* Updated on August 7, 2020*
Frequently Asked Questions and Family Pledge
Previous Reopening Communications
August 3, 2020 - The Year Ahead 2020-2021
Greetings from Veritas! I hope your family is enjoying the remaining weeks of the summer, having good times with family, relaxing with the different pace of schedule, and staying healthy and safe. Our campus is buzzing with activity, as we continue working toward the priority of reopening safely on the first day of our 2020-21 academic year.
The Year Ahead: 2020-21 is unique this year. It has been shifted online alongside our Return to Campus Playbook. We have moved our communications online to keep the information up-to-date. You will receive several waves of communication from our administration and faculty between now and the first day of school. Additionally, we plan to provide several short videos on the return to campus and distance learning options, as well as behind the scenes tour around campus to see our classrooms and new configurations.
We also welcome several new faculty members to campus this year, each of whom is excited to share their expertise in our students’ development. We know that each individual will become integral to the success of our students. I invite you to take the time to read through this webpage to familiarize yourself with the upcoming year as well as our new faculty and staff. They look forward to welcoming your children on campus and online this year!
To create as strong a beginning as possible, we have made some schedule adjustments to our opening days (August 19-21) in each grade. Our students, faculty, and staff need opportunities to grow confident in new expectations and patterns of activity on campus and online. We have decided to use the first three days of school to practice the new safety procedures and patterns of activity with smaller numbers of students on campus. One third of the students will be on campus each day so we can observe and modify the procedures as needed to be most efficient and effective. See the schedule below of which grades will be on campus each day. Your child's teacher will send a daily schedule with information regarding the Distance Learning Option. All classes will return to campus concurrently on August 24th.
Finally, in the midst of our planning, we know we all need to remain flexible and supportive. The coming weeks and months may present moments where we need to pivot to a contingency plan, whether as an entire school, a class, a small group, or an individual family. In those inevitable circumstances, we will press ahead, making the best decisions we can for our community and seeking first to support our students with safety as our priority. In any circumstance, we are confident that we will move onward with our mission laying a Foundation for Life.
Head of School
Return to School Playbook: A Guidebook for Campus Reopening (PDF)
June 11, 2020 - Preliminary Reopening Plans for 2020-2021
- Everyone will be required to complete a comprehensive medical questionnaire for their child prior to reentry.
- Attend online Safety Procedures Training in early August.
- There will be daily, early morning screenings of body temperatures and other symptoms before classes begin for each student and employee. Only students and employees showing no symptoms and a normal temperature will be allowed to participate in on-campus classes and activities.
- Students will be asked to wear their face covering when physical distancing is not possible.
- Many students will choose (or need) to wear masks all day.
- Protective Plexiglass shields will be placed at each student and teacher desk.
- Every student, as they enter classrooms, will be required to use the hand-sanitizing gel from the automatic, hands-free dispenser by the door.
- We will adhere to social distancing guidelines for separation in classrooms and throughout the campus in addition to the Protective Plexiglass shields. Because of campus size, we will not need to limit or rotate days and weeks in which students can be on campus, as many schools may be required to do.
- High touch areas like our seats and desks will be disinfected before each use.
- Certain designated hallways will be one direction only. Additionally, we will limit the number of students in the hall at one time by staggering class transitions and movement.
- The campus will be disinfected throughout the day.
- Chapels and other larger assemblies will be held virtually for each classroom.
- Athletics and after school care are being re-imagined. We are researching still-developing recommendations and guidelines from state and local athletic associations as well as medical experts regarding how and when team sports can return.
- Restrictions and protocols will be in place regarding visitors to campus.
- Self-screen and screen members of our family daily, especially immediately prior to coming to campus.
- Not come to campus if our student(s) or someone in our household is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Inform the School if our student(s) or someone in our household is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Notify the School of any potential exposures, symptoms, or positive COVID-19 test results in a timely manner as outlined in the School’s protocols.
- Encourage our student(s) and their families to practice social distancing whenever feasible.
- Have our student(s) and their families wear a face covering particularly when physical distancing is not possible or difficult.
