COVID-19 Community Guidance

As we begin to emerge out of the pandemic, it remains vital to keep our community healthy and safe on and off campus. We will continue to follow NCDHHS and CDC mandates and this page will continue to be updated through the school year. We thank you for your continued partnership and commitment.

Our Policy

Students, teachers, and staff must isolate if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 and should contact Nancy Hart AND either their primary care provider or the Forsyth County Health Department for guidance. The school nurse will call you if your child is determined to be a close contact. For the latest information on positive cases in our community, please check the Covid-19 daily dashboard.

Isolation for COVID-positive cases will be 5 days after testing positive for people who don’t have symptoms. They must continue to mask for five more days to minimize the risk of infecting others. 

If the patient had symptoms, they can return to school when ALL of the following criteria have been met: 
  • It has been at least 5 days since the first day of symptoms
  • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine)
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving and the student has been cleared by Nurse Hart to return.
Effective February 21, 2022, NCDHHS updated the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit focusing on strategies that are most effective at this stage of the pandemic, like vaccines, boosters, testing, and masking in schools. Additionally, NCDHHS recommends students and staff no longer be required to stay home from school following a COVID-19 exposure, unless they have symptoms or test positive.
 
Although exclusion from school is no longer recommended following an exposure, we will continue to notify potentially exposed students and staff and recommend that they monitor for symptoms, test at day 5 after exposure, and mask indoors when around others through day 10.

Please contact Nancy Hart with questions, concerns, or testing needs.

In order for us to stay in school and on campus, it is everyone’s responsibility to abide by the health and safety protocols while at school. It is critical that every student, parent, and faculty member hold themselves to a high standard of health and safety. We must all be aware that our individual actions on and off campus affect our entire community. 

Please know that we are working with infectious disease experts and appropriate county and state authorities as well as the CDC to remain up to date on virus activity in our area and to ensure that we are following the latest guidelines for maintaining a healthy campus.

Reminders

  • Wear face coverings indoors (now optional), wash hands, and sanitize daily
  • Follow CDC guidelines on and off campus
  • Stay home when you are sick

FCDS Updates

List of 22 items.

  • Feburary 25, 2022

    Dear FCDS Community:

    After meeting with the COVID Committee of the Board of Trustees yesterday, we have decided that FCDS will be mask-optional effective Monday, February 28. Please note that masks will still be required at this weekend’s events under our existing policy.

    This decision was made unanimously based upon declining positivity levels and hospitalization rates in our state and local area, the high vaccination rate at our school, and the guidance from the office of the governor of North Carolina. That said, we realize that members of our community may have very different reactions to this news - from jubilation on one hand to apprehension on the other - and that’s O.K. We value the diversity of our community, and that extends to respecting a spectrum of different opinions and beliefs.

    Here’s how the policy will live on campus day-to-day:
    • No one will be required to wear a mask (with a few exceptions) at FCDS effective Monday. That said, some members of our community may still choose to wear a mask. We ask that this personal decision be respected in accordance with our core values. 
    • Masks will still be required on all buses per federal mandate (including for athletics, field trips, and transportation to and from school). If the CDC updates this policy in the near future, we will follow their guidance. 
    • Students and faculty are asked to keep a mask with them at school (in a backpack or on their person) just in case.
    The following COVID-19 policies will stay in effect:
    • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for 5 days.
    • If you are symptomatic, stay home and test for COVID-19 (or be tested in our nurse’s office).
    • Report any positive test results to Nurse Nancy Hart.
    Further, we strongly recommend that a mask be worn in the following situations:
    • Wear a mask for 5 days after isolation due to a positive case.
    • Wear a mask for 10 days if exposed to COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status and test at day 5 (or sooner if symptoms develop).
    If you decide that you would like your child to continue wearing a mask at school, we encourage you to have a conversation with them about it. As we move into a mask-optional setting, it is not feasible to expect our teachers to enforce mask-wearing for some students but not others. 

    We will continue to maintain the COVID-19 dashboard on our website and monitor case counts and hospitalization rates in both the state and our local area. It is our greatest hope that mask mandates are another thing we can add to the history books, but please be advised that the health and safety of our school community is our first priority, and we will not hesitate to reevaluate this policy should it become necessary to do so. 

    Take care and have a great weekend!

    Gardner Barrier
  • January 26, 2022

    Dear FCDS Community:

    Effective Monday, January 31, Forsyth Country Day School will reduce its required isolation and quarantine periods to align with the most recent recommendations from the NCDHHS Strong Schools toolkit. As such, FuryFlex will no longer be available on demand. Only positive COVID-19 cases and those who need to quarantine after a close contact will be allowed to FuryFlex.

    The new isolation and quarantine guidelines are as follows. 

    Isolation for COVID-positive cases will go from 10 days to 5 days after testing positive for people who don’t have symptoms. They must continue to mask for five more days to minimize the risk of infecting others. 

    If the patient had symptoms, they can return to school when ALL of the following criteria have been met: 
    • It has been at least 5 days since the first day of symptoms
    • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine)
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving and the student has been cleared by Nurse Hart to return. 
    Quarantine for exposure will go from 7 days to 5 days. Quarantine is not required for those who meet one of the exceptions below. 

    Vaccination - The person has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and is in one of the following groups:
    • They are 18 or older and have received their primary series AND booster, if eligible.
    • They are 5-17 years old and have completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines. Boosters are not required to meet the exception for this age group.
    In this case, mask well for 10 days after exposure and get tested if symptoms develop. It is also recommended that you test at day 5 after exposure.

    Masked exposure - The person has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, but both individuals were wearing a mask the entire time.
     
    In this case, they do not need to be excluded from school if masks were being worn appropriately and consistently by both the person with COVID-19 and the potentially exposed person. This applies to exposures in classrooms, other in-school settings, and extracurricular activities, including athletics and school transportation.

