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COVID-19 Response

We welcomed students, faculty, and staff back to school on August 28th, as local and state mandates allow. As this is a fluid situation, we are carefully monitoring the evolving effects of COVID in Hampton Roads and are making timely decisions and adjustments to our school, in conjunction with the Virginia Governor's Office, the Virginia Dept. of Education, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Social Services, and other national, regional, and local organizations.  We understand that you, our families, want to feel safe at HRA and this is our top priority. 
Please note that this is a fluid situation. Policies may change as the start of the school year approaches and updated guidelines are issued by the CDC and the state. 

Important Updates

List of 4 items.

General FAQs

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Is HRA open and on campus?

    Yes, as state and local mandates allow, HRA to be open with in-person classes and on campus in grades pre-K through 12 with the appropriate number of students per classroom as physical distancing guidelines allow. HRA does not have alternate, staggered, or split days or partial distance learning as some schools, public and private.
  • Q. Is HRA offering a full program?

    Yes, in ALL divisions, HRA is offering our full program, including art, music, theater and athletic programs with interscholastic competition if allowed for all schools or expanded intramural sports as a comparable alternative for all students.
  • Q. What safety protocols are in place?

    At HRA, safety protocols include, but are not limited to:

    • Modified drop off and pick up lines
    • Health screenings for faculty, staff, and students
    • Division-specific entries into the building
    • Physical distancing in classrooms
    • Developmentally appropriate hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette education
    • Limiting visitors on campus
    Each classroom is equipped with disinfectant and desks are disinfected after each class. Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the campus. Regular hand washing and hand sanitizing occurs throughout the day.

    The school nurse’s office has been moved and expanded to accommodate well/sick areas as a way of isolating sick students appropriately. Our clinic staff is in close contact with health officials to ensure that we have best practices in place when school opens.

    Fresh air is recommended - so open windows and doors are encouraged on days when the weather permits. We are exploring methods to maximize the circulation of fresh air throughout the building, another CDC recommendation.

    Additionally, HRA deep cleans the campus daily, while bathrooms are cleaned throughout the day.
  • Q. Do students wear face coverings/masks?

    Students in grades 1-12 are required to wear face coverings during the school day.  This includes before and after school ECE, rehearsals, and after school appointments, meetings, etc. Please note that while indoors, quiet, mindful eating will occur at break and at lunch. At these times, students will not be wearing face coverings, however, they will be physically distanced and supervised. Students are encouraged to eat outside in designated areas, when weather permits.  At these times, masks may be removed, however, physical distancing is maintained. Students are encouraged to take "mask breaks" when they are outside and physically distanced, under adult supervision. Face coverings should fit snugly covering both the nose and mouth and be free of symbols, slogans, and messages.
  • Q. Is there a plan if schools are required to close?

    Yes, should we be ordered to rely on distance learning in the upper grades, even for a short period, we will use a full day model with live online teaching for four classes a day, each lasting 70 minutes. They will be regularly scheduled, predictable and will match up exactly with the current on-campus schedule. There will be no loss of class time. If our state returns to Phase II guidelines, we  will consider not returning to distance learning in grades pre-k through 6, per Department of Social Services guidelines.  
  • Q. Is HRA’s bus service available?

    Yes, with appropriate physical distancing and sanitation protocols. Bus riders have their temperature taken prior to entering the bus and use hand sanitizer upon entering the bus. Buses are sanitized after students are unloaded.
  • Q. Are the new dining service still being offered?

    Yes, the new dining services are being provided in a safe and carefully monitored program. LS students eat in their classrooms. MS and US students eat with their TEAM/Advisory in classrooms and have opportunities to eat with friends physically distanced in the Dining Hall, MPR, Lecture Hall, and outside when the weather permits.
  • Q. How is HRA handling the onset of Flu season?

    We encourage all families to receive the flu vaccine.  For more information about the flu vaccine, click here. For more recommendations about the flu, please visit The Flu: A Guide for Parents.  We also encourage parents to review the sick policy.  On HRA's campus, we have many safety protocols in place that include, but are not limited to, heath screenings for faculty and staff, division-specific entries into the building, physical distancing in classrooms, developmentally appropriate hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette education, and limiting visitors on campus.  To read the full list of these protocols, please visit our Guide to Returning to Campus.  With these protocols in place, we are working to protect the HRA community from COVID-19 and the Flu.

Middle & Upper School FAQs

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Has the daily schedule been adjusted in the Upper and Middle School?

     Our Middle and Upper school daily schedule has been redesigned to allow for an easy pivot to blended learning should HRA be required to close due to a Governor mandate or a recommendation from the VDH.  The schedule will be the same for in-person classes or blended learning.  The main benefit of the four-class schedule is the controlled and limited movement of students around campus.
  • Q. Do students use lockers?

    No, students were not assigned lockers so as to decrease contact with surfaces and discourage student groups.  Students are allowed to carry backpacks/jackets, etc. with them throughout the day. Additionally, students are encouraged to bring and carry a refillable water bottle. Bottles can be filled via filling stations located throughout the school; all water fountains are turned off.
  • Q. Is the student pick up process adjusted?

    Yes, students walk to buses distanced from each other or wait in the carpool area in designated areas, also physically distanced under faculty supervision.
  • Q. Is there Middle School Study Hall?

    Yes, there is Middle School Study Hall offered this year. This will run from school dismissal until 5:30pm. All students will be physically distanced in accordance with all CDC and Social Services guidelines.
  • Q. If HRA goes to a remote learning model, will counseling services be available?

    Yes, HRA's counselors understand that families have unique challenges during these times.  If HRA goes remote, counseling is available by phone or Zoom from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday-Friday.  If a student would like to talk with a counselor, they should email the counselor. To contact Lisa Thatcher: To contact Liz Rous:  Students who wish to speak to a counselor “after school hours”  should email the counselor to set up a time to connect.  *If there is an emergency, parents should call 911.  

Lower School FAQs

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Do LS students move to different classrooms throughout the day?

    No, LS classes remain in their “pod” groupings while in the building.  LS students do not travel around the building but remain in their classrooms throughout the day. LS classrooms accommodate student desks which are distanced.  LS resource teachers visit classes following the normal resource schedule - bringing their supplies on carts.  The only exception is PE.  LS students travel to the gyms or fields for PE classes. Additionally, LS students use their cubbies, but teachers regulate the number of students going to their cubbies maintaining appropriate distancing.
  • Q. Is Lower School morning and afternoon carline process adjusted?

    Yes, safety patrol does not assist with morning carline. LS faculty supervise students unloading during morning carline. LS students enter in the morning using the doors labeled E. At the end of the day, LS students exit the building using various doors to maintain physical distance between classes.  During dismissal, classes remain in their “pod” groupings.  LS faculty assist with loading the children.
  • Q. Is the playground open for Lower School students?

    No, the LS playground is closed. However, classes use the fields/track for recess.  Children remain in their “pod” during recess.
  • Q. Is there Lower School Extended Care and Enrichment (ECE) this school year?

    Yes, there is ECE offered to all Lower School Families this year as in the past.  This runs from school dismissal until 5:30pm.  All students are physically distanced in accordance with all CDC and Social Services guidelines.

Hampton Roads Academy

HRA is accredited through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is a National Blue Ribbon School.