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Reopening Plan 2020

The Year Ahead - Joining Together On Campus

Cannon School’s culture is one of our greatest strengths. In the coming months, we will continue to encounter complexity and uncertainty as we return to campus and form new habits together. This will require that we listen to and work with one another in a spirit of trust and flexibility. Trust in the belief that each member of this community is working with the best of intent to return safely and successfully to campus. Flexible in that we will have to adapt together to circumstances that will change, both in ways we can anticipate and in others we may not. The active choice to rely upon colleagues, leaders, experts, and friends who contribute so much to Cannon will help see us through to the other side of this historic moment.

Cannon's Reopening Plan Overview

On July 17, Cannon announced our plan to start school on August 20 in the Hybrid Learning model, shown in the graphic below. We plan to follow the Hybrid Learning model from August 20 - September 4. During the first two weeks of school, we will closely monitor public health guidance and assess Cannon’s safety measures and ability to achieve school-wide compliance while delivering upon our mission.

If public health metrics and Cannon’s initial assessments indicate that it is a safe and balanced decision to do so, we will pivot to the On-Campus Learning model (#1 in yellow) on September 8. If not, we will continue to follow the Hybrid model until such time as public health metrics and Cannon’s assessments deem otherwise.

Whether we are following the Hybrid Learning or the On-Campus Learning model, synchronous remote learning will be an option for high-risk students, and students in all grades, JrK-12, who may wish to choose this path. Students would be required to commit to this path for a designated period of time.

Health & Safety Panel Discussion - July 2020

Campus Reopening Plan: Frequently Asked Questions

List of 8 items.

  • Q: Which of the three possible scenarios will Cannon follow for the start of the school year?

    We will start school on August 20 following the Hybrid Learning model shown in the center, orange column of the graphic.
  • Q: How long does Cannon plan to remain in the selected reopening scenario?

    We plan to follow the Hybrid Learning model from August 20 through September 4.

    During the first two weeks of school, we will closely monitor public health guidance and assess Cannon’s safety measures and ability to achieve school-wide compliance while delivering upon our mission.

    If public health metrics and Cannon’s initial assessments indicate that it is a safe and balanced decision to do so, we will pivot to the On-Campus Learning model (#1 in yellow) on September 8. If not, we will continue to follow the Hybrid model until such time as public health metrics and Cannon’s assessments deem otherwise.
  • Q: Will siblings have the same Maroon/Gold week schedules?

    Cannon School will make sure that siblings are assigned to the same Maroon/Gold-week schedules for hybrid learning so that they may travel to campus together.
  • Q: Will my child be able to attend classes via synchronous remote learning if we decide that is best for our family, regardless of Cannon's chosen scenario?

    Whether we are following the Hybrid Learning or the On-Campus Learning model, synchronous remote learning will be an option for high-risk students, and students in all grades, JrK-12, who may wish to choose this path. Students would be required to commit to this path for a designated period of time. Learn more by reading the Attendance Policy & Schedules for Lower, Middle, and Upper School.
  • Q: What are Cannon's policies around attendance, selecting a different learning mode, and division schedules?

    Please read the Attendance Policy & Schedules for Lower, Middle, and Upper School. This policy outlines important academic information including:
    • How the school will separate 6th-12th grade students into Gold and Maroon groups and how these groups will alternate between on-campus and remote learning
    • How families may choose to move between in-person learning  and remote learning as the school may change learning modes throughout the school year 
    • Additional support for students who have chosen the full remote option including, but not limited to, participation in after-school activities, athletics, and office hours with teachers
    • Hardship exceptions available to families who have extenuating circumstances
    • Schedules for Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School
  • Q: How has Cannon enhanced its classroom technology for 2020-2021?

    Cannon School has invested in new classroom technology for the 2020-2021 school year.

