Flintridge Prep Return to Campus Plan

The goals of Flintridge Prep's educational environment remain consistent regardless of where and how learning occurs. We are committed to: 

  • Maintaining and protecting the physical and emotional health of our community; 
  • Providing the best quality academic program and student experience possible; 
  • Being flexible, adaptable, patient, and caring as we navigate challenging, unpredictable, and shifting circumstances. 

It is our goal to return to campus for hybrid learning as soon as deemed safe by local and state health authorities.  

Our COVID-19 School Compliance Task Force is working with health experts, educational partners, peer schools, the LA County Department of Public Health, the National Association of Independent Schools, the California Association of Independent Schools, and the National Business Officers Association to ensure the safety of all community members when a return to campus is possible for hybrid learning. You can follow progress as the guidelines for LA County evolve by visiting http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/. 

We are committed to keeping our community informed, and this web page is the main hub for important communications. We will update this page with answers to your frequently asked questions, and whenever we have a major update, we will also send it via email. An archive of previous communications will be posted here. Please note: The school’s plans are subject to change based on the guidelines from the LA County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health. We are obliged to follow the guidelines that are most restrictive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Health, Safety, and Facilities

What are the required guidelines the school must follow in order to return to school?

Our COVID-19 School Compliance Task Force is working with health experts, educational partners, peer schools, the LA County Department of Public Health, the National Association of Independent Schools, the California Association of Independent Schools, and the National Business Officers Association to ensure the safety of all community members when a return to campus is possible for hybrid learning. You can follow progress as the guidelines for LA County evolve by visiting http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/. 

The school’s plans are subject to change based on the guidelines from the LA County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health. We are obliged to follow the guidelines that are most restrictive.

What are the educational models the school expects to follow in the 2020-2021 school year?

The school has prepared plans for three different models:

  • A completely online learning environment;
  • A hybrid model, which would have students on campus roughly half the time;
  • A return to campus for all community members.

In order to maintain health and safety, reinforce continuity of teaching and learning, and protect community well-being, Flintridge Prep is prepared to move fluidly between models as circumstances change, and our schedule was designed to work in any of these three learning environments.

If I have a high-risk family member, can my student choose not to come to campus for hybrid learning?

Yes, during hybrid learning, students can choose to continue online learning by participating in in-person classes through Zoom. Once we are 100% back on campus, students will be expected to be on campus.

How will the school ensure safety for faculty, staff, and students?

The physical and emotional health of our community is of primary importance to us all, and maintaining a healthy environment requires a commitment from our whole community. The school has implemented the following protocols, currently being employed by essential faculty and staff. When it is safe to return for hybrid learning, these requirements will be in place for all who enter campus:

  • Daily health tracking using the Magnus Health app. Do not come to campus if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • All community members are encouraged to receive a flu vaccination.
  • Wear a mask at all times, wash your hands frequently, and maintain a physical distance of six feet or more.
  • Equally important, we encourage all community members to seek emotional support through our counseling and peer counseling programs, as well as through our deans and school counselor.

We have also implemented the following protocols throughout our campus:

Physical Distancing

  • Desks have been spaced six feet apart in all classrooms.
  • Lunch tables have been spaced at least six feet apart, and a maximum occupancy per table has been established.
  • Water fountain mouthpieces have been disabled, while bottle fillers are active.
  • Multipurpose covered outdoor meeting spaces with six foot distancing have been set up.
  • Covered outdoor teaching spaces have been designated for certain classes, potentially including instrumental and vocal music.
  • Per county reopening protocols for K-12 schools, a COVID-19 medical tent has been established in the event that we would need to isolate symptomatic students or community members.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

  • Daytime cleaning staff has been increased and the cleaning program has been intensified.
  • The evening cleaning program has been intensified.
  • The school has contracted with a janitorial company that has developed a COVID-19 rapid-response cleaning regimen that will be deployed if needed in the event of a positive diagnosis on campus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • All community members are required to wear a mask on campus at all times.
  • Four cloth face masks have been provided to every employee.
  • Disposable mask dispensers have been installed at campus entry points.
  • Hand sanitizers are stationed throughout campus where hand sinks are not available.

