Return to School

Updated August 7, 2020
 
Dear Parents,

As we have been navigating these uncertain past few months we are very grateful for your partnership and support. Our hope just a few weeks ago was for all of our students and employees to return to campus together this August. In response to the current high levels of viral transmission locally here in Metro Atlanta and in response to parent and faculty feedback, we are adopting a more cautious and measured approach to returning to on campus learning later this month.

We have modified the previously communicated plan to maximise the safe return to on campus learning. We also recognize that our youngest learners in primary would find it a struggle to begin the year in a virtual setting. Many of these students are also new to AIS. Our youngest secondary school students, Grade 6, are all brand new to Middle School and we have many students in Grade 6 who are also brand new to AIS.

For our first four weeks, 3K - Gr 2 and Grade 6 will begin learning on campus, with a remote learning option. Grades 3-5 and Grades 7-12 will begin in our virtual learning environment.

Following the ongoing successful implementation of our COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols and our enhanced campus health & safety measures in those first four weeks, and taking into account the then current state of the pandemic in our area, we will progressively bring more grade levels back to campus starting Monday, September 14th.  We will continue to assess the localised pandemic transmission on a weekly basis with our Covid-19 Task Force and base our decisions accordingly.

To reiterate--we will do this in a phased, measured and controlled manner so that every student and every adult on campus knows and follows all of our risk mitigation protocols, policies and practices. This is crucial to our ability to control spread and prevent transmission of the virus on our campus.

We have added two additional teacher preparation and planning days to the start of school so that our faculty have the time and space they need to plan quality learning experiences for all our students across the three models we will be running: on campus, remote and virtual learning.  Please refer to the schedule below:

The updated schedule for the start of school is:

New Student Orientation (details to follow from schools)
Monday, August 17                                        

Teacher Workday
Tuesday, August 18

Teacher Workday
Wednesday, August 19

3K, 4K, 5K Half Day on campus
Thursday, August 20

Gr 1, 2 and 6 Full Day on campus
Thursday, August 20 

Virtual Learning Launch
Thursday, August 20 (G 3-5; G 7-12)

ELC Half Day
Friday, August 21

5K, Gr 1, 2 and 6  Full Day
Friday, August 21

3K - 2, Gr 6: On campus or remote
Week of Monday August 23rd

Gr 3-5; Gr 7-12: Virtual Learning
Week of Monday August 23rd
                                                         
A reminder, the first four-week cycle of on-campus learning or remote learning is from August 20th - September 11th.

A new survey will be circulated on September 1st with a return date of September 4th, opting in or out of the next remote learning cycle. The second cycle will take place from September 14 - October 16.  

The primary and secondary schools will be sharing more details about the planned, phased return to on campus learning for the second four week session, which will begin on Monday, September 14th.

We also anticipate holding additional town halls by school (ELC, Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, Upper School) later next week and/or early the following week. We will share dates and times with you also next week.

We are in the process of updating the Return to School webpages. These updates will be complete by the end of the day August 7 and we will house our latest most up to date information there for your reference too.

We understand the frustrations caused for parents in modifying our plan to return, but we ask for your flexibility in this unprecedented moment. We are seeking to make decisions in an environment where the pandemic is evolving daily and our local levels of transmission too. Our knowledge and understanding of the virus and its spread is also growing and we have better research and more informed data and opinion to build into our planning and decision making as well.
We will need to continue to be flexible in our response to this pandemic for as long as it is prevalent in our local population.
For those students who remain at home in virtual learning, please know that the faculty are working to provide you with exemplary, high-quality educational experiences.

Thank you for your continued support and collaboration as we move forward together in support of our students’ learning and the health and safety of all of our community.

All my best,
Kevin

List of 7 items.

  • Start of School Important Dates

    New Student Orientation (details to follow from schools)
    Monday, August 17 
                                          
    Teacher Workday
    Tuesday, August 18

    Teacher Workday
    Wednesday, August 19

    3K, 4K, 5K Half Day on campus
    Thursday, August 20

    Gr 1, 2 and 6 Full Day on campus
    Thursday, August 20 

    Virtual Learning Launch
    Thursday, August 20 (G 3-5; G 7-12)

    ELC Half Day
    Friday, August 21

    5K, Gr 1, 2 and 6 Full Day
    Friday, August 21

    3K - 2, Gr 6: On campus or remote
    Week of Monday August 23rd

    Gr 3-5; Gr 7-12: Virtual Learning
    Week of Monday August 23rd

    Technology Pick-Up

    This year, device pick up will take place one week prior to the start of the school year. For those who are taking part in the AIS Laptop Family Purchasing Program or those of you who are taking part in Primary remote learning at AIS, your devices will be available for pick-up on the following days:
    • Tues Aug 11th: 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM
    • Wed Aug 12th: 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
    • Thurs Aug 13th: 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    • Fri Aug 14th: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Given our Health & Safety protocols, it will not be possible to accommodate collections outside of these times.  Please ensure you park in an available lot, wear your mask and practice social distancing at all times. We will also send reminders nearer the time.

