Campus Closure

The Bishop's School campus is currently closed due to increased concern about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). All academic, athletic and co-curricular activities, rehearsals, practices, performances and competitions are canceled or postponed.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Bishop's School is tracking news and information about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region. This is a quickly evolving situation; please check this page regularly for updates. 

Bishop's COVID-19 Updates

List of 20 items.

  • April 3 - Message from the Parents' Association President

    Dear Bishop’s Families,
     
    As we all enjoy a little respite from classes during spring break at Bishop’s, I want to express my sincere gratitude to be a part of the Bishop’s family. Gratitude for Ron Kim for his calm, steady leadership and the care in which he makes every decision that affects our students and our School. Gratitude for the Bishop’s Board of Trustees who advise and support Mr. Kim so that he can make those tough decisions. Gratitude for Bishop’s dedicated administration and staff who quickly created a seamless distance learning environment for our students so they can continue to attend classes during the COVID-19 crisis. Gratitude for Bishop’s devoted faculty who instantly reconstructed their lesson plans for the Zoom video format so our students can continue to be fully engaged, connected and inspired. Gratitude for our students who have embraced this new reality with curiosity and the determination to continue learning, challenging and supporting one another in the process. Gratitude for the coaches who continue to connect with and motivate our student-athletes to train at home. Gratitude for the parents who support our students, faculty, staff and administration with humor, appreciation, humility and calm. And gratitude for the collaboration of all of these groups to make this time away from school seem less isolating.
     
    “We’ve got this!” is the phrase I’ve heard repeated most often during the past two weeks. It is that attitude - coupled with a lot of humor, memes, texts, emails and photos from other Bishop’s parents - that has kept me going during this period of isolation. It is that attitude and the feeling of belonging and support that remind me why we are all part of the Bishop’s family. Bishop’s is not only an exceptional learning institution, it is a community filled with people who care deeply about one another, and I am proud and humbled to be a part of this family.
     
    For senior parents, I want to express my profound sadness that your child's last few months as a Bishop’s student are not how you (or they) envisioned them to be. But my genuine hope is that you will be able to celebrate your child's amazing achievements when life returns to normal, sooner rather than later. We all look forward to celebrating with you.
     
    I hope that during these uncertain times we can all remember that we are in this together - and together we will get through this. I hope that you will take the time during spring break to take a deep breath, get away from your computer screens, enjoy your family time, reach out to others who might not be as fortunate and celebrate all that is good in your lives. I know that is what I will be doing. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything. Take care and stay healthy. I hope to see you soon!
     
    GO KNIGHTS!
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Laurie Howard
    Parents' Association President
  • April 2 - Update on Summer Session

    While the Bishop's campus is currently closed, a decision has not yet been made as to whether it will be open for the summer program.  While we are hoping for the best, we are preparing for all possibilities.  At this time, we will run certain for-credit classes -  Heath, the religious classes (Introduction to Biblical Literature, World Religions, Prophetic Voice, and The Holocaust: Religious Questions), and the Visual Arts courses (Drawing and Painting I or II) regardless; whether they are offered in person or via distance learning will be determined at a later date. The summer credit can still be earned from these classes.
     
    A final decision has not yet been made regarding other courses, including our Enrichment Program (for students entering grades 4-8).  We hope to be able to make a final decision before mid-May about these classes.  
     
    A reminder about our refund policy:
    If you withdraw from a course at least 3 weeks in advance of the first day of class, you will receive a refund for the course minus a small registration fee.  If the school cancels a class (due to Covid-19 or due to low enrollment) you will be fully refunded.
  • April 1 - Update on School Events

    Dear Bishop’s Community, 
     
    When we began this school year in August, none of us anticipated that during the weeks leading up to spring break we would be honing our distance learning skills to support the continuation of teaching and learning. We’ve all grown more adept with Zoom and Google Meet in the past two weeks than we, as committed members of an independent day school, ever imagined. Together, we have figured out how to mute our microphones, adapt to unstable wifi connections and roll with the inevitable interruption of class by a barking dog, curious toddler or something else unforeseen. Such is life under the new “normal” provided by the relentless march of COVID-19. How we all wish for simpler times when milk breaks, all school assemblies, performances, art receptions, face-to-face collaboration and athletic games filled our calendars. 
     
    However, the reality is that the novel Coronavirus will likely impact our lives for the foreseeable future. While we all hope for a quick cure and a miraculous recovery of both our collective health and the country’s economy, we must also prepare for a challenging, uncertain road ahead. As such, we write today about the community events on the School’s calendar during the three weeks following spring break. 
     
    It is difficult to imagine a school year without the traditional rites of passage that are a hallmark of The Bishop’s School. Nonetheless, the task for us now is to envision the ways in which we may best honor our students and their unique achievements. We have asked Senior Class Sponsor Dana Pierce and the Class of 2020 student leaders to consider how to recapture those special moments that the end of a senior year brings. As we have a better sense of their hopes and plans, we will share them with you. 
     
    Given the restrictions that stay at home orders and social distancing require, all in-person academic, athletic and co-curricular activities, rehearsals, practices, performances and competitions will remain canceled until further notice. Below are the events prior to May 1 that will be affected:
     