HVAC systems and Ventilation

  • Rooms with shared HVAC systems have been equipped with MERV-13 filters.
  • Rooms with dedicated HVAC systems are equipped with MERV-11 filters.
  • Air handler fans are programmed to run during school hours.
  • Doors are equipped with kick-stops or door stoppers to prop open doors and eliminate touch points.
  • Floor fans have been purchased and placed in key areas.

Signage

  • Sandwich boards have been placed at all entrances stating COVID-19 community protocols.
  • Floor decals have been placed around campus to remind people of six-foot physical distancing requirements as well as to frequently wash hands.
  • Proper hand washing instructions are posted in all restrooms.
  • COVID-19 symptoms are posted at entry health screening stations.

Student Life

Extracurricular Activities

How will the school be handling extracurricular activities such as clubs and after school activities?

With the start of the school year, our student clubs and organizations are poised to bring Prep’s dynamic and engaging after-school culture to life online. During lunch periods and after 2:30, students can expect regular club meetings to occur, as they would in an on-campus model.

How will student leadership organizations operate?

Faculty and student leadership of organizations such as SCAC, ACL, FLINT, and Student Senate are working to create online versions of existing programs, while also developing new goals specifically targeted to the needs of students learning and engaging from home. For example, Senate and SCAC will be collecting school supplies at Book Day to donate to our community through Kids in Need. This is just one examples of the ways our student clubs will bring opportunities to connect with one another and with our wider community to life this fall.

How will the speech and debate and robotics teams work?

Our speech and debate team will be competing in a robust schedule of online tournaments. Our robotics team is developing projects that can be completed from student homes. More to come!

Athletics

What are our plans for our athletic program?

On Monday, July 20, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced a delay in the fall sports season in all 10 sections, including the Southern Section. Sports will be played in two seasons, fall and spring, instead of three, with section playoffs for most fall sports ending on March 13, 2021 (girls volleyball and boys water polo) or March 20, 2021 (girls and boys cross country). Football section playoffs are scheduled to end on April 10, 2021. For more information on the CIF announcement, visit this link.

To bridge the time between the end of summer and the beginning of the season, Prep has developed programs to engage and support our athletes’ continued conditioning and team experience.

  • At present, our high school athletes are being served through online conditioning programs.
    • For grades 7 and 8, all students are participating in PE classes, which focus on physical and mental health, and wellness, as well as fitness enhancement, through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.
    • For grades 9 and 10, athletes are invited to participate in specialized strength and conditioning sections in their online PE classes with dedicated coaches and athletic trainers to supervise their development.
    • Athletes in grades 11 and 12 have access to team-based, after-school, online conditioning meetings. These meetings are hosted by Coaches Andrew Phillips and Russell White. Each team has two meetings per week, and the meetings serve as an opportunity to develop training plans, socialize with teammates, and share experiences in a safe space.
    • All high school athletes have access to the Volt app, which coaches and trainers may use to help them develop personalized and sport-specific training programs.
  • The school has already set the start date for fall practices to begin in late November or early December in accordance with the athletic schedule and start dates announced by CIF. First contests are scheduled in December and January. We have plans to be able to accommodate our fall teams for on-campus practices, but we await new state and local orders to make implementing those plans possible.
  • As middle school athletic seasons approach, middle school athletes will be invited to join sport-specific practices conducted within their PE class time, assuming that state and local guidelines allow such practices to occur.

How will high school athletes receive the strength and conditioning they need?

Currently, all high school athletes have access to an online after-school team building and conditioning program coached by Russell White, head football and track coach and Assistant Athletic Director, and Andrew Phillips, head boys and girls water polo coach and assistant swim coach. Coach White and Coach Phillips look forward to working with our athletes, developing individual training programs and hosting team gatherings to support students’ continued athletic development while at home.

