Click for Required CDPH Covid-19 Documents:

Message to the SDFAS Community and Prospective Families

A year ago, our lives were turned upside down. Faced with extreme uncertainty, SDFAS families placed their trust and confidence in us. Undaunted, the school responded with creativity, clarity of vision and the courage to act. SDFAS will be remembered as one of very few schools in San Diego able to offer its FULL-DAY FULL-WEEK PROGRAM on CAMPUS for ALL STUDENTS – from first day of the school year. At the same time, the school’s expertly designed distance learning programs have been highly successful and well received. Whatever lies ahead, SDFAS remains unwavering in its commitment to deliver an exceptional bilingual education within a vibrant international community preparing students to become confident, responsible and engaged global citizens.

COVID-delayed “Spanish for all” program expansion coming in 2021-22!

From bilingual to multilingual, SDFAS is thrilled to announce the expansion of its Spanish-as-a-third language program to all students in PK0-Grade 8. As of the 2021-22 school year, the implementation of a new and carefully articulated PK0-Grade 4 sequence will subsequently feed into a redesign of the school’s existing Spanish sequence in Middle School. ¡Español para todos – vamos!

SDFAS Response to Covid-19:  Bold, decisive, and with a focus on core values

Early on in the school’s response and reopening planning meetings, the Board, Head of School and Senior Leadership aligned behind a singular strategy grounded in what we as a school deeply believe about education in the world of today and tomorrow. Pandemic or no pandemic, we must mobilize all of our resources to continue to offer – to the greatest extent of our abilities – an education that best prepares young people to be healthy, confident, responsible and engaged global citizens. This meant unanimous agreement to commit to two things and then make them happen:  (1) reopen the campus with the greatest conceivable risk-mitigation protocols in place (2) offer an exceptional bilingual distance learning program tailored to the needs of each division and grade level.

  1. Successful transition to distance learning (virtually overnight) in March 2020, implementation of common remote teaching and learning platforms school wide (Seesaw in PK-Kindergarten and Google Classroom in Grades 1-8); expansion of one-to-one Chromebook cloud computing program down to 3rd grade; immediate acquisition of additional technology needed to ensure high quality distance learning programs in each division; time, resources, coaching, support and ongoing training for teachers in best practices.
  2. Response and reopening planning teams working from a set of guiding principles with vision and direction grounded in patience, clarity of thought, deep collaboration and respect for all ideas and voices, and a total commitment to the school’s mission, core values and identity.
  3. Break-through real estate deal and ambitious campus-wide summer renovation plan executed on time and on schedule.
  4. Meticulous re-opening plan (leaving no stone unturned) submitted to the County and waiver approval to open in grades PK-6 as of August, 2020.
  5. Creative all-school master schedule for arrival, departure, recess, lunch and after school activities accommodate for health screening as well as staggered start, end, lunch and recess times across three different school divisions.
  6. Innovative academic schedules allowing for a comprehensive distance learning program to seamlessly co-exist alongside in-person, directed study and hybrid learning models.
  7. Thoughtful and carefully considered Covid-19 response and communication protocols that strike a balance between risk-averse and risk-tolerant mindsets.
  8. Totally reimagined design and use of space. Quite simply, we tackled the physical distancing challenge by DOUBLING the size of every single classroom in K-3. And, we immediately negotiated a deal (May 2020) to acquire and renovate an entirely new campus zone, without which we would not have been able to welcome back all interested students to the campus for in-person learning.
  9. Common sense Covid-19 campus installations, such as outdoor classrooms (tents), outdoor banks of sinks (for more efficient hand washing), additional outdoor recess spaces (notably for the Preschool), the purchase of a lightweight portable “surf desk” for every single student in K-8 allowing for safe outdoor eating or classwork at any time; and air filtering (MERV13 or HEPA) / air ionization devices in every on-campus space).
  10. Mandatory PCR screen testing for all on-campus persons with 48-hour results turnaround implemented by SDFAS prior to Thanksgiving 2020  (with swabbing by an 8-person administrative team conducted on campus, every week, and at no cost to families (thanks to a special partnership with the EXCITE Lab at UCSD and SDFAS as one of six early program adopters in all of San Diego County).

SDFAS – La Jolla Light Press Coverage

November 14, 2020  “Who’s learning on campus and who isn’t? Data show private-public school divide in San Diego County” 

November 11, 2020  ” ‘We can make it work’: UC San Diego lab bringing low-cost testing to local schools” 

August 31, 2020  “Back to school, online and on campus: Local public and private schools welcome students in different ways”

August 28, 2020  “Back to school in baby steps: La Jolla private schools prepare for return to campus”

August 20, 2020  “5 La Jolla private schools get county waiver approval to reopen”

June 19, 2020      “Back to school: La Jolla campuses prepare to welcome students back in August”

Return to Campus – Document Review & Required Acknowledgement Form

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM (Parents must print, sign and return by PDF or hard copy to SDFAS prior to your student’s return to campus.)

