Getting our Rams Back to School Safely in 2020

This school year, the back-to-school buzz at MICDS included a lot of anticipation and questions about how exactly learning would be conducted this fall. Like every year, the health and safety of our students and the rest of our community are topmost priorities. All summer, our leadership team, faculty, and staff have been hard at work preparing for the fall, researching and implementing the best safety initiatives.

To help Lower Schoolers orient to the new setup and safety rules on campus, Charger the Ram demonstrated what school in Beasley would be like. In the video below, he and his fellow Rams showcase recommendations on how to go about the school day in the safest way possible.

Throughout the whole school, there are many ways that our scrupulous faculty and staff have implemented changes to promote the health and safety of all in our community:

  • Air ionization system – The MICDS Board of Trustees approved the investment for an air ionization system that significantly reduces the amount of airborne pathogens in all rooms. The system kills viruses like the coronavirus and is used in such settings as hospitals and private planes.
  • Fresh air and circulation – We’re circulating the air and bringing in as much fresh air from outside as our systems allow.
  • Antimicrobial barrier system – We now have an antimicrobial barrier system that allows us to quickly clean, disinfect, and sanitize a lot of small classroom items like LEGOs, toys, and balls.
  • Bottle-fill water dispensers – This summer, eight water fountains were retrofitted and three were replaced to allow for bottle-fill rather than fountain use.
  • Smaller, rearranged classrooms – Classes in the Lower, Middle, and Upper School have been rearranged or even moved to allow for small cohorts of students with proper social distancing.
  • Screening protocol – We’ve developed a screening protocol with Magnus Health, our student health information management system, through their mobile app. Those learning on-campus use this Green Check system where they can efficiently show proof of screening before entering school.
  • Signage – The campus is full of new signage and direction markers to help reduce contact.
  • Revamped lunch program – Flik has implemented a new lunch program and process this fall. Meals for on-campus learners are being delivered to each respective cohort of students while meals for remote learners can be picked up each school day if signed up in advance.
  • MICDS-branded face masks have been ordered so all students and full-time employees will have one available to them. Others are available for purchase in the MICDS Campus Store.
  • Owl camera – Have you ever heard of an Owl camera? MICDS now owns 30 of them to allow for a 360-degree view of a synchronized learning and teaching experience.
  • Portable projectors – In addition, more portable projectors were purchased.
  • Bandwidth – The internet bandwidth on campus has been increased by five times. Additional access points were installed to improve the robustness of internet connections and to allow for alternative spaces to be used as classrooms.
  • Tablets in Lower School – iPads were purchased for all Beasley students to have their own personal devices.
  • Cleaning and contact tracing protocol – There’s now increased cleaning of all surfaces and our nurses have developed a contact tracing protocol.
  • Quarantine area – The Upper School nurse’s office has been expanded to allow for a quarantine area.

Hooks and ear savers

Not only has the school administration been implementing helpful safety measures, but students have, too! Seniors Grant Purdy ’21 and Lucas McCarty ’21 designed and 3D-printed hygiene hooks and ear savers for faculty and staff to use at school. Purdy shared a bit about the design process: “Throughout the process, we tinkered with different filaments on the printer and learned which ones are strong enough for the hooks and flexible enough for the ear savers.” What a great way to utilize STEM skills to help with the current learning environment.

2020 offers the perfect time to lean into our Mission of meeting “the challenges of this world with confidence.” Thank you for being on this adventure with us. We continue to appreciate your feedback as we perfect, adjust, and improve each school day to make it the best that it can possibly be for learning, growing, and thriving while being healthy and safe. A huge thank you to all who have been working so diligently and thoroughly to get us back to school safely!