    College Bound Athlete Night (April 14) has been postponed until the fall. 
    Admissions Welcome BBQ for new students (April 15) is canceled. Alternative online welcome activities are being planned.
    Cum Laude (April 16) is canceled. In a separate correspondence later this spring, we will share how we plan to recognize the students who have been inducted into Cum Laude this year. 
    Patron Pre-Auction Reception (April 17) is canceled. 
    Instrumental Concert (April 17 and 18) is canceled. The Performing Arts Department is working on ways to showcase student performances via video sharing and should the opportunity arise for student performances at the end of the school year, will consider rescheduling. 
    Chinese Honor Society Induction Dinner (April 20) is canceled. In a separate correspondence later this spring, we will communicate how we plan to recognize the students who are qualified to be inducted into the honor society this year. 
    Visiting Poet, Jay Hopler (April 21) is postponed until the fall. Dr. Hopler will record a reading later this semester to be shared with students in English classes. 
    Studio Dance Group Show (April 22) is canceled. The Performing Arts Department is working on ways to showcase student performances via video sharing, and should the opportunity arise for student performances at the end of the school year, will consider rescheduling. 
    Jazz Performance (April 23) is canceled. The Performing Arts Department is working on ways to showcase student performances via video sharing, and should the opportunity arise for student performances at the end of the school year, will consider rescheduling. 
    The Bishop’s School Auction (April 25) One World. One Love. One Knight. has been postponed until a later date. Plans for a virtual experience are in process. More information to come. Updates will also be posted at auction.bishops.com.
    Spanish Honor Society Induction Dinner (April 27) is canceled. In a separate correspondence later this spring, we will communicate how we plan to recognize the students who are qualified to be inducted into the honor society this year. 
    Performing Dance Group Recital (April 28 and 29) is canceled. The Performing Arts Department is working on ways to showcase student performances via video sharing, and should the opportunity arise for student performances at the end of the school year, will consider rescheduling. 
    Senior Arts Night (April 30) is canceled.
    Sixth and Seventh Grade Trip to Skate World (April 30) is canceled.
    Eighth Grade Trip to Knott’s Berry Farm (April 30) is canceled.
     
    We are aware that there will naturally be questions about the School’s calendar beyond May 1, as all members of our community would like to make plans and set their schedules. Our hope remains that at some point we can all gather together on campus to celebrate the end of the school year, though we are realistic that we may not be able to do so this year. Over the next several weeks, we will update the community regarding the events for the remainder of the school year, based on the recommendations from our local and state public health departments.
     
    The loss of these celebratory occasions is hard. We know that this is not how any of us imagined the year unfolding and for that we are genuinely sad. Yet, it gives us great hope that an incredible community like ours, filled with dedicated teachers, committed students and supportive parents, can weather a challenging moment like this together and be better for it.
     
    In partnership,
     
    Harlan Klein
    Head of Middle School
     
    Brian Ogden
    Head of Upper School 
  • March 28 - Message from the Director of Service Learning

    Dear Bishop’s Community, 

    I hope you are all staying healthy and safe, and are enjoying this time with your family. During this difficult time, it is important for our community to stay focused on serving others in need even if we cannot physically be present. Middle School Students of Service, Upper School Community Service Initiative and the Service Office have put together the list service projects below that the Bishop’s community can do at home during this time.

    We hope that you enjoy these projects. Bishop’s encourages everyone to monitor the CDC guidelines and exercise social distancing especially if you or someone with whom you live is in a high-risk category for contracting Coronavirus. Below is a list of things we, as a community, can do to help in this time of great uncertainty and need. All of these activities can be accomplished from the comfort of your home. If you have any questions, please email me or the contact listed. 


    All the best, 
    Mrs. Gomez
  • March 27 - Community Message on Learning and Support

    Please see the message below from Head of School Ron Kim. If you prefer to watch a video version of this message, please click here.
     
    Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,
     
    As we head into spring break, I wanted to write to everyone in this community.  Regardless of our role at Bishop’s, we are all facing the same challenge, we have all had our lives disrupted, and we are all working to support each other.
     
    That we are working together but apart is one of the many disorienting feelings that we are experiencing. The world outside is beautiful with spring flowers blooming, birds singing and the Pacific Ocean shimmering, but we spend much of our day Zooming and Google meeting. Meanwhile our dining tables have become offices and classrooms, and who knew that a few people could create so many dirty dishes?
     
    Also different is our perspective on the world. We are appropriately expressing our gratitude to the heroes of this moment—health care professionals and first responders.  Perhaps for the first time we also recognize the work of store clerks, those who stock shelves, drive buses and trucks, and pick up the trash—all the people who quietly do the jobs that have always made our lives possible but now feel so much more essential.
     
    Within The Bishop’s School, I want to recognize the faculty who have changed so much of what they do but haven’t changed their dedication to their students. We had three days to prepare to teach in a dramatically different way and the teachers are doing this not from their classroom with students but at home. Many are teaching while also serving as the primary caregiver for their own children, managing care for older family members, and trying to maintain domestic tranquility in a home full of people and pets.
     
    I think of the staff who continue to maintain this campus, manage the invisible network that sustains our teaching, and provide all the unseen support that enables teachers to teach and students to learn. For the staff whose work is devoted directly to supporting students on campus which cannot be replicated virtually, I know you miss the daily interaction with the kids and your colleagues and look forward to the return of our normal operations.
     
    I know that all parents are sacrificing and performing selfless acts as well. Your home is now a school, your TV may have become a computer screen, your bed may have become your desk and your backyard is for P.E. I have called the development of your children a partnership between you and everyone at The Bishop’s School. You probably feel like more of a full partner than you had envisioned, and for that we are grateful.
     
    To the students, thank you. You have all shown great adaptability and resilience under very unusual circumstances. Some of my favorite moments over the past week have been watching you learning and interacting in virtual classrooms and chatting in advisories. I hope you remain connected not only with your classes and advisories, but also with your teams, clubs and organizations. Someday, when COVID becomes a distant memory that you recount at reunions, what you will remember and appreciate most are the relationships with classmates, teachers and family that endured and were strengthened during this challenging time. Hold on tight to them.
     
    Students, I also want to recognize that for all of your resilience and good humor, I know this is hard and stressful, and it’s not what you thought your spring term would look like. You are probably feeling a range of emotions which is to be expected in a time like this. Please keep a few things in mind. Remember that you are not alone. You are loved, and people in your home and your school care about you. If you are worried, that is normal and expected. The only thing I ask is that you not worry alone. We all need help during this time, so don’t feel like you have to say “I’m fine” if what you really mean is “I’m not great right now.” Remember that your advisor, teachers, counselor, deans and family are all here for you, as always. Remember, too, that people around you have challenges as well. This is a stressful time for your parents, siblings and teachers. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and let’s practice forgiveness as we get through these challenging times together.
     