    When combined with video conferencing tools, this new technology enables teachers to provide ongoing synchronous learning—delivering the same lesson to students who are on campus and students who are joining remotely. In addition, this technology provides teachers with a way to capture real-time classroom activity (both video and audio) without being confined to any specific location in the classroom.

    Beyond improving the learning experience for students in both hybrid and fully remote scenarios, this new technology:

    • Delivers a solution that supports both synchronous and asynchronous remote learning.
    • Enables teachers to record classes for viewing at a later time.
    • Empowers teachers to move freely around the room, utilizing the school’s high-speed internet connection, enhanced in-classroom devices, and video conferencing services to provide an experience as close as possible to an in-classroom experience for remote learners.
    • Provides high-risk students and students who may be self-isolating at home with access to in-classroom instruction from their teacher along with opportunities to interact with other students.
    • Is compatible with students’ existing devices. There is no need for families to purchase new devices.
  • Q: What metrics will inform Cannon’s pivot to On-Campus Learning?

    Metrics that will inform Cannon’s pivot to On-Campus Learning will include, but are not limited to:

    • The state of North Carolina’s Phases of easing restrictions
    • Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County data on 14 days of COVID-like cases, percentage of positive tests of overall tests, and COVID-related hospitalizations
    • Cannon School internal data on 14-day rolling average percentage of reported COVID-like symptoms, confirmed or probable cases of COVID illness among our school community, and number of likely on-campus transmissions.
    • Ongoing consultation with medical and public health experts
    • Continued information sharing and research with peer schools and professional organizations
     
  • Q: When can I expect more information about key aspects of returning to school?

    July 28:
    • Parents will receive a brief questionnaire to share their anticipated decision for August 20--in-person learning or full remote learning.  
    • This survey will help Cannon plan for August 20 but will not be binding. We will ask for your final decision via a questionnaire on August 5.
     
    August 5:
    Parents, faculty, and staff will receive a communication with detailed policies including, but not limited to:
     
    • Masking policy
    • Health screening policy
    • Quarantine and contact tracing policy
    • Attendance policy and remote learning details
    • Student assignments to Maroon/Gold groups and hybrid learning details
    • Questionnaire for families to declare their final decision for in-person or full remote learning
     
    August 10-14:
    Parents will receive division-specific information including class placements and advisory placements, as well as general educational resources and expectations to preview before the start of school

    Thank You:
     We thank you for your patience as we also work through a list of questions that are very specific to family scenarios and require follow up from various campus departments and programs.

Health and Safety Protocols: Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 items.

  • Q: Are facemasks required while on campus?

    Please read the Face Mask Policy. Cannon School has updated our mask policy to require masks for all students in Grades JrK-12.  
     
    Highlights of the policy include:
    • Masks are required for all faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors if Cannon School is operating in an On-Campus (Yellow), Hybrid (Orange), or Remote (Red) status.
    • Masks must be worn in public spaces and common areas where multiple people are present, including classrooms, meeting rooms, public restrooms, stairwells, hallways, lobby areas, common workspaces, and buses. Masks are required outdoors if safe social distancing and gathering practices are not possible.
    • Students may remove their masks if they are outside, and social distancing measures are in place, supervised by teachers. There will be time during the day for mask breaks.
    • If a teacher or staff member is alone in their classroom or workspace, a mask is not required.
    • Types of approved masks include cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and face shields. 
      • Face shields are not a substitute for cloth masks.  
      • Buffs or neck gaiters are only approved for students in Grades JrK-4.
      • N95 masks or cloth masks with valves are not allowed (because the valve releases unfiltered air).
      • Each division’s existing dress code policies apply to masks.
    • Faculty and staff will be provided with two cloth face masks and a face shield at the beginning of the school year. Five disposable surgical style masks will be provided monthly to faculty and staff. 
  • Q: What protocols are in place daily for health screenings?

