Below you will find our latest Health and Safety Procedures, and our Learning Plan for On Campus & Remote Learning for the upcoming school year. 

As always, the health and safety of our community is our top priority. Our goal is to reduce risk as much as possible by introducing multiple layers of protection and asking each member of our community to remember their obligation to help protect the health of all members of our community.

As we developed our plans to deliver the highest quality educational experience for our students in these uncertain and fluid times, we looked to federal and local health agencies, as well as expert recommendations of physicians serving on our health and safety task force, for assistance and guidance. Developing this plan was a key step in preparing to re-open campus.

Cape Fear Academy is currently operating under the Yellow Condition. You can find more information below.

CLICK THE BUTTONS BELOW TO JUMP TO:

Health & Safety Procedures

COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. The virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. That’s why personal prevention practices (such as hand washing and staying home when sick) are important practices covered in this Health and Safety Manual.

Any scenario in which many people gather together poses a risk for COVID-19 transmission. While children generally experience mild symptoms with COVID-19, and, to date, have not been found to contribute substantially to the spread of the virus, transmission from even those with mild or no apparent symptoms remains a risk.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Fever is determined by measuring a temperature of 100.4°F or greater, or feeling warm to the touch, or giving a history of feeling feverish.

While symptoms in children are similar to adults, children may have milder symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Children with COVID-19 may not initially present with fever and cough as often as adult patients.

Relying upon guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDS), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), we have developed the following policies in order to take measures aimed at maintaining a safe environment that lowers the risk of viral spread.

We have and will continue to be guided by CFA’s Mission and Core Principles as we keep the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff at the center of our planning and decision-making.

The Health and Safety Committee has focused on all aspects of the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community when outlining CFA’s policies. The Health and Safety Committee is comprised of the following individuals:

  • Head of School, Chair: Ed Ellison
  • School Nurse: Amy Croom
  • Division Directors: Carla Whitwell, Stephanie Medcalfe, Lynne Kenney
  • Middle and Upper School Counselor: Tobi Ragon
  • Assistant Head of School for Finance & Operations: Shana Barclay
  • Board of Trustees Chair: Porter Young
  • Physician: Dr. Peter Kane (CFA Parent & Board of Trustees member)
  • Physician: Dr. Trip Meine (CFA Parent)
  • Physician: Dr. Elizabeth Meine (CFA Parent)
  • Assistant to Head of School: Jennifer Allen

Further Guidance and Directives: As we developed plans to deliver the highest quality educational experience for our students in these uncertain and fluid times, we have looked to the following agencies and institutions for assistance and guidance:

  • NC Governor’s Executive Orders
  • CDC, NCDHHS, and NHCHD guidance and recommendations
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Guidance for School Reopening
  • Expert recommendations of physicians serving on our task force
  • Guidance and best practices promulgated by NAIS, SAIS, and NCAIS

Rights — Every student, teacher, or staff member should be known, valued, and cared for. This fundamental right accompanies membership in CFA’s school community. It implies we all have a right to expect both emotional and physical safety. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this means members of our community can reasonably expect a heightened level of concern for their physical health as well as their social-emotional wellbeing. While it is possible that students, teachers, or staff members will be exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their work or studies, everyone is entitled to expect that every effort and reasonable precaution will be taken to prevent this from happening.

Responsibilities — Our commitment also implies that members of our community should Know, Value, and Care for others. This means our interactions with others—friends and strangers, students and adults—should be self-aware, respectful, and courteous. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this means complying willingly with rules and policies designed to keep our community safe and healthy. This means thinking of others, appreciating that their risk tolerance might be lower than ours, and adjusting our behavior with sensitivity and respect. This means respecting policies and expectations, even when inconvenient to ourselves.

In some communities, measures taken to prevent COVID-19 infection have ignited conflicts between the liberty of individuals and perceptions of the common good. We do not expect this strife to plague CFA’s school community. Rather, we expect our respect for and sense of duty to others to be visible in myriad ways, including the following:

  • How all members of our community and visitors to our campus wear mask as required, wash and disinfect their hands frequently, and mind physical distancing norms;
  • How all members of our community and visitors to our campus follow self-screening guidelines for symptoms of illness and refrain from coming to campus when symptomatic;
  • How all members of our community and visitors to our campus interact with each other in and out of the classroom, and take responsibility for maintaining a healthy environment;
  • How all members of our community and visitors to our campus treat others—teachers, nurses, custodians, office administrators, maintenance staff, etc.—as people worthy of their respect and deserving of safety themselves; and
  • How all members of our community and visitors to our campus comply with self-quarantine rules regarding exposure to COVID-19.

COVID-19 has disrupted life as we knew it. To navigate this public health challenge, mutual respect, trust, and a deep sense of our reciprocal obligations to one another is essential.

*This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Depending upon government regulations and expert recommendations, CFA will operate under the following four scenarios.

Green – Normal school operations with all students on campus. CFA will practice healthy hygiene and encourage students and staff who are not well to stay home from school.

Yellow – All students on campus with increased safety mitigation. CFA may institute additional safety measures, including temperature screening and symptom monitoring for everyone entering the school building; students and staff may wear cloth face coverings; students do not leave campus during the school day; non-essential visitors not allowed in school buildings; food service modified. (More details below)

Red – Remote Learning for students in Grades 1 – 12. CFA will comply with official mandates, but will plan to have LE-K students receive instruction on campus according to regulations governing Child Care facilities. CFA will also endeavor to have additional grades in lower school receive instruction on campus in accordance with the law.

Conducting regular screening for symptoms and ongoing self-monitoring throughout the school day can help reduce exposure. Staff and students are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If a student develops symptoms throughout the day, they must notify an adult immediately.

