COVID-19 Updates

We are excited to welcome our students back to campus next week. Please see our Q & A below that answers many questions you may have regarding our plans for our return to school. 


Why is enrollment at Magnolia Heights School an advantage for families who are concerned about a return to school this fall?

  • MHS is an independent school, and as such, our Head of School and Board of Trustees are free to make decisions in the best interest of our families without interference from a state department of education, a legislature, or a school district office. We readily seek out and embrace the wisdom and best practice recommendations of medical professionals and welcome any statewide directives issued by our public health officials with regard to the safe operation of our school environment. However, because Magnolia Heights is not a public school, and therefore not regulated by the Department of Education and other bureaucratic layers, we are able to respond with greater agility to ensure a stable and continuous learning environment for the students entrusted to our care. 

Will Magnolia Heights open for in-person, on-campus learning on August 7?

  • Yes. Obviously, we cannot predict what will happen over the next months. However, our administration is finalizing plans that include our students and faculty all being on the Hill this fall in a safe, face to face learning environment.  

Will Magnolia Heights have extra-curricular and co-curricular activities in the fall when school starts?

  • We fully expect all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities to resume when school starts. As a member of the MAIS, we will be governed by the guidelines they set forth.

How will the school ensure that employees and students are healthy to return to school in August? 

  • We do not plan to take temperatures each day. While the school will do its part in attempting to mitigate exposure during the school day, it is important that our families take an active part in ensuring the same precautionary measures before and after school. 

  • 100.4 is considered temperature for children

  • If a child appears feverish or ill, the child will put their mask on and go to the school nurse.

  • If a student registers a temperature at school, they will be required to stay home for a minimum of 2 additional school days. They will report to the school nurse for an admit slip when they return to school.

  • A school nurse has been employed to oversee the daily health of students, faculty, and staff.

Will the school provide cleaning supplies for the teachers and classrooms?

  • Yes. We have collected all of the hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, gloves, etc. that we had left over from last year. We will continue to purchase these supplies as needed. Hand sanitizer and soap for adequate hand cleansing will be available in numerous new places throughout campus.

Will the cleaning service clean daily and provide deep cleaning in the evenings?

  • Yes. A deep cleaning of the campus will be completed by the start of school. Our custodial personnel have the cleaning products necessary to kill infectious diseases. They will apply the cleaning products throughout the day and in the evenings during the school year. This will include using a clorox electrostatic sprayer to disinfect the classrooms daily. 

Will employees and students be required to wear masks?

  • Masks will be worn while moving. For example, in the halls between classes, on the way to the lunchroom or restrooms. Masks will not be required when seated in the classroom or after being seated at the lunch table unless social distancing cannot be achieved. Students will be instructed by the school nurse on how to properly wear their mask.

Since masks are required during certain times of the day, can my student bring their own mask?

  • Yes, but it must be a solid color, no prints or writing. Any exceptions to this must be approved by the administration.

  • We are also providing navy masks for students or they can choose to wear a disposable mask. Elementary students will be issued lanyards to help them keep up with their masks. Secondary students may receive a lanyard upon request.

Will family members of students be allowed in the school buildings?

  • We have adjusted our “open door” policy over the last few years in the interest of the physical safety of our students. Until further notice and in the interest of the safety of our students and faculty, we will continue to limit access to campus during the school day. Should for any reason you need to enter the school buildings, you must call the school offices before entering.

Will my child still have recess?

  • Each grade will be assigned their own morning and afternoon recess time and will remain with their grade.

Will Magnolia Heights move to remote learning if a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19?

  • No. As guidance from the CDC and local and state health officials changes, we will in turn adjust our response as the guidelines regarding exposure change.

If my family has to be quarantined for a period of time, what protocols will be followed and will the school serve my children via remote learning until we can return?

  • Please know that confidentiality laws will be followed, but we will also follow guidelines for contact tracing and notification as outlined by the CDC. We recommend that parents keep their child at home for 5 days or provide a negative test result. Magnolia Heights will accommodate your student’s academic needs for the period of time that is needed.

