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!
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:
Graphic weekly schedules for every grade, as shown in the example below, are coordinated throughout the school.
Villa Academy is fortunate in having a 31-acre campus and extensive facilities that assist us in meeting stringent health safety guidelines:
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.