    • Cannon School will utilize a secure, online software—Magnus Health—for our daily health screenings.
    • Parents, faculty, and staff will receive instructions during the week of August 10-14 to download the Magnus app and login to their account. 
    • Before coming to school each day, parents will give their children a daily temperature check at home and complete a daily health screening questionnaire through the Magnus app. Questions will assess symptoms and help us understand the risk level of our school community. 
    • Faculty and staff will complete the same procedure listed above for themselves.
    • Students, faculty, and staff who are on campus will receive a daily, midday temperature check. 
    • Students, faculty, and staff with symptoms during the school day will immediately report to Cannon’s Nurses.
    • Cannon is renovating a centrally located space as a triage room to initially screen ill students. Upon screening, students will either move to an isolation area or be directed to an alternate health room for treatment. This alternate health room will also be a destination for routine well-visits and treatments such as receiving medications or help with minor playground injuries.  
  • Q: How will Cannon implement social distancing?

    • Social distancing is a piece of Cannon School’s comprehensive risk mitigation strategy which includes daily health screenings, masking, cohorting of our youngest students, handwashing, sanitizing, and suspending field trips and large indoor assemblies. 
    • All classroom, indoor, and outdoor campus spaces will be leveraged to accommodate social distancing of faculty, staff, students, and visitors whenever possible throughout the school day.
    • Social distancing will depend on Cannon’s chosen learning mode:
       
      • During Hybrid Learning (Orange), we will observe social distancing of at least 3 ft. for Grades JrK-5 and 6 ft. for Grades 6-12 where feasible. 
      • During On-Campus Learning (Yellow), we will observe social distancing of at least 3 ft. where feasible.
      • During Remote Learning (Red), we will observe physical distancing of at least 3 ft. for Grades JrK-K and 6 ft. for Grades 1-2 where feasible.
      • Prevalence of community-based transmission will be considered as we determine social distancing requirements and in our decision to change learning models. 
    • During morning arrival, Lower and Middle School students will report directly to designated areas with social distancing. Upper School students will report directly to their advisories.  
    • The cafeteria will operate with a modified service of boxed lunches and no self-service options. Lunches will be delivered throughout school to lessen groups in the cafeteria. Students will observe social distancing as outlined in the bullets above, depending on Cannon’s chosen learning mode.
    • The After School Program will divide students by age and assign each student to a group, with which that student will remain. The age groupings include JrK and K together, 1st and 2nd grades together, 3rd and 4th grades together, and Middle School grades together. Groups will remain together and will not mix. Mask protocols will follow those of the school day, and social distancing will be practiced while indoors as practical.
    • During afternoon dismissal, bus riders, car riders, and student drivers will report to designated areas using socially distanced protocols.

  • Q: What can you tell us about on-campus hygiene and hand sanitizers?

    • Faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to follow thorough hand washing protocols.
    • All faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer stations available at entrances, exits, and high traffic areas.
  • Q: How will contact tracing be handled?

    Cannon School’s contact tracing protocol guides our decision-making process and procedures in the event of a probable or positive case of COVID-19 on campus:
    • Cannon’s contact tracing team consists of ten individuals across campus who are trained to interview students, faculty, and staff for possible exposure. The team is led by our school nursing team and includes a physician who is also a Cannon parent.
    • The purpose of contact tracing is to identify individuals who may have come into close contact with a COVID-19 probable or positive individual. Once identified, those individuals are instructed to quarantine for a period of 14 days in order to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19. A close contact is defined as a person who:
      • was within 6 ft., for more than 15 minutes, of the person confirmed to have COVID-19.
      • was in direct physical contact with the infected person (hugged or kissed).
      • was coughed on or sneezed on by the infected person.
      • shared eating or drinking utensils with the infected person.
      • resides in the same household as the infected person.
    • Siblings and/or other family members of a suspected, COVID-19 symptomatic person will be instructed to quarantine from day 1 until a definitive diagnosis is presented. If the suspected case turns out to be negative, Cannon’s nurses may clear those who have been excluded from campus to return sooner than 14 days. 
    • Cannon’s contact tracing team will follow CDC and NCDHHS protocol regarding notification in the instance of a confirmed positive for COVID-19.
    • We thank families, faculty, and staff in advance for complying with this protocol with kindness and respect.
  • Q: When should I stay home from school?