    Please note that all devices must be collected by a family member over the age of 18. Government-issued identification will be required. For the AIS Laptop Family Purchasing devices, a summary of the purchase, including recommended accessories and a copy of the serial number (for AppleCare) will be provided.
     
  • Health, Safety & Wellness

    Daily Screening: SchoolPass

    Screening for symptoms is critically important to keeping our community safe. By preventing individuals who may be sick from coming onto our campus, we prevent the spread of illness and the loss of in-person school time created by sending groups into quarantine.

    Every day, before coming to campus, families will need to complete a wellness screening through SchoolPass for their child(ren). The wellness screening must be completed each morning. Families will receive an email and/or text reminder to answer the screening questions. Once school is in session, secondary school students will also be able to register their device to receive and complete the form.  This procedure is designed to keep symptomatic students and employees from entering campus and is one of the most important steps in mitigating the risk of spreading COVID-19.  This pre-screening will be strictly enforced. No exceptions.

    More information on downloading the app will be available in upcoming communications.
     

    School Counselors

    School counselors will be available for student support. The counseling schedule details will be available soon.

    Facemasks/ Face Shields

    Wearing Face Masks/ Face Shields helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and AIS will follow all recommended guidance on mask use from the CDC.

    All students and employees will be required to wear face masks  inside the school buildings. Students must bring two disposable or reusable masks to school each day. Masks will not be required during meals, gym time or outdoor play or break time as long as 6-feet of space between students can be maintained.

    Teachers will have required masks and optional face shields. The use of a face shield when a teacher is socially distancing from the class, near the smartboard, for example, allows the students to see the teachers’ face and mouth.  This is particularly important when teaching languages, for example.

    Teachers will wear both face shields and masks in all instances when within close proximity (within 6’ for less than 15 minutes) of others.

    We also recognize that wearing masks all day can be quite a chore--especially for our younger students. Teachers will allow students mask breaks when it is safe to do so, and social distancing can be safely maintained.

    We encourage you to get your students accustomed to wearing masks (if they are not already), before school begins. Please encourage your children to wear masks when in public spaces indoors--such as a shopping mall, or a supermarket, for example.  Please encourage students to wear masks when in group settings outside, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained.

    Masks help protect the wearer, but they also protect everyone around the wearer--this is simply the responsible thing to do.

    Please have your child bring two washable, reusable cloth face masks or disposable surgical or medical masks. We don’t accept neck gaiters, face shields or bandanas as substitutes for masks. Masks with valves are not accepted, based on CDC guidelines.

    We will be training all our students and teachers in proper mask use in August--we had the positive experience of 100% compliance with all our mask policies across campers and camp staff this summer.
     
    Sources for children’s facemasks:

    Handwashing/ Hand-Sanitizing

    All students and employees will be required to wash or sanitize their hands immediately following arrival on campus.  Hand-washing and/ or hand-sanitizing will be required frequently throughout the day, for example immediately before entering or leaving a classroom, having lunch, transitioning to a different activity or location and before leaving the campus.  Although alcohol based hand sanitizers do help prevent the transmission of the virus, practicing the CDC's proper hand washing technique with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds is considered even more effective and is preferred.  All students will be reminded of proper hand-washing procedures frequently and you can really help by reinforcing this messaging at home.

    Social Distancing

    Students and employees are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and avoid close contact (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) at all times when moving around campus.

    Employees are required to wear masks, (face shields optional), maintain social distance and avoid close contact (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) from each other and students at all times, unless the employee is the assigned classroom teacher for a designated pod of students in Primary School.

    Parents & Visitors

    We are currently allowing no parents or visitors on campus.

    The Pod Concept

    We have adapted this from multiple international schools around the world who have successfully applied the pod concept on their campuses to help mitigate the risk of viral transmission and keep the school functioning at a time of COVID-19 transmission.  Should we have a confirmed or suspected case within a students’ family where the student has NOT been on campus --only that student (and their siblings) would need to self-quarantine and self-monitor at home.  Should we have a suspected or confirmed case within a pod of students, then only that pod of students would need to self-quarantine or self-isolate at home.  If a suspected COVID-19 case is confirmed to be something else in a medical diagnosis and their COVID-19 test is returned negative--then the student and the pod would be invited back to campus.  The pod concept allows more of our students to engage in on-campus learning without shutting down an entire grade level or an entire school, for example.  It also allows us to know exactly where each student was and who they were with during their entire time on campus--thus facilitating rapid and efficient contact communication tracing and follow-up.  Again, this helps us mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

    When on campus, students will spend the bulk of their day together with one class of students in a defined classroom.  This group of students is known as a pod and each pod will be kept separate from every other pod in that grade level.