    Infection in the last 90 days - The person has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
     
    In this case, they do not need to be excluded from school if they have had no symptoms after being a close contact of someone with COVID-19. The person must continue to wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure to minimize the risk of infecting others and should get tested on day 5, if possible.

    If none of the above three exceptions to quarantine apply, the person can Test to Stay. Under the Test to Stay policy, a person does not need to be excluded from school if they have had no symptoms after being a close contact of someone with COVID-19. They must continue to wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure to minimize the risk of infecting others. 
     
    In this case, individuals in a mask-required school setting do NOT need to be excluded from school after a close contact, including unmasked exposures while unvaccinated, if they have no symptoms. Individuals who don’t meet the quarantine exceptions above, such as unmasked exposures while unvaccinated (or unboosted if 18 or over), should get tested on the day of notification of exposure and as close to day 5 after exposure as possible or if they develop symptoms and must wear a mask in school settings. 

    Our health room nurses have the ability to COVID test students, staff, and family members with a rapid antigen test. 

    We hope the above policies, which move us into alignment with both the NCDHHS Strong Schools Toolkit and the CDC, help to keep our school community healthy and our students in school. As always, please keep your child home if they are ill, and please reach out to our health room if you have any questions. 

    Take care and be well,
     
    Gardner BarrierNancy Hart
    Head of SchoolHead Nurse
  • January 11, 2022

    Dear FCDS Community:

    I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to let you know that - due to the continued climb in Covid cases both in our community and the community at large - we have decided to extend the opportunity to FuryFlex through January 28 for students in K-12.

    Once again, this option will be available to any student in K-12. If you wish for your child to continue FuryFlexing or start on Tuesday, January 18 (our first day back after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday), please let your division director or division assistant know by Sunday. Families must notify the school at least 24 hours prior to FuryFlexing, but may return to in-person learning at any time.

    If you choose to go virtual because your child is in isolation or is an unvaccinated close contact, please also let Head Nurse Nancy Hart know. Here are the latest requirements for isolation, quarantine, and testing. You can also view our current cases by division on the Covid dashboard

    Please know that, in addition to providing FuryFlex for anyone in K-12 who desires a virtual option, the school continues to follow proven Covid mitigation strategies, including:
    • Proper masking while in campus buildings (and our students are doing GREAT with this)
    • Appropriate social distancing
    • Increased ventilation
    As I frequently say, we are living in exceptional times. I look forward to the day when I no longer have to say that, and I thank you for your understanding and support. 

    Take care,

    Gardner
  • January 4, 2022

    Dear FCDS Community:

    FCDS will continue to follow the isolation guidelines that have been in place for this school year:
    • If diagnosed with COVID, isolation is required for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or positive test result, whichever came first.
    • If unvaccinated and a close contact, quarantine is required for 7 days. Test at day 5, monitor for symptoms, and mask well through day 14 after the last close contact.
      *If close contact takes place during the school day and both parties were masked consistently and appropriately, no quarantine is required.
      **If you are a fully vaccinated (booster not included in this definition of fully vaccinated) close contact, no quarantine is required. Test at day 5, monitor for symptoms, and mask consistently and appropriately through day 14 after last close contact.
    Please notify me if your child was diagnosed with COVID or was a close contact needing to quarantine or test over winter break. 
     
    The Covid Committee will review the new CDC guidelines of a 5-day isolation for a diagnosis of COVID and 5-day quarantine for close contacts, and if our guidelines change, we will inform you. 
     
    We strongly encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinations and boosters and remind you to upload vaccine cards to Magnus. Log into OnCampus > Resources > Magnus and update the COVID vaccine requirement.
     
    Other important reminders:
    • The Omicron variant is the most contagious variant yet. Masking consistently and appropriately has never been more important. Masking is required indoors on campus for everyone. 
    • Do not send your child to school if he or she is symptomatic with cold, flu, allergy symptoms, or is not in a normal state of health. Get tested for COVID and flu if appropriate or provide an alternative diagnosis from a physician, PA, or NP.
    • Do not send your child to school if there is a pending test result.
    • The health room has rapid antigen tests. If a rapid antigen test is negative, a PCR test may be recommended.
    Please let me know if you have any questions.
     
    Warm regards,
     
    Nancy
     
    Nancy Hart BSN RN
  • December 27, 2021

    Dear FCDS Community:

    I hope you are all enjoying the winter break. I am writing to let you know that - due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and its increased transmissibility - we are postponing the start of the second semester from January 3 to January 5 for K-12. Preschool will begin as scheduled on January 3. 

    This two-day delay will allow our teachers two work days to adapt their lesson plans and classrooms for a hybrid learning environment, which is the most challenging for teachers to plan for and execute, but allows us to provide maximum flexibility for our families. Parents may choose to have their K-12 children attend school in person or via FuryFlex between January 5 through January 14. After the 14th, we will reassess the option to continue FuryFlex for anyone who wishes to do so. FuryFlex will not be available for preschool.

    Anyone who wishes to FuryFlex beginning January 5 should contact their division director or division assistant no later than Monday, January 3. Families must notify the school at least 24 hours prior to FuryFlexing, but may return to in-person at any time. If you are choosing to go virtual because your child is in isolation or is an unvaccinated close contact, please also let Head Nurse Nancy Hart know. Here are the latest requirements for isolation, quarantine, and testing. 

    We truly are living in exceptional times, and we realize that this solution is not perfect, but it is made in good faith, with careful consideration, and with the best interests of our school community at top of mind. Taking these two days to prepare allows us to prioritize in-person learning, parent choice, and teachers’ planning needs simultaneously. Thank you for your understanding and support. 

