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Staying Healthy in 2020

Town Halls and Communications

Last updated October 16, 2020

Town Hall Recordings

Here is a list of school-wide communications over the past several months. Future communications will be updated here.  

Our Approach

The rationale for our opening plan is to focus on three key priorities: the physical and emotional Health and Safety of all members of our community, Academic Continuity, and preservation of the Value of a CDS education. We are prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, and families as well as the developmental needs of our students.

*NEW: Childcare and Aftercare Offerings

Updated October 22, 2020

We will no longer be able to provide DROP-IN aftercare due to health and safety reasons. In order to participate, your student MUST be on a roster. In this linked post, we outlined our process for making plans for cohorting students in aftercare.

*If you are interested in aftercare and have not filled out this survey, please do so AND email Erin for kindergarten or Chris for 1st grade and up. More details are available below.

Students will move to a room (or stay in a room) on the main 333 campus that will be sanitized and aired out before use in the afternoon.

We are still working on a static, monthly billing plan. Until that is set up, we will be using Procare, as normal, to track hours in aftercare. At the end of the school day, your student will be signed in to aftercare. At pick up time, you will use Procare on your phone to sign out contact free. Your student will be called down to meet you outside.

  • Aftercare hourly charges can be found at this link. A late charge of $10/minute after 5:35 will be assessed (as per normal Extended Program operations).

Per SF Department of Public Health guidance, daily attendance is not mandatory. However, a student may not be concurrently enrolled in more than one youth program (for example, a sports program would not be allowed).

Per the updated SFDPH guidelines referenced above, students will be kept in strict cohorts of no more than 14 students, working with the same staff members. Cohorts will be created from classrooms in the same grade, based on interest. Once created, cohorts will remain stable for the school year.

Hygiene/sharing materials

  • All spaces, equipment and toys will be cleaned and disinfected daily.  
  • Surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, nap pads, toilet training potties, desks, chairs, cubbies, and playground structures will be routinely cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected.
  • Toys, arts and crafts materials, or school supplies (e.g., scissors, markers, pens, pencils, glue sticks, etc.) will not be shared between groups of children. 

We are actively working to adapt to the new normal! We are exploring ways to maintain enrichment opportunities, despite being unable to mix groups in the afternoon. However, below you can find information about programming so far.

  • Every afternoon will begin with snack time and free play, outside if weather permits (please be sure to pack an extra snack!).
  • Activity hour will be from 4 - 5 pm (indoor activity options).
  • Pick up time (5 - 5:30 pm) will either be on the yard or in the classroom.
Air Quality Policy and Communication

Air Quality Policy and Communicating Campus Closures
Members of the senior administration consult with each other early in the morning. CDS is using, and if readings show a number of 200 or higher, we will make the decision to close and communicate the closure by 7 am. Notices will be sent via ParentSquare and also One Call Now just to those families with students participating in on-site learning.
Once students are on campus, if air quality worsens after consulting, we will make a decision by 11 am to determine whether on-site outdoor activities AND aftercare can take place. You are also welcome to check from home before starting your day. There also is a free app.

You can view the full CDS Air Quality policy here

Decision-Making Strategy

We are currently operating under the city’s latest directive regarding school reopening, which can be found in full here and allows for schools to reopen without applying for a waiver. We will be working with the SF Department of Public Health to ensure that our policies and procedures are in compliance and working to keep our community as safe as possible.

We reaffirm our commitment to using an equity lens to support decision making as we proceed through the scenarios and the year. (Within the CDS community and the broader San Francisco community using the diversity statement and the Mission, Beliefs, and Values as guiding principles).

Additionally, we will be focusing on the four guiding principles outlined by the Board of Trustees for 2020-2021. (Note the first principle is tied to health and wellbeing.) 
1) Nurturing Health and Wellbeing; 2) Empowering Connection; 3) Amplifying Learning Experiences; and 4) Responsive Inquiry, Responsive Learning.

Q. Who makes the decisions?
The SF Department of Public Health provides health directives and orders which we are mandated to follow. Now the Governor's office has added some additional guidance. We use those directives to drive our internal decision making.

Q. What if SFUSD does not open?
We are not tied to SFUSD, as we are much more nimble and able to meet the guidelines for safe reopening from resource, space, and protocol perspectives (renting spaces, obtaining cleaning materials, PPP, etc.). This offers an opportunity to think about issues of equity in our plans. 

On-Site Physical Activities for Grades K-4

Updated October 7, 2020

For those who are interested in having your child participate, please be prompt – it is essential that these guidelines are adhered to since there will be a greater number of children on site and other logistics will have to be accommodated.

