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Parent Resources » Response to COVID-19 - Parent Information

Response to COVID-19 - Parent Information

Hilldale has been hard at work to maintain our rigorous academic standards and our deeply nurturing community during the pandemic. We are committed to supporting our families and our staff. To keep you connected to our decision making, policies, and processes, please peruse these various resources. We are here to help - let us know what we can do for you!
As of 9/8/20, Hilldale School has been authorized to open with a waiver from the County of San Mateo and the State of California at Phase 0+ (a highly limited reopening for children of essential workers and those with special learning needs). 
Here are our two primary documents on a Safe School Re-Opening. In the first, "Hilldale School - Pathway to a Safe Re-Opening," you will see details on how the school plans to adhere to all county and state requirements while also meeting the needs of the families who need on-campus supervision during remote learning.  Secondly, please review the presentations slides entitled, "Parent Information - Hilldale 20-21 Plan - COVID" as these provide flowcharts for quarantining protocol, how Hilldale is addressing each of the pillars of a safe reopening, and how the school intends to move from one phase of reopening to another. 
The Kindergarten Greet and Learn slides detail out specifics for our youngest students to find success in a remote environment.
Starting the Year Out with Success means knowing what to expect. Below you will find information on how to navigate school in a remote environment.
The Hilldale Handbook - COVID-19 Safety Supplemental 2020-2021 (below) provides detailed information for families when they begin to return to school. All policies and procedures must be followed to the letter in order to maintain safety for all. 

On-Campus Teacher Assistants:


Mrs. Sandra Powers 8 - 3:30 PM     Ms. Polly Chan 3:30- 6:00 PM

First - Third  

Ms. Eliana Carr 8:00 - 4:30 PM Ms. Samin Baradaran 3:30 - 6:00 PM

Fourth - Sixth

Ms. Donna Manuel 8:00 - 4:30 PM Mr. David Young 3:30 - 6:00 PM


On-Campus Administrators:

Head of Phase 0, On-Campus Operations & Extended Care Director - Mr. Garson Lee (7:30am - 4:00pm)

Vice Principal - Ms. Nicole Leonard (W-F)

Admissions Director & Office Manager - Mr. Keith Willson (9:30am - 6:00pm)


During Phase 0+, there will be approximately 20 students total on campus in three separate cohorts, each in their own building and each with their own Teacher Assistants. Students in these cohorts will still be participating in online instruction from their teachers. However the Teacher Assistant will be there to supervise their safety.

  1. When in the classroom, students in the Kindergarten cohort will view the teacher on the main screen. When outside, students will view the teacher on individual devices. All other grades are mixed; therefore, they will have individual devices and headphones.
  2. The Kindergarteners will occupy the Kindergarten room with a total of 7-8 Kindergarteners in the lower school building with a separate entrance/ exit.
  3. The First - Third Graders will occupy one of the First Grade rooms with a total of 6 First - Second Graders (no Third Grade families/ children need this accommodation) in the middle building with a separate entrance/ exit (rear of room across the sport-court).
  4. The Fourth - Sixth Graders will occupy the computer lab and science lab with a total of 5 Fourth-Fifth Graders (no Sixth Grade families/children need this accommodation) in the upper school building with their own entrance/ exit. 
  5. Each cohort will have a separate outdoor eating space with assigned seats at their own table. This outdoor area doubles as a second outdoor learning space as well. The wifi has been tested, and students will be able to access their remote lessons there.
    1. Kindergarten will have use of the red deck for learning and lunch each child at an assigned table.
    2. First - Second Graders will have use of the First Grade deck for learning and lunch each child at an assigned table.
    3. Fourth - Fifth Graders will have use of picnic tables outside of the upper school building for learning and lunch, each child at an assigned table.
  6. Access to the play areas will only be permitted by one group at a time and the schedules are being staggered to accommodate this. Use of the playground equipment will not be allowed for the first weeks of school until the disinfecting equipment is secured and schedules have been determined to be effective.
    1. Kindergarten will have access to the playground (not equipment) and will bring their own balls/ equipment outside and inside with them. 
    2. First-Second Graders will have access to the sport-court (not equipment) and will bring their own balls/ equipment outside and inside with them.
    3. Fourth- Fifth Graders will have access to the blacktop and will bring their own balls outside and inside with them.

Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School: 

Because of the nature of Hilldale’s campus, it is easy to provide separation of these cohorts. Each cohort will be housed in a separate building with a separate entrance and exit. Each cohort also has access to their own bathroom. 

  1. Additionally, no parents will be allowed on campus.  
  2. All staff members are assigned to the same group of children every day. Each cohort has two teacher assistants (AM and PM) to provide care stretching from 8AM to 6PM. 
  3. There will be one additional assistant who will help to supervise during lunch and recesses outside only.
  4. There will be three administrators on campus; students will meet them outside whenever possible. No students will be allowed into the office. 
  5. A separate sick bay will be located on the sport court under a tarp covering.

Face Coverings: 

  1. All employees will be required to wear face masks. Teacher assistants and administrators (especially those working with children in the two younger cohorts) may also choose to wear a face shield.
  2. All students will be required to wear a mask when at school. 
  3. When outside during learning time, when seated at a table six feet from all other students, and when granted permission by the Teacher assistant, children will be provided with mask breaks (as needed).
  4. Masks will be given to the children if theirs is not satisfactory at some point during the day.
  5. No person will be allowed to come onto campus without a properly worn mask.
  6. For safety reasons, 2nd - 5th graders on campus, will not be able to play their instruments while at school and will need to practice at home and send videos as deemed necessary by their teacher.

Pick up and Drop off Procedures:

Drop off: 

  1. Parents will be required to complete the daily health screening online prior to arrival at drop off.
    1. If health screening is not complete, the parent will be sent away and must pull over to complete the screening, then get back into the drop off line.
  2. Parents will pull up to the drop off point and remain in their cars.
  3. Mr. Lee will ensure that the student has a completed and clear health screening.
  4. The student will exit and get his/her temperature taken by Mr. Lee (touchless thermometer
    1. If a student has a temperature of over 99.9 degrees, he/she will be returned to the car and sent home.
  5. For Kinder and Grades 1-2, a consistent parent volunteer will supervise the child from the car to the hand washing station whereupon the student will be monitored while washing hands for 20 seconds. Then the student will be monitored to enter the classroom.
  6. For Grades 4-5, the child will be driven by the parent and let out at the base of the driveway of the upper school.
  7. NO PARENT may exit the vehicle or pull into a driveway to park. Parents continue to the top of the hill to use the cul-de-sac.
  8. The Teacher Assistant will be waiting for the child in the classroom.

Pick up: 

  1. Parent arrives at the designated spot. 
    1. Kindergarten parents pull up to the main gate. Do NOT exit vehicle.
    2. Grades 1-2 parents pull into the office driveway. Do NOT exit vehicle.
    3. Grades 4-5 parents pull into the upper school driveway. Do NOT exit vehicle.
  2. Parent calls the office identifying themselves and their child and their child’s grade. Office phone is 650-756-4737.
  3. The office staff will walkie the Teacher Assistant who will escort the child to the door.
    1. Kindergarteners will be watched by Ms. Chen as they walk from the door to the car.
    2. Grades 1-2 will be watched by the office staff from the window as the child walks from the office building to the office driveway. 
    3. Grades 4-5 will be sent out of the upper school building to enter their cars in the upper school driveway.


Reminders & Clarifications:

  1. To refresh yourself on the phases of reopening,what to expect if someone gets sick, and how the school is maintaining safety and security, please see this document.
  2. Uniforms are required for all children this year as it helps to promote engagement and responsibility.
    1. Used uniforms can be purchased during registration for $5/ item.
    2. Sweatshirts can be picked up during registration.
  3. Masks are required for ALL students and parents who come on campus; parents only allowed during registration. 
    1. Parents on the COVID advisory board put together this list of masks. If you want to write a review or add another one, please do!
  4. All students need a pair of headphones. Headphones will be provided for on-campus students. 
  5. Hilldale is providing all students with a device (ipad for K; chromebook for 1st-8th).
  6. Up to date immunizations are required for all children. We have contacted the county and consulted with physicians. These are still required, even for off site students. Some providers are giving vaccinations in drive-by fashion. Contact your provider for more information.
  7. Incoming First Grade Health Reports are still required. Some providers are conducting wellness checks via video. Contact your provider for more information.
  8. There will be no Physical Education classes during Phase 0 for several reasons, including that the majority of students will be remote, that exertion produces more air output, and that there will be no PE teacher at school.
  9. Cubbies and lockers will not be used during Phase 0 to prevent students coming into too close proximity with others.
  10. It is our current understanding that hot lunch services will not be available during Phase 0.


