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COVID-19 Response


SVA COVID-19 Statement

(published May 28, 2020)

Shenandoah Valley Academy responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in several ways.  Our goals were to comply with government issued restrictions and to protect our students, families, and extended community.   We began offsite instruction on March 25, 2020.  This continued until the completion of the academic year on May 20, 2020.  Many employees began working from home.  We cancelled Alumni Weekend, and many other on-campus functions.  We moved commencement exercises to July 12, 2020. 

Based on available information, and pending state approval, SVA is planning to resume on-campus operations for the fall 2020 semester.  The first day of classes will be August 17, 2020.  Careful plans are being laid.  We will implement practices to reduce risk and safeguard the health of our students, faculty, and staff.  A taskforce including administration, the school nurse, and the head deans has been working to establish recommendations and requirements.  We anticipate the partnership of students, parents, and family physicians as we implement reasonable measures.  Of course, in this fluid situation, we will continue to consult healthcare professionals, government officials, and available data from the Centers for Disease Control and other experts, as we prepare for a successful 2020-2021 year.  

In these challenging times, we are grateful for our students, teachers, and families who have adapted admirably, and for the continued strong support from donors and prayer warriors.  We affirm our alumni who are working on the front lines to combat the pandemic and we wish for all of you, across the wider Shenandoah family, strength, health, and the peace of Christ.

Don Short
Principal


 

Previous Communications

Good Afternoon,

Please allow us to share a quick COVID update:  Some of you may have heard that our next door neighbor and partner institution, Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary, has gone to virtual / off-site instruction for the days until Spring Break.   At this point, as we continue to cooperate with the Virginia Department of Health, we anticipate continuing with on-site instruction at SVA.  Our positive cases are limited to known exposures and our aggressive quarantining appears to be effective in isolating the virus.  These are challenging times and we ask you to pray with us for God's leading in our work for our young people.

Sincerely,

Darlene Anderson, RN, BSN, SVA Nurse

Donald Short, Principal

Kaleb Leeper, Vice Principal

Dear Parents,

Good evening.  We are emailing to give you an update on the COVID-19 situation at SVA.  Over the weekend we were notified that a village student had tested positive for COVID.   We immediately followed up with contact tracing and we quarantined* all potential exposures.  

This week three of our quarantined people tested positive.  We followed up with contact tracing and quarantined potential contacts.  While it is our hope that no one will become infected with COVID, the three quarantined individuals who had been exposed and tested positive are not an indication of widespread infection.   Instead, it shows that the original case was infectious and that the subsequent quarantining worked to prevent further spread of the virus.  

The dynamics of our current situation differ from the situation in January in that we have only one case (instead of five) that brought the virus to campus.  Also, none of those who are infected are dorm students and the vast majority of those quarantined are also village students.   This is a reminder of the value of dividing the students into groups so as to limit the spread of infection. 

This is a delicate time as we wait for some more test results, but we continue to pray hard and remain committed to following the science as we strive to maintain a safe and healthy campus.  As always, we are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and are in compliance with VDH and CDC guidelines.   

We will continue to keep you updated on the situation and to post our cases on our website.  https://www.shenandoahvalleyacademy.org/about/covidcases.cfm

We appreciate your ongoing prayers and support.

Sincerely,

Darlene Anderson, RN, BSN, SVA Nurse

Donald Short, Principal

Kaleb Leeper, Vice Principal

* Please understand that simply because a student is quarantined, does not mean they are infected with COVID-19.  Instead, it is a precautionary measure in order to prevent students who have had a possible exposure from spreading it, should they become infectious. 

Dear Parents,

At the end of last week I received results back on the remaining students who were tested in correlation with cases brought to campus after Christmas.  All tests came back negative.   It appears that we have succeeded in stopping the current spread of the virus on campus!  We have three students who are still recovering from COVID at home.  We currently have no students who are quarantined, no test results pending, and no students on sick list.  