Under current local and state orders, we are permitted to begin small cohort, on-campus conditioning only (not practice) for our high school athletic programs. We are awaiting the completion of the Bachmann Collaboration Building and subsequent improvements to the field and hardscape on the lower campus before we open our campus for conditioning under these guidelines. Assuming these orders remain unchanged, we hope to welcome our high school athletes back to campus in the latter part of October for twice-a-week, on campus conditioning. Note that the cohorts required by current orders are quite small, and teams will not be able to practice as a whole but rather in these small, stable cohorts of athletes.

  • All students will receive a questionnaire to identify the sport for which they wish to condition this fall. Students should complete only one questionnaire. This information will be used to plan for our facilities and staffing needs, so that we are prepared to open as planned when our facilities are ready. Students who do not wish to participate in on-campus athletic conditioning this fall need not complete the questionnaire.

How will the school handle Physical Education?

  • We will follow state and county guidelines for physical education (PE) and conditioning classes. We are prepared to conduct these classes in a hybrid mode once we return to campus and guidelines allow.
  • Ninth and 10th graders are currently starting to use the Volt app for personalized sport-specific and fitness workouts, guided by PE faculty.

Performing Arts

How will the school handle Performing Arts?

We are ready to hold instrumental and vocal music outside, as conditions permit and as guidelines dictate.

We will follow state and county guidelines and hope to hold performing arts events in person, when possible. In the meantime, we are contracting with virtual events specialists to make any online performances feel rich and rewarding.

How will the school handle performances?

In addition to the performance opportunities listed below, students are invited to connect with others with similar interests, passions, and talents through clubs. Some examples are Contemporary Dance Club, Music For the World, and Activism in the Arts.

In addition to the performance opportunities listed below, students are invited to connect with others with similar interests, passions, and talents through clubs. Some examples are Contemporary Dance Club, Music For the World, and Activism in the Arts.

  • Fall Play: This year's extracurricular fall play (for students in grades 10-12) is in full swing with director Jen Bascom! “Most Likely To: The Senior Superlative Monologues” pits the ”Geeks” against the “Goths,” “Drama Queens” and “Jocks” in a senior superlative showdown for Best All Around! The performance will premiere November 5-7 with a live/interactive introduction.
  • Curricular Performances - Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, and Dance: Our classes are off and running as we prepare for our virtual Winter Music and Dance Concerts. These thoughtfully curated performances will include large and small group pieces, exploring new ways of creating and presenting music and dance through the screen. The concerts will premiere during the first two weeks of December.
  • Spring Musical: Auditions for the spring musical begin the second week of October and rehearsals will begin in November. Auditions will include a vocal, acting, and dance portion, all conducted virtually. Participation in the school musical is open to all grade levels.
  • Stage Craft & Post Production: Students are invited to volunteer to assist in the post-production side of virtual performance: sound mixing/editing, video editing, animation, etc.

When we return to hybrid learning, will assemblies be held on campus?

We will follow state and county gathering guidelines. For the time being, assemblies will be held online.

Student Support, Health, and Wellness

How will the school support my student this school year?

Our student life team stands ready to meet our students where they are, on campus or at home, providing connection, social and emotional support, advising, and most of all, a caring, listening ear trained to serve student needs. Understanding the challenges students and families are facing this fall, we have dedicated additional resources to fostering the connection and relationships that are the cornerstone of the Prep experience. Any student or parent with questions about student life or student support is invited to contact our Assistant Head for Student Life, Vanessa Walker-Oakes.

How will the schedule provide opportunities for social and emotional learning?

Prep’s new schedule includes several adaptations made with student wellbeing in mind. Recognizing the need for dedicated time for social-emotional learning and class connection, the schedule provides for a weekly advisory period, during which grades 7 and 9 will participate in advisory, grades 8, 10, 11, and 12 will have the opportunity to host class meetings and activities. For students in grade 10, opportunities will be provided for them to meet on a recurring basis with their advisors from the previous year. Similarly, students in grade 11 will have quarterly opportunities to check in with their sophomore advisors. Community times such as weekly community blocks (Wednesdays) and morning meetings (Thursdays) provide additional communal touchpoints. A late start on Friday provides the opportunity for students to sleep in, recognizing the need for down time and rest, while faculty engage in ongoing collaboration and professional growth.

