Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guided by Oak Knoll’s mission, our goal is to create a nurturing educational environment that supports the development of mind, body, and spirit, while ensuring the health and safety of the community during the pandemic.

Our Key Objectives

Invest in robust hygiene and facility enhancements to ensure the health and safety on campus and continuity of learning remotely.

Continue providing high quality education both on campus and in the remote setting.

Design lessons that utilize teaching and learning strategies that prioritize daily collaboration and connection, while offering extra support to those in need.

Investing in Our Future

In the summer of 2020, Oak Knoll spent more than $1 million in hygiene and facilities upgrades to safely return students and employees to campus.

  • 2,000 3-Ply Face Masks, 1,000 KN95 Masks and 500 Face Shields
  • 735 sets of plexiglass dividers
  • 300 Adult Cloth Face Coverings and 300 Child Cloth Face Coverings
  • 200 Spray Hand Sanitizer
  • 100 Paper Gowns and 10 Boxes of Non-Latex Gloves
  • 90 Touchless Light Switches
  • 61 Touchless Sinks and 44 Touchless Toilets
  • 40 classroom cameras
  • 26 Touchless Hand-Washing Stations
  • 30 UV lights sanitizers installed for daily cleanings
  • 2 Handheld and 2 Backpack Electrostatic Sprayers
  • 2 Modular Classrooms
  • HVAC UV lighting and filtering enhancements to control air quality

General Procedures

Only students and employees will be allowed on campus with the exception of drop off/pick up.

  • All students and employees must wear masks at all times while on campus, except while eating or participating in rigorous physical activity (such as physical education classes or recess) where they can remain socially distant. Should a student be unable to maintain his/her social distance, they will be required to wear their mask.
  • If a student cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, they must maintain social distancing.
  • Temperature checks of students and employees will be conducted upon arrival to OKS.
  • A temperature of 100.4 or above will be considered a fever and the individual will not be permitted to enter or remain on campus.
  • If a student registers a temperature of 100.4 twice, s/he will be checked a third and final time by the school nurse before being asked to return home.
  • If there is any question about a person’s temperature, they should proceed to the Health Office and the school nurse will determine whether they may remain on campus.
  • Any Lower School student who has a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be kept in a separate room in the Lower School, next to the Health Office, until they are picked up by a parent. Only students with no fever may enter the Health Office.
  • The Upper School Health Office has been divided to accommodate student well visits on one side and those with COVID-19 symptoms or fever in an enclosed area on the other side of the room until they go home.
  • Social distancing (6 feet a part) reduces the spread of the virus from one person to another
  • You are most likely to catch the virus if you do not practice social distancing and are with an infected person for more than 10 minutes.
  • Masks are worn for the safety of others. A mask must be worn by everyone who comes on campus.
  • It is most effective to wash your hands frequently throughout the day for 20 seconds or more.
  • When soap and water are unavailable, it is smart to substitute with hand sanitizer.
  • Please, do not come to school if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of the virus. (Fever, coughing, shortness of breath, body aches, loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue) Anyone with these symptoms should be tested for the virus.
  • COVID-19 testing will not be available at school. You must contact your personal physician or go to a designated testing site.
  • If any student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to notify the school nurse and be quarantined for 14 days and must include being symptom-free for four-consecutive days prior to return. We will follow a contact tracing protocol set by the local Board of Health.

In accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s joint-advisory with New York and Connecticut, we ask families traveling to and from any of the impacted states to voluntarily quarantine for 14-days before returning to Oak Knoll’s campus. Please keep these travel restrictions in mind as you plan for the holidays. Students traveling for the holidays would be required to quarantine before returning to campus.

If your child will not have access to consistent, reliable internet should we find ourselves needing to switch to remote instruction, please email Rob Andolina, Chief Technology Officer, at rob.andolina@oakknoll.org. This is a precautionary measure only.

Modes of Instruction

  • A student who is in the face-to-face option may participate in on-campus activities for the duration of their selected time period.
  • Students may switch to remote learning after starting on campus due to unforeseen circumstances and with the approval of the dean (US) or Division Head (LS).
  • Should a student test positive for COVID-19, the child must quarantine at home for 14 days and must include being symptom-free for four-consecutive days prior to return.
  • An on-campus student who needs to stay home due to illness, but does not have COVID-19, is encouraged to focus on getting well in order to resume on-campus learning.
  • A student who is remotely learning will not be allowed on campus and will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities for the duration of their selected time period.
  • All classrooms will be equipped with technology to allow students to learn remotely simultaneously with the live instruction on campus.
  • Families would need to “re-enroll” for the next virtual segment so that we may plan accordingly in classrooms and on campus.