We anticipate that we could experience future cases on campus and we continue to be vigilant as we pray hard and work hard to follow scientific guidelines.   

This morning, I spoke with Dr. Martinez, MD, MSHE, an epidemiologist for the VDH, and she reiterated that we followed the protocols exactly according to policy.  She further stated that things have worked out for SVA exactly how they wish they would work out for other schools.  I was glad to be able to let her know that we feel very blessed.

Many many thanks to the SVA staff who have and continue to work so hard to aggressively address the situation, and to our amazing students who cooperated with containment protocols.  

Sincerely,

Darlene Anderson, RN, BSN

Dear Parents,

I am emailing to give you the latest update on our COVID situation.  At this point, we have had eight positive COVID cases on campus since school resumed January 4.  We have notified the VDH of all cases and have detailed our actions and followed their advice.  Yesterday, our VDH representative told me, "You guys are doing a phenomenal job!".  We appreciate their support and counsel during this time.    

As some test results have come in as positive for COVID-19, we have done contact tracing and quarantining of all contacts.  Please understand that simply because a student is quarantined, does not mean they are infected with COVID-19.  Instead, it is a precautionary measure in order to prevent students who have had a possible exposure to COVID-19, from spreading it should they become infectious. Since January 4, as a precautionary measure, we have quarantined 71 students according to CDC and VDH guidelines.  Fifty-eight of those quarantined students have completed their quarantine, while nine are still being quarantined as they await test results and complete the required time.  Four others are at home completing the recommended quarantine time that is required without testing.   Three of our students who were identified as having a possible exposure and were quarantined, later tested positive for COVID (this is included in the above count).  From what we can tell four to five asymptomatic cases were brought to campus at the end of Christmas break.  

During this delicate time two of our top priorities are:  

1.  Continuing to Contain the Spread.  We are watching carefully to see how many students are testing positive and any patterns of spread.   Identifying these patterns is an important part of our containment strategy.  For instance, our students who tested positive this week were already identified as having been exposed and were in quarantine.  This means that we are not seeing what is known as "community spread."  Community spread is where people are becoming infected and they don't know where the infection came from.  Community spread causes extra complications because it would indicate that the virus is more widely spread on campus, and that people are potentially walking around infecting others.  While our hope is that no one will test positive, the three quarantined students who tested positive are not an indication of widespread infection.  Instead, it shows that those original cases were infectious, and that the subsequent quarantining was effective at containing the virus.

2.  Monitoring Student Stress Levels.  We are working with students and families who feel more comfortable doing school online from home.  Many others have expressed their desire to remain on campus and we continue to have our primary instruction offered in-person. 

Together with the VDH, we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.  We will continue to post our cases on our website at https://www.shenandoahvalleyacademy.org/about/covidcases.cfm.  We will continue to follow our sick list, quarantine and isolation policy which you can find at: https://www.shenandoahvalleyacademy.org/about/sicklist.cfm 

Sincerely,

Darlene Anderson, RN, BSN

School Nurse

January 14, 2021

Dear Parents,

Greetings from SVA.  We want to follow up on our last letter and provide you with an update regarding cases of COVID-19 on campus, reiterate the approach we are taking, and express appreciation for the prayers, encouraging notes, and offers of support.  We can meet the challenges as we work together.

As you know, we learned of our first student with a positive COVID test on the day that Christmas Break began.  This student was asymptomatic and simply got a test to get clearance for holiday travel.   Thankfully, this information allowed us to put precautions in place.  These precautions were inconvenient, but they worked together for good.  In several cases, particularly with vulnerable family members, spread of the virus was contained.  That day, we reported the case to the Virginia Department of Health.  After reviewing details of our approach, they confirmed that we handled everything according to their protocols and recommendations.

Many of you proactively communicated with us during the break.  Thank you.  You followed the additional guidelines for students returning to school and we are grateful.  We considered suggestions and put stricter on-campus precautions in place, including limiting interactions in the dormitories.  