- Encourage our student(s) and their families to commit to frequent hand-washing and sanitizing.
- Cooperate with local, state, and federal agencies in contact tracing efforts.
2020-2021 Reopening Plan
Introduction to the 2020-2021 Reopening Plan
We are using guidance from public health officials, local government requirements, our accrediting independent school association (SAIS), and resources from other schools and leading organizations and agencies. Veritas will continue to make careful, thoughtful, and collaborative decisions based on the safety of our students, faculty, and Veritas’s values. We will promote our students’ physical safety as well as their psychological and emotional well-being. We need one another as we are wired for relationships and connectivity.
This Return to Campus Playbook provides the Veritas community with an overview of the 2020–2021 school opening procedures. The playbook is a brief summary of what to expect as we open our classrooms and campus. It describes options for learning and teaching during this academic year. Veritas is committed to serving our students with programs that are engaging, flexible, yet responsive to the current pandemic.
In order to safely and effectively reopen campus, Veritas is actively assessing information, acting decisively, and developing guidelines and procedures in service of our community. The following are our principles for reopening campus.
- Protect the health and safety of students and employees
- Be compliant with government orders
- Utilize guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS),
- Texas Education Agency (TEA), and American Pediatric Association
- Establish effective use of spaces and places to support physical distancing
- Provide students with some familiarity with school routines for learning
- Set clear expectations for everyone
First Days of School
If government restrictions remain lifted, we will hold our first day of school on campus on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. In addition, Veritas will provide Safety Procedures Training for students before returning to campus.
We anticipate ending the school year as planned on Friday, May 26, 2021. While our priority is to be on campus as much as possible, we are also preparing for potential interruptions and may need to adjust the calendar accordingly. As always, we will remain communicative and provide you with more information when and if needed.
Faculty and staff will receive professional development during in-service days this summer and safety procedure training in the following:
- Arrival and dismissal expectations
- Entering and exiting classrooms and buildings
- Use of Materials
- Lunches and snacks
- Recess and outdoor breaks
- Healthy hygiene practices
- Proper cleaning and disinfecting practices
- After School Care
Monitoring System - Color Coded System
|Level of Alert||General Conditions||Learning Environment|
School Calendar Options
In the event that we are required to limit or restrict access to campus or parts of campus (for example, to restrict access for just one division), Veritas will transition to teaching virtually for a period of time. During any period of temporary virtual learning, we remain committed to:
- Delivering on our mission.
- Providing students with a high quality, student-centered learning experience.
- Communicating clearly and consistently.
- Remaining flexible and adjusting to our families’ needs.
Our Hybrid Learning Model
What is Hybrid Learning?
Veritas provides a location-based education with teaching and learning experiences on campus. While we understand the on-campus experience is the most suitable approach for the majority of our students, we also recognize that some families may not be able to have their children return to campus for reasons related to the virus. In order to support all of our students, Veritas will use technology to extend the reach of the classroom beyond the physical space on campus, providing real-time access to students who are at home. Students will be able to access the classroom remotely and maintain their daily learning schedule.
What is a Hybrid Classroom?
Every classroom serving PreK-8 will be equipped with technology (a camera, microphone and speaker) designed to create a more immersive experience for those students learning remotely. When students are absent for a day, week or longer, they are still able to actively participate in their classes, learn, and ask questions.
RenWeb (FACTS SIS) will continue to be Veritas’ main information system for our families. Parents and students will have access to grades and homework through this platform. The link to RenWeb (FACTS SIS) is easily accessible from the homepage of our website, www.veritasca.org.
Google Meet will be utilized by 3rd-8th grade students who may need to join a live feed of their classes should they remain home. Schedules will adhere to on-campus learning and students must log in at their class’ normal schedule. All class information, including homework and grades will remain on RenWeb (FACTS SIS).
Zoom will be utilized by Early Education-2nd grade students who may need to join a live feed of their classes should they remain home. Schedules will adhere to on-campus learning and students must log in at their class’ normal schedule. All class information, including homework and grades will remain on RenWeb (FACTS SIS).
