Commonwealth of Virginia
Health Mitigation Plan

Williamsburg Christian Academy strives to balance the community’s need for information with the uncertainty of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. This plan is based on the most recent information available.

Click any header to expand the text and read about that aspect of the plan. 

  • Process

    The Williamsburg Christian Academy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is designed to protect the health and safety of the entire WCA community - students, families, faculty, staff, and visitors.

    The goal of this 2020-2021 Health and Safety Statement is to guide a safe reopening of our campus.

    This plan is based on the most recent information and guidance from many different authorities and groups, including:

    1. Local, State and Federal Authorities, including the Center for Disease Control and Virginia Department of Health.

    Based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommendations, WCA can answer ‘yes’ to all recommendations required to safely open and monitor.

    2. WCA Health and Safety Task Force:

    • Lorraine Perkins, DNP, FNP, BSN
      Ray Henley, DDS
      Shawn Flanagan, MD
      Tammie Saunders, BSN, RN
      Johnny Graham, Head of School
      Rob Campbell, Head of Administration
      Noelle Rennolds, Lower School Principal
      Crystal Florakis, Upper School Assistant Principal
      Matt Leffler, Board President
      Mike Nice, Board Treasurer

    3. WCA Guidance from professional organizations and peer schools NAIS, ACSI, VCPE

  • Essential Questions
    What conditions would allow Williamsburg Christian Academy to open in-person, on campus?

    WCA has strongly considered all VDH and CDC recommendations regarding opening in-person, on-campus, for the 2020-2021 school year. According to the current regulations published this summer, WCA’s Health and Safety Task Force, Board of Trustees, and Leadership have determined that the school is prepared to open safely while continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines as time goes on. Additionally, the school has submitted its Health Mitigation Plan for in-person curricular delivery to the Virginia State Health Commissioner’s office.

    What conditions would cause Williamsburg Christian Academy to close facilities and move to all School distance learning?

    WCA would move to all school remote course learning if mandated by Governor Northam or recommended by the James City County Department of Health or Virginia Department of Health. There may be scenarios this school year that call for one grade level or division to move to remote course learning temporarily while allowing the rest of the campus to continue to remain open.

    What happens if/when there is a confirmed COVID-19 case within the school community?

    According to the medical professionals on the Health and Safety Task Force, if or when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within our school community (including faculty, staff, students, or students’ household members), the school will be notified by the James City County Department of Health. If we are notified of a positive case of COVID-19 from a parent or staff member, our first call will be to the James City County Health Department for direction. WCA will follow all CDC and VDH protocols to send infected or exposed individuals home. The CDC recommends 10 days of quarantine after exposure based on the time it takes to develop the illness if infected. WCA will follow all CDC and VDH protocols to sanitize or temporarily close any at-risk areas of our campus. The Health Department will guide decisions regarding the closure of a classroom, school, or office.

    What is Williamsburg Christian Academy’s stance on mask-wearing?

    Although students and learning facilitators will not wear masks throughout the entire school day, they will be required to wear masks when collaborative projects involve cumulative contact within six feet for ten minutes or longer as defined by the Virginia Department of Health regarding close contact. As a result, each student should bring a mask to school each day as a part of his or her supplies. Learning facilitators will review mask hygiene details with students during Health & Safety instruction each Monday. Masks should either be washed or replaced daily.

    Will student temperatures be taken each day?

    When entering the school building’s front entrance each day, students, staff, guests, parents, and vendors will be scanned for their temperature via thermal camera. Subsequently, the thermal camera will notify the front office receptionist when a specific individual has been identified as having a fever.

    What if someone in my household is infected with COVID-19?

    If a member of your household is infected with COVID-19, please contact Mrs. J’me Ferguson, Assistant to the Head of School, at health@williamsburgchristian.org or (757) 378-5260 regarding your child’s specific quarantine timeline.

    Who do I contact if I have general COVID-19 questions?

    Regarding a WCA-specific COVID-19 protocol question, please contact Mrs. J’me Ferguson, Assistant to the Head of School, at health@williamsburgchristian.org or (757)378-5260. Regarding regional health data questions, please contact the James City County Department of Health at (757) 253-4813.

    What if I’m uncomfortable with sending my child to school? What do I do?

    No problem! That’s a parental decision, not the school’s, and we have a flipped learning plan that will allow remote students to grow as lifelong learners without disruption. Parents who intend to opt-in to 100% virtual learning indefinitely need to send an email to Johnny Graham, Head of School, with the email subject “Virtual Only Opening” before August 12, listing the names of all children in the body of the email when opting into full virtual learning for 2020-21. Williamsburg Christian Academy’s flexibility allows parents to control when they feel comfortable with on-campus learning for their children.

    What if I have traveled out of the local area or hosted guests from outside the local area?

    A WCA employee or student will be quarantined as a precaution for ten school days following the return of the employee, student, or any of their household family members from travel outside the local area. Similarly, the same quarantine requirements exist for hosting visitors from outside of our local area as well.

    Providing a safe and healthy learning environment for the Williamsburg Christian Academy community is our highest priority.

    The WCA Health and Safety Task Force has set forth a host of recommendations to allow for a safer start of the 2020-2021 school year for in-person, on-campus teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Unless mandated by the State, or otherwise advised by health officials, WCA’s doors will remain open for on-campus instruction per our May 15th Fall 2020 Opening Plan. WCA will follow CDC and VDH protocols to send infected or exposed individuals home and close and sanitize any at-risk areas of campus. The health department will guide decisions regarding closure of the classroom, school, or office.

    To support higher-risk individuals within our community, WCA will offer hybrid learning options for students and a telework policy for employees.