As mentioned in our last letter, we have added a “COVID Cases” page to the school website.  On this page, you will find current information regarding campus-related COVID cases.   This is replacing email notification to all parents when a case occurs.  We will, of course, continue to contact the parents of individuals who test positive or have had a suspected exposure. Here is a link to our COVID Cases page: https://www.shenandoahvalleyacademy.org/about/covidcases.cfm

Since the beginning of second semester, we have taken many students to area facilities for testing.  Three tests have come back positive and these students have either left campus or are waiting for transportation to leave campus.  We have aggressively followed approved protocols, including requiring students on “possibly exposed” lists to serve the necessary days in quarantine.  Some of these students have opted to spend these days at home.  Others are staying on separate hallways, one in each dorm.  So far, none of the students who were quarantined for possible exposure have tested positive.  And, remarkably, no roommates of students with positive on campus cases have tested positive.

Teachers are working hard to help quarantined students keep up with school.  We have purchased additional lap tops for the quarantine halls and assignments are available online.   Each day the nurse checks each quarantined student's temperature and oxygenation level, while looking for any symptoms of illness.  While these students are well cared for, you can imagine that there is great jubilation when the quarantine time is over!  

We would like to remind you of our commitment to the following practices:

We will continue to move sick students with certain symptoms to their own room on the quarantine hall in their dormitory.  We will continue to automatically quarantine students who are experiencing a fever, cough or pre-fever symptoms (body aches, chills etc.).

We will continue to place students on sick list and in the quarantine hall more readily and for longer periods of time than we did pre-pandemic.

When checking a sick student, we will continue to assess for symptoms of COVID-19, including evaluating for loss of taste or smell and difficulty breathing.  

We will continue to have students tested when COVID-19 infection appears likely.  As has been our ongoing practice, these students will be required to quarantine until we have received the results of the test.   We are actively working to make testing available on campus so we don’t have to take students off campus to get tested.

If a student tests positive, we require that the student complete their isolation off campus with a parent or guardian.  

If a student is quarantined due to a possible exposure, we may need the student to complete their quarantine off campus.  When possible, we will make exceptions for those who live far away or have someone at risk in their home.  But we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all quarantined students on campus.

Of course, we will continue to cooperate with the Virginia Department of Health and the Potomac Conference Office of Education.   If it is recommended at some point in the future that we suspend on-campus school, we anticipate that it will be for a brief interval.

We very much appreciate working together as we all strive to keep our students safe and healthy!  

Sincerely,

Donald R. Short, Principal

Kaleb Leeper, Vice Principal

Darlene Anderson, RN, BSN, School Nurse

 

Below you will find a summary of quarantine and isolation policies as well as links to resources:

 If a person has had an exposure to COVID-19 but remains asymptomatic:

 1.  It is best practice for those who have had an exposure (15 or more minutes within 6 feet of an infected person, or direct exposure to an infected person's respiratory secretions) to remain quarantined for 14 days from the last known date of exposure to someone with SARS CoV-2.  

2.  Since a 14-day quarantine can sometimes place severe emotional, financial or other burdens on people, the CDC has studied and specified a couple of alternative options:

          A.  Quarantine can end 10 days after exposure if the exposed person has been asymptomatic with daily monitoring.  The transmission risk in this situation appears to be approximately 1-10% so I would advise using caution when around those who are at risk.  

          B.  Quarantine can end 7 days after exposure if a person tests negative (on or after day 5) and if they have remained asymptomatic with daily monitoring.  The transmission risk in this situation is approximately 5-12% so again, I would advise using caution when around those who are at risk.

SVA Policy:  Please note in order to ride school transportation, we require that the student has completed 14 days since the exposure.  They can, however return to school if they self-transport after following options A or B.