Drop off and Pick Up Procedures:

  • Because families will be lining up into the driveway to come onto campus for on-site activities, drop off and pick up will be walk-in/bike ride in and out.
  • Stand 6 feet apart and line up in the two lines.
  • Drop off will take place at two times:
    • 11:50am - 12:05pm - 1st onsite session
    • 1:50pm - 2:05pm - 2nd onsite session
  • Pick up will take place at two times:
    • 1:30pm - 1:45pm - 1st onsite session
    • 3:30pm - 3:45pm - 2nd onsite session
  • Cohorts will enter through the main entrance gate at Saint Joseph’s Hall. 
  • There will be two check-in stations.

Family Expectations:

  • Families will be prompt with drop off and pick up windows since there will be a number of students and families present for drop off and pick up.
  • Family members and caregivers are required to wear face coverings when dropping off or picking up children in the parking lot. 
  • There will be no parking or car drop-off in the CDS parking lot. Families will be required to walk their children to the designated drop-off area where staff will be waiting. 
    • The same family member or designated person is encouraged to drop off and pick up the child every day. Grandparents and older relatives are discouraged from picking up children if they are over 60 years old since they are more at risk for serious illness.
    • Families MUST sign in using Procare so that we have an active list of children onsite.
    • There will be NO TIME to visit or chat with staff or families due to the high number of students we have to process through and out during these sessions. If you want to do this, please wait until you are offsite.

Health and Safety Procedures:

  • Only CDS employees are permitted on campus.
    • Staff will remain 6 feet apart from parents and caregivers.
    • Staff will greet children outside as they arrive. There will be sign-in stations and hand sanitizer to clean hands after signing into Procare.

      At drop off, families will be asked if their child has exhibited any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or chills 
    • Cough 
    • Sore throat 
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing  
    • Not being able to taste or smell, or saying that things taste or smell different (within the last 10 days) 
    • Headache 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Nausea or vomiting
  • Families have the option of (a) taking a child’s temperature before arrival and reporting it, or (b) opting for the child’s temperature to be taken with a “no-touch” (infrared) thermometer upon arrival. If a child looks unwell, a team member will take the child's temperature. 
  • Personnel will look at every child for signs of illness like flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing, fatigue, or extreme fussiness.
  • Personnel conducting the screening will stand at least 6 feet away from the child and parent/caregiver.
    • Children who pass screening will wash their hands with soap and water or clean their hands with hand sanitizer before they enter the building or program.
    • Children with symptoms or fever will be sent home and encouraged to seek COVID-19 testing. 
    • Ill children will be kept in a separate area, away from other children, until they can be picked up.
    • When a parent or guardian arrives, a staff member will walk outside to meet them instead of allowing them inside the building. Since it is possible that a child with COVID-19 was infected by someone else in their home, the parent/guardian may also have COVID-19.
    • We will open windows in the areas used by the sick person to maximize outdoor circulation. We will close off those areas as soon as feasible until they can be cleaned and disinfected.

Weekly Schedule for Onsite Activities:

  • Tuesday - Kindergarten - 12:00-1:30pm
  • Tuesday - Grade 1 - 2:00 - 3:30pm
  • Thursday - Grade 2 - 12:00-1:30pm
  • Thursday - Grade 3 - 2:00-3:30pm
  • Friday - Grade 4 - 2:00-3:30pm
Kindergarten In-Person Learning & Aftercare

Updated September 28, 2020

CDS has officially been approved to open Kindergarten! 

In order to support as smooth a transition as possible, we are offering aftercare starting Monday, September 28 for the next three weeks, through October 16. Further plans for aftercare will be announced as soon as plans are made.

Two kindergarten classrooms will be supported in the afternoons by an aftercare teacher, who also provides support to each room during the day as an aide. The two rooms that will be combined in this way are KC1 (Luisa)/KC2 (Tristan) AND KC3 (Katie)/KC4 (Ami). This is also consistent with the grouping of two rooms that will share a specialist teacher who will provide art or Spanish instruction.

For each two-room cohort, there will be 14 maximum aftercare spots available (in accordance with SFDPH’s out-of-school time guidance). We will be taking sign-ups for these 14 spots on a first-come, first-served basis while also prioritizing those who are essential care workers or who receive sliding scale tuition assistance.

If you are interested in signing up, please use this form as soon as possible. We are working hard to provide this opportunity to support families on the heels of the official DPH announcement. 