    Take care,

    Gardner Barrier
  • August 24, 2021

    Dear FCDS Community:

    Now that we have settled into the new school year, we wanted to take a moment to inform you how the school will handle notifying families regarding Covid-19 cases and close contacts. Covid is still very much a part of our reality, especially with the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant. 

    We ask that you please review and bookmark our Covid-19 Community Guidance webpage. There, you’ll find our current policies, an archive of Covid communications, and our Covid-19 Dashboard

    The daily dashboard shows Covid-19 cases in members of our school community by division. You’ll see current positive cases who are in isolation and close contacts in quarantine. There have been some active cases since last Friday. This dashboard is updated every evening and provides the most accurate picture of our numbers. 

    Please keep in mind that no news is good news regarding close contacts - you will only be notified (by a phone call from the school nurse) if you or your child is determined to be a close contact of a positive case at school. Please remember that a close contact is defined as an unvaccinated and unmasked person who was within six feet of a positive case for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. Cases on the dashboard do NOT necessarily mean that those cases were acquired at school; simply that those involved are students or teachers here. 

    Please remember to continue to follow (and remind your children to follow) all Covid protocols while on campus - including proper mask-wearing indoors, maintaining physical distance, and frequent hand washing - in order to provide the safest and healthiest school environment possible for every member of our community. 

    Stay safe and be well,
     
    Gardner BarrierNancy Hart
    Head of SchoolHead Nurse
  • July 30, 2021

    Dear FCDS Community,

    I hope you are enjoying your summer. It’s hard to believe that August begins next week and before you know it, we’ll welcome our students to campus for the first day of school on August 18.

    As our task force carefully plans for the 2021-2022 school year, our priority continues to be to create the best learning environment for our students while prioritizing their safety. That said, we want to inform you of some recent decisions.
     
    We’re excited to announce that this school year will resemble a “normal” year. We will enjoy field trips, welcome guests back to campus, and come together as a community for pep rallies, events, performances, Buddy Days, classroom groups and collaboration, and assemblies. Please see the positive changes we are able to make this school year.
     
    In order to make these changes toward a meaningful school year and continue to be responsible for the safety of our community, face coverings will be required indoors for all students, staff, and visitors during the school day. This policy follows CDCNCDHHS, and AAP guidance and will be evaluated throughout the school year.
     
    One way you can help support our community is to get your child(ren) vaccinated if they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccines have proven safe and highly effective, and we encourage all eligible faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated. We believe that vaccines protect not only the vaccinated but every member of our community. Approximately 90 percent of our faculty and staff are fully vaccinated. Please upload your child’s vaccine card by Friday, August 6. Just log in to OnCampus and click on the Magnus board. Please be advised that unvaccinated individuals will be required to quarantine per NCDHHS guidelines if they are identified as a close contact to a positive COVID case and all unvaccinated individuals who fly will be required to quarantine per CDC guidelines
     
    Thank you for being a valued member of our community. We appreciate your support!
     
    Take care,
    Gardner Barrier
  • July 1, 2021

  • May 14, 2021

    Outdoor Mask Requirements Lifted at FCDS

    Effective immediately and in accordance with CDC and NCDHHS guidelines, students, faculty, and visitors will no longer be required to wear masks outdoors while on the FCDS campus. Examples of where and when masks are not required include but are not limited to: outdoor P.E. classes, lunch, activity, outdoor academic classes, recess, and outdoor athletic events. 

    Although there is well-documented, data-driven research that shows the transmission rate of COVID-19 outdoors is less than one percent, not all students are vaccinated. We realize that some parents may prefer that their child continue to mask outside, and we respect that choice. Please notify your child’s teacher and our school nurse, Nancy Hart, at nancyhart@fcds.org if this is the case.

    Please be advised that masks will still be required inside for all students, faculty, and visitors regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. This is in accordance with current NCDHHS guidelines and the North Carolina indoor mask mandate. We will update these guidelines as the governor updates us.
  • Winter 2021 - Club Sports Guidance

    Guidelines for Off-Campus Athletics

    The FCDS COVID Committee has been tasked with ensuring the health and safety of the FCDS community, while also providing the best overall experience for FCDS families and our students. As we return to in-person instruction with community COVID numbers at record levels, the participation in athletic activities outside of FCDS is a difficult issue for our committee to navigate. We have received feedback from our community members, so we have updated the language around athletics off campus in an attempt to provide clarity and guidance to each family as you make difficult decisions about participation and safety for your children and the FCDS community. This policy will be updated as needed to reflect best practices, new information, and COVID spread in our community.

    Below we have detailed our recommendations for different athletic activities. The low, moderate/high risk sports list is taken from NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Administrators and Participants of Youth and Amateur Sports Programs found here.

    Low risk: Golf, swimming, cycling, diving, disc golf, dance, track and field, tennis singles matches, curling, horseback riding, pickleball, figure skating, badminton, running, individual gymnastics, weightlifting, and individual sailing/kayaking.

    FCDS encourages participation in low-risk athletic activities where social distancing, wearing masks, and cleaning of shared equipment are consistently practiced.

    Moderate/high risk: Soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, crew, swimming relays/group swimming, tennis doubles matches, field hockey, non-contact lacrosse, football, competitive cheer, contact lacrosse, basketball, rugby, wrestling, group dance, hockey, pairs figure skating, and boxing/martial arts.

    FCDS asks that families consider limiting participation in moderate/high risk athletic activities to local competitions. If you choose to participate in competitive, club-level athletics, then we ask that you ensure your club is following state mandates regarding masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and sanitizing shared equipment. If the club is not consistently following these mandates and recommendations, we ask you to quarantine for 10 days and attend classes via FuryFlex.