Staff and students must stay home if:

  • They have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms, until they meet criteria for return.
  • They have recently had close contact* with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 until they meet criteria for return.
  • *For CFA purposes, close contact occurs when a person remains within 3 feet of another person for more than 15 minutes during a single, 24-hour period.
  • Someone in their household is being tested for COVID-19.

CFA may conduct symptom screening of any person entering the school buildings, including staff, students, family members and other visitors, if they did not screen and complete an attestation prior to arrival. CFA may require all students to be screened at home, and require parents to complete an attestation through the school’s online healthcare application. Employees may be required to complete a similar document online.

  • Symptom screening checklist for lower school students can be found below. (This checklist is designed to be administered to a person dropping off a young child.)
  • Symptom screening checklist for middle and upper school students or any person entering the building can be found below. (This checklist is designed to be administered to any person middle-school-aged or older, including students, staff, families, or visitors.)
  • Fever is determined by a measured temperature of 100.4 °F or greater.

For persons entering the school building during the day who have not completed the online symptom screening, CFA will follow these procedures for taking temperatures:

  • Individuals waiting to be screened must stand six feet apart from each other.
  • The CFA staff persons taking temperatures will wear a cloth face covering, and will stand six feet apart except when taking another person’s temperature.
  • The CFA staff person will use a touchless thermometer to measure the person’s temperature.
  • The CFA staff person will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before touching the thermometer.
  • The CFA staff person must wash hands or use hand sanitizer after taking temperature.
  • The CFA staff person will clean and sanitize the thermometer, using manufacturer’s instructions, between each use.

The CDC does not currently recommend that universal testing through virology or serology testing be used to inform admitting students or staff into school.

Viral tests can only determine potential infection at a single point in time and may miss cases in the early stages of infection.

*Please consult school nurse for guidance prior to testing. The school nurse will also communicate to staff and faculty if a student will need to stay home from school for testing or a quarantine period.

Students who are required to quarantine by CFA due to COVID-19 (infection or close contact) will be able to learn remotely through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous modes. However, students may not elect to learn remotely upon their return.

Individuals who are considered high-risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 include people who:

  • Are 65 years of age or older
  • Have a high-risk condition that includes:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Heart disease with complications
    • Compromised immune system
    • Diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
    • Severe obesity – body mass index of 40 or
    • Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
    • Undergoing a chemotherapy regimen 

CFA will:

  • Post signs at building entrances requesting that people who have been symptomatic with fever and/or cough not enter school buildings.
  • Immediately isolate symptomatic individuals to the clinic at the school, and send them home to isolate.
  • Require the symptomatic person to wear a cloth face covering or a surgical mask while waiting to leave the facility.
  • Provide nurses with approved eye protection for use while interacting with students or staff who present with COVID-19 symptoms.

Cloth face coverings will NOT be placed on:

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering.

Checklist for Parents who think their child may have been infected with COVID-19, or been in close contact with someone who has been infected with COVID-19.

1. Taking your child’s temperature and checking for symptoms that may indicate a COVID-19 infection. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

Fever or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fatigue
Muscle or body aches
Headache
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

2. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, or is experiencing any of these symptoms, please keep your child home and notify the School Nurse, Amy Croom at 910-470-1755.

3. Please note carefully the date of onset of symptoms. This is critical information for assessing close contacts.


4. The School Nurse will recommend that you monitor your child’s symptoms and / or contact your child’s pediatrician for evaluation.


5. Your child’s pediatrician may recommend that your child get tested for COVID-19. We strongly recommend that your pediatrician request a PCR test, which is known to be highly reliable for accuracy.


6. If you believe your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the School Nurse before seeking a COVID-19 test, as it is possible to be tested too soon for the test results to be reliable.


7. The School Nurse will encourage you to reach out to all non-CFA contacts who you believe may have come into close contact with your child beginning two days before they experienced symptoms, especially if contact was unmasked.


8. The School Nurse is required to contact the New Hanover County Health Department to report a positive COVID-19 case in the school.


9. You can expect to hear from the NHCHD for follow up on contact tracing, although they may not contact you right away.


10. The School Nurse will provide you with information about and the timing of your child’s safe return to school.


As always, the health and safety of our community is our top priority. Our goal is to reduce risk as much as possible by introducing multiple layers of protection and asking each member of our community to remember their obligation to help protect the health of all members of our community.

CFA staff will adhere to the following process for allowing a student or staff member to return to school:

  • If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional based on a test or their symptoms, or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until they (or a family member if younger child) can answer YES to the following three questions:

    • Has it been at least 10 days since the individual first had symptoms?
    • Has it been at least 24 hours since the individual had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine)?
    • Has it been at least 3 days since the individual’s symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath?
  • CFA will notify local health authorities of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children and staff (as required by NCGS §130A-136).
  • If a student or employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, they must remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
  • If a student or employee that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been presumed positive by a medical professional due to symptoms, they are not required to have documentation of a negative test in order to return to school.
  • If a symptomatic person has had a negative COVID-19 test, they can return to school once there is no fever (without the use of fever reducing medicines) and they have felt well for 24 hours, assuming they have not been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • If a student or employee has been determined to have been in close contact* with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they must remain out of school for 10 days since the last date of exposure, unless they develop symptoms and/or test positive. In which case, the exclusion criteria above would apply. Parents should closely monitor their child for symptoms until 14 days have passed since the date of last exposure, during which time the student or employee will be required to wear a mask indoors.
  • If a student or employee has recovered fully from a confirmed (positive) case of COVID-19 AND is later identified as a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, the student or employee will not be required to quarantine as long as they can provide written certification of a positive PCR test for COVID-19 within three months of the date of the close contact.
  • If a student or employee has been fully vaccinated AND is later identified as a close contact of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, the student or employee will not be required to quarantine as long as they can provide written certification of the date of the final dose of the vaccine.

