Reopening Plan 2020-21

2020-21 Reopening Plan

Semester 2 Will Be Different!

Please review our Return to Campus Guidebook, Parent Forum Presentation, as well as our Red Tier Daily schedule as we begin to plan for the reopening of school

In other pages of this section, we provide detail about our Health & Safety Protocols and our Covid-19 Testing (along with a dashboard to report testing metrics).

Our Schedule of Reopening is as follows:

March 8-March 12: All students and staffulty obtain Covid-19 tests. School follows the Purple Tier Daily Schedule.

March 15 to March 19: Reopening Week: Training and Acclimation to Campus: During this week, we will be following our Red Tier Daily Schedule. Students who are not scheduled to be on-campus for the day will join their classes remotely, according to our Red Tier Daily Schedule.
  • Friday, March 12: Staffulty In-Service Day (sophomore on-campus day canceled)
  • Monday, March 15: 12th Grade Students on Campus
  • Tuesday, March 16: 11th Grade Students on Campus
  • Wednesday, March 17: 10th Grade Students on Campus
  • Thursday, March 18: 9th Grade Students on Campus
  • Friday, March 19: Staffulty In-Service Day (junior on-campus day canceled)
March 22-April 2: Spring Break

April 5-April 9: Post-Spring Break Distance Learning Week (Teachers on Campus)

April 12-April 16: Full Red Tier Schedule (11th/12th)
April 19-April 23: Full Red Tier Schedule (9th/10th)

Semester 2: Purple Tier Schedule

Semester 2 Red Tier

Semester 2 Highlights

One Schedule for All Tiers
Considering the unpredictable nature of infection rates and county/state ordinances, we have created one schedule that will work for when we are allowed to be in-person and when we must be virtual. Monday through Thursday will always be 9:00 am–3:30 pm and Fridays will fluctuate based on programming and restrictions.

Regular In-Person Opportunities for All Tiers
Whether we continue to be in the Purple Tier or move into a less restrictive tier, we will always have in-person moments for students. Since these are less frequent than in a typical year, we decided to prioritize grade-level community building through our in-person moments.

In the Purple Tier, these will be at least once a month on Fridays for each grade level.

As we move into less restrictive tiers, we will invite 9th and 10 grade students on campus for classes for four days one week, then 11th and 12th grade for four days the next. 

Grade-Level Cohorts
We have chosen to prioritize grade-level community-building for in-person opportunities in Semester 2. This means that we have decided to move from a mixed grade-level cohorting option to a fixed grade-level cohorting option once we return to in-person instruction. 

What this means is that, when it is safe to return to campus for in-person academic classes, the in-person schedule has been split. The first week on campus will be for all 9th and 10th grade students, while 11th and 12th grade students attend classes virtually. The second week will be virtual for 9th and 10th grade and on-campus, in-person for 11th and 12th grade students. Each week will alternate in this fashion. This also allows us to increase class time and teacher focus on one group of students rather than juggling an in-person group with a virtual one.

Fortunately, the vast majority of our classes align with these grade level splits. We have a variety ways that we will handle those classes that do not easily split along grade levels (see the Q&A) below.

Safety Through Modified 4-10 and Increased Use of Outdoor Spaces
As we move into less restrictive stages, we will provide in-person instruction to 50% of students at a time based on grade levels. This will mean that 9th and 10th grade students will be on campus Monday–Thursday of one week and then 11th and 12th Monday–Thursday of the next week.

In doing so, we will still benefit from some of the advantages of a 4-10 model. If students contract the virus while on-campus, they will be more likely to be at home by the time they are contagious. We are also creating more outdoor classroom spaces so that teachers will have the option to move their classes outdoors when it makes sense.

Indoor spaces will also be fully ventilated and will have doors and windows open to increase the flow of fresh air and reduce the risk of aerosol transmission. We have upgraded all HVAC filters to MERV 13, which is the same filter used for general surgery and hospital inpatient care areas.

4-10 Model

This model predicts that a two-week cycle can reduce the virus’s reproduction number—the average number of people infected by each infected person—below one. So a 4-10 cycle could suppress the epidemic while allowing sustainable activity.

The premise of this approach to reopening schools and workplaces is as follows: The median incubation period for Covid‐19 is four to five days. It takes an average of three days after a person becomes infected with Covid-19 before they can infect someone else. Theoretically, this means that people may work or attend school together for a short time (especially if also following other health and hygiene guidelines) if they then spend another stretch of time away from people—four days of school/work followed by ten days at home. If they have gotten sick during their time at school/work, it will show up during their ten days away (this includes two weekends in the schedule we’ve outlined) and they won’t come into school for their next in-person learning opportunity.

