Our way Forward

Last Updated: November 10, 2021
A priority for the 2021-22 school year has been to welcome students and parents/guardians back to “normal campus life” in a manner that still ensures the health and safety of the community. We remain vigilant in our monitoring of the dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of COVID-19 and will update the information on this site as guidance shifts.
Throughout the pandemic, the JTD Administration and Board of Trustees have relied on scientific and public health guidance to inform our decision making and have complied with current restrictions and guidance.

These plans are based on the most recent guidance for K-12 Schools from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) issued on November 9, 2021 and can be found here. Per the guidelines from LACDPH, the completed Reopening Protocols for K-12 can be found here. The John Thomas Dye School Exposure Management and Communications Plan and The John Thomas Dye School COVID-19 Containment, Response, and Control Plan can be found on myJTD.

We recognize that members of our community are likely to have many questions, and we hope that you will find some answers below.
Please contact the School Nurse at 310-476-2811 x1504 in case of infection, exposure, or any other questions regarding symptoms or other COVID-19 concerns.

Health & Safety

List of 6 items.

  • General Safeguards

      Student Protocols
      • Symptom survey completed daily
      • Face coverings worn at all times, except when eating or drinking, which must occur outdoors
      • Physical distancing of at least three feet when indoors
      • Frequent scheduled proper hand hygiene (hand-washing, sanitizer, etc.) 
      • Limited sharing of materials with frequent cleaning
      • Lunches brought from home or served individually and eaten in outside spaces, whenever possible
      • Any additional requirements as specified by LACDPH guidance

      Faculty/Staff Protocols
      • Symptom survey completed daily
      • Face coverings worn at all times, except when eating or drinking, which must occur outdoors
      • Physical distancing of at least six feet in offices and classrooms
      • Any additional requirements as specified by LACDPH guidance

      Cleaning Protocols
      • Increased cleaning staff throughout the day and after school
      • Frequent disinfecting of common areas and high-touch surfaces throughout the day
      • Fogging of all classrooms and common spaces nightly
      • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant supplies in every classroom and all common areas

      Facilities
      • Student desks spaced at least three feet apart
      • Use of plexiglass barriers on student and office desks when distancing is not possible or eating indoors due to inclement weather
      • No-touch hand sanitizer stations throughout common areas
      • No-touch soap dispensers, sinks, and toilets in student bathrooms
      • Portable sinks located throughout campus
      • Use of medical grade MERV 13 and HEPA filters
      • Windows and doors open to ensure indoor/outdoor circulation

      More information about these procedures can be found in The John Thomas Dye School COVID-19 Containment, Response, and Control Plan, located on the Resource Board of myJTD.
    • JTD’s Stance on COVID-19 Vaccination for Students

      On November 2, 2021, the CDC unanimously voted to issue emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. JTD strongly recommends that all students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning from Winter Break in January 2022. Achieving high rates of vaccination among our students not only offers greater protection for all students, but it also reduces the risk of school-based transmission for our whole community. This stance also aligns with the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Importantly, fully vaccinated students will no longer be subject to quarantine if exposed to a positive case.
       
      Because the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the greatest precautionary measures we can take, we intend to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for the 2022-23 school year, if not sooner. This stance currently aligns with the State of California’s plans; however, we are prepared to implement a mandate in advance of the State’s timeline as needed to protect the health and safety of our community and expedite a return to normal school life.
       
      If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children, we recommend you contact your child’s pediatrician.
    • Travel and Upcoming School Closures

      As we look ahead to school breaks, we continue to recommend that families follow LACDPH and CDC guidelines for domestic and international travel. LACDPH is still not requiring post-travel self-quarantining at this time; however, if this guidance changes, JTD’s travel policy will follow the LACDPH health and safety guidelines for travel.
       
