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Fall 2021

Fully in person again!

A return to fully in-person learning

We continue to make plans for the 2021-22 school year and will post updates here.

Our plan is to fully open for in-person learning five days a week for all grades. Remote support will be available for students who must quarantine for health reasons. The top priority in any plan for the fall must be the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We continue to look to school leaders, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and state and local leaders for up-to-date information on the pandemic and guidance.

We had a very successful school year in 2020-21 and were able to safely remain open with mitigation procedures in place. We will continue to remain flexible in 2021-22 and respond to the pandemic as it changes over time.

Below is more information about the last school year. Although fall 2021-22, will have some differences, many of the same safety and risk mitigation procedures will remain in place.

Ready for anything

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained ready and flexible. In the past, we used the analogy of building three airplanes. One airplane was the fully in person school experience. Another was a full distance learning experience. The third was a hybrid: part in person, part distance learning. We knew that we had to be ready to change airplanes at any moment.

As the pandemic continues, if we continue with the analogy and we have experience doing school during COVID, we could say that now we’re building one plane, the “ready for anything” plane.

The top priority in any plan for the fall must be the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We’re learning from other countries, school leaders, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and state and local leaders as we build our “airplanes.”

Historical re-opening plan: 2020-21

The fall of 2020-21 was unlike any back-to-school opening we experienced before. We created a downloadable plan with the possible scenarios that could be implemented at any point in the school year based on health and safety. The fall of the 2021-22 school year will have some differences–for one, we plan to be fully in person and not in a hybrid model.

If you would like to see last year’s plan, it is below. We’ll be in constant communication with parents as we know more about our plans for the fall. We’ll keep this page updated. You should always feel free to reach out with questions. We have provided contact information on the last page.

Re-Opening Plan Fall 2020

Fall 2020 Program, Health & Safety Modifications

Program

We have modified the school program to limit the in-person interactions of students, faculty, and staff, while preserving the integrity of our program. 

  • Classes will be configured by grade level. (See FAQ below.)
  • Cohorts of students and teachers (a small group of students who do not mix with other classes and who interact with a limited number of teachers) will be established to reduce exposure.
  • Use of shared spaces like the art studios, music room, etc. will be limited. Classes will mostly stay in one classroom.
  • Specialists like music, art, and PE teachers will provide some instruction virtually, even when students are on campus.
  • Class size will be limited based on square-foot recommendations.
  • Worship will take place in individual classrooms, not in a larger group setting.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Preschool and Kindergarten are on-site every day.

First-Fourth Grades and 8th Grade

  • On-site classes four days a week: M/ Tu/Th/F.
  • Distance learning on Wednesday.

Fifth-Seventh Grades

  • One cohort of 50% at each grade level on-site M/Tu.
  • One cohort of 50% at each grade level on-site Th/F.
  • Distance learning on Wednesday with some live instruction throughout the day
Distance Learning When School Is On-Site

If a family wishes to remain distance learning when school is on-site, they must seek permission from the school.

  • It must be necessary for medical or educational needs.
  • The student will receive a weekly session with an assigned teacher. The school or family may schedule other support meetings as needed and as staff are available.
  • The teaching will occur mostly asynchronously. Instruction will be provided for learning at home through Google Classroom or Seesaw.
  • Some synchronous time may be available with the class that is in session on-site.
  • The family will be required to regularly pick up any materials that are needed.
Outdoor Play

Children need time to play and move their bodies in a safe environment. We have made plans for outdoor play that do not involve use of common space at the park.

  • We have secured space from Our Lady of Grace Church that enables us to offer play next to the school. 
  • The gym will also be available more frequently for gross motor play indoors.  
  • Classes may also go for walks or utilize local parks when deemed safe.
Hygiene and Safety
  • Staff will receive a temperature check upon entering the building every day.
  • Students will receive a temperature check at drop-off, while a caregiver is present.
  • Everyone will receive a temperature check mid-day.
  • Late arrivals will be escorted inside for a temperature check.
  • Students and teachers will wear masks, as appropriate, until restrictions are lifted. Note: Families need to provide masks for their students.
  • Daily cleaning will continue as usual. Bathrooms will be sanitized throughout the day. The building will be sanitized at night. 
  • Students will use individual sets of materials, as much as possible. Any shared materials will be sanitized before students use them.  
  • Handwashing will occur regularly for each class and will be supervised as appropriate.
  • Students will bring individual snacks from home at all levels. Community shared snacks will be suspended.
  • A nurse will provide daily coverage and will have an isolated space.
Procedures in the Event of Exposure
  • Students, faculty, and staff will stay home if anyone in their household is sick. 
  • Students, faculty, and staff will quarantine, following advice of the local health department and medical care providers when exposed to COVID-19.
  • Distance learning may go into effect for any student or class or for the school at the recommendation of the local health department, if a positive COVID-19 case is identified in the school community.
Physical Modifications in the School Building
  • Classrooms will be reorganized to allow for greater physical distancing.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be added to entrances and classrooms.
  • The nurse will be relocated to an isolated area.
  • Stairwell use will be limited by class.
  • The school will follow advice regarding air flow; keeping windows open and using fans to move air.
Technology
  • The school has upgraded the phone system throughout building to increase communication between classrooms and office/administration.
  • Students will receive a single sign-on for technology for ease of use of apps and software. 

The school will increase utilization of software to support distance learning: Mathspace, Raz-Kids, Seesaw, Savvas, IXL, Google Classroom, Zoom, and Google Meets.

Visitor Policy
  • No visitors, including parents, will be admitted without an appointment.
  • Scheduled visitors must wear a mask and will not be allowed to enter classrooms.
Tuition Modification If Distance Learning is in Place
  • During times of distance learning, full-day preschool (Sky Class) families will pay tuition and fees at the 5-morning program rate, recognizing that there is a level of childcare that is not available in the distance learning model.
  • There are no other tuition modifications.
Who to Contact with Questions

If you have further questions, contact Tom Postema, Head of School, [email protected]

Fall 2021 Due to COVID-19: Single Grade Groupings

Because we must be prepared for three different learning scenarios, we redesigned our multi-grade approach in grades two through eight to be a single grade model for the fall of 2020.  This will continue in 2021-22. Although a multi-grade approach has served students well for many years, it is best experienced when students and teachers can be physically together in the classroom. We believe that the single-grade model will better serve our students in an unpredictable environment.