Upper School Policies and Procedures

  • Unit syllabus sheets will be provided to students and will outline daily class work, homework, and assessments. Daily required resources (i.e. textbook, workbook, etc.) will be listed to ensure that students have the right supplies each day and a lighter backpack whenever possible.
  • Brain and stretch breaks will be incorporated into class time as allowed.
  • Technology will be used to engage with guest speakers and attend virtual field trips.
  • Clubs and Student Council will have dedicated time during the eight-day cycle to meet.
  • Conferencing with faculty and counselors and the use of the Math Lab and Writing Center will be by appointment only and assigned specific meeting locations (e.g. library, dining hall, College Counseling Office.
  • Group work and projects will continue to be incorporated into lessons to make learning interactive and collaborative through the assistance of technology.
  • Bandwidth will be upgraded to ensure all students can engage with their peers in class and remotely via Zoom and other technologies.
  • Students will be expected to take home their individual digital devices each day to be charged nightly.
  • P.E. and dance classes will practice social distancing, follow state guidelines for athletic activities, and use outdoor spaces as frequently as possible.
  • P.E. classes will continue to include a variety of movement experiences that will include Project Adventure activities, biomechanics analyses and fitness experiences.
  • Locker rooms will be closed. Students will not be permitted to change for P.E. or dance.
  • Students will be permitted to wear their P.E. uniform throughout the day or wear their school uniform to P.E. Athletic shoes are required for all P.E. class.
  • Fall theater and choral will focus on individual and small group skill development and practice. Technology will be used to assist with performances and viewings. After school art opportunities will continue to be provided.
  • Students will be encouraged to bring snacks and a filled water bottle in their backpacks for personal consumption. Healthy snacks and water are fuel for the brain and body.
  • Reflection Days will be transformed into a series of activities over multiple days that support personal reflection, class bonding, and a better understanding of God’s central role in our lives.
  • The EmpowerHER program will be moved to the spring for optimum impact. Through interactive challenges and team building exercises, the program creates opportunities for girls to take risks and thrive outside their comfort zone.
  • Variations to Service Day are being explored.
  • The Prayer Garden will be set up to facilitate prayer while social distancing.
  • Classes and advisories will continue to be encouraged to use the chapel as a space for prayer, reflection, and learning.
  • Advisories will meet regularly. Homerooms will be live-streamed to grade-level locations.
  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. – 9th & 10th Morning Wellness classes
  • 8:10 to 9:20 a.m. – First period
  • 9:20 to 9:40 a.m. – Homeroom/Class Meetings/Break
  • 9:40 to 10:50 a.m. – Second Period
  • 10:50 to 11:10 a.m. – Break
  • 11:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. – Third Period
  • 12:20 to 1:30 p.m. – Lunch/Advisory/College Counseling-Guidance
  • 1:30 to 2:40 p.m. – Fourth Period
  • 2:40 to 3:05 p.m. – Club Time/Conferences/AP
  • Temperature checks will be taken at entrances specific to first period class locations.
  • Students will go directly to their first period class after having their temperature checked.
  • Late arrivals will go directly to the US Office for a temperature check prior to going to class.
  • Students will be expected to leave campus immediately following their last obligation.
  • Students remaining on campus after their activity has concluded will be asked to go to a study hall location (e.g. US library, dining hall).
  • UV cleaning apparatus will be used for a complete cleaning of each space every night.
  • Desks will be cleaned between usage. Between class cleaning will be assisted by facilities staff.
  • Classrooms will have backup PPE supplies (including masks, gloves, sanitizer).
  • Classrooms will be grade-level specific whenever possible to minimize movement and use of shared spaces.
  • During free periods, students will be assigned a study hall or break location depending on grade level.
  • HVAC enhancements are being made to control air quality.
  • Daily temperature readings will be taken of every student upon arrival. Upper School will be assigned specific doorways for entry into buildings.
  • Any student with a temperature of 100.4 will be immediately sent to one of the two school nurses who will take the temperature again, inform the parent(s) if an issue and, then, the student will be sent home.
  • Faculty and Staff temperatures will be tested daily.
  • An on-campus student who needs to stay home due to illness, but does not have COVID-19, must notify the school of her symptoms and is encouraged to focus on getting well in order to resume on-campus learning. In extenuating circumstances, a student may request in advance to her Dean to attend OKS remotely on a short-term basis.
  • All students and employees will be required to wear masks. US students will be required to wear a plain/solid white, grey, blue, or black mask. Logos, patterns, and designs are not permitted.
  • Plexiglass dividers will be installed in every classroom, in major shared spaces, and in faculty offices.
  • Entrances, exits, and stairways will be unidirectional and clearly marked. Social distancing will be expected to be maintained in hallways. Students will receive an orientation video reviewing building guidelines by early September.
  • Cameras will be set up in any classroom that requires remote instruction.
  • A new dining hall procedure will be developed for students K-12.
  • Common areas and lockers will not be used.
  • Many traditional on-campus fall events (e.g., back to school night, parent coffees/socials, etc.) will remain remote to limit exposure to our facilities and ensure we focus on our No. 1 priority: educating the students. Please see the revised all-school calendar on myOKS for updates to fall events.
  • If any student tests positive for COVID-19, Oak Knoll will follow guidance outlined by the state Department of Health.

