Return to School & COVID-19 Information
Return to School Plan for 2020-21
San Marcos Academy began classes on August 10, 2020, at Stage 2 of our Communicable Disease Action Plan.
We are still accepting students for the 2020-21 school year. For information on admissions, please call 512-753-8000.
As a private school, San Marcos Academy follows the reopening and public health guidance of our accrediting agencies, primarily ACTABS (the Accreditation Commission of the Association of Baptist Schools), which aligns closely with Texas Education Agency guidelines. SMA has a four-stage response system in our Communicable Disease Action Plan (CDAP). At this time, we are operating at the Stage 2 level.
Updated information will be posted on this page and communicated via email to our Academy families.
Frequently Asked Questions
The CDAP or Communicable Disease Action Plan was developed to broadly address any communicable disease that may affect our campus populations. Through the work of the COVID Reopening Task Force, the CDAP was updated to better respond to the needs of this current pandemic. The four stages of the CDAP are triggered in part when a percentage of student absences reach the stated threshold. Individual departments on campus (academics, residential life, student life, dining services, athletics, etc.) have a specific set of guidelines to follow at each stage of the CDAP.
The Residence Hall will open at Stage Two of the Residential Life CDAP plan.
In order to improve sanitation and enhance social distancing for our male boarding students, whose current residence hall features communal bathrooms only, we will be relocating our male students into a dormitory building with suite-style bathrooms with no more than four students per bathroom.
This two-story residence hall, which houses two hallways, has previously been utilized as a female-only dormitory. For 2020-2021, we will be designating Robinson Hall as the female residence area and Kokernot Hall as the male residence area. Although there will be a common main entrance for the building, each hallway will have a separate entrance as well as separate laundry facilities. Campus ID card locks, cameras, and video doorbell systems will be installed at each entrance, to be monitored by the residence life staff. As has always been the case at the Academy, male students will not be allowed into the female hallway, and female students will be prohibited from entering the male hallway.
By relocating our male students, we will be freeing up dormitory space in Crook Hall and Byrom Hall that can be utilized as a quarantine or isolation facility, should that be required by a student or a resident staff member who shows symptoms of any communicable disease. More details regarding the boarding students will be updated as they are developed.
Parents were represented on our COVID Reopening Task Force, which helped create our expanded CDAP. A reopening survey was administered to parents, as well as to staff and faculty, so that every voice could be heard. Results of the survey, including parent comments, are available for review.
Governor Abbott and the State of Texas are providing San Marcos Academy with the following items free of charge. We will be receiving these items through the local education agency (LEA) and will be able to make these items available to our faculty, staff, and students as needed.
- 1,015 Disposable Student Masks
- 2,368 Disposable Adult Masks
- 235 Reusable Student Masks
- 610 Reusable Adult Masks
- 81 Adult Face Shields
- 2,754 Disposable Gloves
- 2 Infrared Thermometers
- 39 gallons of Hand Sanitizer
Sodexo Food Service has created a reopening plan that will be in place as the Fall 2020 semester begins. Elements of the plan could be adjusted during the year as SMA moves into different stages of the CDAP.
Other COVID-19 Information from Sodexo is available at these links:
- It is suggested that passengers wear a face covering when traveling in
- Passengers should spread out when possible during transport.
- Passengers can choose to open vehicle windows.
- The vehicle must be sanitized after each use by focusing on high-touch
surfaces such as seats, the steering wheel, knobs, and door handles.
- Temperatures will be checked for all passengers before departure if not
screened prior. Passengers with a temperature reading of 100.4 or
above will not be allowed to board the vehicle. This step is specific to
students on the SMA Shuttle or other off-campus activities. Parents or
guardians must remain on site until screened and cleared to board the
San Marcos Academy is a member of the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission, the accrediting agency authorized by the Texas Education Agency to accredit private schools and work hand in hand with the Governor’s office. Through this and other affiliations, we have received and have been referred to multiple sources for guidance (i.e. the American Academy of Pediatrics, etc.).
