REOPENING CAMPUS FALL 2020
We are committed to delivering Rocky Mount Academy's mission through an educational experience deeply rooted in on-campus programming while also supporting those who are unable to be on campus due to illness or significant health risks. In order to safely reopen campus, we are assessing information, acting decisively, and developing guidelines and procedures in service of our community.
We will continue to update this page with any new information.
Response to Executive Order NO. 180
Dear RMA Parents,
In response to Executive Order NO. 180 issued by Governor Cooper on November 23rd, the RMA Task force has made the following revisions/updates to our school's COVID protocols. These will be categorized under the appropriate headings under the COVID tab on the website, but I thought it might be helpful for you to see them in this format.
If you have questions or wish to discuss concerns related to your child, please let us know.
Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.
RMA Task Force Actions Effective November 30, 2020
Masks are required at all times while indoors, even when physical distancing is in place (classrooms, study halls, etc)
Medical condition modifications will be considered on a case by case basis by the Head of School and School Nurse and will require documentation from a licensed physician.
Outdoor breaks must be offered throughout the day to allow for a physically distanced space to remove masks.
Masks may be removed wherever food/drink is served for the amount of time needed to eat or drink. Students must be physically distanced while eating/drinking.
Teachers who are physically distanced from their students at the front of the class may replace face masks with face shields for short periods of time ONLY IF the viewing of mouth movements is an integral part of instruction (phonics lessons, foreign language classes, etc). Masks must be worn at all other times in and out of the classroom.
Teachers and staff members may remove their masks for short periods of time when students are not present.
Masks must be worn outdoors at all times except during mask breaks. Physical distancing must take place during outdoor eating or drinking and during mask breaks.
There should be no more than 4 people at the outdoor tables in the courtyard and spacing should be maintained and monitored on benches.
All holiday festivities for the afternoon of December 17th are cancelled. This will, instead, be a half day of school with a short-day schedule. ASE will be open on a normal half-day schedule on the 17th and all day on the 18th.
Basketball and Swimming:
This executive order mandates that masks must be worn at all times - even during strenuous activity - including competitive play. Athletes with documented medical conditions are exempt from this mandate (per Executive Order 169). Coaches must allow frequent breaks during play.
Spectator limits are unchanged. (25)
Basketball games for the week of November 30 - December 4 have been postponed.
Swim season protocols were unchanged by Executive Order NO 180.
Safe and Ready 2020-2021
New Quarantine Guidelines (updated 12/3/20)
On December 3, 2020, the CDC officially announced shortened quarantine options. Specifically, a primary exposure quarantine can end after 10 days if the person has not developed symptoms and may end after 7 days if the asymptomatic person has tested negative for the virus.
Just for reference, the CDC also stated that ending quarantine after 10 days without a negative test leads to about a 1% risk of spreading the virus to others and ending the quarantine after 7 days with a negative test, there is only about a 5% risk of spreading the virus. Of course, with our mask mandates, those percentages would be even lower. Here at RMA, we have not seen anyone develop symptoms later than day 7 and most develop symptoms within 3-5 days of exposure.
After an extended Task Force meeting this AM, RMA has made the decision to adopt these new guidelines. If you choose the 7-day option, you would need to get a PCR test (the test that is sent off) on day 5. Most PCR test results are available within 2 days.
After stopping quarantine, people should continue to monitor for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
Face Covering Requirements (Updated 11/30/20)
- Face coverings of solid color only must be provided by each individual. Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others.
- It is the responsibility of students to have their own appropriate face coverings.
- Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth and should not be taken off unless instructed to do so.
- Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly.
- Indoor Wear:
- Masks are required at all times while indoors, even when physical distancing is in place (classrooms, study halls, etc)
- Medical condition modifications will be considered on a case by case basis by the Head of School and School Nurse and will require documentation from a licensed physician.
- Outdoor breaks must be offered throughout the day to allow for a physically distanced space to remove masks.
- Masks may be removed wherever food/drink is served for the amount of time needed to eat or drink. Students must be physically distanced while eating/drinking.
- Teachers who are physically distanced from their students at the front of the class may replace face masks with face shields for short periods of time ONLY IF the viewing of mouth movements is an integral part of instruction (phonics lessons, foreign language classes, etc). Masks must be worn at all other times in and out of the classroom.
- Teachers and staff members may remove their masks for short periods of time when students are not present.
- Outdoor Wear:
- Masks must be worn outdoors at all times except during mask breaks. Physical distancing must take place during outdoor eating or drinking and during mask breaks.
- There should be no more than 4 people at the outdoor tables in the courtyard and spacing should be maintained and monitored on benches.
- Washing hands with soap for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer reduces the spread of disease.