Social distancing is a key tool to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing (“physical distancing”) means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home.

Should CFA decide to operate in the Yellow Scenario above, CFA staff may:

  • Minimize opportunities for sustained exposure (15 minutes or more) by ensuring sufficient social distancing with at least 3 feet between people whenever possible.
  • Arrange desks or seating so that students are separated from one another by 3 feet when feasible. If it is not possible to arrange seating 3 feet apart, all students will sit facing the same direction and will wear cloth face coverings.
  • Mark 3 feet of spacing to remind students and staff to always stay 3 feet apart in lines and at other times when they may congregate.
  • Keep students and teachers in small cohort groups that stay together as much as possible during the day, and from day to day. Limit mixing between cohort groups as much as possible (e.g., during recess, lunch, arrival and dismissal, etc.)
  • Students will have the option to participate in the modified lunch program through Flik or bring their own food to school each day. (CFA will provide families with more details about the modified Flik lunch program soon.)
  • Limit activities that involve bringing together large groups of people or activities that do not allow for social distancing, including assemblies, in-person field trips, large groups using playground equipment simultaneously, etc.
  • Limit non-essential visitors and activities involving external groups or organizations.
  • Incorporate virtual events such as field trips, parents/family meetings, assemblies, and performances where possible.
  • Place physical barriers such as plexiglass for protection at reception desks and similar areas.
  • Provide social distancing floor/seating markings in waiting and reception areas.
  • Have staff monitor arrival and dismissal to discourage congregating and ensure students go straight from a vehicle to their classrooms and vice-versa.

Should CFA decide to operate in the Yellow Scenario above, CFA may require all teachers and students to wear cloth face coverings throughout the day, except during lunch or during outdoor activities when students are well dispersed

The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. The CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent.

Additional research is still being conducted on the effectiveness of various forms of cloth face coverings. A recent “proof-of-concept” study by researchers at Duke University found that porous neck gaiters and bandanas were not as effective as three-layered cloth face covering. For these reasons, CFA requires that students and employees not wear masks with valves, neck gaiters, or bandanas. 

Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment. Face coverings should be worn by staff and students, and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. We will remind each other frequently not to touch the face covering and to wash our hands. Parents should purchase five (5) cloth face coverings for each child attending CFA.

Cloth face coverings will NOT be placed on:

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Anyone who cannot tolerate a cloth face covering due to developmental, medical or behavioral health
    needs.

Families can find more information on the proper use, wearing, removal, and cleaning of cloth face coverings, such as CDC’s Guidance on wearing and removing cloth face masks and CDC’s use of cloth face coverings.

Washing hands with soap for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer reduces the spread of disease. To support increase cleaning and hygiene during the school day, CFA will:

  • Establish a schedule for and perform ongoing and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas (e.g., door handles, stair rails, faucet handles, toilet handles, playground equipment, drinking fountains, light switches, desks, tables, chairs, etc.), and increase frequency of disinfection during high-density times and disinfect all shared objects (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, toys, games) between use.
  • Provide hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) at every building entrance and exit, and in every classroom, for safe use by staff and older students.
  • Teach and reinforce frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or the safe use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol by staff and older children.
  • Reinforce hand washing during key times such as: Before eating food; After using the toilet; After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; After touching objects with bare hands which have been handled by other individuals.
  • Ensure that children with skin reactions and contraindications to hand sanitizer use soap and water.
  • Provide at least one touch-less water fountain in each division to reduce risk of viral spread.
  • Encourage staff and students to cough and sneeze into their elbows, or to cover with a tissue.
  • Limit sharing of personal items and supplies such as writing utensils.
  • Limit use of classroom materials to small groups and disinfect between uses or provide adequate supplies to assign for individual student use.

LOWER SCHOOL STUDENTS

The CFA staff member conducting screenings should maintain a three-foot distance while asking questions of the person dropping off the child before the child may enter the school.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should not be at school.

Symptom Screening Questionnaire can be found here.

MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OR ANYONE ENTERING A CFA BUILDING

The CFA staff member conducting screenings should maintain a three-foot distance while asking questions. They will ask each person entering the building the following questions prior to entering the school.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should not be at school.

Symptom Screening Questionnaire can be found here.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be stressful for students and families. The concern for the health of an ill family member or loved one, the cancelation of some activities and events, the fear of contracting the virus, and concern for our global health can lead to depression and anxiety. CFA values the mental health of our students, as academic success is dependent on social-emotional wellbeing.

CFA has three school counselors available for students and families. As it relates to COVID-19, our counselors will provide the following:

  • Individual/group counseling for students
  • Consultation for parents
  • Advocacy with teachers and administration
  • Guidance curriculum lessons per grade
  • Referral for testing and counseling  

In establishing our practices, CFA counselors have referred to directives from the following agencies and institutions:

Center for Disease Control: CDC: Coping with Stress during the COVID-19 pandemic
American Psychological Association: APA: What to expect during COVID-19
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: ADAA: Managing COVID-19 Anxiety

School Counselor Contact information:

Tobi Ragon: 8th-12th grade (Full Time)
tragon@capefearacademy.org
910-218-7174

Elizabeth Gibbs: 4th-7th grade (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
egibbs@capefearacademy.org
910-791-0287

Carrie Peed: PK-3rd grade (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
carrie.peed@capefearacademy.org
910-791-0287

Learning Plan for On Campus & Remote Learning

This information is provided in order to describe the actions and approach Cape Fear Academy will take in order to provide educational continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not detail specific protocols; those measures are outlined by the Health and Safety Subcommittee of the Reopening Campus Task Force. Rather, understanding that each operating scenario is different, we endeavor in this Learning Plan to provide a flexible learning framework with guidelines that can be implemented in a variety of circumstances.

