2020-21 Health, Safety, & Logistics
Learn about our campus enhancements and health protocols, or visit the division-specific pages below to view daily schedules and more information. This page will be updated as changes are made, so please check back regularly.
Academics and School Life by Divison
Explore division-specific procedures and planning on the Lower, Middle, and Upper School pages below.
- Health Pledge
- Face Coverings
- Daily Screenings
- Campus Enhancements
- Travel-Related Quarantine Guidance
Keeping our community healthy is a collective effort, one we are asking everyone to support. With shared responsibility and cooperation, we can minimize risk and work to maintain a healthy environment for EA students, faculty, staff, and families. Please review our community Health & Wellness Pledge for more details.
Face masks are required for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors while on campus or in a school vehicle. EA encourages families to purchase multiple masks for students so that a new mask can be worn each day while others are laundered.
Face masks are now considered to be a part of the EA uniform and must meet the following criteria:
- No logos (except for EA shield, interlocking EA, or EA athletic team logo)
- No text, numerals, or slogans
- No inappropriate or distracting images
- Must completely cover nose and mouth
- Should stay in place with normal movement and does NOT need frequent adjustments
- Cloth covering must have a minimum of two layers (double cloth or cloth and filter)
- Gaiters are permitted, if they have two layers of cloth
- Masks with a valve are not permitted
- Face Shield can be in addition to a mask OR without a mask AND medical release
Face masks may be removed only while eating or drinking and during designated mask breaks. Students will be required to bring a face mask to school every day. EA recommends that each student bring a spare mask with them to school each day. With the permission of the Director of Health Services, students, faculty, and staff who are unable to wear masks due to a medical condition may utilize a face shield.
Here are some additional mask and face covering considerations and tips.
- Protect you as well as protect those around you
- Properly wearing a mask is what is proven to decrease the spread
- Try to avoid touching your mask as much as possible, sanitize hands if you do touch your mask
- Change to a clean dry mask if it becomes wet or dirty
- Keep a spare mask with your belongings and bring to school daily
- Cloth masks or face coverings should be washed daily
- Disposable or Procedural masks should be for one-day use only.
To maintain a six-foot distance between students wherever possible, we have:
- Removed cabinetry and other classroom furniture to allow for proper distancing between desks.
- Added plexiglass dividers to provide protection.
- Removed dining hall furniture for more spacing between tables, and installed plexiglass dividers where necessary.
- Leveraged additional spaces across campus to accommodate proper spacing during larger gatherings like lunch blocks, study halls, Chapel, etc.
Learn more about how we are ensuring proper social distance in the Hygiene and Sanitation and Campus Enhancements sections below.
Creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment is essential, and is going to require everyone’s support and participation. We ask families to join EA faculty and staff in promoting the following with students:
- Frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. Students must sanitize or wash hands when entering the learning space, before and after snacks/lunch, after restroom use, and before leaving for home.
- Practice coughing and sneezing into elbows.
- Visually show and practice keeping 6 feet apart.
- Practice wearing a face covering.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Maintain preventative health practices by keeping immunizations (including influenza vaccination) and physical exams current.
Before coming to school each day, families must perform a mandatory daily screening of all children. This daily screening requires answers to several health questions and a temperature check.
Daily screenings must be completed by a parent in EA's new mobile app, powered by AUXS Safety App. If you have not yet set up your account, please send a request for a new temporary password to email@example.com.
When parents complete the app, they receive either a green pass (safe to come to school) or red pass (not safe to come to school; a member of EA's Health Services will follow up with you). The passes can be accessed via the icon found on the top, righthand side of the app's home screen. The passes will also be automatically emailed to the parent and the student.
Parents need to display their green pass(es) in LS carline before students may exit the vehicle and enter the LS building. For LS bus riders, a team of faculty and staff members check online to make sure screenings were completed as students exit their bus. MS and US students must display their green pass at a screening checkpoint before being able to enter a building on campus. Staff members check the database for a complete screening if a student has technical difficulties or cannot locate their pass.
EA has made many modifications to campus facilities in an effort to create an even safer and healthier campus.
Hygiene and Sanitation
The following enhancements have been made to EA’s typical hygiene and sanitation approach. For questions, please contact Director of Operations Mark Notaro or Associate Director of Operations Joe Shanahan.
