Private School Reopening Plans During COVID-19

Private School Reopening Plans During COVID-19

The state of Virginia began its Phase 3 of reopening on July 1, 2020. Since then, both public and private schools have grappled with the issue of starting the school year with in-person instruction in the fall. While many of the local public school districts have chosen to adopt a strict virtual learning model for the first quarter with plans to return to school at half capacity in November, many private schools are confident they can return to some-what of a normal in-person instructional model when school begins.

Assuming the state of Virginia remains in Phase 3 without reverting back to previous phases due to worsening health conditions, many private schools are prepared to offer in-person, live instruction on school campuses in addition to virtual and hybrid learning models as needs change.

The following is a sampling of select private schools and their plans to offer instruction for the upcoming school year, with all information cur-rent as of July 30, 2020. Parents are encouraged to visit school websites and call the main offices for more up-to-date information as the start of the school year approaches.


Burgundy Farm Country Day School

3700 Burgundy Rd
Alexandria, VA 22303
(703) 842-0469

PK- 8th grades

According to the school’s website, “Burgundy’s Reopening Task Force is actively planning and preparing for the first day of school on Tuesday, September 8.” As long as county and state health con-ditions allow the school to reopen, BFCDS plans to provide a 5-day in-school learning environment to its students.

BFCDS plans to offer its full on-campus program to the maximum extent possible while enforcing standards to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including physical distancing, small group class co-horts, masks, health checks, strict attention to hygiene, and en-hanced cleaning.

The school is prepared to offer remote learning accommodationsfor students who can’t physically be on the campus and a full-time virtual learning option in the event the school is required to close. The school stresses it will remain “vigilant, nimble and realistic, ready to adjust our overall approach as the context demands.”


Westminster School

3819 Gallows Rd.
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 256-3620 | (703) 978-9789

PK – 8th grade

Westminster School plans to open in the fall and offer a 5-day in-person school week to its students. According to its website, it plans to have various safety measures in place including “increased ventilation and air purification, [additional] spacing, [and more] sanitization” among others.


Gesher Jewish DaySchool

4800 Mattie Moore Ct.
Fairfax, VA 22030

JK – 8th grades

A phone call to the admissions office re-vealed that the school plans to offer 100% in-school learning for the full school year, assuming the state of Virginia continues its Phase 3 reopening status. The first day of school will be September 8.


Congressional School

3229 Sleepy Hollow Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 533-9711

PK – 8th grades | 360 student

According to Congressional School’s web-site, there is a strong desire “to be together, no matter where we learn (and watch our flexible learning plan videos).” The school plans to reopen its campus and multiple buildings and offer in-person instruction five days a week beginning on September 2. The school will follow health and safety guidelines including cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, social distancing, PPE, and health monitoring.

The school’s task force is working on a flex-ible and transparent strategy, prioritizing the health and safety of students to allow them to return to school as safely as possi-ble. It has established four distinct learn-ing scenarios and is prepared to remain flexible in implementing the most appro-priate choice once school starts.

Scenario 1: on-campus learning with in-per-son instruction. Scenario 2: hybrid learning with a combination of on-campus and vir-tual learning. Scenario 3: bimodal learning intended to accommodate students who are not able to attend in-person school. Scenar-io 4: Congressional School online which in-cludes virtual learning for all.


Randolph-Macon Academy

200 Academy Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 636-5200

Randolph-Macon Academy plans to offer in-person instruction to students begin-ning in August. As per the school’s website, “We believe the central value of an R-MA education occurs on campus and results from personal interactions, and we are committed to returning to that boarding school culture.” With a student to teacher ratio of 9:1, the school is confident it can reconfigure classroom space and safely of-fer physical distancing to students.


Nysmith School

13625 Eds Dr.
Herndon, VA 20171
(703) 713-3332

PK – 8th grades | 588 students
School for the gifted

Nysmith School plans to begin the new school year on August 26 with a hybrid instructional program. The school plans to offer in-person instruction to children ages 3 to kindergarten five days a week. It will give children in 1st to 8th grades in-person instruction approximately three days a week and distance learning classes two days a week. Children who are not able to attend classes in person may receive distance learning five days a week.

Guidepost Montessori at Herndon

13251 Woodland Park Road
Herndon, VA 20171
(571) 203-8686

Ages 18 mos. – 6 years
Montessori school

Guidepost Montessori at Herndon has been open since May. As per its Facebook page, “Our heightened sanitization and small class sizes have kept our students healthy, learning and having fun!” The school encourages prospective families to call the school to ask about enrollment, as it has limited spaces available for fall en-rollment.


