This webpage is updated as of September 15, 2020. WNS is currently operating under Plan C: Hybrid Model. Information is likely to change, both based on state and medical officials’ directives and on our own experience and evolving best practices. We will keep our WNS community up to date with any changes.

We miss our students and look forward to returning to school this year. Our commitment is to deliver on our school mission regardless of the challenges and obstacles. Delivering on this mission in light of the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic will require a partnership and commitment from all members of this community. 

For the 2020-21 school year, we are prepared to provide ONLINE LEARNING and ON-CAMPUS LEARNING. We have designed these programs so that the curriculum, pedagogy, and schedule are cohesive, whether a student is in the online program or the on-campus program. In this way, we continue with our highly collaborative model for faculty and provide a comprehensive program for students that will allow for flexibility and provide consistency for students as we continue to meet the changing guidelines from the Los Angeles County Public Health (LACPH) office.

We have developed plans for maximum flexibility that include in-person on-campus instruction when it is safe to do so as well as a parallel online program for students opting to remain at home due to health issues. Students in our on campus program who need to miss school for an extended period of time will join the online program. 

Reopening Plans

Sample online and in-person schedules

Click Here

ECC in-person schedules

Click Here

K-4th online learning schedules

Click Here

5th-8th online learning schedules

Click Here

ON-CAMPUS LEARNING

Our goal is to have all students on campus when it is safe to do so. This plan describes the measures we have taken to allow for on-campus learning to happen safely when the time comes. 

Early Childhood Center (ECC)

In the ECC, classrooms are limited to twelve children and children will spend the day in a small cohort of six with one teacher to limit possible exposure. Much of the day will be spent in our outdoor small group learning spaces such as our tents and atria. Cohorts will rotate through the areas, classrooms and outdoor spaces with minimal contact between other cohorts. All surfaces such as tables and shelves will be sanitized before a group leaves a common area.

Bathrooms and high touch surfaces will be cleaned regularly by our day porter and shared materials will be sanitized after each use by teachers. Children will wash their hands between leaving one area and entering another. Once daily, our day porter will do a deeper cleaning of each classroom and area of the play yard. 

Each child has a box of frequently used materials that are assigned to them such as pencils, paper, journal, whiteboard, and sensory materials. Children will primarily use these materials when in the classroom.

Click here for the ECC re-entry video.

At this time, all students must be tested for COVID-19 prior to coming to campus using a PCR test protocol (please do not use antibody tests). Parents are responsible for this initial round of testing. Options for this start-of-school testing are provided via this link which includes information about the types of tests available, cost (there are several free options), and locations of testing centers. Testing should be conducted 3-4 days prior to September 21, and families should maintain strict cohort integrity during this time. Prior to arrival on campus, families must complete this online form for each student with a requirement to upload a screenshot of the negative result email notification. If you have a positive result, contact the School Nurse directly at testresults@wns-la.org, isolate, and await further instructions. 

Kindergarten - 4th Grade

Lower school students will be in small stable cohorts of 8-13 throughout the day. The classroom teacher and associate teacher will stay with the students in the classroom where most instruction will occur. Opportunities to teach using outside spaces will take place when possible. To minimize the impact on an entire grade and limit exposure, twins will be kept in the same cohort.

In Lower School, specialty classes (Art, Music, Spanish, Technology, and Science) will take place over Zoom, streaming into each classroom where a teacher or associate teacher will be supporting students. These classes will take place once per week in each grade level, with the addition of Theater Arts in 5th grade.  

P.E. will take place during outdoor breaks and will allow students to participate in a variety of activities that are deemed safe by the guidelines set forth by CDPH and LACDPH. PE will also offer a variety of activities that students can participate in at home, supporting our commitment to health and wellness in our social-emotional learning program.