    When spring break ends and classes begin again on Monday, April 13, we will return to distance learning. We have had one full rotation of classes, and we appreciate the feedback we have received from teachers and students. Teachers have been constantly adapting their teaching and lessons as they learn. The division heads, deans and department chairs have been working hard on a revised schedule that better meets students’ needs in the online environment. You will learn more about that in the coming days.
     
    I know everyone is wondering when we can come back to campus and get back to the normal rhythms of school that we love so much. I know every class, and especially the senior class, has traditions and events that it is looking forward to at the end of spring. Our best estimation is that we will remain in the distance learning mode until May and perhaps longer, and we should all plan for that timeline. 
     
    Sadly, there is no guarantee that we will be able to be back together on campus this school year, but I continue to hold onto the hope that we can. We are looking closely to the CDC and state and local health departments for guidance on when it might be safe for our community to return. In the meantime we are thinking actively about end of year events that can be postponed or re-imagined rather than canceled. We know how much these events mean to our community, and we will do our best to capture that experience.
     
    Finally, thank you for everything that you are doing to support each other, and for all of the acts of sacrifice and kindness, seen and unseen. Thank you for taking our collective challenge seriously. Thank you for demonstrating love and goodwill.
     
    I have never been more hopeful or proud of a community, and it is a privilege to be in your company.
    Enjoy your break and I look forward to seeing you again!
     
    Take care,
     
    Ron Kim
    Head of School 
  • March 25 - Weekly Newsletter

    Messages for Families

    Please note: We will not be sending a weekly newsletter over spring break. Enjoy your time off! 
     
    Message from the Academic Dean
     
    This is day five of online school -- wow! Overall, we’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about classes. We’re aware that in some cases there may be adjustments needed to the pacing, type and amount of work being done during and outside of class, and we’re in the process of working with teachers on this. Our teachers have had to make many changes to their expectations and lesson plans in a very short time, and they’re still tinkering and figuring things out -- while also learning new technologies and attending to their homes and families. Student feedback is the best way for teachers to learn; it’s more important than ever that students provide direct feedback to teachers about what’s working well and what needs adjustment. Thank you for your support and understanding. Enjoy your spring break!
     
    Message from the School Nurse
     
    Dear Students,
     
    I hope you’re all doing well. I miss seeing your faces so much! This is just a quick reminder to continue to practice vigilant handwashing and strict social distancing during our upcoming spring break. Each and every one of you is important to us, and we want to make sure you stay healthy, and we all continue to do our collective part to help flatten the curve. 

    I enjoyed this fun video about social distancing, I hope it makes you smile!

    Take care,
    Mrs. Fournier

    Resources

    • Rev. Simopoulos-Pigato shared a new blog post “These Are Sacred Times.” She begins with, “Last week, I invited students in this time of global pandemic to look for the helpers. This week, I invite us all to consider this time - this collective Sabbath, if you will - as sacred time.” Read her post here.
    • Researcher and author Brené Brown recently shared a blog post about “how hard it is to be new at things – from small things to global pandemics. When we have no relevant experience or expertise, the vulnerability, uncertainty, and fear of these firsts can be overwhelming.” She shares some great tips on distance learning (for teachers and parents) in a blog post here.

    Academic Updates

    Information for Eighth Grade Families: Upper School Curriculum
     
    In lieu of the presentations about the upper school curriculum and ninth grade course requests that were scheduled for eighth grade students and parents, we have three items to share. The first is a screencast which is based on the second item, a four-year course planner, which you can download and customize for yourself. Please note that while it’s not required that you fill out a course planner, it can be very helpful to do so. The third item is the slide deck which would have been shared at the parent meeting; it’s a summary of the information that you can find in the 2020-2021 Curriculum Guide. The Curriculum Guide includes course descriptions, in addition to information about academic policies.

    1. Four-Year Course Planner (downloads an Excel spreadsheet)
  • March 17 - Weekly Newsletter

    Welcome to Bishop’s new Wednesday e-newsletter! While we’re all working and learning from home, we hope to provide helpful information and resources - and maybe even a little fun - for members of our community. 
     
    Please also follow us on Instagram and Facebook to connect with our community. 
     
    Take care,
     
    The Bishop’s Marketing Team
     

    Local COVID-19 Update

    As you may have seen, county health officials informed the San Diego Unified School District that a person linked to schools in the La Jolla area (Bird Rock Elementary, La Jolla Elementary and La Jolla High) has tested positive for the virus. Read more here.

    In light of this news, we hope families will continue to practice social distancing, which includes avoiding gatherings and keeping at least six feet from others, which are the most effective ways to prevent community spread of the COVID-19 virus. This means that students should be discouraged from gathering socially, which would undermine campus closure efforts and could further contribute to community spread. 
     

    Helpful Hints 

    • Director of Diversity & Community Life David Thompson shared a blog post, "Take Care of Each Other." Read it here
    • Director of Counseling Megan Broderick wrote a blog post, "Staying Mentally and Physically Healthy While Distance Learning. You can find it here.
    • This cycle’s chapel, "A Meditation on Hope and Love in a Time of Struggle," can be found here. We hope many of you take the chance to watch it.
    • Denise Pope, a founder of Challenge Success, wrote recently of the importance of playtime, downtime and family time (PDF) during times like this. Her words are a reminder that this virus offers an opportunity to reconnect in ways that we forget to do during “normal” times. Play a board game. Get a puzzle started. Bake some goodies. Make dinner together and eat it as a family, without screens. Perhaps most importantly, get a good night’s sleep. Here are tips for good sleep hygiene: cdc.gov
     
     

    Academic & School Updates

    The Bishop’s School Online Netiquette
    We want Bishop’s to be a community where people are first, where we look in each other’s eyes and greet each other, where we are fully present to each other - even when we cannot be together in person. Our online netiquette policy is designed to support that effort, allowing all community members to engage thoughtfully with one another in our online platforms. 