3.  Things to keep in mind:  

          A.  Day 0 of this timeline is the last known or possible day of exposure to someone with COVID-19.

          B.  Daily monitoring should include:  Taking your temperature in the morning and at night and watching for a fever.  Also monitoring for other signs and symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.   Virginia Department of Health's daily self-monitoring log is available here for download:  VDH’s Daily Symptom Monitoring Log

If a person who has had a possible exposure develops symptoms of COVID-19, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after the onset of symptoms and resolution of fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and with improvement of other symptoms.  

 Below are links to the resources for this information:

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/local-exposure/#:~:text=If%20you%20had%20close%20contact,after%20your%20last%20contact.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html#:~:text=For%20most%20persons%20with%20COVID,with%20improvement%20of%20other%20symptoms.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                           December 30, 2020

Dear Parents,

Our sincere thanks to those who provided your support and help on Thursday the 17th after we found out, just hours before home leave, that one of our students had tested positive for COVID-19.    Working together during these challenging times makes all the difference, and we appreciate your engagement!  

Dr. Colin Greene, the director of our Virginia Department of Health (VDH) district, told us last August, “You are going to have cases of COVID-19 during the school year.”  Since we anticipated that this would be the case, we developed protocols (including quarantine areas, isolation areas, and other safety measures) that were well in place when our first case occurred.  

One of the difficult things regarding these protocols is that, due to HIPAA/FERPA laws, we have not been at liberty to discuss specifics of individual cases with you--or even details that, while not specific to an individual, could nonetheless lead to identifying specific individuals.  This meant some of our communication with you has been intentionally vague.  Rest assured, though, that details were presented to the Virginia Department of Health and they confirmed to us that we handled everything according to their protocols and recommendations.

 In our discussion with VDH concerning the situation on the 17th, we also discussed what would be a safe and appropriate date for resuming school.   They assured us that, due to the length of the Christmas break, we could recommence as planned on January 4. 

As we anticipate school starting again, we ask that you adhere to the following requirements before your student returns to school:

If your child has experienced COVID-19 symptoms listed at  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html within the last 14 days, we require that he/she be tested and follow the applicable CDC isolation guidelines (listed at the bottom of this letter) prior to returning to school.

If your child has tested positive for the coronavirus and has completed isolation protocol according to the CDC directives, he/she does not need to be re-tested prior to returning to school. This is in accordance to the CDC retesting guidelines.  

If your child has been asymptomatic, but was exposed to someone with symptoms or a known coronavirus infection within the last 14 days, we require that the student complete the quarantine protocol as prescribed by the CDC (see guidelines at the bottom of this letter) prior to returning to school.  He/she cannot ride school transportation until it has been at least 14 days since the last exposure to someone who was known to be positive with the virus.  Your student can return to school (on other transportation) when either the 7 or 10 day quarantine option (see quarantine guidelines at the bottom of this letter) has been completed.  

If your child has been tested, please let us know the results, either positive or negative, before he/she returns to school.  You can email school.nurse@svasda.org with this information.

All students are required to submit a completed screening form prior to using school transportation or, if self-transporting, upon arrival on campus.  We have attached the form for your convenience.  

We have discussed whether to have all students tested before returning to school.  Dr. Greene has asked that we keep a couple things in mind when considering mass testing:  

            1.  There may be a shortage of tests and resources which make it impossible or ill-advised to use limited resources to test healthy, asymptomatic young people.  

            2.  “A negative test does not guarantee a student is free of disease.  Testing all students would only identify those who have active virus that day, but would say nothing about who may develop it the next day or later.”

            For these reasons, we have concluded that we will not be requiring all students to be tested prior to returning to school.