**Hilldale is a PEANUT-FREE & NUT-FREE School due to Fatal Allergies!
  1. **No peanut or nut products are allowed in student lunches, at class parties, or for any other purposes.
  2. Food sharing is never allowed for safety reasons.


  1. There are many important, upcoming events. Please review the 20-21 calendar previously sent and use the website as a primary source.
  2. Subscribe to the calendar to get updates directly on your phone. Go the homepage of the website. Click on the word “Calendar”. Click on the “Subscribe” button.


Extended Care: 

  1. Extended care will be provided from 8:00 - 8:30 AM in the morning and from 3:30 - 6:00 PM in the evening. 
  2. Because cohorts cannot mix, students will be in their classrooms or on their specific playground area, wearing masks. 
  3. Most after school workshops will not be available to students on campus during Phase 0+. 
    1. Singing is not permitted while in their cohort without a mask. 
    2. Individual workshops like lessons are not permitted as students cannot go to a separate room. 
    3. If the entire class chooses to pay for an extended care workshop from an outside vendor, then the entire class can participate (unless it requires singing). 
  4. Each Teacher Assistant will facilitate quiet reading, social time, and play time during the extended care hours. Parents are encouraged to pick up their children as soon as possible after school is out (3:30 PM).



It is important for the youngest students who will be on campus to practice their fine motor skills and be prepared to take care of themselves. 

  1. All students will need to be able to zip up, button up pants, shirts, etc. 
  2. All students will need to be able to open their lunch items without help on the regular.
  3. All students will need to use the restroom without assistance.
  4. All students must bring and use a water bottle for hydration.


Health & Safety:

  1. The On-Campus Supervisor, Mr. Lee, has the authority to deny campus access to any student if there is any suspicion of illness.
  2. Each staff member must report to the office to have their temperature checked. It, too, must be below 100.0 degrees in order for the staff member to remain on campus. 
  3. Each staff member must complete an online health screening prior to arrival at campus. Failure to do so means that the staff member must leave campus immediately.
  4. A sick bay will be created which will house an ill student until a parent or emergency contact can pick them up. This area will be a covered, outside area. Parents will call the office when they arrive; the On Campus Supervisor will then be contacted and supervise the student getting into the parents’ car. 
  5. Parents will be required to sign a form wherein they agree to pick up their child from school if ill within an hour of being contacted. Otherwise, they forfeit the right to utilize on- campus supervision and will need to find other arrangements.

Triggers for Switching to Distance Learning: 

Following the guidelines provided by state and local authorities, the school campus will close if 20 percent of the population (4 children in Phase 0+) has tested positive for COVID-19. However, due to the intention of reopening in a slow and conservative manner, the school, if permitted to provide on campus supervision during remote instruction (Phase 0+), will not move to Phase 1 (limited students, hybrid of remote/ in-person) until the following has been met:

  1. San Mateo County is removed from the State Watchlist for 14 days.
  2. The number of cases of COVID have plateaued or decreased in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties for three weeks.
  3. The number of cases of COVID at Hilldale remains at 0 for 4 weeks.
  4. Other school re-openings in the area have been successful.

If however, there are four cases of COVID at Hilldale during Phase 0, the campus will be closed for all student supervision and remote instruction will continue.


Communication Plans:  

  1. The school is creating a contact board to keep anonymous information up to date regarding possible illness and confirmed cases.
  2. No references will be made in regard to a student or staff name or gender.
  3. When appropriate, information will be kept grade non-specific, i.e.:
    1. Symptomatic student was sent home from the lower school building.
    2. One positive case in the middle school building.
  4. Parents in the cohort of a symptomatic student who is sent home will be notified as such. Anonymity will be maintained.
  5. Students and staff in a cohort where a person has tested positive will be sent home from school immediately to quarantine for 14 days.
    1. A detailed flowchart shows each step of action in the presentation slides.
    2. Considerations for siblings and household members have been detailed as well. 
    3. All families of on-campus students and staff will be contacted immediately so that they may elect to keep their children at home.

In order to join the on-campus cohort, you will need to submit this form which states that you have read and agree to all of the above rules and regulations. 

These are the slides and presentation from the Phase 0+ Orientation.