COVID-19 FAQ

This page is updated on a real-time basis. If you have a question that has not been addressed here, please feel free to submit one using this webform. 

Updated November 19, 2020

TEA’s COVID-19 FAQ is based on up to date scientific information from the health departments listed below:

1) Center for Disease Control (CDC)

2) COVID19.CA.GOV

3) Placer County Department of Health


Important Note: Confidentiality is Critical

All personal health information the school will collect and use to make decisions will remain confidential.


General Information and Resources

Where does TEA get its information?

TEA Leadership continues to work with local agencies like the Placer County Health Department as well as follow County, State and CDC Guidelines to create and update its policies and procedures.

Federal Guidance

CDC Guidelines for Schools

CDC Mask Guidelines

State Guidance

CA Governor’s Pandemic Plan for Learning and Safe Schools

CDPH School Reopening Recommendations

CA DOE School Reopening Recommendations

CA Mask Requirements

How often does TEA update its policies?

TEA Leadership and COVID TEAm will continue to adapt and iterate throughout the year as new guidance and information becomes available.

Are we subject to Federal, California and Placer County Mandates and Guidelines?

As an independent school, we are not required to follow guidance from the CA Department of Education. However, we are required to follow county and state orders such as Governor Newsom’s plan which lays out the requirements for safe reopening of all schools both public and private. Tahoe Expedition Academy is located in Placer County, and adheres to the mandates issued by the Placer County Department of Health.

What will the school do if/when Placer County moves to different tiers?

On Monday, November 16, the Governor held a press conference on the State’s response to COVID-19. Here is a brief summary of the main changes that were made to the tiered system in a Blueprint for a Safer Economy:

– Tier assignments may occur any day of the week (vs. on Tuesdays) and may occur more than once a week.

– Counties may be moved back more than one tier based on the rate of increase in new cases and/or test positivity, public health capacity, and other epidemiological factors.

– Counties are required to implement any sector changes the day following the tier announcement (vs. 72 hours).

Schools like TEA that have reopened for in-person instruction are not required to close if their county moves back to the Widespread (purple) tier. TEA is committed to remaining open for in person learning in both Red and Purple Tiers, unless we have community spread and/or other pertinent information that would require us to close in person instruction.


School Precautions

What precautions is the school taking to address this situation and be as proactive as possible?

  • Daily Health Screening for all families, faculty and staff
  • Temperature checks upon arrival for all students, faculty and staff
  • Students interact primarily with their grade and/or grade band cohorts 
  • Rotating on campus schedule to reduce or stagger on campus numbers during the week
  • Physical distancining policies and procedures on campus
  • Increase personnel for and frequency of cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Updated air filtration systems and units for indoor learning
  • Working with experts to continue to improve facilities to the maximum extent possible.
  • Providing a variety of programming options for students, families and staff to meet as many people as possible where they are.
  • Ongoing consultation with medical experts, county health officials, legal, HR and other experts as needed.
  • Communication protocols with faculty, staff and families, including ongoing updates to our policies, procedures and protocols as the situation develops.
  • Increased staffing to better accommodate for a variety of parent, learner and safety needs.

Information About Cases, Exposure, Contact and Action Steps by the School

What is Case Investigation for COVID? 

Case investigation is the process of working with a person (patient) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to discuss their test result, understand their symptom history and health status, and provide instructions and support for self-isolation and symptom monitoring. This interaction is the first step to review the activity history of the person diagnosed with COVID-19, while infectious, and identify people (contacts) who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Will the school conduct a Case Investigation?

Yes. With our daily screening for all students and staff and our communication protocols, the school will continue to track, investigate and assess any COVID related illnesses on a daily basis. The family of a student exposed to someone with COVID, or assumed to be exposed, will be contacted by an assigned school administrator. The administrator will check on the well being of the individual exposed, contact trace within the school community, and follow next health steps, as guided by the Placer County Department of Health. Health information shared during this process will remain confidential and will only be shared with the Placer County Department of Health.

