O'Neal and COVID-19

The O'Neal School is happy to have opened its doors for on-campus learning for the entire 467 students enrolled on August 11th.  Extensive research, planning and investments have been made to ensure health, safety and excellence in academics and student life amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Please use this page for updates and frequently asked questions regarding O'Neal's plan and processes and links to other resources of information regarding COVID-19. 

FAQ on O'Neal's COVID-19 Mitigation Protocol

To help understand O'Neal's COVID protocols on campus, Frequently Asked Questions have been compiled. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) are changing COVID guidelines often and O'Neal's protocol will reflect those changes as they happen.

List of 8 items.

  • Are there special instructions for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up?

    Yes, due to temperature checks / screening and social distancing efforts, the following has been put into place:

    Lower School: 

    A staggered drop-off/pick-up has been established.

    Morning Drop-Off
    3rd and 4th Grade
    7:30 – 7:40
    1st and 2nd Grade
    7:40 - 7:50
    Junior K and Kindergarten
    7:50 – 8:00
    Prek4
    8:00 – 8:10
    Prek3
    8:10 – 8:20
    Afternoon Pick-Up
    Prek3
    2:30 – 2:40
    Prek4
    2:40 - 2:50
    Junior K and Kindergarten
    2:50 – 3:00
    1st and 2nd
    3:00 – 3:10
    3rd and 4th
    3:10 – 3:20
     
    Each grade has assigned entrance/exit doors.

    First through fourth grade parents remain in their vehicles the entire time.

    Prek, junior kindergarten and kindergarten parents stay in their vehicles during check-in protocols and then have the option to park and walk students to the designated outside classroom door.

    For both pick-up and drop-off, families with multiple LS students are asked to follow drop-off/pick-up according to the oldest child’s time slot.

    Late Arrivals: Students arriving to campus after 8:20am will need to press the buzzer at the main entrance doors for someone to carry out the protocol screening and let them into the building.

    Pick-Up: Based on the staggered schedule, students are socially distanced by homeroom during the assigned pick-up window. Students that have not been picked up by the end of their window are moved to socially distanced spots in front of the Lower School building until parents arrive. There is NO drop in After Care this year, so it is important for students to be picked up in a timely manner to ensure an efficient pick up for all Lower School students.

    Middle School:

    The morning drop-off for middle school is on Wallace O’Neal Way.

    After check-in protocols - showing the exposure/symptoms survey confirmation and having temperature taken - in the vehicle, students will enter the building using the middle school doors facing the middle school playground.

    Late Arrivals: For students arriving to campus after 8am, they will need to come to the Middle School doors via Wolfpack Way. Press the buzzer and someone will come to carry out the screening protocol before entering the building. Parents are encouraged not to leave until their student until they have successfully completed the protocol screening and have entered the building. 


    Late Start Wednesdays: MS Drop-Off: After showing your health screening clearance and having your temperature checked on Wallace O’Neal Way, students who arrive before 8:30 am will head to McMurray Library or the dining commons in Bradshaw Hall for physically distanced time to read and study.  Students will be dismissed to their advisories starting at 8:30 am.

    Pick-Up happens along Wallace O’Neal Way or students may go to an on-campus parking location that has been previously decided upon with the driver and rider.

    Upper School:

    Students undergo the screening protocol at the entrance of Meyer Hall. The entrance/exit to Meyer Hall is facing the pine straw lot. Students should not be dropped-off by the Bradshaw Hall entrance. 

    Late Arrivals: For students arriving to campus after 8am, they will enter the building and wait in the main office for someone to carry out the screening protocol before going to class. Parents dropping off non-driving students are encouraged to wait on campus to be notified by their student of their successful completion of the screening protocol. 

    Pick-Up – All students exit the building via the front entrance on a staggered schedule to be picked up or to go to their car.
  • How will temperature checks and screenings happen?

    Symptoms/Exposure Survey
    All families complete a symptoms/exposure survey (link) online for each student in the family every school day before arriving to campus.

    Parents receive a text and email via the School’s rapid notification system at 6:45am every morning. The link is also accessible on the Family Resource Page on the School’s website.

    The survey is required to be filled out by a parent or guardian for all students under the age of 18.

    If the parent or guardian is not be dropping off the student at school, they will take a screen shot of the survey completion confirmation they receive in their email and send the screen shot to their student to show on campus.

