2021-2022 Health & Safety Plan

Indian Springs opened for its first day of school on August 16. As a day and boarding school, we are committed to undertaking measures to help ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and broader community of parents, visitors, and friends. 

As part of our continuing efforts to promote a safe learning environment and combat the COVID pandemic, we will periodically test students for COVID. We also have limited class sizes to allow for social distancing of at least three feet between desks, combined with mask-wearing and other precautions outlined in the following updated policy.
 
Please feel free to return to this page for updates and archived school communications. We endeavor to be as safe as possible during these most recent developments surrounding the COVID pandemic and the current Delta variant. 

List of 10 items.

  • Medical Guidelines

    We encourage our students and faculty to be vaccinated, particularly given the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant. Recent polling suggests that a large majority of our students and faculty have been vaccinated. As such, and in keeping with the most recent guidelines and recommendations from healthcare agencies, if a community member tests positive for COVID, they should notify the school nurse immediately and prepare to isolate for ten days. If a community member is exposed to someone with COVID, they should consult with the school nurse to determine the next steps based on their vaccination status. If a community member has someone in their household who tests positive, please contact the school nurse for additional guidance.

    Out of an abundance of caution, we will ask our students and faculty to adhere to the guidelines listed below:

    • Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be expected to wear a mask while at school each day, regardless of vaccination status. We will have extra masks if a student forgets one.
    • Social distancing of at least three feet will be enforced in classrooms and indoor public spaces per current CDC guidelines.
    • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout campus. Students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to clean their hands frequently and upon entrance to any building or classroom.
    • Education and communication regarding hand washing, social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, and other advice on stopping the spread of COVID-19 will be ongoing for students, faculty, and staff.
    • Anyone who feels ill during the school day should see the nurse immediately. Day students with a temperature of 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit may be sent home. Boarding students may be asked to recuperate in their room. Any temperature reading of 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is considered a fever for testing protocols. 
    • We ask that students, faculty, and staff who feel ill remain at home and monitor their symptoms.
    • Parents of day students and local boarding students will be notified and asked to pick up students from campus within one hour if at all possible unless immediate attention is needed.
    • We will isolate boarding students immediately in a private room on campus. Students will wear a mask when in isolation. We will take boarding students for COVID-19 testing and notify the Alabama Department of Health.
    • We will follow the directions of the Alabama Department of Health regarding follow up care and communications after a COVID-19 diagnosis.
    • Before returning to campus, students, faculty, and staff must be cleared by Student Health Services after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
    We will immediately report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or an outbreak of unknown respiratory illness associated with the campus to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Cleaning and Disinfection

    We follow CDC guidelines for maintaining a healthy school environment. The CDC recommends a two-step cleaning process for nonporous surfaces: cleaning with soap and water followed by an EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19.

    While normal routine cleaning with soap and water can reduce germs and dirt on surfaces, disinfecting with EPA-approved disinfectants can help further reduce the spread of COVID-19. Frequently touched nonporous surfaces (tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks, and touchscreens) within the school will be cleaned and disinfected daily or between use as much as possible. Soft, porous surfaces will be cleaned periodically with soap and water or other cleaners appropriate for the surface.

    When possible, EPA-approved disinfectants will be used on soft, porous surfaces. Last year, we invested in additional human resources and equipment to facilitate our enhanced cleaning regime, including disinfecting air misters and more frequent cleaning in dorm rooms and bathrooms.
  • Indoor Air Quality

    Most of our classrooms have individual HVAC units that do not recirculate air with other classrooms. We utilize high-quality pleated air filters in its HVAC units, which capture a wider array of air contaminants and smaller particles than standard fiber filters. Last year, we installed enhanced air filtration systems that filter and recirculate indoor air every nine minutes in all buildings, including the classrooms, Kayser Academic Center, administrative building, gym, and Town Hall.
  • Classroom Technology

    We have retained the devices used in last year’s hybrid learning model, but all classes will be conducted in person during the 2021-2022 school year. Teachers will still record their daily classes for use as a studying tool, and students may also review class recordings if they must miss class due to an excused absence or illness.
  • Dining

    Due to the pandemic and the new Kayser-Samford Community Commons construction, we will continue to utilize outdoor dining. To that end, we are excited to announce the opening of the new Indian Springs Grill, located adjacent to the gym. This year, the grill and our food truck will be the school’s central dining hub and feature various tasty fares for our community seven days a week. Outdoor seating areas will be distributed across campus, and covered or carefully spaced indoor seating will be available for inclement weather days. 