What will happen if a teacher or student reports they have been “exposed” to COVID-19?

  • Again, confidentiality will be maintained. Exposure will not necessarily require a class, grade level, or our entire school to move to remote learning. As guidance from the CDC and local and state health officials changes, we will in turn adjust our response as the guidelines regarding exposure change.

Will we use the cafeteria, playground, gyms, water fountains usage, bathrooms, and other common areas?

  • Yes, we will use the common space areas. However, capacity may be limited to accommodate health and safety requirements. We will have new guidelines, protocols, and expectations for these areas. Students will be expected to use water bottle filling stations. We are modifying restrooms to be touchless as well. Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances and in classrooms.

If necessary, how will distance learning be conducted? Will we have more structure?

  • Yes, while we are very happy with how distance learning went this spring, we are making plans to provide a more structured schedule for our teachers and students who choose distance learning.

What will my student’s school distance learning schedule look like?

  • Secondary students’ schedules will mirror (synchronous) with their on campus schedule. Students will attend each 50 minute class at its scheduled time through Zoom.  Attendance will be taken. Should that option not work, students and parents may choose distance learning offered through MAIS. This must be approved by the administration.

  • Elementary students’ schedules will be given by the classroom teacher based on the schedule he/she follows in the classroom.  Direct instruction will be synchronous using Google Meet within the Google Classroom, which is similar to Zoom. Teachers will set up a time to have one on one question and answer with those students using the distance learning option.  All of these details will be discussed during the parent/teacher conference that is held when a student is transitioning to the distance learning option. 

When can I switch to distance learning?

  • Students can switch to distance learning at the end of a grading period (progress reports, report cards) A conference with the child’s principal and parents is required before a switch can be made. 

  • If a family prefers a student to learn remotely rather than in-person, please reach out and let us know by Friday, July 31, so we may work to serve you. After this date, students will only be able to enroll as remote learning students by special permission with documentation as needed or if they are quarantined due to COVID-19.

Can a student continue to play sports if they are enrolled in distance learning?

  • Yes, as long as the student is in good standing, attending their online classes, and maintaining their grades, they will be able to play sports. When students are attending on campus class, they must attend at least one half day of school to attend athletic practice.  This policy will also apply to students who choose distance learning.

Will there be parallel and dyslexia resources available for those enrolled in distance learning? 

  • Yes, those resources will still be available during distance learning. 

Will there be orientation for 7th graders and new students needing Canvas instruction?

  • 7th graders and new secondary students choosing distance learning will need to come to an afternoon Canvas tutoring session on Friday, August 7th at 1:00. 

How will tests be administered for students who choose distance learning?

  • Students choosing distance learning will come to campus to take tests during scheduled proctored test sessions to ensure test integrity. 

  • Arrangements will be made for students participating in Distance Learning due to a need to quarantine.

Will my child be required to take all tests at school? What will be the schedule, and how will I be notified of that schedule?

  • Secondary students Teachers will determine what tests need to be taken at school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For example, major tests such as chapter or comprehensive tests may require the student to come to the school. Other tests such as quizzes and pop tests may be given online at the teacher’s discretion. Proctors will monitor afternoon test sessions for distance learning students. Students tests will be assigned through both RenWeb and Canvas on the teachers lesson plans.

  • Elementary students participating in distance learning will take their tests on Friday no matter what day it is scheduled for that week. For example, if a science test is scheduled for Tuesday, math on Wednesday, and spelling on Thursday, they will take all three of them on Friday.  Those students will report to the extended care room at 1:00 on Friday and a teacher will be there to proctor the tests that they are taking.  If a child is sick, we will allow them to make up their tests when they return to school. 

Will the school provide my elementary child with a device if we must move to distance learning?

  • Yes. As we are already a 1:1 school and have an adequate amount of devices for all students. Our IT department is putting measures in place to ensure all devices are working properly and well maintained.  While our secondary students are very familiar with their devices and Canvas, our Learning Management System, we found that our Elementary students were not as adept as switching to online learning. We are planning to address this through classroom instruction, taking devices home for homework on occasion, and a series of parent/teacher meetings that will help acclimate students, parents, and even grandparents or caregivers should we have to return to distance learning.