      In order to protect the health and safety of our community, we will be requiring a negative PCR test for return to campus following long school closures, such as Winter Break and Spring Break. For Thanksgiving and other long weekends, we will implement robust testing twice weekly with PCRs on campus for students and employees. More information will be shared prior to each school closure.
    • Health Screenings

      All families, employees, and visitors are required to complete a daily symptom screening. Each morning a link will be emailed and texted to families and employees. All visitors will be required to give a verbal attestation upon arrival. Our morning screening from Ruvna now includes a question about being fully vaccinated (remember, “fully vaccinated” means two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine). If the community member is fully vaccinated, some answers may not prompt an immediate response to stay home. Importantly, anyone who is fully vaccinated is not required to quarantine with a known COVID-19 exposure.

      In the case that the symptom screening is flagged due to symptoms or required quarantine, the child or adult will not be permitted on campus or will be held in isolation until a parent/guardian can pick up their child. Questions about the symptom screening results are directed to the School Nurse.

      It is incredibly important that all community members share vital symptom, exposure, and COVID-19 testing information with us, understanding that no one will be subject to discrimination based on their health status. We are committed to protecting the privacy of any person who tests positive or is suspected of having COVID-19.

      More information about these procedures can be found in The John Thomas Dye School COVID-19 Containment, Response, and Control Plan and The John Thomas Dye School Exposure Management Plan, located on the Resource Board of myJTD.
    • Personal Protection Protocols

      Below are some of the personal protection protocols implemented for student and employee health:
      • Require face coverings for all individuals on campus, except when eating or drinking, which must occur outdoors
      • Encourage students and staff to wash hands at regular intervals throughout the day, utilizing sanitizer when handwashing is not possible
      • Encourage everyone to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of tissue and washing hands immediately
    • Public Health Task Force

      The JTD administration has formed a Public Health Task Force, comprised of JTD trustees and members of the JTD staff with expertise in the medical, legal, and public health fields, to advise on matters related to COVID-19. The Public Health Task Force serves in an advisory capacity, with all decisions ultimately being made by the JTD administration. The Board members who participate in the Public Health Task Force are as follows:

      Premal Desai, MD is a urologic oncologist who specializes in minimally invasive surgery at Tower Urology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.  He has served as the Clinical Chief of the Division of Urology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for the last 4 years and is President of the Los Angeles Urological Society.  He is an active member of the medical staff, sitting on the Cancer Committee and Physician/Nurse Joint Practice Committee at the hospital.

      Stephanie Smooke Praw, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. She is an endocrinologist, specializing in thyroid disease and thyroid cancer, Director of Education for the Division of Endocrinology, and Program Director for the UCLA Endocrinology Fellowship Program. She graduated with a BA from Yale University and completed medical school, residency, and fellowship training at UCLA. In addition to her involvement on the JTD Public Health Task Force, she also serves on the national COVID Task Force for the Association of Program Directors in Endocrinology and Metabolism (APDEM), as well as providing guidance for other Los Angeles-based institutions.

      Nanci E. Rascoff, MD, MPH was formerly an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Rheumatology, at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Rascoff’s clinical work focused on juvenile arthritis and autoimmune disease.  She also served on the Credentialing and Professional Standards Oversight Committee for the hospital.  While in Seattle, she served on the Board of Trustees at the Seattle Country Day School. Dr. Rascoff received her Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Los Angeles and worked in access to care and health policy at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.  She received her BA from Harvard College and her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine.

      Hannah S. Yuen is an Associate General Counsel at Genentech, Inc., a leading biotechnology company and A Member of the Roche Group.  Since joining the company in 2003, Hannah has served as the architect of key legal strategies for complex, high stakes litigation and healthcare law matters, including the oversight of significant intellectual property disputes and the resolution of government investigations.  In her role, Hannah provides strategic legal advice and guidance to the company’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors that seeks to align legal risk with the accomplishment of core business goals and values. 

      The Public Health Task Force liaises with additional experts in the field in an advisory capacity. We welcome input from other members of the community. Please reach out to School Nurse Kristen Venick or a member of the task force if you would like to offer input or have a question for the group.

