Bishop's COVID-19 Updates

List of 43 items.

  • Sept. 13 - Update

    San Diego County continues to be in Tier 2 (Substantial) in California’s new Blueprint for a Safer Economy. On Tuesday, the state updated their calculated case rates for each county in the state. San Diego had an unadjusted daily case rate of 6.9 per 100,000 residents. Importantly, the state is adjusting case rates based on the number of COVID tests that a county is performing. If a county performs fewer tests than the average for all counties in the state, the state applies a linear adjustment upward to the case rate (more tests than average leads to a linear adjustment downward).
     
    Because San Diego County performed fewer than the average number of tests, its adjusted case rate was 7.9. The county is disputing the number of tests that it performed county-wide, and as that dispute is being resolved, the state has agreed to hold the county harmless in terms of not meeting the criteria to remain in Tier 2. Going forward, if the adjusted case rate remains above the threshold of 7.0 for two additional weeks, it is likely that San Diego County will be placed into Tier 1 (Widespread). 
     
    The number of positive cases in San Diego County continued their modest rise over the course of the past week, as did the percentage of positive tests. The number of triggers for modifying the county’s health order that are outside of the established thresholds remained at one, for outbreaks. For these reasons, we would assess the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus to be moderate. We will continue to teach in a blended mode, with one grade on campus at a time. 

    On Sept. 16, we will continue our surveillance testing of employees. This is the third time that we will have Mobile Xpress Clinics on campus, and the first time that they will be testing students. Nearly a third of the ninth grade class was randomly selected to be tested this Wednesday. We appreciate all of the students and families who are participating in this program. After more than 250 tests on campus, none have come back positive. 
  • Sept. 6 - Update

    U.S. public health officials announced this week that states need to be prepared for a vaccine as early as October. Last Friday, Gov. Newsom unveiled his Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which replaced the state’s monitoring list. The current system places counties into one of four tiers, based on daily case rate per 100,000 residents (a seven-day average with a seven-day lag) and testing positivity (seven-day average with a seven-day lag). San Diego was placed into tier two (substantial), given a daily case rate of 5.8 and testing positivity of 3.75%.
     
    Locally, daily cases and testing positivity have plateaued in over the last two weeks, ending their significant decline that began in mid-July and continued through the third week of August. Based on our current risk assessment criteria, we would say that the risk of transmission on the Bishop’s campus is moderate. We will continue to teach in a blended mode. 
     
    Attendance Reminder 
    Families should contact the attendance office only if a student is unable to attend school. There is no need to contact the attendance office if a student is forgoing their on-campus day and attending school virtually. The attendance line is (858) 875-0504. 

    HealthCheck App Reminder
    As a reminder we have partnered with HealthCheck by Stratum™ to perform daily COVID-19 health screenings. An email was sent to parents and students with detailed instructions. This is an app that we are asking you to put on your student’s smartphone or iPad. Download the HealthCheck App in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store or use the web interface at: https://healthcheck.stratumhealth.io

    The app will ask for a facility code, which you can find below. 

    Grade 6:  LkqO94LF
    Grade 7:  zlqGK9mV
    Grade 8:  tnLzPjvH
    Grade 9:  bU4XqsV6
    Grade 10: 3v4EtVw9
    Grade 11: 5JAO/zgu
    Grade 12: ITQFkKtf
  • Aug. 26 - Return to Campus Plan & Schedule

    Dear Families,

    We hope the first few weeks of school are going well for you. We have spent months preparing for students’ return to on-campus instruction and are happy to share our schedule for a phased approach to bring students back to Bishop’s.

    Please know our highest priority is the safety and well-being of everyone in our community. We are making a significant investment into on-campus COVID-19 testing, tents for outdoor teaching, personal protective equipment, HVAC improvements and a deeper pool of substitute teachers among other things.

    We have been successful with distance learning, and we will continue to offer that as an option. At the same time, we know that students have been eager to come to campus to see peers and teachers and learn together. We have been working hard on a plan for students to return.  

    One of the challenges of COVID-19 is that it creates tension between our guiding principles of prioritizing community well-being and the desire for on-campus instruction. Normally, teaching and learning happen on campus and our two principles are aligned and mutually reinforcing. Now, too much of one principle can erode the other.

    Now that our county COVID numbers have remained below 100 and are now below 90, we will be allowed to have students on campus. So, what does that mean and what can you expect? Our goal is to have a safe and sustainable reopening. We have followed closely what other schools and colleges have attempted. Those that have had success have been deliberate, starting small and expanding from there. That is our plan. 

    As we proceed we will keep in mind our priorities of health and the best teaching and learning experience we can provide. We will continue to learn and adapt. We need to balance being flexible and nimble while knowing that students, families and teachers need predictability and routine. The first time through we are going to learn a lot, and we will adapt accordingly.

    In our plan to return to campus, it is important for us to know exactly which students will be participating in person. We ask that you submit the survey below (one per family) by this Friday, Aug. 28.
    Return to Campus Schedule
    As you review the schedule below, please note we will repeat one grade level at a time for two cycles of classes. If all goes well during these two cycles, we will evaluate how we might have more than one grade at a time next. The number (6-12) in the chart indicates which grade will be on campus that day.

  • Aug. 23 - Update

    Update on COVID-19
    San Diego County came off of the state’s watchlist on Wednesday. That allows schools within the county to open in two weeks’ time, assuming that the COVID-19 data remains under the state’s thresholds. Given current trends, we anticipate that schools in the area will be allowed to open on Sept. 1.

    Plans for Bishop’s Reopening
    The School’s goal is to have a safe and sustainable opening, and thus we would like to reintroduce students to campus gradually, offering plenty of time and physical space for all students to be trained on the policies and procedures we have in place. This past Thursday, we received word that the state has approved our waiver request to allow in-person instruction for our sixth grade. We applied for this waiver in order to offer us options, not knowing at the time when schools in San Diego would be permitted to open. While we were happy to receive this news, the county has been removed from the state’s watchlist, and thus we are including the sixth grade into our comprehensive plan for reopening campus. Our plan will focus on bringing students back one grade level at a time for two days, likely beginning with sixth graders and then seniors. Bringing students back to campus will begin no earlier than Sept. 1. We expect the details of that plan to be finalized by mid-week. 

    Criteria for Risk Assessment
    One of the considerations we have as we move closer to inviting students back to campus is the criteria we will use to assess the risk of transmission within our community. Earlier this summer we released a rubric that we would use to guide our decision in terms of the mode of instruction we would use. We have updated that rubric over the past several weeks. You can find the updated document here. Based on this criteria, we would currently assess the risk as low to moderate (one of the four county triggers is above the established threshold). 
     
    Peer Support Shares Tips for Campus Safety
    Thanks to Peer Support for taking the time to show us how to return to campus safely. Please take time to watch the important videos below.

