COVID-19 Community Guidance

During this time, it is vital that we work together to keep our campus and our school community safe and healthy. We need all of our students, faculty, and families to follow our health and safety protocols at school and when off campus. We thank you for your continued partnership and commitment.

Our Policy

Students, teachers, and staff must self-isolate immediately if they present with symptoms and should contact Nancy Hart (nancyhart@fcds.org) AND either their primary care provider or the Forsyth County Health Department for guidance. Close contacts and the whole FCDS community will be notified if anyone at FCDS tests positive for COVID-19. 

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. 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.

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

  • No visitors on campus
  • Students and staff must complete Magnus health screening each morning
  • Wear face coverings, keep social distance, wash hands, and sanitize daily
  • Follow CDC guidelines and state orders on and off campus

FCDS Updates

List of 9 items.

  • 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 Update

    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 Update

    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 Update

    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 Update

    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 Update

    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 Update

    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
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.