    We have received a number of questions regarding the all-school email from yesterday.  We hope this update will answer those questions and provide clarity on expectations moving forward. If there are additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Nancy Hart or Doug Esleeck.
  • February 22, 2021

    Dear FCDS Community,
     
    As you consider plans for Spring Break - March 22-26 - please be aware that our Upper School WILL be virtual the three days after the break (March 29-31). This has long been on our calendar as a possible virtual week, and it made the most sense given that there are only three instructional days followed by two days of conferences on April 1 and 2.
     
    For our families with younger children for whom virtual learning poses more of a challenge - especially in terms of childcare - we are excited to announce that preschool through eighth grade will have school IN-PERSON after we return from Spring Break. 
     
    If you plan to travel, please be aware of our quarantine policy. It is now updated from a 10-day quarantine to a 7-day quarantine with a required test no earlier than day 5. However, if you choose not to test, then a 10-day quarantine is required. We ask that students and staff quarantine for any of the following reasons:
     
    • S/he traveled internationally. The State Department's travel advisories can be found here.
    • S/he used public transportation such as commercial planes, trains, or community buses. 
    • S/he traveled domestically and was in a high-risk setting during the trip. High-risk settings are defined as any time a large crowd gathers and social distancing was not possible and/or facial coverings were not worn, such as attending an amusement/theme park, protest, rally, party, or other event. (Please note that this list is not comprehensive and we trust your judgment.) Please see CDC recommendations for After You Travel.
    • S/he was in a high-risk setting, which is defined as gatherings larger than 10 individuals indoors and 50 outdoors (subject to changes made to North Carolina mandates by the governor’s office), and unable to maintain distance of at least six feet between individuals who are not of your immediate family and/or not wearing a face covering.
    • S/he did not adhere to the North Carolina Executive Order on gatherings, face coverings, and distancing. 
    • S/he traveled with a club team playing a high- or moderate-risk sport in which there is close, sustained contact. More guidance is here
    Please note that if you elect to quarantine for one of the above reasons, we require that you get tested for COVID-19 no earlier than day 5. If that test is negative and you have no symptoms, you may return on day 8. If you choose not to take a test, you may return after 10 days. All positive cases must be reported to Nancy Hart immediately.
     
    These new protocols, which follow CDC/NCDHHS guidelines, are based on emerging data that show a decrease in North Carolina case numbers, a lack of campus community spread despite positive cases on campus, and the fact that many faculty are starting to be vaccinated this week. We will have the same policy for both high-risk activity as stated above and close-contact quarantine. 
     
    If you are not sure about your individual situation, we ask that you err on the side of caution and contact Nancy Hart to discuss it. Please let your division director/s know as soon as possible (preferably 48 hours prior) if your student or students elect to quarantine after the break so we can arrange for your students to FuryFlex. FuryFlex is available for all Lower, Middle, and Upper School students on a short-term basis for quarantine.
     
    Thank you for your cooperation and help as we work to keep our school community healthy!
     
    Take care, 
     
    Gardner
  • Jan. 7, 2021

    Dear FCDS Community:

    Welcome back! We hope your holidays were filled with joy and peace, and we look forward to having you all back on campus on Monday, January 11. 

    Our primary goal at FCDS is to keep students safely learning and socializing on campus. To make that a reality, we are reminding our families to partner with us to support their child’s adherence to the safety and health measures while on campus and while away from campus. 
     
    As a community that prioritizes safety and health, we must all do our part to adhere to the CDC and NCDHHS health mandates to control COVID-19 transmission and potential future outbreaks. There may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures to best protect our FCDS population, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard. 

    It is the responsibility of all FCDS community members to prevent the spread of illness when they are aware or suspect that they have contracted a communicable disease such as COVID-19. It is also important that everyone stays aware of the updates to the North Carolina Governor’s mandates related to mask-wearing at all times when not with immediate family, maintaining six feet of distance, and following the guidelines around social gatherings limited to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors which can be found here.

    We are requiring all families to complete an updated Health Agreement Form. Please log into OnCampus and complete the required updated Health Agreement Form by Monday, January 11, 2021. This form must be completed in order to remain in school. 

    A few changes to make you aware of:

    1) Per CDC/NCDHHS guidelines, we are opting to move to a 10-day quarantine (versus 14-day) for close contacts of a COVID-19 positive person. This applies only if you remain asymptomatic for the full 10 days. COVID-19 testing is encouraged at days 5-7. You may not test out of quarantine. If you become symptomatic during quarantine, you should get a COVID-19 test and notify Nancy Hart. We may return to a 14-day quarantine if we feel it is warranted due to FCDS community spread. 

    2) Because of the cold outdoor temperatures, we will not be doing temperature checks during carpool due to the inaccuracy of those readings. The nurses will be doing random temperature checks throughout the day. However, we will continue to do the Magnus app checks at carpool each morning. Please note that the questions on the Magnus app have been updated. Please be sure that you have the latest Magnus app version on your phone. Everyone must complete the app each day before entering the school building. In-person learning can only happen if all members of our school community remain committed to the practices listed below to help keep students, staff, faculty, and families safe and healthy.

    3) In keeping with reviewing policies that we think strike the right balance of letting our students participate in the things that matter to them, our COVID committee also discussed some adjustments for the rest of basketball season. Since basketball is indoors and a higher-risk activity, we've decided on the following steps effective Monday, January 11 through the conclusion of the basketball season:

    • All Middle School teams will focus on skill development and have practices. They will not play any more games against other schools/teams this season. 
    • Our boys' JV basketball team will focus on skill development and have practices. They will not play any more games against other schools/teams this season.
    • Our varsity basketball teams will complete their seasons competing against other teams in their scheduled competitions. That said, we are asking varsity basketball players to FuryFlex in order to complete the season. We think this change brings the right balance of managing the safety/well-being of our community. We will also need siblings of varsity athletes, as they are close contacts, to FuryFlex for the rest of basketball season as well.