     
    Note from the School Nurse/Director of Food Services
    If your child has a food allergy and eating food made on shared equipment (or in a facility) with that allergen presents a health danger, please email Sara Sweet, director of food services, as soon as possible.
  • Aug. 19 - Update

    On Wednesday afternoon, San Diego County’s case rate fell to 94.1, marking the first time that number had been below 100 since early July. Assuming that the county’s case rate remains under 100 for 17 consecutive days (three days to come off of California’s monitoring list plus two weeks mandated by Gov. Newsom’s July 17 order), school campuses in the county should be able to reopen. If this trend continues, this will likely happen during the week of Aug. 31. It is worth keeping in mind that if the case rate moves above the 100 cases per 100,000 residents during that window of time, it will likely mean another delay in our ability to offer in-person instruction. Given the trends that we have seen in the number of cases (by date of illness onset) shown on the graph, we are reasonably confident that this spike in cases peaked in July and the number of cases we are seeing now are more consistent with those in the county in mid-June. This is good news for the local public health picture and good news for those who want to see students back on campus. 
    Our commitment remains to have students on our campus when we are able. As we reopen campus, we will do so deliberately, in order to allow us to train and orient everyone to our new policies and procedures. Most likely, we will invite students to campus in groups, rather than all at once. As we refine those plans over the course of the next week, we will continue to communicate with students and families who will be on campus when. 

    Sixth Grade Waiver
    This past week, the School applied for a waiver through the county for our sixth grade to be able to participate in on-campus learning even when the local case rate is between 100 and 200. The state has allowed counties to consider reopening for schools that serve grades kindergarten through six. We anticipate that we will receive news regarding the disposition of our waiver application in the coming week. If approved, on-campus instruction would not begin for sixth-graders until Aug. 27 at the earliest. We will continue to provide updates as we have additional information. 
  • Aug. 12 - Update

    Update on COVID-19
    Over the course of the past week, cases in San Diego have continued their downward trajectory. This week’s graph shows the case rate in San Diego County since the third week of July. With that number continuing to fall, the county gets closer to the state threshold of 100 cases/100,000 residents. If the county number falls below 100 and remains there for three days, the county will likely move off of the state’s monitoring list. That opens the possibility for schools within San Diego County to open two weeks later. On Monday, San Diego Unified School District announced that it has adopted a stricter criteria for opening, making it likely that it will be months before San Diego Unified schools open. 

    There was some turmoil over the past week regarding the data that the state generates through its electronic disease reporting system, CalREDIE. Over the weekend, the state cleared a backlog of 295,000 cases that had not been processed and will appear in the local and state data this week. State officials assured the public that going forward the state’s data would be accurate. At this point we do not know what effect, if any, that glitch will have on the local numbers. 

    As we indicated last week, our opening of school is set for Aug. 18. Given the fact that the county continues to be on the state’s monitoring list, we will open in a distance learning mode. It is clear, though, that should the numbers continue to trend downward, we may be able to have students on campus in the not-too-distant future. We will provide specific details on opening and teaching as we get closer to that possibility.

    Testing
    On Tuesday the School made testing available to employees in order to establish a baseline number infection rate within our community. Over the course of the year, we will regularly test employees and will randomly select a percentage of students to be tested. This testing plan will allow us to have a good sense of the disease within our community and will allow us to identify outbreaks or increases in infection rates quickly. 

    COVID-19 News 
    This week the Wall Street Journal made the case for reopening schools and also reported that children can both get the disease and transmit it. Much of the data in the second article comes from the American Association of Pediatrics report on the recent infection rates of COVID-19 cases among children. That report cited a 90 percent increase in cases among children during a four-week period in July. 

    Researchers at Duke University released a study on the most effective masks to reduce droplet spread. The takeaway was that facial coverings with multiple layers of fabric are most effective at disrupting droplets flow. Masks with one-way valves, neck fleece gaiter masks and bandanas were found to be ineffective in blocking droplets. Given the results of this study, we will not permit these types of face coverings on campus. 

    Finally, the Washington Post published an article which suggested that as many as 40 percent of individuals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.
  • Aug. 5 - Update

    The recent data from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency show that the recent spike of COVID-19 cases to hit San Diego peaked in mid-July and the number of positive cases has decreased steadily since then. The graph, left, shows all positive cases in San Diego County (by date reported) and a seven-day moving average. The associated case rate has fallen too, from 154.5 on July 25 to yesterday’s reported number of 114.9. 
    Despite these improved numbers, with our opening of school set for Aug. 18, it is clear now that we will open school in adistance learning mode. In order for us to have students on campus, the County needs to remain off of the State’s monitoring list for two weeks. It remains our goal to have students on campus as soon as we are able to.

    There is still a lot to learn about this virus, particularly how it spreads in younger populations. While the conventional wisdom has been that young children (ages 0-9) get milder cases and are less likely to spread the virus, a recent paper in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics suggests that young children may be able to transmit the virus just as well as older children and adults. Over the next few months, particularly as schools continue to open around the country, we will learn more about how this virus behaves among student-aged populations.

    As we turn our attention to the possibility of opening our campus to students, there are successful and less successful examples for us to follow. Many schools have opened internationally with success, though all of these cases happened in places with much lower rates of COVID-19 than we are currently facing. Other reopenings did not go so well: two from Georgia, one from a sleepaway camp and another from a public school opening faculty meeting. In Indiana a student tested positive on the first day. Finally, Israel opened its  schools too quickly. The lessons for us are to be deliberate, informed and evidence-based in our return to in-person learning, to follow public health guidance, and to abide by the policies and procedures that we have in place. 

    What happens when cases are on campus? 
    As much as we hope to keep COVID-19 cases from getting onto our campus, the reality is that we will likely have members of our community test positive while on campus or shortly after having been on campus. 

    When a member of the Bishop’s community is confirmed to have COVID-19, the School will take the following steps:
    • The individual, if on campus, will be moved to the nurse’s office and placed into isolation. If this is a student, the School will call the family and ask that the student be picked up. If it is an employee, we will send the employee home. The individual will be eligible to return to campus 10 days from illness onset assuming an improvement of all symptoms including being fever-free (without use of medication) for 24 hours. If the individual is a student, they can learn through a distance learning mode while away from campus as they are able. 
    • The School will communicate with all students and employees who have had close contact with the individual that they will need to be quarantined at home (not permitted onto campus) for 14 days. No identifiable information will be shared with families or employees about the individual infected. Students can learn through a distance learning mode during this quarantine period as they are able. 
    • The rooms and spaces on campus in which the infected individual was based or was present will be closed until those spaces can be cleaned and disinfected. Any equipment used by the individual will be cleaned and disinfected as well. 
    • If the School has multiple outbreaks within our community or if more than 5 percent of students and staff tested are positive within a 14-day period, we may revert to distance learning until those cases resolve, or we determine that the risk of continued community spread has been reduced. There is the possibility that just a cohort of students would go to distance learning, but not the whole school.
    • The School will routinely remind all members of the Bishop’s community about the importance of wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance from one another, and following all School policies and protocols. 
    • The School will be in regular communication with San Diego County’s Office of Health and Human Services regarding any cases that we have on campus. 
    Student Handbook Addendum with COVID Policies
    Dean of Students Michelle Shea has worked with Assistant Head of School for Internal Affairs Michael Beamer to create an addendum to the 2020-2021 Student Handbook to address our the COVID-19 Policies and Procedures. You can find the addendum here.
  • July 29 - Update

    This has been another difficult week in terms of controlling the spread of COVID-19. With almost 17 million cases world-wide (nearly 4.5 million in the United States) and over 650,000 deaths (152,000 in the U.S.), the disease continues to take its toll. The graph shows the daily number of cases in the United States since March 1. Note that the U.S. has had over 50,000 cases per day almost every day in July. That said, the shape of the graph suggests that this second peak we have seen begin in mid-June may be flattening or even decreasing modestly. Locally, the case rate in San Diego over the past week moved between 130.1 to 154.4 per 100,000 residents, falling slowly. (remember that in order to come off of the State monitoring list, and reopen the Bishop’s campus, the County case rate needs to be under 100 per 100,000 residents for two weeks). Our plan remains to reopen the campus to students as soon as we are able.
     