    Academic Updates
    • Midterm grades are available for viewing online under “Student Progress” in our web portal.
    • The 2020-2021 Curriculum Guide is now available on our website.
    • Course Requests: Instructions for upper school course requests are available here. Course requests should be entered by Monday, April 13. Students entering grade 8 will be sent information about course choices and instructions about how to request them shortly. Students entering grade 7 do not enter course requests. We will be in touch to find out their selection for world language study next year and will input them into the scheduling program. Please see the email from Ms. Murbayashi sent on Monday for more details. 
    • Ms. Murabayashi is preparing a screencast and slidedeck about the upper school curriculum to take the place of presentations that were scheduled for eighth grade students and parents. We will share this information when it is ready.
    • Midterm Comments: Midterm comments may continue to be shared by teachers at any time, but in an effort to enable teachers to focus on instructional design, teachers have been given the option to write these comments at the end of the year. Teachers will send Academic Updates for students whose performance is of concern. 
    • As of today, AP examinations, which are administered by the College Board, are still scheduled for May. Students planning to take the exams should continue to check the College Board website; we will also send updates as we receive them.
    P.E. and Service Learning Requirements
    • Upper school P.E. requirements for the spring trimester have been waived.
    • Community Service Hours Waived: Due to school closure, all students in grades 9-12 will have their spring service hours waived. Service activities in the community could put students at risk of contracting COVID-19. Although it is important to serve our community, it is essential that we keep our students and families safe. Students who missed the Dec. 4 deadline and are behind on service hours will have the opportunity to make up those hours in the next school year. 
    Spirit Week Next Week!
    • Pajama Monday (3/23): Dress up in your comfiest pajamas.
    • Meme Tuesday (3/24): Dress up as your favorite meme.
    • Western Wednesday (3/25): Dress up in western gear.
    • Power-Bowl Thursday (3/26): Even grade levels wear blue (the senior class color); odd grade levels wear orange (the junior class color).
    • Jersey Friday (3/27): Wear a sports jersey or uniform. 
    Regular spirit dress rules apply; if not in spirit dress, please wear a uniform top.
     
    Want to win a Better Buzz gift card? DM photos to @the_bishops_school Instagram of you participating in Spirit Week every day, and you’ll be entered to win!
     
  • March 17 - Distance Learning Update

    Dear Students and Families,
     
    We hope that you’re faring well and that these few days away from school have been restful. Bishop’s teachers have been hard at work preparing for the cycle ahead and are looking forward to reconnecting on Thursday. As you can imagine, online instruction may involve some hiccups, despite everyone’s best intentions and hopes. On the other hand, things could go relatively smoothly! We hope that you’ll join us in bringing optimism, patience and flexibility to this unusual time. Please don’t be shy about asking for help or sharing feedback or ideas. We’re in this together, and we will figure it out together!
     
    This letter provides information on a number of different topics related to our transition to online learning. We recognize that it is lengthy, but please be sure to read it all before school resumes on Thursday morning.
     
    Schedule and Dress Code
    To maintain a sense of normalcy, we will follow our A-G cycle schedule with a few minor adjustments (below). If distance learning continues past spring break, additional adjustments may be made. 
    • Like classroom teachers, advisors will use Zoom or Google Meet to host morning advisory every day. Advisors will be ready to meet no later than 8:05 a.m., but please plan to log in by 8:15 a.m. using the link that they send for attendance, the daily bulletin and a check in every morning.  
    • The first enrichment on B day will be an advisory. Advisors will send a link to their advisees about this.
    • For this cycle, chapel will be asynchronously available to students. In other words, you may view the chapel service on your own. Here is the link to this cycle’s chapel.
    • Teachers will continue to hold Office Hours as usual. They may be experimenting with different ways to best do so given the online setting. Please be patient as they work out any bumps.
    • Students should wear uniform tops when logging in to class. Dress uniforms will not be required on Tuesdays.
    Connecting to Class
    Teachers will send links to Zoom or Google Meet via email to their students. It is possible that when we all try to log in to classes, we could have connectivity issues. We have asked teachers to anticipate this possibility, and thus you should find more information than usual on course pages. In the event that connecting to a class isn’t possible:
    • Students shouldn’t stress out! It happens, and it’s okay. 
    • Follow the “20 minute rule”
      • If a teacher isn’t present or can’t connect to a class, students must wait 20 minutes before “giving up.” Students should check their email during that time in case the teacher has sent an update. It’s possible that he or she may ask students to log in a little later in the period or cancel the class if there is a serious connection problem or other issue.
    • Students should notify their teacher via email if unable to login or stay connected during class. Before the next class, students should do whatever work they can based on the information on the course page.
    Being in Class
    Two reminders during class:
    • The student must be the participant, not a proxy
    • One face per screen
    Student Support
    As we transition to teaching and learning in an online space, there will likely be a spectrum of responses from students. Some will find the transition easy and the change of pace fun and interesting. Others may find this new way of learning to be really hard. We would like parents to be on the lookout for signs that your child may be struggling. Specifically, look out for: self-isolation, withdrawal, changes in sleep habits, atypical moodiness, greater impatience, apathy, disengagement and changes in energy level or appetite and/or degree of happiness. If you notice any of these changes in your child, please contact a trusted Bishop’s adult to let them know. Start with your child’s advisor, or Megan Broderick, Michael Beamer, Janice Murabayashi, David Thompson, Harlan Klein or Brian Ogden. These adults communicate with our student services team, who will help to develop, communicate and follow up on a support plan for your child. 
     
    Learning Center Director Ken Chep has developed suggestions that may be helpful for distance learning. If your child has an accommodation plan, either Ken or Jane Mattox will reach out during this transition period to assess how this change in teaching and learning is working. If it becomes clear that we need to update the kind of support that your child receives, we will communicate with your child’s advisor, teacher and the student services team. 
     
    This period of time presents unique challenges and disruptions for parents and caregivers, too. It is possible that online learning will make life at home more complicated than it used to be. We hope that adults in this community can model good self-care during this time, and offer calm responses to the needs and wants of our students/children. Trying to stick to a somewhat normal routine is helpful. Above all, we recognize that this change to our routines is stressful for everyone and that a large dose of compassion, love and support may be what we need to get through these unusual and trying circumstances.
     