5th - 8th Grade

To minimize interactions, fifth grade students will remain in stable homeroom cohorts of approximately 10 students, and in addition to a homeroom teacher, specialist teachers will come to the classroom to teach. Sixth through eighth grade will remain in cohort sections of approximately 14 students, and teachers will rotate into the students’ classrooms for most of the classes. Middle school students will have specialist classes (visual and performing arts) as planned throughout the week in their schedule, and those teachers will also come to the class to teach. Advisory time also plays an important role for 6-8 grade students. Unfortunately, we will not be able to gather for morning meetings on Mondays or Fridays during the pandemic.

Field Trips, After School Classes, Athletics, and Study Hall

All off-campus field trips and class trips will be suspended for the time being. The fall outdoor education trips for grades 6-8 have been rescheduled for the spring. Teachers are encouraged to take virtual field trips with their classes when opportunities arise.

On-campus after school classes and activities will be suspended for the foreseeable future. Upper school athletic teams are not scheduled for the fall. This also includes after school study hall in the library for upper school students. In lieu of these activities, we will schedule athletic training classes that will be held outdoors with social distancing and following CDPH and LACDPH guidelines for sports training sessions. This will also serve to provide our middle school students with some peer interaction in support of their social-emotional learning. 

Technology Tools and Resources for Learning

All students will be issued a device:

  • ECC: iPad for online students only
  • K-2nd Grade: iPad (2nd w/keyboard)
  • 3rd – 7th Grade: Chromebook
  • 8th Grade: MacBook

Teachers will use a variety of technology tools during the various learning modes this year. ECC will have a Google Site where information will be posted regularly.  K-8 will be using Google Classroom. To access Google Classroom you will need to use your student’s username and password.  Your child’s teacher will provide you with their Google account information. You may contact the tech department if you need support accessing their account.

There will be student and parent training on how to navigate these platforms when the school year begins.

ONLINE LEARNING

Students who will be online will join their Online Cohort live via Zoom. Each day students will have opportunities to meet with teachers, engage in both collaborative and independent work, and interact with their peers.  

Families must commit to Online Learning for a time period set by the school to allow for our maintaining the integrity of our on-campus cohorts. They will be responsible for the same work as the students who are on campus and held to the same classroom and school expectations (i.e., in school uniform, in a quiet learning space free from distractions, prepared with necessary materials, etc.). Online Learning will require flexibility on the part of parents, teachers, and students. This mode of learning is new for all parties. While not the same as being in the classroom, the use of digital tools such as Zoom and Google Classroom will provide an opportunity for students to participate in the community and feel a sense of belonging.

Additionally,  on campus learning may move into Online learning if an outbreak occurs on campus that requires specific cohorts or the entire school to move off campus or if the county or state mandates a school closure.

We have created an Online Learning schedule that most closely mirrors the regular school day for On-Campus Learning as much as possible. As we learned from spring 2020, the importance of connection and community while also teaching important academic concepts and skills, will guide the structure of the day.

A separate Online Learning guide and frequently asked questions are currently posted on the WNS website and describes the specific details, including sample schedules and parent and student expectations for both the Lower and Upper School experience.

HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS

We are entering this year in uncharted waters and trying to make it right for all parties involved; our teachers, our parents and our students. The only way we can be successful is if we as a community pull together and follow these essential guidelines and policies. If there are families that are unable or unwilling to follow these guidelines and policies, the school will move families to an online cohort at sole discretion of the school. 

Symptom Screening/Health Clearance

Students

Parents will receive a home screening prompt from Ruvna via text and/or email. You must take your child’s temperature, assess symptoms, answer a couple of questions, and submit before coming to campus. Please be prepared to show the QR code you receive upon arrival at school. Students with symptoms or who have had contact with a person who is known to be or could be positive for COVID-19 may not come to campus for this event. 

Please note: if a student exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and you believe this symptom is due to a baseline condition having nothing to do with COVID-19, please consult your family physician and provide the School Nurse with documentation in support of this. 

For air travel to any location, if anyone in the household, whether the student flies or not, the student must wait five calendar days from return and then have a PCR test done. If negative, they can return to school. If positive, please isolate, notify the school nurse at testresults@wns-la.org, follow the CDC Pathway for Symptom Exposure chart, and await further instruction.

Any form of travel (air, car, train, etc) to be in close contact with anyone outside of your household bubble, should follow the same precautions above.