ClassDojo will be utilized for expanded educational resources by Early Education-2nd grade students if required to remain home. All class information, including homework and grades will remain on RenWeb (FACTS SIS).
Email communication will remain the main platform of communication between Veritas and our families. Teachers, administration, and school office personnel will be sending pertinent information regarding school procedures, scheduling changes, or other important information.
The Veritas website will be the main information hub regarding any important school information including any scheduling changes or closures, updates to school procedures, and access to all information that has been previously communicated to families.
Veritas will utilize its social media platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram, to disperse various important information regarding any schedule changes. Posts to social media relating to any important school information will be in addition to our other communication platforms.
Additional Program Information
Our goal is to resume team sports if our athletic associations continue to offer this as an option. Our ability to do so is determined by government guidelines provided by the State of Texas. At this time, we are still waiting for additional information regarding formal competition for 2020-2021 and the possibility of resuming team sports in the fall. Please continue to follow school communications for updates and additional information.
The Fine Arts Department will resume programming. Veritas Conservatory of Music will continue private lessons upon the start of school.
Volunteering and Visitors
In order to minimize risk and maintain a healthy environment for our students and teachers, we will begin the school year by strictly limiting access to campus buildings to students, teachers, and essential personnel. While we understand that some members of our community may be disappointed, it is important to note that we will not resume on-campus or in-classroom volunteer opportunities right away.
Lunches and Snacks
As we start our school year, students will be eating in their classrooms or another designated space, as we will not be using the lunchroom until the guidelines requiring physical distancing is lifted. Our food service will continue to provide our students with lunches without self-serve options.
Before Care from 7:00-7:30AM will not be offered at the beginning of the school year. We anticipate this changing and relaxing this requirement in the future. After School Care will continue to be offered with additional staffing and maintaining safety guidelines.
Our Health & Wellness
Health and Wellness Pledge: A Family Commitment
Additional Daily Considerations and Guidelines
To further support a healthy campus, we will perform daily temperature screenings in the mornings. If a student has a temperature of 100.4° (infrared) or 99.4° (axillary) F or higher (per CDC Guidelines), they should stay home. Daily temperature checks by Veritas will be rapid, infrared, and non-touch.
Requirements for Face Coverings
We view the use of face coverings as an important way that we, as a community can slow/stop the spread of the virus and protect each other. Students will be required to bring a face covering to school every day. Use of the covering will be determined based on physical distancing.
We understand that prolonged use of face coverings could be difficult and even inappropriate for some students (especially our younger students), and we hope to provide flexibility based on meeting physical distancing criteria. We also know there will be students on campus who will wear face coverings for longer periods of time, including students who are directed to do so by their healthcare providers.
Important for all students:
- Bring a face covering to school every day (Veritas will have additional face coverings on campus if needed)
- Students will be asked to wear their face covering when physical distancing is not possible
- Many students will choose (or need) to wear masks all day
We have temporarily relocated the Nurse’s Clinic to C2. This new location will create additional space and distancing for students with various ailments and symptoms.
Important: If a student is sent to the clinic and is running a fever, coughing, or experiencing
shortness of breath, they will not be allowed to return to class. The Nurse’s Clinic will have designated places for sick students, and they will remain there until they are picked up by a parent or guardian.
Support a Healthy Campus
Creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment is essential and is going to require everyone’s support and participation. Over the summer, families can help reinforce safety protocols by:
- Avoid touching your face - especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Encourage frequent hand washing especially before and after eating.
- Use hand sanitizer when hand washing is unavailable.
- Practice coughing and sneezing into elbows.
- Add daily temperature checks to the morning routine.
- Avoid touching your mask, try to limit touching only the handles.
Maintain Preventative Health Practices:
- Ask how they are feeling and give them space to share and ask questions.
- Maintain a routine at home to provide stability.
- Continue reassuring them that the adults in their lives are there to support their well-being, both physically and emotionally.
- Reach out for help.
Teaching and encouraging health protocols:
- Visually show and practice physical distancing.
- Practice wearing a face covering.