Upper School Update: Entering Step Two - September 2020

  • Upper School
Carol Miller, Upper School Division Head

Dear Parents and Students,

As Headmaster Patrick Carruth shared in his email yesterday, we are moving to Step Two of our Step Start Plan, which means that beginning Monday, September 21, students in grades 9 – 12 will be on campus one day each week, with remote instruction continuing for the rest of the week. Of course, students may continue to learn in a fully remote modality as you deem appropriate for your family situation.

We are thrilled to welcome our Upper School students back to campus! Students, please take a few moments to watch this video to better understand our safety protocols while on campus.

Welcome Back to Upper School

This is a long email, but it contains important information to help students be successful as we return to on-campus learning. Please read it thoroughly, and feel free to reach out to me or Division Assistant Debbie Stump at dstump@tbcs.org if you have any questions.

Step Two

On-Campus Schedule

During Step Two, Upper School students will be on campus on a four-week rotating schedule; all students will engage in remote learning on Fridays. Our daily schedule will stay the same for students learning remotely as well as those on campus.

Week 1 (beginning week of September 21):

  • Grade 9 will attend on campus on Monday
  • Grade 10 will attend on campus on Tuesday
  • Grade 11 will attend on campus on Wednesday 
  • Grade 12 will attend on campus on Thursday

Please refer to the Upper School Step Start Plan to determine when students will be on campus in subsequent weeks. 


  • Students should bring their Surface Pro devices and any other specific school supplies they wish to have available in class. Please leave science kits/home texts at home. Supplies needed for in-class sessions while on campus will be provided. 
  • Students must bring their Student ID cards which were mailed home last week. This card will be used to check in and out at the front desk with our Raptor system. The card will also be used for checking into Study Hall classes.
  • We have access to a large outdoor tent that will be used as a classroom. Please bring a coat as the weather may be chilly. 
  • Students are welcome to reserve an Upper School cubbie. There will be no sharing cubbies this year. Students are expected to maintain six feet of social distancing when accessing cubbies. 
  • Individual water bottles are allowed and should be filled at our hands-free stations.
  • Student life activities will continue with on-campus learners reporting to their Grade-Level Groups. Most non-academic activities will occur in Grade-Level Groups and students should prepare to have lunch, assemblies, chapels, and small group time in Grade-Level Groups while on campus. 
  • Only three people are allowed in the restroom at a time. Students should wait outside on the social-distancing paw print if the restroom is full.

Expectations for In-person Learning 

  • To protect others, we keep masks on over our mouths and noses at all times while inside, except when eating.
  • We will have times to take off masks when we go to our outside spaces and when we eat.  
  • We will try not to touch our masks. If touching your mask is necessary, touch the straps only.
  • Each student will have extra masks at school and will wash his/her mask at the end of the school day.
  • We will keep smiling and using our voice and eyes to share with others that we are engaging with them.  
  • We will keep six feet away from others to protect our friends, teachers, and staff both inside and outside the building.  
  • We will walk on the right-hand side of our hallways, near the wall but not touching it and keep six feet from the person in front of us.  
  • Only three people are allowed in the restroom at a time.  
  • We will wash or gel our hands throughout the day and at scheduled times to protect our friends.    
  • If we need to move from the desk space for a specific reason, we let the teacher know in the way she/he instructs.

Expectations for Remote Learners

  • Be Prepared:  Arrive on time with materials ready    
  • Dress for Success:  What we wear matters – dress ready for school   
  • Be Engaged: Camera on, microphone muted to begin
  • Treat Others with Dignity and Respect:  Use hand raising, keep comments positive, etc.

More Details


Students should wear uniforms when learning on campus. See the School Uniforms page for more information. 

Upper School students will wear dress uniforms on Mondays and Tuesdays. Dress uniforms include sweaters/vests or skirts from DENNIS School Uniforms. Pants are available from three different vendors (DENNIS, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lands’ End). Dress shirts or polos may be purchased from DENNIS or another retailer of your choice. 

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are casual uniform days in the Upper School. Please refer to the School Uniforms page and the Family Handbook for more details. All student outerwear must carry the Bear Creek logo if a student plans to wear it in the building (including hoodies, zip-ups, sweaters, and coats). 


  • Lunches may be brought from home or students may order a sack lunch from the cafeteria. (Note: Due to Upper School cohort schedules, orders will be placed each week for the following week.) Gluten-free options are available, and there will be one hot entrée option as well as a cold deli option. See Food Services page for details.
  • To care for our students with allergies, we are temporarily shifting to a no-nut policy. Please be sure that any food sent to school does not contain nuts. 
  • Students will remain in their Grade-Level Group room for lunch; and lunch orders will be delivered. There may be days the Group is able to eat outside. Teacher supervision will be provided.
  • Students may remove their masks while eating or drinking.
  • During the week of September 21, all Upper School students will be served a sack lunch at no charge.


Please follow the attendance procedures carefully and be sure to inform the Attendance Coordinator (attendance@tbcs.org) if your child will not be participating either on-campus or remotely. All late arriving students will be required to follow safety instructions and asked to show proof of GO designation (a screen shot) from the daily screening questionnaire on the Magnus Health app completed by their parents. Upper School students have been issued ID cards (sent via U.S. mail) to facilitate the late check-in process. A student may not self-attest. 

Drop-off Procedure

  • Drop-off time is from 7:40 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. (M, Tu, Th) and 8:40 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. (W).
  • Before students may get out of the car, a parent must show the daily screening questionnaire GO screen indicating the student is cleared to enter the building. 
  • Students may not complete the daily screening questionnaire for themselves; it must be completed by a parent or guardian.
  • Parents should always remain in their vehicles and wear a mask when interacting with school faculty or staff.
  • Students must put on their mask before leaving their vehicle. 
  • Students should remain six feet apart from any other student entering the building. 
  • Upon entry, please use the hand sanitizing gel.
  • Students will go directly to their classrooms when they enter the building.
  • If a student is riding to school with someone other than his/her parent and cannot provide daily screening GO designation, the driver will need to park and wait until a parent is reached and can send a screen shot of the GO designation to their child. If a parent is not reachable, the driver will need to drive that student home. 
  • Please avoid carpooling to uphold our social distancing guidelines.

Pick-Up Procedure

  • Pick-up time is 2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. (M, Tu, Th,) and 3:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. (W).
  • Students will remain in their classrooms until their name is called over the intercom. 
  • Once a student hears his/her name, he/she may proceed directly to the outside pick-up area, maintaining face covering and social distancing until entering the car.
  • Please place a sign on your car dashboard with your child’s name clearly printed to help expedite our process.
  • A school employee will be sure students get into the correct cars.
  • Parents will receive a call if their child has not been picked up by 3:00 p.m.


Students who have completed the Student Parking Application and will drive themselves to school will park in any available Upper School parking spot. Student drivers should walk to the Nagel Commons entrance to enter the building. Before entering the building, they must show proof of GO designation (a screen shot) from the Magnus Health app screening questionnaire completed by their parents. A student may not self-attest. If a student does not have proof of GO designation, he/she will need to return to the car and call a parent. The parent will need to complete the attestation, then send a screen shot to his/her child. If a child is not able to reach a parent to attest, he/she will need to return home and engage in remote learning for that day. 

Curriculum Night

We have postponed Curriculum Night to September 30. Look for an email next week from Karen Blankenbeckler, Vice President for Academic Affairs, with more information about this important event.

I look forward to seeing you here at Bear Creek and anticipate the exciting year ahead. If you have any questions, please contact Upper School Division Assistant Debbie Stump at dstump@tbcs.org.

In His grip of grace,

Carol Miller