COVID-19

Designing for Safety (and Excellence)

Driven by Mission and Vision

Driven by Mission and Strategic Vision

As always, our school mission and current strategic vision remain front and center,  a driving force in shaping Epiphany’s response to the pandemic. While this period is undoubtedly challenging, it also presents unique opportunities to respond with different learning modalities and approaches that support and advance our larger vision.

Mission
The Epiphany School of Global Studies, anchored in the Judeo-Christian commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself, is a comprehensive college-preparatory and globally-focused school where dynamic and innovative learning is stretched beyond the classroom walls, emphasizing the knowledge, skills, creativity, adaptability, curiosity, and international experiences students will need to flourish in an increasingly globalized 21st century.

Strategic Vision

Epiphany is committed to pioneering a unique and successful program of global studies. The Board of Trustees, Head of School and other key administrators have designed a first-in-kind, fully comprehensive program of global studies that provides students with the knowledge and experiences to make them uniquely qualified to succeed in the future.

 

Scenario Planning: Determining the Way Forward

Scenario Planning: Determining the Way Forward

Throughout the pandemic, The Epiphany School of Global Studies has followed the guidance of the state and public health authorities. Despite the current unknowns about the fall, it is necessary to begin scenario planning for 2020-2021. 

As they are released, future guidance from relevant authorities will be used to help make ongoing operational decisions.   

We desire to get students back on campus as quickly as it is safe to do so.    

Key Understandings

Key Understandings

In planning for the next school year, we are operating under the following assumptions:

  • we are going through a monumentally stressful and disruptive time in history, and we should not expect to flip a switch back to “normal;”
  • there will be heightened attention to matters of wellness and public health which will impact our students, their families and the format in which learning needs to occur;
  • various formal and informal forms of social distancing will continue; and
  • coronavirus waves are predicted to cause future short-term, place-specific stay-at-home orders for the foreseeable future.

 

Our Immediate Goals

Our Immediate Goals
  • Define, design, develop a “Digital Core” for The Epiphany School of Global Studies
  • Adjust academic schedules for maximum flexibility between normal, hybrid, and virtual learning modes
  • Adjust physical environment for distancing and heightened public-health protocols
  • Review programs, policies, and procedures for safe operations
  • Identify tools and resources to make work easier and effective in this environment

Task Forces

Task Forces

We are beginning with what we can control in the spring and early summer. Working groups were created on May 4 to review:

  • Academics
  • Admissions
  • Advancement
  • Co-Curricular
  • Finance/Operations
  • Technology
  • Wellness

These groups rely on guidelines from governmental and health bodies as well as business and medical experts within our community.

Health Planning

Our Framework

Our Framework

When we operationalize re-opening in the fall, we will organize around the following framework to keep our community healthy.

Prevention

  • Education about the virus and how to stay healthy
  • Program adjustments to maximize inividual and community wellness
  • Physical and social adjustments to minimize risk of exposure

Detection

  • Monitoring regional and local outbreaks to understand community risk
  • Ensuring individuals coming to campus are of low risk of spreading illness
  • Tracking individual cases and trending illnesses within our community

Response

  • Communicating with local health authorities and internal community
  • Adjusting operational modes
  • Implementing cleaning and disinfecting protocols

WELLNESS TEAM

Wellness Team

Using guidance from trusted health authorities, this group will determine the best policy and operational approaches to keep our community healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Areas to explore could include:

  • Providing educational frameworks and approaches to keep the community informed regarding health and wellness best-practices
  • Providing guidance on PPE, screening, contact tracing or school closure recommendations
  • Developing methods for communication with divisions about on-campus health trends
  • Conferring with the Facilities and Operations team

FINANCE and Operations Team

FINANCE & OperationS Team

This group will review governmental and health guidelines to develop clear and reasonable operational guidelines and protocols for facilities use. Areas to explore could include:

Campus Use

    • Occupancy guidelines/restrictions based on state recommendations
    • Expectations for parents, prospective students, and outside visitors

Cleaning/Health

    • Cleaning protocols used by Tarts Cleaning Services, LLC cleaning team
    • Cleaning protocols for classroom teachers/individuals
    • Sourcing and procurement of resources
    • Installation of additional handwashing or sanitizing stations

Social Distancing Physical Adaptations

    • Recommendations for spacing/barriers to desks and counters – classrooms, offices, and public spaces
    • Procedures to reduce touching of doors and/or cleaning of heavily used objects
    • Developing appropriate signage/wayfinding instructions

Social Distancing Human Adaptations

    • Altering “human traffic” patterns
    • Potential restrictions for lockers and other max-contact areas
    • Gathering guidelines and/or restrictions for larger groups

Financial Considerations and Support

SCHOOL FINANCES

School Finances

Like most businesses, the school has experienced a number of unanticipated financial impacts resulting from Covid-19, especially as it relates to a sharp drop in ancillary (non-tuition) income that directly supports the academic program and general operational expenses. 

We anticipate additional costs this summer as we prepare the campus for social distancing and as our faculty works hard to build out our Digital Core. 

TUITION AND FEES

Tuition and Fees

As we evaluate our budgeting for the end of this year and into next year, we have seen all operational savings consumed by the unanticipated costs of the crisis.   As a result, we have had to dip into our operational reserves to cover this difference.  

However, considering cost savings realized by canceling planned grade-level overnight trips and retreats, the school has begun to evaluate what grades would be provided a credit on unused funds.  In addition, families will be refunded all fees for planned overnight trips, even in cases where the school could not get back deposits for travel or lodging. 

As we begin to process billing for the next school year we will take into consideration removing comprehensive fees that potentially would not be used due to the pandemic. 

SUPPORTING FAMILIES IN NEED

Supporting Families in Need

We recognize the stay-at-home order and subsequent economic shutdown has impacted the finances of many families. The Epiphany School of Global Studies wishes to be as responsive and flexible as possible during this uncertain time.

Families wishing to discuss the need for a more flexible payment plan or potential emergency tuition assistance should reach out to our Director of Finance, Tara Hughes.