; all meals must come from home.
    ➔ Gatherings and Common Spaces - No large gatherings; on-campus virtual assemblies.
  • RED

    RED requires shelter-in-place virtual learning and will only be employed if there is no other recourse and/or we are mandated by law.
    ➔ Health & Safety - Campus closed.
    ➔ Classes - Schedule modified from traditional schedule; virtual learning only.
    ➔ Cleaning - Thorough cleaning while campus is closed.
    ➔ Lunch Options - No lunch; campus closed.
    ➔ Gatherings and Common Spaces - School gatherings conducted virtually.
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