Back to School Updates: 1

Hello Gryphons! 

The Barefoot Times will be giving brief updates regarding Sequoyah School and COVID-19. These updates will include what the school day may look like, the precautions that will be in place, the estimated time we will go back to campus, COVID-19 metrics, and more! There will even be a Joke of the Day to make you smile. We will be updating you every few weeks with new information and guidelines, as they arise. This information will help keep us safe and prepare us for our eventual return to school. Below is the first of our updates; in it, you will find information about Phase 1 of our return to campus, the school’s Cohort/Social Connection Model.

To help students get prepared and informed on the latest news on going back to school, we spoke with High School Director Marc Alongi and Director of Field Studies Brian Eagan, the head of the school’s COVID-19 Health and Safety working group. 

When it eventually returns to campus, Sequoyah plans to adhere to the Social Connections Model, which is intended to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The Social Connections model has four phases, each with an increasing level of in-person class time. The school would start with Phase 1 and gradually work its way up in numbers, as safety allows. 

In Phase 1 of this model, each grade level would have a designated day to be on campus where students would be able, if they choose, to take their classes online from a classroom on campus. Eagen noted that in the afternoon, students would meet with their advisory cohort and “go down to the Arroyo or do some activity on campus.” 

Here are some metrics sent out in the SNAC (Sequoyah News and Calendar) sent out on Friday, November 6th:


Case rate: number of new cases per day out of every 100,000 people based on a 14-day average

7.6  | 1.3% increase from last week  |  target for Tier 2 is < 7


Testing positivity: what percentage of tests returns a positive result based on a 7-day average

3.8%  |  5% decrease from last week  |  target for Tier 2 is < 8%


Equity:  what percentage of tests returns a positive result based on a 7-day average, in less advantaged communities

6.5%  | 4.4% decrease from last week  |   target for Tier 2 is < 8% 

We need to meet all of these targets for 14 days in order to advance to Tier 2; then once we are in Tier 2 we need to stay there for an additional 2 weeks in order to be approved by the state to go back to school. Then, the county and city both have to allow us to return, which could take a few more weeks, and even then they could allow only certain grades to return. From this, you can see that the process is complicated and that it may take around 5-6 weeks to open up once we meet the requirements for Tier 2.

Each tier has a maximum rate requirement that allows for more reopenings as you go up in tier. Right now, we are on Tier 1 for Case Rate, Tier 3 for Testing Positivity, and Tier 2 for Equity. In order to fully move up a tier, all metrics for that tier need to be met. Find out more at

That’s all for now; another update will come soon!

Joke of the day: What lights up a soccer stadium? A soccer match!