Will the school report a positive case to Placer County?

Yes. The school is in ongoing contact with local agencies and will report positive cases to the Placer County Department of Health.

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing: Contact tracing is the subsequent identification, monitoring, and support of a confirmed or probable case’s close contacts who have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus. The infected patient’s identity is not discussed with contacts, even if asked. All information shared during this process is confidential and will not be disclosed (except to Placer County Department of Health as required). 

Will the school conduct contact tracing?

Yes. The school will continue to do its best to track each person’s whereabouts while on campus via carefully monitoring who is on campus, daily attendance, assigning designated areas for cohorts to utilize and potentially other tools that are being researched.

The school has created contact tracing maps to determine with whom faculty and staff operate in close contact on a day to day basis. This information will help the school do its best to isolate cohorts and cases, so as to keep as much of the school open for in person learning as possible.

What is the most up to date definition of ‘close contact’ with someone who has COVID-19? 

As updated by the CDC on October 23, 2020, a close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

  • Am I considered close contact if I am wearing a mask?

Yes, you are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a mask while you were around someone with COVID-19. Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected, and not to protect you from becoming infected.

  • If I am in close contact with someone, should I get tested? 

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should be tested, even if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and report the results to the school. 

While you are waiting for your COVID-19 test result, stay home away from others (self-quarantine) and monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 to protect your friends, family, and others from possibly getting COVID-19.

If your test is positive, you should continue to stay home and self-isolate away from others and monitor your health. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and they worsen or become severe, you should seek emergency medical care. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face. Someone from the health department may call you to

    • Check on your health,
    • Discuss who you have been around, and
    • Ask where you have spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others.

If your test is negative and you don’t have symptoms, you should continue to stay home and self-quarantine away from others for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19 and follow all recommendations from the health department. This is important because symptoms can appear up to 14 days after you’ve been exposed and are infected. A negative result before the end of your quarantine period does not rule out possible infection. Additionally, you do not need a repeat test unless you develop symptoms, or if you require a test to return to work.

If your test is negative and you have symptoms, you should continue to self-quarantine away from others for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19 and follow all recommendations from the health department. Additional medical consultation and a second test may be needed if your symptoms do not improve.

  • What if I have been around or in contact with someone identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID?

If you have been around someone who was identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19, closely monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. You do not need to self-quarantine unless you develop symptoms or if the person identified as a close contact develops COVID-19.

In the event of a positive case for COVID in the TEA community, what steps will the school take? 

The school will conduct a Case Investigation that includes the following steps:

1) Communicate directly with anyone in the TEA community suspected to be in close contact with the person who tested positive for COVID to see how they are doing and ask them to follow these steps: 

 – If in close contact, the individual will be quarantined for 14 days from the date of exposure.

 – Get tested and report back the test to the school as soon as possible.

2) Communicate with the impacted cohort/s, and if necessary the entire TEA community, regarding the situation, keeping all health information confidential.

3) Communicate with the Placer County Department of Health and report the case as well as those in close contact. Placer County Public Health will coordinate to do contact tracing outside of school.

4) Contact trace the incident and determine the amount of closure needed at the school and communicate with the community as soon as possible.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: All of these steps are situationally dependent. The school’s COVID Task Team will conduct contact tracing and make a determination as soon as possible. Also, since we are working with Placer County Health Department, who is contact tracing outside of school, this effort may or may not affect the school’s decision to close certain cohorts or the entire campus.

Will the entire school close in person learning if there is one positive COVID case?

  • When the school can confidently isolate the case and close contact to a particular cohort, then the school will only shut down that cohort. 
  • When we need more time to contact trace and the school cannot confidently isolate the positive case and/or those in close contact to a particular cohort, then the school will close in person instruction for a 14 day period OR until we can contact trace and reopen certain cohorts OR until those in close contact report back a negative test, whichever comes first. Those in close contact will need to complete a 14 day quarantine period even with a negative test, regardless, according to CDC guidelines.