    Mask wearing, frequent hand-washing, AIS enhanced hygiene measures such as wiping down and sanitizing desks and commonly touched surfaces will be practiced within each pod.

    WHO guidance for social distancing within a pod in a school setting will be maintained throughout the day (3’ of distance between each student’s desk, all desks facing the same direction).

    The pod allows greater flexibility for teaching and learning whilst still engaging in substantial mitigation strategies. Students will spend the majority of their day in their defined pod room.  These are known as their Advisory Homerooms in Secondary School, for example.

    There will be transitions for outside play, recess, and attending some classes in other locations.  During any transitions, mask wearing, hand-washing and social distancing will be maintained as previously described.

    Teachers will wear masks and/or face shields, and either socially distance and avoid close proximity (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes), or, in the case of primary school--be assigned as the designated teacher for that pod and thus socially isolate themselves within that pod.

    Student Becoming Ill at School

    When a student develops potential symptoms of COVID 19 on campus
    The teacher and/ or the school office will inform the nurse that the student is on the way so that the clinic isolation area can be open and ready. This will also allow the nurse to put on all proper PPE.

    A Primary School student displaying potential symptoms will be escorted to the Primary School nurse by a teacher or designated adult--mask wearing and social distancing will be maintained.

    A Secondary School student would be instructed to go directly to the Secondary School Nurse’s Office, ensuring that their mask is on properly, they are maintaining a distance of at least 6  feet between them and others they encounter and they are not touching any surfaces.

    The school nurse will evaluate the student in the designated isolation area and conduct the CDC or CHOA self checker if needed.

    If the symptoms and the self-checker indicate a possible COVID-19 infection the school nurse will direct the parents to obtain a test, same day, or as soon as possible thereafter, seek advice from their medical practitioner and communicate results of the test and any confirmed medical diagnosis to the school nurse as soon as is possible.

    If the parent refuses or the student fails to receive a COVID-19 test AIS will presume the case is COVID-19 positive.

    In any potential, presumed or confirmed positive COVID-19 case on campus AIS will engage in contact communication tracking and follow-up (see below) with individuals who have been in close contact (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) of the presumed or confirmed COVID-19 case.

    The school nurse will notify local health officials immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.

    Close contacts will be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days or until such time as the school receives a confirmed medical diagnosis together with a negative COVID-19 test result that the suspected case was NOT COVID-19.  In which case the school would notify those close contacts who were in quarantine that they would be able to return to campus--as long as they successfully complied with the school’s standard pre-screening protocols.

    During Substantial and Moderate mitigation when a positive result or assumed positive result is obtained all persons who have been within close contact with the individual 48 hours prior to the day symptoms appeared, will be notified and will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days.

    AIS will initiate its enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures (see below) to ensure all areas potentially exposed to a possible, presumed positive or confirmed positive COVID-19 case, are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized as per CDC guidance.


    Employees Becoming Ill at School

    Employees will immediately inform their supervisor and obtain permission to be relieved of duties. Employees will contact the school nurse by phone to conduct the CDC self checker.

    Based on the outcome of the CDC self-checker the nurse will advise the individuals on next steps, such as going home to self-quarantine, seeking guidance from their medical practitioner, obtaining a COVID-19 test etc. If the individual refuses or fails to receive a test, AIS will presume it is positive.

    The school nurse will advise the individual and their supervisor of their ability and probable timeline to return to campus based on the outcome of the CDC self checker. In any potential, presumed or confirmed positive COVID-19 case on campus AIS will engage in contact communication tracking and follow-up (see below) with individuals who have been in close contact (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) of the presumed or confirmed COVID-19 case.

    The school nurse will notify local health officials immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.

    Close contacts will be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days or until such time as the school receives a confirmed medical diagnosis together with a negative COVID-19 test result that the suspected case was NOT COVID-19.  In which case the school would notify those close contacts who were in quarantine that they would be able to return to campus--as long as they successfully complied with the school’s standard pre-screening protocols.

    Other members of the household who attend school, work on campus, or who are two parent households shall be identified and included in the contact communication efforts.

    When a positive result or assumed positive result is obtained all persons who have been within close contact with the individual 48 hours prior to the day symptoms appeared, will be notified and will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days.