  • Q: What additional measures is Cannon taking to keep our community and facilities safe and clean?

    • Cannon School will enhance its daily cleaning to include sanitizing of high-touch surfaces multiple times throughout the school day, utilizing EPA-recommended disinfectants.
    • Cannon School has upgraded HVAC air filters throughout the school to filters with a MERV rating of 13. The adjusted outside air intake will reflect recommended levels.
    • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly.
    • We will use foggers to disinfect the buses twice daily.
    • Cannon School has purchased fogging equipment that we plan to use to disinfect classrooms, campus spaces, and playground equipment at appropriate intervals.
    • New signage will be posted throughout campus to reinforce health and safety precautions.  
    • Faculty and staff will receive detailed training on Cannon’s protocols in August before students return.
    • Each division will engage students in age-appropriate health and safety precautions from day one and throughout the school year with adults modeling consistent compliance.  
    • Parents will be connected and educated through various forums, all-school communications, health forms, and real-time updates.
    • Additional division-specific communications will be shared before the start of school.
  • Q: What additional precautions is Cannon taking in the classroom?

    • Throughout the school day, we will implement cohorting and assigned seating to minimize student crossover as much as possible. (Cohort groupings are small in number and as static as possible by having the same, small group of children stay together as much as possible.)
    • These additional precautions mitigate and minimize risk.
  • Q: How will Cannon support high-risk students, faculty, and staff?

    • Families of high-risk students who are not yet ready to return to campus may opt their students into full remote learning. New classroom technology will enable remote learners to take part in nearly all aspects of the academic school day including advisories, classroom activities, student life, and assemblies.
    • Social distancing protocols and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be key components to keeping all faculty and staff as safe as possible. Cannon will make PPE available to all faculty and staff. Our school store will also have limited quantities available for purchase.
    • Cannon’s Director of Human Resources, Stacie Hopes, is ready and available to assist faculty and staff with all aspects of a safe return to work.
    • Detailed, ongoing health and safety training for faculty, staff, students, and visitors is a commitment that reinforces the importance of acknowledging and respecting the needs of high-risk members of our Cannon community.
  • Q: How can I commit to protecting myself, others, and our Cannon community?

    • Please read the Wellness Pledge.
    • Cannon parents, faculty, and staff will be asked to sign the Wellness Pledge via the Magnus app during the week of August 10-14
    • It is imperative for families to complete the Wellness Pledge before the start of school in order for their children to partake in any mode of learning as well as after-school activities/programs and athletics.  

Beyond Academics: Frequently Asked Questions

List of 9 items.

  • Q: How will the cafeteria operate?

    • Cafeteria staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. 
    • The cafeteria will operate with a modified service of boxed lunches and no self-service options. Lunches will be delivered throughout school to lessen groups in the cafeteria. Students will observe social distancing as outlined in the bullets above, depending on Cannon’s chosen learning mode.
    • Cannon School will utilize the FlikISDining App for our school community to pre-order lunches. 
    • Parents, faculty, and staff will receive instructions during the week of August 10-14 to download the FlikIsDining app, create an account, and pre-order.  
    • To begin the school year, we will ask that orders be placed by Friday at 3:00 p.m. for the following week. Moving forward, we will eventually be able to decrease the lead time for pre-ordering.
  • Q: How will bus transportation change?

    • Transportation will look different and will be adjusted to meet the needs of our community.
    • Based on public health guidance, Cannon buses will only be able to run at 50% capacity, or 1 child per seat.
    • Because of this constraint, we will prioritize riders as follows:
                 1. round-trip contract riders
                 2. one-way contract riders

    • We will not be able to accommodate drop-in riders at this time.   
    • Masks are required for all riders.
    • We will use foggers to disinfect the buses twice daily.
  • Q: What is the status of field trips, class trips, and overnight trips?