If my student or my household has a family member with a health condition that causes my family to prefer remote learning instead of in-person learning, will Magnolia Heights School serve my student remotely on August 7, instead of in-person?

  • Yes. We wish to best meet the safety needs of our students and families. If you have a question in this area, or have a need to have your student learn remotely, please reach out and let us know as soon as possible so we may work to serve you. Please email [email protected] if you know this is a need in your family. 

Will there be a reduction in tuition if my family chooses distance learning?

  • The tuition price will remain the same for on campus and distance learning.  There will be no reduction in tuition. Providing the needed resources to provide distance learning actually costs the school more to purchase additional equipment and virtual learning software in addition to our normal operating costs.



We thank you in advance for your help in keeping our MHS Family safe. While the school will do its part in attempting to mitigate exposure during the school day, it is important that our families take an active part in ensuring the same when the school day ends. We all have the same goal, to have an in-person education experience on campus for our students. So please, even when you are away from MHS, do all you can to stay well!

Dear MHS Parents and Students,


We learned many lessons from the last  9 weeks of school while operating our "AMI" distance learning program during the “shelter-at-home” or “stay-at-home” time frames. Among the lessons we learned were how valuable our transition to technology over the past 8 years has been. Our students, unlike many others, had the devices and platforms to pivot to an “on-line” learning program. With our 1:1 initiative coupled with Canvas, our Learning Management System (LMS), our students and teachers were able to continue to teach and learn, albeit not in the traditional sense. We found that this worked well for our secondary students, but elementary students who relied on their 1:1 devices and Google Classroom for their LMS did not adjust as well, despite our elementary teachers working tirelessly to prepare learning packets to ensure continuity of learning.


In the end, we also learned valuable lessons in how we could improve our delivery systems, increase student/teacher contact time, and incorporate childcare that our working parents need. We heard our parents’ frustration having to serve as classroom extensions and our students desperately missing their classmates and teachers. We heard about limited internet access that provided roadblocks for our students and our teachers, despite their access to devices. Yes, we learned much and have worked to add solutions for each of these concerns into our plan.

Many have been asking, how will the school respond should this situation repeat itself. First of all, we are praying that God will heal us of this virus and restore our health and economy. However, absent of His timing doing such, we need to be prepared should the circumstances resurface. We have all heard the reports, and it is only prudent that we plan for such an event.


We have been working diligently to prepare for the coming school year.  To that end, Magnolia Heights has developed a multi-faceted plan to prepare for any eventualities or scenarios we may be faced with in the future. Attached you will find an overview of those plans.  Additionally, I am excited to say that with the current conditions and using the current CDC School Decision Tree, we will meet all guidelines and be open for students on August 7.  While I am optimistic about the August opening, the situation, and guidelines are subject to change. 


We have a short timeline to the opening of school to continue to build out our plan and put more particulars and details into place. All the while, we will be giving the school a thorough cleaning and reviewing all safety and security protocols to ensure a safe and secure environment for our children to learn and our teachers to teach. We will also be utilizing this time to provide additional training for our faculty to equip them to be even better teachers in an online teaching environment should it become necessary to do so again.


As you can see, this has been and will be an incredibly busy summer as we do our normal summer activities but add to those these special initiatives to prepare our school for whatever might come our way this fall. Above all, I wanted to let you know that we are committed to opening this fall regardless of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please find attached our plan. We will also be posting to the website. Even as this plan is pushed out, we are continuing to clean, purchase cleaning equipment, setup cleaning protocols, install as many "touchless" points of contact (faucets, drinking fountains, etc.) as we can, and monitor state and CDC guidelines. Flexibility and transparency are of the utmost importance, and as such we want to encourage you to contact our administrative team if you have any questions or concerns about how we are serving your family. Magnolia Heights is here not only to provide a sense of continuity of learning for your children but also to provide a strong and safe community for your entire family.



