The task force team, leadership along with staff and faculty members have been working to finalize guidelines and protocols as we move closer to the start of the new school year in August. We are taking into consideration on-going guidance from the CDC, Dallas County Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, State of Texas, local government, and the Texas Education Agency.
We will keep this page updated with the latest communications about our Return to Campus Plan.
Greetings St. Philip’s Family,
In my message on Friday, August 21st we communicated St. Philip’s plan to proceed with our in-person learning on September 3rd and September 8th. I wanted to follow-up with everyone by providing more details as to our decision to move forward with our plans. We remain prayerful and mindful, understanding and considerate of developing a plan and safety protocols that we can implement and reinforce. The safety of our St. Philip’s community is our top priority as we deliver on our mission.
I have had the opportunity to participate in weekly meetings with Judge Clay Jenkins and other heads of private schools and public schools. The complexities and details that superintendents must wrestle with for large school districts is challenging. I fully understand Judge Jenkin’s recommendation for DISD schools to further delay the start of in-person instruction. While St. Philip’s is not inoculated from contact with COVID-19, we are BLESSED in several ways which allows us a level of confidence in providing an in-person experience for those who wish to return on campus for instruction.
- Our size is our advantage. We are a small independent school vs. a large district. Our current enrollment is 194 students.
- We have class sizes of 4 to 11 students versus public school sizes that range 20 to 32 students.
- Our lowered enrollment allows us to adequately reinforce social distance protocols.
- We have adequate space to socially distance faculty, staff and students throughout the campus.
- We do not have to wrestle with managing 25% of our students being transported to school by bus.
- We are not confronted with a shortage of teachers.
- We do not have active junior high and high school students.
- We do not have to accommodate for severely challenged special needs students, nor for sports, choir and band.
We continue in our prayerful confidence and commitment to the safety and health of our faculty, staff and students as we all work through uncharted times. As a reminder, we will need to remain fluid in our decisions to pivot our plans as necessary pending on-going developments related to the pandemic.
We look forward to providing an unparalleled 2020-2021 academic experience. Please continue to reach out to myself and/or Principal Murrell with your questions. Thank you in advance for your support, patience, and fervent prayer.
Dr. Terry J. Flowers, Perot Family Headmaster
Allow Your Faith to be Your Fuel
Greetings St. Philip’s Families,
Welcome Back! We pray that your family is adjusting well to the return to school virtually. You may have seen or heard the latest news announcing DISD’s virtual return, I want to reconfirm our plans here at St. Philip's. We will continue with our plan to open as follows:
- September 3rd: In-person learning starts for Grades 1-6 / virtual continues
- September 8th: In-person learning starts for Early Childhood/ virtual continues
We feel very comfortable and confident that our safety protocols and process will be effective in helping to keep students safe. Unlike a large district such as DISD, we have the advantage of our size and ability to utilize spaces throughout campus. All students will not be on campus. For those who have registered to be on campus, you will receive our return to campus agreement outlining expectations of our families while they are beyond the campus of St Philip’s.
Finally, our faculty and staff have overwhelmingly adhered to safety practices and protocols this week. We are confident in our preparedness and know that we have families who will do their part. We look forward to providing an unparalleled 2020-2021 academic experience.
Dr. Terry J. Flowers, Perot Family Headmaster
Allow Your Faith to be Your Fuel
Many of you have heard that Dallas County Health and Human Services issued an order prohibiting in-person instruction in the county’s public and private schools until at least September 8 due to the record number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the county. The Attorney General Ken Paxton also released a letter of guidance exempting religious private schools from the local mandates of the DCHHS. As a faith-based school, understanding the need for our children to be in school in person, we have decided to return to school as follows:
• 1st – 6th grades will return on Thursday, September 3 (in-person).
• Early Childhood will return on Tuesday, September 8 (in-person).
• We will also provide distance learning through the fall and extend pending the status of the virus.
• Our program will remain such that we will be able to change course to distance learning in the event of new orders from state, local and health authorities.
Additional details regarding our in-person and distance learning plans will be provided during the first week of August by Principal Murrell. At any rate, we have planned to provide an unparalleled academic experience in person or in our distance learning program. Thank you to the majority of our parents who completed the survey. Your response helps us better serve you and develop plans that provide optimal support for our students and families. The uncertainties of this pandemic require us to maintain fluidity in our decisions and planning. We are grateful for your patience during this time.
Finally, please see the attached FAQs regarding our reopening plans. These FAQs will also be available on our website.
Mrs. Murrell and I are also planning to host Zoom meetings for each division (Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School) to discuss our reopening plans and to answer any additional questions and/or clarify questions on our FAQs. You may submit your questions in advance here. Please stay tuned for an email providing dates and times.