A modified Learning Plan was last implemented during the 2019-20 school year from March through June when CFA closed its campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CFA may again need to close its campus due to COVID-19. This plan may also be necessary in other instances, such as inclement weather, in which the school may be required to close its campus for an extended period of time. If such a crisis should occur, CFA will convene its Crisis Management Team; the decision will be then made as to whether or not to close school by the Head of School and the school’s Board of Trustees.

If the CFA campus is closed and this Learning Plan moves to full remote learning, the Head of School will email communications to both faculty/staff and parents making this announcement and delineating a timeline for implementation. An exact date will be determined when remote learning will begin for CFA students. If appropriate, the one school day preceding this designated date will be classified as a work day for CFA faculty and staff, who will be expected to be on duty, either physically on campus or remotely, depending on circumstances and safety conditions. Students will not​ attend school or be required to begin remote learning until the date designated by the Head of School. During this time Division Directors will prepare to share more specific information and guidelines with parents.

CFA’s approach to remote learning begins with the assertion that the learning experiences teachers design when school is in regular session cannot be simply replicated through remote learning. In particular, the invaluable social interactions that occur naturally among students and between teachers and students cannot be recreated in the same way. Additionally, teachers must find new methods for providing timely and specific feedback to support student growth and learning. The Learning Plan provides guidelines and insights about how the CFA faculty can utilize remote learning in ways that bring curriculum to life. CFA uses the term remote learning rather than technology-specific labels such as “virtual learning” or “e-learning”; this choice reflects our commitment to educating our students, but not relying solely on an electronic device.

At CFA we utilize digital technologies to accelerate access to knowledge beyond the classroom in order to cultivate student-driven deep learning. When we transition from on-campus to full remote learning, the importance of our remote technologies become the main tools for communicating, managing learning, and staying connected with one another. We offer the following FAQs to describe how we will communicate and manage learning in the event our plan is implemented.

Question: How will CFA communicate with students, parents, and faculty/staff in the event of an extended campus closure?

  • Answer: CFA will continue to use the same means it employs for normal day-to-day communications with students, parents, and faculty/staff. All of these systems are accessible remotely and all function in an emergency situation. Refer to the table below for a description of the CFA communication systems:

Question: Are the learning management systems (LMS) utilized in the plan the same as used previously?

  • Answer: Yes. The systems CFA has been using are already built on cloud-based systems, including Google GSuite, Zoom, and Seesaw. That means we can continue to use these systems in crisis, even if buildings are damaged or if campus is inaccessible. 

Question: How will CFA ensure that students have access to these systems while they are away from school?

  • Answer: Each student in grades 6­-12 will be required to have a laptop. Students and parents have two options for these laptops. Students can “bring their own” (BYOD) laptop to school each; this would then be used if CFA moved to full remote learning. If students do not have their own device, parents may request CFA to issue the student a chromebook on the first day of school; the student will then continue to use that device in a remote learning setting. In grades 3-5 students will be issued a chromebook that they will be allowed to take home. K-2 students will be provided smaller chromebooks with touch screens.

The transition to remote learning is neither simple nor easy, as we learned in the Spring of 2020. Teachers need to think differently about how to communicate, give instruction, and provide feedback; how to design lessons and assignments that are authentic and meaningful; and how to ensure students continue to collaborate and communicate with others. The ten guidelines below are intended to help teachers across all divisions reflect on challenges they’ll confront in shifting to remote learning.

  1. Follow the current schedule per division – whether one or all of your students are studying remotely – to provide structure for the students’ day.
  2. Make sure your students know when and how to access your class (via Seesaw, Google, or Zoom).
  3. You, as the teacher, are the first to arrive, prepared with necessary materials, to ensure the technology is working.
  4. Maintain professionalism – as you would on campus – while on video calls on camera. Working from home and being on camera still require a degree of professional surroundings, dress, and engagement. Provide a CFA “virtual” space for the teaching and learning to occur.
  5. Model for your students respectful listening as they reply.
  6. As you begin your class, make sure to begin your Zoom call to use for your remote students.
  7. Record/take attendance promptly in MyBackpack.
  8. Be clear about your expectations, format, and submission for assignments.
  9. Clarify expectations for participation.
  10. Be flexible, caring, and confident that you are demonstrating incredible resilience in an unprecedented time.

Many stakeholders will contribute to the effective implementation of this Remote Learning Plan. The roles and responsibilities of school personnel, students, and parents, are identified below.

*Some of this work is modified from and licensed under a​ Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Scenarios and Schedules by Division

LOWER SCHOOL PRIORITIES AND CONSIDERATIONS

The Lower School will make every effort to keep our youngest CFA students on-campus as long as it is safe to do so. If it is necessary for CFA to transition to full remote learning, students will continue meeting with their classes and teachers online based on the schedules noted. The primary means of communication between teachers and families will be through email, and the SeeSaw app. In terms of synchronous class-time, meaning “live” video time, during which a student will be able to see and hear the teacher and interact with classmates, teachers will follow these guidelines: K-1st Grade: 1.5 hours, 2nd-3rd Grade: 2 hours, 4th-5th Grade: 3 hours of synchronous learning per day, while they are in remote learning.

LOWER SCHOOL SCHEDULES

Green: Schedules will be individualized for each classroom. Grade level teachers will clearly communicate their schedules with parents and will also post on grade level webpages.