    Academic Support
    In addition to office hours, students can also consider the following for additional academic support:
    Student Illness
    It is possible that community members will get sick in the coming weeks. If students are sick, they should not “beam into” class, they should rest and recover. Parents should call (858) 875-0504 or email attendance@bishops.com. It is helpful but not required for students to email their teachers to let them know that they are sick.
     
    If your child is ill -- cold, flu, mononucleosis, a concussion or any other illness -- please also contact our school nurse, Susie Fournier, to let her know.
     
    Please Remember
    • CHECK EMAIL. This is the most common way for teachers, advisors, administrators, etc. to get in touch with you.
    • Social Distancing. While it is tempting to meet up with friends, we strongly encourage everyone to follow the Department of Public Health guidance to practice good hygiene and social distancing in order to “flatten the curve” for the rate of hospitalizations and enable anyone who falls ill to have access to medical support. An order from the San Diego Public Health Office on March 16 read, “All events with 50 or more people in a single space at the same time, regardless of whether it occurs indoors or outdoors, are prohibited. All non-essential gatherings of any size are strongly discouraged.” The County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency added, “We would ask parents to strongly consider keeping their children home or limited to small groups at this time.” We ask you to reconsider attending or hosting any gatherings involving people outside of your household.
    Please don’t hesitate to contact your advisor, teacher or one of us if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We thank you again for your positive attitude, adaptability and patience -- and sense of humor!
     
    Again, we’re a strong community and look forward to working together to get through this. Stay safe, be healthy!
  • March 13 - Campus Closure

    Dear Students and Families,
     
    I am writing to inform you that we have made the difficult decision to close The Bishop’s School, effective at the end of the day today, due to increased concern about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As always, our goal is to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff, and our hope is that this decision will help slow the spread of this virus in the greater community. 
     
    As we have previously shared, we will enact our distance learning plan to ensure continuity of education for our students. With the support and creativity of faculty and staff, we will ensure that students are able to maintain a connection to their classes remotely. Students will hear from teachers via email or through their course pages with more course-specific details. A few items of note: 
    • After this evening, students should not be on campus.
    • We will not be delivering any instruction Monday through Wednesday. We will devote those three days to prepare for distance learning. 
    • Online classes will begin on Thursday, March 19 with an A day. 
    • Spring break will occur as planned from March 30 - April 10.
    • Campus will be closed to all but essential personnel, and we will bring students back as soon as we can do so safely. 
    • We will reassess the situation at the end of spring break. 
    • All academic, athletic and co-curricular activities, rehearsals, meetings, practices, performances and competitions are canceled or postponed.  
    • Students will be reminded to take home all belongings they may need during the campus closure. Please help them remember to collect these items before they go home today. 
    • In lieu of team practices this afternoon, upper school coaches will hold team meetings during regularly-scheduled practice times. Student-athletes should remain on campus and report to practice as usual, where individual coaches will share their expectations for student-athletes moving forward. 
    • In lieu of performing arts rehearsals this afternoon, teachers will hold meetings during regularly-scheduled rehearsal times. Students should remain on campus and report to rehearsal for information about future planning.
    Please know that we gave great thought and care to this decision, and ultimately, we felt that a proactive approach was best. We have no known cases of COVID among our faculty, staff or students. However, there are at least five confirmed cases in San Diego, and there is evidence of community spread. Health agencies have recommended social distancing, which is difficult in most school settings.
     
    We hope that families will also take CDC and other health department guidelines seriously and encourage their children to make good choices about interactions with others, avoiding large group gatherings and practicing social distancing when possible. Our goal is to keep our community healthy and these practices give us the best chance of doing so.
     
    Our students chose Bishop’s because they love to learn, and our faculty chose Bishop’s because they love to teach. Closing the School goes against our natural inclination. We recognize that we are asking our entire community to change much of what we do, and we are confident that we will work together to make the most of a complicated transition. Our COVID-19 website is updated regularly, and we will provide email updates if there are significant changes to the plan outlined here.
     
    Thank you for your patience and understanding. This is quite a challenge for our entire community, and I am grateful for your commitment to one another’s health and well-being. 
     
    Take care,
     
    Ron Kim
    Head of School 
  • March 12 - Distance Learning Preparation

    Dear Students and Families,
     
    I am writing to provide information about the academic preparations that have begun in the event that the School begins to experience widespread absences or closure of the campus. We hope that this information is helpful and reassuring to you. Please be sure to read through to the end as there are important elements throughout.
     
    Before I dive into academic details, I want to begin by acknowledging that we all respond and function differently during times of change or stress. Taking in a lot of information at once, especially when that information also requires each of us to do things differently than we have ever done before or to learn new skills in a very short amount of time, can be overwhelming for even the most rock-steady of us. For some, the amount of change that could be experienced in the coming days and weeks may provoke anxiety, agitation or even anger, while others may respond with detachment or apathy. Let’s be attuned to these differing emotions and responses, and show each other the kind of support and care that is characteristic of our community.
     