- Enhanced daily standard cleaning and sanitation protocols
- Use of hospital grade disinfectant
- Cleaning of high-touch surfaces regularly throughout the day
- An additional layer of defense by using SD 90+, a high performance coating applied utilizing electrostatic spray technology. SD 90+ includes an EPA registered active antimicrobial agent to control bacteria, fungi and mold which can cause stains, odors, or surface damage, through a physical mode of action that neutralizes microbes that come in contact with it. The positive ionic charge in the active ingredient attracts microbes to the coating and inactivates them. The active ingredient’s proprietary formulation allows the product to be applied to any surface, and the unique chemistry offers an industry-leading level of performance for long term durability. SD 90+ is intended to supplement Episcopal’s current cleaning and disinfecting processes.
- Expanded cleaning staff
- Added 140+ more hand sanitizer stations across campus
- Converted all restroom faucets to touchless faucets
- Updated many handwashing stations to include touchless accessories and separation barriers
- Converted all water fountains to bottle-filling stations
EA has re-engineered aspects of our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems based on guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The following enhancements have been made across campus:
- Increased outdoor air to system on an hourly basis (outdoor air will be introduced for 20 minutes each hour)
- Increased filtration to the highest standard
- Lowered humidity level across entire system
EA has worked to ensure six-feet distance between each desk/seat in classrooms and learning spaces. This has involved reworking layouts and removing cabinetry, cubbies, shelving, and large furniture. In any space where six-feet of distance could not be achieved, plexiglass dividers have been installed. Each division is also working to ensure each section/class meets the new seating capacity identified for each learning space.
EA is reducing the use of and capacity within large communal spaces. When these spaces are used, seating markers help students, faculty, and staff ensure proper distancing.
The Upper School student lounges have been relocated to larger spaces that allow for six-feet distancing. New lounge locations are assigned by grade and housed in the Class of 1944 Chapel, Dixon Athletic Center, and Crawford Campus Center (Annenberg Library and Carrafiell Theater). Students will be required to report to their assigned student lounge during all free blocks/unscheduled time.
EA has installed helpful directional signage to help students, faculty, and staff safely navigate campus. Floor decals help ensure appropriate spacing while waiting in a line to enter a building or communal space, and seat markers identify approved seating spaces in communal spaces and student lounges.
- Updated Sick Policy
- Positive Cases: Actions EA Will Take
- Contact Tracing and Notification Protocol
- Communication Philosophy
- Returning to Campus
- Remote Learning while Away from Campus
- On-Campus Testing
Knowing when to stay home from school is essential to keep the community healthy. Students instructed to stay home after completing the daily screening questionnaire must notify the nurse’s office if their absence is due to COVID-19.
Throughout the school day, students are monitored for symptoms. Students who are running a fever, experiencing frequent coughing, or experiencing shortness of breath will not be allowed to return to class. Sick students will remain in the nurse’s office until they are picked up by a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians are asked to be prepared to pick up their children within 45 minutes of notification.
Students, faculty, and staff should stay home from school if:
- They or any member of their household are unwell with COVID-like symptoms.
- They or any member of their household are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
- They or any member of their household test positive for COVID-19 (with or without symptoms).
- They or any member of their household experience a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher (oral; 99.5 or higher axillary or temporal)
- They have traveled outside of the state of PA within 10 days without having secured a negative test result.
In all instances, families are asked to call their doctor and inform EA Health Services.
When there is a confirmed COVID-19 infection, EA will:
- Notify the Chester County Health Department.
- Isolate the infected individual and exclude them from school for at least 14 days from symptom onset or test date.
- Disinfect and clean classroom and primary spaces where the infected individual spent significant time.
- Identify all “close contacts” and execute EA’s contact tracing protocols.
- EA will notify all “close contacts” but will not identify by name individuals who have tested positive.
- EA will inform community members who may have interacted with the infected individual, even if they do not qualify as a “close contact.”
- In the Lower School, all families in a homeroom of a confirmed COVID-19 case will be informed. Communications will not identify by name individuals who have tested positive.
- In the Middle and Upper Schools, all families of students who have been in classes or meetings with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 case will be informed. Communications will not identify by name individuals who have tested positive.
What is a Close Contact?
The CDC defines a “close contact” as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Contact tracing is the process of identifying, notifying, and monitoring any employee or student who came in close contact with another employee or student of the school who tested positive for COVID-19 while they were infectious (two days before onset of symptoms until the end of the person's isolation period). Contact tracing is a key strategy for preventing the further spread of COVID-19. Close contacts of an individual who test positive for COVID-19 are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19, and may go on to develop the virus. Identifying and quarantining close contacts limits their ability to spread disease should they become infectious and helps to limit spread within the EA community.
The purpose of this contact tracing policy is to:
- Explore the possible route of infection or exposure.
- Identify close contacts and other individuals who are employed by or who are students of the school who may be at risk for infection.
