As we welcome students back in August, we are focused on maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment for our community. We are fortunate to be able to plan for all classes to be held full-time, in-person given our unique access to the space provided by both our campuses. We are strategically planning to take advantage of all classroom spaces and are preparing to relocate certain grade levels if we determine that is the best solution given the constraints of the guidance we are following. This is so we can simultaneously adhere to guidelines while offering our students the joyful experience they are accustomed to at Alta Vista School.

We are also committed to offering robust virtual learning for any vulnerable or high-risk members of our community due to health reasons. Should we need to return to a shelter-in-place scenario, we will quickly return to an engaging virtual learning environment as we did this Spring. Classrooms will be equipped with the necessary technology to ensure learners are active participants and not merely observing their classes. We continue to invest in the professional development of our faculty to provide an exceptional experience.

Our planning is guided by the following principles: 

  • Fostering the physical and emotional well-being of our students and our community. Moments of connection where our students can be together is critical now more than ever.

  • Offering the exceptional education we have always delivered whether on campus or online. The educational experience and our curriculum have not changed and will entail Italian language immersion, International Baccalaureate Units of Inquiry, and our Reggio Approach, with the same learning outcomes as before.

  • Relying on our flexibility and empathy as we leverage our expertise in dynamic teaching to adapt as we learn and grow through this experience. 

  • Mutual trust in and from our community to respect our social contract by adhering to the health and safety protocols we have shared.

  • Deferring to science and data from a vast network in conjunction with local and national guidelines

Below are the steps we are taking to ensure your child continues to receive the high-quality educational and social-emotional experience you expect from our exceptional teachers. As national and local guidance evolves, we will continue to update you.  


First Days of School

  • Lower School Campus **

    • Tuesday, August 18th

  • Middle School Campus **

    • Tuesday, August 18th


**These dates could change if mandated by city and health officials.


Health & Safety Plan

Our Health & Safety Plan below outlines the steps we are taking to ensure your child continues to receive the high-quality educational and social-emotional experience you expect from your exceptional teachers.


Travel & Social Requirements

  • Ensure you are social distancing and engage in socially responsible activities when you are not on campus. If you think you may have engaged in an activity where you may have been exposed, stay home, and monitor symptoms for 14 days.

  • All families and staff will be required to stay at home for 14 days prior to the start of school if they have traveled outside the San Francisco Bay Area or have been in airplanes, hotels, or other possible situations that could expose the child, family, or staff member to the higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Reinforce good hygiene practices


Illness & Symptom Screening for Children

  • Health screening stations will be set up outside the entrance of each campus.

  • All families are required to take all children's temperatures before arrival. Teachers will be equipped with thermal thermometers to check or recheck the child’s temperature if reading is not reported upon arrival.  

  • Staff will ask parent(s)/caregiver(s)/staff about possible symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 24 hours, which is new or not explained by a pre-existing condition before they are allowed into the school. 

    • Fever, Chills, or Repeated Shaking/Shivering

    • Feeling Unusually Weak or Fatigued  Loss of Taste or Smell

    • Muscle pain

    • Headache

    • Cough

    • Sore Throat

    • Shortness of Breath

    • Difficulty Breathing

    • Runny or congested nose 

    • Diarrhea

  • School staff will check all individuals for signs of illness. Anyone with symptoms or fever will be sent home and required to follow SFDPH guidelines for self-quarantine and self-isolation and may only return after they have completed self-quarantine or self-isolation and can show negative COVID-19 test results per guidelines.

  • If they test negative for the virus, show no symptoms, and have not been in close contact with a Covid-19 positive person, they may return.

  • If a child falls ill while on campus, they will wait in a designated isolation area until they can be picked up. Parents are required to pick up as soon as possible and strongly encouraged to have a backup plan for pick up if they work outside of San Francisco. 

  • Staff who develop symptoms of illness will leave work as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Testing

  • While we are not currently requiring Covid-19 tests of any members of our community, we will continue to work with SFDPH to support testing strategies to limit the spread of Covid-19 which may include testing for staff or students with parental consent. 

If Someone Tests Positive


  • Notify Alta Vista School immediately if a student or staff member tests positive or has been exposed to someone that tests positive for Covid-19.

  • Per SFDPH Guidance, we will notify and work with SFDPH  in taking appropriate actions and precautions.

  • SFDPH will help us determine if the classroom, cohort, or school needs to be closed. Note, schools with smaller and more contained cohorts are less likely to require school-wide closure.

  • Individual must follow self-isolation and self-quarantine guidelines set forth by SF Dept of Health and only return to school as outlined by guidelines

  • We will notify and work with SF Department of Health in taking appropriate actions and precautions

  • Contact tracing: anyone in close contact, defined as within 6 feet for over 10-15 minutes per SFDPH, with the individual, will be notified ensuring privacy is protected and advised to stay home for 14 days for quarantine.

