Summit School Newsletter


August 20, 2021

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From the Head of School...

Dear Summit Community,

At Summit School we continue to monitor local community COVID data and the policies of our surrounding schools to evaluate the right course of action for our unique school community. This is a collaborative effort that includes administration, the Board of Trustees, our Health & Safety Task Force, and our staff. None of these decisions have been made without great thought and a deep care for our children and school. When our mask optional policy was put into place in June, community spread was lower and we felt comfortable that we could proceed safely. Since that time, COVID-related data has made a dramatic shift.

Because our Summit School Community has a wide range of ages and grade levels, and not all of our students are yet eligible for vaccination, we will proceed with the following masking plan. Keep in mind that mitigation measures that are already in place will continue including a school dashboard with weekly reporting.

According to the CDC, “In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.” In addition, “anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home: Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.” Therefore, the following policy change will help us to keep our students face to face and will reduce the need for contact quarantines.

Once vaccinations become available for our younger students and/or community conditions change we will once again evaluate our policies in reference to masks on campus. We ask that you continue to work collaboratively with us to ensure that your child stays home with any symptoms, that you cooperate with the Summit School Health & Safety Guidelines, and that you have patience during this pandemic. We are working hard to keep everyone safe and to keep school in person.

Beginning at 7am on Monday, August 23, 2021 the following masking policy will go into effect.

All students in PS will continue to be mask optional. We know that students of preschool age have difficulty wearing masks consistently and correctly. We will support your choice for your child.

All other students, staff, and visitors to campus who produce proof of vaccination will be mask optional. Your vaccination status will be recorded.

Any students, staff, and visitors to campus who choose not to or are unable to produce proof of vaccination will be required to wear a mask indoors unless eating.


Dr. Stephanie Nardi

Head of School

Andrea Benkel, M.Ed

Assistant Head of School

We strongly recommend that all who enter our building wear a mask indoors and get the COVID vaccination if you are eligible.

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What is Morning Meeting?

Morning Meeting
Please note that at this time all Morning Meetings are being conducted virtually. Links will be shared with families. Please check with your child's teacher to see if the class will be presenting from the MPR. If so, parents of presenting students may attend as a live audience.

Don't forget to follow Chips and Salsa on Instagram! ChipsandSalsa_tortoise

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Third Graders Are AMAZING!

Check out this Amazing Eggs-periment from Summit's third grade classrooms. Our students worked together to build heat shields for the 3 minute re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The goal---protect their eggstronaut, of course!

An amazing eggsperiment
An amazing eggsperiment part 2
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Curriculum Nights are Coming Soon!

Please join us at Summit School to learn about the curriculum your child will be covering this year! We have broken our presentations this year into three nights to allow for smaller numbers. In addition, we will not be gathering in the MPR for this event. Please see the dates and groupings below.

Please note that due to COVID safety protocols we will not be offering additional childcare during this event. Our regular extended day program will run as scheduled.

Tuesday, August 31 from 5:30-7:00 is middle school (6-8)

  • See the middle school schedule below.

Wednesday, September 1 from 5:30-6:15 is grades 3-5

  • Please report to your child's homeroom.

Thursday, September 2 from 5:30-6:15 is preschool to grade 2

  • Please report to your child's homeroom.
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Save the Date!

Thursday, Sep. 2nd, 5-6pm

4515 East Muirwood Drive

Phoenix, AZ

notMYkid will be on campus Thursday, September 2 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in the IDEA Lab. notMYkid experts will be discussing anxiety and stress as it relates to our children. The presentation aims to help parents understand the difference between stress and anxiety, learn the warning signs and ways to help your child maintain their mental health wellness. notMYkid has a vision that every kid will have the knowledge and confidence to reach their full potential through positive life choices. Steve and Debbie Moak founded the organization in 1999 after battling the substance use addiction of their teenage son. The Moaks’ first-hand experiences inspired them to develop notMYkid and bravely share their journey and help communities eliminate the stigma that fuels addiction, mental illness, and suffering in silence.

COVID Testing Parent Survey

Thank you to the families who responded to the one question survey. Arizona Department of Health Services is providing free pooled screening testing in K-12 schools in Arizona.This program is not currently being implemented at Summit School, and has been suggested. We do not currently have plans to participate.

For Summit to implement this program, we would need parent consent for testing. Based on the results of the survey, we would have about 70% participation. For a testing program to be effective, we would need nearly 100% participation. We will not be implementing this pooled screening at this time. Thank you.

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Heat Advisory Protocols at Summit School

General Guidelines

When excessive heat occurs, the following precautions will be taken for all outdoor physical activity, including but not limited to recess, physical education classes, and field trips.

Students will be hydrated before going outside and have access to drinking water while outside. In activities lasting longer than 30 minutes, periodic water breaks will be incorporated (approximately every ten minutes).

Heat Advisory Procedures

  1. Teachers will be notified if the school is under heat advisory (Heat Index 90-109 degrees). When a heat advisory is in effect, teachers will offer students the option of staying inside during the lunch/recess period. Teachers are asked to encourage students to drink additional water
  2. Recess duty supervisors will be especially vigilant for signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion, which may include heavy sweating, weakness, cold/pale/clammy skin, weakness, fast/weak pulse, nausea/vomiting, fainting. Students showing any of these symptoms should be escorted to the nurse’s office immediately.
  3. If the Heat Index (not temperature) reaches 110 degrees, teachers will be notified that students must remain indoors for the duration of the lunch/recess period.

Summit Apparel Store

Gear up with back to school apparel! Check out the Summit apparel store for customizable shirts, pants, and accessories with your favorite Summit logos!


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Referral Credits

Our families are Summit’s best advocates and we appreciate when you share your Summit story with family and friends. We ask for your help in continuing to spread the word about Summit School!

In addition to helping create a thriving community of learners, Summit School has temporarily increased the Referral Credit from $500 to $1,000 as a credit toward your tuition liability for each newly enrolled student of a new family. This temporary increased referral credit amount is for new students (not applicable for siblings of current students or for returning students) that enroll between April 12, 2021 and March 11, 2022. Each credit is applied to your FACTS tuition account after the new family makes two tuition payments for the new student(s). During these stated dates there are no limits to the number of referral credits you may earn by supporting our school! Please contact Summit Admissions or Business Office if you have any questions regarding the family referral program.

Note: Referral credits of $600 or more require the completing of a W-9 form claiming the income. Referral credits are not applicable for voting members of the Board of Trustees.

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