Guidelines to Reopening the Campus

An incremental approach provides a framework for the return of students to campus.

The Four Pillars concept described below is based on the guidelines of the San Mateo County Health Office and outlines the measures that need to be in place in order to safely welcome back students to the Alto campus. Once schools receive the go-ahead from the San Mateo County Health Office to reopen, we are expecting to be able to accommodate all students on campus and in preparation for a healthy start to the new school year, we are encouraging families to discuss the necessity of the four pillars and model them throughout the summer months before returning to school.

The gradual implementation of the Four Pillars provides a cautious, but steady approach to reopening Alto, enabling the school to respond to changing conditions. Each step will be implemented for a minimum of three weeks before advancing to the next step. The conditions informing this decision-making include:

Minimum of three weeks

  • Allow no on-campus visitors including volunteers; parents who support direct instruction in preschool classrooms are exempt.
  • No extracurricular activities.
  • No in-person gatherings (a gathering is any meeting or social activity outside of classroom instruction that includes more than four people).
  • Convene all meetings remotely.
  • Reinforce the wearing of face coverings by staff, students, and any others who enter the campus.

Minimum of three weeks

  • Open the campus only to visitors and volunteers who directly support instruction with expectations that all will honor the Four Pillars.
  • Restrict in-person extracurricular activities to those that directly support instruction, with expectations that any in-person activities will honor the Four Pillars.
  • Restrict gatherings to groups smaller than ten people.
  • Convene most meetings remotely, specifically any that include groups larger than ten.
  • Hold sports (if allowed by health orders) and school-related performances with no spectators or audience members. Conduct all such activities within the guidance of the Four Pillars.

Minimum of three weeks

  • Allow volunteers and visitors on campus with strict adherence to the Four Pillars.
  • Restrict in-person instructional and interest-based extracurricular activities to those that can be implemented with small groups who can physically distance.
  • If San Mateo County health orders allow, convene high priority gatherings comprised of no more than 50 people, including sport and performance-based activities that can be conducted within the guidelines of the Four Pillars.

The Four Pillars to Reopening the School Campus

Hygiene protocols are essential to avoiding the spread of disease and with careful planning and training, the protocols will be effectively implemented.

Education/Awareness/Social Responsibility:

  • Campus and classroom signage and other messages will reinforce daily hygiene routines.
  • Staff, parents (and/or students in grades 3 – 12) will complete an online daily health screening for their child every morning before arriving at school. 
  • All community members will stay home if experiencing flu-like symptoms or fever.
  • All students, parents, and staff will be alert for symptoms by watching for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Alto staff will teach and frequently reinforce prevention behaviors of handwashing and cough/sneeze etiquette as important strategies in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
  • Teachers will build classroom routines for handwashing upon entering and leaving the classroom and create regular cleaning practices for desks, equipment, writing utensils, and other classroom materials.

Temperature Taking

  • Teachers/staff will utilize no-touch thermometers to check student temperatures every morning at arrival. 
  • If a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, Alto will communicate with the parent/caregiver and the child will be sent home.

Essential Protective Equipment (EPE)

  • Students are requested to bring reusable/washable face coverings (one on and one extra) to school. Disposable masks will be available in case someone needs one but should not be used on a regular basis.
  • Additional protective equipment such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and appropriate cleaning materials will be available.


  • All surfaces will be disinfected daily at a minimum. 
  • Toilets will be cleaned as frequently as possible, preferably after each use in the preschool and on a regular schedule throughout the day in the lower and upper school. 
  • Training will be provided to all staff on when and how to properly clean and disinfect their classrooms and workspaces.

Indoor Ventilation

  • Doors and/or windows will be open when outside weather allows understanding that cross ventilation of air helps maintain a healthy environment.

Limit Sharing of Materials and Equipment

  • There will be no shared playground equipment among the bubbles in the preschool. 
  • There will be limited use of shared playground equipment in favor of physical activities that require less contact with surfaces in the lower and upper school. 
  • Objects and equipment, such as toys, games, and art supplies to the extent practicable will be cleaned and disinfected between uses or, at a minimum, daily.


  • COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

    For an extensive list of questions and answers, please view the following FAQs. Preschool and K – 12.

  • Admissions Information

    Visit our admissions webpage to learn more about how you can connect with us online while our campus is physically closed.

Surveillance Testing

Staff will be tested monthly to detect asymptomatic infections. The initial test is set for September 11, 2020, by PMH Laboratories.

Reactive Testing 

To learn about the measures to be taken when a student or a staff member has symptoms is in contact with someone infected, or is diagnosed with COVID-19 (source: CA Department of Health), please click here

Please note that the Alto preschool is regulated by a different set of guidelines which may permit it to reopen while the remainder of school is required to remain physically closed.    

Status: August 31, 2020 – Possible adjustments will be made in accordance with the guidelines of the San Mateo County Health Office