    There has been significant news about immunity and vaccines recently. National Public Radio ran a story discussing why herd immunity may be slow in coming, suggesting that we will not return to “normal” without a viable vaccine in place. The Atlantic, on the same day, published a thorough summary of the different issues that will play a role in the pursuit, development, and distribution of a vaccine. In an interview with MSNBC, Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, said that he believes at least one vaccine will be available by the end of the year, and late last week we learned that the San Diego region will be a location for Moderna’s major phase three trial for their vaccine. It seems clear that much good work and thought is going into the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, but we are still many months away from seeing the benefit of those efforts.
  • July 22 - Update

    As we shared on Monday, based on Gov. Newsom’s new guidance for reopening schools, it seems likely that Bishop’s will start the year in distance learning mode. We know how important it is for students and families to have some measure of familiarity and predictability in uncertain circumstances. One way we hope to provide that is by having a revised daily schedule for next year that is adaptive and easy to follow. Please see below. 

    What is the daily schedule for instruction?
    For 2020-2021, we need a schedule that can accommodate different configurations, whether the entire student body is on campus, some students are on campus and some remote or the entire student body is off campus. Our “before COVID” schedule was designed for entirely in-person instruction, and thus it did not meet this criteria. After much deliberation and consultation, we landed on a basic schedule structure for 2020-2021 that has a similar feel to our prior schedule. 

    Since we will likely be starting school in distance learning mode, we are sharing our online schedule below. You will note a few changes compared to the online schedule we followed in the spring:
    • Middle school students will have advisory in the morning and enrichments after lunch as needed; upper school students will have advisory and enrichments after lunch as needed.
    • Chapel will meet after lunch.
    • Clearly defined “passing periods” have been built into the day; when students return to campus these periods will enable students to move between classes in an orderly manner and allow a quick cleaning between classes. For students at home, these periods serve as predictable breaks.  
    • Period X is now Period 8; some upper school courses will be scheduled into this period now that it is the same length as Periods 1-7.
    • The length of the cycle is now eight days instead of seven; an H day has been added as a result.
    When it is determined that students may return to campus, we will follow a similar schedule in terms of number of periods per day, sequence of periods and number of days per cycle. We anticipate some differences in terms of timing and, most notably, the shift of chapel/enrichment/advisory to mid-morning and periods 4 and 8 to after lunch. 

    Online Schedule 2020-2021

    Will the beginning of the school year be different in any way?
    We had anticipated being able to open with students on campus and built our weekly/cycle calendar to reflect this hope. Now that it seems more likely that we will begin the year in distance learning, we will modify the plan slightly:
    • Monday, Aug. 17: New student orientation (via Zoom) for all students in sixth, seventh and ninth grades and new students in eighth and tenth-twelfth grades. Additional details are forthcoming.
    • Tuesday, Aug. 18: Special schedule -- all periods will meet. Details will be shared before classes begin.
    • Wednesday, Aug. 19 - Wednesday, Aug. 26: A-F Days; for this first “cycle,” there will be no G or H days. Lab periods will not meet during this time. Originally these days had been planned with a focus on introducing students to new on-campus health procedures -- hence the shortened cycle. We will keep the letter days “as is” though we probably will not be able to bring students to campus. When students are permitted to return to campus, we will ensure that their first few days include time for health training.
    • The first full cycle of the year will begin on Thursday, Aug. 27 (A Day). You can see the calendar of major school dates here
    Athletics Update 
    As anticipated, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) on Monday shared the statewide plan for the upcoming 2020-2021 athletic seasons. The most significant change includes the delayed start of the fall season until mid-December and combining what typically are three seasons (fall, winter, spring) into two consolidated seasons: Fall (Season 1) and Spring (Season 2). These changes will have an impact on many facets of our daily athletic operations. Given the changes, we will be asking parents and student-athletes to think about the upcoming year and provide us with information to help us make thoughtful decisions moving forward. Upper school families should be on the lookout for a follow-up email and survey later this week. 

    The Fall/Season 1 sports will begin in mid-December and will include cross country (co-ed), field hockey, football, volleyball (boys and girls) and water polo (boys and girls). The Spring/Season 2 sports will begin in March and include baseball, basketball (boys and girls), golf (boys and girls), lacrosse (boys and girls), soccer (boys and girls), softball, swimming & diving (co-ed), tennis (boys and girls) and track & field (co-ed).

    One item of note is that the CIF announcement does provide autonomy to each CIF section. Therefore, the San Diego Section has not provided us with specific start dates for practices, and it may clarify some possible rule changes. We are expecting that information to be available by mid-August. Once we have more detailed schedule information from the San Diego section, we will share it with the Bishop's community.

    As for middle school athletics, we plan to have "sport-specific" workouts/ practices once we return to either a hybrid or in-person learning mode. Games and seasons of sports are still to be determined based on the other schools in the South Coast Middle School League. 
     
    Performing Arts Update
    Bishop’s will continue offering as many of our performing arts activities as possible, virtually or in person! Some notes from the performing arts department: 

    Upper School 
      • The fall play and the musical are the two productions that typically audition at the beginning of the school year. 
      • Auditions for the fall play are on hold until a new theater teacher is hired. We are looking forward to this and plan for the fall play to occur. Once we have a new theater teacher, we will work with that individual to plan auditions during the first few weeks of school. 
      • Auditions for the musical are on hold until we know if school will be virtual, hybrid or in person. Ideally, we would like to do in-person auditions for the musical and are postponing them in case we are able to do them in person at some point. We will send out more information when it becomes available.
    Middle School
      • The middle school play/musical generally holds auditions in January, and more information about other extracurricular productions will be shared when the school year begins and our new teacher settles in.
    Clubs
      • Ms. Korneychuk and Mr. Anderson plan on continuing boyband (probably virtually) in the fall. Given the success of their spring audio/video recording, they feel they can lead the students through other successful virtual boyband endeavors. They will share schedule information soon.
      • Ms. Korneychuk plans on continuing a virtual middle school drama club in the fall with our new theater teacher. She will share schedule information soon.
      • Upper school clubs and organizations that plan to continue virtually or in person are Performing Arts Council, Melodies for Remedies (led by Grace Sun '23), and a new club called Starry Knights led by Joseph Aguilar '22 devoted to those interested in singing barbershop and a cappella music. 
    Physicals
    This year, due to COVID, we are allowing families increased flexibility with yearly physicals. Physicals will not be required for every student. They are only required for upper school students playing CIF sports. Physicals will need to be submitted to Magnus and prior to student sports tryouts, which will not be before December. If you have questions, please contact school nurse Susie Fournier.
  • July 20 - Update on Reopening School

    On Friday, Gov. Newsom announced new guidance for schools which included criteria for when to open and close school campuses. That update stated, “If the Local Health Jurisdiction (LHJ) has been on the monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school must conduct distance learning only, until their LHJ has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days.” San Diego County (our LHJ) has been on the monitoring list since July 6. 
     