In the event of positive COVID case or close contact COVID-19 exposure, what should the person do?

Anyone in our community who either tests positive or has had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID should report this information to the school as soon as possible to administration@tahoeexpeditionacademy.org. The name of the individual who tested positive will not be revealed to protect their private health information. 

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over the course of a 24 hr period.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

How long does a person who has been in close contact to a positive COVID case quarantine?  

14 days after the last contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

What if someone in my household has COVID?

Those living in a household with someone who has tested positive for COVID, must report this to school as soon as possible to administration@tahoeexpeditionacademy.org. The quarantine period would last 14 days from the date of when the COVID positive person’s 14 day quarantine period is over. 

In the event of direct COVID-19 exposure, how will the school adjust its in person learning operations? 

Students who are at home for the 14 day quarantine period can participate in learning virtually by contacting their Crew Leader directly. Staff members will work virtually / remotely for the designated amount of time.

After recovering from COVID-19, when is it safe to be around others and return to school? 

The below qualifications must be met in order to physically return to school. 

  • 14 days of quarantine has passed and
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​

Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.

Note that these recommendations do not apply to persons with severe COVID-19 or with severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised). These persons should follow the guidance below for “I was severely ill with COVID-19 or have a severely weakened immune system (immunocompromised) due to a health condition or medication. When can I be around others?”


Testing Info and Resources

Does the school mandate testing for students?

No, the school does not mandate testing for its students or families. However, as per the CDC recommendation, the school recommends anyone in close contact with a positive COVID case get tested. 

If the school does receive negative tests from all close contacts, as tracked in our Case Investigation process, then it can reopen other cohorts more quickly than waiting for the entire 14 day quarantine period. 

Those who classify as close contacts must complete the required 14 day quarantine period.

Will the school conduct on-demand testing?

Yes. We have secured a nurse who will help us conduct on-demand self-administered tests to expedite our process.

Will the school conduct regular testing for community members and/or staff?

Yes, the school is working on conducting testing on campus for community members and staff every two weeks. Staff will be expected to get tested on a regular basis, so we can expedite our contact tracing process.

Where should I get tested? 

In addition to our regular testing schedule and on-demand testing on campus, there are a number of options for our families and staff, including, but not limited to:

What kind of testing will the school conduct?

TEA offers Lyra SARS-CoV-2 Assay testing. Which is a real-time RT-PCR assay intended for the in vitro qualitative detection of human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 from viral RNA extracted from nasal, nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) swab specimens from patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

The Assay targets the non-structural Polyprotein (pp1ab) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The authorized testing consists of nucleic acid extraction on the bioMerieux NucliSENS® easyMAG® system or EMAG system, followed by RT-PCR on one of six thermocyclers: Applied Biosystems® 7500 Fast Dx, Applied Biosystems 7500 Standard, QuantStudioTM Real-Time PCR Instrument, Roche LightCycler® 480, BioRad CFX96 Touch, or Qiagen Rotor-Gene Q.


How to Protect Yourself and Others

Know How COVID Spreads – The CDC updated COVID transmission data on October 28, 2020,    click here details. 

COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, mainly by the following routes:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings or talks.
    • Respiratory droplets cause infection when they are inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, such as those that line the inside of the nose and mouth.
  • People who are infected but do not have symptoms can also spread the virus to others.

Less common ways COVID-19 can spread

  • Under certain circumstances (for example, when people are in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation), COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission.
  • COVID-19 spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Everyone Should

Wash Hands Often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • It’s especially important to wash:
  • Before eating or preparing food
  • Before touching your face
  • After using the restroom
  • After leaving a public place
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling your mask
  • After changing a diaper
  • After caring for someone sick
  • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and Disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Monitor Your Health Daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
  • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

What physical distancing and other procedures can reduce the risk of disease transmission in schools and other community settings? 