More information will be provided to participating families, but a few things of note include:

  • Cohort size is 14 students maximum
  • Students who participate MUST commit to a minimum of 3 weeks
  • Students who participate CANNOT participate in any other kind of out of school programming (including after school sports)


  • Week of 9/28 - 10/2: from end of day (12:30) to 3:30 pm
  • Weeks 10/5 - 10/16: from end of day (3) to 4:30 pm

Aftercare will be charged hourly according to our sliding scale brackets listed on the website here. If you are still enrolled in annual care, you will not be billed hourly.

Our Families' Role in Returning to Campus (Community Agreements)

Last updated September 16, 2020

Our expectations are that we are all partners in protecting the health and safety of our community. Prior to starting in-person learning, we will ask families to follow shared agreements. We expect that all community members will work to keep social contacts as small as possible. For more information about our current requirements, please see “Community Agreements” below.

Community Agreements

During this time, shared commitments from school and home are essential. In order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 within our community, we are sharing the following guidelines with all families and staff. These guidelines set forth the minimum expectations that all families must follow so that we may open safely and responsibly.

We know that continued partnership is essential to reopening for in-person learning and we thank you in advance for the additional precautions you take to ensure your child, your family, and our learning community are safe and healthy. 

These measures are critical for the health and safety of OUR TEACHERS and SUPPORT STAFF, as well as our broader community.

  1. Follow Federal, State, and Local Health Orders 
    We expect you to comply with directives issued by state and local governmental health departments, including the CDC, regarding physical distancing in public, mask-wearing and other measures imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Practice Physical Distancing
    It is critical that we work together as a community to support community wellbeing by practicing physical distancing and limiting any mixture of households outside of school.   
  3. COVID-19 Testing and Notifications
    If you suspect your child or someone in your household has COVID-19, you must notify CDS ( within 24 hours, have the person(s) tested, and share the test results with school admin as soon as they are available.
  4. Stay Home if Sick
    If your child is sick in any way (not just C-19 symptoms), keep them home from school. Please monitor your child’s health with greater vigilance and avoid sending symptomatic children to school.*
  5. Stay Home if Exposed**
    If someone in your household has been notified that they were in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, notify CDS ( within 24 hours. Depending on the situation, you may be asked to keep your student home for 14 days. We will provide access to classes via distance learning.
  6. Regarding Travel
    All CDS community members will be encouraged to make smart decisions and follow the San Francisco Health Orders regarding quarantine after travel outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, listed below.

    “When moving into or out of the Bay Area (i.e., the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area region) or returning after travel outside the Bay Area, individuals are urged to quarantine for 14 days if they engaged in activities while traveling or outside the Bay Area that would put them at higher risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19. These higher-risk activities include those in which an individual: interacted for more than 15 minutes within six feet of individuals outside your Household if you or those around you were not wearing Face Coverings at all times, especially if you were indoors (including traveling on planes, buses, or trains if Face Coverings were not worn at all times by you and those around you). The greater number of people outside your household who are involved in these interactions, the greater the risk. To quarantine, individuals should follow the guidance of jurisdiction they are moving to and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Officer Directive No. 2020-02c, available at”
  7. Temperature checking
    CDS staff will check temperatures upon entry into school using an infrared thermometer. If your student has a temperature greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be sent home. We expect you to come and pick them up within one hour. 
  8. Face Masks 
    Ensure your student comes to campus every day with a face mask. Face masks with valves will not be permitted. We recommend that you practice masking behaviors outside of school, as well, to support the health and safety of our broader community.
  9. Hygiene
    Practice and reinforce good hygiene practices at home, in particular, the importance of frequent hand washing.
  10. Students’ Personal Items 
    Limit the items your child brings onto campus each day and reinforce policies around the sharing of food, supplies, and other items with other students.
  11. Medical Forms and Emergency Contact Information
    Parents must complete and submit all required student medical forms prior to the first day of school. Parents must provide at least 2 emergency contacts who will be able to pick up your child from school within one (1) hour of receiving a call from the School in the event that your child presents a temperature or becomes ill during the school day.

Thank you to the Kirby School for inspiring this document.

* We will screen children as they enter the school, and if a child self-reports or looks sick they will not be allowed to enter their classroom and we will call for more information. You may have to pick up your child within one hour.

** Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone who has been exposed/tested positive, without wearing a facemask for more than 15 minutes. 

Phases of Returning

Last updated August 21, 2020


Online Learning Platforms

Last updated September 2, 2020

We have researched a variety of software platforms and have confirmed we will still be using Seesaw in the Early Childhood Program/Lower School and Canvas in the Middle School. Enterprise Zoom will continue to be our conferencing tool. We will continue to work with other tools that are division-specific, such as Epic, IXL, Khan Academy, etc. There will also be more synchronous engagement this year.