Marvin W. Lishman, Ph.D.

Head of School

Covid Update - March 31, 2020

After consultation with healthcare professionals, and much consideration and prayer, Magnolia Heights’ campus will remain closed and we will continue our distance learning program through April 24th.  All extra-curricular activities continue to be postponed as well. The MHS offices will also be closed except for essential personnel only. The earliest date for our students returning to campus will be Monday, April 27. However, that date too remains in flux as new data continues to filter in. We will continue to monitor healthcare and governmental guidance and make changes as they are necessary.

Yesterday we launched our AMI Live sessions for grades 7-12 and are using it with Canvas providing live face-to-face instruction and interaction with our 7-12 teachers and students. Our students in grades PK-6 will continue to work using Google Classroom, instructional videos, and learning packets. Using these components of our distance learning plan, allows us to continue to offer meaningful lessons and assignments. Even though our physical campus is closed, our commitment to providing the best education possible for your child remains unchanged. Our Faculty and Staff are working diligently to ensure a meaningful education for all of our students even in this challenging environment. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this pandemic crisis daily and even hourly. We will continue to keep you informed, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. 



Marvin W. Lishman, Ph.D.
Head of School

Covid Update 3-19-20


MHS Parents and Students,

After much consideration and prayer, Magnolia Heights will cancel on-campus learning through April 3rd. All extra-curricular activities continue to be postponed as well. The MHS offices will also be closed except for essential personnel only. 


Yesterday we launched our Alternative Methods of Instruction, and we will continue to offer meaningful lessons and assignments. Our Faculty and Staff have been working diligently to ensure a meaningful education for all of our students. Please continue to follow your emails for further updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation daily and hourly. We will continue to keep you informed, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns!



Marvin W. Lishman, Ph.D.

Head of School

COVID-19 Update 3-17-20
Click here for the latest press release from Dr. Marvin Lishman, Head of School
COVID-19 Update - 3-16-20


Dear Parents and Students,  

Our faculty and staff at Magnolia Heights have been fervently working to devise our new instructional plan to continue providing education to our students during this virus quarantine. We appreciate your patience as we work through this, and we want to keep you informed as much as possible as we move forward. You will receive a specific email from your child’s teachers with more information for their specific classes. In the meantime, you may receive other emails from administration and teachers - it is vital that you read this information and respond if necessary. Make sure that if you have not received an email that you check your spam folder, and if necessary, contact the school.

  • Beginning Wednesday, March 18th, we will begin our Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI)

  • Secondary students (7th-12th) will rely on Canvas, our Learning Management System, and RenWeb that students currently use with their MacBooks. Parents may use their child’s Canvas login information to monitor work and assignments.

  • 3rd-6th grades will use Google Classroom, Renweb, and online materials. If you prefer to have these materials printed instead of online, they can be picked up with their textbooks on Wednesday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm at the front of Baker Hall for 1st-4th grades and 5th-6th graders at their building. 

  • 3K-2nd grades will be provided packets that may be picked up or emailed. 3K-5K packets can be picked up at Mini-Mag on Wednesday from 8:00 am - 7:00 pm. 1st and 2nd grade packets and textbooks can be picked up at Baker Hall during those same hours.

  • Teachers will set virtual office hours through the Zoom app. This will allow students and parents to discuss lessons or ask questions regarding the work assigned with the teacher in a live video session. They will communicate those hours and instructions to you.

  • Tutorial videos for Google Classroom and Canvas will be available for parents and students on Wednesday as well. These will be available through email and on our website

  • Standardized assessments for all students have been postponed (ACT, ACT Aspire, and Achievement tests).

  • Teachers are preparing work for the next two weeks. However, at this time, we are only scheduled to be out of school until Friday, March 20th.

This continues to be a fluid situation, and we pledge to you that we will continue to hold your child’s education as our highest priority and will use every means at our disposal to ensure we offer the best education possible.  

Please continue to pray and know that God is in control. We will continue to send resources your way.


Marvin W. Lishman, Ph.D.
Head of School