  • Minimizing the number of people who come into contact with each other. 
  • Maximizing the physical distance between people. 
  • Reducing the time that people spend in close proximity to others. 
  • Measures to minimize dispersion of droplets and aerosols (e.g., using face coverings and covering coughs and sneezes). 

*Public health experts have generally recommended that these all be used collectively where possible.

Why is it important to wear a face mask? 

Face masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when face masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, hosting learning, adventures and other activities outdoors, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. 

In line with the State of California requirements for public spaces and gatherings, we must ensure that face masks (cloth, 2 ply minimum, no exhaust valves) or surgical masks are utilized or we must prohibit entry to premises. A face mask may not completely protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others. 

What kind of mask should you wear?

According to the CDC, most people should wear a cloth mask or face coverings.

  • Wear masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Do not wear masks intended for healthcare workers, like an N95 respirator.
  • The CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields. The CDC is still evaluating them and their effectiveness is unknown. 

Are face shields allowed and permitted in lieu of approved masks? 

Face shields are not permitted, unless worn with an approved face mask as well. It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for masks. 

Clear face masks (not shields) are available to teachers who need these to ensure proper learning, especially for younger readers learning to read. 

How do you wear your face mask correctly?

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • CDC does not recommend use of masks or cloth masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent

When are face masks required on campus?

  • While arriving and departing from the school campus.
  • In any area outside of the classroom (except when eating, drinking, or instructed to by a teacher during outside, physically distanced, learning time).
  • Everyone must use face masks when inside the classroom even if they are in a classroom cohort. 
  • Students may voluntarily wear a face shield in addition to a mask as long as it does not interfere with the learning environment. 
  • According to the California Department of Health face masks are required when individuals are in the high risk situations found in “Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings”.
    • Students excluded from face mask requirements include:
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance. 
      • Students with special needs who are unable to tolerate a face covering.

Are masks required during physical activity on and off campus?

Masks will be required during physical activity except when engaged in high-intensity exercise. Mask breaks will be scheduled frequently throughout the school day and more regularly when student activity level increases. Other precautions, like 6 ft physical distancing, prioritizing outdoor activities and frequent cleaning / disinfecting of shared equipment are recommended and will be followed to the best extent possible.

Guidance for K-12 School Administrators on the Use of Masks in Schools.

According to CA State Mask Guidelines, the following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering: Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

What is the policy when physical distance or mask wearing is breached on campus?

We will do our best to ensure these guidelines are being followed. If, for some reason, after working with the student and family we cannot, the student will move to digital learning.

What if students do not follow physical distancing guidelines off campus?

While we cannot dictate what families and students do while they are not at school, the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students is paramount. The schools reserves the right to move to an online format if it becomes known that students are potentially putting the health and safety of our staff and students at risk. 


Sickness / Illness / Attendance Policies

What is our student sick policy for Communicable Diseases (including COVID-19)?

  • Parents must keep students home when not feeling well and until it is determined that no contagious illness is present. 
  • If the student or someone in the student’s household has COVID like symptoms, the student must not come to school until it is determined that no contagious illness is present.
  • Children may be excluded if the illness prevents the child from participating comfortably or if there is a risk of spread of harmful disease to others. 

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: 

  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

Note: The CDC has a self checker available. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

What do we expect of parents and families if a case is detected?

  • Parents are asked to contact the school office and email administration@tahoeexpeditionacademy.org when communicable diseases are present in the child or in the immediate household. 
  • Parents should also utilize the ParentSquare Daily Health Survey to indicate symptoms within their child and/or household. Symptom checks before arriving on campus is critical to school population health. 
  • Designated school staff shall report certain communicable diseases to the local health authorities. 

What will happen if/when a student gets sick?

If your child falls ill with any symptom during the school day they will be isolated and sent home as a precaution to teachers and other students. The student can return to campus after 48 hrs of being symptom free.

What is the difference between getting sick and testing positive for COVID-19?