    What does this mean for our opening of school? 
    Given this new criteria, The Bishop’s School cannot open for any in-person instruction until San Diego County is off the state monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Given how incrementally the case rate number changes, at this point we think it is unlikely that we will be able to open our campus by Aug. 18, but we will still begin instruction that day, likely with distance learning.
     
    When will school open for in-person instruction? 
    Right now we do not know. In order for Bishop’s to reopen our campus, the case rate for San Diego County needs to fall below 100 and stay there for two weeks. The other county data also needs to fall within the parameters set by the state that could place it on the monitoring list. These data measure testing positivity, hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and availability of ICU beds and ventilators. 
     
    How much notice will we have for when we can have students on campus?
    When the data in San Diego County improve, we will come off the state’s monitoring list. At that point, we will have two weeks’ notice before we can resume in-person classes. 
     
    Why is San Diego County on the monitoring list? 
    San Diego County has been on the state’s monitoring list since July 6 because our case rate went above 100 per 100,000 for three consecutive days. The county’s case rate has remained above 100 for the past two weeks. The case rate has been at a low of 136.1 (on July 6) and a high of 154.3 (on July 17). California’s County Data Monitoring website has each county listed and its status on the watchlist. 
     
    What is a 14-day case rate? 
    As defined on the California Department of Public Health website: “The total number of cases diagnosed and reported over a 14-day period divided by the number of people living in the county. This number is then multiplied by 100,000. Due to reporting delay, there is a three-day lag. For example, a case rate calculated on April 1 would correspond to cases occurring from March 15 - 28.”
     
    After we reopen campus, could in-person instruction be halted again this year?
    Yes. The new guidance makes it clear that there are several criteria that could keep us from teaching in person. These include being placed on the state’s monitoring list again, having multiple outbreaks in different cohorts of students, or having more than 5 percent of our teachers and employees test positive within a 14-day period.
     
    What can students and families expect from Bishop’s?
    We have been working since the spring to provide as much continuity in the students’ experience as possible. Eleven working groups are preparing the School to operate in-person, online or in a hybrid mode, and to provide an excellent experience for whatever mode we are in. When we are able to have students back on campus, we will provide students, faculty and staff with an environment that meets CDC and county guidelines. 
     
    We know how important it is for students and families to have some measure of familiarity and predictability in uncertain circumstances. One way that we will provide that is by having a revised daily schedule for next year that is adaptive and easy to follow. That schedule will be shared soon.
  • July 15 - Update

    With record numbers of cases reported this week in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, it is clear that the COVID-19 spike continues. Over the weekend, San Diego County announced a plan to reserve testing for symptomatic individuals due to a shortage in testing supplies, opening the door for an increase of community spread as fewer asymptomatic carriers will be aware that they may be infectious. This announcement comes as the rolling 14-day average of positive tests moved above 6 percent for the first time since May 5. Over the past week, three of the County’s Triggers to Reinstate Restrictions were over the established threshold: case rate, outbreaks and case investigation. 

    Given these factors, we would assess the risk of transmission locally as high and would open school in a distance learning mode if classes were to begin this week. 

    On Monday, San Diego Unified School District put out a joint statement with Los Angeles Unified School District stating that they will begin the school year online. Their statement comes on the heels of an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report published last week with a clear recommendation: “AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” Much of its analysis is based on the mounting evidence that young children are not the major source of transmission within communities and that they have less significant disease when they test positive. Most of the data cited suggests that elementary school age children are least at risk whereas high school students, in terms of transmission and susceptibility to serious illness, tend to behave more like adults. Little information is available about middle schoolers. 

    This article from the Washington Post offers some interesting information about schools that have opened globally and the transmission of COVID-19 that they have seen among students. Those observations seem to be consistent with the AAP guidelines. The risk to adolescents is not zero, however, and a small percentage of children who contract COVID-19 will develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a serious, yet treatable condition when caught early. Moreover, adolescents who develop mild cases of COVID-related illness can infect others. Importantly, the AAP recommendations suggest that decisions regarding school openings should be made in the context of local transmission rates and evidence of community spread within the surrounding areas. 

    The Bishop’s School agrees with the AAP’s approach. We understand the social, emotional and academic benefits to our students’ learning and development at school and in-person. When the conditions improve locally, it remains our intention to have students on campus for teaching and learning. 

    Dining Services
    As we think about what school life will look like, we want to assure you that we will have dining services next year, offering food options for both milk break and lunch to all who are on campus. 

    Right now, we are focusing on a grab and go system of individually-packaged meals at several “distribution hubs” around campus for students and employees to get their food. Once they have their meal, everyone will be encouraged to spread out, using the dining room, terrace, Quad and Larmour Plaza to have a physically-distanced spot to remove their face covering and eat. 

    Everyone can expect that lunches will be relatively simple at the outset and as we adjust to the process of packaging and distribution, we will add additional, more complex options over time. Prepackaged snacks such as cereal and granola bars will be available at milk break. Accommodations will be made for individuals who have food allergies and dietary restrictions. It is likely that a separate line or hub will be created for these individuals. 

    If you would like to contact Sara Sweet to talk through your child’s dietary needs, her email address is sweets@bishops.com. The snack bar will not be available at the beginning of the year in order to avoid lines and large groups of students (and to ease the burden on dining staff who will need to individually package all meals).

    Volunteers on Campus
    As we are trying to limit the number of interactions students have with others at the start of the school year, parent volunteers are unlikely to be permitted on campus for anything other than mission-critical work. If the community spread of COVID reduces sufficiently during the year, we hope to revisit this policy. The School is grateful to our amazing parent community for all of its support, and we will work with the Parents’ Association to explore ways to maintain our close connection. 
  • July 8 - Update

    The past week has shown a continuation of the spike in COVID-19 cases. As we headed into the July Fourth weekend, states began to pull back on reopening their economies and required citizens to wear masks. California Gov. Newsom ordered several counties to close beaches, restaurants and bars. On Monday, when San Diego’s per-capita rate of cases exceeded 100 per 100,000 residents for seven consecutive days, the state-imposed tighter restrictions on businesses. The restrictions targeted indoor activities at businesses that generated the largest number of outbreaks: bars, restaurants, family entertainment centers and museums.  

    Over three days, from June 29 to July 2, the number of outbreaks in San Diego County jumped from seven to 21. This is three times the County’s threshold. Through the end of June, 98 percent of cases were investigated within 24 hours, but as we moved into July that percentage began to fall and by Monday afternoon it was 57 percent (the county’s threshold is 70 percent), suggesting that the public health department is struggling to keep up with the surge. Also on Monday, the county unveiled its newest trigger - case rate - measuring the number of cases per 100,000 residents. This trigger replaces the percentage change in case count, which had been difficult to use because of delays in receiving test results (testing, in general, continues to be a problem). On its first day as a county trigger, the case rate was 136.1, above the threshold of 100. Finally, the graph (right) shows the rolling 14-day average of positive tests, which has been steadily climbing since the third week in June. These factors: an elevated case rate, a high number of outbreaks, an inability to investigate new cases and a rising percentage of positive tests, taken together, suggest that the COVID-19 outbreak in San Diego is entering a critical phase. 