The acknowledgement form certifies that you have reviewed and agree to abide by all that is set forth in the following documents:

  • Covid-19 Prevention & Reopening Plan: click here
  • Parent-Student Handbook 2020-2021 (Revised and Updated): click here
  • Covid-19 Addendum to Parent-Student Handbook: click here
  • Acceptable Use Policy (Technology) – Grades 3-8 only: click here
  • Overview of the 1-1 Chromebook Program – Grades 3-8 only: click here

Return to Campus – Videos

  • Video of Drop Off – Preschool (click here)
  • Video of Drop Off – Kindergarten (click here)    
  • Video of Drop Off – 1st & 2nd Grade (click here)
  • Video of Drop Off – 3rd – 8th Grade (click here)
  • Video of the Campus – “Socially Distanced Spaces” (click here)

Return to Campus – Logistics

  • Staggered Arrival/Dismissal – Preschool (click here)
  • Sign-In Procedure using Procare – Preschool (click here)
  • Staggered Arrival/Dismissal – Elementary & Middle School (click here)
  • Daily Schedule – Preschool, Kindergarten & Elementary (click here)
  • Daily Schedule – Middle School

First Days Back on Campus – How Did It Go?

During our first week back on campus we experienced better-than-anticipated success with:

  • Staggered arrival and dismissal at multiple campus entry points
  • Passive and active screening procedures (Magnus Health app)
  • Staggered recess and lunch periods
  • Lunch outside: use of “surf desks” (click here) (one for every single K-6 student)
  • Required mask-wearing for students in K-8 with designated outdoor “mask free” zones for temporary breaks from them
  • Hand washing / hand sanitizing habits & routines                     
  • Physical distancing practices, campus circulation plan, & campus signage
  • Disinfection campus-wide of high-touch surfaces
  • Enhanced sanitation (increase from one custodial worker to three…)
  • Fresh air circulation & other HVAC/air quality enhancement

SDFAS Parent Connect forum

As parents, we may well feel the need to connect with each other during this prolonged period of uncertainty. Let’s share what is working for us and our families and how we’ve overcome challenges as we adapt to the current situation. Others among us might then benefit from any tips or advice. Happy posting! Click here to enter the SDFAS Parent Connect Forum.

Financial Challenges During COVID-19 Crisis

We recognize that this unusual period will create financial challenges for multiple businesses and for some families.  The school is therefore making available special financial aid for families experiencing hardship due to loss of income as a result of the Covid-19 crisis (application available here). The school will also give pro-rata credit for unused after-school activities, extended care packages, clubs, trips, transport and Girard Gourmet meals at the end of the calendar year. However, because the school continues to operate virtually and to incur all the costs of teacher salaries and the campus, we are not in a position to offer tuition refunds.


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

Communication Archive

Head of School’s Written Updates 2020 – 2021

Head of School’s Video Messages 2019-2020

Head of School’s Written Updates 2019-2020

Covid-19 Resources

Please find below the resources and updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic that we have shared with our community since January 2020 as well as news and information about the spread of Covid-19 in our city, state, nationwide and worldwide.

Mindset During Coronavirus Social Distancing

General Resources

Ressources en Français

Pedagogical Resources for Parents

Covid-19 Prevention, Response & Reopening –  Planning Teams


  • Meet regularly in-person or by Zoom
  • Conduct research, plan, prepare and respond as needed
  • Designate responsibilities and establish timelines and priorities
  • Ensure information sharing between Board and Administration
  • Make decisions collaboratively and/or with consultation
  • Provide regular updates to the community

Guiding Principles

  • Reopen in the safest way feasible while at the same time maintaining a steadfast commitment to our school’s mission and core values
  • The health, safety and wellbeing of students, employees and families come first and take priority over everything else
  • Prefer in-person on-campus learning when permitted by local authorities and at the same time offer a high quality distance learning program
  • Act, educate, and communicate with clarity, respect and transparency
  • Be flexible, creative and adaptable.

Board Level Covid-19 Emergency Response Team

  • Mark Rosenblum, Head of School
  • Emmanuel Poulain, Director of Finance & Operations
  • Kyndra Leach, Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Fernanda Coelho, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Peter Westlake, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees
  • Etienne Chaponnière, Secretary of the Board of Trustees
  • Janice Murabayashi, Trustee

Administrative Level Covid-19 Prevention & Reopening Task Force

  • Mark Rosenblum, Head of School
  • Emmanuel Poulain, Director of Finance & Operations
  • Isabelle Gilet, Director of Enrollment Management, Marketing & Communications
  • Francis Carlier, Director of Elementary
  • Marion Addo, Middle School Coordinator
  • Sophie Ricouard, Academic Director of Pre-Elementary
  • Babeth Esterly, Administrative Director of Pre-Elementary
  • Anna Forester, RN, School Nurse PK-8

Covid-19 Risk Mitigation Consultation Team  (Public Health, Medical, Legal, Technology)

  • Francesca Torriani MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at UCSD (Former SDFAS Trustee & Parent)
  • Hala Madanat, Vice President for Research and former Director of the School of Public Health at SDSU (SDFAS Parent)
  • Lisa Lowe Hiller MD MPH FACEP, Emergency Physician & Clinical Instructor at UCSD Health, VA San Diego & Sharp Memorial (SDFAS Parent)
  • Alexis Nahama DVM, SVP – Corporate Development at Sorrento Therapeutics & President – Art Animal Health (SDFAS Trustee & Parent) 
  • Ellin M. Ruffner, LCSW, Disaster Mental Health Manager, American Red Cross, Retired Clinical Social Worker
  • Kurt Oreshack ESQ, Partner at Breakwater Law Group, LLP with expertise in life sciences, healthcare & biotechnology (SDFAS Trustee & Parent)
  • Artun Kutchuk, Product Management at Alexa Artificial Intelligence developed by Amazon (SDFAS Trustee & Parent)