- Educate the individual on the need to quarantine and isolate and determine the individual’s plan.
- Identify the support services that the school can provide to the individual needed to successfully quarantine or isolate.
Contact tracing protocols and procedures will be conducted by a designated EA contact tracer as follows:
- Any employee or student who is diagnosed with COVID-19, is required to inform the designated EA contact tracer of the diagnosis.
- The designated contact tracer will discuss with the employee or student with whom he or she has been in close contact, and will be asked where the employee or student spent time on the school campus while he or she may have been infectious and able to spread COVID-19 to others.
- Individuals are considered to be infectious beginning two days before onset of symptoms or two days before the date of the positive result if the person did not have symptoms until the end of the quarantine period (“Infectious Period”). Infected individuals are encouraged to utilize calendars, emails, etc. to remember where and who they were around at EA during their Infectious Period.
- The infected student or employee will not be permitted on campus and will be asked to stay at home and self-isolate, if he or she is not doing so already, until 14 days after the onset of symptoms and until the individual is fever free for 72 hours.
- “Close contacts” are those individuals who were in close proximity (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with the infected individual during the Infectious Period.
Follow-up activity as a result of the contact-tracing interview shall include but may not be limited to the following.
- The designated EA contact tracer will contact faculty members to notify them of a positive COVID-19 individual.
- The designated EA contact tracer will notify close contacts of their potential exposure.
- The designated EA contact tracer will conduct follow up discussions with the close contacts regarding symptoms and testing results.
- EA will share more about services the school can provide to students and families during the self-quarantine period.
Please note that the name of the employee or student who tested positive for COVID-19 will not be revealed to the close contacts, even if they ask.
To prevent the further spread of disease, COVID-19 close contacts may not be on campus and are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others until 14 days after their last exposure to a person with COVID-19. Close contacts should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
Effective contact tracing relies on conducting interviews in a timely manner. Complying with requests for information from EA is an important expectation and a necessity as the school attempts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school community.
At this challenging time, we are committed to communicating with families with clarity and accuracy. We understand that families will have questions about how positive cases of COVID-19 impact their children, and we will do all we can to answer your questions. Please know that you are invited to reach out to your child’s teacher, dean, division head, and our nurses at any time.
While offering as much information as we can, we also have an obligation to respect and protect individuals’ privacy. With this in mind, please be informed that:
- We will inform families and students when there are positive cases in the community, but we will not share the names of individuals who test positive.
- If a member of a student’s household tests positive for COVID-19, but the student themself does not test positive and is asymptomatic, we will not communicate or execute contract tracing protocols. (In this circumstance, the student would be required to stay home, to isolate from their infected family member, and to be tested themself.)
As a part of its School Guidance, The Chester County Health Department has established specific protocols related to exclusion from and return to school. EA will follow this guidance if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19.
Students who cannot come to campus will be afforded opportunities to participate in their classes’ learning. Through remote learning, video conferencing into classrooms, and other communication tools, EA will work with students and families to develop learning experiences that are as continuous and effective as possible. Lower School families will work closely with the division head and homeroom teacher. Middle and Upper School families will work closely with form deans and advisors.
Students will have opportunities to communicate with their teachers and peers as soon as feasible based on their health, and they will be afforded opportunities to make up missed coursework at a pace and level appropriate for their age and health. Students will not be penalized if they are unable to complete assignments for health reasons.
EA has partnered with a private lab to offer on-campus COVID-19 testing for any student or employee who is experiencing COVID symptoms. We believe this may add convenience and possibly faster turnaround times than our families can achieve on their own. Through this partnership, EA has the ability to deploy a molecular (PCR) test, expedite the shipping to the lab, and receive a result the next day. learn more
- Arrival and Departure
- Bus Transportation
- Dress Code
- Academic Schedules
- Student Movement, Free Blocks, and Unscheduled Time
- Performing Arts
- Recess and Physical Education
- Clubs and Extracurricular Activities
- Post-Dismissal Supervision and Aftercare
- School Events and Meetings
A daily screening is required for every student, faculty, and staff member before they arrive to campus. EA's new arrival procedures ensure completed screenings and ease navigation around campus. New dismissal procedures help ensure a safe departure.
Upper School students are asked to arrive at campus shortly before their first scheduled commitment and to depart campus after their last scheduled commitment. Supervision is provided for any student who must continue to arrive/depart campus at normal times due to transportation.