    Current Risk Level and Learning Modality
    According to the criteria we shared last week, if we were to open school this week, we would assess the risk of transmission as high which would put us in a distance learning mode. As a reminder, this could change anytime between now and Aug. 18, and we are not making a decision about opening school today. 

    Daily Academic Schedule 
    As you might imagine, adapting a schedule that works for the many scenarios we anticipate for the 2020-2021 school year is no small feat. Department chairs, administrators and a small group of teachers have been examining different scheduling components and scenarios, consulting with other schools and participating in webinars to ensure that we have the best information as we analyze various options. As with many things in life, while there is unfortunately not one perfect solution for all of our needs, there are options with different benefits and trade-offs. The need for flexibility is a theme that will appear throughout the next year in ways both big and small.  

    In no particular order, our guiding principles are:
    • We want students to be able to come to school if/when it is permitted while keeping them as safe as reasonably possible.
    • We want/need to preserve student personalization as much as possible.
    • We want a schedule that helps teachers and students develop connections and continuity.
    • We want a schedule that enables different scenarios (distance, in-person, blended) without requiring major changes if/when pivots occur.
    • We want a schedule that can seamlessly scale up or down the number of people on campus at any given time.
    • We want a schedule that is easy for students and families to understand and anticipate.
    • We need to support learning and teaching for students and teachers in all modalities.
    • We need to maintain realistic health and safety practices in regards to transportation, dining and cleaning.
    A major challenge is that there are many situations where the needs or priorities of a particular group, program, etc. are not aligned with the needs of a different, equally important group, and we cannot accommodate both. Hence careful consideration is being given to each of our options and the ripple effects of each decision.

    After evaluating a variety of possible schedules, including some that were quite unconventional, we anticipate a schedule that has a similar structure to our “before COVID” schedule. It will not be exactly the same, but it will feel familiar. The school day will start at roughly the same time as before, and classes will be interspersed with milk break, chapel, lunch and advisory. We will add a screening period at the beginning of the day and passing periods between classes to enable cleaning between classes (we did not have passing periods built into our “normal” schedule). Students will continue to be able to access teachers during office hours and by appointment. We anticipate allowing upper school students with free periods at the end of the day to depart when their academic obligations are completed, should they desire to do so. 

    In addition, we are preparing for scenarios that include both the need to limit the number of students on campus as well as having all students on campus. The exact size of each group and the timing when the groups will come to campus will be based on the conditions in the county and health and safety guidelines. It is possible, for example, that middle school students will come to campus on different days than upper school students or that even smaller groupings will be necessary. It is our hope that in-person instruction can be maximized for all students. 

    Making schedule modifications in a compressed window of time is quite complicated; schools typically take years to research and agree on changes to their schedules. We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated and experienced educators to identify workable solutions in such short fashion, many of whom envisioned and created the prior version. We are still working on the final daily schedule, and we will share more details as soon as we have them.

    Athletics 
    As CIF shared on June 12, “The CIF, in collaboration with our 10 sections, will be determining by July 20 if fall sports will continue as currently scheduled.” The CIF decision will be a guiding factor for Bishop’s Athletics programs and teams for the fall season. Like all families, we eagerly await their decision and hope to be back on the field, in the pool and on the court this fall. We will share more information as soon as it is available. Go, Knights!
  • July 1 - Update

    This past week featured spikes of COVID-19 around the country and the world, showing us just how tenacious and difficult this virus is to tame. San Diego set records in the number of new cases, with rates of positive tests at more than 5 percent. For the second week in a row one of the County’s 13 triggers was tripped, this time for having greater than a 10 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations (a 19 percent increase on June 26). The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about the experience of front-line workers during this surge, in which those workers emphasized the importance of wearing masks in public. This week the County ordered bars, breweries and wineries to close in an effort to slow the spread locally. 

    Nationally, cases are surging as well. The graph to the left from The New York Times shows the increase in positive cases that has resulted from the re-opening of the economy after the dip that came on the heels of the national shutdown. Cases in the United States now top 2.5 million with over 125,000 deaths. While there is some debate about whether we are seeing the beginning of a second wave or a continuation of the first, the recent spike suggests that we need to be prepared for conditions to change quickly and dramatically. 

    What These Trends Mean for Bishop’s

    The trends in COVID-19 cases are important because assessing the risk level for viral transmission will drive what learning mode the School will be in next year. Right now, we would assess that the risk of transmission is moderate. Given that risk, if we were to open the School today, it would be in a blended learning mode. Some of the criteria we will use for assessing the risk of transmission and what that will mean in terms of the number of students on campus are listed in the tables below. 

    The risk of transmission (low, medium, high) depends on:LowMediumHigh
    if the San Diego County rolling 14 day average of positive tests is:Flat or fallingFlat or risingRising
    or the number of San Diego County triggers outside acceptable ranges is:Zero1-22 or more
    or whether there is evidence of transmission within the Bishop’s community:NoNoYes

    When the transmission risk level isLowMediumHigh
    Our teaching and learning modality will be:In-PersonBlendedDistance Learning
    Which means that these groups will be on campus:The maximum number of students possible. Ideally all are on campus. All employees may work on campus. Visitors are permitted.Cohorts of students (grades 6-8 or 9-12, for example) will take turns coming to campus. Employees who can effectively telework should do so. Visitors are restricted.Essential employees only on campus. No students or visitors.

    In the blended learning mode, the School will need to balance having as many students on campus as possible with meeting the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local public health departments. We are currently analyzing campus spaces to determine what our maximum capacity can be while physical distancing guidelines are in place. As part of this work, we are considering how we can maximize the use of large non-classroom spaces on campus which may be able to accommodate classes. 

    Regardless of our maximum capacity, during blended learning some of our students will be on campus for school while others will learn from home. We anticipate creating cohorts of students determined by grade level. For example, middle school students would be on campus on some days and upper school students on other days. Naturally, the blended learning schedule will impact other aspects of school life, including athletics, extracurricular and co-curricular activities. The committees working on the Bishop’s reopening plan are examining different ways to ensure that students are able to participate in these programs. As we finalize the characteristics of blended learning, we will share those details.
     
  • June 24 - Daily Screenings

    As The Bishop’s School prepares for the 2020-2021 school year, we are closely monitoring the spread and transmission of COVID-19. Locally, one way to do that is to monitor the thirteen triggers that the County of San Diego has identified that would result in potential changes to a phased reopening. Recently, the news and trends in San Diego, nationwide and around the world have been concerning. With the first of the triggers tripped this week (greater than seven outbreaks recorded in a seven-day period) we will see what steps the Public Health Department will take to slow further spread of the virus. 