If a household member contracts COVID-19, the student should quarantine away from the afflicted patient for 14 days. Any contact with the patient during that quarantine period restarts the quarantine time to zero. Please contact the school immediately upon receiving a positive COVID-19 test result. The student should transition to Online Learning during the quarantine period.

Faculty/Staff

All faculty and staff will also take temperatures at home and record symptoms through Ruvna to receive clearance to come on campus. Similarly, they will communicate any condition that requires them to stay home to the school nurse and HR. 

In addition, the School has organized a COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing program where all faculty and staff working on campus will be tested, at the School’s expense, every other week.

For air travel to any location, if anyone in the household, whether the faculty/staff member flies or not, the student must wait five calendar days from return and then have a PCR test done. If negative, they can return to school. If positive, please isolate, notify the school nurse at testresults@wns-la.org, follow the CDC Pathway for Symptom Exposure chart, and await further instruction.

Any form of travel (air, car, train, etc) to be in close contact with anyone outside of your household bubble, should follow the same precautions above.

Face Coverings

All students and adults must wear a clean mask while on campus. 

Masks must cover the bridge of the nose and chin. Students will be permitted to remove their masks while eating or drinking. Everyone must wear a mask while moving throughout the campuses. Double layered gaiters are allowed. Bandanas and masks with vents are not acceptable for use as masks while on campus. 

The school can provide clean bags for students to store their masks when they are not wearing them. Students should wear a mask at dismissal at the end of the day, and take all of their masks home each day for cleaning. Cloth face coverings should be cleaned nightly. Students are required to carry extra masks with them to school each day. Masks may not portray any images that other students may find frightening. Masks must be tasteful and age appropriate. Images of or language related to drugs or alcohol are not permitted. 

COVID-19: Considerations for Wearing Masks from the CDC

PPE for Faculty/Staff

All faculty/staff PPE is provided by WNS at no cost to the employee. All faculty and staff will have a variety of approved styles of face masks to select, including KN95’s. For more information, faculty and staff can refer to the internal “School Wide COVID-19 Policies and Protocols” document in the shared google drive.

Hand Hygiene

Automatic hand sanitizer dispensers are located at all three campus entrances. Bottles of hand sanitizer are available in all classrooms. Touchless sinks have been installed throughout the campus buildings to facilitate more frequent hand washing. 

Upon arrival at school and before entering the classroom, students will wash their hands or sanitize with school provided hand sanitizer. Students will be required to wash and sanitize their hands at regular intervals throughout the day, and will be instructed by teachers how to do so. Everyone must wash their hands before and after eating snacks or lunch. Students (and faculty/staff) will sanitize their hands before they leave the classroom at any time, and they will sanitize their hands again before entering any classroom or learning space. Students will be instructed on proper handwashing and monitored while doing so. Everyone will wash or sanitize their hands after coughing and sneezing. Teachers will remind students to avoid touching their faces.

Arrival & Departure Protocols

Students

To avoid crowding, students will arrive and depart at staggered times by grade level. If a family has more than one child, they may bring their children together at the arrival time for the child scheduled to arrive earliest.

Upon arrival at the designated lot, a staff member will open the car door for your child and their temperature will be scanned before being directed to their outdoor meeting place. Parents will also display the QR code from the Ruvna health screening before the child exits the vehicle. Everyone in the car (over the age of 2) should be masked at all times.

Please do NOT park and walk your child in. Parents or drivers should remain in the vehicle and are not permitted to wait on campus.  At the pick-up time, return to the same location. Everyone in the car (over the age of 2) should be masked at all times.

Faculty/Staff

If cleared to come on campus, all K-8 faculty/staff will check in with security at 5401 regardless of final destination. ECC faculty/staff will check in with security at the 12901 ECC gate. Teachers and all adults entering the ECC campus will have their temperature taken upon arrival. Once inside the building, faculty/staff will wash hands and head directly to the classroom or office. 

