Navigating Magellan through
As we proceed through the 2020-2021 school year, we recognize that this year has been challenging for all of us. COVID-19 has reshaped our lives, our families, our businesses, our economy, and our world. At Magellan, focused on providing a stable ecosystem for our students to learn in an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible.
The academic models offered to our families are formed around the following principles:
– Prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.
– Provide a rigorous and engaging learning experience for our students, prioritizing learning in literacy and maths.
– Remain flexible to adjustments based upon the current health situation in the Austin metro area.
– Strive to have all students, faculty and staff back on campus when it is safe to do so.
– Review and/or revise our academic models in the middle and end of every trimester.
Currently, the school is offering a number of academic models, based upon human resource (teacher) availability and preference to teach on campus, availability of physical space for learning and recreation, health recommendations by Austin Public Health and the CDC and the preferences of our families. Below you will find an up-to-date overview of each model offering across the grades at Magellan.
Our entire community is expected to follow strict health and safety guidelines and protocols, and we remain committed to providing every child with an exceptional experience and the social emotional support they need. Together with community collaboration, we can keep our campuses as safe as possible for the students, faculty and staff.
On this page, you will find school policies, health and educational organizations offering guidance to schools across the US and here in Texas, our Health & Safety Advisory Group purpose and members, and Frequently Asked Questions. You can also take a quick look at our campuses now through the Virtual Tour to see how we’re keeping our community safe. Finally, I encourage you to read a student-written article from the December issue of our student newspaper, The Navigant, about learning at Magellan this year through the pandemic.
If you have questions for our school’s Leadership Team or for our Health & Safety Advisory Group that are not answered on this page, we invite you to submit your question by clicking on the “Submit A Question” button below.
Health & Safety Advisory Group
Magellan’s Health & Safety Advisory Group is comprised of parents and staff of the school who are on the medical front lines or who represent and advise public health and education interests providing well-rounded advice to our school. This volunteer group has provided countless hours of service to guide the decisions of the school during this pandemic. Their advice provides health based guidance to the school’s Leadership Team who is responsible for making and implementing final decisions on academic models and health and safety policies and protocols for Magellan.
Cardiology Account Manager
Tannon Carroll, M.D.
Internal & Cardiovascular Medicine
Dionne Carrasco, R.N.
Magellan International School
Director of Operations
Magellan International School
Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium
UT Austin School of Social Work & Center for Health & Social Policy
Head of School
Magellan International School
KPMG (Gov & Edu Infrastructure)
Tad McReynolds, M.D.
Ryan Murdock, M.D.
Pediatric Orthopedic Medicine
Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics
Interim Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer
Magellan International School
Sr. Director of Health Economics & Clinical Effectiveness Analytics
Ascension Data Sciences Institute
Director of Clinical Operations
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about Student Academic Models & Planning
Are Magellan students attending school on campus?
Yes! Currently (as of ), our PP3, PP4 and Kinder students attend school ONLY on campus, 5 days per week. Students in 1st and 2nd grade attend school either on campus, 5 days per week or via 100% distance learning, 5 days per week. Our maximum class sizes for these grades is 10 in PP3/PP4 and 12 in Kinder, 1st and 2nd grades. Students in grades 3 – 8 are able to attend through our Hybrid program OR 100% Distance Learning program. Half the students enrolled in the hybrid model (grades 3-8) participate in home learning each week. The other half of the students study on campus in cohort groups of 8 to 12 students. Cohorts (3-8) and on-campus classes (PP3-2nd) stay together for outdoor play, lunch and all specialist classes.
Why are only the youngest students on campus full time?
In order for Magellan to maintain a 6’ social distance between students in the classrooms and to maintain a healthy environment on campus, the school has prioritized full time, on campus instruction for students with the greatest need for in person learning due to social and emotional development and early learning literacy needs. We continue to evaluate the possibility of opening additional full-time classrooms based upon learning needs, space availability (while maintaining social distance) and teacher availability for in-person learning.
Are students really learning anything online?
Yes! While in person learning is always best, our students learning online are achieving their academic milestones and are engaging in collaborative learning through a variety of e-learning platforms. Our programs on campus and those at home are aligned so students are keeping pace with our academic program regardless of the location where they’re learning. Those at home are regularly receiving supplies for art, music, design+innovation, math, reading, etc. Learning continues to be hands-on and engaging, even from home!
Who makes decisions on student attendance models? How often are they reviewed for changes?
Final decisions regarding student attendance models offered to our families is the responsibility of the school’s Leadership Team. Advice and guidance is offered by our Health & Safety Advisory Committee – a group of parent volunteers who work in health and education fields with “on the ground” advice on best practices and trends.
If my child is attending 100% online, can I switch them to the hybrid or on-campus program (and vice versa)? If so, how often can we make a change and when?
Yes! Based upon family preferences, students can switch between the on-campus or hybrid and 100% online academic models every 6 weeks. Please submit your request by email to the section head overseeing your child’s grade (Sagrario Argüelles for 1st-5th and Nicolas Puga for 6th-8th). Please note that students are able to move into our on-campus or hybrid model based upon availability.
Questions about Health & Safety at Magellan during COVID-19
Are students, faculty and staff being screened for COVID-19?
Every student, faculty and staff member arriving on our campus is temperature checked daily and answers a series of questions to gauge potential symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 on a regular basis. Anyone showing symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry. Additionally, they must advise the school if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, must remain off campus in quarantine for up to 14 days.
What are the requirements for face coverings on campus?