    AIS will initiate its enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures (see below) to ensure all areas potentially exposed to a possible, presumed positive or confirmed positive COVID-19 case, are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized as per CDC guidance.

    Contact Communication Tracking

    We have a Contact Communication Tracking system in place to notify and track all suspected and confirmed cases for individuals who come onto our campus. This system allows us to identify and follow-up with close contacts (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) so that they can self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms at home.

    During Substantial and Moderate mitigation when a positive result or assumed positive result is obtained all persons who have been in close contact with the individual 48 hours prior to the day symptoms appeared, will be notified and will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days.
    • This allows us to rapidly control any potential outbreak on our campus and keep our campus open for learning.
    • The school nurse shall notify local health officials immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.

    Cleaning of Areas of Suspected COVID-19 Exposure

    In the event of a suspected or positive COVID-19 case the affected spaces will be disinfected with a dry hydrogen peroxide aerosolized system that reaches every surface and corner of a room. All frequently touched surfaces and common areas will be sanitized again before use.
  • Enhanced Cleaning & Disinfecting Procedures

    Definitions

    • Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
    • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
    • Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
    The above definitions are from the CDC website.  The CDC COVID-19 site contains many useful pieces of information that will help keep our school, our homes and our families safe.
    At AIS all our cleaning and sanitizing chemicals and equipment are EPA approved agents for use with encapsulated viruses such as COVID-19.  They are safe for use in schools and we have stockpiled a minimum of two months supply since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March.  At that time we also upgraded or enhanced all our cleaning and sanitizing protocols and procedures as per CDC guidance and medical advice. Our students may see cleaners spraying door knobs, touch plates and push bars several times during the day, for example. The enhanced protocols and procedures have been maintained since March and we audit our cleaning personnel and their work regularly to ensure compliance with our procedures.

    Room Based Procedures

    Cleaning and Disinfecting Supplies are provided for each room.
    • Surfaces will be disinfected at a minimum:
      • When a class leaves the room
      • Before new students use a desk or table
      • Prior to sharing any equipment
      • Before AND after eating
      • After a contaminating event cough, sneeze, etc.
      • Oxyclean is the general purpose cleaner provided
      • Hypochlorous Acid is the disinfectant provided
    If a surface cannot be disinfected it will be removed from use.

    Suspected or Positive COVID-19 Case

    The affected spaces will be disinfected with a dry hydrogen peroxide aerosolized system that reaches every surface and corner of a room. All frequently touched surfaces and common areas will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized again before use.
    The room/ area will then be cleaned as per our standard operating procedure.
  • Drop-off, Pick-up & Walking To School

    Carline: Maps will now say Carline in place of Carpool as we encourage only one family per car. Maps will be provided before the start of school.

    Every day, before coming to campus families will need to complete a wellness screening through SchoolPass for their child(ren). The wellness screening must be completed each morning. Families will receive an email and/or text reminder to answer the screening questions. Once school is in session, Secondary School students will also be able to register their device to receive and complete the form.  This procedure is designed to keep symptomatic students and employees from entering campus and is one of the most important steps in mitigating the risk of spreading COVID-19.  This pre screening will be strictly enforced. No exceptions.
     
    Primary School: 5K - Grade 2 
    Carline will take place at the front of the school, eliminating ASD drop-off and pick-up for Primary. As parents and students approach the campus, either by foot or by car, carline personnel will be ensuring all students entering campus have completed and passed the online wellness screening.  Students must wear masks upon exiting the vehicle and will be required to wash their hands immediately upon entering campus. 

    We will share detailed guidance and room locations for all students the week before school begins. Required return to school training videos and additional information will be sent home the second week of August
    .

    Secondary School (Grade 6 only for the first 4 weeks of school)
    Drop-off and Pick-up will remain the same for Secondary. For Drop-off, after completing the wellness screening through SchoolPass, you will be notified if your student is able to enter the AIS campus. If they are not able to enter the campus, further instructions will be provided via email. As parents and students approach the campus, either by foot or by car, carline personnel will be ensuring all students entering campus have completed and passed the wellness screening.  Students must wear masks upon exiting the vehicle and will be required to wash their hands upon entering the campus. Students will present prescreening credentials on their device at the assigned building entrance.

    Required return to school training videos and additional information will be sent home before Secondary students are scheduled to return to campus.

    Primary Dismissal (3K- Grade 2 only for the first 4 weeks of school)

    All Primary School cars would enter campus through Delmont Drive at the back of campus (78 Delmont Drive).

