Back to School

This page revised July 24, 2020. Be sure to check back often for updates!

First Day of School

August 24 – at home

Academy (PreK-4th Grade)

College Prep (5th-9th Grade)

On-Campus Instruction

& Home Learning

All students will start the year at home, equipped with a Chromebook and internet access.


Due to current health guides, bus transportation is suspended for the 2020-21 school year. We know this is a burden, and we are working to provide help for your family.

On-Campus Instruction

& Home Learning

Yellowstone’s campus and our educational model are ideally positioned to provide your family with a learning environment that can maximize both the safety and academic experience for your student.

Our plan is to provide Home Learning August 24 – September 11 to all students in PreK-3 through 9th grade. We hope to resume On-Campus Instruction September 14, while continuing to offer Home Learning through the fall semester for those who choose it. At this point, the school year will end June 4th. Read more here.

The Pod System

When On-Campus Instruction resumes, the school has adopted a “pod system.” To ensure the safety of our students and staff and reduce cross-contamination, each grade level will be separated into its own “pod.” This pod will have its own entrance/exit from the building, its own restroom, and a designated area outside for recess and outdoor instruction. This concept has been tested in day care centers across the country since the virus began, and the results have been very favorable. You can read more about this concept here.

Within each pod, students will be assigned to a classroom where they will spend the day. There will be no more than 12 students per room. The desks will be adequately spaced and each desk will have a transparent safety shield. Students will eat lunch in their classroom, and the teachers will only rotate among the rooms in their pod to further limit exposure and movement in the building.

Closed Campus

When On-Campus Instruction resumes, we will be a “closed campus.” This means no visitors will be allowed on campus for any reason, and only essential staff will be permitted inside.

Home Learning

All students will begin the school year on August 24 by learning at home. We will be working to ensure that all students have a Chromebook and internet access before the first day of school.

Beginning the year at home will also prepare us if we have to close the campus another time this school year and move again to an all-virtual environment.

Health & Safety Protocols

When On-Campus Instruction resumes, we will:

  • Follow the health guidelines outlined by the CDC and the Texas Education Agency.
  • Students and adults will have a temperature check each morning before entering the building.
  • All adults will be required to wear a face shield at all times, and, where age appropriate, students will be required to wear masks (which Yellowstone will provide).
  • There will be frequent opportunities for hand-sanitizing and hand-washing.
  • We will be closed to visitors to limit risk and exposure.
  • Students and staff will limit their movement around the building by following the pod system. This will minimize the chance for exposure across the campus.
  • We have strict guidelines for when a student or staff member has a fever or exhibits other symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • We will stay in regular communication with our families to ensure everyone is informed and updated as the year progresses.


We believe starting the year virtually and then resuming On-Campus Instruction with the protocols listed above provides the safest environment for students, staff, and families. Unfortunately that means that we will not be offering bus transportation next year to preserve the integrity of the pod system.

The health guidelines for bus service severely limit how many families we can serve and compromise safety. We have heard from many families who are hesitant to put their child in a bus environment where it will be much harder to control exposure.

We know this news might be disappointing and distressing to some of our families. We also feel strongly that not offering bus service is the safest option for our community.

To that end, we are proposing that Yellowstone Academy will suspend tuition for the year so that families can use that savings for any extra costs associated with transportation.

For Yellowstone College Prep where there is currently no tuition, for families who apply and qualify, we are planning to offer monthly gas cards and/or public transit cards to offset this added cost.

Stay tuned for more details.

Back to School Checklist

Make sure your student is enrolled for this Fall

Read our Back to School Letter

Review the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar

Recognizing that there is a high likelihood of school disruption during the year due to COVID-19, we have added additional weeks of school at the end of the year until June 18. Please plan to continue school through June 18 in the event that we have to use those days to complete the school year. We will provide advance notification if we need to use all or a portion of those days.