    Daily Screenings 
    One of the ways that we will work to reduce the risk of transmission within the Bishop’s community is through daily screenings of all individuals coming to campus. When on-campus instruction begins, we plan on using an app that employees and parents will download on a smartphone or iPad in order to facilitate COVID-19 symptom screenings each morning at home. This health screening will ask about signs and symptoms using national CDC guidelines and will include a user-inputed daily temperature. Following the successful completion of this screening with no symptoms, the user will receive a green screen indicating that they have passed the screening and may proceed to come to campus. Students and employees will need to show this green screen as they walk onto campus. At this time, we are also planning to take everyone's temperature using an infrared no-touch thermometer at specific entrances to campus. Other entrances will be blocked off to pedestrian traffic in order to ensure everyone coming onto campus has been screened. We anticipate finalizing our process over the next couple of weeks, and we will provide further details about the app and how to use it at that time. 

    The daily home screening will be an opportunity for parents to take a moment with their children to determine if they are experiencing symptoms or have a fever before they board the bus or arrive on campus. The School will be following guidance from state and local public health departments, the CDC and our overseeing physician. We anticipate the threshold for sending a student home with any symptoms to be very low because COVID-19 is highly contagious. We ask that you take the time to assess your child(ren) at home to make sure they are healthy prior to sending them to school. If students are sick on arrival to campus or during the school day, they will need to go home. Parents may want to spend some time this summer thinking through scenarios for who might be able to pick your child up if they are ill at school. 

    Is Coming to Campus for School Required? 
    One question that we have received is whether we will require students to come to campus next year for on-campus instruction. Within our in-person or blended learning model, we would expect that some community members, because of their own health concerns or those of immediate family members, may choose to not come to campus. Other students may be home for a period of time because they are self-isolating or in quarantine, but are well enough to attend school through distance learning. We are fine-tuning teaching strategies that will allow classes to function in a productive way even when some students are physically present while others in that same class are engaged and learning remotely. 
  • June 17 - Masks/Face Coverings

    In early April, a San Diego Public Health Order required that all people leaving their home or place of residence be in possession of a face covering and to wear it when they are within six feet of anyone outside their household. As we consider what a return to in-person teaching and learning will look like next year, the School will require that everyone entering campus wear a face covering. This could be a disposable surgical mask or a cloth covering. But before we get too deep into what our policy regarding masks will be, it’s important to know why masks or face coverings have become a part of the public health response to COVID-19. What do they do?


    One common misconception about face coverings is that they protect the wearer from getting infected. While there is some evidence that face coverings are helpful to the person wearing the mask, they are more effective at protecting the wearer (who may have the virus, but not know it yet) from infecting others. The image to the right (from #Masks4All) gives a good visual of a mask’s purpose.

    When worn properly, masks have been shown to be very effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19. They work by disrupting the flow of air from a person’s mouth into the atmosphere. This clip from the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates the point. The website #Masks4All has many interesting resources highlighting the benefits of wearing face coverings when it comes to slowing the spread of COVID-19, including information on how to make your own face covering at home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the use of face coverings will slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and also has information for how to wear a face covering correctly. The website MaskSim uses computer simulations to show how infection rates change based on the percentage of individuals wearing masks. Spoiler alert: the greater the percentage of people wearing masks, the lower the risk of transmission. 

    Next year, all students at Bishop’s will be expected to wear cloth face coverings during the academic day. We have coordinated with Lands’ End so that cloth face coverings, approved for use with our uniform, can be purchased on the Bishop’s portion of their website. They have assured us that they will have plenty of supply in time for the beginning of the school year. Additionally, we are developing a plan to distribute washable face coverings to every student during the first few days of school. Face coverings provided by the School or purchased on the Bishop’s portion of the Lands’ End website are permitted for wear. Disposable surgical masks are also permitted. If a student would like to wear a face covering from another source, they should get approval from the dean of students or the head of middle school in advance. In general, face coverings should be a solid color and free of any writing. 

    Please note that vented N95 masks (and other vented masks) do not stop droplets from escaping and will not protect other people. Vented N95 masks were originally developed for construction workers to protect them from paint fumes and dust particles, and give them a one-way valve to exhale easier. Vented masks may not be worn on campus.

    Additional articles:
    Is the Secret to Japan’s Virus Success Right in Front of Its Face? New York Times, June 6, 2020
    CDC study of Roosevelt outbreak finds lower rates of COVID-19 among sailors who wore masks San Diego Union-Tribune, June 9, 2020
  • June 4 - Looking Ahead

    With all of this work and these considerations as a backdrop, it is worth asking, “What will things look like in August?” Or, “What can I expect when school opens again?” While we all want to return to the way things were, it is safe to say that life will look different when we reopen for the fall semester. We will follow the guidance of our federal, state and local public health authorities. It is likely that we will reduce the number of entry points to campus and restrict access to only those who need to be on campus (initially this will likely be only students and employees). 

    Everyone coming on to campus will need to wear a face covering and everyone will go through a screening process in order to identify potential exposure to COVID-19 and look for symptoms. We will reduce density on campus in order to meet the physical distancing requirements set out by the public health department. Students will notice one-way hallways, desks and seats carefully positioned in rooms, and changes to our food service and transportation programs. We will ask everyone on campus to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often. Some programs may be changed or modified significantly. Retreats will look very different and will likely be moved to a time later in the academic year when it may be more likely that large groups of students can gather in close proximity. It is possible that we will limit the hours that students can be on campus to ensure that we can thoroughly clean it after hours. 

    Our plan remains that the first day of school for the fall semester will be Tuesday, Aug. 18. Ideally, when we open we will be able to host all of our students in their classes immediately, just as we did before this pandemic. While we can imagine that scenario, we also have to consider that only a portion of our students may be permitted on campus at any given time, in order to meet physical distancing requirements. For that reason, we are planning for three teaching modalities: in-person learning, distance learning and blended learning. Here are some of the considerations the School will use in order to determine which modality is appropriate:

    In-Person Learning. This is what we imagine when we think of a normal day at Bishop’s. All students are invited to campus for teaching and learning. In order to be in this modality, the following would need to be in place: 
    • The risk level for COVID-19 transmission is low. There may be evidence of some controlled transmission locally, but no known cases within the Bishop’s community. 
    • Physical distancing requirements have been relaxed to allow for the full population of students on campus. 
    • Traffic flow considerations are in place for entrances to campus and buildings, and one-way hallways are established. 
    • Screening, cleaning, PPE and hygiene policies are in place.
    • Staffing levels and training allow for implementation of new policies and procedures. 
    • Transportation services, with appropriate physical distancing, are in place for all students who use Bishop’s transportation. 
    • Dining services can provide meals for all students and employees in a way that is consistent with public health requirements.
    Blended Learning. A cohort of students is allowed to come to campus for in-person instruction while other cohort(s) learn through a distance learning model. Cohorts come to campus on a rotating basis. This modality would allow for families with health or other concerns about returning to campus an opportunity to continue their academic courses from home. Considerations for blended learning include: 
    • The risk level of COVID-19 transmission is moderate. This could be due to evidence of community spread locally, but no known cases within the Bishop’s community. 
    • Physical distancing requirements dictate that density on campus must be reduced below maximum student/employee population.
    • Traffic flow considerations are in place for entrances to campus and buildings, one-way hallways are established.
    • Screening, cleaning, PPE and hygiene policies are in place.
    • Staffing levels and training allow for implementation of new policies and procedures.
    • Transportation services, with appropriate physical distancing, are in place for a reduced population of students who use Bishop’s transportation.
    • Dining services can provide meals for a reduced number of students and employees in a way that is consistent with new public health requirements.
    Distance Learning. This is the modality in which we ended the 2019-2020 school year. Reasons for moving to distance learning include: 
    • The risk level of COVID-19 transmission is high. This could be due to a spike in cases locally or in the state. 
    • A Public Health Department requirement that local schools (or Bishop’s specifically) close. 
    • There is evidence of active transmission of COVID-19 within the Bishop’s community.
    If there is one thing that we can say definitively about COVID-19, it is that conditions will change between now and the time that our school year is scheduled to begin. That said, it is important for you to know what we are planning and how we are addressing this unique challenge.  Our commitment to the students and their education and development is unwavering in whatever form we provide that experience. As further guidance emerges and as the pandemic progresses, it is likely that our expectations for August will have to adjust, and we will be prepared to make appropriate changes throughout the year if necessary. We will continue to keep you updated over the course of the summer on our planning and how it will affect our students. In the meantime, we hope that you and your family are safe and healthy.  We thank you for your support.