Please refer to the Upper School Community Guide’s COVID-19 Addendum on myOKS for additional information.

Lower School Policies and Procedures

  • Academics for hybrid learning will be clearly defined each week though utilization of a weekly lessons template created by teachers for each subject. If academics are entirely remote, a daily work grid schedule will also be provided for the week that includes times of classes and highlighted live class sessions.
  • Students involved in remote learning will be able to attend livestream classes and follow the weekly lesson templates to engage in their learning and to stay on track with assignments.
  • Students will continue a departmentalized model of instruction, however, they will remain in their homeroom cohort classroom for all instruction each day.
  • Brain and stretch breaks will be incorporated into class time as allowed.
  • Technology will be used to connect students across cohorts, and to provide differentiated and personalized learning.
  • In lieu of in-person field trips, which have been cancelled at this time, students will explore places and events through virtual field trips.
  • Students Council elections will be held in the fall using a virtual format.
  • Clubs and Student Council will have dedicated meeting time each month. These times will be established by the mentor teacher and will most likely occur during after school hours.
  • Teachers will provide students with specific extra help time periods each week that can be utilized for questions and curriculum review. These will be virtual.
  • Group work and projects will continue to be incorporated into lessons to make learning interactive and collaborative through the assistance of technology.
  • Bandwidth will be upgraded to ensure all students can engage with their peers in class and remotely via Google Meet and other technologies.
  • Students will be expected to take home their individual digital devices (iPad or Chromebook) each day to be prepared in the event of an unexpected closure. Due to this, students will be provided with a charging cord and must charge their device overnight at home so that it will be ready for use the next day. Students who repeatedly forget their iPad or Chromebook at home or who repeatedly forget to charge their device, will no longer be able to take their technology home with them.
  • P.E. and Creative Movement classes will practice social distancing, follow state guidelines for athletic activities, and use outdoor spaces as frequently as possible.
  • New this year: students will be permitted to wear their sneakers to school every day.
  • Grade 5 and grade 6 sports will be offered in a clinic style this year with grade 5 sports on Tuesday afternoons and grade 6 sports on Thursday afternoon.
  • First and second trimester music will focus on learning with instruments. Arts performances will be reimagined using technology and pre-recorded segments.
  • Students should bring a snack each day for snack time. Healthy snacks are fuel for the brain and body.
  • Students should bring an 8-16 oz filled water bottle each day for hydration. Refills will be possible during the day. Please do not bring oversized Hydro Flasks or other bottles that are difficult to manage.
  • Special programs and experiences will be implemented to bring homeroom cohorts closer together as a learning and social team.
  • Liturgical Ministries will be moved to the spring.
  • Grade 2 will prepare for and make First Reconciliation and First Communion.
  • Service Day will be experienced as a homeroom cohort.
  • Prayer services will continue to be an integral part of our program. They will be reimagined with the use of technology and our classroom big screen TVs.
  • Our new Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Nelson, will be on campus daily for support. Guidance classes will be a monthly part of student learning for social-emotional development and the continuation of our Success Skills Curriculum.
  • Birthday celebrations will continue with the guideline of only store bought, individually prepackaged treats being sent in to school for sharing.
  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. Early Care – Students will have their temperatures checked by faculty at their car and then directed to socially distanced lines on the turf. During inclement weather, they will socially distance in the main hallway.
  • 8 to 8:20 a.m. Arrival and Homeroom – Students will have their temperature checked by faculty at their car and then proceed directly to their homeroom.
  • 8:20 to 8:30 a.m. – Morning Prayer and Announcements in homeroom
  • 8:35 to 11:05 a.m. – Morning Classes — students will remain in their homeroom classroom unless attending physical education or creative movement classes. All teachers are also encouraged to take their class outside for lessons.
  • 11:05 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Lunch and Recess
  • 12 to 2:55 p.m. – Afternoon Classes
  • 2:55 to 3:20 p.m. – Dismissal — students will remain in their homeroom and will be called by family to the car line.
  • Students may not exit their car until their temperature has been taken and they are approved to exit their car and enter school. If a student has a temperature of 100.4* or higher, they will need to return home for the day.
  • Students arriving after 8:25 a.m. will go directly to the Lower School Main Office to have their temperature taken prior to going to class. A parent must escort their child into the entrance vestibule until their child’s temperature is taken and may not leave until their child is approved to stay at school.
  • Students remain in their homeroom until their dismissal group (car line, walker, bus, Adventures) or carpool is called through the intercom.
  • Students are expected to leave campus immediately following school unless they are participating in the After-School Adventures program.