    Here is a summary of our efforts:
    • We have held faculty preparation meetings on Thursday, March 5 and Tuesday, March 10, followed by department meetings on Thursday, March 12. Additional meeting time will be devoted to preparations as needed, and informal meetings are ongoing between teachers.
    • The COVID Task Force is meeting daily, and items relevant to the academic program and experience are being addressed and communicated internally as appropriate.
    • As usual, members of the academic administration are meeting with department chairs twice a cycle and in one-on-one meetings.
    • A Plan for Instructional Continuity has been distributed to teachers, with guidance on academic expectations in a variety of scenarios. The plan also includes information and resources for learning how to teach online. Please know that teaching online is very different than teaching in person, and it is unfortunately not as simple as transferring in-person lesson plans to an online platform. We are doing our best to ensure that the overall experience of students remains intact no matter the circumstance.
    If the campus closes or is closed, we will move to online instruction. Here are our plans in the event of campus closure:
    • The start of the closure will be “no classes” day(s) for students. Teachers will use the day(s) to prepare for online classes. The exact number of no classes day(s) for students will be determined based on the circumstances and timing of the closure and announced as soon as is possible.
    • When online classes begin, to maintain a sense of normalcy, we will follow our existing schedule (A-G Days, Periods 1-7). The day will start with advisory as usual.
    • We will follow the originally assigned letter day when we begin online instruction; the letter day(s) associated with the no-classes day(s) will be “lost.” In other words, if the last day before closure was an A Day, and the no-classes day was supposed to be a B Day, the first day back will be a C Day as originally planned. We will not “make up” the B Day.
    • We are working on a plan for enrichment periods, including chapel.
    • Some teachers have already begun practicing “beaming in” students working from home.  
    • Students who are sick should not come to school or "beam into" class. Their priority must be rest and recovery. It is critical that students do not feel that they must always be “at” school.
    • The student absence policy is under review and essentially on hold. Students should not worry about "excessive" absences jeopardizing their ability to earn credit for their classes.
    • Online learning represents a new normal. We will need to reset standards and expectations.  
    • Many discussions are occurring at the department level. As always, we look to the expertise of our faculty to make appropriate decisions about curriculum, assessments, etc.
    • Teachers are being encouraged to try a variety of technological tools, such as videoconferencing and screencasting. They have been encouraged to break up the 70-minute class period into smaller, distinct and focused activities instead of expecting students to “log in” continuously for a 70-minute period.
    • Teachers have been asked to consider student screen time as they plan so that students are not expected to stare at a screen all day long.
    • In some cases, teachers may limit the synchronous portion of class to a short check-in at the beginning of class. Teachers have been asked to take attendance as usual; this is always important but especially critical in an online setting. 
    • Teachers have been encouraged to “underdo it” in terms of assigning work in an online setting. From what we hear, it will take everyone more time and effort to get work done in this environment, so it is better to keep stress levels low by assigning too little rather than too much. It may take some fiddling for teachers to determine the “right” amount of work for a class.
    • The way we normally do grading will, in all likelihood, require adjustment, particularly if the closure lasts for a while. In some cases summative assessments will be impossible, and grading of other work will require a different approach. It may turn out that we go into a "tread water" situation (in other words, pause) on grading until we come back to school or until departments identify an appropriate grading plan. We are thinking deeply about how to best address grading and will keep you posted.
    • Teachers have been encouraged to talk in age-appropriate ways with students about these plans. It is a great way to assuage fears, generate good ideas and build community.  
    • Students are being asked to observe our normal dress code expectations, even in the online setting. It is important for students to maintain as much of their normal routines as possible, and that includes getting dressed and ready for learning. By order of Ron Kim, students will not have to dress formally on Tuesdays, though!
    • School Counselor Megan Broderick, our college counselors, librarians, the Writing Center, SAGE tutors and Jane Mattox, our academic support coordinator, will be accessible by email (and videoconference in some cases).
    • We know that students are wondering about AP exams and the SAT and ACT tests, all of which are administered by external organizations. Please see their respective websites for up-to-date information about the status of these examinations.
    How can you help? In preparation for the possibility of campus closure, we have developed a short family survey to help us understand the needs of our students. All families should complete the survey -- one response per family, please. 
     
    Our teachers have been incredible in embracing the work of preparing for online instruction even as they have needed to determine midterm grades and course placements and carry on with the normal work of their courses. As you can imagine, this is a tremendous extra responsibility, and you will not be surprised to hear that our teachers are stepping up. If the school closes, we anticipate that the first few days of online school will involve hiccups and bumps. Your good cheer, patience and flexibility if the campus is closed will go a long way towards keeping stress levels low. We will continue to communicate regularly to keep you apprised of the School’s plans.
     
    Thank you and wishes for good health to all!

    Janice Murabayashi
    Academic Dean
  • March 11 - School Policies

    Dear Families,

    The School has developed policies in response to COVID-19 with the hopes of limiting the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Please review the policies (below) and take special note of the situations in which members of the community are asked to not to come to the Bishop’s campus. 

    Please also note that on Friday, March 13 at 10 a.m., the School will send test messages through our emergency communication system. This is a test only and is being done to prepare for a possible shutdown due to COVID-19 or other emergencies. This system uses contact information that families have provided to the School. It should be received by all phone numbers and emails we have on file. If you do not receive the test message, please click here to update your contact information. 

    We will continue to keep families informed via email when necessary, and updates are also posted on our COVID-19 page

    I appreciate your support in this challenging time and wish your family good health. 

    Best,

    Ron Kim
    Head of School

    Campus Exclusion Policy

    1. Anyone stepping onto campus grounds (includes students, employees, parents, family members, supporters of other teams or competitors, other guests/visitors):

    a. Must not have traveled to CDC Level 2 and 3 countries in the past 14 days;
    b. Or must not have been in direct contact with someone who traveled to these countries within the 14 days prior to contact with you;
    c. Or must not have been exposed to someone in the past 14 days who has tested positive for COVID-19;
    d. Or must not be exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing);
    e. Or must not be a member of a household where someone is in quarantine (self or externally imposed)
     
    If you fall into any of the five categories A-E above, do not come to campus. Seek medical advice. 

    2. Anyone picking up a student (who is not remaining on campus): Please minimize contact with others and follow CDC guidelines to minimize your exposure.
     
    COVID Exposure Protocol 
    1. Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 must notify their supervisor and must remain off campus for 14 days or until receiving a test verifying that they have tested negative for COVID-19. 
    1. Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 should similarly inform the attendance office and must remain off campus for 14 days or until receiving a test verifying that they have tested negative for COVID-19.  
    Campus Closure Policy
    In consultation with the local public health department, the head of school may consider if campus closure is warranted based on the risk level in the community. Considerations for a closure may include the risk of exposure, the potential community-wide health impact, and the recommendation of the department of public health. During a school closure, students and families should not come to campus. Employees may be allowed to come to campus depending on the risk in the community and the advice of the department of public health.
     