Over the holiday break, we have taken time to reflect on first semester and look ahead to second semester.  Below you will find some new practices, as well as details regarding practices we are committing to continuing:

We have added a “COVID Cases” page to the school website for you to reference.  On this page, you will find current information regarding campus-related COVID cases.   This is replacing email notification to all parents when a case occurs.  We will, of course, continue to contact the parents of individuals who test positive or have had a suspected exposure. Here is a link to our COVID Cases page: https://www.shenandoahvalleyacademy.org/about/covidcases.cfm

We are currently looking into the possibility of purchasing some testing kits when they become available so that we can test on-campus.  

We will continue to move sick students with certain symptoms to their own room on the quarantine hall in their dormitory.  We will continue to automatically quarantine students who are experiencing a fever, cough or pre-fever symptoms (body aches, chills etc.).

We will continue to place students on sick list and in the quarantine hall more readily and for longer periods of time than we did pre-pandemic.

When checking a sick student, we will continue to assess for symptoms of COVID-19, including evaluating for loss of taste or smell and difficulty breathing.  

We will continue to have students tested when COVID-19 infection appears likely.  As has been our ongoing practice, these students will be required to quarantine until we have received the results of the test.   Quarantine is not recommended (and the school does not require it) for students who are tested due to travel requirements or as a precaution, when there is no suspected COVID infection.

If a student tests positive, we require that the student complete their isolation off campus with a parent or guardian.  

If a student is quarantined due to a possible exposure, we may need the student to complete their quarantine off campus.  When possible, we will make exceptions for those who live far away or have someone at risk in their home.  But we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all quarantined students on campus.

In closing, we want to reiterate that we are committed to continued cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health.  We very much appreciate their involvement and help!  They have told us that when cases occur on campus, they will analyze the situation, and decisions will be made based specifically on the current circumstances.   If it is recommended at some point in the future that we suspend on-campus school, we anticipate that it will be for a brief interval.

We hope you had a blessed holiday and that your student is healthy and looking forward to returning to school.  We appreciate your partnership with us and your commitment to the education and safety of our students.

Sincerely,

Donald R. Short, Principal

Kaleb Leeper, Vice Principal

Darlene Anderson, RN, BSN, School Nurse

 

Below you will find a summary of quarantine and isolation policies as well as links to resources:

 If a person has had an exposure to COVID-19 but remains asymptomatic:

 1.  It is best practice for those who have had an exposure (15 or more minutes within 6 feet of an infected person, or direct exposure to an infected person's respiratory secretions) to remain quarantined for 14 days from the last known date of exposure to someone with SARS CoV-2.  

2.  Since a 14-day quarantine can sometimes place severe emotional, financial or other burdens on people, the CDC has studied and specified a couple of alternative options:

          A.  Quarantine can end 10 days after exposure if the exposed person has been asymptomatic with daily monitoring.  The transmission risk in this situation appears to be approximately 1-10% so I would advise using caution when around those who are at risk.  

          B.  Quarantine can end 7 days after exposure if a person tests negative (on or after day 5) and if they have remained asymptomatic with daily monitoring.  The transmission risk in this situation is approximately 5-12% so again, I would advise using caution when around those who are at risk.

SVA Policy:  Please note in order to ride school transportation, we require that the student has completed 14 days since the exposure.  They can, however return to school if they self-transport after following options A or B.

3.  Things to keep in mind:  

          A.  Day 0 of this timeline is the last known or possible day of exposure to someone with COVID-19.

          B.  Daily monitoring should include:  Taking your temperature in the morning and at night and watching for a fever.  Also monitoring for other signs and symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.   Virginia Department of Health's daily self-monitoring log is available here for download:  VDH’s Daily Symptom Monitoring Log

If a person who has had a possible exposure develops symptoms of COVID-19, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after the onset of symptoms and resolution of fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and with improvement of other symptoms.  

 Below are links to the resources for this information:

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/local-exposure/#:~:text=If%20you%20had%20close%20contact,after%20your%20last%20contact.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html#:~:text=For%20most%20persons%20with%20COVID,with%20improvement%20of%20other%20symptoms.