Employee Preparedness

  • All staff have been instructed orally and in writing to not come to work if they are showing any signs of illness.

  • All staff have been provided a copy of our planning and preparations documentation. 

  • All staff will be provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and will be instructed to wear clean face coverings at all times when at work. Face shields will be available.

  • All teachers and staff will have access to handwashing stations and are required to wash hands at the start and end of each shift, after sneezing, coughing, eating, drinking, using the restroom, helping a child use the restroom, changing a child’s diaper or soiled clothes, when changing tasks, and frequently during each shift. Hand sanitizer will also be provided.

  • We recommend that all staff change clothes and/or shoes before or upon arriving at home after a shift in order to reduce the chance of their clothing or shoes exposing anyone in the household to the virus. La Scuola requests that staff working at the preschool have a change of shoes at school and that they change into them upon entry. 

  • All staff is required to quarantine for 14 days if they travel outside the San Francisco Bay Area.

Face Coverings

  • Anyone above 2 years old is required to wear a clean face covering while on campus. This includes family members and caregivers waiting outside to drop-off or pick-up children. 

  • We will not require children napping to wear a face covering.

  • We will not require children eating to wear a face covering.

  • Face coverings may be removed during active outdoor exercise when students are spaced 6 feet apart and we may have designated “face-covering free” moments in the day as long as physical distancing is in place. 

  • In all school settings, students with documented medical or behavioral recommendations are exempt and will be seated 6 feet away from other students.

Stable Student Cohorts

  • Childcare Providers are currently required to limit the size of their cohorts to groups of 12 (summer program guidelines). This number will be revised in the next couple of weeks.

  • Grades JK-8  will follow our standard class size.

  • Children will be kept with the same cohort each day unless a change is needed for a child’s overall safety and wellness.

  • Children from the same family will be assigned to the same cohort as possible.

  • Staff will be kept with the same cohort to the greatest extent possible.

  • Interactions between the cohorts on campus will be minimized to the greatest extent possible and we will not have any gatherings of multiple cohorts.

  • Learning and activities will be moved outdoors to the extent possible.

  • Special subjects such as art and music are currently being planned to minimize interaction and will likely take place in the classroom.

  • Sports with shared equipment or physical contact may be played, but only within the same stable cohort and maintaining physical distancing as possible.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures

  • Arrival and drop-off times will be staggered to limit contact between families. 

  • Students will be dropped off outside the school building and directed toward the health screening station.

  • All family members and caregivers are required to wear face coverings when dropping off or picking up children. 

  • We ask that no adults congregate to talk with other parents.

  • The same family member or designated person is encouraged to drop off and pick up the child every day. If this is not possible there can be no more than two adults dropping off and picking up a child. Grandparents and other older relatives are highly discouraged from picking up children.

Practicing Good Hygiene

Best Practices

  • Children who pass the health screening will wash their hands with soap and water or clean their hands with hand sanitizer as they enter.

  • Hand washing for students and staff will take place often and especially before eating, after going to the bathroom or diapering, or after wiping their nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • Continued best hygiene practices will be in place to prevent the spread of infection, including covering one’s coughs and sneezes and washing hands frequently.


  • No visitors will be allowed on campus while children are present including parents and or/caregivers and guardians

  • Handwashing stations and / or hand sanitizer (kept out of the reach of young children and supervised) will be provided throughout campuses and accessible from every classroom. 

  • Measures will be in place throughout classrooms including in-class physical distancing, increased ventilation through open windows and air filters, dedicated classroom materials and supplies by cohort or individual, new entry / exit routes and limited movement through hallways.

  • Portable barriers / partitions available for designated individuals on each campus. 

  • In the classrooms, desks will face in the same direction so students do not sit facing each other unless a physical barrier is present. 

  • Meals will take place outdoors or in the classroom by cohort, maintaining physical distancing guidelines.

  • New occupancy limits will be placed on classrooms and shared spaces including bathrooms.


  • Classrooms, break rooms, bathrooms, and other common areas will be cleaned throughout the day. Janitorial crews will continue to perform thorough cleanings each evening and deep cleanings will take place weekly at each campus.

  • Materials and toys that cannot be cleaned appropriately will not be used in the classroom. Books and other paper-based materials like mail or envelopes are allowed and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection.

  • Only washable bedding is permitted.

  • All belongings will be kept separate from each other. Parents must provide a bag that will hold personal napping items for PreK.

Signage and Education

  • Copies of new protocols, procedures, and other appropriate signage will be posted on each campus and shared with the community. 

  • We will continue to educate all staff and families on evolving protocols and requirements.

  • Please reference our FAQs

  • For any additional information or questions, please reach out to our Director of Administration and Covid-19 Staff Liaison Dani Sollberger