    Criteria for Re-Opening School 
    In consultation with the local public health department and consistent with CDC guidelines, The Bishop’s School administration will determine the criteria for re-opening. As with a closing, considerations for a re-opening may include the continued risk of exposure and the potential community-wide health impact. The effect of a closure on the students’ learning experience will also be a factor.
  • March 8 - Spring Break Travel Advisory, Deep Cleaning, Preventative Steps

    Spring Break Travel Advisory
    Due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus and the potential impact on travel, we strongly recommend all members of our community carefully evaluate travel plans over spring break and for the remainder of this academic year. This advice applies especially to areas included in CDC travel alerts. Individuals planning personal international travel do so at their own risk, especially to countries already on the CDC alert and watch lists and to areas or regions with new and/or confirmed COVID-19 cases. The CDC lists countries that it defines as experiencing “widespread sustained” or “sustained” transmission of the COVID-19 virus. At present, those countries include China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan. This is a fluid situation, and thus the countries with these designations may change prior to or even during your travel. Families, faculty and staff should be aware of the associated risk of disruptions to their re-entry to the United States or other countries and of the potential of quarantine prior to or subsequent to their repatriation. Based on the quickly evolving international travel guidance, your return to the United States or to school may be interrupted by federal or state restrictions.
     
    Please note that we have a student returning home from a School Year Abroad program in Italy. This student was not in a high risk area, is not sick and is not in quarantine. Out of an abundance of caution, the family has their other child, a Bishop’s student, residing elsewhere for 14 days following his sibling’s return to avoid disruptions at school. We hope that our community will be respectful of this family's privacy, help us to correct inaccurate rumors and support each other through this challenging time. 
     
    Deep Cleaning on Campus
    On Monday, March 9, the School will take the opportunity to do a thorough deep clean and disinfecting of classrooms, offices, bathrooms and hand railings across the campus. This effort is in addition to our daily routine of cleaning and disinfecting.
     
    Reminders from the School Nurse
    The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms and traveled to high community spread areas or have been around anyone who you know tested positive for the virus, contact your doctor. 
     
    Please take these simple steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after you eat, use the restroom, blow your nose, sneeze or cough. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. The virus is spread by droplets from coughing and sneezing. These droplets could be left on surfaces that could be easily transmitted to a person who touches that surface and then touches their face.
    • Stay away from sick people and stay home if you're sick.
    • Practice social distancing. Stand 6-8 feet away from other people, especially if they are coughing or appear ill.
    • Don't shake hands. Practice greeting your friends, teammates and colleagues with an elbow bump instead.
    • Don't share utensils or water bottles. Many students share water bottles during sports games. This can lead to the spread of many viruses, including COVID-19.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently. 
    For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
  • March 6 - Supporting Our Children

    Dear Families,

    While it is important to stay informed about COVID-19, we also want to make sure that we are helping each other and especially our students and children manage their worry and anxiety around this topic. Given students' constant access to technology, they might feel inundated by all of the concern and fear in the world right now. Please remember that when children hear similar messages from the adults in their lives - parents and teachers - it helps to decrease their anxiety. That being said, here are some thoughts about how we can all approach this topic with our children.

    It is important as adults that we model a calm response. Children are looking to us to assess how worried they should be. Reinforce basic hygiene - wash hands frequently, get enough sleep, eat well. Talk to your children about what they really know about the virus and correct misinformation. Instead of offering "it will be fine," find out what your children are actually feeling about the situation and take it from there. Being curious about their experience allows them to feel seen and validated. Their concerns might be very different than yours. As always, please encourage your children to seek support and to talk about their feelings. There may be a time when a higher level of concern or action is necessary. The best thing we can do now is to create an environment in which kids know that all the adults in their lives are working together to help our community stay safe and healthy.

    I’d also like to remind the community that gossip is not helpful when dealing with stressful situations. We have a student returning home from a School Year Abroad program in Italy. This student was not in a high risk area, is not sick and is not in quarantine. Out of an abundance of caution, the family has their other child, a Bishop’s student, residing elsewhere for 14 days following his sibling’s return to avoid disruptions at school. We hope that our community will be respectful of this family's privacy, help us correct inaccurate rumors and support each other through this challenging time.

    Please find below some reading suggestions if you would like to think more about how you can support your children around this topic.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/well/family/coronavirus-teenagers-anxiety.html
    https://www.hemot.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Pamphlet_HEMOT_english.pdf
    https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-kids-talk

    Feel free to reach out to me at any time.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Broderick
    Director of Counseling
  • March 4 - Update Regarding On-Campus Health Concern

    Dear Bishop's Families,

    We are writing to share an update regarding a on-campus health concern that has caused some chatter around school - and possibly at home as well.

    Earlier this week, a Bishop's parent, who returned from Italy several weeks ago, was tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The family made us aware of the situation, and the student was kept home from school until the results were reported.

    We heard from the San Diego County Public Health Department earlier today that the results of that test were negative, and the parent is not infected with COVID-19.

    As always, we will continue to stay up-to-date on the worldwide spread of COVID-19 and follow recommendations from the CDC and local health officials. Please know that your student's health and well-being are our top priority.

    Thank you,

    Ron Kim
    Head of School

    Susie Fournier, RN
    School Nurse
  • Feb. 27 - Cancellation of International Spring Break Trips

    Dear Families,

    As you are likely aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread from China to nearly 50 other countries in the last few weeks. We are seeing large pockets of outbreaks in Europe and Asia. The CDC reported yesterday that the first U.S. community-acquired case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Northern California. We are taking this news very seriously and closely following updates and recommendations from the CDC and the California Department of Public Health. Our students’ health and safety is our top priority. Following basic health practices like vigilant hand washing, not touching your face with unwashed hands, staying away from sick people and staying home if you are sick, is our best defense right now.