Physical Distancing & Paths of Travel

ECC and Kindergarten classrooms have student activity centers spaced apart within the classrooms as well as dedicated outdoor classroom space. All 1st-8th grade classrooms now have individual student desks, which have been spaced at least six feet apart. All desks in 1st-8th grade classrooms have also been equipped with 3-sided plexiglass shields

All school events—such as assemblies—will be held virtually and generally attended by students from their classrooms or from home by those learning at home.

Floors throughout the hallways are marked every six feet to help remind students to maintain physical spacing when lining up and moving through the halls. Stairwells have been designated for up and down to help manage physical spacing outside the classrooms.

  • Upstairs 5401 (2nd-4th Grade) 
    • All faculty/staff/students travel counterclockwise 
    • All faculty/staff/students travel down the stairs by the lift only 
    • All faculty/staff/students travel up the stairs in the ACE hallway only 
  • Downstairs 5401 (Kindergarten-1st Grade) 
    • All faculty/staff/students travel counterclockwise 
  • *Front Desk stairs – down and up; one at a time; please do not use with students

Restrooms 

  • Upstairs 5401 (2nd-4th Grade) 
    • 2Y – restroom in ACE hallway 
    • 2X –  restroom by Joanne’s Office 
    • 3rd and 4th Grade – restroom upstairs 5401 
  • Downstairs 5401 (Kindergarten-1st Grade) 
    • KX – restroom in KX 
    • KY and KZ – restroom by Joanne’s Office 
    • 1st Grade – restroom by Joanne’s Office 
  • Recess 
    • Students should use the restroom designated for their cohort

Snack, Recess & Lunch Protocols

ECC:

Students will eat lunch outside to maximize physical distancing and ventilation when they aren’t wearing masks. Students will bring their lunch to school in a freshly laundered or disposable container. Students will remove their face covering while seated to eat lunch and snack and then replace it with a clean one after. Tables will be sanitized both before and after the children sit down and hands will be thoroughly washed both before and after eating. 

K-8:

Snack will be outside and in large spaces so students can maintain six feet of distance between themselves and other people. Students will play games on the playground that allow for the appropriate distance and limit exertion. All students will bring lunch to school in a disposable container on a daily basis. Lunch schedules will be created to allow students to eat outdoors several days a week and keep appropriately separated. Students will remove their face coverings while seated to eat lunch and snack. Students will wash their hands before and after eating lunch. 

Safely Re-Entering at Home

Upon returning home for an added precaution, remove and leave your shoes outside the home. We recommend children remove their school clothes for washing; wash their hands after doing so. It is highly recommended that children then take a bath or shower before reengaging in home life. While COVID-19 transmission through contact is not considered a primary pathway, it is possible and these measures provide another barrier to inadvertent transmission.

COVID-19 Symptoms and/or Exposure in Our Community

If a student or faculty/staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, we will isolate them in the Nurse’s office, send them home immediately, and ask them to get a test for COVID-19. The class/cohort will remain at school.

Click here for the CDC Pathway for Symptom Exposure chart. Click here for the LACDPH COVID-19 symptom and advice webpage.

If that person tests positive for COVID-19, the class or cohort will be sent home or told to remain at home to quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the afflicted person. The school, through the HR Director, will contact trace to identify all potential contacts.  Those who are healthy can participate in online learning with their cohort and their teacher. Everyone in this cohort will be urged to test for COVID-19. However, two negative test results can shorten the 14-day quarantine period. The classroom and any areas where the afflicted spent significant time will be closed and disinfected and rigorously cleaned. The school will notify the county public health department and initiate contact tracing. Click here for LACDPH guidelines on isolation. Click here for home quarantine information from the LACDPH. Click here for the CDC infographic of this process.

If that person tests negative for COVID-19, the cohort remains at school and proceeds as usual. The symptomatic person may return to school three days after the symptoms resolve.

If a student or faculty/staff member has close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, that person will be sent home immediately. They must quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the afflicted person. 

The school will recommend testing for COVID-19. In this case, a negative test will not shorten the quarantine period. The rest of the class can remain on campus. The quarantined but healthy student should participate in online learning.