Faculty and staff are required to wear face masks and face shields or protective goggles while teaching students. When not teaching but while in common spaces inside buildings and when social distances are not possible, they are also required to wear masks. Our PP3 and PP4 students are encouraged – but not required – to wear face coverings. Students in Kinder-8 are required to wear face masks. Parents are required to wear face masks when dropping off and picking up children through the car line.
Are students eating lunches in their classrooms?
Preschool students are eating lunches in their classrooms. Our K-8th grade students eat outdoors under tents unless there is inclement weather. Plexiglass desk shields are used to provide protection between students if they are required to eat indoors.
What changes have been made to expand the opportunities for students to wash their hands during the day?
Upon arrival onto campus, students are required to wash their hands before entering their classroom. Magellan installed touchless faucets, soap dispensers and hand sanitizers across campuses, conveniently located between classrooms. We installed sinks in the Anderson Lane campus multi-purpose room and added 15 portable sinks throughout the campuses. At the Chimney Corners campus, each classroom has its own hand washing sink. Two sinks have been installed on the exterior of the Anderson Lane campus for outdoor hygiene.
How often are Magellan’s facilities being cleaned/sanitized?
Magellan hired a new cleaning company at the beginning of the year which provides additional day porters and an increased number of hours on site. This improves cleanliness and hygiene during the school day with a focus on shared spaces and restrooms. On a nightly basis, the company cleans, sanitizes and disinfects all classrooms and public areas with medical grade chemicals.
What happens if my child gets sick at school or I have a medical question related to my child’s attendance at school?
Students, faculty or staff who exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while at school will be moved to an isolation room for evaluation. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home immediately. The school nurse or a member of the administrative team will contact parents to arrange for the pick up of sick students. If your child has a symptom that is not related to COVID-19, they will be cared for in a separate space until you pick them up. All medical questions can be directed to Nurse Dionne (AL) or Nurse Chelsea (CC).
What happens if someone (student, faculty, staff) who is on campus at Magellan is diagnosed with COVID-19?
Students, faculty or staff that have received a positive, lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis must stay at home throughout the infection period and cannot return to campus until the school screens the individual to determine if ALL of the criteria below have been met:
– At least 10 days have passed since positive test results for COVID-19.
– At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
– The individual has improvement in symptoms.
– At least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications).
All faculty, staff and families will be notified of an on-campus COVID-19 diagnosis via an official school email/announcement. Magellan will also notify the local health department, participate in contact tracing and immediately close off and sanitize areas used by the individual with a positive diagnosis. The student class or cohort and the teacher(s) who had direct contact with the infected individual will be dismissed from school to quarantine. The standard quarantine period is 14 days after last close contact with a person while they were contagious with COVID-19. However, the isolation period may be shorter or longer based on advice received from local health authorities. During quarantine, students and teachers who are not ill will be expected to participate in the school’s home learning program.
What happens if a student, faculty or staff member comes in contact with someone with COVID-19 outside of school?
If a student, faculty or staff member has close contact with someone positively diagnosed with COVID-19 (defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes), they should quarantine at home for 14 days from exposure. If the person is asymptomatic, the recommended testing is a PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) conducted 5 to 7 days after exposure to COVID-19. However, if they are experiencing symptoms after exposure, they should see a health care provider immediately. After exposure, while waiting to obtain a test or waiting on test results, please quarantine at home. Also note that while rapid response testing provides highly accurate positive results, negative results may need to be confirmed with PCR testing.
Has Magellan made any improvements to filter air in the classrooms to remove air-borne virus?
Before the start of the school year, Magellan installed ionization air purifiers on all 19 HVAC units of the Chimney Corners (CC), Anderson Lane (AL) and MYP buildings. These purifiers clean the air in each system and kill airborne viruses. Additionally, the school has invested in expanding areas outdoors for lunch and recreation while keeping students within their cohort.
Are parents allowed to volunteer in the classroom or meet with teachers on campus?
At this time, no non-essential visitors are allowed on campus other than through car line drop off. However, our classroom teachers and room parents are working hard to identify ways for you to participate in your child’s learning virtually. All parent meetings with teachers and administrators are being held online through Google Meet or Zoom including Parent Teacher Conferences.
Questions about Supporting Students through 2020-2021
Is the school offering after school care, campus, activities, etc?
At this time, Magellan is not offering any on-campus programs outside of the regular school day to minimize the opportunities for COVID-19 community spread. We revisit this decision on a regular basis and will continue to do so into the spring of 2021. A limited number of virtual clubs will be offered in early 2021 including Drama and ModelUN.
If our family requires technology (tablet or laptop) to support my child’s learning, is it available through the school?
Yes! All Middle School students are already provided with a MacBook as part of their enrollment at Magellan. Based upon your child’s grade level and availability of resources, we can issue your child an iPad or Chromebook for learning from home.
If I have a question or concern about my child’s academic progress this year, who should I go to?
All questions regarding your child’s learning should first be directed to their lead teacher. You may also contact your child’s section head for additional questions and support.
Julieta Carrillo (PP3 & PP4)
Sagrario Argüelles (K-5)
Nicolás Puga (6-8)
What is being done to support students’ social & emotional health during COVID-19?
Magellan is lucky to have two full-time counselors to support our students including providing weekly lessons to all classes (twice weekly lessons for our Middle School students) on topics such as resiliency, identifying emotions, conflict resolution, friendship, working together and mindfulness, among others. In addition, Magellan is continuing with our strong human development program in grades K-8 and supporting teachers and parents by providing useful blogs, classroom observations, support meetings and collaboration with external service providers.