Allow your Faith to be your Fuel
I hope this message finds you in good health and that everyone had a safe holiday weekend. It is my prayer that everyone continues to keep your guards up as it relates to the vulnerabilities that COVID-19 presents.
In that regard, the task force team, leadership along with staff and faculty members have been working to finalize guidelines and protocols as we move closer to the start of the new school year in August. We are taking into consideration on-going guidance from the CDC, Dallas County Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, State of Texas, local government, and the Texas Education Agency.
Thank you to many for completing the Return to Campus Survey as it helps to inform some of our decisions in planning. We are committed to providing an unparalleled academic experience and doing our part in keeping our community safe and healthy. If you have not had the opportunity, please take 2 minutes to complete the survey today.
Below is an initial overview of some of the protocols we will implement to help prevent illness and keep our community safe. You will receive more details by division in the coming weeks.
• Masks required for all adults and 1st - 6th grade students
• Masks recommended for Early Childhood students
• Staggered drop-off and pick-up times and locations
• Parents assess their child’s health status before arrival daily
• Daily temperature checks required for all students, faculty, and staff before entering campus
• Access to campus will be limited to faculty, staff, and students only
• Parents and visitor entry will be allowed under special circumstances with permission
• Classroom seating reconfigured
• Teacher to student ratios adjusted
• No large gatherings will be permitted indoors
• Frequent handwashing integrated into schedules, required and enforced
• Lunch service and schedules will be adjusted to enforce safety and social distancing
• Health and safety education training for all faculty, staff, students
• Guidance acquired from the DCHH regarding procedures for handling illness on campus
• Immediate separation and isolation of anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
• Accommodations for virtual learning
• Increased building sanitation schedule
• Air filter adjustment implemented
• Increased health professional staffing
• After School Enrichment Program will be temporarily canceled for the fall
• Athletics will be temporarily canceled for the fall
We understand that you may have additional questions and concerns as you think about plans for your students. We will keep you informed as we finalize plans with our Board of Directors in the coming week. If you have immediate questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and /or Mrs. Murrell at email@example.com.
Allow your Faith to be your Fuel
REOPENING PLAN FAQS
SPSCC organized a task force which included executive leadership, staff, faculty and parent voices to engage a diverse group of thinkers.
In preparing to reopen, the task force team researched guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, Dallas County Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, State of Texas, local government and the Texas Education Agency to develop recommendations.
Those recommendations were submitted to leadership and forwarded to our Board of Directors and are now in review by an external medical panel.
In addition, two separate surveys were administered to our parents and employees to effectively capture feedback that informs our decisions as we plan to implement new protocols during this pandemic.
The organization continues to closely monitor health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Dallas County Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, athletic associations, and other public health resources to inform our reopening plans.
Additionally, we have secured the services of a consulting firm which audits school operating and reopening plans. This company is providing additional guidance for our plans and protocols.
New safety measures will be in place that include but are not limited to required daily health screenings, increased cleaning protocols, staggered arrival and drop-off times, reduced classroom sizes, changes in lunch schedules. required face coverings, frequent hand washing, prohibitions on visitors and parents on campus.What are the masks/face coverings requirements?
• Masks are required for all adults and 1st - 6thgrade students.
• Masks or face shields are recommended for all Early Childhood students.
• Masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Students will not be required to wear face coverings while eating but will be socially distanced or separated with clear desk shields to the greatest extent possible.
Research shows that face coverings are an effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19. As cases have risen in Texas, Governor Abbott has required that masks be worn in public settings. The CDC and Dallas County Health and Human Services have also recommended face coverings for school settings.
Increased cleaning protocols will take place for frequently touched surfaces (such as restrooms and doorknobs) throughout the day with an EPA-approved disinfectant. Additionally, cleaning personnel will be hired. Deep cleaning protocols will be introduced for classrooms, restrooms and shared spaces.
Yes, faculty and staff will receive training on new safety protocols prior to our return to campus. Students will receive guided instructions upon return to campus.
• A parent or guardian will be required to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms each day prior to sending them to school. Parents will need to take their child’s temperature daily.
• Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19. The student may receive virtual instruction until the below conditions for re-entry are met.
• Faculty and Staff will be required to complete a self-screening process prior to entering daily.
• Faculty, Staff and students should not enter the school building if any of the following apply. Individual is:
o Sick or has been sick in the past 14 days. Symptoms to watch for: fever (100°F or higher), cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea vomiting, new loss of taste or smell).
o Has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals must follow all isolation and quarantine guidelines from the local health authority or their physician.
o Has a household member who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who is awaiting their own test results.
o Has traveled internationally on a cruise within the past 14 days. These individuals must follow current CDC self-quarantine recommendations.