    Transportation

    List of 3 items.

    • Bus Transportation

      To ensure the health and safety of our students while riding the bus, we be taking the following steps:
      • Bus riders spaced out as much as possible
      • All students must wear masks
      • Windows will be open, unless in inclement weather
      • Parents must wait with students at stop to confirm daily symptom screening before student is allowed to enter bus
      • Increased cleaning protocols 

      For more information about the bus transportation program, please contact Community Program Manager Sigita Newsom at snewsom@jtdschool.org.
    • Carpools

      We understand that many families rely on carpools for transportation to and from school. When using a carpool for transportation, we recommend the following measures be taken to minimize exposure:
      • Confirm the absence of symptoms before a child enters the driver’s car
      • Every person in the car must wear face coverings at all times
      • Have the windows down, weather permitting
    • Patio Pick-Up

      Patio Pick-Up is available for the 2021-22 school year, but all drivers must comply with our visitor policy, which includes a health screening and proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 72 hours of coming on campus.

    Remote Learning

    List of 3 items.

    • Switch to Remote Learning

      The School reserves the right to implement Remote Learning for all students in the event that on-campus learning is not possible. Remote learning is not available to individual students on a day-to-day basis or due to travel or other voluntary activities resulting in absence from school. Remote Learning may be available on a limited basis for students if it is necessitated by a documented medical condition or specific circumstance approved by the Division Head.

      In the event that there is a threat to students being on campus, or JTD is required by local, state, or federal mandates to be away from campus for an extended time, JTD will initiate its remote learning program. Additionally, certain students or groups of students may need to transition to remote learning in the case of a positive case or potential exposure to a positive case. All students and faculty will have Zoom accounts and access to digital platforms so that these switches may occur as seamlessly as possible. 
    • Student & Family Expectations

      Student Expectations for Virtual Classrooms
      • Students should be dressed in full uniform.
      • Students should follow the daily schedule posted on their class page.
      • Students should be in the Zoom classroom when class begins. If a student cannot access the Zoom room or needs technical support, the student or family should email the teacher leading the class. 
      • Students’ names should be displayed as a first name and last initial.
      • Video must be on at all times unless the teacher requests otherwise. Students may communicate via chat with their teacher in the event that they need to turn off video or leave for any reason.
      • Students should turn off mics unless it is their turn to participate.
      • Students should be seated or positioned in a workstation.
      • Students should listen respectfully with their bodies and expressions--no distracting faces, movements, or changes to Zoom settings.
      • Students should only use the chat or annotation functions as requested by the teacher while instructions/lessons are being delivered.
      • Students should only be on Zoom and/or online spaces required for the lesson.
      • Students may not use phones or other non-learning related devices during class time.
      • Students should not allow any other person to complete work for them or use an unauthorized resource during an assessment.
      • Students should submit quality work to teachers, as per given instructions.
      • Students need to incorporate teacher feedback and adjust future assignments based on given feedback.

      Parent/Caregiver Expectations for Supporting Remote Learning
      • Establish a quiet, distraction-free work area for each child. Ensure materials are readily accessible and organized. Provide earphones for children to improve sound quality.
      • Each child should be logged onto an individual device. The school may loan devices on a limited basis by request to helpdesk@jtdschool.org.
      • Support your child, as needed, with joining classes on time and uploading work so that it is submitted correctly and is legible to the teachers.
      • Allow students to work independently, encouraging them to seek support from their teachers during independent practice. If a teacher is not available, email the teacher on behalf of the child (Grades K-3) or encourage students to communicate directly via email (Grades 4-6).
      • Do not edit, correct, or proofread student work. Provide prompts to encourage students to problem solve or seek help from a teacher as needed.
      • Encourage children to take breaks for snack and lunch so that they stay hydrated and fueled for learning.
      • Ensure children are physically active every day, getting outside as much as possible.
      • Monitor children’s screen time outside of school hours.
      • Read carefully email communications from the teachers and administrators.
      • Report absences through SchoolPass and coordinate with teachers about making up missed work as needed.
    • Technology Troubleshooting

      If remote learning is implemented from time to time, families may encounter technical difficulties related to hardware, internet connectivity, or accessing and using the digital platforms. We have set up a dedicated email for technology troubleshooting. Families are encouraged to use the links below to try to troubleshoot issues specific to Seesaw and Zoom. 

