Where are we learning?
Be Happy. Be Together. Be Bright!
Stay in School Pledge
Be Patient. Be Positive. Be Prepared. This is our pledge for our return to school and for remaining in school. Our reopening will require everyone – students, parents, faculty and staff – to be committed to respecting each other and being compassionate. This is a very difficult and stressful time but one of excitement and anticipation. We must cooperate with each other and be flexible in circumstances that are constantly changing.
Be Patient: Please be patient with one another. There are new rules for the school year such as wearing face coverings and completing an online health survey every morning. We must work together to create a safe environment at school.
Be Positive: There are many reasons to be positive even in these uncertain times. The first is that our children will be together again at school with their teachers and friends. Let’s be aware and cautious of the risks but not dwell on them.
Be Prepared: Prepare your child to expect different outcomes for this school year. This will not be a “normal” school year. We will not have many of the same events and activities as years past. We are beginning a new journey on a different path but one that leads to the same loving and nurturing place: our Bright School.
Finally, we ask that you share in our accountability for making good, healthy choices. If your child is not feeling well, we want your child to stay home and get better. Model good hygiene and practice frequent hand washing at home. Be positive about the benefits of wearing a face covering. Leave yourself a few extra minutes in the morning to complete the Ascend health monitoring survey. We are all counting on each other to stay safe.
On Campus Learning Environment
Second Trimester: November 12 - February 24
Teachers and students are interacting as always in the same classroom - with the entire class, in small groups and during individual time. We continue to provide center time in Early Childhood (JPK-K). To adhere to health guidelines as we know them today, students and teachers remain together as one cohort most of the day. Handwashing and cleaning of desks and supplies is an integral and frequent part of the day, and students are learning to take ownership of the classroom space and their own well-being. The Eco-Literacy program in Early Childhood continued, and teachers throughout the school are encouraged to spend more time outdoors throughout the day.
Special areas are special for a reason, and we will continue to provide these enhancements to the school day. Recess and P.E., too, are important for a child’s development, and we remain committed to providing these activities each day.
Each child is required to wear a face covering at all times indoors. Fabric face coverings must have two layers, and gaiters must be folded over to create two layers. Bandanas are not allowed. Disposable masks are permissable. Please make sure fabric face coverings are clean each day.
Face coverings should not have any words other than Bright School or the school logo. Face coverings may be any color or any design. Please no face coverings from other schools. Read these CDC guidelines when choosing a face covering for your child.
With appropriate physical distancing, students may be allowed to remove face coverings during:
- PE class
- outdoor recess
- time at designated tables with plexiglass dividers
Students are required to bring two face coverings to school to keep in case extras are needed. You may provide face coverings of your choice from any store. Please label all face coverings!
All adults, including teachers and staff, are required to wear face coverings inside the school per Directive No. 4 of the Hamilton County Health Officer.
Morning Drop Off/Afternoon Dismissal
Students who arrive between 7:15 and 7:35 a.m. gather in the Centennial Theater (grades 1-5) or library (JPK-K). Students who arrive after 7:35 a.m. go directly to their classrooms.
In the afternoon, students in grades JPK-4 will dismiss from their classrooms, and fifth grade from the gym.
Before and After School Activities
We are offering Bright Afternoons in a controlled environment by grade level. Pre-registration is required for Bright Afternoons. No drop-ins will be allowed because we need to plan in advance for the number of students participating.
Cadek is offering music lessons after school at Bright.
As of January 1, 2021, before and after school classes/activities and athletics, except Bright Afternoons and music lessons, are suspended until further notice.
All students eat lunch in their classrooms or perhaps outdoors on some days determined by the teachers. Lunch for grades PK-5 is provided by Sodexo. Food prepared in the dining hall will be stationed in the ECC hallway for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students. Students in grades 1-5 will walk to the dining hall to pick up their lunches. Students may choose items from the hot line and/or pre-made ham, turkey or sunbutter and jelly sandwich. There will be pre-made salads, fresh fruit cups, yogurt, granola, veggie cups with dip, boiled eggs, pasta salad, wrapped apples and bananas. Students may have milk or water. We continue to support students with allergies and dietary restrictions.
