COVID-19 Information

and Return-to-Campus Plan

List of 1 news stories.

  • From the School President

    Shane A. Foster, President & Head of School
    The Barstow School is open for the 2020-2021 academic year. Our students in preschool-grade 12 are attending classes in person and online, with the freedom to choose their optimal learning environment each day.

    Our Back to Barstow 2020 Return-to-Campus Plan explains procedures that prioritize the health and safety of the Barstow community as we continue our long tradition of providing sound scholarship, innovative academics and the region's best independent school education. The plan was developed in consultation with our medical advisory committee and administrative leadership. We also reviewed plans from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Independent School Management (ISM). We recognize that the COVID-19 situation changes frequently, so we remain flexible and prepared to adapt procedures in response to current conditions and public health recommendations.

    Barstow has very limited openings in select grades now, and is currently accepting applications for 2021-2022. Contact our Admission Office to schedule your virtual visit and experience Barstow as we know it: a vibrant community of learners where students are challenged to be makers, doers and confident leaders.

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Back to Barstow 2020

From the Medical Advisory Committee

List of 2 news stories.

  • What is Vaccine Hesitancy?

    Dr. Kala Subramanian, MD
    As of Monday, April 19, the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to anyone over the age of 16. However, many doses are going unused.
  • Third COVID-19 Vaccine Approved by FDA

    Dr. Srikala Subramanian, MD
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the third vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 on Saturday, Feb 27. The company pledged to have 20 million doses available by the end of March and 100 million doses by summer.
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Back to Barstow 2020 FAQ

List of 18 frequently asked questions.

  • Will the school be conducting COVID-19 tests on faculty, staff and students?

    No. The CDC policy on testing is quoted below.

    "Universal SARS-CoV-2 testing of all students and staff in school settings has not been systematically studied. It is not known if testing in school settings provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with the implementation of other infection preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting). Therefore, the CDC does not recommend universal testing of all students and staff. Implementation of a universal approach to testing in schools may pose challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure to support routine testing and follow up in the school setting, unknown acceptability of this testing approach among students, parents, and staff, lack of dedicated resources, practical considerations related to testing minors and potential disruption in the educational environment."
  • What type of COVID-19 testing will the school accept?

    The school, in consultation with the Medical Advisory Committee, has adopted the following protocol for testing:
    The only test the school will accept is a PCR test. If your child is going to be tested for COVID-19, please ensure that they receive a PCR test. If you have any questions about the test, please contact Vice President Judith Yount.
  • Will students and employees be tested before being allowed to attend school?

    This is not a requirement for attending school. Temperature checks will be administered prior to anyone entering the building.
  • If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, how will we be notified?

    If a student or employee has a COVID-19 infection, school officials will support the Department of Health’s efforts for contact tracing and enforcing quarantining of those infected and their contacts. Provisions are already in place to support the continuity of learning from home during quarantine periods or for students choosing to remain at home.
  • Am I entitled to know who has returned a positive test for COVID-19?

    Due to legal reasons, the school is unable to provide this information.
  • What length of time will a student or faculty member be required to remain out of school following a positive COVID-19 result?

    The following guidelines will be used and these guidelines are consistent with the findings from the Medical Advisory Committee.
    • Symptomatic individual/child who tests positive: the individual will be removed from the campus for 10 days from the symptom onset AND will only be allowed to return three days after fever resolution (if present) AND improved respiratory symptoms.
    • Symptomatic individual/child not tested: the individual will be removed from campus for 14 days from the symptom onset AND will only be allowed to return three days after fever resolution (if present) AND improved respiratory symptoms. An individual may return to school if a doctor establishes an alternative diagnosis (e.g., urinary tract Infection) and presents a doctor’s note to confirm the presence of an alternate diagnosis that explains symptoms.
    • Symptomatic individual/child who tests negative: the individual will be removed from school for three days from the testing date as long as they are symptom free. 
    • Exposed and asymptomatic individual/child: the individual will be removed from campus for 14 days from last exposure if she/he remains asymptomatic. If an individual becomes symptomatic, the individual will be removed from campus until they meet the criteria listed above of a symptomatic individual who tests positive or is not tested.
    There is no role for testing to get a “negative test” that clears an individual to return to school. A COVID-19 positive individual does not need a repeat COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note in order to return to the campus. The school will apply a symptom-based evaluation to determine whether an individual's status.

    All children and staff in the same classroom or who have had a direct exposure (defined as greater than 15 minutes of interaction less than 6 feet away, without wearing a mask) with a symptomatic individual should quarantine at home for 14 days. Anyone who develops symptoms during that time should contact their health care provider.
  • What actions will the school take if there is a second wave and schools are closed?

    Should the School be required to close, we would implement the School’s online learning system for all students. This system will be in place from the beginning of the year for students who are unable to attend classes on campus.
    Recognizing that many parents of lower school students would have difficulty due to work obligations, the School would work with the health department to endeavor to keep lower school students on campus. This would involve using the entire school to maximize social distancing and mitigate the risk of infection. Online options would continue to be available for parents who choose to keep their children home.
  • Will the school have to be closed if a member of the community tests positive for COVID-19?

    No. All children and staff in the same classroom or who have had a direct exposure (defined as greater than 15 minutes of interaction less than six feet away in a 24-hour period) with a symptomatic individual should quarantine at home for 14 days. Anyone who develops symptoms during that time should contact their health care provider.
  • What is the feasibility of screening community members using pulse oximetry?

    A pulse oximeter measures blood oxygen saturation and heart rate. A low oxygen reading may be caused by COVID-19, but other diseases such as COPD, asthma and other lung infections can result in a low oxygen count. At this time, the school is not planning to use a pulse oximeter to test students or employees.
  • What should a parent do if their child has a fever?

    Take the child to their doctor to have them evaluated for a potential other cause of fever and to discuss testing.
  • Will my insurance company cover a voluntary test for COVID-19?

    Please check with your insurance provider.
  • Will off-campus field trips be offered in the fall?

    At this time, the school has suspended field trips for students.
  • Will athletics in middle and upper school be impacted?

    Barstow will participate in MSHSAA’s alternate fall season that begins in March. Student-athletes will be able to participate in a fall and spring sport concurrently. 
  • What are the School’s expectations for Barstow families away from campus?

    The School would urge all families to adopt best practices when out in public. This would include the use of face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.
  • Are visitors allowed on campus?

    All visitors to campus, including parents, will be screened upon arrival. In order to mitigate risks, the school is limiting visitors to campus. (These provisions will not apply to parents simply picking up children.)
  • What can families do to assist to keep our campus safe?

    Families play a vital role in maintaining safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a child home if they are sick. We want to work with families to support their child’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home. To support this effort, prior to the start of school, we will provide an updated student handbook with helpful information and orientation and training materials to help transition students to a COVID-safe campus. We understand that there are families with higher risk members in their households. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all do our part to adhere to state health recommendations and regulations to control transmission and potential future outbreaks. Moreover, there may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard.
  • Families can also answer the following questions prior to attending school.

    • Have you or any household contacts tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Have you or any household contacts tested positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting results?
    • Have you or your child been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
    • Do you or your child have any of the following symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, chills, headache or muscle aches?
    • Have you or your child traveled within or outside the U.S. by air?

For More Information

From Our Counselors

During uncertain times, anxiety can increase or arise in our children and in ourselves. When your children ask why these events are happening or what happens next, knowing how to answer can be difficult. We've developed resources for families to help guide these conversations. They each recommend a few basic, but important steps: take the time to talk, to listen and to reassure. 

Jessica Chanos & Pedro Miller