      Email the JTD Technology helpdesk - helpdesk@jtdschool.org 
      • Obtaining a loaner device from the school for remote learning
      • General device support
      • Access issues to platforms - Seesaw or Google Classroom 
      • Issues downloading documents from Seesaw, or printing from Seesaw/Google Classroom
      Seesaw questions - Seesaw Help Desk 
      • How do I update my Seesaw app?
      • What platforms, browsers and operating systems does Seesaw support?
      Zoom issues - Check Zoom Status 

    Communication & Response

    List of 5 items.

    • Exposure Outside of School

      Just as we know that a positive case on our campus is a possibility, reports of student exposures to positive cases in extracurricular activities such as sports, performing arts classes, etc are also expected. It is imperative that families continue to report these situations to our school nurse, Kristen Venick, as soon as they are notified in order to keep our community healthy and prevent spread on our campus. Per LACDPH, these external exposures do not qualify for the above described modified quarantine protocol. 
       
      If an outside organization determines that a student needs to be quarantined, we must honor that decision, but we have found that often these exposures are not so clear. In that case, our practice with exposures outside of school is to gather as much information as possible about the nature of the activity and exposure, which can include what the coach/instructor reports, what the family shares, and what the student describes, to make the decision that seems in the best interest of the overall health and safety of the community. This process may take some time, during which the exposed student will need to remain at home. Remote learning will be available for all students during this time and through a quarantine or isolation period if needed.
    • Modified Quarantine

      Due to a decrease in local COVID-19 cases and data showing that schools' mitigation efforts are limiting COVID-19 spread on campus, as of October 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has authorized a modified quarantine protocol in the TK-12 school setting.This option makes it possible for children who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom or another school setting to continue attending school as long as certain conditions are met.

      A modified quarantine protocol is summarized as follows:
      • The COVID-19 exposure must be in the school setting
      • The close contact and case must have been masked at all times (students eating at the same lunch table or at snack, for example, will not qualify for modified quarantine)
      • There must not be multiple cases on campus
      • The close contact must be asymptomatic
      • The close contacts must be tested 2x per week during the quarantine period
      • The close contacts may come to campus for their regular school classes, but remain in quarantine for all other activities on and off campus, such as after school activities, morning care, sports, and birthday parties.

      You can read the full bulletin from LACDPH here

      IMPORTANT: We will continue to work with LACDPH if we have a positive case on our campus and will address each case individually. Given the particular nature of each situation, the School may decide not to offer modified quarantine if full home quarantine is in the best interest of the health and safety of the community. When we need to implement stricter quarantine protocols, we will communicate to any affected families what the requirements will be in that case.
    • Notification

      In accordance with city and state laws and regulations, the School will notify local health officials, staff, and families of any confirmed cases and/or known exposures and advise those who have had close contact to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms. The School will maintain confidentiality of the person’s identity in accordance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

      More information about these procedures can be found in the The John Thomas Dye School Exposure Management Plan.
    • Isolation

      Staff or students who demonstrate COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath) while at school will be quickly isolated and supported by a designated staff member. The school will then ensure the safe transport of the sick person either home or to a healthcare facility. The areas used by the sick person will be closed off and not used until proper cleaning and disinfection can take place.
    • Response to Positive Case or Exposure

      In the case of a positive case on campus, the family of the student or the employee who has tested positive will be given Home Isolation instructions per the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) Health Officer Order. The School Nurse will work with the appropriate community members to identify close contacts of the positive case and provide them Home Quarantine instructions per the LACDPH. The school will work with the LACDPH and if deemed necessary, on-campus learning will be suspended and impacted students will switch to the remote learning platform for the period of time as advised by public health officials. More information about these procedures can be found in The John Thomas Dye School Exposure Management Plan.