All students must bring their own water bottles to school. Please make sure they have labels with your child's name! Students may use water fountains or filling stations to fill their water bottles. Due to sanitary reasons, students are not to physically drink from water fountain spouts.
Parents, guardians and others may not join their children for lunch while we are restricting visitors in the building. Cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies or other edible treats may not be brought for birthdays or other celebrations.
Our goal is to provide seamless integration of technology at school and at home when necessary. Each student in grades K-2 has an iPad, and grades 3-5 have Chromebooks in order to provide consistency in learning no matter where students are located. Learning from our distance learning program of the spring, we will alter digital learning platforms and teach students and parents how to use Google Sites and Google Classroom. Google Sites and Google Classroom will be the central communication platforms for all classroom schedules, grade-level newsletters, and grade specific distance learning plans. If distance learning takes place, students will have all of their materials, manipulatives, and curriculum needed to ensure authentic, hands-on learning continues.
Our instruction and curriculum will remain student-centered within our Responsive Classroom framework, Reading and Writing Workshop, and Bridges in Mathematics program. Bright School teachers are committed to furthering their professional development and expertise to ensure that all students are making positive academic, social, and emotional growth both in and outside the classroom during this school year.
Events such as Parents’ Night and our Thanksgiving Program which involve large numbers of people likely will be altered, postponed or canceled. We will communicate these changes as soon as we can to help parents with planning.
See the Health and Well-Being section below for more about health and safety considerations.
If Learning Continues from Home
If there is a mandate to close campus, we will return to distance learning. Based on the distance learning program we implemented in March, we are planning changes that would be instituted if necessary in the fall. Students in grades K-5 with iPads and Chromebooks are equipped to take those home and use them on a more independent basis. We recognize the hallmark of instruction for JPK and PK includes hands-on experiences in play, exploration and creation, and we are committed to creating a distance learning program consistent with instruction at school.
Distance learning would incorporate both real-time instruction and lessons students do on their own time. Synchronous learning would include individual tutorials, small group study, conferencing, demonstrations of learning, and connecting with classmates. Asynchronous learning would include independent work, portfolio development, project-based assignments, and certain types of assessment. Our goal is to move seamlessly between school and home if distance learning is required.
A temporary and limited online option is available for families with special circumstances such as having a child or other family member living full-time at home in a high-risk category or being an essential and/or healthcare professional.
Health and Well-Being
The following guidelines and processes will be followed in response to COVID-19, as recommended by public health experts such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as well as federal, state and local health officials. This is a “living” document that may be updated at any time by The Bright School given the fluidity of this situation.
All students and staff must provide and wear a disposable or washable, two-layer face covering daily.
All students and staff must complete the daily COVID-19 questionnaire for symptoms and temperatures checks via the Ascend system. Ascend’s online system asks health questions, including a current temperature, and helps people determine next steps if they are not well. All of the information in the system is kept secure and complies with the American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The only information the school shares with Base Camp Health is student name, family name, and email addresses. Students, faculty and staff who are ill will be required to remain at home. A child should not be sent to school after taking fever-reducing medication. This is an important partnership with parents, and we will rely on families to help us all stay safe.
If a student presents at school with a temperature of 100.4 F or above, the school nurse will contact the child's parents or guardians to pick up the child. The child should not return to school until the temperature has been normal without fever reducing medication for a minimum of 48 hours.
A student who presents at school with any of the following symptoms should report directly to the school nurse to be evaluated. The nurse will contact the child’s parents/guardians to be picked up from school. Parents should contact their child's primary care doctor to discuss whether a COVID-19 test is required. A test also may be necessary for any siblings currently enrolled at Bright. These symptoms include:
- Fever (less than 100.4 F)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Or two or more of these symptoms: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell
Testing Positive for COVID-19
Any student, faculty or staff member, or family member of a student, faculty or staff member who receives a positive COVID-19 test must report these findings to Bright School by notifying the school nurse on the same day of results and upload the information to the Ascend online program. The person should continue to complete the Ascend survey every morning even during quarantine.
The school is currently only accepting the negative results from PCR tests because rapid tests have a high rate inaccurate results. If you plan to seek a test for your child for any reason, please contact Nurse Rachel Gentry in advance at [email protected]. You will need to keep your child at home while you wait for results, and your child needs to be symptom-free for 24 hours and fever-free for 48 hours without medication before returning after a negative test.
