COVID-19 Safety Plan – Four Pillars Supporting the Safe Operation of Alto International School

(Alto is the Willows Campus of Silicon Valley International School)

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 campus. 

A Leveled Approach to Operations

Alto will respond to changing conditions by using a leveled approach to school operations as warranted by the rate of infection per the San Mateo County Health office. The following actions will be taken depending on the level:

  • Allow no-on campus visitors including volunteers; parents who provide direct support in classrooms are exempt.
  • No extracurricular activities
  • No 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 and social distancing by staff, students, and any others who enter the campus.
  • Open the campus only to visitors and volunteers who directly support instruction with expectations that all will honor the Four Pillars.
  • Restrict 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 people.
  • 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.
  • Allow volunteers and visitors on campus with strict adherence to the Four Pillars.
  • Restrict 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 teacher messages will reinforce daily hygiene routines.
  • Teachers, parents (and/or students) in Preschool through Grade 12 will complete an online daily health screening every morning before arriving at school using the rSchoolToday app. 
    • Paper version will be completed or turned in at arrival if the app is not functional.
  • 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

  • Staff will utilize no-touch thermometers to check student temperatures every morning at arrival.  A sticker provided to the student will indicate to the homeroom teacher that the temperature was taken.
  • If a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, Alto will communicate with the parent/caregiver and the child will be sent home. Students or staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to Room 22 until they leave the campus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Staff and students will bring reusable/washable face coverings (one on and one extra) to school. Reusable and disposable masks are available in case someone needs one short notice.
  • Additional protective equipment such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and appropriate cleaning materials will be available through the main office.


  • All surfaces will be disinfected daily at a minimum. 
  • Picnic tables will be cleaned after each use.
  • Door knobs and gate handles will be cleaned throughout the day.
  • The isolation room (Room 22) will be disinfected after each use of a suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Bathrooms, which are assigned by grade levels, will be cleaned on a rotating schedule throughout the day in Lower and Upper School, and after each use in the Preschool.
  • Training will be provided to all staff on when and how to properly clean and disinfect their classrooms and workspaces. Cleaning and training provided by cleaning contractors, Moreno & Associates, who have completed COVID-19 preventative response training.

Indoor Ventilation

  • Doors and/or windows will be open when outside weather allows understanding that cross ventilation of air helps maintain a healthy environment.
  • HEPA filters in all classrooms and office areas are replaced monthly.
  • Fans are provided in all classrooms and offices areas to promote air circulation
  • Air purifiers with HEPA filters will be placed in all classrooms.

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. 
  • All grade levels have separately designated play areas on campus.
  • The Menlo Park field adjacent to the campus will be used by all grade levels on a rotating basis.
  • 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.
  • Cleaning will be the responsibility of the teacher, assistant, or vetted parent volunteer.
  • Lunch will take place at designated or benches with social distancing in mind.


  • 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 (Asymptomatic) Testing

Staff will be tested weekly by PMH Laboratories on campus to detect asymptomatic infections.  With the exception of the Preschool, students will be tested every two weeks to detect asymptomatic infections.

Students new to Alto must submit evidence of a negative COVID-19 test that was administered a maximum of 72 hours before their entry into school. New and current students returning to the Bay Area via air travel must be tested five days after their arrival and may return to school upon submission of evidence of the negative test.

Response 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 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: January 29, 2021 – Possible adjustments will be made in accordance with the guidelines of the San Mateo County Health Office