    The plan’s structure below has been carefully considered to address and promote the safety, health, and welfare of our entire school community. The community health guidelines and policies are subject to change as new information becomes available. Procedures to protect the health and safety of the WCA community fall into three main categories:

  • Health and Safety Procedures: Protect

    WCA families protect our school community through the practice of social distancing coupled with the mastery of cough, sneeze, and handwashing hygiene away from campus as well as in person. We encourage parents to limit the out-of-school social interactions of their children so that the WCA community may be safer.  Additionally, we’ll progress towards full operational status as employees, students, and families partner with our ministry to master COVID-19 health mitigation protocols. Families are attesting that their students are illness/symptom-free by sending them to school and by answering NO to all of the following:

    • Do you have a fever (temperature equal to or higher than 100 without taking fever-reducing medication)?
    • Are you experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
    • Do you have a cough?
    • Do you have the chills?
    • Have you lost your sense of smell or taste?
    • Do you have a headache?
    • Do you have a sore throat?
    • Do you have muscle aches?
    • Have you experienced any GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite?
    • Do you have a bacterial infection such as pink eye or strep throat that you have not been on an antibiotic for 24 hours?
    • Have you been asked to self-isolate or instructed to quarantine by a medical professional or local Health Department official?
    • Have you been in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or been placed on quarantine for possible contact with COVID-19?

    All faculty, staff, and students are expected to follow the sick policy and stay home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness. If symptoms arise during the school day, the individual will be sent home promptly. Symptoms of illness include:

    • Active vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours.
    • Chills/generalized body aches.
    • Fever greater than or equal to 100 in the past 24 hours without fever-reducing medication
    • Exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, runny nose, respiratory secretions), with or without fever.
    • Undiagnosed rash, new and/or untreated rash or skin condition (i.e., hives, wound with purulent drainage).
    • If diagnosed with pink-eye or strep throat, the individual must be on antibiotic treatment for 24 hours.
    • Experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache, rash).
      • Must follow up with a medical provider and provide a return-to-school note to the nurse.
      • Pediatricians or family physicians will advise families of appropriate next steps and evaluate if COVID-19 testing is warranted.
    • If we are notified of a positive case of COVID-19 from a parent or staff member, our first call will be to the Virginia Department of Health for direction.
    • The VDH will most likely notify the school of any positive cases within our school community.
    • Students/staff may not return to school until they’re illness/symptom-free for 48 hours, except if diagnosed with COVID-19, and they must follow CDC and VDH recommendations.
    • If someone in our community has tested positive, they will be under the watch of the VDH and will receive instruction as to when they will be released from quarantine/isolation.
    • Families will be notified via email of any known COVID-19 exposures.
    • All WCA employees will wear a face mask while in common spaces on campus.
    • It is recommended that all upper school students wear face masks.
    • All faculty and staff buckling and unbuckling students during the car line will wear a face mask.
    • All lower school students must have individual supplies.
    • We will teach and reinforce proper handwashing techniques and covering of coughs and sneezes among students and staff.
    • MAT-certified staff will monitor absenteeism to identify any illness trends among the students and employees.
    • Signage regarding signs and symptoms of COVID-19, proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette, and how to properly wear a face mask will be placed around campus.
  • Health and Safety Procedures: Distance

    All staff and students will practice feasible modified social distancing.

    Visitors will be restricted to those that are essential, and they will be asked to wear a mask and complete a health screening attestation form before interacting with people.

    Students in the lower school will be kept with their class “family” during the day at recess and lunch and will not mix with other class “families”.
    Staggered arrival and dismissal times. Refer to July 20 Head of School email to families regarding opening protocol.

    There will be no clustering of desks.

    Lower School lunch will occur in each classroom on the first floor of the building.

    Upper School lunch will occur inside the cover of a tent located on the east side of campus and enable a seamless transition to post-lunch outdoor recreation in the Upper School.

  • Health and Safety Procedures: Disinfect

    One custodial staff member will be assigned to each building floor during the day to clean/disinfect all high-touch areas of the campus. Teacher assistants will support classroom cleaning needs of the school frequently each day.

    • Ensure adequate supplies for proper hand hygiene (soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfecting towels, and spray).
    • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the building.
    • Bathrooms (including classroom bathrooms) will be cleaned, disinfected, and mopped multiple times per day as needed by the custodial staff.
    • Tables and desks will be wiped down after each use by the teacher assistants between periods of student use.


    Hand hygiene education will be provided.

    • Hand hygiene (handwashing for 20 seconds with soap and water if available or use of hand sanitizer when entering a building, changing your environment, after using the bathroom, before and after eating).
    • Lower and Upper School learning facilitators will build time into their class schedule to teach and enforce proper hand hygiene.

    Respiratory etiquette education will be provided.

    • Practices include covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
    • Use tissues and throw them away after one use.
    • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer every time you touch your mouth or nose.

    This Health and Safety Plan is based on the most recent information as of July 20, 2020. Any updates will be communicated via email or posted to the website and WCA social media platforms.

Summary and Conclusion

On May 15, 2020, Williamsburg Christian Academy families received the current version of detailed plans for the curricular and athletic opening hybrid in-person school operations. Please review our opening plan here as a reminder of operational details. WCA families will receive a separate informational email from Head of School, Johnny Graham, on or before August 13, 2020, regarding the school’s implementation of the Brightspace Learning Management System. WCA’s Brightspace Learning Management System will be used throughout in-person and remote learning, and it will establish a safer online environment for all communication among learning facilitators, students, coaches, and staff. The Brightspace LMS will enhance WCA’s flipped classroom curricular delivery moving forward.

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