    Family & Community Engagement

    List of 6 items.

    • Off-Campus Events

      As we start to look forward to having more on-campus events, as well as school- sponsored Party Books that occur off-site, we have compiled some guidance for mitigating risk of COVID-19 at these events. 
       
      The School will take the following precautions and encourages all hosts to follow similar protocols:
      • Host outdoor events as much as possible.
      • Confirm that all registered guests are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or are able to show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of attending the event. Hosts may collaborate with the school to verify this information for registered guests.
      • All guests, staff, vendors, and all other attendees must be screened for symptoms before they attend the event. Anyone who does not pass the screening must be turned away. The School can provide a copy of the health screening form for hosts to use.
      • All attendees should bring and wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, both indoors or outdoors. Additional masks should be available.
      • When actively eating and drinking at events, a person should remain in a stationary location. Designated eating/drinking areas should allow for a minimum of 3 feet apart from each other.
      • If there will be a presentation or performance with an unmasked person, attendees should maintain at least a 12-foot distance from performers.
      • Handwashing stations and hand sanitizer should be readily available. 
      • Food should be pre-packaged for individual servings or distributed by a server directly to an individual. 
      • Food should never be shared or placed in communal bowls, platters, buffets, etc.
      • The use of indoor spaces should only be allowed when:
        • All guests are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event.
        • All guests wear 3-ply or greater masks.
        • Social distancing of 6 feet can be maintained.
        • The HVAC system is in good working order and is continuously running. Consider adding portable high-efficiency air cleaners.
        • Doors and windows are opened to increase circulation.
      All hosts, whether holding an event on-site or at a private home or location, should plan to collaborate closely with School personnel to ensure that these guidelines can be followed.
    • On-Campus Activities

      In order to comply with physical distancing and other health protocols, some on-campus activities or visitors may be limited. The following may be restricted for the time being:
      • Whole grade, division, and all-school assemblies or gatherings indoors
      • Visitors from other schools for indoor athletics games
      • Admissions tours or interviews of unvaccinated prospective applicant families; virtual options for these events are available by request

      We will provide more information regarding specific events as we get closer to the dates.
    • Off-Campus Activities

      For the health and safety of our students, many of our off-campus activities, such as field trips, athletics, and grade-level overnight trips were postponed or cancelled during the 2020-21 school year. We are currently planning to resume these activities in the 2021-22 school year, but may have to make adjustments based on availability of programs/vendors and to align with current public health guidance.
    • Visitors to Campus

      • Any parent/guardian/caregiver or vendor who wishes to come on campus when students are present must complete a daily health screening and provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, administered within 72 hours of scheduled visit. 
      • Parents/guardians who have submitted proof of vaccination by the start of the school year will be provided with a badge, which must be shown to security upon arrival to campus and worn the duration of their visit.
      • Anyone who has not submitted proof of vaccination in advance or who does not have their badge will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, administered within 72 hours of arrival to campus. Security will then issue a one-time badge, which must be worn during the duration of their visit to campus. This badge may not be reused.
    • Admissions

      Please visit the Admissions page of the website or contact the admissions office for information about how tours, open houses, admissions coffees, interviews, and student assessments will be conducted in the 2021-22 school year.
    • Calendar Updates

      A current calendar of events can be found on myJTD. Plans are subject to change as public health guidance evolves.
       
    Ready to apply?
    Applicants for admission are accepted one year prior to the student's enrollment. If you have just found out you are moving to Los Angeles or if you have any questions, please feel free to call the admissions office for information.

    The John Thomas Dye School


    11414 Chalon Road
    Los Angeles, CA 90049
    Phone: (310) 476-2811
    The John Thomas Dye School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

    Located In Los Angeles, CA, John Thomas Dye is an independent school for grades K-6. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.