Highlands Campus Closed through the End of the School Year

Out of an abundance of caution and with accordance of government guidelines, the Highlands School campus (Family Center - 8th grade) will be closed through the remainder of the school eyar. This decision was not made lightly and we are fully aware of the additional demands this places on our families.

As always, the wellbeing of our school community is a top priority. While the impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring the situation. To date, no cases have been reported at Highlands School. However, the Highlands School administration team has developed a School Response Plan, which addresses a range of scenarios as it relates to the spread of the virus and the guidelines set forth by the health authorities. Should there be a confirmed case close to home, please know, we will be ready to act.
 

Highlands @ Home FAQs

Do I need to cancel school lunches this week?
Yes, please go online to cancel your students’ school lunches for this week. That is the best way to ensure your account is credited timely.
 
How do we pick-up medications, supplies, take-home binders?
Teachers have been very efficient in pulling together the Highlands @ Home student materials, and they are ready to be picked up today – Monday, March 16th. Parents can pick-up both materials and prescription medications from the Learning Center. We have organized the pick-up schedule based on last name – see below:
 
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM: Abernathy – Good
4:45 PM – 5:30 PM: Goodrich – McEwan
5:30PM – 6:00 PM: McGinis- Zuberi
 
What is the difference between Google Meet and Google Classroom?  
Google Meet is for video conferencing, which is what the teachers will be using to interact and teach lessons with your student “live.” Highlands Pulse is where all your students’ classwork will be located - your teacher will be sending out additional information about that. Google Classroom is another platform that other teachers are using to post their assignments.
 
Assume that you have disabled the necessary privacy and tracking settings for each child’s Google log-in or do we need to go in and do that? Google is notorious for gathering and sharing our information.
When you are logged into your child’s account, it is grouped under our Google Education suite, under which ALL our student accounts fall. Here is a link to their privacy policy and how student data is protected by Google Privacy. In short, Google abides by FERPA and COPPA laws so there is NO selling or sharing of data.
 
I have some concerns about the security profile that is required to be installed on our personal tablet in order for my child to be able to use Google Classroom. If I were to agree to the device policy profile, it would allow the school’s Google Apps admin to manage settings on our tablet and even erase data on it. 
I realize that there is almost certainly no nefarious intent here, but I don’t understand why I’m required to give up so much control of my data to the school. Why would Highlands need the ability to wipe my data on a personal device as a prerequisite for remote learning? 
Each student and teacher account is part of a Google Educational Suite. Part of Google's policy is to ensure that we (Highlands School) have the ability to wipe them from a device, if needed, because they contain student data. Giving the school this permission ONLY means that we have the ability to pull that account off the private device should that be necessary. We DO NOT have the ability to wipe anything else from the device where the security profile is installed. Each time a “@highlandsschool.org” account is loaded on a “private" device, the user is required to load this security profile so that our organization has the ability to remove the account should the need arise. For example, this would apply if a student withdrew from the school. We would then have the ability to log into Google admin and remove the child’s account from whatever device it was installed on. This policy is about keeping the child's data safe .

Cleaning & Disinfecting Guidelines

The Highlands School faculty and staff have implemented the following guidelines for keeping our campus healthy. 

Handwashing:
  • We have implemented specific handwashing times for all classes and grade levels: first thing as they come into classrooms in the morning; after snack time; before lunch; after lunch; after recess/playground time; after PE; the start of EDP; and after soccer practices, basketball practices, lacrosse practices
  • In a community meeting, our facilities team discussed proper handwashing technique and length with students. We have also asked teachers to reinforce on a daily basis.
  • Students must throw away all tissues/paper towels in the trash cans.
 
Cleaning & disinfecting:
  • Teachers should disinfect all teacher/student surfaces during the first break of the day and at the end of the day
  • Our facilities team will also clean classroom and library surfaces during each respective lunch period
  • Students will assist in wiping down the lunch tables in the Bistro after each lunch period

Helpful Guide for Symptoms

Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.