    They would follow the Blue Carline Route, up along the side of the ASD, and turn right out of the parking lot, onto Peachtree Ave. They would then turn right onto North Fulton Drive (at the stop sign), and then right into the school parking lot, following what is currently the Purple Carline Route.
    • All parents with children in Grades 5K - Grade 2 will pick their children up in this combined carline route.
    • Cars may begin queueing in front of the ASD at 2:30pm.
    • The waiting cars will be directed to leave the ASD lot, right before afternoon carline begins (around 2:50pm, to allow for 10 minutes of carline numbers to be recorded), and follow what is now the Purple Route round to the front of the school to pick up their children.
    • Cars will not be allowed to queue in front of the PLC.
    • The Visitor Lot will be closed from 2:30pm. A Security Officer will help monitor traffic and direct cars to enter through the back of campus.
    • The ASD exit will also be blocked to ensure parents begin queueing in front of the ASD. A Security Officer will also help monitor the queueing cars.
    • We will have staff monitoring social distancing.
    Primary School Cafeteria Carline
    A cafeteria carline will be established in the SchoolPass software. Parents will need to register both the Primary School child and the older sibling to the cafeteria carline. Students registered for Cafeteria Carline should be escorted to the Secondary School  Cafeteria before PLC carline begins.

    The cafeteria monitor will have SchoolPass pulled up on their computer to ensure a parent has arrived to pick up the Primary School student and the Secondary School sibling. If the allowed pickup time passes Primary School students will be taken to Kaleidoscope, signed in at Kaleidoscope with school while the Secondary School students will be taken to Secondary School Study Hall.
      

    Primary Walking Carpool Dismissal 
    This will take place in the front grassy areas of the school (if you are facing the Secondary building main entrance, the area off to the right).  Again more guidance and reminders will be sent home the week before school begins. Required Return To School Training Videos and additional information will be sent home the second week of August.

    Secondary School Dismissal (Grade 6 only for the first 4 weeks of school)

    Students in grades 6 will remain in their last classroom of the day for carline dismissal. At the end of the school day, students will gather all personal items and sit in their classroom, ready to depart the school. Carline software will provide an ordered list on each classroom smart board so students can line up to be dismissed.

    As carline numbers are recorded, the student’s name will appear on the smart board in the classroom, signaling someone is here to pick the student up.
    • Students in Grade 6 will exit through the ASD. The Security Officer posted at the ASD will ensure the doors are propped open and students are maintaining social distancing and are not congregating.
    • As soon as their carline number appears on the board, students will make sure they have all personal items with them and proceed to their carline queue.
    • Hall monitors will be posted to ensure students proceed directly to the carline queue.
    • Once at their carline queue, students must stand on the markings six feet apart, while waiting for their car to get to the front of the line.
    • After carline is over, all students attending after school programs will proceed to their afterschool activity to be signed into their activity.
    • No students should remain on campus unsupervised after dismissal.
    • After all students have left the room, teachers will spray down all tables and surfaces and wipe them down using the appropriate cleaning materials.
    • Students must be supervised at all times.
    • Students will not congregate together or loiter in common areas such as the SAC, library, or outside on school grounds.
    • Carline software will allow students to remain in the classroom until the car picking them up arrives, at which time they may exit the classroom and proceed to the carline pickup location, the software will help manage this rolling dismissal process to ensure that we minimize the number of students moving through the hallways at the same time.
    Secondary School Dismissal Walkers
    Parents of students who walk to and from school can set the student’s default dismissal as a walker, so SchoolPass will display those secondary school students who will walk home at the end of the day.
    • Students will be dismissed from the building on a rolling schedule to minimize the numbers of students leaving at the same time. 
    • Students will exit via the Secondary School Northeast exit door; the door farthest away from the Primary School. As students are exiting the building, they will scan themselves out on the SchoolPass iPad.
  • Safety On-Campus

    School Entry

    ELC & Primary School
    Early Learning Center (ELC) students, wearing masks, will go directly to their classrooms to wash their hands. Primary Learning Center (PLC) students will go to their classroom floor to wash their hands and will remain socially distanced in designated areas on their floor level before entering their classrooms.

    Secondary School (Grade 6 only for the first 4 weeks of school)
    Students, wearing masks, will go to the nearest available designated restroom to wash their hands, waiting in a socially distanced line under hall monitor supervision. After washing their hands they will go directly to their assigned classroom and desk/ seat, keeping their school bag with them at all times.  There will be no locker use for the Fall--to prevent students mixing in close proximity with other students (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes).

    Classrooms & Student Groups

    Students in 3K -Grade 2 and Grade 6 will be placed within a class grouping known as a “pod”.  They will be with this same group of students from arrival on campus after car-line through to dismissal at the end of the day, Monday through Friday.

    Maintaining students in pods throughout the day, and preventing the close contact (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) mixing with other students reduces the risk of viral transmission and allows the school to rapidly and effectively respond to any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases with a student, or with a students’ family.

