Crossroads School is committed to providing students with an exceptional educational experience, whether in person, remotely or through a hybrid model.
In response to Governor Newsom’s July 17 announcement, the 2020-21 school year has begun 100% remotely for all three divisions. We will continue to track the status of Los Angeles County within the state’s new tiered framework, which will determine our ability to reopen, and are preparing to transition to in-person instruction when it is permissible and prudent to do so.
In the spring, we put together four distinct reentry committees to research best practices and to make and execute on recommendations. The committees are Health and Safety, Facilities and Logistics, Teaching and Learning, and Community Life. While we will begin the 2020-21 school year remotely, Crossroads is well-prepared to quickly adapt to a broad range of scenarios that we may encounter at different points during the year.
The plans of each reentry committee are based on current conditions and data-supported best practices. Throughout the school year, the School’s leadership team, in partnership with the committees, will decide what measures to enact based on the progression of COVID-19 cases in LA County and in accordance with local ordinances. In addition, we will follow the California Department of Public Health’s framework to decide when and how to implement in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year.
We will stay nimble and flexible, ready to pivot as needed to ensure the safety and health of our community and transition as smoothly as possible from one teaching model to another.
As always, we thank you for your cooperation and your partnership.
We are grateful for the dedication and expertise of our committee co-chairs and members, whose hard work will enable Crossroads to provide an exceptional education to students while keeping our community healthy, safe and connected. You can click on the name of each committee to review its members. Each committee has a dedicated email address that you are welcome to contact with questions.
Co-Chairs: Cara Natterson, MD, Pediatrician Paula Rickey, RN, Crossroads Nurse Coordinator
Employees Victoria Gor, Director of Human Resources Katrina O’Brien, Environmental and Outdoor Education Chair and Instructor Adam Waters, Middle/Upper School Counselor Barbara Whitney, Director of Finance and Operations
Parents/Guardians Evan Fisher, PhD, LMFT Mark Grossman, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Shawn Nasseri, MD, ENT, Otolaryngologist Todd Spector, MD, Internal Medicine Erica Wang, MD, OBGYN
Parents of Alumni Winston Alt, MD, Psychiatrist Ann Colburn, Trustee
Co-Chairs: Eric Barber, Director of Enrollment Management Jeff Ranes ’95, Upper School Associate Dean, EOE Faculty
Members: Employees Ashley Bloom, After-School and Camp Programs Manager Robyn Fairchild, Upper School Administrative Coordinator Colin Gruen, Environmental and Outdoor Education Staff Elena Hood, Middle School Administrative Coordinator Paul Larson, Custodial Supervisor Jennifer Nelson, Elementary School Administrative Assistant Elaine Nesbit, Architectural Project Manager Gayle Taylor, Director of Facilities Laura Tell Presburger, Director of Auxiliary Services
Students Hudson Mayes, rising eighth grader Ry Natterson, rising ninth grader Graham Sidman, rising 11th grader
Parent/Guardians Jeff Lipp, Trustee Bill Nicholas ’81 Linda Mansolillo
Co-Chairs: Mariama Richards, Associate Head of School Natalie Burton, Head of Elementary School Michelle Merson, Head of Middle School Anthony Locke ’01, Interim Head of Upper School
Members: Paul Curtis, Middle/Upper School Learning Specialist Ana Maria Floyd, Upper School Spanish Teacher Brandy Friedlander, Middle School Tech Coordinator and Teacher Collin Hertz ’10, Middle School Math Teacher Christopher Lang, Third-Grade Teacher Kayti Mathewson, Director of Learning Resources Matthew Michael, First-Grade Teacher Lexi Peterson, Sixth-Grade Academic Dean Guy Vandenbroucke, Upper School Dean of Curricular Life Joy Watt, Elementary School Tech Coordinator and Teacher Paul Way, Upper School Tech Coordinator and Teacher
Co-Chairs: Ira Smith, Athletics Director Jessica Yi, Parent
Employees Colleen Bartlett, Director of Advancement Elena Bonomo, Communications Manager Mery Grace Castelo, Director of Parent Relations & Special Events Rika Drea, Interim Dean of Student Life
Dianne Enselman, Second-Grade Teacher
Jamy Myatt, Middle School Life Skills Coordinator Jessica Ngo, Director of Elementary School Admission Katrina O’Brien, Environmental and Outdoor Education Chair and Instructor Cat Ramos, Assistant Head of Elementary School Silvia Salazar, Middle/Upper School Diversity Coordinator and Upper School Spanish Instructor David Stewart, Assistant Head of Middle School and Eighth-Grade Academic Dean Emily Stewart, Director of the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute Amy Walia-Fazio, Director of Secondary Admission
Parents/Guardians Erica Fisher Sam Jones Max Liszt ’95
All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks while on campus. Masks and shields may also be worn concurrently. If future data supports the use of face shields alone, shields without masks will be considered acceptable PPE. Please click here for a list of mask types and their effectiveness.