How will mentoring programs support students?

Our peer counseling and 8th Grade Buddies programs are committed to serving students in grades 7, 8, and 9, matching each student with a senior mentor. Senior Leaders provides peer-to-peer tutoring for class-specific academic support. Our mentoring also extends to our new 7th and 8th grade families, who will be welcomed by our brand new PAW (Parents Association Welcome) program, pairing each family with an experienced Prep mentor family.

How will teachers support students’ learning outside a typical class period?

For students who would benefit from additional time with their teachers to practice and master course skills and content, prepare for assessments, or make up missed work, all faculty will be hosting regular tutoring after school, just as they would on campus. In addition, our Associate Dean of Student Support, Midge Kimble, will be dedicating her time to serving students who require additional learning and/or health support.

What other resources are available for students who need academic, social, and emotional support?

Our most important priority is to serve our students and make them feel safe, cared for, and understood. Recognizing the diversity of students, we encourage students who are struggling with any concern to approach the adult within our student life team with whom they feel most comfortable.

  • Dean of Students Barrett Jamison is available to all students as a resource for guidance and counsel.
  • The grade level deans have specific experience overseeing student progress through each developmental year of middle and high school. Their doors, both literal and virtual, are open to meet with students.
  • For students who wish to speak with a psychologist, our school counselor, Dr. Mary Rotzien, is also available to meet with students. Students should contact Barrett Jamison to schedule an appointment.

How will the school provide for students’ health and wellness?

Maintaining and protecting the physical and emotional health of our community is a primary concern for everyone at Prep. Our Student Life team is actively engaged in reaching out to our students and finding ways to connect and serve, even while on Zoom.

  • At every grade level, the Student Life team reinforces community connection through weekly class meetings and other developmentally appropriate activities.
  • The advisory system for grades 7 and 9, as well as quarterly advising meetings for grades 10 and 11, offer periodic support for small groups.
  • Individual support for students and families is also available. Students and parents should feel comfortable reaching out to any faculty member or a member of the Student Life team, which consists of Dean of Students Barrett Jamison, School Counselor Dr. Mary Rotzien, Associate Dean of Student Support Midge Kimble, and Assistant Head for Student Life Vanessa Walker-Oakes, as well as grade level deans for each grade. Meet our entire Prep Student Support team by watching this video that was shared with students.
  • The school is expanding its programming to include assemblies and speakers who will provide context and support. Lori Getz, an expert on social media and technology, will work with grades 7-9 in September and October. Dave Mochel, a mindfulness expert, will work with 11th and 12th graders and in October, and with all parents on October 8. More information will be forthcoming on these events.

Academic Life

What kind of professional growth have teachers done around online learning in recent months?

Prep’s faculty have been predictably eager to learn strategies and skills to supplement the online teaching experiences they had in the spring. Individuals and cohorts have attended recent workshops on a range of topics, including active learning in the age of COVID-19, redefining student life for online learning, becoming a diversity responsive school, global program leadership in a changing world, and bringing humanity to virtual spaces.

In addition, administrators have distilled six takeaways about online learning from extensive student and faculty feedback in the spring, as well as a Prep parent survey this summer: build community, be interactive, plan for variety in classroom activities, encourage student-to-student contact through breakout groups and projects, be aware of screen time, and remember that students still have extracurricular and family commitments during online learning. At a faculty meeting in early August, based on these guidelines, teachers brainstormed together how to build community with new students and lesson plan strategically.

During opening faculty meetings in mid-August, Prep faculty will also discuss online learning strategies with Lori Getz, founder of Cyber Education Consultants and a frequent guest speaker to our students about digital literacy.

As Prep has done for decades, we also continue to support robust individual professional growth funding for all faculty through an application process.

How will faculty assess and adapt the learning experience for students throughout the fall? 

Whether online, hybrid or fully on campus, faculty this year will have ample time to reflect on student learning through our new Faculty Fridays, weekly 45-minute meetings made possible by a weekly late start for students in this year’s schedule. At these gatherings, faculty will collaborate in small groups, come together by departments and grade levels to discuss academic and student life, and work with outside speakers on topics such as inclusion and leadership.