If your test is negative and you don’t have symptoms, you should continue to stay home and self-quarantine away from others for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19 and follow all recommendations from the health department. This is important because symptoms can appear up to 14 days after you’ve been exposed and are infected. A negative result before the end of your quarantine period does not rule out possible infection. Additionally, you do not need a repeat test unless you develop symptoms, or if you require a test to return to work.

If there is a positive test in our community by an employee or a student, then we will notify those in close contact with the person as soon as possible and notify the community of a positive test, but we will not provide the identity of the person testing positive in order to maintain privacy of health information.

What happens if a parent / family member is sick? 

If a parent or other member of a student’s household is sick, then that student shall stay home until all family members are symptom free for 48 hours.

What happens if a student reads a temp above 100 degrees fahrenheit at check in? 

If a student reads a temp above 100 degrees at check in, then we will retest a few different times, both inside and outside of the vehicle. If the reading is still above 100 degrees, then the student will not be allowed to come to school for 48 hrs, as this is a sign / symptom of fever. If that student gets a negative COVID-19 test on the same day of the temp reading over 100 degrees, then the student can return to school after 24 hrs of being symptom free. 

What is the school’s attendance policy for students and families?

Excused absences are valid when a written note is provided by a parent / guardian for up to two consecutive days and with a written doctor’s note after 3 consecutive days of missing school. 

We have adjusted our attendance policy to include family members, such that all members of a household would be excused if one member of their household is sick.


Cleaning, Monitoring and Check In Procedures

What cleaning will be done in the classrooms? 

At least daily, and more frequently if feasible, staff and faculty will clean and disinfect spaces they use. Emphasis is placed on frequently touched hard surfaces (e.g., tables, desks, chairs, door handles, light switches, phones, sinks/faucets) and shared objects whenever used (toys, games, art supplies, STEAM equipment, books) pursuant to CDC guidance. All classrooms will be provided with cleaning/disinfecting supplies such as approved cleaning agents, gloves hand sanitizer, etc..

We have hired a full time custodian to improve the frequency and quality of daily cleaning.

What cleaning will be done on campus? 

Our campus will be professionally cleaned and disinfected by our school custodian. We will be using disinfectant foggers regularly that have been cleared for school institutional use. Deep cleaning protocols will be followed for this cleaning. 

Who will be responsible for cleaning the campus?

TEA has hired a full time custodian to conduct daily cleaning of the campus. Also, teachers and staff will be equipped with ample non-toxic cleaning supplies to conduct frequent cleanings of high touch areas.

Will there be hand sanitizer available for students and staff?

Yes. We will equip each classroom space with hand sanitizer. 

Will there be hand washing stations around campus?

No. Each class has designated bathroom facilities for handwashing.

How are we monitoring the health and safety of our people?

Parents will complete a Daily Health Survey via ParentSquare for each TEA student. Faculty and Staff will complete the same Survey each day before reporting to work. The expectation being that, while in person learning is happening, this form is completed by all parties each week day, whether learning or activities are on or off campus. 

We will be conducting daily temperature screens on site and entry on the home-to-school bus route. Upon arrival all students, faculty and staff will be temperature checked using a touchless thermometer. Anyone arriving late must report to Ally Chase for a temperature check, please wait outside of her office (located near the ECE) with a mask on. 

If a student does not feel well in school or is showing symptoms of communicable disease, then they should be brought or sent to the office. Parents will be called to pick their child up as soon as possible, and the student will remain isolated until they can be escorted off campus. 

Students, staff or faculty who are sick must remain home for 48  hours after symptoms subside (for example no fever for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications) or a negative  COVID-19 test result. When students feel well enough to participate, they may do so through TEA@Home or in collaboration with their teachers if TEA has resumed in-person instruction.

When a COVID-19 incident occurs, the Co-Directors will make a decision in conjunction with the Mitigation Team following our Pandemic Prevention Plan to determine steps for contact tracing, communicating to the community and TEA will transition immediately to TEA@Home.

What role will teachers play in monitoring the safety and well-being of students?

If a student or staff experiences difficulty wearing his/her face covering, allow the individual to remove his/her face mask for a short period of time – while outside and at a minimum of 6 feet away from others. 

Will the school provide face masks for students and staff who lose their face masks or forget to bring them to school?

All classrooms will be provided with a supply of disposable masks in case a mask breaks or other incident. Each student will be expected to provide their own face masks for daily use. We will include this equipment in the classroom supplies list.


Program Accommodations, Classroom Modifications and Off Campus Activities

What kind of choices do I have as a parent for my child to remain virtual while others are in-person?

If a family chooses to keep their child home when we engage in in-person learning, the following will be provided for them:

  • PreK – Stephanie Brodi, PreK Director, will be reaching out to each family to see what will work for your child’s needs.
  • K-2 – Ana Remis is teaching students who remain in virtual. 
  • 3-5 – Debrah Arriola-Jacobson is teaching students who remain in virtual. 
  • 6-12 – In the hybrid schedule, students who are opting to not come to campus can participate in live sessions during the virtual sessions. For the days they do not participate, detailed agendas and task sheets will be shared via Google Classroom for students to follow along on and teachers will facilitate check-ins with students working digitally.

Can I move between different program options throughout the year? If so, how do I do so?

Yes, we acknowledge this is a dynamic environment and want to support as much as possible. Parents choosing to shift their student’s level of participation should communicate their intentions with teachers and school leaders. We will do our best to sync in-person and virtual content, but at times may have slight variations. 

What if my kid does not do well with online / distance learning in middle or high school?

In a digital format, developmentally appropriate supports will be put in place to ensure students have everything they need to be successful. These supports will include detailed agendas and assignment task sheets, as well as crew check ins, frequent teacher check ins, mentor check ins and access to the Student Success team when needed. With the hybrid model, there will be opportunities for students to be on campus in a social distance setting to help offset any challenges faced while in a digital format. In addition, those with targeted learning needs may opt into additional in-person support days with Katy Kimple. 

What classroom setup and modifications are being made?

All classrooms are being reviewed and updated to make them as safe as possible to support student learning on campus for the number of students assigned in them. Modifications include:

  • IQ Air Filtration Units will be installed as soon as possible. Eleven units have been purchased and are scheduled to be here this week. Installment of the portable units will only take a few hours. 
  • Seating arrangements assigned. 
  • Following 3 W’s both inside and outside.
  • Learning by grade and cohort bands. 
  • Improved air ventilation by opening windows and doors during the day. 
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting (deep cleaned every other day and high touch surfaces daily). 
  • Run the IQ Air units 24 hours, close windows at night and heat up space so we can start the day inside when it is coldest outside and the room has been disinfected and cleaned overnight with the IQ Air units. 
  • Longer term, we are awaiting the final analysis from the HVAC engineers, who will have recommendations for how to increase the HVAC for the heaters during the day to compensate for open windows and adjust dampers to bring in more fresh air.

What will class time look like?

Our hybrid schedule is built to limit the number of transitions on campus and to allow for any transition to distance learning if it becomes necessary. Teachers will be using varying strategies such as:

  • Infusing breaks into longer blocks to minimize transitions while also staying active.Using flipped approaches for learning material and in class practice. 
  • Adding in differentiated ‘coaching’ and feedback for individuals or small groups. 
  • Ensuring there is enough transition time so students are not hurrying and forgetting protocols. 
  • Built in breathing breaks, distanced and outside. 
  • Students will remain in set places as much as possible while teachers rotate. 

These recommendations will be adjusted for each age group. Further professional development on creating culture and structure for this type of hybrid teaching and learning will occur during faculty professional development. 

How will materials be used? Will classroom materials be shared?

  • We will be keeping material and handout use to a minimum – whenever possible using digital resources. 
  • Disposable gloves will be available for teachers and there should be a supply in classrooms at all times which students may also use. 
  • Equipment – will be assigned to a specific student and disinfected between uses, if applicable. 
  • Materials – will be assigned to individual students and if applicable kept to single use.

How will we support students and families while in TEA@Home? 

During classes teachers will mainly be using Zoom as our tool to keep distance learners involved during the school day. Other digital tools and platforms are allowed and Google Classroom will be used fully along with Gradebook. We will differentiate screen time based on what is developmentally appropriate. Students will be supported socially/emotionally through intentional crew check ins, weekly mentor check ins, frequent teacher check ins and opportunities to touch base with our student success team. 

What is the difference between TEA and a childcare operation?

TEA is an accredited school and is required to follow the state and county guidelines set out for schools. These guidelines may be different from a childcare operation.

Is TEA providing childcare for essential workers?

No, TEA is not staffed for or designated as a business that can accommodate childcare.

What will fieldwork and off campus activities look like?

Students are required to wear masks and keep a distance at all times except when indicated to do otherwise. Some examples of this include mountain biking and nordic skiing. Students will engage in day-long adventure activities on and off campus to deliver our three pillars. Examples include hiking, mountain biking, nordic skiing, trail runs, etc. Students will be focusing adventure time on character building, science, and humanities. 

As we norm our adventure day safety policies with students, we  are working to plan and execute local overnight fieldwork, which will likely start the second semester. 


School Logistics

How many students will my child interact with?

We will do our best to limit interactions for each student to their grade band cohort (i.e., PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). However, due to shared faculty, staff, and siblings, some exposure beyond the grade band is expected. 

What bathrooms will my student use?

In order to minimize risk of spread, bathrooms are now designated and labeled by grade, or select grades, or faculty and staff only. Students will use assigned bathrooms, which are typically situated nearby their outdoor and indoor learning spaces. 

Teachers will facilitate distancing and mask wearing when students need to use the bathroom and bathrooms will be sanitized regularly. 

How will students eat lunch and what measures will be taken to reduce risk of virus low?

  • Students are not allowed to share water bottles, food, plates, utensils etc. 
  • As usual, students will bring their own snack, lunch and water bottle to school. 
  • We will not have Dine-in-Days. Sharing of foods is strictly prohibited, and older high school students will not be able to go off campus for lunch. 
  • Students will eat lunch outside, stationary and socially distant (6’ or greater)
  • Students’ use of microwaves will be prohibited. 

What on campus PE, games and recess will be available for students to practice and enjoy?

During PE and recess, supervised and modified sports like disc golf, kick ball, soccer, soft hockey, soft lacrosse, touchless football and others are permitted on campus so long as sports specific return to play protocols are followed. 

Adult supervision is required for setup and breakdown process, equipment sanitizing processes and to ensure rule adjustments are followed by all participants. All shared equipment, like soccer balls, footballs and the like should be sanitized with approved cleaning products prior to and after use. Pump sprayers and disinfectants are available and touchless. 

Those participating in recess and play activities involving shared equipment, like a football or lacrosse, must wash or sanitize hands before play begins and once play ends. Participants with sports health issues, like asthma, should limit their activity to avoid compounding issues, have inhalers nearby and on hand, and take more frequent breathing breaks.  

Competitive games will be modified to reduce physical contact, play will focus on skill based technique instead. For example, football played during recess, will be modified to fundamental skills like – running, catching and throwing. Participants are masked and socially distanced during play. Should a football game occur, players are to play ultimate frisbee style rules – meaning there’s no touching or tackling. Once the football is caught, the play is dead, no running, Touching the player with the ball is prohibited. 

Socially distanced breathing breaks will be built into the play schedule so participants can play, recover and breathe without restriction. 

Can students refill water bottles?

Students are expected to bring enough water, in a personal water bottle, or bottles, to last them the entire school day. In an emergency, if a student requires a refill, the water tap will be sanitized before and after use. 

What will extracurriculars and after school activities look like during in person learning @ TEA?

This Fall, TEA offered the following clubs and athletics with modifications to reduce the risk of spread. Approved offerings included disc golf, mountain biking, xc running, lacrosse, art and spanish. 