Handwashing is an integral part of minimizing coronavirus spread. We have installed hand sanitizer dispensers and additional handwashing stations throughout the School. Supervised handwashing will take place in the Elementary School.
Mental health has always been a priority on campus, and in this academic year, we are aware of the additional mental health challenges posed by the pandemic. Crossroads will utilize the many existing school structures at various divisional levels that allow for students’ mental health to be supported during this time, including but not limited to availablecounseling, Life Skills classes, Roll Calls, support team meetings and affinity groups. We will be increasing our communications with families to help address your understandable apprehensions about sending your children back to school. We place great importance on supporting the resilience and well-being of faculty and staff to make this a successful beginning to a most unusual academic year.
Crossroads is enacting a robust and multipronged approach to health and safety, including requiring the use of masks by all community members, strict cleaning protocols, hand hygiene, physical distancing, self-screening and access to remote learning. Read on to learn more about our commitment to health and safety for every member of our community.
Crossroads will be implementing the use of a daily self-screening to prevent symptomatic individuals from coming to campus. The majority of community members will use an app; those without smart phones will have a non-app-based version. The goals of self-screening are to (1) detect any signs of infection and (2) provide daily reminders about the symptoms of COVID-19. Everyone who arrives on campus will also undergo a thermoscan screening; anyone with a fever will be sent home.
There is clear data that wearing masks reduces the risk of transmitting infection. Coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, and while it can aerosolize, it does not live in the air for long periods of time. By wearing masks, wearers protect all of the people nearby from their germs, including coronavirus. In order for masks to protect the entire community, everyone on the campus must wear them.
Because coronavirus is transmitted through droplets that fall quickly to the ground or onto surfaces, keeping space between people minimizes contagion. Using physical distancing plus masks significantly reduces the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Parents can and must teach students the importance of these measures; this is the best way to encourage their use. However, teachers and staff will be monitoring these behaviors and expect that they will be followed.
The School is using a multipronged approach of distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and self-screening to protect everyone in the community, including those at highest risk. Parents who have specific questions about their child’s health or the health of their family are encouraged to contact their physicians, while bearing in mind that Crossroads is implementing a number of safety strategies with the goal of minimizing risk to everyone on campus. Students who have anxiety about coming to School should notify their deans. Any employees with health risks should contact Human Resources.
Facilities and Logistics
Please note: The 2020-21 school year will begin remotely. When the School transitions to in-person instruction later in the year, the outlined protocols will be in place.
Crossroads food service will be available on both campuses and served in accordance with updated public health guidelines. It is likely that all meals will need to be ordered in advance and served pre-packaged.
Crossroads will implement increased cleaning and disinfecting practices throughout the day and after school, including more frequent disinfecting of common areas and high-touch surfaces; additional handwashing and hand-sanitizing stations across both campuses; and rigorous deep cleanings in accordance with the scheduling needs of each division.
All restrooms will have toilet lids installed to prevent aerosolization of the virus, along with instructions for people to close the lid prior to flushing. Air hand dryers have been disabled or removed, and paper towels will be stocked in every bathroom on campus. All Crossroads employees and students will be instructed to wear masks while in restrooms and all public areas.
Teaching and Learning
While the 2020-21 school year will begin remotely, our teachers and technology coordinators continue to prepare curricula to implement through both on-campus and remote learning models at various points throughout the year. In preparing, we continue to prioritize both academic and social-emotional growth.
All three divisions are prepared to deliver an excellent educational experience to students regardless of where that learning takes place. Over the course of the school year, the recommendations established by state and local governments as well as the LA County Department of Health will guide the School in determining which of the three models—remote learning, hybrid learning or on-campus learning—is in place.
100% remote learning will be available for all students while we are in Phases 1 through 4. Crossroads will send out a survey each trimester to understand if families want to take or extend a fully remote option. Should we ever enter Phase 5, when LA County and state transmission rates are effectively at zero and all students return to campus, requests to continue 100% remote learning for specific students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
While we know that the schedule this year will be different at best and might be disruptive at times, we have carefully weighed the risks of virus transmission against the risks of not holding in-person school. These include variable access to Wi-Fi, which impacts consistency of remote learning; limited social interaction with peers, which can negatively impact mental health; and inefficiencies in or limitations upon teaching and learning when the student and teacher only interact via screen.
The American Academy of Pediatrics “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” The value of in-person education and socialization is enormous. Current data suggests that the risk of coronavirus spread on school campuses is very small compared with the benefits of opening up. If that balance changes this year, however, we are ready and able to offer 100% remote learning at any time.
Education varies by subject and age, and interactions between teachers and students do as well. Department chairs and division directors will work with faculty to develop classroom teaching strategies that are most effective for their discipline while maintaining all necessary safety precautions.
