Covid 19 – Update #16

Dear SDFAS Community,

We hope this message finds everyone in good health, raised spirits and excited to participate in our SDFAS virtual gala solidarity event this coming Friday through Sunday. More information will follow later this afternoon in the Journal du Gala. In the present update, we would like to share important enrollment and financial information, including a high-level vision for what reopening the campus might look like.

Campus Reopening Task Force

For the past several weeks, we have been working hard to plan the infra-structure, procedures and staff necessary for reopening the campus respecting physical distancing requirements, avoiding intermingling among groups and increasing health monitoring, hygiene and sanitation. Our scenarios are based on public health guidelines released thus far by the CDC, state and local authorities; input from various experts; best practices learned from other countries and schools; and projected enrollment levels. The school does anticipate some drop in enrollment and, while our plan will result in increased costs to the school, SDFAS will continue to provide an exceptional bilingual program that is safe for students, faculty and families. The school will very likely limit 2020-2021 enrollment to ensure safety via necessary physical distancing of students.  Knowing enrollment numbers will be very important for our planning.

Possible End-of-School-Year Pilot Program in Pre-Elementary and/or Elementary

In anticipation of a full re-opening next year, we are investigating a pilot program on campus in Pre-Elementary and/or Elementary that would take place at the end of May or early June. This may be possible if confinement orders, health conditions and governmental regulations allow (at both the state and county levels). We will keep you posted on these plans.

 High-Level Overview of Campus Reopening Plan for 2020-2021

The school administration anticipates reopening the campus in a manner that ensures academic excellence and balanced bilingualism within the context of a full-day, full-week on-campus for all enrolled students. The SDFAS plan will involve, among other elements:

  • Physical distancing protocols following CDC, state and county guidelines for specific age groups

  • Avoidance of intermingling among class groups and exposure to a limited number of teachers

  • Enhanced sanitation, hygiene and disinfection frequency, methods and protocols

  • Adoption of health screening procedures (e.g. temperature checks)

  • Adoption of new protocols to mitigate risks: wearing of masks and/or face shields, frequent hand washing, special procedures for drop-off, pick-up, snack, recess and lunch

  • Staggering of student arrival and departure

  • Extreme limiting of parents and visitors on campus

We will also have a framework for when and how to transition individuals, classes or the whole school to remote learning, if needed. Let’s all hope this will not be the case.

Re-enrollment Deadline for 2020-2021 

To properly plan for the infra-structure and staff needed next year, we need clarity on enrollment numbers by grade.  To ensure your child(ren)’s place in the school, it is essential to complete your re-enrollment agreement(s) by June 1, 2020. June 1 enrollment numbers will be the basis for classroom space and social distancing planning. After that date we will no longer be in a position to guarantee spaces for late enrollment of returning students or new applicants. Following the June 1 cut-off date, space permitting, we will accept qualified students on a first come, first served basis.

Important Re-Enrollment Information for 2020-2021

  • Enrollment for 2020-2021. Please re-enroll as soon as possible and by June 1 at the latest.

  • Late Enrollment Fee. Re-enrollment without paying a $250 per-student late fee must occur by June 1.

  • Withdrawal. Enrollment contract withdrawal without a full 2020-2021 tuition obligation must occur by June 1 (less $1,000 per child deposit retained by the school).

  • Tuition and Fees. The school will maintain but not announce a further increase in tuition and fees for 2020-2021.

  • Plan A: One Payment. The one-time upfront tuition payment will be processed on June 1 ($200 discount).

  • Plan B: Two Payments, July and November. The first payment will be processed on July 6.

  • Plan C: Ten Payments, July to April. The first payment will be processed on July 6 (additional $250 FACTs management fee).

  • Late Financial Aid Requests. Applications for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year are at this point processed on a rolling basis until funds are depleted. Please see the website (Financial Aid) for further details or contact our Director of Enrollment Management, Isabelle Gilet, at igilet@sdfrenchschool.org.

 Delay of Spanish Rollout in PK-5 for 2020-2021

Due to scheduling and other Covid-19 related constraints including minimizing shared teachers, the school has decided to delay for a year the rollout of our new Spanish program in grades PK-5. We do anticipate implementing this exciting curricular program in the 2021-2022 school year.

Last Day of School for 2019-2020

The last day of school has been moved forward to Friday, June 12th for all students. Teachers will need extra time to wrap up this very particular school year, engage in preparations for 2020-2021, and participate in a number of important training sessions and  conversations about the future.

Virtual End-of-Year Ceremonies

Graduation for both eighth graders and kindergarten students will occur on June 12th in special virtual formats that we are working hard to finalize. These important school traditions are being re-designed to be as meaningful as they can be given current confinement conditions. Students, faculty and parents have all offered input.

Summer Camps

We continue to anticipate virtual summer camps to commence the week of June 22nd. We are planning attractive options that provide maximum choice and flexibility for families. Plans will be in place to hold the first few weeks of camp virtually (and all seven weeks if necessary) and remaining weeks on-campus if public health conditions and governmental regulations allow.

Monday, May 11th:  No School

As previously announced before April Break, we are now operating a four-day week on alternate weeks. Accordingly, there is no school tomorrow May 11th. The day can be used for rest or as a catch-up day for students and teachers. The other days off in the modified calendar are:

  • Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day)

  • Friday, June 5th.

Zoom Password for the Week of May 11th – 15th

The school-wide password for the upcoming week will be 055602. Please take note.

The faculty, staff and administration miss all of you and your children. We very much look forward to a return to campus and sense of restored normalcy. The administration and Board of Trustees, in collaboration with the faculty and staff, are working tirelessly to make this happen as soon as conditions permit. We remain grateful for the role each of you plays within our special school community.

We wish all of you a very warm Mother’s Day. Let’s pause to honor the individuals who are most important in our lives.

With unwavering commitment to our school’s mission,

Mark Rosenblum, Head of School

Kyndra Leach, Chair of the Board of Trustees