For additional information, please see these recordings: 

For assistance, please reach out to the CDS Tech team at

The Waiver Process

Last updated September 9, 2020

During the week of August 31, the waiver application process began and CDS submitted the application, which serves as a required plan "on file" with the Department of Public Health for re-opening of all grades K-8. Our goal is to have Kindergarten back to in-person learning, as soon as the end of September. We will need to offer teachers time to prepare their classrooms, which may impact the schedules closer to the return date.

For students in grades 1-4, we expect this to align with our previously shared transition date of Monday, October 19. However, there might be some opportunities to come back together part-time starting a week or two earlier. As with kindergarten, we will need to offer teachers time to prepare their classrooms, which may impact the schedules closer to the return date. Grades 5-6 may come back together in limited ways, but we do not expect to transition to fully in-person learning yet. There will be more to come on this as we strategize the safest ways to provide the best social interactions for students.

On Friday, September 4, a survey was sent to the community asking families to indicate their intentions for returning to in-person learning. This information is critical to the provisioning of spaces and our planning.

Current Protocols in Place for Preschool In-person Learning

Last updated August 28, 2020

Children’s Day School is implementing the following protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention, following the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and San Francisco Health Department. Below are the following procedures and protocols being taken to maintain a clean and healthy learning environment at CDS.

  • High touch surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, handles, doors, desks, tables, chairs, carts, handrails, laptops, sinks, countertops, play equipment, etc.) to be cleaned and disinfected throughout the school day. Teachers, staff, and facilities will all participate in cleaning and disinfecting the school throughout the school day.
  • Hand washing will be encouraged throughout the school day (before school, recess, lunch, Extended Care, etc.) We have installed touch-free restroom fixtures and touch-free wash stations in the outside play areas, in both Lower School and Preschool areas.
  • Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the school buildings, outdoor play areas and the Farm & Garden areas.
  • Custodians will routine clean first, then disinfect all areas. This will occur throughout the school day and after school. EPA recommended and approved products and equipment will be used to clean and disinfect the school, offices, and rental spaces. Manual cleaning, UV light wands, and the use of electrostatic sprayers will be used to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • COVID-19 signage regarding wearing a mask, hand washing frequently, hand sanitizing, social distancing, sneezing & coughing procedures, No Visitors, stay home when you are sick, etc. have been placed throughout the CDS campus as a constant reminder.
  • Plexiglass “sneeze guards” have been installed in the CDS reception areas and classrooms where social distancing is not attainable to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • All classrooms have been issued bottles of hand sanitizer, bottles of disinfectant, disinfectant wipes & rolls of paper towels to inhibit the spread of germs.
  • Air ventilation: buildings with HVAC systems have been upgraded with MERV 13 air filters and adjusted to bring in 100% outside air. All classrooms have HEPA air purifiers and /or portable A/C units to assist in reducing airborne dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. The air filter systems in these portable A/C units have been upgraded to MERV 13 air filters. Opening doors and windows is encouraged to improve air circulation inside. Ceiling fans and box fans are available if needed.
  • The use of Bi-Polar Ionization units inside HVAC ducting is being considered as added prevention to further remove air contaminants.

Outdoor Playgrounds

Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. As a precautionary measure, CDS will routinely clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, swings, tricycles and railings. Cleaning and disinfection of wood surfaces (e.g., play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers is not recommended.

Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing Products

  • Bioesque Disinfectant Solution – one-step cleaner with bactericidal, virucide, and fungicidal claims. Utilizes Thymol, an antimicrobial agent present as a component of Thyme Oil. Kills 99.9 % of viruses in one minute, 99.9% of bacteria in two minutes, and 99.9% of fungi & molds in 3 minutes.
  • Atlas Multi-purpose cleaner #23 – Hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner that kills bacteria & viruses like H1N1, SARS & Coronavirus. Green seal. Navigation Dilution Control System.
  • Comet Disinfecting Powder Cleaner – Germicide
  • Compass Neutral Floor Cleaner #24 – Hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner that kills bacteria & norovirus. Green seal. NDC System
  • Clorox Cleanup: Cleaner & Bleach – Effectively cleans, disinfects & sanitizes against viruses/COVID-19
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (alcohol-free) – Effectively cleans, disinfects and sanitizes against viruses/COVID-19
  • Fresh Start Washroom Tub & Tile Cleaner #27 – Hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner that kills bacteria & viruses like H1N1, SARS & Coronavirus. Green seal.NDC System
  • Germ-Kleen Plus – Cleaner, disinfectant, virucide (kills viruses) & bacteria. Effective against HIV1, influenza & staphylococcus. NDC System
  • Infinity Glass Cleaner #25 – Cleaner. Green seal. NCD System
  • Lysol Disinfectant Spray – Effective in killing viruses like COVID -19
  • Pine G Kleen – Cleaner
  • Pure Bright Bleach – Germicide Ultra Bleach
  • Simple green – Disinfectant cleaner
  • Summit Heavy Duty Cleaner – Cleaner. Green seal. NDC System