    There is roughly a month left in basketball season and we think these steps are the prudent, responsible steps to take. 

    Updates to our Health, Wellness, and Safety presentation found here

    Our FCDS COVID-19 Dashboard can be found here.

    We are looking forward to a successful second semester.

    Thank you for your commitment to our community,

    Gardner Barrier, Head of School
    Nancy Hart, Head Nurse Health Services
  • Nov. 23, 2020

    Dear FCDS Community,
     
    As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country and locally, Forsyth Country Day School has decided to remain virtual through December 11. This is effective for preschool through twelfth grade. 
     
    Although our campus cases have been few and there has been no community spread here, many of you have expressed concerns about returning from Thanksgiving (when many families are planning to travel or gather), and we share those concerns. The school COVID Committee and the administration believe that returning for one week of in-person instruction after the holiday simply isn’t worth the risk to the health and safety of our community. 
     
    Over the break, campus will be open for those who are comfortable participating in enrichment and athletics. 
     
    As parents and alumni, we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving will likely look a lot different for all of us, but we still have so much to be thankful for - including one another and this incredible school community. 
     
    If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to any one of our committee members. We are all in this together, even if that is #togetherapart for the next few weeks. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Aliana Sindram, M.D. ’95, FCDS COVID Committee Chair
    Gardner Barrier ’97, Head of School
     
     
    COVID Board Committee:
    Greer Cawood
    Chere Chase Gregory, M.D.
    Marissa Howard-McNatt, M.D.
    Ashli Nicks
    Danielle Williams, J.D.
    Stan Jewell, Board Chair
     
    Gardner Barrier
    Nathan Battle
    Nancy Hart, R.N.
    Michelle Klosterman, Ph.D.
    Andrea Matney
  • Nov. 1, 2020

    FCDS Community, 

    It has been brought to our attention that some FCDS students attended gatherings this weekend that did not adhere to the NC executive order on mass gatherings. Groups larger than 25 people indoors with or without face coverings and not socially distant or groups larger than 50 people outdoors. Attending gatherings such as these are putting the FCDS community at an increased risk, especially with the increasing number of cases in our area. If someone has placed themselves in a situation that violates these guidelines, we strongly ask you to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

    In order for us to stay in school and on campus, it is everyone’s responsibility to abide by the health and safety protocols while at school and follow the state mandates for mass gatherings, wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and hand hygiene when off campus. It is critical that every student, parent, and faculty member hold themselves to a high standard of health and safety this year. We must all be aware that our individual actions on and off campus affect our entire community.

    Take care of yourself and one another, 

    Gardner Barrier, Head of School
    Nathan Battle, Associate Head of School for Student Life
    Nancy Hart, School Nurse
  • Sept. 22, 2020

    Dear FCDS Families:

    I wanted to bring your attention to a few important points regarding health and safety on campus.

    Because the weather has gotten cooler this week, we have had delays in carpool due to artificially high temperature readings due to car heaters. Please turn off your car heater when you enter campus so that your child or children cool down enough for a reliable scan by the time they reach our temperature takers. 

    On a further carpool note, in MS/US carpool, please make sure student drivers use the right lane (nearest the building) so they can quickly drive through, park, and get to class. Families dropping off their students should use the left lane. 

    Despite the chilly weather, the need for proper ventilation means we’re keeping as many doors open as possible for better airflow. Please remember to have your child/children dress in layers/bring warm clothes for those days when the mercury dips. 

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and please contact me should you have any questions. 

    Nancy

    Nancy Hart, R.N.
    School Nurse
  • Sept. 10, 2020

    Dear Parents:

    We’re four weeks into this “new normal” school year, and now - more than ever before - we’re so grateful to be back on campus and learning together in person. This time together is so important not only for learning, but for our students’ social and emotional growth and community building. 

    That said, coming to a campus full of people in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with an inherent risk of viral transmission. We've seen other schools shift to 100 percent virtual learning due to behaviors that increase this risk, and we don’t want that for our school

    First, we expect everyone to follow the latest North Carolina Executive Order on gatherings, face coverings, and distancing which you can find here. NCDHHS requirements on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can be found here along with information on community spread, contact tracing, and testing. 

    In addition to the mandatory isolation/quarantine situations below (which are just here as a reminder), FCDS will now ask that students and faculty consider a 14-day quarantine if they have been in situations or have engaged in behaviors off campus that carry an increased risk of viral transmission. We ask that you keep the guidelines below in mind as you make plans for upcoming school breaks. 

    Mandatory isolation/quarantine
    • If your student is diagnosed with COVID-19, s/he is required to isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and may not return to school until cleared by the school nurse. 
    • A 14-day quarantine is required if you are considered a close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) of someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

    Voluntary quarantine
    We recommend that you consider a 14-day quarantine for your student/s if:
    • S/he traveled internationally. The State Department's travel advisories can be found here.
    • S/he traveled domestically and was in a high-risk setting during the trip. High-risk settings are defined as any time a large crowd gathers and social distancing was not possible and/or facial coverings were not worn, such as attending an amusement/theme park, protest, rally, party, or other event. (Please note that this list is not comprehensive and we trust your judgment.)
    • S/he was in a high-risk setting, which is defined as gatherings larger than 25 individuals indoors and 50 outdoors, and unable to maintain distance of at least six feet between individuals who are not of your immediate family and/or not wearing a face covering.
    • S/he did not adhere to the North Carolina Executive Order on gatherings, face coverings, and distancing. Please note that the order exempts worship services, spiritual gatherings, weddings, and funerals.
    • S/he traveled with a club team playing a high- or moderate-risk sport in which there is close, sustained contact. (See high- and moderate-risk definitions here.)