 

COVID-19 Mitigation Plan for Shenandoah Valley Academy


Opening Statement


As the big Virginia sun brings the onset of summer, our energies at SVA are focused on the soon arrival of a new school year.  We are so grateful that our SVA family will be able to be reunited again!  With this anticipation comes a commitment to reopen wisely.  Our reopening committee has carefully studied Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines, advice, and statistics regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic.  We have also consulted with the director of the county health department and other medical doctors.  Below you will find our policy for reopening school.  It is based on current information and current CDC and VDH guidelines.  Due to the developing nature of this pandemic, we are aware that updates to this policy will be essential.  Our website will be kept current with the most up-to-date information regarding our policy.     
 

Our reopening policy has eight key components:

Monitoring and Mitigating
  • Daily health monitoring of staff and students.
  • Provide signage across campus explaining proper hygiene techniques and etiquette.
  • Provide hand sanitation stations and routine cleaning in buildings to meet CDC requirements.
  • Ensure that students and faculty have access to face coverings and provide guidelines for use.
  • Ensure air exchange and quality in classrooms and buildings.
Instruction/Meetings
  • Arrange classrooms to ensure social distancing is possible according to state mandates.
  • Modify music classes for student and staff safety.
  • Encourage faculty and students to arrange class/club/office meetings in larger areas, outdoors, or virtually.
  • Provide online academic support for COVID-19 related absences.
Community
  • Ensure that the sizes of various groups meeting together account for the current expectations outlined by the State of Virginia
  • Publish guidelines for physical distancing for groups that gather.
  • Find new and creative ways to worship and build community in our social activities together.
  • Evaluate and revise on and off campus events & activities.
 Living
  • Limit the number of students in shared spaces (such as laundry rooms, etc.) according to current CDC/VDH guidelines
  • Consider dormitory roommates as we would members of a family who live together
  • Educate and promote personal responsibility and safe personal habits
  • Increase ventilation in dormitories
  • Cafeteria will use best practices for meal preparation, service, and adjusted dining environment
  • Instruct students as to the symptoms of COVID-19, the importance of reporting any illness, and the importance of staying home (or in their dorm room) when sick
  • Implement an enhanced sick list policy
  • Establish a quarantine area in each dormitory
Working
  • Comply with CDC/VDH requirements for office spaces
  • Encourage student-teacher, parent-teacher, etc., meetings to be in classrooms and larger spaces rather than in offices
  • Safety interventions, including masks and plexiglass, for employees
  • Visits and Home Leaves
  • Provide robust screenings (including COVID-19 testing if indicated) following off-campus visits and home leaves
  • Educate staff and students about travel safety and risks
  • Screening of parents and campus guests, with expectation that they will follow campus safety precautions
Mental and Physical Health
  • Promote strong immune systems through health education, a healthy diet, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle
  • Train students in the importance of spiritual, mental, and physical health
  • Mental health counseling is available for qualified students (see school nurse for details).
  • Continue to work with the Potomac Conference mental health initiative to improve services for students, including those effected by COVID-19.

Additional Protocols

 

AT-RISK STUDENTS

Individuals with a higher risk for COVID-19 complications will be addressed on case by case basis. A parent who is concerned about his/her higher risk child, should contact the School Nurse or Administration. We will actively work to accommodate requests or circumstances wherever possible.

QUARANTINE PLAN

We have been in communication with and will continue to communicate with the director of the county health department, Dr. Colin Greene.  We will abide by current VDH quarantine requirements.  Personal protective equipment will be available for use.

