Plans for Returning to AGS Fall 2020

Atlanta Girls’ School is committed to delivering our mission, Inspiring Girls to Lead Lives of Purpose. Whether the experience is on-campus with safety and precautions in place or at home in a virtual environment, you can be confident in our commitment to deliver our mission. Our plans to re-open campus are guided by the following principles:

  •  Safety & Well-being
  •  Flexibility
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  •  Community
  • Pedagogy & Instruction

To learn more about our re-opening plans scroll below or view our e-book New Day, New Way which provides more details on our plans and updates.

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AGS In A New Way

As of August 4th, AGS plans to re-open under Scenario 2: Hybrid Learning on August 12th 2020. We are continuously monitoring the current situation, and are prepared to pivot and adapt to a new scenario as needed. If our plans continue to remain the same and we are on campus under Scenario 1 or 2, we will dedicate the first few weeks of school to train students on new safety, health, and physical distancing protocols, as well as teach the academic and executive skills that are difficult to teach through distance learning. We will focus on re-building our community and relationships with one another, emphasizing social and emotional development and well-being. Lastly, to prepare for a potential shift to distance learning, we will also use our time in August teaching and using online platforms, establishing norms and expectations consistent with distance learning, and coaching students to develop routines and habits useful for distance learning.

Scenario 1:
On-campus learning

Under this scenario, COVID-19 is under control and poses a low risk to our community.

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Scenario 2:
Hybrid learning

Under this scenario, COVID-19 poses a medium risk to our community.

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Scenario 3:
Distance learning

Under this scenario, COVID-19 is at high risk to our community.

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Task Force

Atlanta Girls’ School (AGS) established a task force committee, with several sub-committees, which worked throughout the summer to develop a comprehensive strategy for re-opening the school that allows for flexibility and prioritizes the health and safety of our school community. They addressed policies, procedures, and logistics with an eye toward planning for a future that will most likely be unpredictable and constantly changing.

They focused on these key areas:

  • Health & Safety
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Life
  • Facilities
  • Advancement (Admission, Development & Communications)
  • Technology
  • Employee Relations

Current Understanding about COVID-19

  • COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person.
  • COVID-19 is often spread from person to person through close contact and maintaining social distancing can greatly mitigate its spread.
  • Until a vaccine is widely available, COVID-19 will be a concern for public health.

Sources of Information & Knowledge

Atlanta Girls’ School is basing its preparations and guidelines for reentry  and operating on the information and guidance currently available from:

In addition, the Atlanta Girls’ School is in communication with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), The Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), international, national, and regional schools and districts.

Faculty Prepared for a New Way

With a new school year ahead of us filled with uncertainty around COVID-19, the AGS faculty and staff engaged in professional development provided by One Schoolhouse throughout the summer to enhance our ability to deliver instruction virtually or in a hybrid learning environment.

The Distance Learning Team completed a course called “Academic Leadership for Hybrid Learning Design.” The purpose of this course was to prepare for the various scenarios that might exist in the 2020 -2021 school year. It also assisted teachers in designing more effective and intentional virtual lessons.

All faculty members and several staff members completed a course called “Designing, Building and Teaching for Hybrid Learning.” The course was designed to help teachers create lessons that can be delivered online or in-person all while maintaining core AGS values and norms.

For more details please read the New Day, New Way e-book.

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Digital Platforms

AGS faculty will utilize various digital platforms and tools including those that are listed below. Teachers will work with students closely to orient them on any technology being used in the classroom.

Gmail is the platform that AGS uses for email and calendaring. Every student has an AGS email account that is accessed through Gmail.

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that can be used to provide live virtual class meeting space.

Blackbaud is the learning management system used by AGS where AGS families can access course syllabus, assignments, grades, announcements, and much more.

Flipgrid is a digital grid that allows teachers to facilitate video discussions with students. Students display their work on flipgrid allowing classmates to reflect on each other’s work and create a “web” of discussion.

Google Classroom is a tool that helps students manage their work, discussions, and assignments.

Nearpod is a student engagement platform that allows teachers to create highly engaging and interactive presentations.

Health and Wellness Pledge

All families must commit to supporting AGS’s health, wellness and safety protocols and must agree to keep students home when they are not feeling well, have COVID-like symptoms or have potentially been exposed. Each family will be required to complete the AGS Health and Wellness Pledge, which is available through Blackbaud and must be completed with the other medical documents required for the start of school.

Health & Safety Guidelines and Plans

AGS COVID-19
General Guidelines

View guidelines

AGS COVID-19
On-campus Guidelines

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AGS COVID-19
Infirmary Guidelines

View guidelines

Deciding When to Stay Home

FAQs

We understand and anticipate some families will not be able to commit to in-person instruction whether we are in Scenario 1 or Scenario 2. We have invested in setting up technology in our classrooms that will allow students to equitably engage in class through live stream. We understand that the needs and comfort of our families may vary, and that for a variety of reasons, some will need to participate remotely for an undefined time period.

