Coronavirus COVID-19 Response

July 20, 2020


Dear AVS Families,

As quickly as we announce updates to our school opening plans, new information becomes available. As of last Friday, we have received additional guidance from the State regarding the guidelines for CA schools to reopen this fall. As you may be aware, the Governor recently announced county specific guidelines which adds a layer of specificity to local area capabilities to open in-person instruction.

The State plan shared by the Governor centers on five key areas:

1) Safe in-person school will be based on local county health data.

2) Regular faculty testing and dedicated contact tracing for outbreaks at schools.

3) Physical distancing requirements & other adaptations.

4) Strong mask requirements for anyone in the school.

5) Rigorous distance learning programs.

Full article Link here: G​ ov. Newsom Lays Out Pandemic Plan for Learning and Safe Schools

After reviewing Governor Newsom’s update to the state protocols, I am confident that our work to date puts AVS in a strong position to continue to respond to the state’s framework/mandate and the San Francisco Department of Health’s guidance. Our planning team remains engaged and thoughtful in its planning as we received the following updates:

Screening on our campuses where in-person school is happening:

  • ●  We must screen everyone entering our campuses.

  • ●  Our faculty must be tested for COVID-19 prior to opening and periodically.

  • ●  Anyone with symptoms, or with sick household members, must stay home.

  • ●  If any faculty member or student tests positive, we must follow the steps

    here in CA DPH​.

● Staff, faculty or students need to quarantine at home for 14 days if they have had close contact with someone who tested positive. ​(details on p3).​

AVS must move to distance learning​ if any of the following apply:

  1. San Francisco County is on the m​ onitoring list.​

  2. San Francisco County has been off the list for less than 14 days.

  3. There are cases of COVID-19 in multiple cohorts within your school.

  4. At least 5% of your students and staff have tested positive within the past 14


Safety on campuses where in-person school is happening:

  • ●  Masks or face coverings must be worn by teachers, and by students from 3rd grade up.

  • ●  Masks are recommended, but not required, for 2nd grade and younger.

  • ●  6-foot distancing is required for adults, and "as practicable" for students.

    This is a dynamic and ongoing assessment, informed by evidence-based research and the input from experts in their fields. We are fortunate to have access to the resources of local medical experts that inform our decisions. Additionally, AVS community MD’s, Biologists, and Health workers are assisting in reviewing our health and safety policies and practices to mitigate risk for the protection of employee and student health.

    We look forward to updating you on our most current planning and protocol development in light of the dramatically shifting public health situation.​ ​We all have our own individual tolerance of risk for our families, which is why our proposed model designs are flexible and allow personal preference for AVS families. We will release our finalized models at the end of July and we will re-survey our AVS families to get an updated response of our families who will participate in our in-person options, or distance options, as San Francisco county opens for in-person school.

    Dr. Sean Hamer, Head of School


See the broad overview of our Lower School Academic Continuity plan. 


See the broad overview of our Middle School Academic Continuity plan. 


The AVS Parent Portal is a treasure trove of resources for navigating school (and life!) while you continue to Shelter in Place. From Community Meeting videos and Parent Ed Webinars to a crowd-sourced list of movies to watch as a family, the Parent Portal is your go-to place for all things virtual school. (AVS log-in required)

April 29, 2020

Dear AVS Families,


As we close out week two of “spring break”, I hope you enjoyed some rest, reflection, and a little recreation time with family despite the shelter-in-place limitations.  


I am sharing this evening that in light of the city of San Francisco’s extended shelter-in-place regulations as well as alignment with the San Francisco Unified School District and Bay Area peer schools, we have made the decision to close the campuses and continue with our distance learning platform for the remainder of the school year. I recognize that this decision may not come as much of a surprise to you, however, I know that it is difficult to imagine not returning to campus this year, especially for our graduating students.


To celebrate our graduating students, it is most likely that we will hold a commencement event on the scheduled date June 17, 2020 and hope to plan a gathering in honor of our students at a future date. The school leadership team and I are working to imagine what is possible. We are devising plans to ensure that students and teachers can see each other in a celebratory fashion before the end of the school year. 


Also, I want to express a huge thank-you to AVS parents, committee members, and trustees for your support during the past several weeks. These moments in time call on us to be examples for our AVS students and continue to be supportive of each other. All the best as we begin another school week together and please know that our teachers and leadership team are here to support you in the coming weeks.


In partnership,


Dr. Sean Hamer, Head of School