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COVID Reopening FAQ

updated July 29, 2020

SVA is working hard to create an engaging, in-person student experience for the 2020-2021 academic. There is so much uncertainty around the future, but we know parents and students need answers. Seeking council from board members, parents, and health care professionals, we have thoughtfully put together this document for your information.

These policies may be revised and adapted depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and throughout the community. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with state and/or local public health authorities. All current policies reflect phase 3 guidelines given by the State of Virginia, and guidelines presented by the CDC and AAP.

We expect to provide real classes in real classrooms with real teachers and real in-person opportunities for healthy social interaction. We believe in the importance of a safe, in-person student experience and we endeavor to provide that for all students who want to be a part of the SVA family.

  • Under Virginia’s Phase 3 requirements, students must wear face coverings when 6ft of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • During class time, students are not required to wear masks unless 6ft physical distancing cannot be maintained. When working in groups, students will be expected to wear masks.
  • The dormitories are considered the students’ home; masks will not be required.
  • Serving times extended and meals divided into shifts
  • Tables will be arranged 6 ft apart
  • Directional flow patterns will be established
  • All cafeteria workers will wear masks and gloves at all times during their shift
  • Food will be plated, no self-serve
  • All visitors, faculty, staff, and students entering onto campus or home leave transportation will be expected to: 
    • Have temperature checked by infrared thermometer (temperature must be below 100°)
    • Say NO to the following questions:
      • Has the student had a temperature over 100 degrees or been exposed to anyone with a fever in the last 24 hours?
      • Do you have a cough?
      • Has anyone in your household been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
      • Have you experienced recent loss of taste or smell?
      • Have you traveled outside the U.S. within the last 15 days?
  • For the 10 days following registration and each home leave, temperature checks and increased health monitoring will be in effect
  • All class desks will be arranged for social distancing as is feasible, facing the same direction.
  • We will increase the use of our larger classrooms and the outdoors.
  • BAND and ORCHESTRA class will meet in the gymnasium
  • CHOIR will meet in the Twomley Hall Auditorium. Students will practice physical distancing.

Absolutely! There is value in proper social interaction.

  • All international trips are cancelled for the school year.
  • At this time, off campus trips will be limited to a 20-mile radius. Any trip beyond 20-miles will be evaluated/approved by administration on a case by case basis.
  • Music tours, outreach ministry, and off campus learning opportunities are important elements to the student experience and mission of SVA. We hope to offer these opportunities as the situation allows.
  • At this point, fall sports schedules are on hold. We are waiting on more information and we are hopeful that athletics can resume a more normal program soon.
  • We will be seeking to take positive, proactive steps to promote physical fitness and teamwork with a variety of outdoor activities and intramural sports.
  • SVA will continue to hold regular family worship services (dorm worship, vespers, etc.).
  • SVA is blessed to have a very supportive church family at the New Market SDA Church. We will continue to work with them to create a plan to worship together that is safe for students and community. The tentative plan is to provide multiple Sabbath worship opportunities to increase distancing and reduce total numbers of individuals in one place.

Yes, we are still planning to have regularly scheduled home leaves with homeleave transportation. It is possible, but not probable, that a significant spike of COVID-19 in the region would necessitate one, or more, home leaves being cancelled. It is also possible that students whose homes are located in hotspots would be encouraged to stay on campus.

  • Vehicle drivers or accompanying staff will screen students with temperature and questionnaire prior to getting onto transportation
  • All students will be required to wear masks at all times during bus travel.
  • Windows will be down as much as is practical
  • Physical distancing will be expected as much as is possible.

If a student is symptomatic, we will take him/her to be tested by health care professionals – testing can be done at the ER or at testing sites depending on their age and site policies.

We have every intention of providing real classes and will do so unless government policy mandates otherwise. If required to suspend onsite instruction, we will move to online instruction with real-time classes for our students.

While in-person instruction is ideal, we understand some individual situations may necessitate off-site learning. For these verified reasons, we will do our best to hold high standards and high levels of support for students unable to be in class.

To limit traffic going in and out of the school, we are encouraging community students to stay at school until they are completely done with classes or work. At this time, the dormitories are only open to residents. 

Community students will have access to the library, gymnasium, computer lab, or teacher classrooms during posted hours.