Yellow: Schedules will be individualized for each classroom. Grade level teachers will clearly communicate schedules with parents and will also post on grade level webpages.

Red: All students will be at home, fully remote. Synchronous learning will be provided: LE-1st Grade: 1.5 hours, 2nd-3rd Grade: 2 hours, 4th-5th Grade: 3 hours each day.

Middle School Priorities & Considerations

The Middle School will make every effort to keep our students on-campus as long as it is safe to do so. When in yellow, students can all be on campus with safety mitigations for either a full or half day. Health mitigations include social distancing and wearing a mask.

Yellow Scenario:

RED: All students learn remotely

If it is necessary for CFA to transition to full remote learning in the Red Scenario, students will continue meeting with their classes and teachers but will do so online. Each class will be synchronous/live via video conferencing. Students at home will meet virtually, in “real time” with the teacher and class for direct teaching and then work in varying formats as we do during live, on-site school (classwork/practice, group work, projects, reading, videos, and other assignments types.)

  • Under all scenarios, each class will have classwork and homework expectations. Students are expected to hand work in on time.

  • For any additional information, please refer to the CFA Middle School Website.

Upper School Priorities & Considerations

Students will have 3-4 classes per day; each course will be held 3-4 times per week. If it is necessary for CFA to transition to full remote learning, students will continue meeting with their classes and teachers online at the regularly scheduled start times. Students may be working independently or in small groups with the teacher guiding and available online. Each class will have classwork and homework expectations. Students are expected to hand work in on time unless they are excused by a medical practitioner.

With the new US Schedules, the CFA Goals are to:

  1. Minimize the number of class changes and daily contacts for students and teachers.
  2. Maximize the similarity between on campus and off campus instruction.
  3. Reduce the number of classes students meet with daily to address mental – emotional needs and reduce stress.
  4. Maintain the number of minutes per week in each class (230 minutes- same as 2019-2020).

UPPER SCHOOL SCHEDULES 

Yellow Scenario:

Red Scenario:

For any additional information, please refer to the CFA Upper School Website.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are a sampling of questions that were submitted via email to the school from parents. Members of the Reopening of School Task Force assisted in answering these questions.
 

Health & Safety

 
What is our mask policy?
A: Appropriate face coverings will be required for all faculty, staff, students, and anyone visiting or working on campus. Everyone must wear a mask at all times while indoors, unless they are the only person in an enclosed office or classroom. Students and staff may only remove their mask when they are outdoors. If someone forgets their mask, we will have disposable masks available for emergency use. The following face coverings will not be permissible as they are shown to be ineffective in limiting the spread of COVID-19: neck gaiters, bandanas, and any mask with a valve.
 
What if my child has sensory issues or breathing concerns? Will he or she still be required to wear a mask?
A: We understand that every child has different needs. If your child cannot wear a mask or you have specific concerns regarding mask use, please consult your child’s pediatrician to determine whether it is better for your child to learn remotely until such time as community spread lowers and the CDC no longer recommends mask wearing.
 
What is an “appropriate face covering?”
A: The most recent studies show that if you choose a cloth face covering, the cloth masks with several layers are the most effective in preventing spread. The following face coverings will not be permissible as they are shown to be ineffective in limiting the spread of COVID-19: neck gaiters, bandanas, and any mask with a valve. Keeping the mask clean is vital. We kindly ask that all students remember we have young children on campus; colored, logoed, or patterned masks are fine but anything that could be scary, inappropriate, or controversial should not be worn on campus.
 
Can my child wear a clear face shield in lieu of a mask? My concerns with masks are the lack of learning about facial expressions for Lower School students who are still learning facial cues/emotional cues/facial expressions while interacting and learning to speak properly.
A: No. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields for everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. Unfortunately, this presents a challenge for all of us wearing a mask and we will do our best to communicate clearly and find ways to help children express feelings. Our counselors will work with teachers to create ways to best teach these concepts. Concerning articulation for reading purposes, we plan to have the reading specialist use ZOOM for classroom lessons so students will be able to see articulation modeling.
 
How will faculty measure compliance with masking?
A: CFA faculty are a conscientious group of professionals, who know that a big reason for requiring masks is to keep everyone safe. They will do their absolute best to make sure students are doing as they are asked. As with all things, if one of our students requires extra attention and support for following a teacher’s directives, division directors will be involved and ask for parents to partner with us in correcting the behavior.
 
Can we carpool with multiple families?
We do not recommend carpooling with other families to school. However, we understand there may be some instances that it is necessary. Should you have to do so, we ask that you please follow the Center for Disease Controls steps, “to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19″:
  • Stay home if you are sick or had close contact with someone who has the coronavirus.
  • Everyone in the car must wear a mask.
  • Everyone in the car must wash or sanitize their hands.
  • Keep the car windows lowered to increase ventilation inside the car.
  • Run the car’s ventilation system in non-recirculation mode.
How will the school monitor social distancing on campus?
A: Our Director of Campus Security, School Nurse, Facilities Manager, and Division Directors will work with each teacher to ensure their classrooms are set up to establish distance between each student. They will continue to monitor campus daily and troubleshoot any areas of concern. School staff will be stationed around campus during any class change times to monitor proper social distancing.
 
What is the communication plan should a student and/or faculty member that has come in contact with a contained class test positive for COVID-19?
A: CFA will be transparent with information we have about students or faculty who have tested positive for COVID-19 or quarantine due to close contact with an infected individual. We will follow HIPAA regulations, which means we cannot share personal names or other information about this person for privacy reasons. However, CFA will share information with the local health department to assist in their efforts to conduct contact tracing and we will notify your family if your child has been exposed. Depending on the type of exposure, your child may be required to quarantine at home for 14 days even if they test negative, as well as follow additional guidance from your primary care physician and our school nurse, Amy Croom.
 