• All students, faculty and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily as noted above. Individuals with symptoms will be separated and sent home.
• Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 1 hour from the time the school contacted the parent/guardian.
• Other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus so that the classroom can be disinfected.
• Contact tracing will be conducted by the school nurse.
• Any area that was heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) will be closed off until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected
• Communication will be provided to the parents of students who came in contact with a student or staff member displaying COVID-19 symptoms within 24 hours.
• Faculty and Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow protocols for isolation from students and other staff members and leave the campus.
• Students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be permitted to return to school when:
o 14 days have passed since symptoms.
o Students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to submit a letter confirming good health from a physician's office prior to returning to school.
• Students, faculty or staff who come into close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and may not return to campus during that time. The CDC defines close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
EC, LS and MS students will enter and exit from 3 separate entrances to avoid large crowd gatherings of students. Details will be outlined a week before we return to campus.
To limit unnecessary exposure to the virus, access to campus will be limited to faculty, staff, and students only. Visitors may only be allowed to enter under special circumstances with permission.
To limit unnecessary exposure to the virus, access to campus will be limited to faculty, staff, and students only. Parents may only be allowed to enter under special circumstances with permission.
We have been blessed to have always maintained small class sizes. This year we are intentionally limiting enrollment which enhances safety. Classroom seating will be socially distanced as much as instructionally possible and/or clear desk shields in place. Faculty will maintain a consistent group or cohort of students and some classes will move to larger rooms to enhance social distancing. The use of outdoor space for learning will be considered whenever possible.
There will be a limited number of students allowed in restrooms at the same time. Additionally, the whole class restroom break will be implemented for all classes to eliminate co-mingling of students across various classes. Where possible the touching of restroom entry doors will be minimized by removal or modification to reduce germ spread.
Students will be taught proper handwashing techniques and will have regular scheduled times for handwashing. Additionally, hand sanitation stations will be placed throughout the school.
There will be specific focus on hand sanitation upon arrival to school, entering classrooms and before meals.
There will be a limited number of students per recess group or cohort on the playground. A staggered schedule will be utilized to maintain social distancing. Faculty and students will use hand sanitizer before entering the playground and hand washing will be enforced after recess. We have an additional playground and we will use the playground near the athletic field.
Students will wear their PE uniform to school on their PE day to enable a smooth transition. A staggered schedule will be utilized to maintain social distancing. Hand washing will be enforced after PE. We will utilize both gymnasiums and our fields for PE as well.
Students will be required to wear their school uniforms daily whether they are in person or distance learning. Please contact Principal Murrell if you are not financially able to purchase uniforms.
Yes, all families returning to campus will be required to purchase supplies from the list provided as well as a milk crate to hold supplies and a 32oz water bottle. The school will provide sanitizer, Clorox wipes and disinfectant sprays that are currently short in supply. Please contact Principal Murrell if you are not financially able to purchase supplies.
Students will not share supplies. Each student will have their individual supplies in milk crates in the classroom and/or backpacks.
For activities that require the use of technology, each student will have their own device.
All student will eat in their classrooms.
No large gatherings will be permitted indoors.
All field trips in the fall will be postponed. Virtual field trips will be considered as often as possible.
Students will watch Daily Chapel via Livestream in their classrooms. A select group of members (including acolytes) will stream the program from the Morningstar chapel each morning. All chairs and equipment will be placed at a social distance. The chapel tools and equipment will be sanitized and prepared for daily use by a facilities team member.
Athletics will be temporarily canceled for the fall.
Group performances that include singing create a particular risk for transmitting the coronavirus. All group performances may be reimagined to showcase our students’ talent using virtually.
Initially, we will not provide our traditional after school enrichment program, however, will offer an extended after care hour until 4:30pm to allow parents time to pick-up their students starting on September 21, 2020.
The Admissions Office staff will be available by phone, email, and virtual meetings. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition payments may not be deferred per contractual agreements. We plan to continue our learning process for students by providing an unparalleled educational experience during this health crisis.
Enrollment may not be deferred, and contractual agreements would still need to be honored. It is our commitment to provide an unparalleled educational experience during this health crisis.
Please submit your question to one of the following emails below.
• Perot Family Headmaster, Dr. Terry Flowers at email@example.com
• George Lee Jr., Principal, Kellee Murrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Human Resources at HROffice@stphilips.com
COVID-19 RESPONSE UPDATES
Click here for COVID-19 updates.
Resources for You and Your Family
• CDC page on COVID-19
• Johns Hopkins CSSE Map of Global Coronavirus Cases
• Dallas County Health and Human Services
• National Association of School Psychiatrists and National Association of School Nurses: Talking to Children About COVID-19, A Parent Resource
• NPR (Feb 28, 2020) Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus