Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will Canterbury open on campus or remotely?
A: Canterbury School will open in person, full time, for K-8th grade students on August 18. School in the fall will look different, as we adapt to new protocols to ensure our community’s safety, but what will be constant is the power of our community, together again in person.
Q: What about distance learning?
A: Of course, we also are prepared for the possibility of pivoting to distance learning during the school year, if it is required of all independent schools by the state of NC and/or local authorities, which is not the case now. While we expect to remain on campus, we are ready to provide a robust distance learning experience, if necessary, in 2020-21.
Q: What are the plans for preschool students in the early childhood program?
A: We recognize the particular importance of in-person instruction for our youngest learners. Even when campus is closed to K-8 students, we will keep Cubs (3-year-olds) and PreK (4-year-olds) classes open from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m., as state regulations allow for childcare facilities.
Q: What if I’m not comfortable with my child coming back to school yet?
We realize that families may prefer for their children to learn virtually for now, rather than returning to campus. Canterbury will provide access to learning materials and lessons for families choosing this route. More details about distance learning can be found here
Q: How many students are in a cohort? Are there caps to ensure appropriate distancing?
A: Yes, we have a cap of 32 students per grade, besides 4th and 7th grades, which were already larger than this ceiling. We accommodated the larger 4th grade by opening a third homeroom section. We are accommodating the 7th grade by making physical changes to Armfield Hall, removing a wall to create a new double-sized classroom to allow for safe classroom spacing. We will have no more than 16 students in any classroom, except for this larger 7th grade space, which probably will host around 22 students regularly but can accommodate up to 30 students safely because it is more than twice the size of a regular Armfield classroom (approximately 1,425 square feet) and has numerous windows that can be opened for ventilation.
Q: Will there be outdoor classrooms provided to optimize learning?
A: Yes, we have invested in our campus to provide classes with maximum opportunities to be outdoors, from expanding the school’s wifi infrastructure to include outdoor spaces to purchasing canopies for sun and mild weather protection. Beyond simply moving classes outside, however, we are working to expand our curriculum with activities and lessons that will engage students outdoors on our 35-acre campus. Recess, PE, and lunch also will be held outside as much as possible. There will be additional outdoor picnic tables.
Q: Can I walk my child into school on the first day?
A: Lower school parents can visit classrooms with their children during the family orientations that will be scheduled for the week before school starts. Kindergarten parents may walk their students to the outer doors of the classroom on Opening Day (only). No parents may enter school buildings or classrooms once the school year has begun, and K-8th grade parents should remain in their cars at morning and afternoon carpool. Cubs and PreK parents should drop off and pick up their students at the double glass doors of Stafford Hall.
Q: Will temperatures be taken before students enter the building? If not, where?
A: Parents will be asked to screen their students for COVID-19 symptoms and take their temperatures before leaving the house -- and stay home with concerning symptoms and/or a fever over 100.4. Teachers will take students’ temperatures again when they arrive in the classrooms. If a student’s temperature is 100 or above, the student will be assessed by the school nurse.
Q: What is the plan for high-risk electives such as band, chorus, and handbells?
A: Students will not be singing or playing brass or woodwind instruments or handbells on campus this year. We are developing music appreciation classes for middle school students that will include other elements of music, including music history, learning to use Garageband and other music production technology, and playing percussion instruments. Our lower school music classes already incorporate many of these elements. We will be seeking opportunities for instrumentalists to play safely for special occasions or in videos from their homes.
Q: Will the teachers be wearing masks or shields?
A: Our medical advisory team stated clearly that masks are imperative to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will be providing our faculty with clear face shields as well. We have purchased wearable microphones so that teachers’ words, intonation, and cheer can be clearly heard by their students, even while wearing masks.
Q: Will children be required to wear masks indoors where social distancing is possible? How many mask breaks will be offered?
A: Yes, children will wear masks indoors, even when social distancing is possible. In the first few days and weeks when the children are getting used to wearing masks, classes will be going outside for mask breaks often. In the lower school, there is patio space outside each classroom, and teachers will take the children outside when they see the need and at regular intervals.
Q: Recent guidance allows people with COVID-19 to isolate for 10 days instead of 14. If that is the case, will we be able to do 10 days, rather than 14?
A: Current CDC guidance requires isolation for 10 days after a person develops COVID-19 symptoms. However, someone who is exposed to COVID-19 must be quarantined for 14 days. In the school environment, since the whole class cohort (students and teacher) must quarantine for 14 days after being exposed to a student with COVID-19, we also require the patient to isolate for 14 days. If a student becomes sick away from school or over a break and their classmates are not required to quarantine, the student may return to school if they are fever-free without medicine for at least 24 hours AND it is 10 days after the onset of symptoms or they have had two negative COVID-19 tests more than 24 hours apart.
Q: Will students be able to carpool?
A: While it’s not recommended, we understand that carpooling may be necessary and we won’t prohibit it. We encourage families to maintain their own separate cohorts whenever possible. If a student in a multi-family carpool becomes sick with COVID-19, all members of the carpool may need to quarantine, at our nurse’s discretion.
Q: Is there a specific plan in place for the restrooms?
A: In the lower school, we will stress using classroom restrooms as possible and limit the number of students that may use hallway restrooms at any given time. Of course, we will not restrict students who have specific needs. In the middle school, only a small number of students will be allowed in the restrooms at any one time. Middle school students will be able to make use of 14 bathrooms in five buildings. We also will have janitorial staff on campus to clean high-touch surfaces during the day.
Q: Will middle school students be able to use the high ropes course this year?
A: Yes, 7th and 8th graders will be able to use the high ropes course with both regular safety precautions and additional distancing precautions taken.
Q: What will lower school recess look like? What opportunities will middle school students have to be outside?
A: Lower school recess will be scheduled as usual, and the students will get outside as much as possible for outdoor learning and mask breaks. There will be fewer classes on the playground at a time; each grade level will have recess at the same time, but we will not mix grades at recess time. (Previously two grades went out at the same time.) Students will wash their hands before going to recess so as not to take germs out to the playground and after recess so as not to bring in any germs that might be on the equipment. The equipment will be sprayed down after each grade uses it. While children will not be required to wear masks at recess, social distancing guidelines will still be in place. Therefore, there will be no contact sports. We have new four square courts and basketball hoops that are positioned farther apart, and we have bought new equipment such as frisbees and jump ropes. Middle school students will be outside for recess and lunch (after eating) in assigned areas. They also will have classes outside often, as well as PE and outdoor leadership classes.