    This level of control and substantial risk mitigation allows the school to require an individual student to self-quarantine and self-monitor at home (should there be a suspected or confirmed case within their family), or to require the entire pod to self-quarantine or self-isolate at home should there be a suspected or confirmed case within that pod. This will allow on campus learning to safely continue for most students.

    Hallways/ Transitions/ Moving Around Campus

    Social distancing will be maintained under the supervision of faculty hall monitors in both Primary and Secondary. Passing in hallways or stairways does not pose significant risk of close contact (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes).

    Students will wear masks at all times when entering/ leaving the campus, moving about the campus and transitioning between classes, recess, lunch and other activities. Students are expected to wash their hands (or use available hand sanitizer) before entering and after leaving a classroom and during any transitions and other activities (e.g. before and after lunch).

    Restrooms

    Students will observe social distancing maintaining 6’ of separation while queuing for the restrooms. Students will avoid crowding in restrooms, will follow instructions on any posted signage (such as maximum occupancy) and will avoid close proximity (within 6’ for 15 minutes) with others.

    Handwashing will be required before returning to the classroom.

    Lunch & Snacks

    ELC Lunch Protocols
    The AIS cafeteria produces and publishes a monthly menu. The cafeteria will comply with all applicable government regulations with respect to food preparation and service and adhere to the following protocols. Additional details will be shared in August.
    At the assigned daily breakfast, snack or lunch time, teachers and their students will:
    • Clear desks and sit in assigned seats to eat lunch.
    • Food will only be eaten in assigned classrooms. Classes will not have the option of relocating to eat.
    • Students who have food from home will not have access to microwaves, fridges or hot water.
    • Proceed to a bathroom or hand washing station and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
    • A teacher will sanitize the desks with the solution provided.
    • Teachers will wipe down their desk/workstation with cloths provided and place the cloth in designated bins.
    • Students will return and take their seats.
    • Teachers will allow the students to remove their mask, and place it in the trash can or paper bag label with a students name on the bag. Students who use the AIS cafeteria will be limited to pre ordered meal plan options, only these meals and snacks will be delivered to the classroom.
    • When eating lunch, students will face the same direction.
    • Once students have finished eating, they will place a new disposable mask on or reuse the mask in the bag.
    • Students will line up and carry their own food waste to designated collection areas.
    • Before dismissing the students from lunch, the teacher will ensure students wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before proceeding to their next class or activity.
    • The AIS Operations Team will sanitize the desks with the solution provided.
    • The AIS Operations Team will wipe down their desk/workstation with cloths provided and place the cloth in designated bins.
    Primary Lunch Protocols (5K- Grade 2 only for the first 4 weeks of school)
    The AIS cafeteria will comply with all applicable government regulations with respect to food preparation and service and adhere to the following protocols. The cafeteria produces and publishes a monthly menu. Additional details will be shared in August.

    At the assigned daily breakfast, snack or lunch time, teachers and their students will:
    • Clear desks and sit in assigned seats to eat lunch.
    • Food will only be eaten in assigned classrooms. Classes will not have the option of relocating to eat.
    • Students who have food from home will not have access to microwaves or hot water.
    • Proceed to a bathroom or hand washing station and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
    • A teacher will sanitize the desks with the solution provided.
    • Teachers will wipe down their desk/workstation with cloths provided and place the cloth in designated bins.
    • Students will return and take their seats.
    • Teachers will allow the students to remove their mask, and place it in a trash can or paper bag labeled with the student’s name. Students who use the AIS cafeteria will be limited to pre-ordered AIS meal plan options only. These meals and snacks will be delivered to the classroom.
    • When eating lunch, students will face the same direction.
    • Once students have finished eating, they will place a new disposable mask on or reuse the mask in the bag.
    • Students will line up and carry their own food waste to designated collection areas.
    • Before dismissing the students from lunch, the teacher will ensure students wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before proceeding to their next class or activity.
    • The AIS Operations Team will sanitize the desks with the solution provided.
    • The AIS Operations Team will wipe down their desk/workstation with cloths provided and place the cloth in designated bins.
       
    Secondary Lunch Protocols (Grade 6 only for the first 4 weeks of school)
    The AIS cafeteria will comply with all applicable government regulations with respect to food preparation and service and adhere to the following protocols.

    Students will move through the cafeteria to collect their meals one pod group at a time. Students will eat their lunch maintaining social distance in the locations indicated by their teachers on the first day of school.

    Lockers

    Students will not be assigned lockers in Primary or Secondary School. Their use will not be allowed for the Fall Semester.