What will be the protocol if there is a child, teacher or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19? Will it affect the whole school or just that class/classroom/section?
A: As a community, we have an obligation to notify our local health authorities and the school community of a COVID-19 diagnosis. We will use the contact tracing guidelines provided by the CDC and North Carolina Division of Public Health to notify any families of members of the CFA community who may have been in contact with the infected individual as soon as possible. We are fortunate that we have a small, intimate community and know where our students and teachers spend their time each day on campus. The notification process within our community should be very quick. Community members who may be affected will follow the health department and CDC protocols. These protocols will guide each individual’s return to school plan.
 
Please note that CDC guidelines, testing protocols, and the availability of certain tests change often as more information about the virus becomes available. CFA will use the most up-to-date information from government agencies to guide families in how to respond to any COVID-19 related concern.
 
What if my child has to miss school due to COVID-19?
A: It is imperative for your child to stay home if you suspect your child has COVID-19, your child has a tested positive for COVID-19, or your child or your household members have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19. It is vital that each family is very transparent about any COVID-19 related situation so we can inform any other community members who may have been exposed. Nurse Amy Croom will help you determine the best course of action before your child can return to school. Your student’s Division Director will work closely with you to develop the best academic plan for your child while he or she is out which may include remote learning depending on the child’s level of illness and ability to participate.
 
What happens if a student or employee begins to have symptoms during the school day?
A: If a student or employee begins experiencing COVID-19 symptoms during the day, he or she will be isolated from others immediately. Any area the student or employee has visited that day will be cleaned thoroughly. If it is a student, the parents will be called to pick up their child immediately and Nurse Amy Croom will advise them on next steps.
 

Do I have to quarantine if I have already had COVID-19?
If a student or employee has recovered fully from a confirmed (positive) case of COVID-19 AND is later identified as a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, the student or employee will not be required to quarantine as long as they can provide written certification of a positive PCR test for COVID-19 within three months of the date of the close contact.

Do I have to quarantine if I have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19?
No.

Will there be a protocol you will ask parents to follow should someone in their household test positive or come in contact with someone who tested positive?
A: Yes, we will expect all parents to comply with our Health and Safety Procedures, which are published on our website. We are asking all parents to inform us if someone in their household has tested positive for COVID-19, is currently testing for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with some who has tested positive for COVID-19.
 
How will you handle restroom breaks? What will the cleaning process be?
A: Restroom breaks will be handled by teacher discretion. Teachers of younger children will coordinate with each other so that they don’t send too many students at once. Floors will be marked to indicate where students should stand while waiting their turn. CFA will provide day porters who will clean restrooms more frequently. Because some of our classrooms are moving to accommodate social distancing, we will be utilizing some restrooms in other areas of campus that we normally wouldn’t.
 
Is testing for COVID-19 a requirement?
A: No. The CDC does not currently recommend that universal testing through virology or serology testing be used to inform admitting students or staff into school. Viral tests can only determine potential infection at a single point in time and may miss cases in the early stages of infection. It is currently unknown whether individuals are protected against reinfection from SARS-CoV-2 following recovery from COVID-19 illness. If a student or employee presents with COVID-19 symptoms, they will be referred to their primary care physician who will determine if the person should be tested for COVID-19.
 
Is there a way to ask parents to do everything they can to protect their teachers?
A: It is up to each of us to comply with our Health and Safety Procedure on and off campus if we are to reduce the risk of viral spread in our community. Our work together will control transmission, sustain our on-campus learning experience, and do our part to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19. We request that all families returning to campus commit to these responsibilities by signing a pledge, which has been sent to families via the Magnus portal, before the start of the school. All CFA employees will be asked to make the same commitment.
 
When the children eat their snack and lunch, masks will come off – will there be distance between children?
A: We will make every effort to have our students eat outdoors when weather permits. Whether students are eating lunch indoors or outdoors, we will require that students maintain 3 feet of social distance while their masks are removed to eat.
 
Are there special considerations for items students will or will not be allowed to bring to school?
A: For the time being we are asking students to leave toys, stuffed animals, and other items that are likely to be touched by classmates (such as playing cards and trading cards) at home. Your specific division may have more detailed instructions as far as restrictions on certain personal items and cleaning protocols for items that come home each day such as backpacks and lunch boxes. Look for those updates from your Division Director before school begins.
 
Will there be any changes to health requirements for being enrolled on campus?
A: While we will be flexible in adapting our Health and Safety Procedures as guidance from CDC and local health officials are updated, we do not anticipate any lessening of our Health and Safety Procedures in the near future.
 

Teaching & Learning

If a teacher becomes ill, who will ensure that in-class and online continuity continues?
A: Division Directors will ensure that there is educational continuity throughout the year. We have a group of substitute teachers who will cover short term absences. Should a teacher’s absence be of a longer duration, the Division Director will hire a long-term substitute teacher to fill the teaching position.
 
Can parents opt out of a class that puts the child at higher risk for exposure (music, PE, recess)?
A: If you have these concerns, please speak to your child’s Division Director. In planning for music, PE, and recess, we will ensure compliance with our Health and Safety procedures.
 
Does the school have a large group of substitutes in case anyone becomes ill or has to take care of a family member that is ill from COVID-19?
A: The school continued to recruit substitute teachers to assist with any needed absences by our faculty. If you know others who may be interested, you can reach out to Paula Sneeden, Substitute Coordinator, at paula.sneeden@capefearacademy.org.
 