Flint Hill School

3320 Jermantown Rd.
Oakton, VA 22124
(703) 242-0705

JK – 12th grades | 1097 students
College preparatory school

Flint Hill School will begin its school year on August 31. As per the school website, “The health and wellness of the Flint Hill community are paramount. We are com-mitted to doing all we can to mitigate health risks for our teachers, staff, students and families. As much as is possible, stu-dents will be in cohorts.”

The school plans to offer all students the option for in-person learning and virtual learning at home. Students in the lower and middle schools may receive in-person instruction five days a week. Students in the upper school (high school) may receive in-person instruction two days a week and virtual learning three days a week. All stu-dents may choose to do virtual learning for the entire school year.


Brooksfield School

1830 Kirby Road
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 356-5437

Ages 2 – K
Montessori school

Brooksfield School plans to resume in-per-son instruction on August 20. On its web-site, the school posted general guidance en-couraging parents to teach their children basic hygiene tips at home so that children will get used to maintaining those import-ant practices at school. For example, the school is asking parents to teach their kids how to use hand sanitizer properly because soap and water may not always be avail-able, such as during playtime outdoors.

As per its website, “Be honest about chang-es your child may face when they return to school. Students may need to be kept apart in certain situations and classroom sizes may be smaller. Adults will be wearing masks and so may other children. Everyone will have to wash hands more often.”

The Montessori School of McLean

1711 Kirby Road
McLean VA 22101

Ages 2 – 12
Montessori school

The Montessori School of McLean is in the process of determining how it will offer in-school instruction once the new school year begins. As per its website, “The Fall Return to Campus (RTC) Committee is planning for multiple possible eventualities to comply with potential government mandates.”

The school is currently reviewing health and safety guidelines issued by government agencies and discussing logistics with the American Montessori Society and Inde-pendent School Management to best de-termine how to address the complexities of returning to school in the fall.

First Steps Academy

7900 Westpark Drive, Suite A040
McLean, VA 22102

Ages infants – K 
Faith-based preschool

First Steps Academy preschool has re-mained open. As per its website, “We are committed to helping families as we ap-proach a new level of normalcy. We con-tinue to provide safe, modified childcare while leading successful distance learning.” The preschool has made important pro-gram changes and implemented health and safety measures to protect the families, children, and staff.


Reston Montessori School

1928 Isaac Newton Square West
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 481-2922

Ages 3 mos. – 12 years
Montessori school

Reston Montessori School plans to resume in-person instruction on August 25, the first day of school. The school is open for fall enrollment.

Sunset Hills Montessori

11180 Ridge Heights Rd,
Reston, VA 20191
(703) 476-7477

Ages 18 mos. – 9 years

Sunset Hills Montessori School plans to of-fer in-person instruction at the school and is open for fall enrollment.


Sweet Briar College

134 Chapel Road
Sweet Briar, VA 2459

College for women

Sweet Briar College is determined to wel-come students in the fall for in-person in-struction and is prepared to offer students physical distancing on its 2,840-acre cam-pus. Fall semester classes will begin on Au-gust 11.

According to its website, “There’s nothing you cannot do.” The college is offering in-dividual residence hall rooms to all of its students at no extra cost, no-contact meal services, small class sizes, and hybrid or re-mote educational plans as needed.


Wakefield School

4439 Old Tavern Road
The Plains, VA 20198

JK – 12th grades
College preparatory day school

Wakefield School’s first day of school will be August 24. The school plans to offer in-person instruction with the following modifications, as per its website: “increased health and safety protocols … by a certified company using EPA/CDC rules. For stu-dents, we will encourage increased person-al hygiene, PPE use, and employ screening procedures to detect any symptoms. For the classroom setting, we will limit large campus gatherings if necessary, reduce class sizes, keep students in grade specific areas, and change scheduling to allow for social distancing between classes.”

The school has created four possible plans for returning to school. First: the on-cam-pus plan, by spreading out and promoting social distancing. Second: the staggered on-campus presence with a rotating sched-ule that limits the number of students and faculty on campus at any one time. Third: seasonal distance learning, which assumes the school is required to close. Fourth: the distanced model, in which the school will deliver a distance learning instruction if it is required to be closed for most of the school year.


Fusion Academy Tysons

1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 448-0350

6th – 12th grades

Fusion Academy Tysons offers classes one-to-one with one teacher teaching one student at a time. This arrangement al-lows teachers to personalize curriculums and pacing based on individual student strengths, interests, and learning styles. The school accepts students on a rolling basis at any time of the year, even during mid-semester. The school is preparing to offer a safe hybrid learning environment with a focus on enhanced social and emo-tional resilience in the fall.

Parents are encouraged to visit school websites and call the main offices for more up-to-date information as the start of the school year approaches.

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