Coronavirus Updates

Last updated: July 28, 2020

Visit Madeira's Reopening Website to see our fall 2020 plan

Madeira is actively monitoring Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and will be updating this website to share information about the School's preparations and responses. 

We are following the official guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and are staying in close contact with state and local health departments, including their recommendations for travel.

Please contact communications@madeira.org with any questions.

How Madeira is dealing with the Coronavirus

In addition to following guidelines from the CDC and the WHO, Madeira is using a risk-level evaluation (see below) in responding to possible impacts of COVID-19. Our Crisis Management Team is meeting regularly to re-evaluate the School’s risk level and will inform families should the situation change. Different protocols will be put into place if and when the risk level changes.


Madeira's Current Risk Level is HIGH (Risk 4)

Risk Level 1 (Low Risk)
  • No Madeira cases of Coronavirus
  • No to very few reported cases of COVID-19 in DC/MD/VA area
  • Some countries declare public health emergency
  • Airports implement screening mechanisms; some travel advisories recommended
  • Local health departments allow school to remain open
Risk Level 2 (Moderate Risk)
  • No Madeira students, families, or employees identified with COVID-19
  • Limited cases of COVID-19 in DC/MD/VA area
  • Travel advisories recommended by WHO, CDC, government
  • Average student attendance remains high (90-100%)
  • No advisories against non-essential travel to state or Metro area
  • CDC, WHO, and/or regional health authorities declare a pandemic
  • Local health departments allow public schools to remain open
  • Madeira may be open as usual or decide to operate with Distance Learning
Risk Level 3 (Medium Risk)
  • Limited COVID-19 cases within school community; school operates with Distance Learning
  • Increased community spread of COVID-19 in local Area
  • COVID-19 disease behavior or contagiousness changes to higher risk level
  • Increasing evidence of potential restrictions on airline travel/other forms of international and public transportation
Risk Level 4 (High Risk)
    • Local health departments close the School or Madeira's leadership deems it important to close; School may operate with Distance Learning or close.
    • Spread of COVID-19 cases within the school community
    • COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing in the local area
    • Government directs that schools be closed
    • Evidence that hospitals are unable to manage or meet health care needs related to COVID-19
    • Major travel restrictions
    • Staffing and attendance issues at school



The Governor of Virginia has closed schools in Virginia for the remainder of the school year. What does this mean for Madeira?

Madeira is implementing its robust Distance Learning program for the remainder of the year.

See our email on March 24 for more.

Are there any known positive COVID-19 cases on Madeira’s campus?
  • In mid-March, we were made aware of an employee who was a presumptive positive COVID-19 case (while this person was not tested, the symptoms were consistent with COVID-19). The employee has since fully recovered.
  • A contractor who was last in Schoolhouse 1 on May 5 tested positive. Per safety protocols in place by the construction company, he was wearing a mask and worked only in the fenced off area of Schoolhouse 1. The construction company has initiated appropriate mitigation protocols, including closing down the site until CDC-recommended disinfection is complete.



What should I do if I (employee) has tested positive for COVID-19?

Please share any positive COVID-19 test results immediately with Human Resources in an effort to protect the health of our community. We respect your privacy and will not share names, but will inform the community that a member has been infected. Please follow your doctor’s guidelines and we wish you a full recovery.

Will my daughter be able to graduate with the extended Distance Learning program?

Madeira's robust Distance Learning program covers all graduation requirements.

Will we be able to return to normal school opening in August?

Our plan and desire is to have an on-time, on-campus start for the 2020-2021 school year. Because the pandemic adds unknown factors, we are also developing contingency plans for alternate configurations of the school year. We have set a date of July 17 to make the decision on whether we can go ahead with our preferred plan. We continue to proceed with all the steps necessary for a successful opening.

Will I receive any refund from the pandemic impact?

Yes. Refund information was communicated in letters sent to parents March 31 and April 20. Any further questions can be addressed to Alex Heiberger, Chief Financial Officer.

What happens to D block?

Some D blocks can continue remotely, and some may not be able to do so. As expected in the Distance Learning plan, Madeira students are expected to check their email each class day. If a D block teacher has an assignment for you, he or she will let you know. If a D block cannot be held, students will still be on track for graduation requirements.

What if I didn’t get my I-20 signed before I left campus?

If any students’ I-20 was not signed and it expires before the date they are scheduled to return to campus, please contact the DOS office (DOS@madeira.org).

Is my F-1 visa still valid?
  • We have been in touch with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) who have asked schools to send them details on any temporary procedural adaptations including online classes. We have sent them our plan for distance learning as confirmation that all of our students continue to take their Madeira classes.
  • SEVP has confirmed that they “will allow F-1 and/or M-1 students to temporarily count online classes towards a full course of study and their F-1 visa will remain active during this time.” This applies to both students who are taking online classes in the United States as well as students who are taking online classes from outside the United States.
  • US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says that “students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States.”
If I need to transfer my F-1 visa to a college/university or other high school, what do I do?

If you need to transfer your I-20 to a college/university or to another high school, we will notify you of the proper process once we have finalized the details. As far as we know, there are no deadlines concerning I-20 transfers at the moment.

Coronavirus Facts

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). 

Healthy Habits/Prevention Tips

At Madeira, we have encouraged our community to exert common sense when it comes to healthy habits - prevention is the best medicine. The healthy habit recommendations include the same basic precautions that are recommended for avoiding colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Covering coughs and sneezes (and throw away tissue immediately after use)
  • Washing hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds)
  • Staying in private quarters if ill
  • Minimizing the spread of germs by not sharing cups, utensils, etc..
  • Don't share food or drinks
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging

For more information about proper preventative care, visit the CDC's Prevention and Treatment web page.

Distance learning

Madeira will be in Distance Learning mode until the end of the school year.

Students will be earning standard grades during this time, as teachers are designing assessments that are meant to be completed off-site. Students will be hearing from each teacher each class day between 10am and 2pm EST, and will be expected to complete and submit work by the deadlines, per usual.

Co-Curriculum information

Students who are scheduled for Mod 6 Co-Curriculum, your graduation requirement has been waived. Visit this link in Powerschool for more information. If you have any questions about Co-Curriculum, please contact Andrew Sharp, the Director of Co-Curriculum at 703-556-8277.

Community values

Madeira has and remains a School that leads by example when it comes to inclusion and respect. Our community values shine bright across campus and continue to do so during situations like this.