- All classrooms are equipped with soap and running water or hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Hand sanitizer stations are located at each entrance/exit.
- Classrooms/bathrooms will be sanitized throughout the day with our Clorox 360 machine or disinfecting wipes.
- Sharing of personal items is not allowed. However, instructional materials that are shared will be sanitized after each use.
- Certain areas will receive a deep clean, as often as needed.
- Buses will be sanitized after each use.
- Cleaning and disinfecting products will be properly stored away from students.
- Each bus will be equipped with a thermometer and Lysol/Clorox wipes.
- Bus drivers will check their own temperature before starting their morning routes.
- Parents are asked to check the temperature of their child daily before the student enters the bus.
- Bus drivers will also check the temperature of each student before entry on the bus and will collect the screening checklist for each student. Parents are asked to wait until temperatures are checked.
- If a student has a temperature of above 100F they will not be allowed to attend school or ride the bus.
- The bus driver will report the name of the student with a temperature to the school nurse upon arriving at school.
- All students will initial they are on the bus (each bus will have a list of names of students who ride the bus on dated sheets for monitoring purposes).
- Buses will be disinfected and sanitized each day after students exit the bus.
Student Entry and Exit Procedures
- Parents are expected to check their child’s temperature each morning before their child is brought to school, rides a RMA bus, drives to school, or rides with someone else. Students should be fever free for 24 hours without medicine before coming to school or attending any school sponsored event, unless they have been instructed to quarantine for a specific number of days.
- Every student who enters RMA will have their temperature checked outside of the building and will present their screening checklist signed by a parent.
- Any student with a temperature above 100F will not be allowed in the building and their parents will be called to pick them up immediately. Their name will be recorded for monitoring purposes.
- If a student's temperature is above 100F they will not be allowed to return to school or a school related event, until they are fever free for 24 hours without medication. Their name will be recorded for monitoring purposes.
- All students will wear an approved face covering that covers the nose and mouth to enter the building, a RMA bus, or any RMA sponsored event where face coverings are required. Children two and under are not required to wear a face covering.
- Students will enter the designated doors for LS, MS, and US. The outside gym entrance will remain locked.
- Late students (after 8:00 am) will enter the front door of Bradley Hall to have their temperature checked and their screening checklist collected.
- Upon entering the building, students will go directly to their designated homerooms.
- At dismissal, all students will exit the designated doors for LS, MS, and US wearing face coverings.
- If a student checks out before dismissal, they exit Bradley Hall wearing a face covering.
RMA is a community based school that has always embraced and welcomed parents and visitors to campus. While we still value the support and relationships we have with our families and community, we regret that visitors will not be allowed on campus at this time. We will welcome visitors back as soon as it does not present a risk factor and is approved.
If parents are asked to come to school for a required meeting or to pick up a student (no visiting), the following guidelines will be adhered to:
- Before entering the building, a temperature check will be administered as well as the screening checklist.
- An appropriate face covering that covers the nose and mouth will be required.
- Hands should be sanitized with the sanitizer that is furnished at the front of the building.
- Signing in and out at Lobby Guard is required with an appropriate ID. Lobby Guard will be sanitized after each use.
- Visitors will wait in the lobby in the designated area.
- Visitors may not visit other areas of the building.
- Drop off payments should be placed in the outside drop box.
- Drop off materials (not food), should be left on the designated table outside.
Updated November 13, 2020
Updated September 1, 2020.
Updated August 6, 2020
Updated July 22, 2020
Coping and Resilience
- Hope4NC Helpline 1-855-587-3463
- Dial 211 for Essential Community Services for the elderly, the disabled, those who do not speak English, those with personal crisis, those with limited reading skills, and those who are new to their communities.
- Using Social Stories to Support People with I/DD During the COVID-10 Emergency
- Social Stories for Young and Old on COVID-19
- Coalition to Support Grieving Students
- Skin Care
- Articles from the CDC on helping children and teens cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Article 1 Article 2
Q and A
If a case is identified, the Nash County Health Department will assist Rocky Mount Academy in contact tracing and notification. It is likely that anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of the infected person, regardless of masks, will be required to isolate at home for 14 days.
Not always. We know that masking and social distancing work to prevent spread. We may "close" a classroom for cleaning and ventilation for a few hours or overnight but that does not mean all the students and the teacher must be isolated for 14 days. The Nash County Health Department will consult with us on exposure cases.
Current CDC recommendations are that discontinuation of isolation can occur after 10 days or resolution of fever for 72 hours or more (whichever is longer). Testing to document clearance of virus for return to normal activities is not routinely recommended unless it is to discontinue precautions earlier than the symptom-based discontinuation.