    Out of an abundance of caution for our students and faculty, we made the difficult decision of canceling our upcoming spring break international trips to Spain, Italy and Bali. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation for the safety of our other spring break (New York City and East Coast) and summer (Scotland and Spain) trips. We will inform participating families of any additional changes as soon as possible. Please know this is a fluid situation and continues to change daily. 

    As many of you make spring break plans in the coming weeks, please keep in mind that there is still a 14-day self-imposed quarantine with any trip to China. This quarantine may change and include other travel areas before, during or after spring break. All members of our community, including faculty, staff, students and parent volunteers, will be expected to follow all quarantine recommendations. If your child is in a situation where they find they will need to miss school due to quarantine, please let us know right away.

    For the latest information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

    Thank you for helping us keep our students healthy!

    Susie Fournier, RN
    School Nurse
  • Feb. 11 - Request of Quarantine by Visitors to Mainland China

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    In an effort to continue to follow the guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and Human Services regarding schools, we are asking anyone in our community to self-quarantine for two weeks at home following a return from any trip to mainland China since Feb. 3, 2020. This includes students, faculty/staff and parent volunteers.

    As mentioned in earlier emails, if you or your student have symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as fever and cough - and have recently returned from China, please notify your doctor and the School right away.

    Thank you for your help in keeping our community healthy!

    Susie Fournier, RN
    School Nurse
  • Feb. 9 - Informational Message from School Nurse

    Message from the School Nurse

    We are continuing to closely monitor updates and recommendations from local health officials regarding the coronavirus. Please see the informational links below from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services. 
     
     
    Thank you,
    Susie Fournier RN
  • Feb. 2 - COVID-19 Prevention Tips

    Message from the School Nurse
     
    Dear Parents,
     
    We are closely following updates and recommendations from the California Department of Public Health, the County of San Diego Health & Human Services and the CDC regarding the novel coronavirus. The situation is fluid, and we will review recommendations daily as directed by local health officials. 
     
    As of today (Friday, Jan. 31), we have no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in San Diego County. We know this can change, and we will keep you updated with any information we receive.  

    In the meantime, we continue to see new cases of influenza on our campus. The recommendations for prevention of coronavirus and influenza are the same. Please review the following with your student:  
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use the waterless hand sanitizers we have in hallways, teachers’ classrooms and the front office.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Wash your hands before you eat.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
    • Stay home if you are sick and don't return to school until you are fever free for 24 hours without medication.
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue (then dispose of it in the trash) or cough or sneeze into your elbow, followed by washing your hands. 
    We are continuing to clean classrooms daily, paying particular attention to high-traffic student areas. If you, your child or anyone in your household has returned from China in the last 14 days and is experiencing respiratory symptoms, cough or fever, please notify the School and follow up with your health care provider immediately. 
     
    For the latest information, please visit:
    Please know we are keeping a close eye on this developing situation and will provide updates when necessary. 
     
    Thank you,
    Susie Fournier RN
    School Nurse
     
  • Jan. 29 - Update on School's Response

    Dear Families,
     
    I am writing to provide an update on the School's response to the Coronavirus. Please note:
    • There are no cases of Coronavirus on the Bishop's campus.
    • We are continuing to clean classrooms daily, paying particular attention to high-traffic student areas.
    • All students who are not feeling well are being screened for a fever and recent travel (for the student or anyone in their home) to China in the last two weeks. If students are found to have a fever or any respiratory symptoms, and they (or someone in their home) have traveled to China, they will need to leave school and follow up with their doctor for further evaluation prior to returning to campus.
    As a health care professional, particularly during this time of year, I always recommend the following precautions be taken to keep your children healthy.
    • Students should stay home if they are sick and should not return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours without medication.
    • Students should wash their hands frequently and use the waterless hand sanitizers that are mounted in hallways and available in teachers' classrooms.
    • Students should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Students should avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Students should cough or sneeze with a tissue or into their elbow.
    We are in regular communication with local health officials from the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, and we have been monitoring and following the advice of the CDC. For the latest information, please visit:
    Please know we are keeping a close eye on this developing situation and will provide updates when necessary. I thank you all for helping us keep our students healthy.
     
    Best,
     
    School Nurse 
  • Jan. 27 - Update on COVID-19

    Dear Families,

    I know that many of you are concerned about the coronavirus outbreak in China. Five confirmed cases have also been identified in the United States: one each in Washington, Illinois, and Arizona and two in California (one in Los Angeles and the other in Orange County). Please know we are closely monitoring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports and following advice from the California Department of Public Health.

    Coronaviruses are in the same family of viruses as the common cold but can sometimes lead to more severe respiratory illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Symptoms of the coronavirus include headache, runny nose, fever, sore throat, cough and possibly pneumonia.

    The same precautions used for the flu should be used for the coronavirus. The virus is thought to be spread between people through droplet contact from coughing and sneezing or from contact with contaminated surfaces. Students should frequently wash their hands or use waterless hand sanitizers, and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Students should cough or sneeze into a tissue or into their sleeve and should stay home from school if they have a fever until they are fever-free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing drugs).

    If your child or anyone staying in your home has traveled to China in the last 14 days and is exhibiting fever or respiratory symptoms (such as cough or shortness of breath), keep your child at home, contact your doctor and the School immediately, and provide a doctor’s note stating that the child is cleared to come back to school. Students who are asymptomatic and have no one in their home with flu-like symptoms should come to school and continue to practice the hygienic practices noted above.

    We will continue to monitor the situation and obtain updates from local health officials and the CDC. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

    Thank you for your continued support,

    Susie Fournier, RN
    School Nurse
If you have questions about The Bishop's School's response to COVID-19, please contact School Nurse Susie Fournier, RN

COVID-19 Task Force

Purpose of the Task Force
  • Meet every morning 
  • Daily updates
  • Plan, keep track of plan progress, track completion, adapt new plans as needed
  • Identify ownership of responsibilities
  • Policy guidance and review
  • Decision-making with consultation
Members
THE BISHOP’S SCHOOL     7607 La Jolla Boulevard     La Jolla, CA 92037     (858) 459-4021
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.