    • All such trips are suspended until further notice.  
    • School representatives will provide division-specific follow up as necessary.
  • Q: Will Cannon offer the After School Program?

    • The After School Program will operate as a modified program. To mitigate risk, we must maintain small groups and consistent enrollment.
    • We will initially offer a 5-day per week contract. We are not able to offer this program on a drop-in basis.
    • We request that families who can have their children return home after school please do so. This will enable families with professional commitments to register for the program.   
    • The After School Program will divide students by age and assign each student to a group, with which that student will remain. The age groupings include JrK and K together, 1st and 2nd grades together, 3rd and 4th grades together, and Middle School grades together. Groups will remain together and will not mix. Mask protocols will follow those of the school day, and social distancing will be practiced while indoors as practical.
  • Q: Will Cannon offer Beyond the Bell programs?

    Unfortunately, Cannon will not be offering Beyond the Bell programs at this time. 
  • Q: What is Cannon’s plan for Athletics?

    Following an announcement from the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA), Cannon School shared its plan for the fall season. It is important to note that matters will continue to be subject to change and contingent upon the State of North Carolina’s announcement in early August.

    Announcement from NCISAA

    On July 20, the NCISAA shared this return-to-play plan for the fall which covers:
    • The movement to full practices, scrimmages, and competitions, which is subject to change and contingent upon the state of North Carolina progressing to Phase 3 of easing restrictions in early August.
    Cannon Athletics This Fall

    Based on this guidance from the NCISAA and Cannon School’s health and safety protocols, Cannon Athletics shares:
    • Athletic forms must be completed before tryouts and practices. Please visit this page for more information.  
    • Dates for required tryouts/practices that begin as listed on the Athletics Tryouts page.
    • If the Governor elects to remain in Phase 2 of easing restrictions, we will share additional updates at that time.  
    • The NCISAA has postponed football games until at least September 4. We will continue to provide updates to student-athletes and parents involved with football as they are available. 
  • Q: What is Cannon’s plan for the Performing Arts?

    • On the academic side, Cannon is conducting research about how to best hold classes safely. Our intent is to offer an educational experience that is safe and meaningful.
    • After school performing arts activities will be modified, but still available for students.
  • Q: Will extracurricular activities still be available?

    Enrichment programs, clubs, and other activities will be modified, but still available for students.
  • Q: May visitors come to Cannon’s campus?

    • All campus visitors (current parents, prospective families, vendors, and contractors) must follow Cannon’s health and safety protocols related to health screenings, masking, and social distancing.   
    • Parents will be restricted to lobbies for pick up and drop off at this time.  
    • Cannon will require virtual visits from college representatives at this time. 

    Please refer to the Visitor Guidelines for additional information.

Not Finding the Answer to Your Question?

Cannon School Recovery Team

Recovery Team Leaders

Whit Brown
Director of Business & Finance

Stacie Hopes
Director of Human Resources

Carla Moyer
Head of Middle School

Charles Witherspoon
Director of Safety & Security

 
Recovery Team Members

Pam Bullard
School Nurse

Bill Diskin
Director of Admission & Financial Aid

Bill Donovan
Director of Institutional Technology

Chris Evans
Director of Dining Services

Todd Hartung
Director of Advancement

Fabio Hurtado
JrK-12 Director of Studies

Teresita Hurtado
Upper School Learning Specialist

Lee Jones
Director of Enrichment Programs

Katie LaRue
Director of Athletics

Beth Levanti
Director of Marketing & Communications

Dan Maples
Director of Operations

Regina Nixon
Head of Lower School

Deb Otey
Head of Upper School

Megan Thompson
Middle School Counselor

Beth Wilner
Director of College Counseling

Danny Wyke
Director of Transportation

Cannon School

Phone: 704-786-8171 | Fax: 704-788-7779