Athletics schedules have moved later into the school year, however rental space for sports offerings at Truckee Rec Center and other public domains are limited or not permitted during the pandemic. TEA’s Athletics Department is working with TDRPD to determine possible solutions, if any are possible. 

Winter sports, like nordic skiing, which is outside and distanced, will highlight Winter athletics offerings this year. Indoor shared ball sports like basketball, volleyball and more may not be possible this school year due to ongoing COVID mitigation practices city, county, and statewide (CA and NV). 


Technology, Classroom Supplies and Medical / First Aid

Are we sharing technology?

Laptops should not be shared. Students and teachers should regularly wipe surfaces – screens and keyboards – according to manufacturer instructions or with a high alcohol based wipes (at least 70%). 

Chromebooks and other devices that are checked out of charger stations for daily student use are to be sanitized between uses to prevent virus spread.  

Are we sharing classroom supplies? If not, then how will each student participate in the learning?

No. We are planning to provide families with a supply list for each individual student, which will include a camp / outdoor chair. If families cannot afford one, then the school will provide a loaner for the student for the year. 

We will also augment the school’s supply list to provide for more individualized supplies including science and lab supplies, pencils, paper, etc. for each student to have and maintain and use their own supplies.

Who will conduct first aid? How will this be done?

If an emergency medical situation or a progressive, likely emergency medical situation occurs immediate medical response will ensue by the nearest certified / trained faculty or staff member. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and BSI (Body Substance Insulator) will be used as available to protect the victim and the responder. If the victim’s airway or breathing is a concern, issue or threat, then the victim’s mask is to be removed immediately. The faculty and /or staff responder/s will continue to provide care as needed and required given the medical emergency.

For non-emergencies, we will have a designated first aid and medical attendant on campus every day to conduct first aid and medical treatment as necessary. We have responsive communications with walkie talkies to coordinate and communicate medical attention when necessary and we have trained staff members for both onsite and offsite activities. PPE and BSI will be utilized in these situations. If the student is able to self treat, this option will be utilized and monitored.


Transportation, Logistics and Resources

What bus protocols are being implemented?

For student safety, we have adopted the following best practices for school transportation:

  • The bus shall be disinfected after every trip. There is time built into transportation schedules to allow drivers to disinfect.
  • All occupants of the bus will use face coverings at all times.
  • All riders will use hand sanitizer on entering the bus.
  • Temp checks will be conducted at all bus stops before boarding. Our transportation schedule was built with extra time to allow for this.
  • To the extent possible, students in the same class will be grouped in the same section of the bus.
  • Students from the same household will be grouped into the same seats.
  • Students will follow entry and offloading procedures to include loading all the way to the back of the bus and unloading from front to back to maximize social distancing.

How many kids can ride on the bus with physical distancing?

One student per seat, with the exception that students who live in the same household may sit together.

What will bussing look like from home to school for Reno and Incline?

We will continue to offer home-to-school from Incline and Reno. The home-to-school schedules will be published in the Student & Parent Handbook. Bus 70 will typically be used for the Incline Village – Kings Beach route. Bus 50 will typically be used for the Reno route and will make a stop at the Truckee Rec Center in the afternoons when the Rec Center has afterschool programs.

Will we be doing the bus run to the Truckee Rec Center?

We will offer transportation to the Truckee Rec Center, if it is offering after school programs. We will offer this service only for families participating in those programs. 

From where has this information been sourced?

For transportation, we have worked over the summer directly with the California Highway Patrol and Department of Motor Vehicles to determine our uses and risk mitigation protocols. For our program, in addition to CDC, State and County Mandates and Guidelines, we have looked at a variety of schools, NAIS, CAL-ISBOA, and used materials when they are in line with our values, policies and procedures. Sage Ridge School, for example, has done a fantastic job communicating about the COVID pandemic, and we utilized some of the information from their site. We have also communicated with Placer County Health Officials as well as our Medical Advisor to vet and ensure our policies, procedures and protocols are in line with best practices.