Additionally, two medical doctors serve on the Board of Trustees for San Marcos Academy. One has a family practice in Hays County and the other works in emergency medicine in both Hays and Gonzales Counties. The emergency medical doctor also served in New York City during the height of the pandemic. Both of these doctors have work with patients who have suffered from COVID-19 and have tested and examined others with symptoms. Currently, Dr. Lane Lee serves as our guidance and referral for medical direction and protocols.
- Prevent: Practices to Prevent the Virus from Entering the School,
- Individuals Confirmed or Suspected with COVID-19,
- Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases on Campus
- Required Actions if Individuals with Lab-Confirmed Cases Have Been in a School
No. The Board of Trustees and SMA administration are adamant that if a student is healthy enough and feels safe enough to participate in extra and co-curricular activities on campus, then they should be learning on campus as well. Particularly in athletics, students will by nature of the sport or activity tend to be in closer proximity to one other. Coach Les Davis has developed thorough guidelines that we will use for athletics and Mr. Randy Leifeste has developed guidelines for band.
If a student participates in on-campus learning, he/she will participate in our daily health screenings. If a student only attended extra and co-curricular activities, he or she would not have been through our health check and screening programs throughout the day and would become a higher risk for others within the activity.
- All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times within SMA Band facilities, with the only exception being while actively playing a wind instrument or percussion instrument, provided individuals maintain at least six feet distance between one another. The face covering protocol will be strictly enforced.
- Hand sanitizer, masks, and instrument sanitizer will be made available for those who do not have their own.
- Students will enter the band hall at a safe distance from each other as monitored by Mr. Leifeste.
- All students will have an assigned seat or area set up six feet distant from one another.
- Students will get their instruments from their band locker or storage area as Mr. Leifeste instructs in a safe and orderly manner.
- All Students will have their own instrument, music and supplies and will not share with others. Percussionists will each have their own drum sticks, mallets and assigned percussion instrument.
- Students will be dismissed in a timely manner from rehearsals to adequately clean their instrument with a swab, polishing cloth, sanitizing spray, etc. and place it back in their locker or storage area. Hand sanitizer will be available as they exit to go to their next class.
- Additional guidelines will be added as needed and communicated to parents and administration.
7th Period Athletics Class
- Masks will be worn by spotters/coaches during indoor workouts.
- A ratio of 1 staff member per 20 student athletes will be maintained.
- Six feet of social distancing will be maintained among participants during inactivity and 10 feet during activity.
- Each student must bring his/her own approved athletic clothes, water bottle, and towel daily. A gym bag is recommended.
- Coaches will monitor the dressing rooms.
- Masks must be worn by students while in the dressing rooms.
- Students will have access to locker rooms to change clothes prior to practices but will not be allowed to use the lockers. Students should take all items with them at the end of practice (do not leave items in the locker rooms)
- Only athletes and staff are allowed within the facilities during workouts.
- Girls will report to Jamail Gym, where Upper School girls will use the home girls dressing rooms and Middle School will use the visitor girls dressing room. Off-season athletes will use the boys’ dressing room.
- All boys will report to Kokernot Gym. US football players will use the varsity dressing room; MS football players will use the MS dressing room. US off-season athletes will use the US girls dressing room and MS PE students will use the MS girls dressing room.
- From Aug. 11-14, all boys and girls will go through socially distant workouts. Boys will be outdoors, and US volleyball and all MS girls will be in Jamail for a volleyball skills clinic.
- From Aug. 17-Sept. 4, athletes will divide into workout groups with one coach assigned to each group. The groups will alternate between weight room workouts and agility, plyometric, cardiovascular, and speed training workouts.
- Starting Sept. 8, cross country, football, and volleyball can begin regular practices.
- Coaches will stay abreast of safety recommendations and will reassess our situation as we progress through the semester.