COVID-19 Information, 2020-21 School Year

EMS operating decisions during the 2020-21 school year are being made in consultation with medical advisors, faculty, parents, the EMS Board of Directors, and the Virginia Department of Health. The VDH believes our advantages of a smaller community, use of mostly private transportation, conscientious families for home health screening, and mitigation plans that meet or exceed state requirements for schools allows for operating in person.

Your questions answered....

General Details...

  • Paul Leaman, head of school, will circulate weekly updates to families throughout the year via email. See those posted here.
  • Classes for all students K-12 begin at 8:30 a.m
  • K-5 students may arrive at 8 a.m., and should be dropped off at the bridge.
  • 6-12 students may arrive at 8 a.m., and must go to first block class.

Drop off for middle and high school:

  • Middle school students should be dropped off and enter through the auditorium entrance behind of the Upper Building.
  • High school students who drive should park in the dining hall parking lot and walk to the front entrance.
  • High school students who are being dropped off should be dropped off at the front entrance in the drop off loop.
  • Student drivers with a middle school rider should park in the auditorium parking lot and enter through the auditorium entrance.
  • Students who bike to school can lock their bike during the day by the gym entrance (and enter the front door) or behind the school in a covered area near the loading dock (and enter the auditorium entrance)


  • Elementary students should pack their lunch as no dining hall lunch is available for elementary students at this time. 
  • 6-12 students can pack or purchase lunch

End of Day:

  • School ends at 3 and students must be picked up by 3:15; accounts will be billed for after school care for all ages. Students in the Upper Building (6-12) after school must consult with a principal about special permission to stay and where they should await pick up.

Choral, Orchestra, Band Details for Grades 9-12 

Our music instructors have spent extensive time researching the risks of making music together with corona virus in the air. They are implementing best practices, using distancing, masks, and technological work-arounds, to implement music teaching.

Choir classes are taught outdoors with 10 feet of spacing between singers due to the tendency of singing to produce high volumes of aerosol. Student voices are amplified using a combination of sound equipment and megaphones. Strings classes maintain social distancing indoors. Wind classes practice outdoors and in a large spaces indoors using extended distancing and instrument masks.
  • 9th to 12th grade orchestra (both winds and strings) meet Monday and Thursday after school, 3:05 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday morning before school, 8 to 8:25 a.m.
  • Choral ensembles meet during 1st block (for 11th and 12th grade students) and 4th block (for 9th and 10th grade students) as part of students' pre-arranged class schedule.
  • Middle school choral and instrumental opportunities also occur during the school day as part of students' pre-arranged class schedule

What if... ?

Upon learning of COVID-19 touches within our school community, we will be in contact with the VDH about our immediate and longer-term response.  

Our FIRST line of defense is prevention. Any hint of illness with an unknown cause requires your student to STAY HOME!  Any unprotected close contact (<6’ for at least 15 minutes) of a student with a COVID-19 positive person or a self-quarantined person with possible exposure - STAY HOME!

We want to continue to emphasize the importance of: 

  • Proactive measures to stay at home with the hint of sickness. Keep siblings at home if anyone is sick in your household. See your doctor to determine whether testing is needed and/or when it's safe to return to school.
  • EMS’s commitment to communicate clear expectations with you as situations arise based on VDH’s recommendations AND our intention to keep student/family names confidential.
  • Our top priority will be the health safety of our students, faculty, and community-at-large.

What is class like?

When in-person learning is in session, teachers are focused on the students in the classroom. Those who choose not to be here due to illness or personal choice are in regular communication with teachers about the best way to connect. Many log in to participate in class.

See a video with Shannon Roth's 7th grade Bible class to learn more.