If a student tests positive, that student will be asked to quarantine at home for 14 days if other students are in quarantine associated with their positive case. If there are no other students in quarantine associated with their positive case, the student can return to school in 10 days.
Testing is not required to return to school. Return to school is time based.
Face shields have the added benefit of protecting the eyes and keeping the outside of the mask from soiling. Many healthcare workers are wearing masks with face shields for the added protection. Masks are required with or without a face shield.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending masks down to age two. Masks are not required if social distancing can be maintained, but masks do seem to be our best chance of keeping this virus from spreading through school. Masks will be required whenever people are indoors and moving. This includes, but is not limited to, hallways, restrooms, and common areas.
In Middle and Upper School, there will be teachers who must teach across grades. Masking and social distancing help protect teachers and students while providing the optimal educational environment.
We don’t know the answer to this. Currently, there is no set cutoff number (either percent of positive tests or reproductive number at which we would decide to not reopen or to close school at a later date). We will receive guidance from public health officials to make this decision.
The CDC currently recommends 100.4. We are using 100.0 as a measure at Rocky Mount Academy.
Parents will receive a packet of information in the mail in which they choose the level of learning that best fits their child’s needs at the beginning of the year. Families who choose Level 2: Hybrid Learning will be making a 12 week (Trimester) commitment. Therefore, students in Level 2 in the beginning of the year will not be allowed to move to Level 1 until after Thanksgiving, if they so choose.
Families who choose Level 1 at the beginning of school may opt to change to Level 2 based on COVID-19 concerns at any time, but must remain in that level until the trimester is over.
Students that move to Level 2 due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure may return to Level 1 at the end of isolation.
You will receive a packet of information from the school the first week of August. It will include the section form for your child for Trimester 1. The form indicating your child's level of return is due on August 10th.
Yes. However, their participation will be remote using digital tools.
Level 2 students will not be allowed to participate in athletic programs.
Yes, music and art programs will continue using shields or face coverings, physical distancing, sanitation procedures, and no sharing of instruments or supplies.
Yes. We anticipate that all holidays will remain the same.
Yes. We will continue to pick up students in the morning from both locations. Students will be appropriately distanced on the bus.
This year, students will have the option to purchase a "boxed lunch" from the cafeteria. Orders will be placed in advance for the week online through the FamilyWeb (grades PK-5) or by completing an order form (grades 6-12) to be returned by Thursday in homeroom for the upcoming week. More details will be given on the new lunch ordering procedure.
Lunch will be eaten in classrooms or designated outdoor areas. Lunches that are ordered will be delivered to the students. Lunch items brought from home need to be those that do not require a microwave.
Due to our policy on visitors, outside lunch deliveries will not be allowed in the opening weeks of school.
We will notify ALL families of a confirmed positive case on campus while we continue to follow all protocols at school. Students not exposed to the COVID-positive individual may remain on campus.
We will notify cohort parents only of direct exposure to confirmed positive cases and require their quarantine. (the class, the grade, the team, the club – as appropriate after tracing)
We will notify cohort parents of secondary exposure (meaning a classmate was exposed to a COVID-positive person) and ask they watch for symptoms while we continue to follow all protocols at school. Only the exposed student will be required to quarantine. (Yellow Form)
No notification will be issued while we continue to follow all protocols at school. The family of the exposed student will be instructed to seek their physician’s advice about the student’s return to school so long as the exposure was at least 2 people removed. (A parent’s co-worker tests positive – no direct exposure between the COVID-positive person and the student, and the parent is not exhibiting symptoms.)
SUSPICIOUS SYMPTOMS AT SCHOOL:
The school nurse will notify cohort families if suspicious symptoms arise during the school day that lead to a student’s departure from school. Families will be asked to watch for symptoms while protocols continue at school. A follow-up communication will be sent to resolve the nature of the illness.
Either of the two circumstances:
The school will close a division for a period of at least 14 days if ever 50% of any division (LS, MS, US) is not on campus due to quarantine protocols.
The school will close school if there is a government mandate that makes it necessary to do so.
No, the virtual option is only available to Level 2 students or those that have been quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure. The student will follow standard procedures for getting assignments for the day missed as in the past.
Contact the appropriate Division Head for your child. The Division Head will assist you in the steps to complete that process.
The RMA Task Force utilized the governor’s guide to reopening schools as well as the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit and the NCDHHS as a resource when deciding what type of face coverings to allow. Specifically, RMA requires a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth that does not allow droplets to escape. You can help us by making sure your child’s covering fits securely over their nose and mouth, whether a gaiter or mask.
If you are identified as a primary exposure or contact of a new case 3 months or more AFTER the date of symptom onset of previous illness episode (or date of positive test if the person never experienced symptoms) then you will be asked to follow general quarantine recommendations