Students, faculty, and staff are required to wear a face covering at all times when on campus, except while eating and drinking and during designated mask breaks.In an effort to prevent students, faculty, and staff from wearing articles of clothing that are not laundered regularly, EA has made modifications to the school’s required dress code:
- No ties
- No blazers or EA striped sweaters
- No PE uniforms in Lower School
- No “Special Dress” days scheduled in Upper School
EA encourages families to launder all articles of clothing that students wear between uses.
Each division has made slight adjustments to daily on-campus academic schedules.
- Lower School: Students report directly to homeroom each morning. Special teachers visit homerooms for lessons. Recess and physical education times are adapted to be more structured and to allow proper distancing. Grades 1-5 continue to travel, with safe distancing, to lunch.
- Middle School: Instead of a group homeroom, students report directly to their first period class each morning. The schedule operates similar to the past schedule and includes extended passing time to allow students more time to travel to their next assigned location. Dismissal from classes is staggered to help reduce the number of students in hallways at one time.
- Upper School: Instead of a group homeroom, students report directly to their first period class each morning. The schedule operates similar to the past schedule and includes extended passing time to allow students more time to travel to their next assigned location. Due to slight schedule modifications, instructional time will not be greatly impacted by the extended passing time. Dismissal from classes is staggered to help reduce the number of students in hallways at one time.
In an effort to reduce the numbers of students traversing campus at the same time, EA has limited the number of times students need to transition, when possible. Dismissal from classes is also staggered to help reduce hallway traffic.
Free Blocks/Unscheduled Time
Upper School students must immediately report to their assigned lounge during any free blocks or unscheduled time.
The all-inclusive meal plan will continue in Middle and Upper School. Parents and students who are more comfortable packing their own lunch were given the opportunity to opt-out of this plan for the 20-21 academic year.
In Lower School, EA is not able to sell a la carte menu items for the 20-21 academic year. Families with students in grades 1-5 could instead opt for a new, all-inclusive meal plan each semester.
Weekly menus are posted online and in the Parent Portal. Please use the drop-down menu at the top left to change the division view.
EA’s facilities team and dining services provider, SAGE, have implemented many new protocols and procedures to ensure a safe dining experience for students, including new traffic patterns, an additional satellite dining hall in the Athletic Center, enhanced cleaning procedures and frequency, elimination of self-serve stations, and addition of more pre-packaged items.
Chapel will continue for all students. In an effort to maintain safe distancing, EA reduced the maximum capacity in the sacred space and utilized seat markers to designate approved seat locations. In most cases, one grade attends Chapel in-person on a rotation, with other grades viewing the service via a livestream from their classroom. Chapel is available for parents via the livestream link in the Parent Portal.
EA has adjusted its performing arts program to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 and ensure a safe experience for students. The music program will be adjusted in the following ways:
- There is no singing or playing wind instruments on campus until further notice. Student wind players and singers will be required to practice at home.
- Most music classes will be online until at least October.
- When meeting, all music classes are split into rotating smaller sections to accommodate social distancing. Instruction is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning.
- Students cannot share music or any other equipment. Students in ensembles have assigned folders to keep with them.
- Any school music equipment used (keyboards, guitars, percussion, etc.) cannot be shared and will be cleaned before and after every class.
- EA is working to find opportunities in Chapel to feature solo and small ensemble performances.
Students who are not able to be picked up at dismissal or who ride school district buses are assigned a location they must report to after school. Students will be supervised by faculty and staff until their bus or parent arrives.
Socially-distanced aftercare is available for LS families.
If I choose to opt-in for remote learning, will we be able to return to in-person when we are comfortable?
In order to help us plan out sections and classroom assignments, we are asking parents to opt-in by trimester/semester. However, we will be as flexible as possible and work with each individual family to see if we can allow for a return to in-person when they are comfortable.
If a student is out for an extended period of time due to illness or quarantining, will classes be available to view online? Will they be able to rejoin their in-person classes after the absence?
Some courses may be available for them to join “live” while they are out while others will offer recordings and online modules.
They will absolutely be able to rejoin their in-person classes when they return.
Health and Safety Update Archive
- Jan 4: Health and Safety Reminders
- Dec. 3: December Planning for Upper School
- Dec. 3: December Planning for Lower and Middle School
- Nov. 24: Transition to Remote Learning
- Nov. 13 COVID-19 Update
- Oct. 28: COVID-19 Testing Update
- September 11 Provisional Reopening Plan
- September 4 Reopening Update
- August 26 Inter-Ac Delay Announcement
- August 21 Reopening Updates
- August 17 Announcement: Virtual Learning through Oct. 8
- August 7 School Reopening Updates
- August 3 Fall Athletics Update
- July 31 School Reopening Updates
- July 24 School Reopening Updates
- July 10 School Reopening Updates