LOWER SCHOOL

 
Will students be singing or playing instruments (e.g. recorder)? Or will the curriculum be based on music theory, history, etc?
A: Music will be held in a variety of spaces. If students will be asked to sing, they will be in an outdoor learning space, socially distanced according to school protocol. If students have class indoors, they will remain socially distanced and will be working on music theory and will be able to play instruments such as ukuleles and percussion instruments.
 
Will Lower School students be participating in physical education? If so, what is the curriculum and/or guidelines? Or, will curriculum be modified to focus on health and hygiene?
A: Yes all Lower School students will be participating in physical education, which will continue to include our health curriculum. We will be outside, socially distanced, as much as possible. If we have to be in the gym or classrooms due to inclement weather, students will remain socially distant, participating in activities/lessons that follow our guidelines for keeping students safe.
 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

 
Would you consider Middle School cohorts and have teachers travel with possible exceptions of lab-based classes? It would seem that teachers such as math, English and social studies could travel, limiting the students movement.
A: Unfortunately, that isn’t an option. Students take different math and foreign language classes, so they will not be with the same cohort group for their classes.
 

UPPER SCHOOL

 
For Upper School, I know there are participation expectations (i.e. Socratic Seminar in English, oral presentations and conversations in foreign language class, etc.) how will that be handled/graded for those students learning remotely?
A: A grading rubric for each teacher ‘s classes will be posted on the teacher’s Google classroom page for each class so students can see how assignments are graded.

Co-Curricular Student Life & Auxiliary Programs

 
How are things looking for sports? Does it depend on the sport?
A: CFA will adhere to guidelines from North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA). The NCISAA can change or delay start dates if they feel it is necessary to do so for the health and safety of member schools. CFA will offer after school activities and workouts for Varsity, JV, and Middle School fall teams when the school year begins.
 
Will you still have arts programming like band, chorus and theatre?
The Performing Arts faculty in all three divisions of CFA are redesigning curricular and extracurricular programming to comply with CFA’s mask and social distancing protocols. This may mean that the classes are taught in different configurations, in different locations, and in some cases with different staffing designs, but the goal of providing the highest quality arts education remains unchanged.
 
What will happen with special trips such as Outward Bound and the Middle School Overnights?
A: Some trips may need to be altered in some ways for safety and/or availability of the venue, but we plan to hold as many special trips as possible.
 
How will Upper School community service requirements be handled during the pandemic, especially for those students with underlying health risks or those choosing to work remotely for their safety?
A: Multiple avenues will exist for students to engage in the community through remote opportunities or in person.
 

Human Resources

 
Will teachers who are older or have underlying health conditions have the option to stay home and teach via zoom to the classroom?
A: CFA will treat all faculty and staff with support and compassion. We have asked every staff member to contact their division director if they feel that their personal circumstances place them at greater risk of COVID-19 infection. The situation you describe will only be possible in rare circumstances.
 
If CFA returns to fully remote instruction, is there a plan for teacher’s children so that teachers can give attention to the classes without the worry of teaching their young children?
A: Yes. But this will only be true if the Governor allows Day Care Facilities to remain open. This will enable CFA to provide in-person educational continuity for students in Grades LE-K. CFA has several operating scenarios, which provide in-person educational continuity for all Lower School students.
 

Finance, Buildings & Grounds

 
How many full time custodial staff will be allocated to the campus during the school day?
A: Faculty and students will maintain classroom hard surfaces. The custodial staff (between 8-10 people) will arrive at 2:30pm to clean our facilities per CDC guidelines.
 
What will be the arrival and dismissal process for this year?
A: Lower School 8:10 am – 2:45 pm
Middle School 8:10 am – 3:20 pm (M, Th, F), and 3 pm (Tu, W)
Upper School 8:15 am – 3:20 pm
 
Drop-Off
It is important to note that whoever drops off or picks up will not be able to exit the car as we are working to reduce non-essential visitors on campus. 
LE1, LE2 and Kindergarten students will be dropped off in front of the primary building. If there are other students from different grades in the same car, they must remain in the car and be dropped off at the second location adjacent to Boney Courtyard.
 
Grades 1 – 12 will be dropped off adjacent to Boney Courtyard, the site of drop-off and pick-up in previous years. If you are dropping off your Lower School student between 7:30 – 7:50 am, they must go to the Dining Hall to wait until Godwin Hall opens.
 
Pick-up
LE1, LE2 and Kindergarten students will be picked up in front of the primary building. If there are other students from different grades in the same car, they must be picked up by Boney Courtyard, the second pick-up location.
 
Grades 1 – 12 will be picked up adjacent to Boney Courtyard, the site of drop-off and pick-up in previous years. Students will remain in their classrooms until their ride arrives on campus.
 
Will we get a tuition refund if we move to the Red Scenario of all remote learning or if we choose for our student to learn remotely this year?
A: The general premise behind refunding tuition is that remote learning is of less value than an in-person experience and, further, institutions save money when not operating with students on campus. The reality is that savings for schools like Cape Fear Academy are nominal as most campus operations must continue even when buildings are not occupied and, of course, the most significant share of the budgetsalaries and benefitsdoes not decrease at all. Finally, tuition covers about 90 percent of our operating expenses, with contributions from philanthropy through the Annual Fund and revenue from auxiliary programs making up the rest.
 
For these reasons, parents should not anticipate tuition refunds if CFA has to curtail or discontinue in-person learning and transition to a virtual environment. We believe that this approach is in the best long-term interest of our students as it allows us to be ready for either alternative and preserves resources for the future when we have moved beyond the pandemic.
 
If school is required to close and I have prepaid for extras such as After School Program or ACE, will I receive a refund?
A: Yes, assuming a school closure, a prorated refund will be issued for extras such as After School Program and After Class Enrichment (ACE).
 