Please note: The 2020-21 school year will begin remotely. When the School transitions to in-person instruction later in the year, the outlined protocols will be in place.
While all large in-person gatherings are prohibited, we have reimagined our traditional communal experiences—Alley Party, Councils, Coffees, Gatherings, the Spring Event—to bring students, families, faculty and staff together.
The School will maintain clear communication channels and avenues for regular feedback through surveys and Parent Coffees and Chats with administrators and deans. Remote Learning Hubs, which can be accessed on the Resources page of the School website, will be the primary log of information for each division. The Parent Association and grade level representatives will also help to keep the community informed.
ATHLETICS Upper and Middle School athletics have been condensed to two seasons. Fifth grade sports will not be offered, as the Coastal Canyon League is not running. Virtual and in-person workouts will begin mid-September. In-person workouts will consist of small cohorts practicing physical distancing at Crossroads’ outdoor facilities, and screening protocols will be in place.
DRAMA Drama classes will be taught synchronously with asynchronous components, allowing students to connect with each other throughout the week. Breakout rooms will be used for small-group work, but classes will begin and end communally. This year’s repertoire will address current events and conditions.
MUSIC Elementary School music students will connect as a community during Monday Morning Meeting and Friday Finale. Middle and Upper School musicians will use new platforms to meet and rehearse remotely. Concert performances will be recorded by students in advance and compiled into videos which will be shared via YouTube Premiere. There will also be opportunities for Middle and Upper Schoolers to perform on the Virtual Alley Stage during snack and lunch.
Classes at all levels will be taught synchronously. Middle and Upper School students will also have the opportunity to perform on the Virtual Alley Stage during snack and lunch. Dance companies will continue to meet remotely. Performances will be recorded by students in advance and compiled into videos which will be shared via YouTube Premiere.
VISUAL ART Art kits will be available for student to use at home. The students will use digital tools for synchronous learning. Faculty will also provide individual consultations to find the best spaces for students to create art in their homes. Events such as gallery exhibitions will take place online.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND OUTDOOR EDUCATION (EOE) EOE’s in-person programming is postponed for the time being. In the meantime, the department will offer online activities and programming focusing on human development and connection to the natural world. When students are able to return to campus in later phases, EOE will resume limited in-person learning experiences, and the department will explore new local opportunities.
PARENT ASSOCIATION (PA) All meetings and gatherings will be held virtually until the next phase of reentry. The PA will still have many events to keep the School connected, including the Alley Party, parent socials and Parent Councils. Please check the Parent Association Resource page for up-to-date information. PA leaders and grade level reps are available and will reach out to families throughout the year. There are many ways to stay involved and connected through volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in finding out more, contact your grade level rep or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To limit contact with the public, Crossroads will greatly limit or eliminate visitors to campus.
The Help Hub
We are sadly aware of the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on some of our current families and employees. Parents and employees who wish to request or provide assistance are invited to click here to access our Help Hub. Note: This page is only accessible to current Crossroads parents and employees; you will be prompted to log in with your School website credentials.
We All Have a Responsibility
Steps You Must Take
While the measures listed above will go a long way to keep us as safe as possible, the decisions we all make in our personal lives are just as crucial. It will be incumbent upon all of us—employees and families alike—to take responsibilities by:
Teaching children the importance of wearing masks and then reinforcing that practice daily. Masks have been proven to reduce the spread of coronavirus—wearing a mask in public is not just required by the City of Los Angeles, but will also be required by Crossroads.
Limiting your travel. Families who travel to areas with coronavirus outbreaks will be required to quarantine students for 14 days before they return to School. According to the CDC, this currently includes all international destinations, but may also include domestic locales. Crossroads may also choose to require self-quarantine when travel includes increased risk of exposure—for instance, by congregating with large groups of friends or family, or by exposure to large numbers of strangers on a flight.
Limiting your number of close contacts. Coronavirus spreads much less quickly when people create quarantine circles/bubbles, and when the virus does spread, the group can all self-isolate in order to minimize further spread.
Socializing outdoors. This has been shown to be far safer than socializing indoors, but masks should still be worn and 6 feet of distancing should continue, even outside.
Thorough and regular handwashing for 20 seconds or more.
Avoiding large gatherings. If you must attend a large gathering, wear a mask and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others.
Staying healthy by building the immune system, minimizing stress, watching for signs of illness and staying home at the first sign of illness. Daily routines that include exercise, balanced nutrition and a good night’s sleep have all been shown to strengthen a person’s immune response.
Leaning on each other. This builds community and creates support systems when we all need them. It’s just as important to remind the people around you to follow the public health guidelines that will minimize viral spread. Calling out behaviors can be done in a positive and proactive way, and may very well save lives.
Taking care of yourself and your families physically and emotionally.