    Best,

    Ron Kim
    Head of School

    Michael Beamer
    Assistant Head of School for Internal Affairs
  • May 24 - Summer Session Update

    All classes during the second session of summer school will be offered through distance learning. Credit classes are already listed and our enrichment program for grades 4-8 will be updated soon. In addition, we have opened additional Health and Biblical Literature classes to the morning of session two to accommodate more students.
  • May 10 - Campus Event Update

    Campus Event Update
     
    We hope this note finds you in good health and spirit. We wanted to take a moment to update you on the events in May that will be affected by our campus closure:

    Kaplan Assembly (May 11) has been canceled. 
    Junior-Senior Prom (May 15) has been canceled.
    Senior Arts Night (May 18) will be recognized through a video montage that will be distributed to seniors the week of May 26.
    Eighth Grade Night of Achievement (May 19) has transitioned to an online format.
    Middle School Awards (May 20) will be recognized in a separate correspondence. 
    Iftar Celebration (May 20) has been canceled.
    Choir Concert (May 20-22) has been canceled.
    Middle School Talent Show (May 21) has been canceled.
    Upper School Non-Departmental Awards (May 26) will be recognized in a separate correspondence. 
    Senior Parent Dinner (May 26) has been canceled.
    Parents’ Association Volunteer Thank You Breakfast (May 27) has been canceled.
    Board of Trustees Annual Dinner (May 28) has been canceled. A board meeting will be held in its place.
    Senior Salute Chapel (May 28) will be shown online. The traditional brunch that is hosted by the Alumni Association has been canceled, but the alumni team is working on an alternative and will communicate those plans soon.
    Arts Awards Night (May 29) has transitioned to an online format. The performing arts department will share details soon.
    Sports Awards Night (May 30) has been canceled, but Knights Award recipients for all sports will be recognized by the athletics department in the coming weeks. More information will be shared soon.

    We understand that there is significant interest in what the School plans for the final ceremonies of the year (Awards Day, Baccalaureate and Commencement). We continue to hold out hope that some in-person events can take place on campus this spring, so we have not committed to any particular format or plan yet. In the coming weeks we will communicate with further details on how we will mark these special events. 
  • May 10 - Summer Session Update

    Summer Session Update
    Session I (June 8-26) courses and Main Session courses (June 15 - July 10) will be taught remotely. This includes: 
    • Health
    • Introduction to Biblical Literature
    • World Religions
    • Prophetic Voice
    • The Holocaust: Religious Questions
    • Visual Arts courses (Drawing and Painting I or II)
    • Honors Biology Prep
    • Intensive Writing
    • Literature and Writing Workshop
    • Math 3 Review 
    The following Session I courses have been canceled: 
    • Chinese 2: Review and Preview through Stories
    • Spanish 2: Review and Preview through Stories
    • Musical Theater Workshop
    • Summer on Stage
    • Middle School Math 1
    • Middle School Math 2 
    The enrichment program for students entering fourth through eighth grade will be offered through distance learning as well (for session A). Some adjustments are underway and an updated schedule will be available soon. Please be on the lookout for the updated plans to engage your younger children this summer.  

    A decision about how Session II (June 29-July 17) classes will be offered -- remotely or in person (or in some combination) -- will be made by the end of May. We will provide an update as soon as we have one.  
  • April 29 - Weekly Newsletter

    Reminders

    • Head of School Ron Kim shared a video update for the community last Friday. You can watch it here
    • Friday is the Head of School Holiday - no classes!
    • YEARBOOKS ARE ON SALE! They are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so please buy your books ASAP, using this link. If you are wondering whether you bought a yearbook or not, please email Elizabeth Stuart-Chaffoo to confirm your order.
    • SENIOR REMINDER: We want to recognize all of the graduating seniors on The Bishop's School social media. Please fill out this form by this Friday, May 1. If there is a photo you'd like to use instead of your senior portrait, please email it to jen.jordan@bishops.com or attach it to the form.
    • AUCTION 2020: We hope you'll join us at the Annual Auction One Love. One. World. One Virtual Knight. on Friday, May 8. RSVP before Wednesday, May 6 and tune in on May 8 for the virtual party with a purpose - raising funds for critical needs at The Bishop's School! We will be streaming live with auctioneer Clint Bell as host for the evening. Registered guests will be entered into the 'door prize' drawing for an opportunity to win a case of premium wine. Watch this video from Head of School Ron Kim and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates!
    • COFFEEHOUSE: The Bishop's Student Performing Arts Council (PAC) will be hosting a Virtual CoffeeHouse on May 8, and they are looking for student performers. If you would like to perform in the CoffeeHouse on May 8, please submit your performance video to Dr. Micu (christine.micu@bishops.com) by the end of the day this Friday, May 1. The CoffeeHouse is open to all types of performances and Bishop's performers of all ages! Please share your talents. You can recite a poem, sing a song, play an instrument, dance, juggle...whatever it is you are good at that you would like to share with the community. Families are encouraged to participate, but performances should include a current Bishop's student or alumni.
     

    News

    • Fox 5 featured Bishop’s Knights Baseball player Austin Shroeder ‘20 in their Senior Sendoff segment. Watch it here
    • The Del Mar Times mentioned Noah Lin ‘20 in their story about a luncheon for local ASBC presidents. You can read it here.
  • April 24 - Head of School Update

    Head of School Ron Kim shared highlights of this update in a video format. Please take a few moments to watch the video here and to read the message below. 
     
    Dear Bishop’s Community,
     
    I hope this update finds you healthy and well. I appreciate everyone’s patience and resilience during this lengthy period of sheltering at home. I am grateful to the teachers and staff who have made distance learning meaningful and productive. I know that it is challenging to be at home and away from campus, but we have been part of a successful effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We have helped to save lives, and we have supported health care workers and first responders. I’m thankful for what we have all done. It’s not over, but it’s an important first step.
     