Cleaning Materials/Equipment

  • Vacuum: ProTeam Line Vacer HEPA Backpack
  • Electrostatic Cordless Backpack Sprayer: Victory Innovations, Model#VP300ES
  • Electrostatic Cordless Handheld Sprayer: Victory Innovations, Model#VP200ESK (2)
  • Vray Cordless UV-C High-Intensity Sanitizer – Handheld Wand (2)
  • Floor mops: use one mop head for a specific area to avoid spreading germs
  • Microfiber cloths are more absorbent to remove dirt and germs.  Must be changed frequently to be effective.

Custodial Staff

  • Custodial staff must wear a face mask while working at CDS. Latex gloves and face shields are available. Full protective gowns are also available for “as needed” basis.
  • Each custodian has their own cleaning and disinfecting equipment and materials. Each has their assigned work area and are to practice social distancing (6’)
  • Each custodian is trained on the use of cleaning and disinfectant solutions and cleaning equipment
  • Wash hands frequently (20 – 30 seconds) & social distancing while working
  • If sick, stay home. Call supervisor
Cohorts & Response Scenarios

Last updated August 25, 2020

Class Cohorts were reconfigured due to new information and could shift as the conditions warrant throughout the year. In response to our current situation, families’ personal and social circumstances played a role in establishing the cohorts this year. Twins are in the same cohort.

Teaching Teams have been determined based upon changing cohort numbers and faculty needs for accommodations.

Start of school schedules have been shared by cohort lead teachers. Ongoing weekly schedules will be shared by cohort lead teachers. There may be changes to respond to emerging guidelines and feedback. 

When we return to in-person school, we recognize that some members of the community may need to stay at home and we will work with the cohorts to support all students. 



Last updated September 24, 2020

Once school opens, is my student allowed to participate in sports?
Yes. Please see this directive from the California Department of Public Health on how to participate in youth sports safely. However, this only applies to in-person schooling. If your student is participating in on-campus childcare through Extended Program, guidelines by the SF Department of Public health prohibit participating in multiple out-of-school-time programs.

What do I do if I am exposed to a known positive case (e.g. at work)? 
If ANYONE is exposed to a positive case (regardless if they are guardian or student), that person must quarantine (guidance on quarantine/isolation found here) for 14 days. This applies even if that person receives a negative test result, the reason being that the period during which an infection can begin is 14 days. If a test result is negative on day 5 after exposure, it is still possible to develop an infection afterwards. While quarantining in a shared household, it is important to take precautionary steps (such as wearing a mask and limiting exposure to others). Those cohabitating do NOT need to quarantine themselves UNLESS the exposed individual develops symptoms/tests positive. Then, that person must isolate (guidance in the above link) and the others in the shared household must seek testing and quarantine.

What about essential workers?
We are looking into the possibility of providing essential or critical worker care to support online home learning. 

Can we participate in community testing?
Yes. Families will be able to participate at cost; families participating in sliding scale tuition will receive support for the testing. At this time, we do not plan to require a negative test for students to start school. This may change as directives from the local agencies dictate. 

How did teachers prepare their curriculum for Online Home Learning?
Teachers are mostly off during the summer. We encouraged them to think about their curriculum and we have offered a number of workshops and prioritized professional development to support distance learning and anti-racist best practices. 

What have we learned from last year?
We learned which schedules work best for students and how to support divisional needs. We also know that we need to have a different type of engagement (small groups, individual check-ins, projects with supplies, etc.) for some of our youngest students.

How will you support families who are choosing not to send their children to school due to vulnerabilities?
We are working on this plan and have allocated one teacher to support these students. Our plans will continue to be refined as we develop our understanding of the community’s needs.

What online platforms are you using?
We have researched a variety of software platforms and have confirmed we are still using Seesaw in the ECP/LS and Canvas in the MS for OHL. Enterprise Zoom will continue to be our conferencing tool. We will continue to work with other tools that are division-specific, such as Epic, IXL, Khan Academy, etc. There will also be more synchronous engagement this year.