    The survey should include: STUDENT’s NAME, PARENT’s EMAIL and PHONE.

    The following YES/NO questions are asked:

    Fever above 100.4F?
    Have your experienced chills in the past 24 hours?
    Have you had shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
    Are you experiencing a new cough?
    Do you have a new loss of taste or smell?
    Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID 19 in the last two weeks?

    In the event of a “YES” answer to any question, a message will be sent with instructions to contact the school nurse or division head (if the nurse is not available).

    Only after further discussion with the nurse or division head will a decision be made for the student’s attendance at school that day.  

    Though all students are required to show a confirmed survey report every morning, reports of complete and incomplete surveys are received by many individuals on campus to ensure that all students in attendance have an exposure survey confirmation.

    Temperature Checks

    Any temperature measuring 100.4 degrees F or above is retaken by the school nurse. If the reading is still 100.4 or above, the student will not be able to enter the school building and will return home.

    Lower School:
    Temperature checks are taken by no-touch thermometer for each student while still in the vehicle in the drop-off line.

    Middle School:
    Temperature checks are taken by no-touch thermometer for each student while still in the vehicle in the drop-off line.

    Upper School:
    Temperature checks are taken by no-touch thermometer for each student at the building entrance.
  • My student(s) ride the bus. What is the screening process?

    Parents must show the bus driver the confirmed survey on their phone and they must wait until the bus driver has taken the student’s temperature before leaving.

    Students must wear a face covering.

    Students are seated one to a seat and two in a row.

    Students enter the bus filling the back seats first working towards the front.

    Students exit the bus in reverse order
  • The CDC does not recommend that universal symptom screenings be conducted by schools. Why is O’Neal screening its students?

    At this point, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services(NCDHHS) has a set of guidelines for re-opening schools that private schools have been encouraged to adopt. Exposure / Symptom Surveys and Temperature Checks are part of those guidelines for monitoring symptoms.
  • What is your policy on face coverings?

    O’Neal is following all requirements outlined by the Governor’s statement on schools and is also reflected in the guidelines set forth by the NCDHHS:

    Masks are required for all students (K-12), adults and staff inside O’Neal buildings whether or not distancing can be maintained.

    They must fully cover the mouth and nose.

    Masks for PK/JK students are recommended. 

    Teachers wear masks when indoors.

    Students, teachers and staff are not required to wear masks while outdoors and maintaining 6 feet distancing.
  • How is the School adhering to social distance requirements?

    O’Neal is restricting enrollment in many grade levels and almost all classes have fewer than 14 students. Larger classes take place in more spacious areas such as McMurray Library, the dining commons and Gutschmit Family Atrium of the Hannah Center.

    Students are at desks or tables when in classrooms with 6 feet distancing.

    Individual classes in the Lower School are “bubbled”.

    The Middle School and Upper School students are separated as much as possible.*

    Each division will primarily remain in spaces restricted to the age group.*
      *A few MS and US students attend cross-over classes.

    Distancing is enforced while transitioning and going to lockers.

    Distanced lunch takes place outdoors, in classrooms or in larger spaces.

    Restrooms have been configured for distancing and locker rooms are closed.
  • What is the School doing for cleaning and disinfection?

    Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations have been installed throughout campus.

    Touchless paper towel and toilet paper dispensers have been installed.

    Desks are cleaned before the next group enters.

    A day porter conducts constant cleaning throughout campus facilities and specific touch points.

    Water fountains have been closed. Water bottle filling stations remain open.

    All areas are treated with UV disinfection lamps and electrostatic sprayers on a routine schedule.
  • What are your exposure protocols?

    Symptomatic students will be put in a space to maintain isolation until a family member or other responsible caretaker can retrieve them.

    Families are asked to have a back up person to pick up their students if they are not immediately available.

    If there is a positive case among our students, faculty or staff on campus, the O’Neal community will be notified.  As privacy laws allow, those who may have been directly exposed to the individual will be notified.

    In response to COVID-19 symptoms, exposure and/or cases, O’Neal will follow the guidance provided by the Moore County Health Department.

O'Neal Timeline and Communication

List of 2 items.

Serving Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, Sanford, West End, Aberdeen, and areas surrounding Moore County, NC.


The O’Neal School
3300 Airport Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387
910.692.6920

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