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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will all classes meet on campus at the start of school?

    Yes, all classes will meet in scheduled classrooms in the middle school and upper school starting Tuesday, August 18 (A-day).

  • What is the BA COVID-19 Exposure Plan?

    The purpose of the Brentwood Academy COVID-19 exposure plan is to mitigate exposure, monitor students, faculty and staff for signs and symptoms, and manage cases of exposure as well as individuals that have tested positive. 

    Staff Testing
    BA provided all faculty and staff a COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test prior to starting the school year. This test detects the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes the disease.

    Student Screening
    Students are not required to complete a COVID-19 test.  However, we are requiring all parents to screen their children each morning for signs/symptoms before school and enter their findings in the Magnus Mobile v2 app.  All information entered will be kept confidential. We are encouraging parents to take their student’s temperature each morning as well, but it will not be required by parents. The information from the Magnus app will be made available to certain designated individuals at BA prior to arriving at school each morning. At check-in, BA employees will be screening temperatures and face covering compliance.

    Face Coverings, Social Distancing and Other Safety Measures
    BA will require all students, faculty and staff to wear an appropriate face covering anytime they are in the building with the following limited exceptions:

    • Teachers will be allowed to remove their mask while teaching if they choose and can maintain physical distance.
    • Students will be allowed to remove masks whileeating lunch or participating in physical activity.

    We are doubling the amount of lunchroom space by utilizing the gym in addition to the dining hall. We are eliminating large group gatherings such as chapel and assemblies. We have placed touchless hand sanitizing dispensers throughout the building, only touchless water fountains will be available, and we have purchased multiple electrostatic sanitizing machines that will be used for deep cleaning when needed and treatment of commonly touched surfaces on a regular basis. These are just a few of the ways that BA hopes to mitigate the spread of the virus and keep everyone healthy and at school. 

    Monitoring Signs and Symptoms
    BA is asking all teachers to be keenly aware of any student demonstrating or stating signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Students who are identified will be isolated until further screened, and parents will be contacted. BA is still in talks with a local lab company that would possibly allow COVID-19 testing to be performed at the school, which would significantly reduce the inconvenience of testing on families. In addition, it would shorten the turnaround time for results and give us a better opportunity to manage any outbreaks at school or in our community. 

    Managing Exposures
    The BA COVID task force has worked closely with our board of trustees, multiple medical professionals, legal counsel, and policy professionals in our efforts to formulate our guidelines. We continue to monitor, daily, any changes to local, state and federal guidelines as it relates to COVID-19. BA has designated Jason Mathews and Alan Killingsworth to perform contact tracing and investigate each COVID-19 high risk exposure (which we define as within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes without a mask).

    The need for parental contact will be determined by the BA COVID task force based on best practices. Every parent will not be notified every time there is a positive case at Brentwood Academy.  Rather, emails will be sent to groups of parents as determined appropriate when we become aware that a student/faculty/staff member has tested positive. The email will include instruction, based on our guidelines, as to what to do in that case. However, parents may always choose to take actions beyond those specified in our guidelines or communicated in the instruction.  For example, parents may choose to have their student quarantine or consult a family physician even when there has not been a high-risk exposure. In the middle school, we will be sending mass emails, by grade, due to the nature of the dens and more co-mingling among students in each grade. In the upper school, we will be sending emails to all parents of students that have been in a classroom or on a team with an individual that has tested positive.

    Parents will be notified individually if it is determined that their student has had a high-risk exposure to another student, faculty or staff member that has tested positive to the virus.

    BA is asking all parents to be transparent with the school concerning any student who exhibits signs or symptoms of the Coronavirus or that has had an exposure, that they are aware of, that may have taken place outside the school, e.g., “I was at an event and someone there notified me they tested positive.” Currently, our exposure plan includes, but is not limited to, the following scenarios:  

     

    I. ASYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS WITH EXPOSURE  

    1. Exposed to someone, who was exposed to someone, that has tested positive for COVID-19.
      • Continue to monitor for signs and symptoms 
      • No correspondence from BA  
      • Continue to participate in academics/sport activity 
    1. Exposed to someone who has tested positive in classroom or other space where physical distancing occurred and/or masks were worn
      • Communication via email from Brentwood Academy
      • Continue to monitor for signs and symptoms
      • Continue to participate in academics/sport activity    
      • A member of the BA COVID task force will conduct contact tracing and gather information from positive individual and legal guardian. 
    1. Exposed by BA student, faculty or staff (with positive test) that has been within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes without a mask, e.g., lab partner, lunch partner, teammate 
      • Notification from member of BA COVID task force 
      • Recommend consulting physician  
      • Continue to monitor for signs and symptoms    
      • Self-quarantine for minimum of 14 asymptomatic days after exposure
      • BA will conduct contact tracing and gather information from positive individual and legal guardian. BA will contact others who were identified as having a high-risk exposure while at school. 
    1. Exposed by family member with close physical contact for greater than 15 minutes, sharing of food/utensils etc. with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19
      • Isolate family member 
      • Recommend consulting physician
      • Self-quarantine for minimum of 14 asymptomatic days after last exposure to family member
      • BA will conduct contact tracing and gather information from positive individuals and their legal guardian. BA will contact others who were identified as having had a high-risk exposure.