    Music Class Protocols

    Music teachers will use their discretion when determining if students should remove their protective masks depending on the activity and social distancing. The use of outdoors and larger spaces will be increased for activities where heavy breathing or singing will take place. In addition to the general rules found above in Classroom Protocols, the following guidelines will be implemented in all music classes:
    • Students will have their own personal scores of music and will not be permitted to share.
    • When masks need to be removed to perform in class, they will be slid under a student’s chin and not taken off completely.
    • Teachers will spray music stands and any other surfaces touched by the students with disinfectant and students will wipe down the objects with paper towel given to them by the teacher at the end of each class.
    • Teachers will spray and wipe down community equipment (percussion instruments, guitars, pianos, etc.) with disinfectant after each class
    • Practice rooms will be off-limits for student instruction until further notice.

    Art & Design Class Protocols

    Art teachers will use their discretion when determining if students should remove their protective masks depending on the activity and social distancing spaces available. In addition to the general rules found above in Classroom Protocols, the following guidelines will be implemented in all art classes:
    • Teachers will spray any surfaces touched by the students with disinfectant and students will wipe down the objects with paper towel given to them by the teacher at the end of each class.
    • Teachers will spray and wipe down community equipment with disinfectant after each class.

    Science Class Protocols

    Science teachers will use their discretion when determining if students should remove their protective masks depending on the activity and social distancing space available.

    In addition to the general rules found above in Classroom Protocols, the following guidelines will be implemented in all science classes:
    • Teachers will spray any surfaces touched by the students with disinfectant and students will wipe down the objects with paper towel given to them by the teacher at the end of each class.
    • Teachers will spray and wipe down community equipment with disinfectant after each class.
    • If safety goggles are used they will be placed in disinfecting tubs as the student leaves the classroom and allowed to air dry between uses.
    • Students will do all experimental work individually in order to avoid a lack of social distancing.  If an experiment cannot be safely done individually then a demo, video or virtual lab will be used.
    • Each student will have an experimental tray with all equipment that will be placed in their workstation to avoid movement around the classroom to collect equipment. 
    • Only alcohol free hand sanitizers should be used in Science labs. Students should sanitize their hands prior to entry, before starting practical work and after practical work to avoid spread of microbes to equipment.

    Recess

    Primary School
    Students will have socially distanced recess outdoors. They will be allowed to lower their masks while outside and must maintain the appropriate distance from one another. Recess groups will be spread out across multiple locations and closely monitored to ensure room to social distance.

    Secondary School
    Recess will be built into lesson time and teachers will have the opportunity to take the pods outside, following our socially distanced guidelines, to have downtime and relaxation

    PE Class

    PE teachers will use their discretion when determining if students should remove their protective masks depending on the level of aerobic or anaerobic activity. In addition to the general rules found above in Classroom Protocols, the following guidelines will be implemented in all PE classes:
    • Teachers will plan outdoor classes and activities whenever possible weather permitting.
    • Students will not be allowed to leave their PE clothes and materials in the locker room.
    • Personal water bottles are allowed and recommended but must not be shared at any time.
    • Teachers will avoid activities that require physical contact between students.
    • Teachers will refrain from having students exercise on yoga and gymnastics mats or similar structures.
    • When masks need to be removed in class, they will be slid under a student’s chin and not taken off completely.
    • PE teachers will spray and wipe down sports equipment with disinfectant after each class.

    Athletics, Intramurals & Training

    Athletics
    Guidance for Winter and Spring seasons will be provided as those seasons approach. Current plan to return to play for Fall athletics is as follows:
     
    Varsity Athletics
    At the current time, we will be starting workouts for girls volleyball for grades 9-12, and cross country workouts  when school resumes. We are not ready to commit to allow any GHSA competitions/matches to take place but will be evaluating the competition landscape regularly.

    Information on workouts will be sent out weekly by the head varsity coaches via email. Any changes to the competition schedule will be communicated by Reilly Campbell, the Director of Athletics at AIS.
     
    JV Athletics
    At the current time, there will be no JV teams competing. We are currently working on a plan to provide intramural competitions to be done inside each respective student’s pod (cohort group) to provide for conditioning and volleyball opportunities. These intramural opportunities will be supervised by AIS Athletic coaches, and are slated to begin after Labor Day. 

    Middle School Intramural Athletics
    There will be a MS intramural sports schedule available to all MS pods, (with each individual pod being able to participate in a rotating sport opportunity in the following sports: soccer, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and conditioning.  These intramural opportunities will be supervised by AIS Athletic coaches, and are slated to begin after Labor Day.

    Primary Sports Program
    At the current time, we will not be offering any primary sports programs. 

    Conditioning/Training
    We are trying to identify a plan for morning strength/conditioning so all student-athletes have a chance to continue to condition but the availability is uncertain at this time. Details will be sent as available.