    We have no intention of policing the behavior of our community members, and we trust in your integrity to help keep our campus open and protect our teachers, staff, students, and families. If you are not sure about your individual situation, we ask that you err on the side of caution and contact Nancy Hart to discuss it. Please let your division director/s know as soon as possible (preferably 48 hours prior) if your student or students elect to quarantine so we can arrange for your students to FuryFlex. FuryFlex is now available for all Lower, Middle, and Upper School students on a short-term basis for quarantine.

    The criteria for quarantine and FuryFlex are subject to change as we learn more about COVID-19, treatments, testing, and contact tracing.

    The Thanksgiving holiday weekend always provides a wonderful time to gather with our families and celebrate all that we are grateful for. The chance to connect with our loved ones is perhaps more important than ever before during this uncertain time. Unfortunately, there is evidence that such family gatherings are responsible for large clusters of COVID-19 cases. Rather than put families in a position of feeling that they shouldn’t come together or singling them out to quarantine, FCDS will switch to virtual learning (preschool through grade 12) the week after Thanksgiving. 

    Here is the revised schedule:

    November 25-27 - Thanksgiving Break
    November 30-December 4 - Virtual learning for preschool through grade 12. 
    December 7 - School resumes on campus. 

    If students or teachers participate in activities over Thanksgiving break that would qualify for voluntary quarantine based on the criteria above, we encourage them to elect to quarantine for an additional week (to make the recommended 14 days).

    Please be advised that, as we finalize the 2020-2021 calendar, we may consider a similar virtual week following our Winter Break and will let you know when the calendar is finished. 

    We appreciate your support, understanding, and cooperation as we continue to make decisions in the best interests of our students and our community. 

    Gardner Barrier, Head of School
    Nancy Hart, RN, Head Nurse Health Service
  • April 1, 2020

    Dear FCDS Community:

    I hope this email finds you all safe and well and home with your families. If you work on the “front lines” in any capacity - as doctors, nurses, first responders, or in any and all other businesses or roles that require you to put your own safety at risk in this unprecedented time - we are profoundly grateful for your service to our community, and indeed, to our country. Thank you for all that you do. 

    In keeping with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s month-long stay-at-home order executed on March 30, Forsyth Country Day School is officially extending virtual learning through at least May 1. We will continue to evaluate the situation and update you if that plan must change to protect the health and safety of our school community.

    In addition, I’d like to tell our seniors and their parents - who I know are missing so much of their special senior year at FCDS - that we are planning to hold graduation as scheduled on May 29. At this point, with the information that we have, we believe this milestone can be celebrated safely in one form or another. We don’t know if a traditional graduation ceremony will be allowed or advisable, but we are looking into and planning for options to make the day a special one for every graduating senior.

    Further, because the Class of 2020 has missed so much of the bonding and social interaction that are hallmarks of senior year, we are making plans for a second celebration to honor the seniors at the end of 2020 - likely when they are all on break from college. Please stay tuned for more information on that.

    Regarding the coming month of virtual learning, our teachers are already taking what they’ve learned in the first few days of virtual learning and starting to tweak instruction so that your children will continue to enjoy the excellent programs and (virtual) face-to-face interaction we’ve been able to preserve via Zoom, Seesaw, and other platforms. I’m so impressed with what our faculty have been able to do thus far, and I know that they will continue to tap into their talent and creativity even further to fully engage your children during ongoing virtual learning. 

    As we have since the first days of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and keep you updated. Thank you for entrusting your children to us, and for being valued members of the Forsyth Country Day School community.

    Be - and stay - well. 
     
    Gardner
  • March 15, 2020

    Dear FCDS Community:
     
    I hope you enjoyed the weekend and spent some quality time with your family.

    I - along with the school leadership team and our Board of Trustees - truly appreciate your support and positivity during an unprecedented and stressful time. 

    Over the weekend, the situation with COVID-19 has continued to evolve, and we have continued to adapt and modify our plan so that it aligns with our top priority: putting the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families first. One way we’re doing that is to put our school under one plan from preschool to twelfth grade, so that students from age 2 through senior year remain off-campus through April 13. 

    Please see details below:
    • Starting tomorrow, all teachers from preschool to twelfth grade will have three teacher workdays to prepare and train for online learning. All students will be off campus this week for an extended spring break and campus will be closed to all visitors.
    • Preschool through twelfth grade conferences will be held on Thursday and Friday - remotely via Zoom. If you need to schedule your K-12 conference, click here. Preschool teachers will email parents tomorrow to set up remote conference times. 
    • In order to prepare parents for conferences using Zoom and to provide more information about how online learning will work, we will hold a remote Parent Information Session at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18 for each division of the school. More information will be provided in a follow-up communication tomorrow. 
    • Spring Break for students will now begin on March 16 and end on March 27.
    • On March 30 and 31, students in grades 5-12 will begin online orientation modules facilitated by administrators and counselors. Online learning begins for preschool through fourth grade on March 30.
    • April 1 - Classes begin virtually for students in grades 5-12.
    As the situation with COVID-19 in the world continues to change rapidly, we will continue to remain vigilant and to act with the utmost caution and care. We will continue to evaluate the situation over the next several weeks and provide updates through e-mail as well as on the COVID-19 Updates webpage. In the meantime, I wish you all a happy and healthy week ahead and a restful Spring Break.
     
    If you’d like to read an informative, data-driven article on COVID-19, I thought this one was very helpful.
     
    Take care,
     
    Gardner 
  • March 13, 2020

    Dear FCDS Families:
     
    We’re grateful to you for remaining calm, positive, and supportive during an unprecedented and trying time.
     
    After meeting last night and evaluating the rapidly changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made a decision which considers recommendations by the CDC, WHO, the office of the North Carolina governor, and which aligns with what peer schools and universities are doing - and we believe it is the right and responsible course of action for our entire community.
     