We will also be continuing our strong faculty evaluation and growth program through online class observations and student surveys, which apply to new teachers as well as those in a comprehensive evaluation year (multiples of five).

In addition, we welcome feedback from parents and students on ways to further strengthen academic and student life at Prep. For academic life feedback, please contact Assistant Head for Academic Life Sarah Cooper; for student life feedback, please contact Assistant Head for Student Life Vanessa Walker-Oakes.

How is the promise of the new Bachmann Collaboration Building being realized in an online learning environment?

As some faculty begin to teach online from the Bachmann Collaboration Building (BCB), students will literally see the potential of the new spaces, whether the biology lab, art studio, makerspace, global research lab, or new language, math and history classrooms. Through Book Day on August 24 and at additional materials distribution times in the fall, students will receive the hands-on supplies they need to fully participate in all classes from home, whether these classes are scheduled for the BCB or in an array of other labs, studios and spaces around campus.

In addition, the Bachmann Collaboration Building is simply a manifestation of the collaborative, inquiry-based vision that Prep has for education. This philosophy will continue to percolate through the curriculum with student projects and faculty collaboration, as well as beyond the school day through extracurricular clubs and programs.

How can students stay in contact with their teachers in a period of online learning?

Every teacher will be offering regular tutoring/office hours, listed on teachers’ syllabi and on campus page. Email is also an excellent way to get in touch. As always, students are more than welcome to schedule a one-on-one conversation with any faculty member via Zoom or Google Meet.

If I have a question about the academic program, whom should I contact?

Prep’s website offers information about each department’s curriculum and the school’s academic vision.

We always encourage students to take the first step in communicating with Prep faculty or administrators with questions, followed by a parental inquiry if needed. For questions about faculty or curricular topics, please contact the appropriate department chair, initiative coordinator, or Sarah Cooper. For questions about student life or student support, please contact Vanessa Walker-Oakes.

Hybrid Learning

When will we be allowed to return to campus for hybrid learning?

  • As of September, LA county is in Tier 1 (the purple tier), and must reach Tier 2 and remain in Tier 2 for a minimum of two weeks before schools could be allowed to reopen.
  • Flintridge Prep must abide by the state and county regulations. There are no special waivers or conditions that would allow us to reopen campus earlier. Failure to comply with local and state law also impacts our accreditation by the California Association of Independent Schools.
  • Prep’s principles, our mission, vision, and honor code, require us to follow the state and county guidelines, whichever is more restrictive.

How will the hybrid learning program at Prep work?

When it is safe to return to campus, Flintridge Prep’s hybrid learning program plan will consist of the following:

  • Approximately half the students will be on campus at any given time, which will generally follow an alternating Mon-Wed-Fri/Tu-Thurs schedule. Students will be assigned to a blue or silver group, as a hybrid reopening becomes imminent, with siblings in the same cohort. Please see the color-coded letter day schedule for more information.
  • Students with health concerns will not be required to come to school at any time. Until we are fully open with everyone on campus, students will be able to take their classes through Zoom from home.
  • The Magnus Health app has a symptom tracker. Anyone coming to campus is required to use the symptom tracker. Anyone experiencing symptoms must stay home.
  • We will follow all physical distancing recommendations inside and outside of classrooms.

Will nutrition and lunch be provided during hybrid learning?

Pre-packaged food will be available for purchase. All food purchases will be cashless. Community members will be able to eat outside if the weather permits. Strict six-foot distancing will be enforced in the lunch line.

When will the school return to normal on-campus learning and activities? How long will we be in hybrid? How will you communicate with the community about a return to campus?

Flintridge Prep is working with health experts, educational partners, peer schools, the LA County Department of Public Health, the National Association of Independent Schools, the California Association of Independent Schools, and the National Business Officers Association to ensure the safety of all community members when a return to campus is possible for hybrid learning. You can follow progress as the guidelines evolve by visiting http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/.