All visitors are required to wear a cloth mask or similar while on campus. The following masks are acceptable:

  • Washable cloth face mask, including neoprene masks
  • Single-use, disposable surgical, medical, or dust masks
  • Double layered gaiters made of cotton
  • Respirator masks

Please note that face shields or bandanas may not be used as substitutes for masks and that masks must be properly worn over the nose and mouth.

To ensure physical distancing of minimum 6 feet, hallways and stairwells will be marked as one way passageways. Floors and hallways will be taped and marked to remind students what direction and side of hallways to use. Signs will be posted to remind students to practice physical distance, while some furniture will be removed to give students more space to distance themselves. Classroom and communal spaces are being measured and re-configured to determine the best layout and arrangement of furniture to allow students to distance themselves.

For this semester, students are not required to dress in AGS uniform but may choose to do so. For students choosing to dress in casual clothing, they are required to follow the guidelines and expectations described in our community handbook. For P.E., students are required to come to school dressed appropriately for P.E. as students will not be permitted to change dress while on campus. Since outdoor spaces will be utilized as much as possible, we request that students come to school dressed appropriately for weather. 

Per CDC guidelines, students will not be permitted to use lockers or cubby space in classrooms. Students should come to school prepared with only items essential to their school day. 

Students should enter the building using the main entrance and expect to get their temperature checked and health screened by the school nurse before admittance. While school officially starts at 8:30 a.m. each day, details on when the building will open for students and visitors are still being determined. For students that arrive late to school, they should wait by the second front entrance (by the steps) for screening by the nurse before entering the building. They can email the nurse or use the call button to reach the nurse. After they are screened, they can return to the main entrance and front desk to sign in. 

Students will be asked if they know of being exposed in the last two weeks, including living within or being within 6 feet of anyone who is ill. They will also be asked if they are experiencing cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell and/or taste, muscle pain, chills, headache, sore throat, and any other symptoms in the last 48 hours, including their last dose of Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Advil, or Ibuprofen, and fever of 100.0 or above. 

Dismissal will be staggered using our P.A. system based on hallways and classrooms in use. Students will be allowed to congregate in the hallways but are expected to exit the building when they are dismissed. 

Students will not be allowed to use microwaves at school per CDC guidelines. We encourage students to bring lunches and snacks that do not have to be warmed up.

We will use a combination of factors and metrics to decide if we need to move into any of our scenarios, including closing the school. While our decision may or may not align with other schools, we will consider government/state mandates, student and/or faculty absenteeism that probit us from executing our mission in person, high risk of school/local/state spread of the disease, and guidelines provided by the CDC and local and state health officials. 

We ask that families notify our front desk (frontdesk@atlantagirlsschool.org) if your student will be attending school virtually before the start of the school day. When your student plans to attend school in person, she can show up to school and attend her class in person. Teachers will be sure to mark her attendance as in person. 

Families are required to notify the school nurse about any diagnosis of COVID-19. AGS will immediately notify families whose daughter may have been exposed via email.

If a student decides to attend an in-person class virtually (under the Hybrid Learning model), she will join her class at the designated meeting time via zoom. Classrooms will be equipped with a Swivl and Pivo camera that will give students an immersive learning experience while attending virtually.

Per our communication policy on page 19, only those AGS community members who were in close contact (exposed) with the infected individual will be informed, not the entire school or campus community.

Teachers and students are not required to be tested for COVID-19 unless they have been exposed to COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms. Georgia Department of Health does not currently recommend universal testing.

The Georgia Department of Health recommendation is to get your student tested when there is possible exposure or when the student is exhibiting symptoms.

Per CDC guidelines, a close contact, per CDC guidelines, is defined as anyone that was within six feet of an infected person, with or without a mask, for fifteen minutes or more. If you take care of someone in your home who is COVID-19 positive, you had direct physical contact through kissing or hugging, you shared eating or drinking utensils, or if a person who is COVID-19 positive sneezed or coughed on you, you are considered a close contact. If you were a close contact with someone who tested positive with Covid-19, you must quarantine as follows:

  • Stay home or quarantine yourself for fourteen days after your last contact with that person.

  • Try to avoid contact with others and wear a mask if you have to be around others in the household.

  • Monitor for symptoms such as fever of 100 or greater, cough, or other COVID-like symptoms.

*Testing is advised for individuals who are deemed a close contact and must quarantine for 14 days regardless of your test results. If you develop symptoms during your 14-day quarantine, you will definitely need to get a Covid test. At that point, you are considered to be in isolation

Yes, AGS classrooms and common areas are equipped with air purifiers installed in HVAC units. The air purifiers being installed are Global Plasma Solutions bi-polar ionization units. Every HVAC unit on campus will be equipped with one of these ionization units which ionizes the air to kill bacteria and viruses before being blown back into the room.