    Kaleidoscope & After-School Programs

    Primary School
    We will be offering Kaleidoscope at the beginning of school. We plan for other virtual after-school programs to start from the beginning of school. Information about these programs will be shared in the upcoming days.

    Secondary School
    The first 4 weeks of school,  Study Hall will be offered to those students learning on campus only.
  • Remote & Virtual Learning

    Remote Learning

    To help fulfill our mission, AIS strives to provide equitable access to learning for all students in our school. Due to COVID-19 we have considered accommodations to still enable all students to access learning. We respect those families who aren’t yet ready to return to campus due to COVID-19. For those families, you may choose a remote-only option, but you will need to commit to remote learning in four-week increments.* Remote Learning is NOT the same as the Virtual Learning which we offered in the Spring. In Remote Learning we will be following a regular school day as much as possible where the learning engagements will be delivered during live lessons.

    What to expect from Remote Learning?
    • Students at home will Zoom into live lessons.
    • Students will either continue the lessons asynchronously at home or be part of a small synchronous group in the classroom. 
    • Students will have the chance to join community-building opportunities to connect with in-class peers and teachers.  
    • Students will have a 1:1 connection with a teacher.
    • In the Primary School, students will be taught by their respective class teachers as well as potentially educators from across the Primary School.  
    *In extenuating cases, in consultation with the respective School Leadership teams, this time frame can be re-evaluated in order to ensure the safety and well being of each student. 

    All Virtual Learning

    High quality student learning at AIS will continue in our Virtual School environment should the school decide to do so for the safety of our students, employees and families. You can learn more about Virtual Learning at AIS in this link.
     
  • Tuition

    Budget

    School Leadership continues to analyze every aspect of the school’s budget to reduce expenses where possible, without sacrificing the unique international educational experience you expect for your student. However, we are unable to consider a tuition discount due to several factors listed below:
    • Your tuition dollars cover 90% of our school’s operating budget, with the majority of tuition dollars funding faculty and staff salaries. The annual Eagles Fund and other fundraising activities make up the difference between tuition and the actual cost of an AIS education each year. Given the economic situation, we expect less income from these sources next year and increased demand from need based financial aid.
    • In order to offer remote & virtual learning school options, and to plan for potential school interruptions outside of our control, our expenses in many areas have increased for next year.
    • We have invested in technology to improve safety and to enhance the remote and virtual learning experience.
    • We also have increased our budget for financial aid in response to the financial uncertainty our families are experiencing. If you would like to discuss a change in your financial situation, please reach out Anja Sebunya to set up a meeting at asebunya@aischool.org.

    Tuition

    The modified commitment date expired on August 1, 2020. This means that all families currently enrolled are liable for the full tuition balance due for school year 2020-2021. - Students with past due tuition accounts will not be allowed to start classes (in person or virtually).
    • Tuition will not be discounted and/or prorated for any potential virtual learning that AIS is forced to undertake to safeguard the health and safety of our school community.
    • Families that apply to AIS on a rolling basis, will receive a prorated tuition amount after 10/31/20.
    • Families that withdrew their students from AIS before 8/1/20 and wish to re-apply for Admission for school year 2020-2021, will receive a credit for their enrollment deposit paid FY21. In addition, enrollment deposits paid for the 2020-2021 school year are not transferable to subsequent school years or to sibling accounts.
    • For questions about tuition please contact Maggie Dureke in the Business Office at mdureke@aischool.org and she will direct your inquiry to the proper staff member. 

Guiding Principles

  • To keep the safety of our students, employees and families as our number one consideration at all times.
  • To continue to deliver a high-quality international school experience to our students, realizing the mission and core values of our school.
  • To give families who are not yet ready to have their students return to on-campus learning, the option to learn from home.
  • To comply with directives from Federal and State authorities and follow the guidance and advice from the CDC, the Georgia DPH, SAIS, NAIS and the many international schools around the world that have successfully opened while implementing risk mitigation strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • To ensure the ongoing viability and financial stability of our school.

Definitions

Quarantine: separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Isolation: separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Mitigation: efforts that aim to reduce the rate at which someone infected comes in contact with someone not infected, or reduce the probability of infection if there is contact.  These efforts can be scaled up or down depending on the local situation. AIS has planned for substantial mitigation, which means taking a very rigorous approach, layering multiple strategies upon one another with several layers of safeguards to reduce the spread of disease and lower the risk. 
 

Atlanta International School

A private, non-profit, international, IB World School for grades 3K-12, featuring full and dual-immersion language programs.

2890 North Fulton Drive

Atlanta, Georgia 30305, USA
404.841.3840