    Effective Monday, March 16, Forsyth Country Day School will transition to online teaching that will extend from March 16 through April 10 for K-12 and for the two weeks after Spring Break for preschool. Please read below for more details. 
    • Effective immediately, no visitors will be allowed on campus. If you need to contact your child or one of us at school, please call the main number (336-945-3151) and our receptionists will assist you. You may also email reception@fcds.org
    • All campus athletics are suspended indefinitely after today, and the prom and the Middle School Play are postponed until further notice. 
    • To allow K-12 teachers time to prepare and train for this change, no classes will be held on campus for K-12 students the week of Monday, March 16. Preschool will remain in session that week, but preschool conferences will be postponed.
    • K-12 conferences will be on Thursday and Friday as originally scheduled - remotely via Zoom. 
    • In order to prepare parents for conferences using Zoom and to provide more information about how online learning will work, we will hold a remote Parent Information Session at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. More information will be provided in a follow-up communication. 
    • Spring Break is from March 23-27.
    • On March 30 and 31, 5-12 students will begin online orientation modules facilitated by administrators and counselors. Online learning begins for K-4 on March 30.
    • April 1 - Classes begin virtually for students in grades 5-12.
    At 10:45 today our students in grades 5-12 watched this video. Lower School students had discussions in their classrooms. 
     
    Please be advised that FCDS is not taking these actions lightly or because of any known or suspected cases of  COVID-19 in our school community. Listening to the advice and counsel of medical professionals, we believe that the strategy of social distancing will play a key role in helping to keep our students and families healthy - especially after many of us are returning from travel after Spring Break. 
     
    While this challenge demands constant vigilance and extreme caution, we are certain that taking responsible measures will help protect our families and school community. As this situation continues to evolve rapidly, please be alert for further updates. 
     
    We are so grateful for you and we thank you for partnering with us.
     
    Take care and be well,
     
    Gardner Barrier on behalf of the Board of Trustees and school leadership team
  • March 11, 2020

    Dear FCDS Community,
     
    As always, the health and well-being of our community of students, staff, and families remain our highest priority. The ensuing email contains important information for our community. We urge you to read it carefully and in its entirety. Successful implementation of our response plan begins with you! 
     
    As you have probably seen in the news, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina yesterday. This is an administrative act that provides access to additional resources and facilities as well as more efficient decision-making authority; it does not change our circumstances at FCDS, and there are no recommendations for closing schools. 
     
    We continue to monitor the sources of information previously shared with you. Currently, we have no confirmed COVID-19 cases within our school or Forsyth County. While this situation is still very fluid, the school believes that a containment strategy vs. a mitigation strategy is appropriate at this time. The following represents our strategy to minimize impacts to the community resulting from the upcoming anticipated travel of our community members over spring break.
     
    Travel Over Spring Break
    We strongly encourage you to adhere to the CDC's guidelines on travel. We understand this information changes frequently, so we encourage you to check the website regularly. Many countries have instituted restrictions and quarantines that could directly affect you.
     
    Using great caution, we ask that FCDS students, parents, staff, and volunteers who are traveling to, through, and/or returning from CDC Level 2 or Level 3 areas not to return to school (including any school activities on or off campus) until a 14-day period has elapsed following their return to the United States and to obtain medical clearance from school nurse Nancy Hart before returning to campus. If you have plans to travel to these areas, we ask you to self-report to your respective division director or directors and Nancy Hart by phone and/or email as soon as possible. Please contact your personal physician for specific instructions regarding self-isolation. 
     
    As the CDC travel guidelines are subject to change at any time, with new countries potentially being added and given the unpredictability of the spread of the virus domestically, students, parents, and staff may be subject to a self-isolation due to travel or exposure in other areas not currently included in travel advisories.
     
    At this time, the school strongly discourages international travel or travel by cruise ship and asks you to reconsider such plans. We emphatically urge caution and judgment for your non-essential personal domestic travel. Given the rapidly changing situation, if you choose to travel internationally, take a cruise, or meet one of the other criteria below, you may be asked to do a 14-day self-isolation period off campus upon your return. All students, parents, staff, and volunteers are asked not to come to campus after the break until you have been screened by Nancy Hart if you meet one of the following criteria:
    • You have traveled internationally over the break to a country that is not a designated level 2 or 3 country (see above for level 2 and 3 country travel protocol).
    • You have taken a cruise.
    • You have traveled domestically and have fever, sore throat, upper respiratory symptoms, or shortness of breath or have been in contact with anyone who has these symptoms.
    • You have been in contact with anyone who has a diagnosed or suspected case of COVID-19.
    All students, parents, staff, and volunteers who meet one of the above criteria will be asked to self-disclose their need to be screened to Nancy Hart via email at nancyhart@fcds.org copying your division director or directors. Nancy will conduct a screening and provide approval to return to campus or instructions regarding a required self-isolation. 
     
    Teachers will be prepared to support students with remote learning during a 14-day self-isolation protocol.
     
    Self-isolation means:
    • Remain at home
    • Do not attend class, work, or other group gatherings such as:
      • Social events
      • Meetings
      • Rehearsals
      • Team practices.
    Travel Registry
    In order to better assess the areas where employees may be traveling over the spring break, we have created a confidential required travel registry for staff and students. We ask that each of you respond to a short survey to provide more detail on your upcoming travel plans as soon as possible. When you log into OnCampus, you’ll see a travel registry form for all parents to complete (one per student). 
     
    Thank you for your help in ensuring the health and safety of every member of our community. If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of the following members of our preparedness team:

    Gardner Barrier
    Nathan Battle
    Michelle Klosterman
    Andrea Matney
    Nancy Hart
    Keith Wood
    Jay Inzko.
  • March 8, 2020

    Dear FCDS Community,

    We are writing to follow up our previous communication about novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While it is unsettling for parents, students, and employees to read daily about COVID-19, the CDC has advised communities, businesses, schools, and other organizations to be prepared for the possibility of needing to manage this new virus. Our school is committed to being as prepared as possible, and thus provides the following updates on our decisions and guidance to our community.
     