    We continue to follow the guidance from state and local health officials. Our campus will remain closed until it is safe for students and employees to return. It appears unlikely that we will be able to have classes again this spring, though if it is possible, we will make every effort to do so, and we will notify you immediately. I continue to hold onto hope that we can retain some end-of-year and senior events on campus, perhaps in a modified form, at some point this summer.  
     
    I know there are some topics about which you may have questions, and I have addressed them briefly below. If you want more information or have questions, please let me know.
     
    Our People
    Time and again I hear that the people at Bishop’s are the reason the students’ experience is special. They consistently go above and beyond to serve the students and the School. We have retained our people through this difficult time, and we have focused any necessary cuts on areas that have the least impact on the student experience.
     
    Health and Safety
    The campus is currently staffed physically by just a handful of essential personnel who are ensuring that the School is ready to reopen. We continue to enhance our capabilities to provide a safe campus to which students and staff can return, and we are working to anticipate future guidelines for offering a safe learning environment.
     
    Financial Aid
    We all know that COVID-19 is not only a public health challenge but an economic shock that may have had a significant impact on members of our community. We understand that families who are currently receiving financial aid, and some who are not, may need support. We have, therefore, allocated limited emergency financial aid funds to meet unexpected circumstances. To submit a request for emergency financial aid funds, please email Kim Cooper, director of admissions and financial aid.
     
    How We Will Support Financial Aid Now and in the Future
    Financial aid support is dependent annually on a combination of annual giving, proceeds from the auction and from a portion of the School’s endowment. While our in-person auction has been postponed, we are very pleased to host a virtual auction on Friday, May 8. The success of these efforts is crucial because one out of every five of our students is dependent upon this assistance for their attendance next year. We anticipate that this number will be greater due to the pandemic. We welcome the generosity of those who give what they can so that students have the opportunity to succeed.
     
    Refunds for Services
    Families who paid for spring break trips have had that money refunded or rolled over into trips for next year. Families who paid a separate fee for transportation services will receive a prorated portion of that money refunded or rolled over into next year’s fee. The closure of the campus has led to reduced costs in some areas and increased costs in other areas. Importantly, the School has maintained continuity of instruction, and we are managing the budget very carefully to support people and critical programs. 
     
    Summer Classes
    Bishop’s is committed to offering summer courses that count toward graduation requirements, either in person or online, as circumstances allow. We are also in the process of developing an experimental “Transition to Bishop’s” course for students new to the School, particularly for those whose education has been significantly disrupted at their current schools. The status of the full summer program has not been decided, but we will provide more information in the coming weeks.
     
    Fall Classes
    At this time, based on guidance that we are receiving from state and local health officials, we expect to have classes on campus this fall. For many reasons, it is important for our students to be back in school with our teachers. We also realize that there may be guidelines we must follow in order to have students back on campus, so the School leadership is developing contingency plans for modified in-person instruction that would meet potential health and safety guidelines. 
     
    The Future
    Much of our time and attention is on the current crisis and how to support and teach students now and into the following academic year. At the same time, my thoughts are also on the future for the children and the School. There is no more important investment than a great education, and our commitment to that objective remains stronger than ever. There are many lessons to be learned and opportunities before us, and seeing how steadfast Bishop’s remains through this crisis affirms my confidence in this School’s position as a leader in education.
     
    Thank you for your patience, understanding and sacrifice. We know that this has been hard on everyone, and I have derived strength from the courage and resilience of all of you. As hard as this has been, I find myself feeling so optimistic and positive for all of us who are blessed to be part of the Bishop’s community.
     
    I hope you have a great weekend!
     
    Best,
     
    Ron Kim
    Head of School 
  • April 22 - Weekly Newsletter

    For Students

    • SENIORS: We miss seeing you all on campus and hope you're doing well! The School would like to recognize all of the graduating seniors on The Bishop's School social media. Please fill out the form below by Friday, May 1.
       
       
      If there is a photo you'd like us to use instead of your senior portrait, please email it to jen.jordan@bishops.com or attach it when you respond to the form.
    • The Bishop's Student Performing Arts Council (PAC) will be hosting a Virtual CoffeeHouse on May 8, and they are looking for student performers. If you would like to perform in the CoffeeHouse on May 8, please submit your performance video to Dr. Micu (christine.micu@bishops.com) by the end of the day May 1. The CoffeeHouse is open to all types of performances and Bishop's performers of all ages! Please share your talents. You are welcome to recite a poem, sing a song, play an instrument, dance, juggle...whatever it is you are good at that you would like to share with the community. Families are encouraged to participate, but performances should include a current Bishop's student or alumni.

    For Parents

    • School Counselor Megan Broderick shared some tips yesterday for parents. Watch her video here.
    • Save the Date - Virtual Live Auction on Friday, May 8. Though we can't gather in person, we will still come together (online) to support the School's most pressing budget need - student financial aid. More details to come, but please mark your calendars for One World. One Love. One Virtual Knight. on May 8!

    School News

    • The School's distance learning efforts were highlighted in last week's issue of the La Jolla Light.
    • Math teacher Jennifer Seymour's work developing PPE materials for local medical is featured in this week's La Jolla Light
  • April 15 - Weekly Newsletter

    Letter from the Head of School

    Dear Families,
     
    I hope this note finds you and your family healthy and well. Throughout the year, wellness has been an important priority for The Bishop’s School. 
     
    We are now in the unexpected situation where COVID-19 presents clear risks for physical well-being. We have all been instructed to stay home and to only leave when it is essential to do so. There are blessings to being together—more family meals, game nights, spontaneous conversations and many creative ideas too long to list here. 
     
    However, the social distancing protocol we are all following presents some less visible but no less real psychological and emotional challenges. Externally-imposed isolation is hard, and for a number of reasons isolation with adolescents presents unique difficulties. 
     
    One of my favorite authors on adolescents is psychologist and school counselor Lisa Damour. Her book “Untangled” is the single best book I have read on the development of young girls. Linked below is a brief article she wrote for the New York Times recently on parenting teenagers, and recognizing and helping them manage their emotions. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.
     
    Take care,
     
    Ron Kim
     

    Resources and School News

    • The School celebrated its Easter Chapel virtually on Monday. Click on the link below for the full chapel video and a note from Chaplain Rev. Nicole Simpoulos-Pigato. 
              The Hope of Easter
    • Bishop’s choral music students, led by Dr. Christine Micu, made a video to be (and sing) together while they are physically separated. Dr. Micu asked students to submit a video response to how the current COVID-19 situation has affected them. Some had positive responses, while others were impacted negatively. The final product shares their videos, as they sing a beautiful song by John Legend, “If You’re Out There.” Special thanks to Marketing Manager Jen Jordan for editing!
    • School Counselor Megan Broderick wrote a blog post about the importance of acknowledging and sharing grief. You can read it here
    • Save the Date - Virtual Live Auction on Friday, May 8. Good news: Though we can't gather in person, we will still come together (online) to support the School's most pressing budget need - student financial aid. More details to come, but please mark your calendars for One World. One Love. One Virtual Knight. on May 8.
    • Yearbooks are currently available for purchase. Please buy your book here.
  • 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 - Summer Session Update

    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
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.