Due to the continued unhealthy air quality in Seattle, Villa Academy's campus will be closed to all students through Friday, September 18, 2020.
There will be no preschool classes on campus and the supervised on-line instruction for students through the EDP program will not meet on campus.

On-line instruction will take place as previously planned and faculty/staff members will be allowed to use their Villa Academy classroom, if necessary, to provide on-line instruction.

Villa Academy Re-Opening 2020-21

Villa Academy is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all its students, parents, employees, and guests during this unprecedented time. Throughout the year, we will all need to remain flexible, collaborative, and committed as we adapt to circumstances beyond our control.

In developing health and safety protocols and practices we have followed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Washington State Department of Health, King County Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the National Association of Independent Schools, (NAIS) and the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS).

John Milroy, Head of School

Villa’s operational decisions regarding program, calendar, and campus plans are typically made by the Head of School with input from our leadership team, faculty, and staff. During this unique situation, we are grateful to have had considerable additional input from Villa’s Board of Trustees, and guidance from experts with backgrounds in epidemiology, pediatric care, public health, and laboratory medicine.

Villa is bringing all of its creativity, dedication, and joy to the important task of educating our students—whether online or in-person—and supporting their families!

Academic Program 2020-21

Hybrid learning is an approach to education that combines all forms of learning to meet the situational needs of students.This might include blended, remote, asynchronous, synchronous, and online learning. Hybrid learning is centered on the expectation that learning will fluctuate between fully-online learning and in-person instruction as necessary in order to accommodate the content, the learner, and the intended outcome.

Villa faculty members completed over 700 hours of professional development during the summer. In combination with our back-to-school inservice days and our Professional Learning day in October, they have been growing both their pedagogical understandings and their technology skills to best serve our students in a variety of pandemic models.

Additionally, all faculty members participated in an SEL workshop that shared strategies to help establish connections and community in their classrooms.Villa has additional professional development planned over the course of the year and we will continue to reflect and engage with one another to ensure we are using best practices in working with our students.

Specialists and K-8 faculty have streamlined their lesson delivery platforms and organization of materials so that learners and their families can successfully access what they need each day. Pre-K programs honed safety protocols and outdoor learning models that would allow our youngest Villa students to experience being fully in the presence of other young children.

This year, Villa students will receive the basic core instruction we believe they need most. Villa teachers are making curriculum decisions thoughtfully and intentionally. They are pacing their curriculum so that important concepts will not be missed and are also taking into account a wide range of other considerations and student needs:

  • Educational experts and publishers of our core curricula are recommending a more moderate and sustainable academic approach for 2020-2021
  • Teachers are collaborating across grade levels to ascertain if any core concepts should be revisited.
  • During this unusual time, students benefit from an increasing amount of social emotional learning and community-building time in addition to their academic instruction.
  • For students of all ages, there is a healthy balance needed between synchronous screen time and offline work. Education experts recommend a short duration of synchronous instruction, followed by independent practice time (either on or off line)
  • The students who are coming onto campus benefit from using that time to go outside, interact socially with one another, and take a needed break from online learning.
  • Delivering instruction remotely can take an increased amount of time due to technology lag.

Graphic weekly schedules for every grade, as shown in the example below, are coordinated throughout the school.


Health and Safety Protocols

Villa Academy is fortunate in having a 31-acre campus and extensive facilities that assist us in meeting stringent health safety guidelines:

  • Our 90,000 square-foot main building allows maximum flexibility for physical distancing in our spacious classrooms.
  • Expansive outdoor areas make possible a variety of classroom configurations, including the Villa Treehouse: a new 1500 square-foot structure specifically designed as a classroom.
  • Our “inside air” is fresh. Massive banks of double-hung windows in our vintage building supply natural convection ventilation

Before Arriving at School

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or knows that they have COVID-19 should isolate at home. In addition, parents should communicate with Villa Academy if one of them or a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19, experiences symptoms of COVID-19, or has close contact with someone who is positive or symptomatic of COVID-19. Parents should continue to report student absences, COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts and COVID-19 diagnoses to the Main Office.

Student Screening Procedure Upon Arrival

  • A face covering is meant to protect others. All employees, parents, visitors and students five years and older are required to wear a mask on campus.
  • Parents/Guardians will be expected to attest to their student’s health and wellness prior to arriving at school through completing Villa’s online Daily Health Screening Form.
  • As of March 29, 2021 Villa staff will no longer take student temperatures. Parents will now take student temperatures at home and complete the Daily Health Screening Form, which will be submitted to Villa staff upon arrival at school. Students will continue to wear "thumbs up" stickers before entering the building.