If a parent or other household contact of a student has been tested due to a potential exposure or illness with COVID-19 symptoms, please keep your child at home as a precaution until you receive negative test results. If the test is a requirement for work/school or another reason not related to an exposure or symptoms, your child may come to school while you await results.
The school will notify local health officials of any case of COVID-19 and communicate to the school community any quarantine or potential closure of school, campus or building. The identity of any individual diagnosed with COVID-19 will not be disclosed within applicable guidelines. The area where a positive COVID-19 has been present will be closed off to be cleaned and disinfected based on CDC and OSHA guidelines.
Individuals who test positive are quarantined at home for 10 days, according to Hamilton County Health Department guidelines. If that individual is able to isolate in the home, then household contacts who are not positive do not have to quarantine. Household contacts that cannot be separated from the individual will have to quarantine for a total of 20 days, 10 days of the contact's quarantine and 10 more days of the contagious period. Close contacts not living in the home must quarantine for 10 days from the last exposure date. A quarantine can be reduced to seven days if the following criteria is met:
- No symptoms present during entire quarantine period.
- Test negative from day 5-7 ONLY not before or after
- For household contacts they will complete 7 days of quarantine from the cases 10th day of isolation or well date if the case is symptomatic after 10th day of isolation.
Returning to School After a Positive Test
After a student, teacher or staff member tests positive and is symptomatic, that person may return to school by meeting both of these requirements:
- be at least 10 days since the first symptoms appeared
- be symptom-free for 24 hours (or 48 hours for a fever) without medication
If a person tests positive and is asymptomatic, he or she can return 10 days from a positive test.
Testing Negative for COVID-19
If a student, faculty or staff member receives a negative test and presents no symptoms, that person may return to school after submitting the results to Ascend and contacting the school nurse.
If a test comes back negative, but the person is still showing symptoms, the fever policy must be followed for a fever (48 hours fever-free), and other symptoms must subside for at least 24 hours without medication.
We expect higher than normal rates of absenteeism this school year. We encourage parents to keep children home whenever they are sick to help protect our community.
The school will work with families to help find medical assistance such as telemedicine to make it easier to be assessed and evaluated.
Our goal will be to remain in school; however, we encourage families to prepare for periods of time when school may be closed or a hybrid model of in-school instruction and distance learning is implemented.
Facility Space and Supplies
The health guidelines related to COVID-19 continue to evolve, and it is hard to predict the landscape in the next few weeks, months or even years. As a school community, we all play a role in reducing exposure and slowing the spread of the virus. During the summer, families should make a habit of frequent hand-washing to help students get accustomed to doing this at school. Try to encourage your child to sneeze or cough into the elbow or tissue and to touch their faces less.
Facility staff will take the lead in cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces multiple times per day. But students and teachers will help in their own classrooms as they transition between activities. Items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized or disinfected may be put away until they can be used again.
Maintaining Physical Distancing
Students and their teachers will mostly stay within their classroom cohort during the day. We will encourage distancing of six feet from each other but realize this is difficult for young children. Classroom furniture will be arranged to provide as much space as possible. In the first trimester, there will likely be no large gatherings such as Bright Fest Fridays or other assemblies in the Centennial Theater.
Promoting Daily Hygiene Routines
As of January 1, 2021, no visitors are allowed beyond the front desk and main office area.
Visitors must check in at the main reception desk in the front lobby and undergo a brief health evaluation, including taking temperatures. Face coverings must be worn by all visitors in the hallways, but face coverings may be removed in an office or where a meeting is being held. Parents or guardians may not join their children for lunch. See Lunch under On Campus Learning Environment.
Well-Being of Everyone
COVID-19 Task Force
Members of the task force meet regularly to discuss and update these guidelines and help inform the Board of Trustees and school administration. Members include:
- Austin Center '85, Board chair and alumnus
- Betsey Kates, trustee and parent
- Philip Byrum '85, trustee and alumnus
- Dr. Kathleen Hunt, former trustee and parent
- Dr. Jay Sizemore '84, infectious disease specialist and alumnus
- Renee Kropff, assistant head
- Kendra Reasor, assistant head
- Elizabeth Davis, director of marketing and communications
- OJ Morgan, head of school