    Planning for Possible School Disruption
    With rapidly changing circumstances, there is the possibility that Forsyth County public health officials could determine a need for school closures. Although we do not believe that a school closure is imminent, we have begun conversations and planning about how to continue instruction in the event of a closure. We are currently exploring “online school” or remote learning should this become necessary for a period of time. We suggest you ensure that your student has access to high-speed internet should virtual learning need to occur for any period of time. If access is a problem for your family, please contact your child’s division head.
     
    Upcoming Travel
    As COVID-19 continues to spread internationally and throughout the United States, we are in the process of examining the potential for additional travel guidance and expectations for students, faculty, and staff as it relates to certain travel to high risk areas, so that we all can take responsible and proactive steps to help protect members of our school community and mitigate the potential impact to our campus. Please look for additional information from the school in the coming days.
     
    School Trips
    Utilizing extreme caution and - as always - keeping the safety of our students at the center of every decision we make, we have decided to cancel this week’s orchestra trip to New York City and to postpone our spring break trip to Greece due to the continued spread of COVID-19. We will be in touch with families directly affected by these changes as soon as we have updates later in the week. 

    We’re still gathering information about the Middle School Florida trip and will communicate with those families as soon as we know more. Please know that these decisions are in line with recommendations from the CDC pertaining to student travel abroad and policies recently implemented by colleges, universities, and peer schools.
     
    Sanitation and Prevention on Campus
    We are working to put additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus. Please remember that the most effective prevention of illness is frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water. Further, our maintenance and custodial staff have stepped up the routine nightly cleaning of surfaces including doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces. Finally, we have been in communication with our food service provider, Flik. Flik has implemented a proactive set of procedures and protocols to reduce the spread of illness in its food service areas.
     
    This situation is changing rapidly, but we are working assiduously to monitor the situation and to keep you updated on plans and health related updates on our website. 
     
    Thank you for taking the time to read this long but vitally important message. Please see a few additional updates below.
     
    Conference Changes
    In response to our school’s need to be proactive and to prepare our teachers for the potential for virtual learning, we need to adjust our conference schedule to accommodate professional development needs. We appreciate your understanding as we worked to find a time that would minimize disruption to your family schedules. Conferences on March 19 will now run from 1 to 6 p.m. and from 8 to 3 p.m. on March 20. Please sign up here and make time for this valuable feedback from your child’s teacher or advisor! It’s a vital part of teacher/parent partnership and something that truly sets FCDS apart. 

    For divisional information, please read your director’s or directors’ notes. I wish you a great week ahead, which starts on Day 1.
     
    Take care,

    Gardner
  • March 1, 2020

    Dear FCDS Community, 

    As we all monitor news about the impact of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 on a growing number of communities globally, I thought it might be helpful to use this week’s email to provide resources and an update on FCDS’s preparedness. 

    Among the many health and educational resources we regularly review, the most valuable COVID-19-related resources so far have come from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A few key take-aways:
    • Confirmed COVID-2019 cases in the U.S. are currently very low. There are currently no confirmed cases in our region, and therefore minimal immediate risk to our community. 
    • This is an "emerging, rapidly evolving situation" (the words are the CDC’s, not mine) with new information being released daily.
    • The best ways to prevent any illness, including COVID-2019, include everyday preventive measures:
      • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
      • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
      • Staying home when sick
      • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash or covering coughs and sneezes with a bent elbow
      • Regular cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and frequently touched objects
      • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds 
    • At this time, the CDC has "limited reports...that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications ... have been reported, they appear to be uncommon." 
    At FCDS (especially in the midst of flu season), School Nurse Nancy Hart, our part-time nurses, and our teachers regularly help our students follow preventive measures to stay healthy.  We regularly disinfect surfaces and have hand sanitizer stations in public places throughout campus. We're grateful for the commitment of our families to ensure that students who are ill remain home and fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.

    We will continue to assess and monitor this situation very closely, and please be advised that we have emergency preparedness plans in place to protect our school community should COVID-19 become a threat to us. We will continue to communicate proactively and keep you informed as needed. 

    Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. Thank you for your partnership and support as we work to keep Forsyth Country Day School and its students safe and healthy. 

    Take care,

    Gardner
    • Virus Prevention

FCDS Health Services Covid Testing

FCDS Health Services offers onsite antigen testing with the ABBOTT BinaxNOW testing kit provided by NCDHHS. The test is free of charge for all employees and students. Test results are reported to NCDHHS via the NCID reporting portal. The Health Services staff will contact you for permission if they recommend testing. If you would like your child tested, please contact Nancy Hart. 

We will perform antigen testing on symptomatic employees and students. We will also provide testing for asymptomatic close contacts.

You may also choose to test at home with a rapid antigen test of your choice or choose to be tested by your doctor or through a community partner with a rapid test or PCR test. 

Unvaccinated employees will begin weekly testing on October 19, 2021, as a condition of employment.

COVID-19 Board Committee

Dr. Aliana Sindram, Chair
Greer Cawood
Dr. Chere Chase Gregory
Dr. Marissa Howard-McNatt
Ashli Nicks
Dr. Ashley Perrott

Gardner Barrier
Nathan Battle
Doug Esleeck
Kelly Gould
Nancy Hart, R.N.
Michelle Klosterman
Andrea Matney

    • Keep Masks Clean
Forsyth Country Day School (FCDS) is a private, college preparatory, independent school for preschool through high school located in Lewisville, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem. Students benefit from a challenging academic curriculum, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.

Non-Discrimination Policy: Forsyth Country Day School is committed to administering all education and employment activities without discrimination based on one’s race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.