Parents returning to school to deliver forgotten items is highly discouraged. Should a parent need to bring something to school for their child, there will be a bin on the front steps that the items can be placed in. The parent should buzz the office intercom to alert the office that something has been dropped off.

  • UV cleaning apparatus will be used for a complete cleaning of each space every night.
  • Classrooms will have backup PPE supplies (including masks, gloves, sanitizer.)
  • Daily temperature readings will be taken of every student upon arrival.
  • Any student with a temperature of 100.4 will be asked to circle the block and travel through car line a second time for a second temperature check. Should the student still have a 100.4 or higher temperature, their temperature will be retaken a third and final time by the school nurse, before being asked to return home for the day.
  • Faculty and Staff temperatures will be taken daily.
  • All students and employees will be required to wear masks. Students should purchase and wear any face mask that is comfortable for them and that covers their nose and mouth. To make face mask wearing as enjoyable as possible, students are not limited to a specific mask at this time. Sue Mills Uniform has included masks as part of their uniform service for parent convenience.
  • All students must wear a mask at all times on campus except while eating.
  • With sensitivity to the different age ranges in the Lower School, strict enforcement of mask use will be in place. Students who cannot manage wearing their mask may not be able to remain in on-campus learning and will be moved to the remote learning program. Some of our younger students may need extended support to become comfortable with wearing their mask. Parents should take time before school starts to help their child practice wearing these face coverings for longer periods of time.
  • Plexiglass dividers will be installed in every classroom between desks and in major shared spaces.
  • Entrances, exits, and stairways will be unidirectional and clearly marked. Social distancing will be expected to be maintained in hallways. Students will receive an orientation video reviewing building guidelines by early September.
  • Cameras will be set up in all homerooms to accommodate remote instruction.
  • A new dining hall procedure will be developed for students K-12.
  • Students will be directed to a specific homeroom cohort seating section in the dining hall or in the trailer café. Clear plexiglass dividers and social distancing will provide safety. Students will need to remove their masks while eating.
  • Pre-ordered student lunches are picked up by the students as they enter for lunch in the dining hall or café. Lunches are set out on long tables for pickup.
  • Dining spots will be sanitized between lunch groups.
  • PK students will have pre-ordered lunch delivered to their classroom.
  • Students will attend recess with their grade level cohort and will have a designated recess area for their grade. Students will need to remain socially distanced during recess. Faculty will help students maintain social distancing.
  • Many traditional on-campus fall events (e.g., back to school night, parent coffees/socials, etc.) will remain remote to limit exposure to our facilities and ensure we focus on our No. 1 priority: educating our students in a safe environment. Please see the revised all-school calendar on myOKS for updates to fall events.

Before/After School

PK-6 Before Care takes place from 7:30-8 a.m.

  • All PK-6 after-school activities will be held either outdoors (weather permitting) or in the dining hall, which will have plexiglass dividers at each table. Students will be grouped by class after school and all students will participate in the same daily activity.
  • All After-School Adventures, Lower School and Upper School clubs/activities will conclude by 5:30 p.m. when campus closes.

Athletics

We are awaiting more guidelines and direction from the NJSIAA regarding the winter sports season, which will run December 3 through February 13, 2021 for high school sports. We will host a mandatory grades 9-12 winter sports parent Zoom meeting on Monday, November 16, 2020, to discuss policies, procedures, and answer any questions. Subject to change.

Grades 7/8 basketball will run January 4 to February 13, 2021. Subject to change.

More information regarding winter sports coming soon.

Grade 3 and 4 will have intramural sports from November 3 to December 17, 2020. Grade 3 will be on Tuesdays and Grade 4 will be on Thursdays.

Transportation

  • Town busing through First Student and private transportation through BelAir will operate as usual, with social distancing, mask and sanitation regulations for safety.
  • Daily shuttle runs will operate using small OKS school buses to accommodate social distancing. All riders must wear masks. Spray fogger backpacks will be used to sanitize buses after every use.

Resources