If a student shows CDC-identified symptoms of COVID-19, the following progression of steps will be implemented:

  1. School Nurse evaluation and communication to parent
  2. COVID-19 testing as indicated
  3. Precautionary quarantine until negative test results, or cleared by medical doctor
  4. Ongoing monitoring and care provided by deans and School Nurse

If a student has had a probable or known exposure to COVID-19:

  1.   Implement CDC guidelines for community related exposure.

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19:

  1. Student will be quarantined and the County Health Department will be notified.
  2. All parents of SVA students will be notified.
  3. Arrangements will be made with parents of infected student for pick-up in order for student to complete quarantine off-campus.
  4. Remaining staff and students on campus will be under heightened screening and precautions
  5. Contact tracing with implementation of CDC guidelines for community-related probable exposure
  6. Area sanitization according to CDC guidelines.
  7. SVA will provide virtual learning opportunities for infected student(s) and others, as needed.
  8. We will remain in consultation with the health department to promote the safety of our staff and students

Closing Statement

We are looking forward to welcoming back students in August and are prayerfully preparing for a safe and productive year so that the mission of Shenandoah Valley Academy can continue to be a blessing to our students as it has for over 100 years.  We recognize that, as with other diseases and hazards that we live with daily, we cannot guarantee complete safety.  It is likely that despite our best efforts, some students may contract COVID-19 during 2020-21.  Statistics show that younger COVID-19 patients have less severe disease than older patients.   The latest data provided by the CDC (dated June 10) states that there have been a total of 129 U.S. deaths involving COVID-19 in patients between the ages of 5 and 24 this year.   That is .13% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S.  As of June 17, 2020, there have been 3,296 COVID-19 cases reported by the Virginia Department of Health in the 10-19 age range. There have been 53 hospitalizations and no deaths.  Again, this reflects a less severe illness in younger patients. Given that many people with COVD-19 have no symptoms, many more have likely contracted the illness than tests reveal.  The rates of hospitalization are therefore likely much better than reported by the Virginia Department of Health.  Treatments are continually improving and we are hopeful that a vaccine will become available before the school year ends.  Despite these encouraging statistics, we want to emphasize that the safety and health of our students and staff are of utmost importance as we make plans to reopen.

We are looking forward to answering your questions and addressing your concerns. Once again, we will very likely make changes to the policy as the situation evolves.  We will keep you informed of substantial revisions.  You can find the most up to date policy right here on our website.


A task force has been meeting to address the different areas of our school program that may be affected should public health guidance necessitate social distancing or other measures. We are evaluating all available information and contingencies as we prepare for next year. 

A list of the different areas that are being evaluated are as follows:

  • Increase training and education for staff, students, and volunteers
  • Increase sanitation stations and cleanliness
  • Alternative meal distribution plans
  • Classroom spacing and air circulation
  • Off-campus/leave protocols
  • Sick list protocols
  • Establishing emergency operation plans for different levels of community impact


SVA COVID-19 Statement

Shenandoah Valley Academy responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in several ways.  Our goals were to comply with government issued restrictions and to protect our students, families, and extended community.   We began offsite instruction on March 25, 2020.  This continued until the completion of the academic year on May 20, 2020.  Many employees began working from home.  We cancelled Alumni Weekend, and many other on-campus functions.  We moved commencement exercises to July 12, 2020. 

Based on available information, and pending state approval, SVA is planning to resume on-campus operations for the fall 2020 semester.  The first day of classes will be August 17, 2020.  Careful plans are being laid.  We will implement practices to reduce risk and safeguard the health of our students, faculty, and staff.  A taskforce including administration, the school nurse, and the head deans has been working to establish recommendations and requirements.  We anticipate the partnership of students, parents, and family physicians as we implement reasonable measures.  Of course, in this fluid situation, we will continue to consult healthcare professionals, government officials, and available data from the Centers for Disease Control and other experts, as we prepare for a successful 2020-2021 year.  

In these challenging times, we are grateful for our students, teachers, and families who have adapted admirably, and for the continued strong support from donors and prayer warriors.  We affirm our alumni who are working on the front lines to combat the pandemic and we wish for all of you, across the wider Shenandoah family, strength, health, and the peace of Christ.

Don Short
Principal

Videos

 
A message from the Potomac Conference Department of Education
 
A message from the Principal