     

    II. SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS WITH/WITHOUT KNOWN EXPOSURE

    1. Individual has signs/symptoms of COVID-19
      • Communication to parent from member of BA COVID task force, if identified while at school 
      • Quarantine and monitor signs/symptoms 
      • Consult physician to determine need for testing or other differential diagnosis 
      • Student may return to school/activity after cleared by physician and/or followed BA COVID guidelines for return

     

    III. INDIVIDUALS WITH POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST

    1. Individual has no signs/symptoms of COVID-19, but tests positive
      • Isolate and monitor signs/symptoms 
      • Individual required to quarantine for 10 days after test and remain fever-free for 24 hours before returning 
      • Communication by member of BA COVID task force to other students and guardians who are identified as high risk 

     

    BA is committed to the health and well-being of all their students, faculty and staff. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique as it relates to this pandemic. If you have a multigenerational family household or someone with underlying health concerns, we want you to know that we are going to great lengths to make this school year a successful one for everyone. 

    The BA COVID task force will be continuously monitoring new guidance from local, state and federal authorities as well as what is happening in our community broadly as it relates to infection rates, etc. Look for communication from our task force as we are certain to be updating and changing some guidelines as we receive new information. 

    We cannot do this without your help and support. Please know that we support you and your decisions as it pertains to your child’s health. If you or a family member is at high risk due to underlying health concerns, please follow the recommendations of your personal health care provider. We ask that you communicate any of these concerns to us so that we can assist you in developing an appropriate educational plan.  

    By sending your child to school, each parent/legal guardian acknowledges and understands that there is a risk that your child will contract COVID-19.  By implementing this COVID-19 exposure plan, we are striving to reduce the risk that your child will contract COVID-19; however, we cannot guarantee that your child will not contract the virus.  Parents are reminded that a virtual schooling option is available for those who are uncomfortable sending their child to on-campus schooling. 

    References: 
    TN Dept of Health July 31, 2020
    Harvard Health Publishing July, 2020 
    CDC Guidelines July 22, 2020 

  • What if a student is sick or tests positive for COVID-19 at the start of school?

    Students who are sick or who have tested positive must stay home. However, new classroom technology will allow students to participate in classroom lessons from home.

  • What is the new technology?

    Every classroom has a ViewSonic interactive display (ViewBoard) and computer which together allow students to see what the teacher writes and displays in full screen at home, as well as live audio and video of teachers instructing in their classrooms. Recordings will be made of daily lessons, so students who are too sick to join class remotely can watch the lesson at a later time.

  • Can a student choose to take their classes from home?

    All students who are healthy should come to school to have all the growth experiences in the BA school day. However, if there are special circumstances, families may complete a request for distance learning and submit it to the appropriate school director. The classroom waiver form can be found here.

  • What if a student becomes sick during the school day?

    Students who develop symptoms of illness during the day will be separated from other students and monitored by a designated staff member until a parent can pick up their child or give permission for them to drive home. 

  • What if the whole school has to switch to distance learning?

    Students will join classes for video conferences using their new @baeagles.com email addresses. Teachers will be using Microsoft Teams to host class meetings. Most teachers will instruct from their classrooms using the ViewBoard to make lessons as engaging and as interactive as possible.

  • Will the schedule change if the whole school has to switch to distance learning?

    We anticipate that distance learning times will be temporary, so we will follow the same weekly and daily schedule as if classes were meeting on campus.

  • What will be different about the school day in August compared to last year?

    The biggest changes will be how students enter and move through the building. Students will have their temperature taken at a limited set of entrances each morning, and students, faculty, and staff must wear a mask or approved face covering in the hallways. Lunch will be served in the same location, but with no self-service items and seating distributed between the dining hall and the US gym. Assemblies will be limited, and students will meet for Chapel and other activity period programs most often in their advisory groups.

  • What face coverings will be approved?

    Students may wear surgical or other one-time use masks, or cloth masks without logos or branding. Due to a recent finding that certain face coverings are very ineffective at containing droplets that may contain the Coronavirus, cloth “buffs” or “gaiters” will not be allowed unless they are equipped with additional woven cotton filters similar to an acceptable face covering. Face coverings should be at a minimum a multilayer woven fabric that is washable or disposable. The BA Bookstore will have masks available for sale.

    Students, faculty and staff will be required to wear face coverings inside the building unless eating lunch or participating in physical activity. Teachers will be allowed to remove their masks while teaching if they so desire and can maintain physical distance. 

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