What is the protocol for congregation in the parking lots by Upper School students who drive themselves to school?
A: Members of the Upper School Administration will be present daily to monitor the area to ensure that students are following Health and Safety procedures.
 
Have you considered creating outdoor classrooms?
A: Yes, the school is purchasing numerous tents and outdoor seating to expand options for outdoor instruction.
 
Are there any plan changes to classroom configuration or environmental controls?
A: Students will notice a significant transformation in the classrooms to ensure social distancing during instructional time. To accommodate this, many items of soft furniture and fixtures have been moved from classrooms to an off-premises storage unit until the pandemic is over.
 
Will water bottles be in a child’s respective area and not in a shared area?
A: In Lower School, water bottle holders have been purchased and will be attached to each desk/table. Bottles will no longer be stored in a common area. Water fountains have also been removed from campus and replaced with no touch water bottle filling stations.
 

Admissions

 
When will classroom enrollment capacities be released? Not the class list, but overall class size.
A: This will be released at the same time class lists will be released.
 
I have heard and read that there is an uptick in children wanting to go to CFA. Is CFA keeping our class ratios low? Have they altered because of COVID-19?
A: We are monitoring enrollment carefully and are committed to limiting class sizes to conform to our Health and Safety Procedures which require, among other things, that students are well dispersed from each other and their teacher.
 
Can families choose when their healthy children will come in person and when they are remote? 
A: Remote learning will not be an option at CFA going forward.
 

Advancement & Communications

 
Will we still have volunteers for drop off or will that only be staff now?
A: Yes, we will still need volunteers for drop off. Given that we will operate two drop off sites daily, we will need more than in previous years. If you are willing to assist, contact Kristen LaCoe – Assistant Director of Advancement, at kristen.lacoe@capefearacademy.org or call 910.218.7196.
 
Will there be a point of contact on the committees for reopening after the school year begins to funnel questions or concerns?
A: Yes, you are more than welcome to contact the chair of any of our reopening taskforce committees as questions or concerns arise. You can view the committees and chair names here.
 

QUESTIONS FROM FACEBOOK LIVE COMMENT SECTION

Finance, Buildings & Grounds

 
You have spent a good deal of time reassuring parents but have asked Parents to sign a waiver of liability. How do you resolve this apparent contradiction and what are the consequences to families who decline to sign the waiver?
A: We believe that our health and safety procedures will lower the risk of infection for everyone on our campus during this pandemic. However, we believe it is impossible to eliminate the risk of viral spread entirely and want to protect the school from potential litigation should a child become infected with COVID-19.
 
Every family will be required to sign the waiver, no matter whether their student is on campus or learning remotely.

Health & Safety

For Lower School – should parents prepare school supplies and snacks to limit touch exposure?
A: The Lower School will be providing each student with all of the school supplies that they will need. The only supplies that families will be required to provide are masks and tissues. We are asking that students bring in multiple masks per day in the case that they may need replacements. Students will also need to bring in their own snack each day.
 
What guidance counseling and stress mitigating sessions will students be receiving to cope with schooling during these anxious times?
A: CFA has three school counselors available for students and families. As it relates to COVID-19, our counselors will provide the following:
-Guidance curriculum lessons per grade. Topics will include distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. These lessons will be tailored to address the current needs of students and will be provided on a regular and on-going basis for each division.
-Individual/group counseling for students. Counselors will make every effort to meet with each student to check in on social/emotional wellness. Students can make appointments with the counselors. The counselors also have an open door policy for any student or parent.
-Consultation for parents. Parents can request an in-person meeting or phone call with any of the school counselors. If you are concerned about your child in any aspect of social/emotional wellness we suggest you reach out for consultation.
-Advocacy with teachers and administration. Teachers and counselors will use the advisory program to refer students to counselors.
-Referral for testing and counseling should the need be outside of the scope of a school counselor. Some hand sanitizers have been found to be unacceptable.
 
How are you ensuring that safe hand sanitizer is being used?
A: We have reviewed our list of hygienic supplies and all of our disinfectant and sanitizers are EPA-approved and on the list of those found to be acceptable.
 
Will students with sniffles be allowed in class?
A: We will evaluate for any other symptoms and exposure before we make a decision. If you have a question, you can always reach out to our school nurse, Amy Croom.
 
What health and safety procedures will be taught the first day of school, so as LS parents we can support?
A: Teachers will be implementing health and safety guidelines into their classroom procedures and rules. These protocols will be shared by teachers with their classroom parents so that families can support what is being taught.
 

Teaching & Learning

If CFA switches to remote learning we choose the remote option, how will instruction work? Will there be a separate Zoom call with teachers?
A: Please see the answer for each division. It is important to note that Zoom sessions will not be recorded so students should log on at least five minutes prior to the start of each session to ensure they do not miss any content.
 
LOWER SCHOOL
Each LS family that chooses the remote option will be provided with a daily classroom schedule. Remote students will be responsible for logging into Zoom to attend live class alongside in-person students each day. You are always welcome to reach out to the classroom teacher via email if there are any issues with the Zoom sessions.
 
MIDDLE SCHOOL
In MS, students will be expected to Zoom in to the class at the scheduled class time. Class work and homework will be posted on the new Middle School “Hub” (more info on this to follow) and students, parents, or teachers can schedule follow up help sessions as needed. Work is due at the times posted whether a student is on campus or remote.
 
UPPER SCHOOL
In US, students will be expected to Zoom in to the class at the scheduled class time. Class work and homework will also be posted on each teacher’s Google classroom page and students can schedule follow up extra help sessions during the teacher’s extra help office hours or via email. Work is due at the times posted on the classroom page whether a student is on campus or remote.