  • As with students, employees, parents and visitors entering the building must attest to their own health and wellness via the Villa Academy Daily Health Screening Form, and are required to wear a mask in the building.
  • Non-essential visitors will be limited and all visitors must have an appointment prior to being screened and admitted. Deliveries (UPS, Amazon, FedEx, etc.) will be received at the Office of the Facilities Director with the exception of those from the United States Post Office which will continue to be received at the Main Office.
  • Parents will not be allowed past the Main Office once school resumes unless they have an appointment or have received a communication from the school that states otherwise.
  • All non-employee adults entering the building will have their temperature checked at the Main Office. Anyone with a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit or above must immediately leave the campus.
  • If any screening reveals any COVID-19 symptoms, the individual will immediately leave the campus or be isolated in a designated isolation space until the Head of School or his designee can determine the appropriate next steps.

Frequent handwashing is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Hand sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60 percent alcohol) are at entrances and other locations throughout the school. Students, employees, parents and visitors should wash or sanitize their hands after entering the building. Everyone is instructed to frequently wash their hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, but especially at the beginning and end of their time on campus, before and after mealtimes and after using the restroom.

Everyone will be expected to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette signage will be displayed throughout the School.

Adults and children age five and older must wear a face covering while on campus—including during drop-off and pickup; students, parents and visitors to campus are expected to provide their own face coverings. Students should have two clean face coverings available each day at school. While not a substitute for physical distancing, the use of face coverings is crucial.

Villa Academy uses CDC-approved, eco-friendly, medical-grade disinfectants and has implemented updated cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation practices. This includes routine cleaning and disinfecting throughout the campus. We will administer frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas and items, such as toys, manipulatives, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines and water fountains.

All students and employees will practice healthy hygiene, including frequent handwashing, throughout the day. If someone within the community contracts COVID-19, contact tracing will be used to identify and notify people who may have been exposed at school and also to determine the exposed areas and equipment within the building. These areas and equipment will be disinfected per CDC guidelines.

Teachers will limit sharing of classroom materials and workspaces between students and will sanitize items as needed. Only items that can be easily disinfected will be used. No personal toys will be allowed on campus. Students and employees should bring and use a refillable water bottle labeled with their name and use the water bottle refilling stations as well as faucets in classrooms. Water fountains will be available for refilling bottles only.

Covid Exposure and Illness Protocols

If a student is sick or experiencing symptoms at school, his/her teacher or other designated adult will escort the student directly to the isolation room (Room 221 - directly across from the mailroom and the main “sick” room) and report the case to the Main Office and the Head of School.

  • The student’s parent/guardian will immediately be contacted and asked to retrieve the student from school.
  • Caregivers of the sick child should contact their medical provider and get the child tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Parents who become sick or experience symptoms while at Villa Academy should notify the Main Office and leave the building immediately or report to the designated isolation room until able to leave the campus.

If a Villa Academy employee is sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms at school, that employee must notify his/her supervisor or the Head of School before leaving school. The symptomatic employee will be excluded from returning to school until they have received a negative COVID-19 test result (according to directions of a healthcare provider) and been fever and medication free for at least 72 hours, and other symptoms have improved;

NOTE: Villa Academy parents and the colleagues of the symptomatic employee will be notified of the employee’s symptoms (and may be asked to self-quarantine if the employee has been in close contact with students, colleagues, et al.) but the symptomatic employee will not be identified unless specific, written permission is granted by the symptomatic employee.

Anyone who is absent or sent home due to any illness that presents COVID-19 symptoms, shall not be permitted back in school again until they have:

  • Received a negative COVID-19 test result (according to directions of a healthcare provider)
  • Been fever and medication free for at least 72 hours, AND other symptoms have improved.

  • Anyone who is absent due to a positive COVID-19 test shall not be permitted back in school until at least 10 days after the positive test result and all symptoms have subsided and subsequent COVID-19 tests are negative.
  • Anyone who is absent due to close contact with a person who has COVID-19 shall not be permitted back in school until 14 days after last exposure. This person should check temperature twice daily and be observant for any onset of symptoms. They should also stay away from anyone who is at higher risk for getting sick.
  • In addition to the aforementioned requirements, anyone who is required to be off-campus due to a COVID-19-related concern must consult and receive clearance from the Head of School or his designate before being allowed back on campus.