If 5% of the Westside Neighborhood School students and faculty and staff participating in On-Campus Learning test positive for COVID-19, the entire school will move to online learning for a period of time determined in conjunction with Los Angeles County Public Health officials. Similarly, if multiple cohorts within the school have moved to online learning such that the school either has staffing issues or believes a spread is occurring because of positive COVID-19 members, the school will announce a move to online learning.

A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

Ventilation

The school confirmed with its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company that the school’s system has increased the amount of outside air intake rather than recirculating air throughout the building. The school upgraded the HVAC filters to MERV 14 filters. In addition, the school installed bipolar ionization filters in all HVAC vents to further eliminate pathogens as well as deliver ionized air to the classroom where this air continues to neutralize pathogens. 

As much as possible, the school will leave all doors and windows open to provide maximum fresh air ventilation. It is also adding portable air purification units to various locations in the school building on an as needed basis. The school has installed large tents and installed them in outdoor areas on all three campus buildings to provide additional covered outdoor learning and recreational spaces.

Cleaning

WNS has hired additional day porters to provide frequent cleaning of all high touch areas throughout the school day on all three campus buildings. This includes wiping down high touch surfaces such as faucets, door handles, tables, and cleaning the restrooms. 

Frequently used and high-touch surfaces will be cleaned at regular intervals throughout the school day. The cleaning service will also clean again at the end of the day. 

The school has installed disinfecting door mats at all campus entrances, ECC and K-8,  to disinfect the shoes of all faculty and students who enter the school buildings in order to limit the inadvertent transfer of COVID-19 into the school. 

The school has purchased electrostatic sprayers and UV lights for deep cleaning and sanitation of all classroom and common use areas. 

Drinking fountains on campus have been disabled. Water bottle filling stations remain.

As often as possible, students will spend time outdoors for recess, P.E., and for small and large group instruction.

Visitors and volunteers will not be permitted on campus. Anyone entering the building to provide a necessary service must complete a Ruvna health screening on their mobile device, including an on-site temperature check.

School Additions to Support a Healthy Environment

  • iPads have been provided to all K-2 students as well as to all ECC students opting for distance learning
  • Chromebooks have been provided to all 3rd-7th graders for us on and off campus
  • Macbooks have been provided to all 8th grade students for use on and off campus
  • Additional classroom supplies ordered so that students will not have to share any supplies
  • Single desks with plexiglass shields for every 1st-8th grade classroom; well-spaced activity tables in ECC & kindergarten
  • Additional associate teachers in K-5 to facilitate instruction and reduce the need for substitute teachers
  • An additional day porter to clean high-touch surfaces throughout the day
  • Additional touchless hand washing stations so that students and teachers can wash their hands with soap and water on the playground
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations
  • Additional plexiglass in office areas
  • Upgraded HVAC filters (MERV 14)
  • Installation of bi-polar air purification systems added to all HVAC systems
  • Portable air purifiers made available
  • Signage in the hallways and around campus to facilitate one-way traffic patterns, mark appropriate physical distancing, and reminders to wear masks, wash hands and act safely and responsibly.

Health Office

Both health offices will coordinate daily health screenings for students and faculty and staff. Additionally, the health office will attend to minor health issues as well as medication distribution. To support infection control, a separate isolation room has been added to both nurses offices for members of the community who exhibit fever and/or COVID-19 symptoms. 

GLOSSARY & RESOURCES

Glossary

SYMPTOMS – signs of possible infection. These include fever, coughing, loss of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing. For a complete list of symptoms, please visit the CDC website.

HOUSEHOLD MEMBER — anyone living in the home or working in the home on a regular basis, such as a nanny or housekeeper 

QUARANTINE — quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. 

DISTANCE LEARNING MODEL — where the student’s entire class or cohort is off-campus and teachers teach through Zoom and offer asynchronous instruction via other platforms such as Seesaw, Google, etc.

FACE COVERING — any face covering, including face shield, mask, and neck gaiter. When mask or gaiter are specified, a shield without a mask or gaiter is not sufficient. 

Resources