As we make plans for the 2020-2021 school year, it is our goal to meet the needs of our families. We know that some of you are eager to return to campus for face-to-face instruction for your students. We know that some of you would like to continue with remote learning. Yesterday, the leadership team spent several hours discussing how we can accommodate you. Here’s a brief overview of our discussion; we still have many questions to answer, and we are getting to them as quickly but as thoroughly as we can.
Please take a moment to complete this brief survey to let us know what you are thinking about face-to-face or remote learning: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cZwkeQPtfcUwfROcIAWsk6VAKjoIEzdB0PS_X7WuTi4/edit?usp=drivesdk. This is not a commitment to the learning style that you choose here but will help guide us in making decisions.
One of the main factors in opening for on campus classes is our ability to maintain a healthy campus. We will be implementing a process for school arrival that will include temperature checks and keeping students in cohorts throughout the day, among other things (see below). However, we need you to be proactive at home, prior to bringing your kids to school: check your child’s temperature and look for symptoms.
We will have traditional face-to-face classes on campus. After consulting with local pediatricians and studying reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics, we have determined that masks will not be required during class, as we are able to adequately allow for social distancing in the classroom. Students in 4th-grade through 12th-grade will be asked to wear masks in the hallways between classes since we are not able to properly distance in that instance. While we will not require students to wear masks in the classroom, parents are welcome to have their child wear one if they so choose..
On-Campus Protocols for ensuring a healthy campus
- Temperature checks upon arrival for all faculty, staff and students
- Hand sanitizer in every classroom and at each building entrance
- Regular, scheduled hand washing times
- Keeping kids in cohorts during lunch and recess
- When social distancing is not possible (i.e. during class changes), masks will be required.
- Upper school PE classes will utilize both the locker rooms and the bathrooms for changing in order to be able to socially distance. Students will need to bring PE clothes in a small bag and will not be able to use the lockers for storing personal items.
- Classrooms for co-curricular activities (art, music, etc.) will be wiped down between classes
- All water fountains will be shut down. Students who may need a drink during the day need to bring a water bottle to school in the morning.
- Teachers will be provided a face shield to wear when walking around the classroom or interacting with students in close proximity.
We are offering an option for remote learning for families who are not comfortable returning to campus. We are still working out the details, but please be aware that it will not look exactly like it looked during the spring when the entire school was operating remotely. Here are a few considerations for remote learning:
- Teachers will be in the classroom teaching face-to-face; while they will answer any questions that come up, it may not be until after regular school hours that they are able to check email/texts/communication apps.
- We are exploring possibilities for how to integrate remote learning with classroom learning and what that will look like as far as tests/quizzes, class discussions, video lessons, etc.
- Assignments will follow the same due dates that are being required in the classroom.
- Teachers will not be doing separate video lessons for remote learners.
- You will need reliable access to the internet for remote learning
Like everything else in this process, the answer to one question leads to additional questions. We are trying to answer all of those questions as we finalize our remote-learning plan; details will be released as we flush them out.
As we continue to work through our plan, we will keep you informed about what to expect when the school year begins. Before school starts, we will send out an information packet outlining the reopening plan/procedures that we have put in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty, staff, and families.