A number of publications have published articles about this model. Follow the links below to read them.

Cyclic strategies to suppress COVID-19 and allow economic activity (Medium)

10-4: How to Reopen the Economy by Exploiting the Coronavirus’s Weak Spot (NY Times)

This Twist on the Four-Day Workweek Could Get People Back to Work Without Causing New Outbreaks (Fast Company)


List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What are Flex Fridays? 

    The goals of Flex Fridays are connection and renewal.

    We are leaving the schedule flexible so that we can adapt to changing restrictions, allowing our schedule to remain essentially the same no matter which tier we are in.

    In the Purple Tier, we will bring grade levels on campus for community building and connection. We are also exploring ways to address the goals of our co-curricular programs through virtual Exploratory classes, coordinated times for students to serve the community (like working at the food bank or gleaning), and so on.

    As we move to less-restrictive tiers and bring classes back to campus, this time will have the same goals, but we will address them differently as opportunities arise.

    The co-curricular and lunch period Monday-Thursday will serve a variety of purposes, including exploratory, Impact, clubs, advisory, community meeting, etc.
  • How will you handle schedule outliers that don't fit neatly into the 9/10 or 11/12 grade level splits?

    Students who are outliers in electives—for example, one or two sophomores in a class with all juniors/seniors—will be asked to switch to a different elective that has more of their grade level in it, to keep classes balanced and reduce the need for hybrid teaching. Outliers in core classes will be put in the same section if possible; otherwise each teacher will have different methods for including these students in their classes (hybrid, etc). Students will be contacted if they are an "outlier" in a class. Teachers will communicate with students about the approach they will take for those outlier students who cannot be switched into a different section.
  • What is happening with athletics in Semester 2?

    We continue to monitor local and statewide health guidelines that
    impact our ability to practice without restrictions and compete.

    Currently, the North Coast Section and California Interscholastic
    Federation aren't allowing for regular practice and competition. Our
    teams have been combining in-person on-campus workouts with virtual sessions as guidelines allow.

    Per the most recent announcement, the calendar for sports is listed below.

    Season 1 Sports
    First official date is December 7, 2020.
    • Cross country: (start date December 7, end date varies between March 13-27 depending on postseason)
    • Volleyball (start date December 7, end date varies between February 27-March 20 depending on postseason)
    • Boys soccer (our league has petitioned to play in Season 1 starting December 7, final approval to be provided by NCS. If not approved it would be a season 2 sport starting February 22)
    Season 2 Sports
    Each sport would have one of three different start dates listed below.
    • Girls soccer (start date February 22, end date varies between May 15-June 5 depending on postseason)
    • Tennis (start date March 8, end date varies between May 15-June 7/8 depending on postseason)
    • Lacrosse (start date March 15, end date varies between May 29-June 10 depending on postseason)
    • Track & Field (start date March 15, end date varies between June 5-June 26 depending on postseason)
    • Basketball (start date March 15, end date varies between May 29-June 18/19 depending on postseason)
    • Baseball (start date March 15, end date varies between June 5-June 26 depending on postseason)
    If you have any questions, please contact Director of Athletics Chris
  • What transportation options will be available to students?

    We will not be providing transportation during the Purple Tier in-person/on-campus activities. Once we anticipate movement into the Red Tier and the beginning of weekly in-person academic classes  for students, we will communicate with families about transportation options. 
  • When we return to campus for in-person academics will there be lunch service?

    We will not provide food service during the 2020-21 school year.
    When students and staffulty are on campus for lunch, the following will apply:
    • Everyone must bring their own food, beverages and utensils, preferably in reusable containers to eliminate excess waste
    • School utensils, dishes, microwaves, toaster ovens and/or shared refrigerators will not be available for use by community members
    • Lunch times and locations will be scheduled. Lunch locations will be outdoors utilizing tables that are specifically positioned and set up to maintain health and safety, including use of plexiglass barriers and physical distancing
    • Masks may be removed while seated at a designated lunch table but must be worn anytime a community member gets up from the table
    • No food deliveries will be allowed, and no off-campus lunch privileges will be issued
    • All community members should wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to eating. We have constructed outdoor stations (using non-potable water) that are set up around campus to facilitate hand washing. Hand-washing stations are NOT to be used to refill water bottles as they contain treated water not suitable for drinking
2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770

Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.