    We partner with Sage Dining Services to provide delicious and nutritious meals for our community. Since the beginning of the pandemic, SAGE has adapted its preparation, service, and menus to help keep our community safe. Some highlights of Sage’s approach to a safe dining experience include:

    • All team members have completed ServSafe® COVID-19 training, are healthy when reporting to work, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
    • The number of on-campus deliveries is minimized to help ensure the drivers are healthy and the products are safe and sanitary.
    • The kitchen and any frequently touched surfaces are sanitized frequently.
    • Hand sanitizer is provided throughout dining areas.
    • Self-service stations (e.g., deli, salad bar) have been replaced with pre-portioned or served options.
    • Wrapped cutlery kits, pre-portioned condiments and salad dressings, and bottled beverages are provided.
    • The menu is available online or in the Touch of SAGE Mobile App so students can make selections before entering the servery to expedite service.
    We look forward to returning to indoor dining next fall after we open the Kayser-Samford Community Commons and presuming health conditions allow it.
  • Residential Life

    The following are some of the precautions we’re implementing to keep our residential community healthy. This is an overview, and boarding students and their parents can expect more thorough, specific information in the coming weeks. 

    • Visitors to the school campus will not be granted entry into the dorms without prior permission. Boarding student parents may contact ResLife for permission to enter the dorms. Boarding students must receive permission to have day student visitors in the dorms. ResLife will revisit policies through the fall.  
    • Cleaning standards and frequency in the dorms will continue.
    • Boarders will be encouraged to gather outdoors, with distancing, instead of in Dorm Commons (boarding students may gather in the common rooms if masked and with the expectation of social distancing and visit between dorms from 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.).
    • Boarding students will have limited sign-out privileges in the first month of school.
    • Distancing, use of masks, handwashing, and new maximum occupancy guidelines will be outlined for dorm common spaces.
    • Additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed in the dorms.
    • Food and grocery delivery will be available to boarding students with new rules and no-touch guidelines.
    • ResLife will focus on on-campus and outdoor weekend activities at the start of the school year with the goal of being able to offer more fun options for off-campus activities should conditions permit it.
    • Additional precautions will be taken for any necessary student trips off-campus.
    • Community Dining will be replaced by new activities for the fall semester, at least.
    • We have updated the Residential Life Handbook and the ResLife section of the school website with information about the 2021-2022 school year.
    The dorm parents, along with all on-campus faculty, are committed to caring for our boarding students.
  • Student Life

    The Student Life Team has recently updated the Read 'N' Heed to reflect policies for the 2021-2022 school year. We plan to resume in-person Development Days, dances, Lake Day, club meetings, etc., with proper masking and spacing and will continue working with members of the student council to ensure what they are planning adheres to current guidelines.
  • Athletics

    We will continue to closely monitor recommendations from local, state, and federal healthcare authorities when considering precautions for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans. Current policy is based on the most recent guidance from the Alabama High School Athletic Association for Fall 2021 athletic practices and matches.

    Our coaches will remain masked at all times and, during practices and competition, students who are not actively participating will be masked on the sidelines. Students who are actively competing may wear masks if they choose to. We will set seating capacity limits and require that all spectators be masked when attending indoor games.

    Click here for more information on Indian Springs’ fall athletic season.

    Click here for the AHSAA’s most recent guidance and know that we may revisit any of these guidelines based on the trajectory of the pandemic this year.
  • Visitors

    Beginning Monday, August 23, visitors must have advance permission to enter campus while classes are in session (7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday). Please do not enter any buildings on campus unless you have an appointment to see a member of the faculty and staff. Alumni and friends are welcome to come to campus without an appointment to enjoy our beautiful outdoors before or after class hours. However, we ask that all visitors please wear a mask indoors and outdoors at all times until further notice. All of our students, faculty, and staff wear masks on campus so we ask the same of our guests. Also, please remember that the campus is closed to visitors from sunset and sunrise at all times unless there is a special event.
  • Transportation

    We will operate our normal morning and afternoon bus routes. Bus drivers and passengers will be required to wear masks. Seating may be assigned to promote social distancing. The bus will be cleaned and disinfected before every route, and, when possible, windows will be lowered to allow for better air circulation.