Educational Insights Blog

Fostering a safe learning environment for students, families, faculty and staff.

The Antioch School is committed to balancing the safety of our students, families, faculty and staff with our collective desire to have in-person school in September, if community conditions are conducive to doing that safely. With that as our goal, we have been working on our schooling plan. We have crafted this plan based on many factors, including guidance from local, state and national health recommendations, family feedback to our survey, and the values that always inform the educational decisions at our school. The survey was especially informative, and there were many topics where there was a consensus from our community – the desire for in-person school, daily temperature checks, hand-washing with safe soap, limiting of adults in the building, and maximizing the time your children spend outdoors.

The Antioch School has many advantages when it comes to maintaining a safe learning environment during the pandemic. For starters, we are a small school with small class sizes. Typical student enrollment is less than 60 students spanning Nursery (3 1/2 year olds) through the Older Group (up to 6th grade equivalent). The fewer number of students means less individuals available for contact, which means a safer environment.

Antioch School students also spend a significant amount of time outside every day. We also have outdoor classrooms that are used year round - even in winter! Outdoor learning has been an intricate part of the school since its inception. We know how to do it and do it well. Outdoor learning isn't an add-on to the curriculum because of COVID-19, it is one of the core principles of the Antioch School.

The school building itself has some advantages. Each classroom has direct access to the outside, so students can arrive/leave without ever having to go through crowded hallways. The classrooms also have tall ceilings and lots of windows - that actually open. In warmer weather it is possible to get cross ventilation throughout the school through strategic opening of those windows.

Antioch School Safety Plan for 2020-2021

Assessing Symptoms

  • Students will enter their classroom every morning through their room’s external door on the tire swing side of the building, and have their temperature checked with a no-touch thermometer by their teacher. Any adults who enter the building will have their temperature checked as well.
  • We ask that parents monitor their children, keep them home, and see their primary care physician if they exhibit the following symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Fever of 100.4 F or higher.
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
  • Any other symptoms (headache, GI issues, sore throat, chills, loss of taste or smell) along with an epidemiological link to a case of COVID-19.
  • Our infectious disease policy of informing the school of your child’s health and absence will continue to apply, with one small addition. We also ask that families let us know if their child has tested positive for COVID-19, or has come into contact with anyone who has tested positive.

Personal Hygiene and Food

  • Students will be encouraged to engage in regular hand washing with soap (without fragrance or anti-bacterial agents).
  • Snacks and lunch food will only come from home. No school snacks will be provided, but Nursery will keep a stock of supplemental nutrition available if needed, and that food will only be handled and served by adults. School traditions will be upheld whenever possible and safe, and we will continue to allow students to prepare and eat food that is thoroughly cooked. Adults will serve the food after it has been cooked.
  • Lunches will be eaten outside whenever possible, or with increased social distancing inside when the weather precludes outdoor lunch.
  • The water fountain will be turned off, and all students will be asked to bring water bottles from home.

Cleaning of School and Environmental Mitigation

  • There will be regular and frequent cleaning of shared surfaces and items during and after school, with special care taken to address high-touch areas like doorknobs and bathrooms.
  • There will be more items stored and labeled individually for students and fewer communally shared supplies.
  • We will be purchasing and installing fans in order to regularly exchange the air in the building with outside air.
  • We are installing air sterilization and filtration systems for when the building will be closed up in the colder months.

Physical distancing

  • We will set up the school environment in order to encourage physical distancing. There will be marks on the floor for group gathering, fewer chairs around tables, and less furniture in the rooms in order to make more space.
  • We will be encouraging and planning for lots of outdoor time.
  • Field trips will be to outside locations only that allow for plenty of physical distance, and where we do not travel together in vehicles.
  • Any inter-group meetings and activities will be adjusted to provide plenty of physical distance, and will take place outdoors whenever possible.
  • Families and visitors will only enter the building when necessary, and will wear masks and have their temperature checked with a no-touch thermometer.
  • There will be designated pickup spots for each group in order to limit the amount of people waiting in one place or entering the school.
  • Music will only include things that can be done safely in our setting, like listening, dancing, and string and rhythm instruments.

Face Coverings

  • Masks will be required for all adults in the building.
  • Masks will be encouraged for children who can wear them, especially in the building.


The Greene County Department of Health is still working on their guidelines for schools when it comes to the steps to take when a child or faculty member has tested positive for COVID. They expect to have that information available within the next few weeks. We are also discussing the possibility of school-wide testing with them if someone in our school were to contract the virus. We will share this information as soon as it is available.

There are two important disclaimers we need to include with our schooling plan. First off, it is very much subject to change. We may be forced to adjust the plan, or we may make a decision to do so based on changing circumstances or information. Secondly, it is important to acknowledge the risks inherent in sending your children to school. We are putting many processes, policies and recommendations in place in an attempt to keep everyone safe, but no plan can guarantee complete safety when there are so many factors outside of our control.

If you have questions or comments regarding any part of this plan, please contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we would be happy to discuss it with you.

Quick Contact

If you have questions, would like more information or to schedule a school visit, please use the form below or call  9 3 7 . 7 6 7 . 7 6 4 2.   Our address is 1160 Corry Street, P.O.Box 242, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387.