  • According to King County Public Health, the child with symptoms should be isolated and sent home as soon as possible. Siblings who are not exhibiting symptoms do not need to be quarantined or sent home at that time. The siblings can continue to attend school or child care but should monitor their health. If any symptoms arise in the siblings, they should also stay home and their caregivers should contact a healthcare provider.
  • If the original sick child tests positive for COVID-19, that child must stay home and isolate. At that time all household members, including the siblings, would be considered close contacts and must also quarantine (stay home, not go to work, school or child care).

  • Household members of the “close contact person” (including the student/staff) would only need to quarantine if the “close contact person” tests positive for COVID-19.
  • If the household member (Villa student/staff) doesn’t get tested, is waiting on test results, or tests negative, the Villa student/staff can come to child care or school.
  • The exception would be if any household member (including theVilla student/staff) were exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should isolate and call a medical provider.

  • Children and staff sharing a household with someone with COVID-like symptoms may attend child care or school. They should monitor themselves for symptoms and, if they become sick, stay home.
  • If their household member tests positive for COVID-19, the student or staff should stay home and also get tested.
  • Details about how to determine the duration of isolation and quarantine periods are available at: King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit. This information is also available in the Return to School Following Illness Exposure Guidance in the toolkit.

At this time, there is no recommendation from Public Health—Seattle & King County (PHSKC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for schools to require a COVID-19 test for symptomatic children or staff. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is strongly encouraged to get tested; however, Villa Academy is not disallowed from implementing more stringent health and safety requirements than those outlined by PHSKC, DOH, or CDC.

  • Symptomatic students and staff who test negative for COVID-19 must remain home (isolate) for at least 72 hours after fever has resolved and symptoms have improved.
  • Symptomatic students and staff who do not get a COVID-19 test must remain home (isolate) for at least 72 hours after fever has resolved and 10 days since symptoms began and symptoms have improved.
  • Details about how to determine the duration of isolation and quarantine periods are available in our King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit. This information is also available in the Return to School Following Illness Exposure Guidance in the toolkit.

Travel and Gathering Protocols

All of Villa Academy’s 2020-21 protocols are in alignment with the state of Washington and King County requirements and/or guidance.

Villa students, faculty, and staff who use a commercial airline and/or travel through large public airports or participate in a commercial cruise and/or are returning from other states or countries, are expected to follow the Governor’s travel advisory guidance and quarantine for 14 days after returning to King County. Also:

  • Travelers should submit documentation of a negative COVID -19 test, taken no sooner than the 5th day of the 14-day quarantine and before entering campus for in-person learning.
  • Documentation of a negative COVID-19 test should be submitted to Cynthia Padilla in Villa’s Main Office.
  • Persons in quarantine should limit their interactions to their immediate household.

Faculty, staff and students returning from non-airline based, in-state/local travel with members of their immediate family, may return to campus and in-person learning, if they have followed the Governor’s social gathering guidance and are free of COVID-19 symptoms.

If you do choose to gather locally with those outside your immediate household, we ask that you follow the Governor’s “Phase 2” guidance for that gathering. Under “Phase 2,”indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household should not include more than 5 people and be limited to two households. Outdoor social gatherings shall be limited to fifteen (15) people from outside your household and limited to two households.

The Governor’s travel advisory does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel. Essential travel includes: work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.


Covid-19 Related Communications

My Test Post

Updated COVID Quarantine Protocol

Villa Academy's current post-travel quarantine protocol has changed to include two options, effective April 1, 2021:

Update from the Head of School

This communication contains important reminders about morning and afternoon drop-off/pick-up, and the guidelines for students returning to campus after travel.

Lower School Routines & Procedures Update

This communication from Julie Grasseschi includes information about arrival/dismissal, school absences, health/hygiene protocols, lunch, and more.

Return to School Plans: Lower School

Letter from Julie Grasseschi, including January through February return-to-campus schedule.

Return to School Plans: Middle School

Letter from James Joseph, including January through February return-to-campus schedule.

Head of School Update: Nov 23, 2020

Modified instruction schedule for December 14-18, and January 4-8

Head of School Update: Nov 19, 2020

Holiday Travel Plans Survey 

Head of School Update Nov 17, 2020

Governor Inslee has issued a new travel advisory along with guidance concerning social gatherings. 

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