Our guiding principles are tied to the heart of our school mission:

  • To maintain and protect the physical and emotional health of our community;
  • To provide the best quality academic program and student experience possible;
  • To be flexible, adaptable, patient, and caring as we navigate challenging, unpredictable, and shifting circumstances.

When we move to a hybrid model, we will provide as much notice as possible to our community so that they can prepare, as well.

Schedule

Will the new schedule be used for hybrid learning?

Our schedule for the 2020-2021 school year will remain in place regardless of conditions and the format of learning we’re in at the time. The two-week rotating schedule includes:

  • Five 60-minute classes on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Three 75-minute classes and a 75-minute Community Block on Wednesdays
  • Four 75-minute periods on Thursdays
  • Morning Meetings on Thursdays
  • Four 60-minute classes with a 30-minute Advisory period for 7th and 9th graders on Fridays (this time will be used for class meetings and other activities for grades 8, 10, 11, and 12)
  • Days will be identified as A-J

The schedule is both familiar and forward looking, including features such as:

  • A late start on Friday (Classes will begin at 8:50 so that faculty can use this time for professional growth and collaboration)
  • Longer class periods
  • 10-minute "passing" periods
  • Fewer class meetings per week
  • A dedicated advisory/class meeting period

Financial Questions

How is Flintridge Prep supporting families impacted financially by the pandemic?

We understand there may be new and unusual family financial demands that make the cost of a Flintridge Prep education an obstacle. The Flintridge Prep Board of Trustees is committed to keeping our community and student body strong by stewarding the school’s resources and supporting families through the pandemic as much as possible. If need-based financial aid would be helpful in the 2021-2022 school year, please submit our FAST application, which will be available in November 2020. Those experiencing immediate financial impacts should contact our Director of Operations Kim Kinder.

How is money being spent to support our community during this time?

  • The school has increased financial aid funding to provide additional assistance to our families experiencing financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Expenditures have been made to support the IT infrastructure, as well as equipment for faculty and staff to work remotely.
  • Expenditures have been made to offset expenses accrued by faculty and staff working from home, including Wi-Fi, printing, and cell phone expenses.
  • We have hired additional faculty members to allow for physically distanced teaching.
  • We have increased expenditures for faculty and staff who have increased workloads related to the pandemic.
  • We have increased expenditures related to distribution of student supplies and the production of Performing and Visual Arts programs.
  • We had made upgrades to HVAC systems throughout campus buildings to improve the filtration capabilities of the air conditioning and heating systems.
  • Investments have been made to provide faculty, staff, and student screening; personal protective equipment (PPE); wellness counseling; and campus signage.
  • Additional investments have been made to enhance cleaning protocols; increase maintenance staff, routines, and equipment; and improve campus maintenance.

Communication

To whom should I direct questions?

If you have questions not answered on our website, please feel free to email covidteam@flintridgeprep.org. If you have questions of a personal nature, please contact Theresa King or Kim Kinder directly.

When will the school return to normal on-campus learning and activities? How long will we be in hybrid? How will you communicate with the community about a return to campus?

Flintridge Prep is working with health experts, educational partners, peer schools, the LA County Department of Public Health, the National Association of Independent Schools, the California Association of Independent Schools, and the National Business Officers Association to ensure the safety of all community members when a return to campus is possible for hybrid learning. You can follow progress as the guidelines evolve by visiting http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/.

Our guiding principles are tied to the heart of our school mission:

  • To maintain and protect the physical and emotional health of our community;
  • To provide the best quality academic program and student experience possible;
  • To be flexible, adaptable, patient, and caring as we navigate challenging, unpredictable, and shifting circumstances.

When we move to a hybrid model, we will provide as much notice as possible to our community so that they can prepare, as well.

Recent Communications from Prep

Click here to read our recent communications to our community.

Our Commitment to Health and Safety

The campus remains restricted to all but essential faculty and staff, and in-person instruction and activities are prohibited. Those who come to campus are expected to follow rigorous guidelines.

Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
Fax: 818-952-6247
Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
  • NAIS
  • FAST
  • CSEE
  • Independent Curriculum Group
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